Your law firm’s website must make a good first impression and appear credible for your visitors to trust your brand and the information that you are providing. After all, visitors can be skeptical about products and services offered online. Arming yourself with these five tips on how to design for trust will help to turn visitors into clients.
1.) Design Quality
One of the first steps in gaining trust is making sure your website appears legitimate and professional. Design patterns and trends change over time, but user motivation and behavior do not. This post by Jakob Nielson from 1999 echoes many of the same methods that we still use today. Visitors want to find the information they’re looking for quickly and not spend time on a website they deem questionable. Use these design strategies to help improve overall design quality:
- Make sure content is well organized: Long-running paragraphs are no longer popular. Let’s face it, attention spans are short, especially online. Organize your content into short, digestible chunks and bullet points where possible. This will increase the chances that visitors will read and share your content.
- Use an uncluttered layout: Avoid visual busyness. Simplicity in design often works best. Limit the number of calls-to-action and distracting elements. If a particular feature or element is not essential to the goals of your website, consider removing it. After all, it’s been proven that more choices can cause uncertainty which can actually decrease results.
- Design a predictable user interface: Visitors are more likely to stay on your website if the navigation is easy to use and all labels are clear and unambiguous. Confusion will give visitors a reason to leave your website.
- Make a great first impression: Design quality and first impressions are key components of user experience (UX) and increasing conversions. You have just a few seconds to grab that user’s attention and keep him or her from moving on to the next site. Don’t underestimate the power of design.
- Use colors that support your brand: Choose a cohesive color palette that aligns with your brand’s personality. Color psychology in branding is very important. It will help to keep users engaged and influence visitors to be loyal to your firm. Try Canva’s Design Wiki to explore color combinations.
- Include microcopy: Explain exactly what each interaction will do. Short, easy-to-read sentences work best. Use these small pieces of text to explain contact forms, possible user errors, and multi-step interactions.
- Use no more that two or three typefaces: This is not a strict rule, but sticking to one to two typefaces that include multiple styles can give your website a cohesive look and feel.
2.) Social Proof
When in doubt, the wisdom of the crowd can influence the decision to make a commitment. Showing that past clients are happy with the services you provided will show a track record of success. Testimonials and client reviews are effective tools for attracting new customers. To be most effective, testimonials should be detailed, honest, and include the client’s name.
Video testimonials are also a very effective because visitors can watch clients speak about their experience and your services. Compare this to when you’re shopping online. If a product you’re thinking of buying has received many positive reviews, you’ll be much less hesitant to make a purchase.
3.) Personality & Language
As with most things, you get back what you put into it. You should give honest information about your successes, strengths, biographical information, and what makes you stand apart from your competitors. Telling your story is a powerful way to develop trust and break down the barrier between lawyer and client.
Clients don’t want to work with a faceless organization. People crave human connection, even on the web. Add photos and contact information for each team member to your about page. People will remember you and trust you more if they see your face. This will also give future clients an idea of who will be working on their case.
All of this sharing is great, however making sure your copy is clean and error-free is critical. The fastest way to get visitors to exit your website is with grammatical errors, broken links, and misstated information or claims. Spell-check and run your content through quality assurance. This also applies to bilingual websites. Get a native speaker to review your foreign-language pages.
4.) Trust Indicators
Displaying badges and awards that were earned by providing excellent service can give your visitors a sense of security and confidence. Badges, certifications, awards, and professional associations all help to tell your story.
Promoting your offline activities is a great way to boost online results. People trust businesses that reach out to be a part of their community. Things like participating in professional organizations and social clubs, hosting speaking engagements, writing guest articles, and building relationships with media outlets can help to establish you as an authority in your field. Read our blog post to learn how to leverage these offline activities to market your business and boost conversions.
In real life, you wouldn’t trust someone who is hiding something from you, right? The same applies on the web. People want upfront disclosure of all policies that relate to the services they’re interested in. What will happen when I fill out this contact form? What’s going to happen when I start my case? Questions like these should be answered clearly on your website.
Trust is a key factor to increasing conversions. However, every user has a different idea about what makes a website credible or trustworthy, so implementing these strategies in concert is the key to getting real results.
Get even more tips on how to improve your website’s design and UX by reading our blog post Design Your Website With the User in Mind. There you find practical advice on increasing conversions through design improvements, mobile-first, and increased site speed.