I am back from vacation – relaxed, refreshed, and thinking about websites. They are expensive. Very expensive. But on my recent trip, where I relied heavily on Google to get me to the websites of restaurants, activities, and other destinations on my vacation, I really, really, really began to understand why a website matters to the end-user – and Google.
We know that paying tens of thousands of dollars for a website is a tough pill to swallow. So let me put it to you this way. Why would I pay you $300 an hour to draft legal documents when I can go to some online legal site and get them done for WAY cheaper? I’ll let that sit with you for a minute (hint: it’s not your winning personality). There are a myriad of reasons: you are an expert, you will ask all of the questions to fully understand the situation to ensure 1) that my document is drafted properly, 2) that this is even the document I need given the circumstances, and 3) that I don’t need anything else. And – I am sure that there are even more reasons why you are better than some faceless legal technology company.
So why am I talking about this legal services site again? Because this zippy legal service is probably the equivalent to the website you have. It looks fine to you. It has a few pages, some words about what you do, and pictures — and it was inexpensive. But, the educated marketer knows that your website is not performing how it is supposed to, to get you the results you need to be successful.
As a law firm, you have options. Cookie cutter, templated websites from FindLaw, Martindale-Hubble and Weebly do a few things well:
- limit your options;
- hold you captive when it comes to making necessary updates to your site; and
- have you look, literally, like every other law firm out there.
Many firms think this approach is “good enough.” This is the same thinking that has given rise to legal service sites – clients see it’s cheap and they say they are lawyers, so they gonna roll the dice there. “Good enough” shouldn’t be for your firm.
Big law invests, on average, from $80,000 well into the six figures for new websites, with a site “refresh” costing about $30k. At the end of the day, you are competing for the same space and search rankings on Google as big law – so you are going to need to invest in your site if you want potential clients to find you. I know, I know, you are not big law and you are not spending money like that on your website. Guess what – you don’t have to invest $80k, or hell, even $30K on a new site.