Most attorneys and law firms don’t fully leverage the power of the Internet. They think of their website as an extended brochure that is placed in cyberspace to (hopefully) be stumbled upon by a prospective client. Once the client finds the website, he is then bombarded by facts, figures and information about the ATTORNEY and not about the problem he is looking to solve.
Thinking You Don’t Need an Online Presence
The proliferation of internet use has made it so that virtually everyone looking for an attorney searches online as their main tool for research. A firm that doesn’t have a strong online presence is failing to reach a great cross section of potential clients and just giving up those potential clients to their competitors.”
Not Owning the Website Domain Name
No one other than the attorney should own the domain address used for a lawyer’s website. If someone else owns the domain, the lawyer is at their mercy. That person or company could fail to renew the domain registration, intentionally or accidentally delete the account, shut it down over a billing dispute with the lawyer, or go out of business without the lawyer knowing it until the firm’s website disappeared.
Many attorneys spend good money on a website that visually dazzles their prospective clients. These sites use fancy animation and sophisticated graphics that are designed to impress the visitor. Here is a revelation: When your prospective client comes to your website, they don’t care about fancy stuff. They only care if you can help solve their problem.
Remember the KISS rule – keep it simple, stupid. If you absolutely insist on using a flash or slider intro on your landing page, at least include an option for visitors to skip it to go straight to what they are really wanting to see. People who come to a law firm website are looking for legal information, not special effects.
Failing to Provide Substantive Legal Information
Failing to provide substantive legal information is another frequent mistake in lawyer websites. People looking at a lawyer’s website are not as interested in the lawyer as they are in the legal issue that drove them to look for a lawyer. What people really want is information about their problem. An attorney who merely claims to be an expert on some area of law does not convince people as much as the attorney who posts articles or blog posts demonstrating that expertise. An attorney who is competent enough to advertise expertise in an area of law practice should know the subject well enough to provide some basic information on a website. Use that knowledge to gain more clients.
Focusing on driving traffic instead of clients’ needs
You can spend every bit of your marketing budget on ads that will drive users to your site. But if you’re not providing the information your clients are after, they’ll head straight back to Google. Make sure the right information is displayed quickly and clearly.
Not thinking ‘mobile-first’
Too many websites for law firms fail to consider how the site will look across different devices. With the rise in mobile device browsing, mobile responsive design has become key to good customer experience. Mobile users won’t expect to see the same view of your site as the desktop version. If they have to excessively scroll or zoom in, they’re likely to get fed up and go elsewhere.
Using irrelevant stock marketing images and clichés
Stock images of courtrooms, gavels, skylines and handshakes won’t get you anywhere with clients. Be personal and use your site to show off your human side. Websites for law firms should showcase your brand and give a true impression of the business. You’ll get a much better response from customers who feel like they’re interacting with real people.