I’m an advocate for small business owners, including attorneys and law firms, building multiple websites. This is why I love WordPress so much – it’s free (after you pay for hosting which is a nominal cost), simple, and fast to set up new websites.
However, not any WordPress theme is perfect for an attorney website. Lawyer websites must be professional-looking. In my view investing in a premium WordPress theme for an attorney website (or websites) is a good idea.
I like and recommend a large slider or slideshow feature located at the top of the home page. Usually this function is split into two parts – one for some text or navigation buttons – and the other displaying a large image or images.
Essence theme by iThemes is a theme with one of the nicest sliders I’ve seen.
I know for my offline business, when I switched my WordPress website to one using a very nice slide show, my conversion rates (percentage of website visitors who contacted me) more than doubled.
What if your next attorney website is your second or third or more websites?
This is just my opinion, but I would create more of a blog-style site for subsequent attorney websites. The reason I say this is you don’t want to confuse your clients and prospective clients with a bunch of different looking websites on numerous domains (unless each website targets a different clientele with a different practice area). I also wouldn’t use the exact same layout on numerous domains because it could be construed as mirror sites with Google, and possibly confuse your clients and prospective clients.
A blog style site is designed to inform. From your attorney blog sites, you can link to your main attorney website (whether in WordPress or not).
A great blog style theme is any type of magazine style theme. News or Magazine by StudioPress fits the bill nicely.
I know the news-concept might seem weird for an attorney website, but think about how you could create a newspaper or magazine blog for your firm. You could have all kinds of topics such as caselaw, events, news about your firm, etc. You can get creative, publish tons of content (which is great for search engine rankings), and have some fun publishing an attorney news site.
Let me recap about your attorney WordPress theme selection strategy:
If you’re building your first attorney firm website in WordPress, get a theme that has a traditional static home page – preferably one with a slider or slideshow at the top. If you’re building additional websites for your law firm, then go for a news-style or even a personal blog style theme.
Why build more than one attorney website in the first place?
Maybe you’re wondering why I would suggest building more than one website for your firm. Especially when your flagship site likely has a blog function to it already where you can publish as much content as you wish.
The reason for more than one attorney website is simple: with another site on a new domain, you can capture a lot more traffic in the long run. How? The keyword you use in your domain will have a good chance of ranking very well in the search engines. Therefore, the more websites with new domain names, the more keywords you can rank well with.
But, you can’t just go and build websites in any old way – and you especially don’t want to publish a bunch of copy-cat sites or mirror sites. You must build your fleet of sites in a particular method. I’ve actually experimented a lot (for over 1 year and with dozens of websites) using WordPress to build multiple websites for a small localized business (not unlike a law firm). After working out the kinks, the traffic for my small business is incredible – and that’s largely due to multiple websites with carefully selected domain names.
Another reason for building more than one website for your law firm is it’s very easy to build links with other lawyer websites you don’t compete with (i.e. in other cities and states/provinces).
If you have one website, the best you can offer is a reciprocal link exchange. Reciprocal linking isn’t that effective (it works, but you can do better). A better strategy is if you have 2 unique sites, you can link one site with your linking partner. Then your linking partner can link to your other site (the site you don’t link to your linking partner). This way every site receives a one-way link.
About choosing a domain name
Once you have a domain for your firm name, choose generic domain names such as duiattorney.com or floridapersonalinjuryattorney.com (of course finding ones available is another matter). The reasons for doing this are twofold:
You create an asset you can sell to any firm in the same practice area; and
You gain a search engine ranking advantage for the keyword(s) in the domain name.