Making the Case: Law Firm Websites

This is the third in a series of articles highlighting how law firms can get the most utility out of the Internet. Catch up with the first and second articles.The advent of the Internet, email and smartphones has revolutionized the world and changed the way that business is conducted.And while the legal world has been quick in adapting to new technologies that enhance their productivity, law firms have tended to stick to more traditional marketing methods. But in order to thrive, law firms need to fully leverage online marketing tactics.In our previous two posts in this series, we talked about legal blogging and social media, two spokes of an effective online marketing strategy. Today we're focusing on the hub: your website.

Bridging the Gap

In the past, prospective clients sought legal representation through their personal networks. Today, with consumers relying extensively on search engines and social media, that method has been permanently altered. Just as banks have online branches for customers to avoid tellers and eCommerce sites have product reviews instead of salesmen, your website needs to cater to this changing perspective.Today, over 75% of people seek an attorney through online resources. And, with the hundreds of websites potential clients view on a monthly basis as a barometer, it is imperative that your site's design matches your firm's identity. A clean, informative and professional site will always convert more leads than a thin, impersonal, antiquated one. No matter the size of your firm, you need to provide a navigable, layered presence that showcases your services through rich content including advice, FAQs and a regular blog.

Showcasing Your Identity

Your website is the first impression your firm will have on a prospective client; it will speak for you when you are forced to remain silent. That's why it's more than an informative brochure with a web address, it's putting your firm online. You want to showcase your firm's quality, your expertise and your successes while still portraying the firm as a group of personable, trustworthy professionals.Areas that should take extra emphasis are your attorney's bios and specialties. Spending the time to perfect those pages will significantly change your conversion rate. And, again, a blog showcasing your expertise can become a large revenue generator in as little time as a few months of regular posting.

What To Look For in a Web Designer

Bar regulations set forth specific rules on advertising materials for law firms, including websites. A web designer needs to not only be familiar with these regulations but also to be proficient in crafting high-quality, engaging legal sites. It is vital, when searching for a design team, to hire a company that has an extensive history in this arena. Review their site (and confer with their past clients) for testimonials and examples of past work they have done for other attorneys. Also, check for peer reviews. If they have a stellar reputation with their competition, they deserve the plaudits.Your website should go beyond simply acting as an online bookmark. Consumers today are searching for expertise and trust--and they want it instantaneously. And despite the general consensus, this can be easily accomplished.*********Read our other articles in the Making the Case series: