For ten years, we have been finding examples of the best law firm websites from numerous nominations. Our selection criteria include best practices for website design, basic search engine optimization, and website security.
The Best Law Firm Websites of 2019
Best Practices for Law Firm Websites
Good design is the foundation of a website that brings in business. Here’s are the best practices we have identified over the years:
- Start with a well defined goal.
- Highlight your call to action.
- Focus on your client-centered value proposition.
- Welcome mobile devices with responsive design.
- Avoid visual clutter.
- Use bold colors and striking images.
- Take advantage of typography.
- Design for accessibility.
- Optimize for search engines.
- Secure your website.
You should follow these best practices when building a website, and then you should experiment, evaluate, and update your website based on what you learn. The most effective websites for attorneys evolve over time based on objective data.
For more about these best practices and how to implement them on your website, get our guide, 10 Things the Best Website Designs Have in Common.
Find a Great Law Firm Website Designer & Get a Better Law Firm Website
It can be frustrating to try to figure out how to get a good website that is tailored to your budget, needs, and goals. People have been asking us for recommendations for years, but now we are making it even easier. Just fill out our free needs assessment and we will make a personalized recommendation for you. We’ll email you an introduction to a top law firm website designer, custom-picked for your firm’s needs and budget.
About the Contest and Judging
Our approach to judging has evolved over the years to include more objective criteria. Starting in 2018, we judged in two stages. First, we collected data about the nominations to eliminate sites that weren’t real contenders for the top 10. After all, it doesn’t matter how great a site looks if nobody can find it, or if it is difficult or risky to use. So some really beautiful websites didn’t make it past the elimination round. Here are the objective criteria we used:
- Mobile-friendliness. We used HubSpot’s Website Grader tool to determine mobile friendliness (among other things). We retested sites that were not mobile-friendly, then eliminated them.
- SSL certificate. Attorney websites collect information about visitors, with and without their knowledge, which is why law firm websites, in particular, should be secured with SSL. We visited each site to determine whether it had a valid SSL certificate and confirmed using the HubSpot tool. Sites without a valid SSL certificate, or with SSL errors, were eliminated.
- Accessibility. According to the US Census, nearly 1 in 5 Americans has a disability, and it is safe to assume many of them hire lawyers for many of the same reasons the other 4 in 5 Americans do. So law firm websites should be accessible. We used the WAVE Web Accessibility Tool to look for accessibility errors. It’s worth noting that since many accessibility errors are also SEO errors, this test is also a proxy (albeit an imperfect one) for search engine optimization. Sites with more than 20 errors were eliminated—although that’s probably too forgiving.
- Modest SEO. It’s not practical to do a full SEO audit of 200+ websites, but we do check some basic elements—like the homepage
<title>tag—for some evidence of customization. We used the results from the HubSpot Grader to confirm sites with minimal energy invested in SEO, then immediately eliminated sites with SEO scores under 10.
- Homepage call to action. We looked for a call to action on the home page and elevated sites with prominently placed phone numbers and contact forms. We disfavored simple “learn more” buttons, and we eliminated sites without a call to action at all.
- Page load speed. We used GTmetrix to analyze page load speed using DOM interactive as the marker. DOM interactive should represent the time a visitor must wait before clicking a link or starting to fill out a contact form. We retested all sites that took more than 2 seconds to DOM interactive, then eliminated them.
- Blocking pop-ups. Pop-ups that block the website or make it difficult to use are bad for users and for SEO. We visited each site to check for pop-ups blocking useful page elements, and eliminated them. Sites with blocking pop-ups were eliminated.
Second, we handed the remaining sites over to our team for subjective rating. We asked our judges to rate the sites subjectively, and include these criteria when doing so:
- A well-defined goal.
- A clear call to action.
- A client-centered value proposition.
- Clean design.
- Bold colors and striking images.
- Great typography.
Interested in submitting your website to next year’s contest? Look for our call for nominations the first week in January.