Do you need a lawyer to build your website?

With all the talk of “industry standards” and “best practice”, how do you really know what to include on your website? Which elements are nice / necessary / neither?

There is so much to consider when creating an online presence for your business, charity or organisation; including imagery to choose, words to write, how to explain what it is you do in the 3.2 seconds you have before the visitor clicks away… it’s little wonder some of those pesky legal requirements or recommendations may slip your mind.

From GDPR to Distance Selling Regulations – there is a HUGE amount to consider, and you just don’t have time to think about that stuff, you have a website to launch, promote and measure your return on investment for, right?

But what happens when the Information Commissioners Office come calling? With fines in the UK of up to 4% of your global turnover for failures to meet GDPR requirements – the extra hour it would have taken to sort out that Privacy Policy may just have been worth it after all.

And we’re not just talking data protection…

There are a raft of other considerations to make when creating or upgrading your website too. Basics such as Company name and registered office should be a given, but you can not only offer extra value by adding more information to your website – did you realise you can even make it easier to be paid by sharing the important stuff openly and transparently?

Truth is, it does take that little bit of extra effort to build a relationship with your potential customers through your website alone – by which I’m referring to the run-of-the-mill, who-what-why-where-how websites out there – and if you miss this, you’re missing a real gem. Instead of a site which talks only about your services plus the bare bones, absolute essentials of Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, etc – what if you maximised this opportunity to tell your customers more about who you are as an organisation? 

Let’s take opting in to your mailing list as an example:

Now, you do have to make clear to the potential customer as they sign up to receive your newsletter, exactly what they’re signing up to and with whom – as well as the methods you offer to update them by so they can opt in or out of email / postal / telephone communications. 

But instead of saying “Completion of this form adds you to our mailing list…”, why not try “We would love to send you discount codes, sneak previews and insider tips – no more than once a month – and we promise to never ever pester you again if you click to unsubscribe at any time. Though we will miss you!

See how much more friendly and beguiling the second option can be to a potential subscriber – and therefore future customer? It doesn’t have to be that casual obviously, tailor this to suit your target audience / industry so the messaging appeals directly to them – read my article on identifying your target audience here if you need to support in this.

Same with ecommerce if you sell goods or services via your website – there are a number of legal requirements to include for this specific area, and potentially more depending on where in the world you’re selling to. Yet, instead of a cold, clinical “Returns Policy” page with a basic bulleted list of all the legal nasty necessities – imagine instead offering a page which starts with a great statistic of the number of happy customers served this month, a testimonial or positive review (preferably on a third party site, see my article on Social Proof for support with this), and a personal message from your CEO saying how proud she / he is of the products they sell and how confident they are that you’ll be delighted with your purchase that they offer a “no quibble” refund policy on any goods returned unused within XYZ days….etc?

Think how compelling that is when choosing to hit the big shiny Buy Now button?

You could view the legalities and requirements of your website like anything else in business – friend or foe! I encourage you to look again at these as far more than a necessary evil in order to tick a compliance box, but as an opportunity to rapidly build a relationship with visitors to your site. Take advantage of these as opportunities to build that know-like-trust connection with your customers and you will reap the rewards online.

Want 5 easy ways to make more money using skills you already have? Grab your FREE copy of my eBook, Leverage Your Expertise Online, today: and discover how to create new income streams by unlocking the hidden profit in your business through your website.