Is Your Website a Trustworthy Experience?
Have you ever been shopping online and come across a website that is painfully hard to use? Clunky design, too-small fonts, generic language, and messy navigation? You probably didn’t make a purchase on that website because you felt it was sketchy and possibly even fraudulent.
That experience failed to build trust. However, you don’t have to be selling physical products on your website to be selling. Your law firm’s website is selling something that’s arguably more important: your reputation. You want your visitors to seek out your services — and for legal representation, that requires a high level of trust.
So, how can your website cultivate a strong sense of trust?
Follow the Pyramid of Trust
Developed by the Nielsen Norman Group, the Pyramid of Trust is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The idea is that you form a basic foundation for consumer confidence, then build upon basic needs to instill trust in your audience. The Pyramid of Trust mirrors the sales funnel:
- The customer understands that your firm can meet their needs.
- They start to prefer you over other options.
- They feel they can safely share their issues with you.
- They trust you accept their personal information (e.g. questions, sensitive details, payment details).
- They contract your services.
- They commit to a lasting relationship.
When building your website, your copy should form the foundation of the pyramid. You can further build the pyramid through consultation and closing. So, the Pyramid of Trust looks like this:
- Demonstrate that you can meet your target audience’s most pressing problems. Speak to those needs in your web copy.
- Clarify your point of difference and how you can uniquely solve your audience’s problems. Focus on benefits rather than singing your own praises.
- Engender a sense of understanding and trust so that prospects will reach out to you.
- Make it easy and secure to book a consultation on your website.
Set up security measures
Of course, copy alone isn’t enough: anyone can claim to meet their clients’ needs. If you want to “walk the talk,” ensure that your website is secure. Remember, most of your prospective clients are facing an emotional situation, and privacy will be at the top of their minds. By giving them a secure browsing experience, you show you respect their safety and privacy.
To that end, be sure you install an SSL certificate on your website. This is what gives your site an https:// address. It ensures that visitors’ data is encrypted as it passes to and from your hosting provider’s server. Many people are savvy enough to identify a secure site and will navigate away from an unsecured one. If you’re not sure how to do this, reach out to a professional web designer for assistance.
Focus on measurable benefits rather than lofty claims
Even if your firm has made remarkable achievements, it’s best to keep the focus on your clients. How can you help them solve their problems? Most prospects don’t care if your firm won the XYZ Award. They want social proof: how many clients like them have you helped? Is your firm connected to your community? What are your areas of expertise and how do you work with your clients?
Web copy that emphasizes your firm’s activities can come off as distant or even boastful. While you certainly want to impress your prospective clients, you should aim to express relevance and opportunity rather than glamour and self-praise. Give your visitors a feeling that you can help them for their unique needs.
Make your website user-friendly
There’s nothing like a clunky, cluttered site to drive away visitors. Even if your messaging is good, people don’t want to struggle to navigate your site or look at grainy stock images. They don’t like to feel frustrated or confused. If your website causes those effects on people, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.
A website redesign may be just what you need to cultivate trust. One of the most basic needs you can meet is to help people find the information they seek. Your law firm website design should emphasize ease of use, relevance, and clarity. That is the foundation of trust that will make your messaging all the more powerful.
Include social proof
As we mentioned above, your visitors want social proof. They want to know how many people just like them that your firm has helped. They want to be able to envision a future in which their problem is solved. It’s up to you to demonstrate how your firm can make that happen.
These days, it’s quite easy to integrate reviews from Google, Facebook, and other platforms right into your site. You can also include testimonials from clients. (Just be sure that you have permission to share your previous clients’ comments, and never post a fake testimonial.) If your firm also does charitable work or special projects, include photos and videos from those activities as well. People love seeing authentic content, and it’s one of the easiest ways to build trust in your firm.
Trust can be hard to come by, but when your website focuses on your prospective and current clients, you’ll do a much better job of reputation management. These days, people are inundated with generic, sales-y digital content. A website that prioritizes their needs and expresses an authentic approach will set you apart from the crowd. Start with the Pyramid of Trust, then build your firm’s reputation through a user-friendly, compelling web experience.
For expert website design and development from an agency devoted to attorneys and their firms, look no further than Fletcher Digital. We’re happy to help your firm connect with your target clients through modern, responsive law firm website design, tailored content, and calls to action that convert.