One of the more interesting niches I’ve been fortunate to work with is helping attorneys with their Squarespace websites. From full design to website audits, I’ve dug into a lot of attorneys’ websites. After talking to one of my attorney clients this afternoon, I got to thinking that I see a lot of the same issues over and over again on lawyers’ Squarespace websites. Here are the three things I encourage attorneys to keep in mind when planning their Squarespace websites–whether DIYing it or working with a pro Squarespace designer.
1. Keep your audience in mind at all times–and it’s not “everyone.”
This is a trap a lot of professional service providers fall into–and attorneys in particular. The reality is that most service-oriented businesses cannot operate on a volume basis and instead need to focus their attention on quality, well-matched clients they can do excellent work for.
Be very honest with yourself about who your ideal client is. Perhaps it’s a young professional in your city in need of a family attorney? Maybe a tech company that wants a serious, no-nonsense pro to guide them through their first commercial real estate negotiation? Or perhaps you audience is emerging entrepreneurs who you hope to work with as their businesses grow?
This will inform the tone of your writing (formal versus more friendly/approachable), the imagery you choose and even the structure of your homepage.
For example, when we were working on Portland attorney Jeremiah Ross’ website, I kept in mind that two things: 1) that when he introduced himself one of the first things that he mentioned was that he was a laid back surfer and 2) that his client base was people who never thought they’d need a personal injury attorney. So, with that in mind, we made his site look a little different from other attorneys’ websites. In fact, we didn’t even look at lawyers’ websites for inspiration–instead, I spent a lot of time looking at local real estate sites, outdoor magazines and lifestyle businesses for inspiration.
Ross Law PDX – one of my favorite attorney websites I’ve designed on Squarespace: rosslawpdx.com
My advice? Sit down and write out the qualities of your ideal client. What do they like? What do they care about? Where do they shop? The answers to these questions will help you hone in on just who your audience is an the visuals, tone and structure they will respond to.
This also means that there’s value in being a smidgen aggressive in terms of your design ethos–being too vanilla in your design direction can result in a website that doesn’t speak to anyone, and that doesn’t serve your business.
2. Make scheduling a consultation or appointment easy-peasy.
This is something that is super simple to implement on Squarespace now that Acuity is integrated seamlessly. If you’ve worked with me, you’ve probably used my online scheduler to book a strategy session or schedule a brief project consultation. The vast majority of attorneys’ websites I’ve worked on have made it exceedingly difficult to get in touch. Instead, you should take a cue from other services businesses and make it simple and clear.
To a certain extent I understand that–it’s hard to manage inquiries and many attorneys work in very small or even solo offices without much admin support (or none at all). But by using a scheduler such as Acuity or Calendly (which I also really like), you’re actually reducing your workload–if you commit to keeping your calendar up to date and blocking off time slots for your online calendar. You can even take payments or deposits online! (So no more tracking down folks who’ve missed your invoice.)
Furthermore, a “Schedule a Consultation” button is super simple to program into Squarespace’s navigation, so it can serve as a low-key call to action–potential clients can schedule a time to discuss their legal issues right now in a simple, user-friendly manner.
(Curious about Squarespace’s new Acuity integration? Sign up for my newsletter–the next issue is going to focus on ways to use that feature!)
3. Add a blog to your website.
Like many professional service providers, attorneys I’ve worked with, there’s some understandable anxiety around giving away too much knowledge. However, blogging’s effect can be quite powerful, especially for a knowledge professional like the law. What other way to demonstrate to potential clients that you have a high level of expertise in your niche? And better yet, what better way to help potential legal clients understand that you can demystify complicated and often scary legal matters. As an attorney, blogging can showcase your professionalism and personality, which can set you apart from other highly skilled attorneys in your area.
Blogging on Squarespace is dead simple and if you have a Squarespace site already, adding a blog is easy-peasy. You may want to check out my series on Blogging with Squarespace to dig into the best templates, techniques and more, if you’re a lawyer (or other service-focused pro).
Law bloggers will also want to take care to target specific keywords in posts, such as geography, so that prospective clients can find you. Blogs are very SEO-friendly if crafted in the right way, so put some time into creating a schedule and planning your posts–I’d be shocked if your traffic doesn’t grow.
Fun Fact: Apparently some people in the legal blogging community call their blogs “blawgs.” I’ll just leave it up to you whether that’s something you’re okay with or not.