We've done a few posts on law firm websites, and tried to cover all the basics from branding, website design and content, and even covered the basics of search engine optimization. For some, following easy steps is enough.
Others need to see a list of what not to do. While some may warn your website is designed to fail, we're going to list for you some big don'ts of law firm website design -- if you follow enough of these, you'll have a "do" law firm website on your hands.
1. No Audio
This is a big no-no. There's nothing more annoying than clicking on a link, or typing in a web address only to be met with blaring music or other unwanted audio. First off, if you have music playing, that's entirely unprofessional; second, unless you are the creator of the work, or gained rights to it, you are likely committing copyright infringement.
2. No Large Images or Flash
Basically, don't add anything to your site that is likely to slow it down, distract the user, or get in the way of search engine optimization. Large images can slow down the load time of a site, and also distract the user. Fancy flash sites look great, but aren't SEO friendly. Try to design your website so that will increase the chances of search engines finding it.
3. No "Me, Me, Me"
Your law firm website is not the place to just talk about yourself and all of your amazing accomplishments. Instead, the website should be more client-centric, that is, explain why your client needs you. The purpose of the website is to get more clients, you do that by showing clients how you can help.
4. No Legalese
No one likes legalese, not even judges and lawyers, and especially clients, so keep any trace of legalese, or technical talk off of your website. You want the information on your website to be clear, concise and convincing -- that's how you will get new clients.
Now that you're armed with do's and don'ts, designing your law firm website should be a little easier. If you're still overwhelmed, and need some help with promoting your law firm, then consider contacting FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing division, which specializes in helping law firms with marketing so law firms can focus on practicing law.
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- Critiquing a Small Law Firm's Website: What Not to Do (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Internet Marketing Basics for Lawyers: Website Considerations (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)
- Five Areas Where Your Firm Website Needs Changing (FindLaw's Strategist Blog)