I have declared my web design firm as the official haters of “The Golden Gate Bridge on law firm home pages.” I can hear you laughing now because you have the Golden Gate Bridge on your home page. Or maybe you are thinking to yourself, we are different: We have a picture of the Bay Bridge. Sorry, it’s basically the same thing, right?

Your website is really just a vehicle to share your story: Why did you go into law? What does your firm do to help people? Using a template with some generic photos that don’t really mean anything is potentially damaging to your brand. Just as bad is a list of self-serving bullet points on why you are great—I’d rather you just send people to your LinkedIn page.

What Your Website Should Accomplish

Here are just a few key goals you should keep in mind when planning your website. It should be:

  • ADA Compliant
  • User-Friendly
  • Consistent
  • Aesthetically Pleasing
  • Simple

Your website should be a learning experience for your customer. And it should be a reflection of the quality of services that you offer. You get only a few seconds to make an impression on people when they visit: Use those precious moments to wow your customer and take them on a carefully crafted journey.

Accomplishing all of this is beyond the scope of this article but here are five simple things you can do right now to improve your website:

  1. Remove the cheese! Take off the chess pieces and pillars. Your clients will think you are more sophisticated and think outside the box if you don't use generic images.
  2. Make it easy to dial your phone number: It’s super easy to make your phone number "clickable" so people don’t have to dial it—clicking on it will prompt the phone or phone app on your computer.
  3. Make your address prominent: If you want people to actually come to your office, make it easy to find. Include your address on the bottom of each page or at least on the contact page. And link it to Google Maps so it’s easy for visitors to get directions. Don’t make someone leave your site to find out where you are.
  4. Headline your home page: Have a headline that encapsulates what you do. If someone doesn’t know what the heck you do in three seconds when they are on your home page, you are losing out.
  5. Make your site mobile-friendly: Make sure that people over the age of 21 can read your website. Eight-point type on an iPhone doesn’t cut it. Make the text bigger so no one has to strain their eyes to find out what you do. People will be impressed with your thoughtfulness (and people at happy hour will be grateful too.)

In the end, keep it simple, clean and talk about how you help people. The work that you do is good; make sure your website reflects that.