Are all the top law firm websites in town better than yours but not all the lawyers at your firm are convinced you need a new one? Do you need a cheat sheet to help you figure out what’s wrong with your law firm website at a high level so you can persuade your colleagues that a new website is the only logical next step? If so, your wish is our checklist, below.
Below are eight signs that your law firm website needs a redesign … and soon. While not inclusive, it’s a good place to start if you’re considering an upgrade.
From a design perspective, when was the site last updated? Are you still stuck in 2010 (I’m being generous here). Just spend a few minutes browsing the internet and it’s very easy to see what constitutes fresh and modern design vs. tired old websites. As consumers we are all constantly being trained and re-trained on what is “best practice” as it relates to website design and functionality and we demonstrate how drawn to these companies we are when we engage, and re-engage, with them online. Law firm clients are no different. They are also consumers in their personal lives and are heavily influenced by what they see in other industries or online experiences. As such their expectations of a law firm website will be driven by those indirect influencing signals.
The content of your website is not client or prospect focused. I could be even worse and reflect internal organizational turf wars rather than the comprehensive legal solutions your clients need. Either way, it’s limiting the firm’s potential share-of-wallet.
There is little or no content marketing or social media integration on the site to drive engagement by clients and prospects.
The firm brand has changed, or God forbid, has been inconsistent with your offline brand for quite some time, and it’s time to bring them back into alignment. The top of industry law firm websites always reflect their offline brand and vice-versa. In today’s marketplace your website is a key component of your overall brand and marketing strategy, and to treat it as any less is a waste of a tool in your toolbox. In fact to prospects its probably their first introduction to your firm, your lawyers and their expertise. What is it they say about first impressions?
The firm’s website is not responsive or mobile friendly and is using old technology to render the pages. Not only does it look bad on mobile devices and tablets but it has upset Google enough by its lack of mobile functionality that your website rankings are sinking fast into obscurity. (Note: If you’re still using flash on your site call 911 now. You know who you are..or maybe not!).
… and Bing, and Yahoo. In other words, the SEO on your website is a disaster. The law firm and its lawyers are ranking (if at all) well below your competitors on Google. Remember the old internet saying, “the best place to hide a dead body…page 2 of Google’s search results“.
The “rainmaker” and “young gun” lawyers may want to do more with the firm’s website as part of their business development efforts, e.g. blogs, videos, webinars, social media, event registration, distribute content to prospects and clients, so as to better demonstrate their expertise and skills.
Your site is essentially a brochureware site that does not generate any track-able leads or referrals, or engage clients and prospects in any meaningful conversations which can be ultimately converted to “real world” dialogues and new business. What could be one of your best business development tools is no more than a static phone directory.
If some of these points raise a flag for your website, it needs some work. If most, or all, of them resonate, you need a new website!
Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some of the next steps you should take if your law firm needs a new website and will be discussing the key elements to success in more detail. If in the meantime you need help analyzing your existing website to determine how to move forward, or would like to discuss any of the issues above, feel free to reach out to me directly and I would be more than happy to assist.
Robert Foley is Co-Founder and Chief Digital Officer at fSquared Marketing. He has over 15 years experience defining, building and managing large-scale websites and digital solutions for top professional services companies and law firms in both Canada and the U,S.
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