Simplicity can be difficult. Simplicity in website design is difficult as well, as most people want to fill white space. Not a good idea. Check out why.
In honor of America’s birthday, here is little a gift for everyone: links to provide you with inspiration for your next marketing project along with some bonus tools to help clear clutter and enhance your productivity.
Fonts are an often overlooked design element – a smattering of Arial, Verdana or Times arranged into paragraphs for general consumption. But your typography is actually the largest design element on your website. Your visitors are interacting primarily with the words on the page, so you have to think carefully about how your type choices affect them. Well-formatted type is also important to maximize the effectiveness of print materials. These type tools help illustrate what good typography can be:
The Kerning Game: Kerning is a design term that refers to the space between letters. Some fonts are very good at auto-kerning and others are not, leaving awkward spaces in the middle of words or (more…)
Great web design is many things, but above all it is functional. One of the first lessons new designers learn after they have left the cocoon of the classroom is that no matter how pretty their work may be, clients are only happy if it accomplishes certain objectives. In terms of law firm website design, this means turning visitors into prospects and prospects into clients. Attorney websites must convert.
Because of the need to communicate specific types of information to visitors, lawyer websites can be formulaic. Lawyers who respect the work of their colleagues – and rightfully so – may find it easy to look to other attorney websites for inspiration. While it is helpful to divine ideas by studying what others have done well, it is poor strategy (and bad ethics) to attempt to copy too closely.
When we start a new website project, we ask clients these questions, among others, (more…)
Good attorney website design is a lot of things. But above all, it is functional. A website is well designed if it produces results. Even the most website is breathtakingly beautiful website design will fail if it does not encourage action.
Having worked in the design industry for many years, I have experienced an evolution in thinking about what constitutes good design. For a brief period, when design students were still smitten with Flash, online design galleries were filled with sites that encouraged users to “explore.” Navigation was hidden in unusual places, only to be revealed by a clever move of the mouse. Links were named non-intuitively with phrases like “take off” or “explore the universe.” Admittedly, some of theses sites were, and still are, very clever. But in marketing, there is such a thing as being too clever for your own good.
You want your attorney website to work for (more…)
There is a growing misconception in the legal marketing industry that social networks are becoming more important than creating new content. However, this is not the case at all. Social networks are powered by content.
What is changing is the content itself. Whereas the online marketing strategies of the past involved producing a lot of long, extensive articles and content pieces, the new law firm marketing strategy is about more, shorter pieces of content. But this presents challenges of its own.
To keep social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest relevant, law firms need to post interesting comments and links. Otherwise, those profiles become just another advertisement rather than a community.
At the same time, if a law firm posts links to brief pieces of content that are worthless or too abridged to provide any real information, then those social network profiles are essentially spam. They will not lead (more…)
We recently covered design and color schemes for divorce lawyer, personal injury lawyers, and bankruptcy lawyers. This week, we wrap up our two-part series with immigration, criminal defense, employment, and estate planning lawyers.
Whereas many areas of the law should project a compassionate image, immigration lawyers can be less fluffy and more inspiring. A design that instills hope will best communicate with their target market. It would be completely inappropriate to stand in a dark room, looking tough, arms crossed, and holding a gavel. That would not communicate with hopeful citizens. You should inspire hope with your design while instilling confidence with credentials. A “land of opportunity” theme is a better choice than a “tough angry lawyer” theme.
Criminal defense attorneys have it a little easier. Depending on their target client base (white collar, DUI, domestic violence, sex crimes, etc), the style they should approach can vary. A white collar criminal (more…)
There is a difference between web design and web development. The design is the style, layout, graphics, and more. Development is when the design meets programming with content integration and page building. In this section, we will focus on the design.
A website is much like a work of art. It needs to say something to the visitor before they read it. Communication through design is why it is vital to have a professional website. Your website’s color schemes, graphics, imagery, and overall design need to psychologically communicate with your target clientele before they ever read one word of your content.
I have outlined a few areas of law and explained what their design needs to say in order to communicate with their target market. This week, we will cover Divorce, Personal Injury, and Bankruptcy.
Divorce and family lawyers probably work with the most stressed out client base of any practice area, (more…)
Conversion friendly design is a must for a legal website. Law firm websites need to serve two audiences: readers who want quality content and those who want to connect with a lawyer right now. Learn how to create a lead funnel and design for quick conversion to create a bigger law firm.
Law firms that want to build their businesses can find out more about how Law Firm Newswire refers more traffic to lawyers’ websites than the online yellow pages, Lawyer.com, and other legal directories. Attorneys that publish their news on Law Firm Newswire receive hundreds of site visits and the potential to earn more clients.
At the center of every online law firm marketing campaign is content. Whether it is content on your website, blog entries, or distributed content like press releases or articles, what gets your firm attention is valuable content.
As users turn to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus, we see an obvious trend change regarding what people like and what gets them to “like” or “+1” your firm. People like brevity.
From short Tweets to brief blog entires, content that is direct and to the point with just 100-200 words is what gets attention. While long content is preferred by Google on your website, short content that is heavily shared on Google Plus will still get preferable treatment in the search engine…temporarily. Which is why it helps to know when to go short and when to write long detailed pieces.
Long, detailed content is best reserved for your website. Explain the legal (more…)