24 Apr Ofer Eitan Announces: 3 Essential Website Architecture Elements for Law Firms
It is always going to be especially tough for smaller or up-and-coming law practices to compete with the huge, successful firms in their areas.
One way to do it, however, is to optimize your website for organic search so more leads can find you online.
Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses so much, from content marketing to links.
One sometimes overlooked aspect of SEO is site architecture.
Specifically, what kinds of site setups are best for law firms looking to get ahead.
Creating an ideal site architecture involves thinking of your layout from a UX perspective.
You want people to be able to navigate around your site easily, using the logical flow of buttons and links that guide people naturally from the homepage to the various services you offer to the contact page with all your information.
In this post, you’ll discover some tried-and-true aspects of a great law firm website architecture, the kind that will help both users and the Google spiders to search your site easily, ideally find it useful, and get it to rank higher in the SERPs.
The Importance of Website Architecture to SEO
Let’s take a few moments first to discuss website architecture and why the UX segment of SEO is so important for getting ranked.
You already know that SEO content and your website structure should be constructed for people over search engines.
However, it just so happens that what is good for users is also good for Google, so all the most important aspects of an expertly crafted site architecture will apply across the board.
A well-organized website will be easy for users to get around.
From the homepage, they will be able to access a host of other resources that are located just a few clicks away.
And that point is important. You don’t want to bury important web pages multiple clicks away from the homepage, or not have anything on the homepage that links to them at all.
Google’s web crawler will have a hard time finding those pages, and the pages will likely not rank very well (and probably no one will ever actually see them).
Another, similar reason an organized website architecture is essential is that the right page structure “shares the wealth” of PageRank.
If your local service pages all link up one level to your main service page for bankruptcy, business, or whatever kind of law you practice, you are telling Google that that primary service page is important, optimized, and worth ranking highly.
So, now you know why you need to put the time into organizing a straightforward and tidy website architecture.
It’s important for any business in any industry, but now let’s look at how law firm websites should structure themselves for maximum organic results.
Aspects of Effective Law Firm Website Architectures
Law firms are, of course, service-based organizations.
Instead of hundreds of product pages with little descriptions, your website should ideally feature:
- A homepage.
- As many main service pages as you need to describe what your firm does.
- A blog.
- A contact page.
- An “about us” section where you profile your attorneys and profess your firm’s values and mission statement.
Those are the essential elements of a quality law firm website, but how do you structure them on the site itself and link among them?
Let’s get into it.
1. Slam-Dunk Homepage
The homepage is a logical place to start in a discussion of effective site architecture.
The homepage of any website, but especially of a law firm site, needs to convey a great deal of information all at once.
It needs to show what your firm is about, what legal areas it practices, and how much previous clients trust your services.
How is this accomplished?
First, the homepage needs to use competitive legal keywords.
For instance, “chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney Milwaukee” shows high competition and only 10 searches per month in Google Keyword Planner.
Go after a term like that in your H1, H2s, and meta tags.
These terms describe what your firm primarily practices and will be found by people who are well on their way toward employing the services of a lawyer.
Next, remember that you are a service-based company that must rely on customer reviews to gain traction in your geographic area.
You should devote a block of your homepage to displaying five-star customer reviews with brief blurbs praising the legal services you provided. Those reviews will help to generate trust among new visitors to your site.
There are a few other major aspects of a good law firm website homepage I want to mention, and they all have to do with the visual presentation you make to users.
Your website’s main nav, which will be most important when seen for the first time on the homepage, must be concise and clear in its layout, since that is what potential clients will use to get around your site to see what services you offer.
You must organize the nav in a logical, top-down way. A “Services” or “Practice Areas” tab should drop down to a menu showing organized columns of your legal specialties.
Any kind of “About Us” or “Our Firm” tab can break down into a few sections that perhaps provide a history of the firm or state your organization’s mission.
Internal Link Structure
Related to the main nav is the internal linking you do in your homepage content.
You already know that homepages should not be loaded up with written content, but small blocks can briefly describe your service areas and link to them using keywords.
That internal link structure is vital. Everyone knows homepages are important; Google does, too.
The pages you link to from there are going to be easily crawlable. They will also be easy for actual human users to get to.
Colors matter on a website.
The psychology of colors tells us all about what effects colors have on us.
- White means equality and fairness.
- Red is an arousing color and best used for call-to-action elements.
- Blue is generally calming.
Law firm websites looking to convey auras of professionalism should avoid bold, vibrant colors in…