If you’ve set aside time to create your first legal website for your solo law practice, you may feel rushed, overwhelmed and under pressure.
Where should you host your website? Where should you buy your domain name?
Everyone (and by everyone, I mean the whole internet) is shouting at you that:
- you MUST be on the first page of Google as soon as you launch!
- you MUST rank #1 for the keywords “Family Law Firm in LA!”
- you MUST ‘be visible’ on every single social media platform right this minute!
Meanwhile, you may have read articles that tell you Squarespace is no good for search engine optimization or that WordPress is hacky and hard.
Sure, these are all important considerations, but you don’t have to do all that. Not at this stage.
First, decide your website goal.
Your website goal is the first thing you should decide before you start writing for and designing a website.
As tempting as it is to start researching the best hosting platforms or templates or colors and fonts for your website, don’t start there. (And forget social media for a minute!)
To figure out your website goal, start with some basic research
Researching what other sole practitioners are doing online will give you a much better idea of what you want your own website to DO for your business.
And what you don’t want it to do, such as attract the WRONG kind of leads!
Pro Tip: Research the websites of small 1 or 2 person practices, not big law firms.
Once you know what you want (and don’t want) you have your website goal.
If you have a website goal, your website can help improve your client intake process and align with your overall business goals.
Sample website goals for legal websites:
- potential clients can verify you are legit. This is effective if clients and other lawyers refer you.
- Make it easy for people to contact you by phone, email and/or a fillable form.
- ‘Send away’ the wrong kind of leads (yes, that can be also be a goal) with text that’s laser focused on who you serve and how you help.
So with your website goal in mind, the next thing to do – and no, it’s still not choosing a website platform or fonts and colors – is write your website copy.
So what do you write when you’re in a rush to get yourself up online?
Keep it simple. Plan for a 1-page lawyer website.
Yes. One page.
When we say simple, we don’t mean bland or boring. We mean clear, caring and to the point.
To plan for a 1-page website, answer these 6 questions:
- Who do you serve (or who do you want to serve more of than anyone else) and how do you help them? What is the main thing you like to do.
- Where do you practice?
- What’s your name and what’s your field of law?
- How do you want people to contact you?
- Do you have a testimonial? If yes, use it.
Here are some example answers for a family law attorney:
- I help single parents get their child support on time.
- I practice in Boise, Idaho.
- My name is Jane Doe and I’m a family law attorney.
- I want leads to fill in a short form or reach out by email.
- No testimonial yet.
Now it’s time to turn this information into copy for a simple one-page website.
The website goal is make it easy for the right kind of lead to get in touch by describing exactly who you serve, how you help them and where you practice.
First up is your headline. The ‘top of the fold’ section of your website.
A quick note – when you specify exactly who you work with, it doesn’t mean you won’t or don’t work with other clients, but it makes it easier to write copy. Your ideal clients will recognize themselves (and that you can help them) in the headline.
If you’re not comfortable with labeling exactly who you work with at this stage, a short sentence about what you do works, too. Don’t get too hung up on this (yet.)
Here’s an example:
Boise, Idaho Family Lawyer
I Help Single Parents Get Their Child Support Payments on Time*
Get in Touch (link to contact form)
*Don’t like that headline? Try this: Helping single parents get their child support payments on time
Next up is your mini attorney bio. Keep it short and sweet.
About Jane Doe
I’m Jane Doe, a family lawyer based in Boise, Idaho who helps single parents get the support they need for their families. Whether you need to reevaluate your child’s support payments or change the terms of your custody arrangement, reach out to find out how I can help you.
Contact Me (Link to contact form)
Add a testimonial next and make sure it’s relevant to the kind of work YOU want to do.
If you don’t have a testimonial, skip this section. For now. Eventually you’ll have testimonials.
Finally, write your Contact Me section
On your future website, even on a one-pager, you’ll include a link to this contact section in your main navigation up at the top of your website.
Write clear instructions on how your leads can reach you and how long they’ll wait to hear back from you – remember, you’re a solo attorney. It’s all on you to answer these inquiries.
If you offer a free call, mention it here.
As this is an early stage in your business, you may not have a scheduling software set up yet, but if you do, you can link to it here.
If you have a form, you’ll also need an attorney-client privilege disclaimer. Use plain language to warn leads not to tell you too much about their situation in the form or email because you don’t have attorney-client privilege yet.
And voila! The copy for your simple, one-page website is done.
For some lawyers, the above copy is enough, especially if 85% or more of their business is referral-based. For others, their website will grow as their business and client-base grows.
But it’s an excellent, simplified start.
Ultimately, your website should align with your business goals and suit your system of onboarding and working with clients.
Your website can (and should) act as an executive assistant, “fielding calls” and “being informative and helpful.” That means, you want your writing to be conversational and clear so that it’s easy for your leads to realize that you’re the one to help them.