Attorneys – Elevate Your Online Presence By Removing These NINE Key Elements From Your Law Firm’s Website

Are you tired of your website feeling more like a legal labyrinth that requires a map and guide than a client-friendly portal?

Are visitors on the site lost in a sea of legal jargon, unable to figure out what action to take?

Do you always have to tell people where information is on your website rather than them easily being able to find it?

Well, you are in the right place because your law firm website makeover starts now.

Picture this: a website that not only showcases your legal abilities but also captivates online visitors from the moment that they land on your site.  Imagine a digital platform that not only informs, but engages users, turning them from information seekers to eager clients that want to pay you for your services.

In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, where you get 50 milliseconds for a person to judge your website, make it count.  Your site is your virtual storefront, your best salesperson and your online greeter all rolled into one…it’s also your ticket to reaching a broader audience full of potential clients.

Here’s the kicker – in order for your website to thrive in the competitive world of online legal marketing, you have to ditch outdated tactics and embrace a fresh approach that speaks directly to your target audience.

So, if you are prepared to say good-bye to cookie-cutter sites and hello to an amazing new website that gets you clients, let’s get started!  It’s time to unleash the power of your legal acumen and make a lasting impression in the digital realm.

So, what are the 9 elements that you need to remove from your law firm’s website to accomplish all of this?

Element 1 To Remove - Unclear Brand Messaging

Make sure that your homepage communicates your firm’s specialty in a succinct way, right at the top of the page.  Don’t make site visitors guess what you do.  They need to know immediately that they are in the right place with the right firm.

Avoid using vague headlines like “Leading Law Firm” or “We Get You Legal Results Fast”.

Instead, opt for more descriptive statements such as “Expertise in Corporate Law For Startups” or “We Take Women Through Every Step Of A Divorce”.

If you can call out your ideal client and how you will help them, you will have great messaging that makes them want to learn more and stay on the site.

Element 2 To Remove - Ambiguous Navigation Labels

Site visitors need to know where to go on your website intuitively.

Instead of having a page that lists out all of your areas of practice, create one page per practice area.  Not only does this make navigation easier, but it helps with your website’s SEO as well by having keywords in the menu.

practice areas listed in menu

You should also do this with the areas that you serve.  Instead of having one page that talks about your service area, create independent pages for each of the cities or towns.  This makes it much easier for a site visitor to know that your firm is in his or her area and can help.

service areas listed in menu

Element 3 To Remove - Generic Subheadings On Website Pages

Get the attention of your visitors with specific subheadlines that engage them immediately.  

You want them to say “This firm is for me” when they are reading the text on your site.

Instead of using a header like “Our Services”, try something more descriptive like:

  • “Comprehensive Family Law Representation”
  • “Strategic Criminal Defense Tactics”
  • “Starting A Business in 7 Steps”

When you make the subheadings specific, it allows a site visitor to self identify as a potential client.

In addition, more specific subheaders are great for telling the search engines like Google what your firm does and should help with your site rankings.

Element 4 To Remove - Slideshow Overload

Avoid overwhelming your visitors with excessive slideshows with multiple slides.

Streamline your pages to highlight key services or unique selling points effectively. Important information should not be hidden in a slide that someone has to wait for.

Not only that, but slideshows do not do well with accessibility for anyone accessing your site with a disability, so they may not get the information that they need. 

Our bodies are hardwired to react to movement, so if you have a moving element on your website, it’s distracting.  You never want anything on your website to distract from your messaging and stop someone from hiring you.

Element 5 To Remove - Inauthentic Imagery

Yes, stock images with pretty people and perfect lighting make your website pretty for YOU to look at.  Your web designer probably thinks that it is pretty too.

However, it comes across as really inauthentic and boring.

When people are looking for a lawyer, they want to be able to see YOU and your team.  People hire people, they don’t hire businesses.  They want to make a connection. Stock images make it impossible for a potential client to make a connection.

It doesn’t matter if the lighting is a bit off or you need to lose those extra 5 pounds, an authentic picture comes across as a human that they can trust.

Build trust with potential clients by using authentic images that reflect your firm’s identity.  Replace generic stock photos with genuine pictures of your team, office or clients (with consent of course) to convey credibility.

Bonus points if you let them know just a bit about your personal life, like sharing a picture of your dog or you at a local baseball game.  You’d be surprised by how many people connect with you in that way.

Element 6 To Remove - Social Media Distractions

Have you ever noticed the websites that have the firm’s social media icons at the top of the page above the menu?

Well, I can guarantee you that they are losing more traffic than they would like.

By putting the social icons at the top of the page, you are just begging your visitors to click off of your page…and get sucked into the attention time sink that is social media. By the time that they are done checking their notifications and seeing the latest Reels, they may have completely forgotten that they started at your website.

Minimize this distraction by moving the social media icons to your footer and on your “Contact Us” page.  This prevents visitors from being redirected away from your site and maintains their focus on your legal services.  It also puts your social media pages at an easy to find spot.

Element 7 To Remove - Outdated Content

Keep your website relevant by updating or removing outdated content.

If your blog templates have dates on them, remove them.  If the date is important, put it in the title or the text.

Most legal articles will be evergreen, so you don’t want people to click away because the article is 10 years old.  If it’s still good information, they should read it.  Don’t make it easy for them to dismiss.

Element 8 To Remove - Unreadable Content Blocks

Which paragraph looks easier to read?

content block that is difficult to read
Option 1


easy-to-read content block
Option 2

I think that most people would agree that Option 2 is much easier to read than option 1.  It has whitespace and gives the eye somewhere to rest.

Improve readability by breaking up dense paragraphs.  Some of the ways that you can do this include:

  • Shorter sections
  • Utilizing bullet points
  • Use easy to understand headlines
  • Highlight or bold key points that you want to draw the eye to

See what I did above?  I just made that easier for you to read by breaking it up into bullet points.

You want to do your best to enhance the user experience by making information more digestible and accessible. 79% of people scan new pages that they come across, so the text needs to be formatted to grab their attention.  Blocks of text just won’t work.

Element 9 To Remove - Excessive Legal Jargon

Simplify your website’s language by eliminating excessive legal jargon that may alienate or confuse visitors. 

Yes, your content may sound “legal” or impress your colleagues, but that’s not who your website is for.  

When writing your content, ask yourself (just like in law school), cui bono, who benefits? 

If the answer to your question is not “My potential or current clients”, you know what to do.

Instead of bombarding potential clients with complex legalese, strive for clear and concise communication that everyone can understand. Remove dense paragraphs filled with technical terms and replace them with plain language that resonates with your target audience.

By cutting through the legal mumbo-jumbo, you’ll make your website more accessible and user-friendly, ultimately fostering stronger connections with potential clients through authenticity and trust building.

You can even try a tool like quillbot to rewrite sentences with a certain reading level in mind.

What Is Next For My Firm’s Website?

In conclusion, optimizing your law firm’s website is essential for staying competitive in today’s digital landscape. 

By removing outdated elements and enhancing user experience, you can create a more engaging and effective online presence that attracts and converts potential clients. 

Let’s recap the nine key areas we’ve discussed:

  1. Ensure clarity in your brand messaging and homepage headlines.
  2. Use specific navigation labels to guide visitors effectively.
  3. Craft engaging subheadings that capture attention and provide value.
  4. Streamline your homepage to prioritize essential information.
  5. Opt for authentic imagery that builds trust with potential clients.
  6. Minimize distractions by strategically placing social media links.
  7. Keep your website content relevant and up-to-date.
  8. Enhance readability by breaking up dense paragraphs and utilizing formatting.
  9. Simplify your language by eliminating excessive legal jargon.

By implementing these changes, you can transform your website into a powerful marketing tool that showcases your expertise and attracts your ideal clients.

Now, it’s time to take action! 

Review your website with a critical eye and identify areas for improvement based on the principles outlined in this article. Whether you choose to make small tweaks or undergo a complete overhaul, remember that every change you make contributes to a more user-friendly and effective online presence for your law firm. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to IFTS, Inc. or call for assistance if needed.

Your website is your digital face to the world—it’s time to make it shine. Start implementing these strategies today and watch as your online presence grows and flourishes. 

Here’s to a brighter, more successful future for your law firm!

10 Common Small Business Website Mistakes You May Be Making in 2024 – Part 2

For small business owners, your website is more than just a digital storefront—it’s the very first handshake with future customers. Ensuring this vital first impression is not only visually appealing but also user-friendly is paramount to your success. 

Our last article covered 5 common mistakes that small businesses make with:

  • Navigation
  • Pop-ups
  • Website load time
  • Responsive design
  • Jargon

If you haven’t read it yet, check it out here.

Let’s explore our final 5 tips on how to keep your digital welcome mat inviting and free from the usual slip-ups that can deter potential business.

Mistake 6: Keeping Your Website a Secret From Search Engines

Imagine you’ve got this super cool clubhouse, but you didn’t tell anyone how to find it. It’s got all the best games, snacks, and comfy chairs, but if nobody knows where it is or that it even exists, what’s the point? 

Your website is kind of like that clubhouse. 

You could have the best services or products, but if you’re not making it easy for search engines (like Google) to find you, you’re basically invisible online.

So, how do you send out a digital map to your site? 

It’s called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This isn’t about tricking Google with magic words but more like using the right keywords that match what people are searching for and having the right website structure

For example, if you’re a lawyer specializing in family law, you want to make sure your website talks about things like “family lawyer,” “divorce help,” or “child custody advice” because that’s what people will type into Google when they need a lawyer like you.

If you ignore SEO, it’s like putting up a “Closed” sign on your website. You might as well be invisible. But when you pay attention to SEO, you’re putting up a big, flashy “Open for Business” sign that guides customers right to your door. 

And who doesn’t want that?

Mistake 7: Forgetting to Tell Your Website Visitors What to Do Next With A Clear Call To Action (CTA)

Picture this: You’re at a super cool amusement park with all these awesome rides, but there are no signs. You’d probably wander around a bit, feel confused, and might even leave without trying the best rides. 

That’s what happens when your website doesn’t have clear signs—or in website speak, a clear call-to-action (CTA).

A call-to-action is like that big, red button that says “Press Me!” It’s your way of telling visitors exactly what you want them to do next. 

Whether it’s “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” or “Contact Us,” your CTA is your website’s way of guiding visitors to the next step. Without it, they might just wander off.

Think about what you want visitors to do most on your site. If you’re selling something cool, your biggest button might say “Add to Cart.” If you’re a lawyer, maybe you want them to fill out a form for a free consultation. That’s your CTA. Make it big, bold, and easy to find.

Also, don’t clutter your site with too many CTAs. If you do, it’s like a tour guide shouting directions at you from all directions. 

You wouldn’t know where to go first, right? 

Stick to one or two main actions you want people to take, and make those buttons impossible to miss.  Choose a contrasting color for your CTAs to really make them stand out.

Remember, your website isn’t just there to look pretty. It’s there to guide your visitors somewhere – like making a purchase, learning more about your services, or getting in touch with you.

If you’re not clear about what you want them to do, they might not do anything at all.

Mistake 8: Using Blurry or Low-Quality Pics

Ever scrolled through social media and seen a picture that was so blurry, you couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to be? 

Kind of a letdown, right? 

The same goes for your website. If you use pictures that are blurry, too small, or just plain bad quality, it’s not a good look. It’s like showing up to a job interview in a wrinkled shirt and flip-flops. People might not take you seriously.

Think about it: Your website is like your online storefront. The images you use are like the window display. You want everything to look sharp, inviting, and professional. 

That’s why picking the right pictures is super important. 

They need to be clear, high-quality, and they should make sense with what you’re talking about. If you’re a bakery, show off those cupcakes in all their mouth-watering glory. If you’re a photographer, your pictures need to be top-notch, showing off your skills.

But remember, the pictures you use should do more than just look pretty. They should tell a story about who you are and what you do. A great image can grab people’s attention and even help explain things better than words sometimes. 

So, take a bit of time to choose the right ones. It’s like picking the perfect outfit for a first date. You want to make a good impression!

Mistake 9: Letting Your Website Collect Metaphorical Dust

Ever visited a company’s profile only to see their last post was from 2017? You might wonder if they’re still around or what they’re up to these days. 

It’s the same deal with websites. 

If someone lands on your site and the last update was ages ago, they might think, “Hmm, is this place still in business?” 

Keeping your website fresh is like keeping your social media profiles lively. It shows you’re open, active, in the game, and ready to engage.

Here’s another thing: Google and other search engines are always on the lookout for fresh content. 

When they see that you’re regularly updating your site, they think, “Hey, this site is alive and kicking. Let’s show it to more people.” This could mean better spots in search results.

Updating your site isn’t just about adding new products or services (though that’s important, too). It’s also about refreshing your blog posts, changing up images, or even just tweaking your homepage now and then. It shows visitors and search engines alike that you’re keeping things up-to-date and that you care about providing a good experience.

And don’t worry; you don’t have to overhaul your site every month. 

Small, regular updates are like watering a plant—a little bit consistently can help it grow big and strong. So, whether it’s sharing news about your business, adding tips or insights in your blog, or just updating photos, keep your website’s content fresh. It’ll make a great impression on both visitors and Google, keeping your site in the spotlight and getting clicks!

Mistake 10: Skipping the Safety Gear for Your Website

Imagine surfing the internet like riding a bike. 

Now, what if I told you that not having a secure website is like riding that bike downhill without a helmet? Sounds risky, right? That’s because it is. 

Your website needs something called an SSL certificate to keep everyone’s data safe—kind of like how a helmet protects your head.

When a website has an SSL certificate, it’s like having a secret code. Anything people do on your site, like shopping or filling out forms, gets scrambled into a code that only you can understand. It keeps hackers from sneaking a peek at private info like addresses or credit card numbers. Without it, you’re telling your customers, “Hey, it’s okay to ride this bike without a helmet.” 

Not cool.

Here’s the kicker: Google, the apex of search engines, is now checking if sites are secure before showing them in search results. That means your website might not show up as easily when people are searching for stuff online. It’s Google’s way of making sure everyone plays it safe on the internet playground.

So, how do you get this magical SSL certificate? 

It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Often, your website host can set you up with one. It’s a simple step that tells everyone, “We take safety seriously around here.” Plus, it keeps Google happy, which is always a good thing. 

Make sure your website is wearing its helmet. Safety first, folks!

What To Do Next…

Wrapping up our digital deep dive, let’s remember that your website is essentially your online handshake. 

It’s the first, and sometimes the only, impression potential customers will have of your business. 

So, it makes all the difference to ensure that this virtual greeting is as warm, inviting, and effective as possible. Avoiding the common pitfalls we’ve talked about is key to keeping your digital doors open and reaching your business goals.

First off, clear navigation and a speedy, mobile-friendly site aren’t just nice-to-haves; they’re must-haves in today’s fast-paced, smartphone-dominated world. Every element of your site, from the words you choose to the images you showcase, should tell your story in a way that’s easy to understand and engage with. 

Remember, the goal is to make visitors feel at home and ready to explore what you have to offer, leading them gently but firmly to the action you want them to take, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or reaching out for more information.

Lastly, keeping your content fresh and your website’s security tight shows your customers that you’re not just open for business, but you’re also a reliable, trustworthy partner in this digital journey. As the online world continues to evolve, so should your website. Regular updates, attention to SEO, and ensuring your site is a safe place for visitors will help your business stand out in a crowded digital marketplace. 

So take these tips, tweak your digital strategy, and watch as your website becomes your best salesman ever.

Need help implementing any of the tips above? Contact IFTS to set up a free consultation.  Just send si@iftsdesign.com an email with the subject line “Free Consult”.

10 Common Small Business Website Mistakes You Might Be Making in 2024 – Part 1

For small business owners, your website is more than just a digital storefront—it’s the very first handshake with future customers. Ensuring this vital first impression is not only visually appealing but also user-friendly is paramount to your success. 

However, it’s all too easy to fall into pitfalls that could send your visitors running before they’ve even had the chance to browse. 

Let’s explore our first 5 tips on how to keep your digital welcome mat inviting and free from the usual slip-ups that can deter potential business.

Mistake 1 - Not Having Clear Navigation

Imagine walking into a vast store with no signs, unclear sections, and a maze-like layout. 

Frustration would likely guide your steps out of the door rather than towards a purchase. This is precisely the effect a website with poor navigation has on your potential customers. Your digital presence needs to be as welcoming and as easy to navigate as a well-organized physical store.

Clear, intuitive navigation ensures that visitors can effortlessly find the information they’re seeking without guesswork or backtracking. This involves having a straightforward menu, logical flow from one page to another, and well-defined sections. 

Consider incorporating breadcrumbs on your pages so users can easily trace their steps back without hitting the dreaded “back” button too many times.

Additionally, a search function becomes invaluable for sites with a lot of content, allowing users to bypass navigation to directly find specific information. Remember, the goal is to reduce the effort required by your visitors to get from point A (arrival) to point B (the information, service or product they’re interested in). 

Making this journey as smooth as possible not only enhances user experience but also significantly increases the likelihood of conversion, be it a sale, a sign-up, or an inquiry.

Mistake 2: The Pop-Up Predicament - Striking the Right Balance

While pop-ups have earned their stripes in the digital marketing world for their ability to capture attention and convert leads, there’s a fine line between being effectively persuasive and annoyingly invasive. 

Overloading your site with pop-ups is akin to a salesperson following your every step in a store, bombarding you with offers before you’ve even had a chance to look around. This overwhelming approach can ruin the user experience, prompting visitors to leave your site.

Pop-ups should be used sparingly and strategically. 

They are most effective when they offer genuine value to the visitor.  Examples of this can include: 

  • exclusive discounts
  • sign-up bonuses
  • timely alerts about promotions

The key is relevance and timing. 

For instance, exit-intent pop-ups, which appear when a user is about to leave your site, can be a last-ditch effort to engage them without disrupting their browsing experience from the get-go.

Moreover, it’s critical to ensure that your pop-ups are mobile-friendly. A pop-up that covers the entire screen on a mobile device, with a tiny, elusive “close” button, is always frustrating to your visitors. Always test your pop-ups across different devices and browsers to ensure they enhance, rather than hinder, the user experience.

By treating your visitors’ attention with respect and using pop-ups judiciously, you can maintain a positive user experience while still leveraging the conversion-boosting power of pop-ups.

Remember, the goal is to make visitors feel welcomed and valued, not overwhelmed.

Mistake 3: The Need for Speed - Why Website Load Time Matters

In the fast-paced digital age, time is of the essence, and patience is a dwindling commodity. Your website’s loading speed isn’t just a technical metric; it’s the first impression you make on a visitor. A slow website is like a sluggish greeting at the door, likely to turn guests away before they’ve even had a chance to explore. 

Research shows that visitors expect websites to load in two seconds or less, and with every additional second, the likelihood of them bouncing skyrockets.

A sluggish website doesn’t just frustrate potential customers; it also sends a negative signal to search engines, affecting your site’s search ranking and visibility. This can affect both your traffic and conversion rates, lowering them drastically.

Some easy ways to optimize your website’s speed includes: 

  • compressing images
  • leveraging browser caching
  • minimizing the use of redirect links
  • choosing a reliable hosting service

It’s also wise to regularly test your website’s speed using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to identify and rectify any issues that could be slowing it down.

Remember, your website’s speed reflects your brand’s efficiency and commitment to providing a positive user experience. By ensuring your site loads swiftly, you’re not just keeping your visitors happy; you’re also boosting your chances of ranking higher in search results, leading to more visibility and, ultimately, CUSTOMERS.

Mistake 4: Underestimating the Power of Responsive Design

Imagine you’re trying to visit a website on your phone, but everything looks weird or you can’t click on things properly. That’s because the website wasn’t made to work well on phones or tablets, just on bigger computer screens. This mistake is like forgetting to invite half of your friends to your birthday party – you miss out on having them there!

Nowadays, almost everyone uses their phones to go online, so if your website only works on computers, you’re missing out big time. It’s like showing up to a scooter race with a bicycle – you’re just not prepared. About 9 out of 10 websites now make sure they look good on both phones and computers. If yours doesn’t, it’s time to catch up.

Why does this matter so much? 

Well, websites that work well on any device, like phones or tablets, are more likely to make visitors happy. Happy visitors are more likely to do what the website wants, like buy something or sign up for more information. In fact, when websites are easy to use on phones, businesses usually sell more.

A lot of people use their phones to browse the internet. In fact, more than half of the time people spend online is on their phones. But, a lot of people also say they’ve been to websites that were hard to use on their phone. That’s a big no-no because it can make visitors feel like the business doesn’t care about them.

Also, if your website isn’t easy to use on a phone, a lot of people might decide not to come back. Think about it – if you find a cool site that’s hard to use on your phone, you might just go find another site that’s easier to handle.

Mistake 5: Talking Like a Textbook Instead of a Friend

Ever talked to someone who sounds like they swallowed a dictionary? 

Not fun, right? 

The same goes for websites. When you’re trying to share what you do or sell, using a bunch of fancy words might seem smart, but it can actually push people away. 

Imagine you’re looking for a lawyer, and you land on a site filled with terms like “litigation,” “jurisprudence,” or “amicus curiae.” You’d probably feel like you need a law degree just to understand what they’re saying!

Here’s the deal: You want your website to be like a friendly chat over coffee, not a lecture. 

Let’s say you’re a lawyer trying to explain your services. 

Instead of saying, “We specialize in the facilitation of amicable resolutions in matrimonial dissolution proceedings”…

You could say, “We help couples go through divorce smoothly and friendly.” 

See the difference? The second one is way easier to understand and feels more personal.

Why does this matter? 

Well, when people visit your website, they’re often looking for help or answers. If they have to pull out a dictionary to understand what you’re saying, they’re likely to leave immediately. But if you talk to them in clear, simple language, they’ll feel more welcome and understood.

Remember, the goal of your website is to connect with your visitors, not to show off how many big words you know. Keep it simple, speak like a human, and you’ll build a stronger connection with your audience.

Stay Tuned for Mistakes 6-10 In Our Next Article!

So take these tips, tweak your digital strategy, and watch as your website becomes your best salesman ever.

Our next article will cover mistakes 6 through 10, which will cover:

  • SEO
  • CTAs
  • Image quality
  • The importance of updates
  • SSLs

Need help implementing any of the tips above?

Contact IFTS to set up a free consultation.  Just send si@iftsdesign.com an email with the subject line “Free Consult”.