Most people think that design – and web design, in particular – mostly means pretty colors and smooth transitions. And sure, that’s part of it. But did you know that your website’s design actually impacts how many site visitors you convert to clients? That’s why having a web development and design team like Conversations Digital is critical for the success of your small law firm. Read on to learn more.
What is all this SEO stuff, and how does it affect my site?
When a user visits your website, they judge it pretty quickly. A 2018 Google study showed that over half of all users leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. By that same logic, you only have about 3 seconds to prove to your visitor why they should stay on your page. If not, they bounce.
No, seriously. That’s what it’s called. The bounce rate.
Your site’s bounce rate is the the percentage of users who leave your site after looking at only one page. It’s important to know your site’s bounce rate so that you can work on improving your site’s SEO – search engine optimization. SEO efforts make your site more attractive to search engines like Google or Yahoo, boosting your site to the top of the search list without having to pay for it. Additionally, Google has higher standards for law firm websites than typical run-of-the-mill websites.
That’s why it’s so important to focus on SEO in addition to having a visually attractive design – but that involves much more than what most people think.
What are some ways to make web design improve SEO?
The most well-known aspects of SEO are searchable keywords and easy-to-read text, but what else goes into web design that helps with SEO rankings?
- Load Speed – How quickly your page comes up once your visitor clicks on it. Remember how Google found you only have 3 seconds before your user will bounce? Another second of delay can cost you a 7% drop in conversions of visitors to clients, an 11% decrease in page views, and a 16% reduction in customer satisfaction.
- Mobile-friendly – Your firm’s website needs to be able to adapt according to the device your viewer is using, whether it be a desktop computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.
- Readability – You want to be sure to use clean colors and fonts that your visitors can read easily. Plus, using those colors and fonts throughout the website keeps your brand consistent. You can further increase text clarity by using headings and bullet points to organize and break up big blocks of text.
- Navigation – This is another clarity issue. You want your visitors to be able to easily navigate your site without any problems. Make sure all of your links work, and that your menus and headers are always clear and easy to find. Additionally, be sure your potential client can always figure out what to do to contact you – especially since many people have never contacted a lawyer before.
- E.A.T. – Expertise, authoritativeness, and trust. Google also ranks your firm’s website based on these criteria. That’s why it’s helpful for lawyers to show off your team’s credentials through logos and badges. Having a space where potential clients can read reviews and testimonials of your firm is another great way to earn your client’s trust.
What are some web design errors that negatively impact SEO?
Of course, any ugly colors or unclear web pages are a big no-no for SEO. But what else are some websites doing wrong that might be hurting their SEO?
- Pop-ups – Pop-ups can sometimes be helpful on a page to get visitors to sign up for email alerts or download a guide you’ve created for them, but they can also be extremely annoying. If someone opens your page and is immediately shown a pop-up, chances are they’ll head right back to the search page and click on your competitor’s website.
- Noises – Automatically playing loud music or a video when your site opens catches people off-guard – in a bad way. Feel free to have videos or music available on your page, but your site’s visitor should click on it themselves in order to make it start playing.
- Large files – Large files slow down the load speed for your page, or they don’t load at all and throw off the whole balance of your page. Keeping your pages interesting with colors and images is great, but be sure the files work well with the rest of the page before you publish it.
- Jargon – We already mentioned this one, but it’s a big issue. The content on your site needs to be easy to read – both in the text that you use and the words that you use. Not all of your potential clients will know legal jargon, so keep your language simple and your sentences short. You can still make your point, don’t worry.
Check out some other design flaws to avoid on Conversations Digital’s blog!
Need some help with all of this? We’ve got you covered!
We know that’s a lot of information to take in, and changes to your website might take a while. That’s where we come in. At Conversations Digital, we offer comprehensive audits, consulting, social media management, and (of course!) SEO and website development to small firm and solo attorneys. So what are you waiting for?
Sign up for a free consultation with us today so we can get started!