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  • Ruth Napier

Top tips for updating your law firm's website

Updated: Feb 22

A brief guide for professional services firms without an internal marketing team



Pink neon sign saying Ready or Not

Who is it for?

Your website may need to account for different types of visitors – clients, prospective clients, employees or prospective employees. 


Map out each journey to make sure your navigation, layout and content matches their needs.




Scoping and planning

Write as detailed a brief for your agency as you can. Incorporate your marketing strategy and objectives.


Speak to a marketing consultant or expert if you need help in putting your strategy or brief together.


Don't rely on your digital agency to run the project for you - they won't know your firm as well as you do and may miss vital engagement or communication waypoints.


Page design priorities

People, careers and content (articles, blogs etc) are typically the first pages that a digital visitor encounters.  Your home page is usually a second step (or first for someone who has been recommended your firm but not an individual at your firm).


Always ensure your digital agency gives you early sight of the layout and user experience on these 4 page types. 


Your website analytics will give you detailed information about user journeys, most frequently used pages and exits.


Content, purpose and Action

When deciding what type of content you want to have on your website, consider how the different content types will serve the different stages of intent. People will be encountering content on your site at different stages in their journey – they may be at an early stage of information gathering or self-education, or at a later stage they may want to understand more deeply about options, pros and cons or costs.


Establish a clear purpose and action for each page (or page type).

The action is what you want your visitor to do next when they are finished. In marketing we often talk about ensuring there is a clear Call To Action  (CTA). 


A CTA may mean an invitation to explore similar content such as

  • Posts on the same topic

  • FAQs

  • Other people in this team

  • Experience or case studies

  • Job opportunities

  • What its like to work here – day in the life profiles

Or for an action such as

  • Follow on social media

  • Sign up to receive updates on this subject/other subjects/everything

  • Download whitepaper/guide to X (gateway - email)

  • Book onto webinar/seminar

  • Get in touch / Make an enquiry

  • Online Chat

  • Click to call – general number, specific number

  • Click to email – general email address, specific email address


Whilst it's good to have options for each page try to determine a primary CTA for that page.


Remember that only 5% of people will be in buying mode at any one time so if your only CTAs are a lead capture form, you will be missing out on engaging and building trust with the 95% who are at an earlier stage. Assess the page content in combination with likely visitor intent to set the right CTA.   


Optimising for BD

If you don’t work for all types of client

  • be specific on your site or relevant service pages about the ones you do work for

  • signpost to other service providers

  • use a Q&A, chatbot or onsite form to filter out poor quality enquiries

For any enquiry handling, remember that it's important to brief anyone involved in advance of any changes, incorporate feedback from them into your project and to train and staff call handlers in key filter questions.


If you offer any type of a service for individual/business distress situation (typically litigation/contentious work) always include an easy to find CTA. 


Navigation

Natural language links and clear CTA buttons and visual signposts make navigation easier for the user. 


There is no longer a need to include “Click here to…” type wording.

Design and test navigation and layouts based on your users devices- ensure it works well on mobile, desktop and tablet.


Metrics

It's important to focus on the right ones for your business. Remember that it is easier to monitor and report on a fewer relevant measures that are easier to track (and explain).  


Typical measures of success are

  • Traffic (sessions)

  • Visitors and new sessions

  • Bounce rate.  This is the percentage of people that leave without any action.  The average law firm has a bounce rate of 60%

  • Traffic source. This tells you how people are finding your site and is a good way to assess the impact of your marketing campaigns, if they are aimed at driving traffic to your site. 

  • Average time on page – this should vary depending on the content length. A 2,000 word blog post should mean 5 minutes on page, if its shorter then the visitor is not seeing the value in the content.

  • Click through rate. The percentage of people who click through from an ad to the landing page.

  • Conversion – the % of visitors that complete the CTA.

  • Keyword rankings – to measure impact of your SEO strategy

  • Top performing pages – to add more related content or to improve less-well performing content

  • Exit pages – so you can review pages with high exits.  Some will be expected but others may point to a problem. A “Thank you for subscribing” page will likely have a high exit number.

Migrating Content

If you are moving to a completely new site, it is likely that you will want to migrate some content. Make sure you and your digital agency factor in sufficient time to do this and for you to be able to check/test it before you go live.

When assessing content for migration, use the following criteria to assess its value

  • number of page visits

  • recency (latest visit)

  • evergreen, topical or outdated

  • links to other content that has been prioritised for migration


I recommend keeping an archive copy of your legacy/old website. If this isn't possible the Wayback Machine can provide access to a snapshot version but it may not include every page you would want to keep a copy of.


Managing content on your new site

One of your key choices will be about which platform and content management system to use. This will affect which web developer you choose to work with.

Unless you have particular requirements, I recommend using one of the well known platforms with an easy-to-use content management system.


Ensure that your agency includes training for those who will be responsible for adding/amending content.


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These are just a few of my top tips for updating your law firm website.

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Colour portrait of author
Ruth Napier

I am Ruth Napier,

the Marketing Director for firms

that don't have their own,

but need one.


Get in touch today for a free, no obligation discussion about how I can help you with your new website project

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