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Thursday, November 24th, 2016 technology  research  practice

A Practice Tip

  • Practice

While it’s not quite as superficial as wearing flare jeans when straight cuts are in, there is an aspect to web design that is simply about keeping up with the times.

That said, deciding whether your law firm’s website is ready for an update goes quite a bit deeper than fashion sense.

So, if you’re wondering, if it’s time for a makeover or even a complete overhaul, it might be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the qualities that exemplify modern websites:

  • Multi-media – Gone are the days of the static, ‘brochure’ website. Today, visitors are expecting to have choices about how they consume information. Whether your firm is targeting households, business executives or other professionals, research shows that some like to read, some like to listen and others prefer to learn through pictures. Multi-media sites leverage modern tools such as video, podcasts, whitepapers, infographics and slideshows, in order to have something for everyone.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) approach – Search Engine Optimization remains a high priority for many law firms. But the game has changed significantly from even just a few years ago. Today, SEO results are influenced by social authority, readership, quality content, website structure, page domains and so much more. If your site is applying outdated SEO rules, it may be limiting your results.
  • User experience – Modern websites empower their users. They offer visitors more choices about how to navigate the site.  As a result, they are much more fluid than the last generation of websites, which could best be described as being rigid in their flow.
  • Design – Modern websites have a distinct, clean and fresh look to them. As well, photography, video and, even, fonts have taken on a new level of artistry.  Graphics are more integrated into messaging and, whether they are aware of it or not, visitors are becoming more sophisticated in how they assess the quality and meaning of these characteristics.
  • Language – Modern law firm websites speak to their markets with a modern communication style. They are client centered and, rather than trying to impress with professional jargon that tends to alienate, they are approachable and accessible.
  • Social integration – Today, links and feeds simply scratch the surface in terms of social media integration. For law firms that are heavy participators on social media, there is so many shared content that the lines between a Facebook or LinkedIn company page and the firm website are starting to blur.

The list goes on, including the very real need to address functional requirements for speed, mobile and responsiveness. But that’s a good start!

Underlying all the bells and whistles that make a modern website sing, however, is the strategy that ties it to your firm’s goals and brand strategy. Get that right and you will have positioned your website to pop from the clutter and facilitate connections with referrers and clients alike.

For more website tips, see the following previous posts on SlawTips:

Also, see Sandra Bekhor’s previous posts on her LinkedIn Blog:

Sandra Bekhor, Toronto

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