Archive for the ‘Lawyer Blog Design’ Category

Understanding Homepage Real Estate

Friday, May 4th, 2012

You may question just how much space you should allocate to your valuable homepage real estate and it is certainly a valid concern. Research shows that corporate homepages are truly the most valuable space in the Internet world, yet much of this valuable real estate is very inefficiently allocated. The homepage of your firm’s website must immediately give your potential clients the valuable information they need while offering the highest level of navigation for what they will find on your other pages. The purpose of your firm as well as how you can help your potential client solve his or her current problem in the most efficient manner should be readily apparent. Using your log and tagline efficiently are the first things to consider then there should be a warm welcome for your users.

Why is the Homepage Important?

The homepage is the page which is most indexed by the search engines, and overall sets the entire tone and theme for your firm’s website. Additionally, the homepage serves as an orientation of sorts to your users, letting them know they’ve landed in the right place and that your firm offers exactly what they need at this very moment. Consider your homepage as a sort of “funnel,” which can first welcome your user and let them know they are at the right place, then efficiently direct them to where they need to be next.

Your homepage offers a preview of the services your firm provides, not a comprehensive index. In other words, think of your homepage as a sort of “teaser,” which, while not offering the entire range of your services, does give them a tantalizing taste of your firm. You don’t want to overwhelm your reader by slamming them with information, rather strive to sprinkle your benefits and related keywords throughout the site.

Use Your Links Wisely and Create a Clear Navigation

Remembering the funnel which directs your users deeper into your site depending on their specific needs try linking only your main sections from your homepage then provide further links from the main sections. Presenting your user with a plethora of links on your homepage can send them running to a less overpowering site. When presenting the copy on your homepage, try to imagine you are addressing one single ideal client.

How Does the Page Fold Affect Your Website?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

While you may be aware of the page fold theory of a print newspaper, there is also a “virtual” page fold which exists on all websites which consists of the initially viewable area, or the part of your site which is viewable without the necessity of further action. Studies show that web users spend over ¾ of their time perusing information above the page fold, meaning that while they may scroll down, only twenty-something percent of the average reader’s attention travels below the fold. In the Web’s infancy, users often neglected to scroll down at all, looking only at the information which was immediately visible.

Critical Information Must Be Readily Apparent

For this reason, websites soon learned that if their most critical information was not visible immediately, users likely would not see it at all. By the late 1990’s, however, users were becoming more comfortable with the scrolling. Unfortunately, today’s web users have not progressed much beyond that initial comfort zone, and usability findings of the information below the fold remains fairly steady at 20-22%. So, while some users will scroll down your legal pages, remember that the average web user has a very limited attention span due to the busy-ness of day-to-day life.

Web users want to find the information they need quickly and efficiently, and don’t want to read any more words than they actually have to. This means that the space above the fold is the most valuable real estate on your website. That being said, if you have an extremely well-written, high-quality article full of information your readers will find incredibly helpful, it will likely still be better to present it as one scrolling article than to spread it across multiple pages. Even assuming your users will scroll due to the fact they find your article particularly compelling, you will still want to prioritize and ensure the truly important items appear above the fold.

Google’s Take on Information Located Above the Fold

January of this year saw a new Google algorithm which actually addressed above-the-fold user experiences. The basic theory of this algorithm states that if the information above the fold is so “busy” or crammed with information that visitors would have a hard time getting to the actual content the search results referred heads will roll. When users are unhappy about their web experience on a particular website, Google also becomes unhappy in an algorithmic kind of way and will certainly make their wrath known.

Further, if you have top-loaded your website with ads, you risk Google penalties. Any site which offers content buried under a pile of ads will be affected by the algorithm. Users want to see highly targeted content which effectively answers their most pressing question of the day immediately when they click onto a website and will resist scrolling down to find what they need.  Google wants to see your most important text and links early on so it can quickly confirm what your page is all about. To accomplish this, a great paragraph early in the page design can serve as an effective introduction to your site and your firm.

Above-the-Fold Elements Which are Crucial to Your Success

To ensure your potential clients remain firmly on your legal website, the information above the fold must be intriguing, interesting and visually appealing. A key technique for good user interface in above-the-fold material includes an accurate visual representation off your brand and your specific services—in a nutshell. Don’t forget to include a clear call to action which directs your user to the next stop; this will keep your user focused on the initial task at hand.

Copy that Meshes With Your Web Design

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Great web design never just happens by accident rather it’s the result of skill, talent, perseverance and process which accurately answers the questions regarding your site’s intended user. It conveys a specific voice, perspective and point of view which you have likely researched endlessly in order to achieve. You have a specific strategy and you have labored over every single detail, yet when all is said and done, you realize that your content has taken an unfortunately backseat to the design elements—a fact which is hurting your overall site and lowering your rate of conversion. For many, when they are finally at the end of the design phase, there is simply little creativity left over to devote to the content of the pages resulting in content that simply doesn’t work with the overall design of your website.

How to Make Your Content Mesh with the Design

Even if you’ve written content that fits the overall theme of your site, does it actually fit into the site? In some cases even though the written words fit physically, they fail to ring true for the intended users. What this means is that along with a design theme for your pages, you also need a copy “voice,” which meshes with that theme. The best way to ensure your voice matches your design is to ask yourself a few key questions. Who are your targeted visitors? What do you think those visitors most want to know, to do, to have answered? How do you want to make your users feel, and how will you persuade them to identify with your particular website to the point they will become a client? Attorneys talk to people every single day—this is, after all, your passion and how you make your living. When taking an objective look at your site’s content, pretend you are having a conversation with a client who just walked into your office. Are you achieving the same results with your written words?

Does Content Precede Design?

Some believe that content should actually come before design and that design minus the content is simply decoration. The underlying message is that quite often web designers create their magic without a single clue of what content will be added to the pages. Unfortunately, simply slapping some hastily-written words into a pre-existing design can cause your site to take a significant negative hit. The design should always reinforce the message, so if you are unclear about your message, then how can the perfect design for your business be created? Web designers should be aware of the potential length, tone, style and structure of the copy to come and should ideally create the surrounding visual elements to support this content, creating an experience which works together for the benefit of the user.

What Your Web Designer Must Know

The designer of your site must be aware of the number of navigational areas which will exist on each page of the website as well as any particular themes in the content which could potentially be extended into the visual design. Any requirement for content such as testimonials, definitions or explanations should be conveyed to the web designer as well as the average page length of the content which will be displayed. Particularly for smaller sites, it may not seem viable to consider content ahead of design, however when content becomes as important as design, it is a sure bet the user will have a more positive experience. When design flows with content to the point it is virtually seamless then success has truly been achieved.

Law Firm Website Conversion Tip – Award Winning Design Fast Load Time

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

The most effective law firm websites will leave the visit with a feel of WOW!  You only have 8 seconds to make a good impression on your website’s new visitors. In the past, an eye-catching lawyer website would be problematic since a lot of graphical elements will increases the overall size of the web pages resulting in a slow web page upload on the the potential law firm client’s browser. So when we design high impact web designs for attorneys, we place emphasis on making sure that the site has a quick downloading speed to prevent visitors leaving too prematurely.

As the average internet bandwidth rate per computer is increasing due to workplace T1, broadband and cell phone 3G networks becoming more common, many law firm web design experts are able to develop complex websites heavily loaded with graphic elements.  This may include using flash elements and presentations, mouseovers, drop downs, and web videos. In today’s high speed Internet age, most websites take only a few seconds to load the key features such as the logo, call to action graphics and web content on the visitor’s web browser.  This is key so the visitor can start reading the website.

Obviously most users will not wait too long for the website to load completely before moving to the other competing law firm websites in the same search results. The problem you may encounter with inexperienced web designers for lawyers is the webmasters are only familiar with developing slow loading sites due to a lack of knowledge of graphic optimization techniques which can allow them to prepare an attractive website with smaller page size. There are not too many lawyers who are familiar with CSS enough to be able to spot a the high level of programming required to make an award winning attorney website load quickly.

Law Firm Website Conversion Tip: High conversion rates occur when you have a very impressive website. A law firm website is the face of your  law firm and speaks volumes about your credibility, attention to detail, customer service and technological prowess. But you must make the load times for your website speedy in order to ensure you do not lose a potential customer who loses interest waiting for the web page to upload. An experienced law firm web design company will slice the custom web design into small images to be used in the html code. Slicing the images is required if your design contain enclosed shapes and overlapping images or areas with gradient colors, so that you will get a small file size which can be easily loaded on the web browser.

At Lawyer Success, “Your Success is Our Business.” Each new client is treated as if they were our only client and we understand that your success with our services is our responsibility and is critical to a long term client for our company. Lawyer Success, Inc. was founded by law firm marketing expert James Greenier. Over the past 11 years, Mr. Greenier has personally worked on, developed or consulted with 7 of the top 10 most trafficked legal websites on the Internet. He also served as the primary web marketing advisor for over 3,500 law firms. He will be your primary contact at all times and will develop the strategy for your project. He will also personally supervise and participate in your project to ensure that you receive the highest level of service, support and performance. For a free consultation concerning content services for your lawyer website call (769) 218-6099 to discuss your project today.

Lawyer Blog Design | Attorney Blog Design

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

As the internet become THE way most people research and find the information they are seeking, it is of the utmost importance that lawyers take advantage of this trend and create lawyer blogs with content that attract the people who are looking for them.

This seems like a basic, almost redundant, statement.

Yet the majority of websites and blogs, especially professional blogs such as lawyer blogs, are so focused on “looking good” that they forget about who the website is for.

Your lawyer blog design and every single entry made must be aimed at persuading your clients that you are the lawyer that they want. Blogs can be very effective in answering questions, educating and informing your clients.

All the while, you are building yourself up as a credible, competent lawyer.

To create a blog that is effective there are specific steps that you must do. (After all, there are hundreds if not thousands of blogs that are completely ineffective- we are avoiding that out come!)

First, every word and graphic used MUST be aimed at your client. Write with them in mind. What are they concerned about? What are they looking for? You have the solution to their problem. Give it to them.

Second, don’t write to impress. Write to inform.

In doing so a peculiar thing happens. Your ratings on Google and other traffic sites will go up. That is because Google and other search engines are looking for content driven web pages and blogs. Google knows what your clients want- valuable, informative content.

In addition to filling the blog with valuable content, the content must be easy to understand. Lawyer jargon needs to disappear and the site needs to be written and presented in a way that the client with no legal history can not only understand it, but process and engage with the information.

In addition, the blog must be clean and readable. Do not focus on fancy graphics. Keep them to a minimum. Over and over, consumers report they do not like a “squishy” or “messy” site. (Think about the Google homepage- almost completely “clean”).

Studies show the consumer spends approximately 10 seconds on a page before clicking somewhere else or moving on. Just 10 seconds to capture someone’s attention.

Make sure your attorney blog design pulls in and captures the attention of your readers. With effective writing, readers turn in to customers.

Most attorneys’ blogs won’t be able to do this. It is not because it is a highly complicated or difficult task. But there are certain ways to format an attorney’s blog and write content that have proven time after time to attract and gain customers.

It is not a secret- it is simple direct marketing. Aiming your message at the people who are looking for you with the right words and design.

It is essential for your attorney’s blog to not only survive but thrive on the web.

The worst thing you could do is to invest hours and hours developing and writing a blog only to be buried at number 86,456 on the search engine’s lists.

At Lawyers success, we can help set up a blog site that is not only effective in attracting search engines to notice your blog, but attract customers as well.

We can teach you how to write content that is attractive to both search engines and customers.

Or we could do it for you. At Lawyer Success, we have lawyers who write content and articles specifically for blogs and websites, creating lawyer blog designs that connect with your customers.

Get in the online game. And come out on top.

For a free consultation concerning blogs for attorneys call us today at (769) 218-6099.

At Lawyer Success, “Your Success is Our Business.” Each new client is treated as if they were our only client and we understand that your success with our services is our responsibility and is critical to a long term client for our company. Lawyer Success, Inc. was founded by law firm marketing expert James Greenier. Over the past 11 years, Mr. Greenier has personally worked on, developed or consulted with 7 of the top 10 most trafficked legal websites on the Internet. He also served as the primary web marketing advisor for over 3,500 law firms. He will be your primary contact at all times and will develop the strategy for your project. He will also personally supervise and participate in your project to ensure that you receive the highest level of service, support and performance. For a free consultation concerning blogs for attorneys call us today at (769) 218-6099.