Ever had a salesperson approach you before you had a chance to shop around? Or been in a store so junky or unkempt that you’d sooner go thrifting than spend your money there?  Or dealt with a techie who couldn’t translate their lingo into a format you could understand to save their life?

Of course you have. So why subject your website visitors to similar forms of tyranny? Maybe it’s our southern upbringing, but we think some of the most common mistakes on lawyer websites are just plain rude to potential clients.

Here are the top 5 mistakes lawyers and law firms still make on their websites.

#1 – Intrusive Live Chat

Not all lawyer live chats are created equal. There’s a certain type (the most common) that immediately grays out the visitor’s web browser screen and invites them to chat with a total stranger, whom in most cases doesn’t even work at your law firm.

In two case studies, we discovered that live chat windows placed at the bottom right of the browser got the best click through rate and thus more respondent feedback.

#2 – Lack of Visuals / Drab Layout

Have you noticed that most popular brands allow their website’s images do the talking?  The social media bubble may finally be among us. The rose’s thorn when it comes to platforms like Facebook and Twitter (and yes, even your own website) is that they encourage narcissism: after a few “likes” and shares, it’s easy to get tricked into thinking that people actually care about what you have to say. In most cases, they don’t.

Think About Your Website & Social Media Accounts like a Job Interview

Consider that a job-seeker could possess all of the following:

  • Excellent references
  • An immaculate resume
  • Work-product examples
  • Socially-engaged & visibly highly-regarded

…and still not pass go based on what they wore to their job interview.

#3 – Written for Lawyers

Don’t use your website’s content as the place to beat your chest at your competitors. Search engine algorithms weigh the readability of a page’s content when it comes to how its placed in search results. The general rule is that your web content should be written in a format that a nine year-old can read. The simple truth: Search engines are less likely to index content they can’t make sense of.

#4 – Reinforces Stereotypes

Do a Google search for “lawyer jokes.” The #1 result is headlined:

WARNING: Some of these jokes are in bad taste. Some are indecent. A few are obscene. But we’re talking about lawyers…

If your feelings are hurt, good. Perhaps you’ll keep that in mind when discussing with your web developer what values you want to convey online. Even the telltale “TV lawyer” could exercise more tact with their online approach.

#5 – Lacks Bridge to Social Media

According to AdWeek, 81{49e08ae446e06a957b76e0e44e8d0837316e79516cf60872be00d00cbe51f2b7} of shoppers do online research before buying products. It’s safe to assume that if people will research ballpoint pens, Patti LaBelle pies, and cosmetics—they will darn sure research lawyers. The problem is that even lawyer websites with testimonials often just have them listed. There are no visual aids, nor social sources to back these reviews up.

Positive Google+ reviews impact your web rank. Yelp & Facebook are also popular sources used by consumers to validated whether or not a business is as legit as it claims.

Consider this: your website is rightfully generated to show you in your best light. Will people believe what you have to say about yourself?