Numerous website design companies have solicited law firms to create websites for their business. Unfortunately, most web designers do not understand the unique requirements, operating procedures, and profitable techniques a successful law firm desires.
The following is a checklist of tips for law firms to carefully consider:
Tip #1: Create a website yourself.
If you are content with a website that gives visitors basic information about you, then you probably won’t need to purchase a site from a design firm.
However, if you desire a website that will consistently bring in new cases, it has to be different from your competitors’ sites. It also has to give the visitor a reason to contact you and you alone. Offering a free consultation or a free pamphlet is not enough. You have to have a “sticky” website, one that has lots of information that people find useful, one that they come back to for reference and a website that develops a relationship with the visitor.
Tip #2: Advertise, advertise, advertise
You can have your site online for a year and never receive one phone call or contact e-mail from that outlet. If consumers are not aware of your firm in their local area, they will not find you. Search engine optimizers are getting roughly $10-$25K from your competitors to get websites listed in the top of the search engines Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Shelling out the big bucks is not necessary, however. There are many online advertising opportunities, including bulletin boards and social networking sites that are free to join and market within.
Tip #3: Work, work, work
Consumers who visit your site are just that, visitors. You need to put in the work to convert them into clients. Free consultations are a good start, but follow-up is a must. Put this information on your site so that no one is left in the dark about your firm. Consumers are smarter now in this computer age than a decade ago. With the amount of information available to consumers, they need a way to sift through the bull and find the horns of a company, the facts.
Tip #4: Do not rely completely on your Online Presence.
There are very few online law firms which operate solely through their web presence. These companies, however, are the most successful of the bunch. There are solutions available that can substitute for a marketing program. Remember, websites are cheaper than yellow page or billboard ads or tv/radio spsots. Lower costs increase profit.
Tip #5: Tell us Who and What you are.
People are turned away by poor presentation. You could be the best lawyer in America that no one knows because you do not tell us who you are and what you stand for. Who do you represent and why? What is your mission statement. Many consumers want more than a “30 years of experience” tagline ballooned across your page. Are you a real person wanting to help real people, or is your site so flashy and devoid of human contact that you are failing your presentation?
Tip #6: Buy a TLD
A website that has a directory domain such as LawyerFinder.cm/JandJLawFirm would be a site that would be hard to find and rarely visited. There are some online companies around selling these sites to lawyers who think they need an official website, but fail to see the 300 other firms listed in that directory. Spend the $8.95 and purchase your own top level domain name. Cookie cutter sites are rarely good.
Remember to go over these tips with your design company before dishing out the cash. Stay real and in tune with your target market and you will have a successful online presence.