Is Your Website Stuck in 2010?

In the last few years, websites have began to have free themselves of the density of text. In place of eye-straining text are interactive features such as videos. More and more, stories are being told through video and audio. As a marketer, I can see how videos and audio clips and rich images can make messaging all that more compelling. After all, marketing is about telling a story that resonates. I suspect I'm like most consumers - when I'm faced with too much text to digest, I feel overwhelmed (or worse, imposed upon) The result? I simply abandon the page or the website altogether.

Lawyers love content that's detailed and dense, but your clients i.e. lay persons do not. Since marketing is about appealing to your target audience, your law firm's website should be accessible by a lay audience. Remember that non-lawyers are often anxious about reaching out to and working with lawyers. Presenting a website that overwhelms them only increases that discomfort.

Also, new website infrastructure (like Apto Marketing's) allows for pages to be unified for scrolling --instead of having to click on a "next page" icon or jump between sections or pages, your visitor simply keeps scrolling to read more. Infinite scrolling is increasingly popular as it makes for a tighter user experience, allowing for them to engage with your content in a shorter time.  

In addition, almost all websites are now "responsive" i.e. whether you look at it on a desktop computer, or on your smartphone or tablet, the layout automatically adjusts for scrolling display.

Note though that you want to have some limits on the scrolling per se, so as to avoid irritating your readers by making them wonder just how much scrolling they need to do. Tip: make sure all content is also accessible through the sections you've laid out per your site map.

Website designs today are such that they are less burdensome on the visitor. Given how people abandon websites in less than a minute because they don't get what you're trying to say or can't find what they need, this is certainly the direction to take. Websites which are text-intense can become an immediate turn-off to visitors. Certainly you should have text (content) that explains what you do, and how it applies to your visitors and potential clients. But people don't want to be messaged to death -- much better to simply tell your story. And keep in mind that brevity makes a good impression.

Bottom line: fresh and useful content remains key to compelling visitors to your website to reach out to you. But these days, how it's presented counts just as much. If your website lacks videos, audio clips, interesting graphics, a clean and modern look, and serves up largely text and static imagery ... then perhaps it's time to refresh your website.

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