Posts Tagged ‘lawyer websites’

Replace “Strategic” with “Use Case”

February 10, 2011

When I work with clients and prospects I always start from the top – what do you want your website to do.  Sometimes I get conflicting information.  The first thing an attorney sometimes says is, “I want people to contact me for legal services from my website.”  However, later on in the discussion, they tell me that the leads they get from their website are mostly garbage and that it takes too much effort to wade through them.

Qualifying Website

This is a website that helps successful attorneys obtain better leads and better referrals.  Many solo practitioners who have been in business for a number of years rely mostly on referrals however, if their website also attracted strong leads, they would be happy.  A “qualifying website” focuses on giving referral candidates and interested website visitors enough of the right information about the attorney(s) to call him or her.  That call should be warm – the potential client should be prepared to pay the attorney’s going rate and understand the basic types of service they should expect.

Why a “Use Case” is Important

Seth Godin blog has a good post about this topic today, using the example of an architect providing a client with blueprints before they have even sat down and talked about what the client wants.  That’s why at DSD Law Site Solutions, we start our conversation with attorneys shaping the “use case” for their website visitors and that may mean driving some visitors – those not appropriate for the attorney’s legal services – away from the website.

ABA Says, “Time for Website Checkup!”

January 30, 2011

The ABA issued this year greeting and reminder of things lawyers should do – techwise.   One was to look at your online presence, photos, text, messaging and make sure its consistent and effective. Another suggestion was to have your website reviewed by “fresh eyes.”

And look at what your colleagues & competitors are doing

At DSD Law Site Solutions we have this offer to look at your website and one key competitor – for free.  If you want a more robust analysis, we will look at your website in the light of four competitors/colleagues for a relatively small charge.

Lawyer Website – Publish or Perish?

January 11, 2011

Here is an ABA article that supports the contention of DSD Law Sites Solutions that lawyers need to look at their websites as publishing engines not as static brochures.  Dion and Robert Algeri in their “Great Jakes Blog” provide a number of compelling reasons for this shift. Chief among them is that content creates engagement between lawyer and client.  They cite a study by The Brand Research Company that 53% of executives look at the quality of the content on an attorney’s or law firm’s website.

Another powerful reason

If you create a blog for your content and post your content on WordPress, you can easily track through Google analytics topics of the greatest interest to your audience.  This is because WordPress will modify the title of your blog post to create a URL for your post. If you have set up Google analytics (which is free) on your blog or website with a blog you will be able to track which titles are the most popular. This will help you to craft more content that further develops the topics that have already proven popular and will tighten the relationship between your audience and your website/blog.

Lawyers – Generic Images Are Ignored

November 4, 2010

Kevin O’Keefe wisely points out a study by Jacob Nielsen that suggests generic and large “feel-good” images are ignored by visitors.  Lawyers, if you want your websites to standout from the crowd, invest in a photo-shoot or make sure generic images are treated in such a way as to add texture and richness to a site that focuses on your messaging.

Video, Video, Video

July 5, 2010

Technology is making video easier and easier and cheaper and cheaper.  Even solo practitioners are going to be able to easily provide custom video from their website and its going to tell powerful stories.  Here are is a link to some developing options in the video world.

Give talks? Make sure your website knows it

June 26, 2010

Its easy for busy attorneys to get focused on one thing and forget to link up their seminars with their website.

Here are five tips on how to make your website support your presentations:

1.  Let people know about the event on your website – even better let them sign up for them online!

2.  Give people an incentive to sign up for an event on your website and refer others to do the same (offer $5 dollar Starbucks card for people who sign-up online).

3.  Take photos at the event and post them to your events page.  This will entice people to come.

4.  Even better post a two minute video of yourself talking at the event – this will give people a taste of what you offer.

5.  Offer people who come to your event a private log-in page where they get a password to access valuable material you discussed at the event if they give you their email.

Pretty soon you have a community of people who you can reach out to with newsletters and special invitations, reducing the need for so many expensive direct mailers.

Attorney websites – more than driving traffic

June 18, 2010

I posted recently about the growing trend for lawyers to employ armies of digital workers to improve their Internet visibility and attract new clients.  I’ve had successful attorneys who get plenty of referrals say that they don’t need a website because they don’t want strangers knocking on their Internet door.

What about the poor potential client?

Here’s the thing: when your client comes to you for a divorce, bankruptcy or nasty slip and fall, they are unfamiliar with the legal process and what’s going to happen next, what their lawyer needs to know, how they will be charge etc.  Use your website to give them this information – include a page on your website entitled: “for our 1st meeting” or “What to expect” etc.  That way when a potential client corners you at a party or calls you while you are in the middle of a filing, you can point them to your website and let them read about what they need to know about engaging with you.

Post a video

Video is increasingly popular on the web and the ability to walk a client through that first meeting visually is extremely powerful.

Maybe you don’t want clients from the Internet but your website can ease your clients’ anxiety and make them better informed which will in turn save you time and therefore money.

How to avoid a stale website

May 8, 2010

According to this survey of law firm marketers, 53% say they have re-designed their websites since January 2008.  Does the old model of creating a website and then ignoring it for years make sense?  How do small firms or solo practitioners avoid having their sites look dated and their content grow old without spending huge sums every couple years?

At DSD Law Site Solutions, we approach websites as living, growing things that are built on a back-end platform, WordPress, that supports the latest Internet design, content and social networking developments.  We provide you upgrades and new features  regularly so your website reflects these changes gradually and in keeping with the ever changing world of the Internet.

More than that, we encourage lawyers to create a content plan and either learn themselves or have us train one of their staffs to edit, update, refresh and add new content themselves.  A blog, news announcement, articles showing off their expertise are excellent ways to avoid having content get old and then ignored by Google.

5 five reasons NOT to build your own site

April 15, 2010

I’ve talked to a number of solo practitioners who have built their own websites.  And some of the sites look professional and convey the right message about the attorney’s practice.   I understand the appeal of doing this: its cheap and could be fun if that’s your thing.  However, I believe that if you are building your website, you maybe missing out on one of your best marketing opportunities in the process.  Here are some things to consider:

1.  Your website isn’t just pages on the web it’s your marketing hub – the central front of your business development efforts.

2.  You need to optimized your website so that it will be visible to people looking for your services.  This requires tools and strategy.

3.  Your website content needs to be comprehensible by your target market and that’s not you.

4.  Integrating social networking into your website platform will engage your visitors.  Can people see your Twitter/blog/LinkedIn pages from your home page?

5.  Professional design will give your website an attractive, contemporary and differentiating look and feel.

Tout your legal practice expertise

April 10, 2010

I’ve noticed that many solo practitioners and small firms create a “practice areas” page for their website where they list a variety of practice areas like: wrongful termination, whistleblower suits, employment discrimination and leave it at that.

This is a missed opportunity for a couple reasons:

  • Google likes web-pages devoted to specific practice areas.  If you offer whistleblower lawsuits then create a practice page specific to that topic.
  • Visitors to your website want to know if you can help them with their issue and “whistleblower” alone may not be specific enough for them to understand that this applies to their situation.

Some tips in creating these pages:

  • Consider your audience: if you want defense work and are looking to appeal to in-house counsel, then using legal jargon is fine but if you are looking for plaintiffs to join a class action, you need to use plain language in your descriptions.
  • Check Google’s keyword tool and see how people are searching for the practice description you are using.  Make sure you include the popular ones on your page to devoted to that practice.