In my previous blog post, I outlined four “must-have” functions that should be included in any law firm website that's created in 2013 or 2014. But it occurred to me that there’s one more thing that I would recommend. It’s not functionality per se (which might be why it gets overlooked). It involves crafting your website to avoid what we call the “ping-pong effect.”
The term “ping-pong effect" describes a website behavior that moves visitors away from the attorney-bio or practice area and to some other section of the website (like the “publications” section). Here’s how it occurs:
- Someone visits an attorney’s bio, or a practice area section, to research that person or service.
- They click a link to an article, video, case study or other type of content to learn more about the attorney or practice area.
- They find themselves whisked away to another section of the website.
What's wrong with the above scenario? We know from looking at user stats that if someone leaves the attorney-bio or practice-area page, they’re not likely to come back. That’s a shame because there’s probably a lot of other information that the prospect could gain if all of an attorney's reputation-enhancing content was located in one place – ideally their bio.
The above scenario also makes for a needlessly frustrating user-experience. Since the invention of the website, designers have learned (and relearned) that the easier a website is to navigate, the more likely that users will engage with it. Ping-ponging through the website in search of content is not a good user-experience.
The ping-pong effect is one of those issues that slowly becomes more acute as firm websites grow in size. But if addressed, it leads to a far more useful website for prospective clients.
Click here to see a visual representation of what to avoid: The Ping-Pong Effect.