While web design trends continuously change over time, the underlying needs of your website visitors remain the same. Users still need to find information, be able to read it, know what to click on and where those links will lead.
By providing a good user experience on your website, not only will your visitors be inspired to spend more time on your site, but you’ll also reap Google’s rewards. User experience is among the 200+ factors that Google weighs when determining a website’s ranking.
Here are ten elements to consider in order to improve the experience for prospects visiting your website:
- Mobile Responsiveness – A responsive site is one that adapts its text, images, and other content to fit the device screen of the user. Now that mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop, it’s important that your website looks good and can be easily navigate on all devices. Additionally, Google rewards responsive sites with better search engine rankings.
- Design – Your site should have a clean, attractive design. Too many Flash animations, ads, auto-play videos or music and garish colors can be distracting and will quickly drive visitors away.
- Navigation – Good navigation is intuitive and simple. Help visitors to quickly see what information is available and where to go to find what they’re looking for by including a navigation bar that’s structured and clickable.
- Website Speed – Most consumers expect a web page to load in 4 – 5 seconds or less and will click on to the next site if it doesn’t. Overloading your site with unoptimized images, video, and plugins can slow down your load time considerably, so it’s imperative that your site is properly constructed.
- Important Firm Details – Your site should include details about your law firm. Your phone number should be prominently displayed, as should the areas of law that you practice, your address and any other information that will make it easy for people to contact you.
- Trust Signals – Including certain elements can add credibility to your website and your law firm. Badges from the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Avvo, your state bar association, and the local Better Business Bureau will signal your authority and trustworthiness to your visitors. Testimonials from current or former clients can also have a huge impact.
- Images – Statistics show that 40 percent of people respond better to visuals than to simple text, but stay away from the same old stock photos that you find on every website. When possible, use real images of your actual staff, office, and perhaps even clients. If you absolutely MUST use stock images, try to find ones that are unusual or uncommon.
PRO TIP: If you’re not using your own original images, make sure that you purchase the license for any image that you use. Images can be purchased for as little as $1 each – much less than the fine you’ll pay for “borrowing” an image that’s protected by copyright.
- Strong Call-to-Action – Having prospects visit your website is important, but it shouldn’t be your ultimate goal. Having that prospect take action, by subscribing to your blog or newsletter, downloading a report, or registering for a seminar, should be your objective. Placing a strong CTA in the right place will help nudge your visitors in the direction you’d like them to go. Be direct and specific: Attend a Free Seminar, Download Now, and Learn More are all effective calls-to-action.
- Content – Your content should be organized and easy to navigate. It should be relevant to the services you offer and should be kept current. It goes without saying that all content should be free of typos and grammatical errors.
Prospects come to your website to find information, to learn more about you and your firm, and to decide if they’d like to do business with you. By paying attention to a few details, you’ll improve the experience users have while on your law firm’s site, your site will rank higher in search, and you’ll likely see the impact of both in your bottom line.
Director, Web and Online Marketing Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 453-2128