As any lawyer will understand, there’s a lot to be learned between the lines. And the design of your firm’s website is no different. At first glance, everything may look great, but, take a closer look, and it’s likely you’ll find areas where you can improve.
If you’re noticing that the traffic to your website isn’t staying on your pages very long or, if they are, they’re still not converting, then you need to consider the possibility that something isn’t being perceived the way you want it to be on your website’s pages.
The second your visitor hits your law firm’s homepage, they’re instantly generating loads of feelings, most of these completely subconsciously. Either positive or negative, or sometimes a confusing mix of the two, the way your website looks and what it says will determine whether or not it does its job well.
By making seemingly insignificant changes to your website’s overall design, you can completely alter your potential customer’s mood, attitude and experience.
Below are the four most important aspects of behavior psychology every law firm and attorney needs to understand in order to optimize the design of their website.
1. Don’t Make Your Visitor Uncomfortable.
When websites were first becoming popular, it was fairly common for them to be nothing more than tons of words (like tens of thousands of them) on one single page. Not only was this boring, but it actually proved to be overwhelming, too.
When visitors came across this much content, their first reaction is something along the lines of, “Gosh! I have so much to do!” This thought not only provokes anxiety, but it makes them uncomfortable, to the point that they will quickly exit the site to avoid the feeling. The antidote to this is to keep all of your website’s content to the bare minimum. How can you say what you need to say in the fewest amount of words possible?
And, just as important, how can you position your content so it’s very easy for your visitor to navigate. Rather than trying to give them everything they could possibly need all at once, let them choose what they’re looking for – and then tell it to them straight. The words you write on your website are exactly how you and your firm will be perceived.
2. Give Your Visitor Space to Rest.
In terms of website design, this space is quite literal. Often referred to as “blank space”, you can think of the white edges or empty room on a page as a retreat for eyes and senses.
While you don’t want too much blank space on any page, making sure there’s room on the screen can help ease feelings of discomfort. The way you choose to organize your content will have an impact on the overall effect of your website. Think of it in terms of minimalism – you want to have everything you need but nothing you don’t.
When looking at your current website design, which areas are superfluous? Which areas look too cramped? By letting the content on your firm’s website breathe, you allow the same benefit to your visitor too. Go to the effort to edit and organize every inch of your pages so that you create a relaxing experience that’s every bit as enriching and engaging.
When you do this, the end result is a type of professionalism and easiness that visitors are looking for when wanting to work with a lawyer or attorney.
3. Make Them Feel Welcome.
The colors you use on your website, like everything else, play an important role in how your audience feels. While it’s tempting to only use the colors already chosen in your company’s logo or theme, it’s a good idea to consider the underlying meaning behind these shades.
You can always pop in bursts of thematic colors when needed, but it’s more important to make sure you’re using colors that make your visitors feel welcome and instantly at ease. Just like the white space on your pages helps to give the eyes and senses a break, using neutral colors in your online design does the same.
According to psychology studies, the cooler colors (think blue, green, purple) signal to your audience that you are professional and inviting, putting them at ease almost immediately. These same studies suggest that warmer colors (think yellow, red, orange) provoke emotions associated with creativity. But, although typically soothing, certain shades of these warm colors can make people feel angry or even stressed.
If you’re looking for a professional look, black is always a safe bet. Grays are also clean and modern, but, be careful, as some research suggests that shades of the color can be perceived as cold and closed-off.
4. Convey Your Message Accurately.
Because your visitors will instantly analyze what’s on your website and start forming opinions, all of these website design tricks are important to make sure that what they think aligns with who you are as a lawyer, attorney, or firm.
One of the most ignored website design features, especially on law firm websites, is the typography that’s used. Believe it or not but something as simple as font can trigger a huge range of emotions and feelings for your visitor.
While there are entire books about this subject, here are a few basic pointers that can guide you and your design: Times New Roman and other Serif fonts are typically perceived as professional and serious. San-serif fonts (like Helvetica) offer something a bit more modern, although slightly less formal.
If you know that your law firm or attorney website could use some work, don’t get overwhelmed.
The good news is that there really is a lot that can be done in order to make your website more welcoming, engaging, and successful.
Let our team of professionals at FreshySites walk you through all of the dos and don’ts so that we can help you design a website that is optimized for your firm’s success!