Lawyer website mistakes

20 Most Common Mistakes Lawyers Make When Building Their Websites.

Did you know that the average website has a bounce rate of 70%? This means that out of all website visitors, 70% go back to the search results on Google after visiting a website for just a few seconds. For a law firm, this could mean a significant loss of leads and a drop in SEO rankings.

After conducting extensive research, we have identified the top 20 mistakes that lawyers commonly make when building their websites. By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure that your website is effective at attracting and retaining potential clients. Here is a list of the most common mistakes to be aware of:

  1. Not controlling the hosting account your website files are on
  2. Not owning your website domain name
  3. Not having a disclaimer in the footer of your website
  4. Not being built with responsive design
  5. Images not optimized
  6. Not enough links to the website
  7. Not asking for 5-star client reviews
  8. Using confusing industry and legal terms
  9. Talking about yourself too much
  10. Thin Content Website Pages
  11. Hard to navigate and find information
  12. Poor security. No HTTPS
  13. Not having professional photos of the attorneys
  14. Giant blocks of text that hypnotize visitors
  15. Using a small font that makes it very difficult to read your website pages
  16. Bad content structure
  17. Too much white text on dark backgrounds
  18. No easy way to contact the attorney
  19. Poorly structured URLs that are too long
  20. Website content that is stale

1. Not controlling the hosting account your website files are on

The biggest mistake I've seen is when an attorney lets the developer control the hosting account their website is on. As the owner of a website, it is important to have control over the hosting account where your website files are stored. If you do not have control of the hosting account, you may run into issues such as not being able to access your website files or not being able to make necessary updates to your website. It is also important to make sure that you have a reliable hosting provider to ensure that your website is available to users at all times.

Hosting is the server the website files are located on. It's cheap and easy to get a hosting account. Hosting typically cost $15-30 per month for an attorney website.

Many attorneys don't know about hosting they just let their website developer take care of it. Which is fine until the day they part ways.

Now the website developer has control of all your website files. Most developers will happily transfer the website to your hosting. But they also have the option to try to hold your website for ransom in the worst-case scenario.

2. Not owning your website domain name

It is essential for attorneys to own and control the domain name for their website in their own account. The domain name, also known as the website name, is a crucial aspect of your online presence and it is important to protect it.

By owning and controlling the domain name in your own account, you can ensure that you have complete control over your website and can make any necessary changes without any issues. If you do not own and control the domain name, you may face problems such as having to pay a large fee to transfer the domain name to your own account, or worse, having the developer keep the domain name and rendering all of your efforts and investments in the website useless.

To avoid these issues, it is important to ensure that you own and control the domain name for your website.

3. Not having a disclaimer in the footer of your website

It is important to include a disclaimer on your attorney website, specifically in the footer, as it can help protect you and your law firm from potential legal issues. A disclaimer is a statement that denies responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information presented on your website.

By including a disclaimer, you can protect yourself from being held liable for any errors or omissions on your website, as well as limit your liability for any actions taken by users based on the information provided on your website. It is important to consult with an attorney to ensure that your disclaimer is legally sufficient and tailored to your specific needs.

Not including a disclaimer on your attorney website can expose you to potential legal issues and liabilities, so it is important to make sure that you have one in place to protect yourself and your law firm.

4. Not being built with responsive design

Having a website that is built with responsive design is crucial in today's digital age. Responsive design refers to the ability of a website to adapt and function optimally on any device, whether it be a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

With the increasing number of people accessing the internet from mobile devices, it is important to have a website that is easily accessible and user-friendly on all devices. A website that is not built with responsive design may be difficult to navigate and use on a mobile device, which can lead to a poor user experience and potentially drive users away.

In order to ensure that your website is accessible and user-friendly on all devices, it is important to have it built with responsive design. This will also help to improve your search engine rankings, as Google prefers websites that are mobile-friendly.

5. Images not optimized

Optimizing images for SEO is important in order to improve the performance of your website and provide a better user experience. There are two main ways to optimize images on your website:

  1. Make sure that the image size is appropriate for the website. If you add an image that is much larger than the size it is displayed on the website, the browser will still have to load the full size, which can slow down the loading speed of your website. This can be frustrating for users and may cause them to leave your site.
  2. Optimize the file size of your images. Large file sizes can also slow down the loading speed of your website. To optimize the file size of your images, you can use tools such as TinyPNG.com, which can reduce the size of your images by up to 75% without sacrificing quality. By optimizing the file size of your images, you can improve the performance of your website and provide a better user experience.

6. Not enough links to the website

Having a sufficient number of links to your website, also known as backlinks, is important for a few reasons. First, backlinks can help improve the visibility of your website in search engine results. When other websites link to your website, it can signal to search engines that your website is reputable and useful, which can improve your search engine rankings.

Backlinks can also help drive traffic to your website. When other websites link to your website, it can expose your website to new audiences and potentially bring in new visitors.

Having a sufficient number of backlinks to your website is important for improving your search engine rankings and driving traffic to your site. It is important to focus on building high-quality backlinks from reputable websites in order to maximize the benefits.

7. Not asking for 5-star client reviews

As a local service business, it is important to focus on building trust and authority with visitors to your website. One way to do this is by including client testimonials on your website. Testimonials from satisfied clients can help establish credibility and build trust with potential clients.

To further enhance the trustworthiness of your website, consider posting client testimonials on third-party websites such as Google My Business. Google My Business is a powerful tool for local businesses, as it allows you to manage your online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps. By posting testimonials on Google My Business, you can help improve your visibility and credibility in search results.

Once you have received testimonials on Google My Business, you can also add them to your website and link back to the original testimonial on Google My Business. This can help improve the SEO of your website and make it more visible in search results. By providing client testimonials and linking back to them on third-party websites, you can help build trust and authority with visitors to your website.

8. Using confusing industry and legal terms.

It is important to use language that is clear and easy to understand when communicating with visitors to your website. Using complex or technical language can be confusing and may cause visitors to leave your website in search of a site that is easier to understand.

By using common terms and avoiding jargon, you can help ensure that your website is accessible to a wider audience and more user-friendly. This can help improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will stay on your website and engage with your content.

Overall, it is important to remember that the language you use on your website should be clear and easy to understand, in order to ensure that your website is accessible and user-friendly to all visitors.

9. Talking about yourself too much

It is important to showcase your expertise and specialized training on your website, as this can help establish your credibility and build trust with visitors. By highlighting your qualifications and areas of expertise, you can demonstrate to potential clients that you are the right attorney to help solve their problems.

In addition to discussing your own expertise, it is also important to focus on providing solutions to your visitors' specific problems. By offering valuable information and resources that address their needs, you can help build rapport with visitors and increase the chances that they will reach out to your firm for help.

Overall, it is important to strike a balance between discussing your own qualifications and expertise and providing solutions to your visitors' problems. By doing so, you can build trust and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable resource for potential clients.

10. Thin Content Website Pages

It is important to make sure that the content on your website is thorough and informative, as this can help improve your search engine rankings and provide value to visitors. Websites with pages that have only a paragraph or two of information are likely to be seen as lacking in depth and may not rank well in search results. In addition, visitors may be turned off by the lack of effort put into the content and may look elsewhere for information.

To ensure that your website pages are competitive and provide value to visitors, it is important to put in the time and effort to create high-quality content. This includes conducting thorough research and writing detailed, informative articles on topics relevant to your business. By doing so, you can help establish yourself as a knowledgeable and reliable resource and improve the chances that visitors will stay on your website and engage with your content.

11. Hard to navigate and find information

It is important to make it easy for visitors to your website to contact your firm and get in touch with you. By providing multiple options for contact, such as live chat, messenger, and an email form on every page, you can make it more convenient for visitors to reach out to you and get the help they need.

Having live chat and messenger options available on your website can be particularly useful, as they allow visitors to get in touch with you in real-time and get immediate assistance. This can help improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will reach out to your firm for help.

Overall, it is important to make it easy for visitors to your website to contact you and get in touch with your firm. By providing multiple options for contact, you can improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will seek out your services.

12. Poor security. No HTTPS

It is essential to have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate on your website if you are asking visitors to contact you through email forms or share personal information. An SSL certificate encrypts the data that is transmitted between your website and the visitor's browser, making it safe and secure. This is especially important if visitors are sharing sensitive information, such as personal details or information about a case or lawsuit.

By having an SSL certificate, you can help ensure that your visitors' information is protected and that they feel safe and secure sharing their information with your firm. This can help build trust and improve the user experience, increasing the chances that visitors will reach out to you for help.

Overall, it is important to make sure that your website is secure and that visitors' information is protected, especially if you are asking them to share sensitive information through email forms or other means. An SSL certificate is an essential tool for achieving this and helping to build trust with your website visitors.

13. Not having professional photos of the attorneys

Having professional photos of your attorneys and staff on your website can help build a personal connection with visitors and improve the user experience. By including photos of the people behind your firm, visitors can get a sense of who you are and what your business is about, which can help establish a human-to-human rapport.

Professional photos also help to convey a sense of professionalism and credibility, which can be important for building trust with visitors. When visitors see that you take the time and effort to present yourself in a professional manner, they are more likely to feel confident in your abilities and consider reaching out to your firm for help.

Overall, it is important to include professional photos of your attorneys and staff on your website to help build a personal connection with visitors and improve the user experience. This can help establish rapport and increase the chances that visitors will reach out to your firm for help.

14. Giant blocks of text that hypnotize visitors

It is important to format your website in a way that is easy for visitors to understand and navigate. When visitors land on your page, they will often quickly scan the page to see if it has the information they are looking for. If your website has long blocks of text that look daunting to read, they may decide to leave and go to a competitor's website instead.

To make your website more user-friendly, try breaking up long blocks of text into shorter paragraphs and using headings and subheadings to help organize the content. This can help make your website easier to scan and navigate, which can improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will stay on your site and engage with your content.

Overall, it is important to focus on formatting your website in a way that is easy for visitors to understand and navigate, as this can help improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will stay on your site and consider reaching out to your firm for help.

15. Using a small font that makes it very difficult to read your website pages

Using small font size on your website can make it difficult for visitors to read your content and can lead to a poor user experience. If visitors have to strain to read the text on your website, they are more likely to become frustrated and leave your site in search of a site that is easier to read.

To make your website more user-friendly, it is important to use a font size that is easy to read. This may vary depending on the type of font you are using, but a general rule of thumb is to use a font size of at least 16px for body text. You may also want to consider using a font that is easy to read, such as a sans-serif font like Arial or Helvetica.

Overall, it is important to focus on making your website easy to read by using a font size that is appropriate for the type of font you are using and choosing a font that is easy on the eyes. This can help improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will stay on your site and engage with your content.

16. Bad content structure

It is important to format your website in a way that is logical and easy to follow. This means organizing the content on your pages in a way that makes sense and transitions smoothly from one section to the next.

By formatting your pages in this way, you can help keep visitors engaged and interested in your content. If the content on your website is disorganized or difficult to follow, visitors may become frustrated and lose interest, leading them to leave your site in search of a site that is easier to navigate.

To ensure that your pages are well-formatted and easy to follow, try using headings and subheadings to break up the content and make it more organized. You may also want to consider using bullet points or numbered lists to make the content more visually appealing and easier to scan.

Overall, it is important to focus on formatting your website in a way that is logical and easy to follow, as this can help keep visitors engaged and improve the user experience.

17. Too much white text on dark backgrounds

Using white text on a dark background can be an effective way to add style to your website. However, it is important to use this technique sparingly and to keep it short and simple, as it can strain the eyes if used excessively.

The most successful websites prioritize the user experience above all else, and they generally do not use large blocks of white text on a dark background. Instead, they use a combination of colors and fonts to create a visually appealing and user-friendly design.

To ensure that your website provides a great user experience, it is important to consider the readability of your text and the overall design of your website. By using colors and fonts that are easy on the eyes and avoiding large blocks of white text on a dark background, you can create a website that is visually appealing and easy to navigate.

18. No easy way to contact the attorney

It is important to make it easy for visitors to your website to contact your law firm and get in touch with you. By providing multiple options for contact, such as phone, email, and a contact form, you can make it more convenient for visitors to reach out to you and get the help they need.

To further improve the user experience, consider making it possible for visitors to contact you from any page on your website. This can be achieved by including a contact form or other contact options on every page, rather than requiring visitors to click through to a separate contact us page.

By making it easy for visitors to contact your firm, you can improve the user experience and increase the chances that visitors will reach out to you for help. Overall, it is important to focus on providing multiple ways for visitors to contact your firm and making it easy for them to do so.

19. Poorly structured URLs that are too long

Having well-structured URLs on your website can help improve the user experience and make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your site. A good URL structure can also help establish a natural hierarchy for your website, making it easier for visitors and search engines to navigate and understand the content on your site.

To create a natural hierarchy for your website, it is important to structure your URLs in a logical and consistent way. This may include using your website name as the base for your main pages, followed by a specific practice area or category. For child or supporting pages, you can then add additional layers of information to the URL, using a structure such as www.yourwebsite.com/practice-area/supporting-page.

Avoid using URLs that are cluttered or hard to understand, such as those that include long strings of numbers or dates. Instead, focus on creating clear and concise URLs that are easy for both users and search engines to understand and navigate.

20. Website content that is stale

It is important to regularly update your website content to keep it fresh and relevant for visitors. By treating your website as a lead generation tool and making an effort to update it regularly, you can help improve its performance and increase the chances that visitors will engage with your content and consider reaching out to your firm for help.

Updating your website at least once a day, even if it's just a small amount, can help ensure that your content remains fresh and relevant. This may involve adding new blog posts, updating practice area pages, or making other small changes to the content on your site. By keeping your website up to date, you can help improve the user experience and establish yourself as a reliable and current resource for potential clients.

Overall, it is important to focus on regularly updating your website to keep it fresh and relevant, as this can help improve its performance and increase the chances that visitors will engage with your content and consider reaching out to your firm for help.

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