Are law firm websites a substitute for networking? Of course not. There will never be a substitute for traditional business development activities like networking, getting referrals through partners, and co-presenting with complementary services firms. In other words, “feet on the street” and referral lead generation will never be supplanted as a law firm’s top source of new clients. However, in our digitally-centric world, where your firm is brought to life on the web, you need to up your game.
A polished, professional brand is paramount for success.
A best-in-class website (as mentioned in our first post – you are competing against big law on the web) is a critical part of your brand. Also, it is huge for your business development efforts. As such, your website is a credibility check and confidence builder among referrals, prospects, a potential source of fresh leads. Likewise, it is the hub of all other marketing activities (press releases/news, blogs, bio updates, events, etc.).
Certainly, to set yourself apart, you need to look and act the part – in the eyes of your prospects, clients – and equally important, Google.
You need a site that:
- brings a professionally developed brand to life;
- is engineered with the end in mind;
- is highly configurable to suit your firm’s specific needs, tastes, and points of differentiation;
- delivers an instant credibility check;
- presents a logical and easy-to-follow conversation/lead capture funnel;
- dramatically simplifies ongoing management so you can post, blog, add news and events – all the things you need to to do stay visible with Google and top-of-mind with prospects;
- enables you to easily tie thought leadership articles and blogs to the specific attorney page and practice area;
- is search-engine ready;
- displays properly on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones;
- is secure;
- is fully integrated with marketing automation systems and social media;
- leverages existing content and work; and
- delivers the right tone and message from the inward-facing “what we do” to the outward-facing “why we are the right choice for you.”
Above all, remember that a potential client or referral source will visit your website – often before contacting you. Therefore, make sure it make as good of an impression as you would. To sum, in the world of websites, make your firm’s the best it can be.