Thursday, August 27, 2009
The ABA Law Practice Management Section stresses the importance of effective attorney websites writing, “Above all, remember that your Web site is your most visible first impression. It also has a chance of being your second and third impression, if it is compelling enough to draw visitors back.”
In developing the first impression you want to convey to visitors, it is important that you determine who you are trying to attract with your web presence. The primary focus of your site might be recruiting new clients, networking opportunities with other advisors, providing updates and materials to current clients or even to serve as a recruitment vehicle for job and internship openings at your firm. With the right design and content, your website can be customized to appeal to any one of the groups listed above or to multiple audiences all at the same time.
The majority of law firms use their websites to recruit new clients. In order for this goal to be achieved, there must be strong search engine optimization techniques in place but also effective content which will appeal to those individuals searching for an attorney in your field.
When building and updating your legal website it is important to note that new clients will come across hundreds of lawyer directories and websites so it is essential that your content is easy to read and a good indicator of the type of services you provide. Be sure to clearly list your practice areas, your experience and what sets you apart from your competitors. Furthermore, if state ethics regulations allow, you may want to add testimonials from current clients who sing your praises. Our custom testimonial page allows you to easily add as many client testimonials as you see fit and formats these entries perfectly on your site every time.
Networking Opportunities with Other Professionals:
When someone refers your firm to another professional in your field or a fellow advisor reads an article of yours in a local publication, the first thing they are likely to do is Google your firm; with this search they are attempting to learn more about you and what you have to offer. Like potential clients, they may be interested in learning of your education, experience and your practice as a whole. Furthermore, they may be looking for notable cases and even big-name clients you have represented. You may consider having an “Advisors” section where you can list relevant articles for these professionals demonstrating your expertise and illustrating the mutual benefit which they may reap from working with you.
As a Resource for Your Current Clients:
In addition to attracting new clients, your site may serve as resource for existing clients. You may want to post client forms, toolkits or surveys on a “Clients Only” page. Zola Creative’s Site Manager even allows you to password protect pages, meaning that you can make certain pages in your site reserved for clients who will use a shared username and password to gain access. If your clients rely on you for explanations of current laws or cases in the news, you may want to send out newsletters or post new blog entries that explore the impact of the law.
To Recruit New Attorneys, Staff and Interns:
Posting your employment opportunities on major job sites can be expensive and quite time consuming as they often result in hundreds of resumes which must then be reviewed. A website that can be easily updated provides a perfect venue through which to recruit qualified and interested parties for open positions at your firm. An attractive site which outlines the strengths of your firm may catch the eye of promising interns who scour the web looking for summer jobs which will provide them with great experience under knowledgeable mentors in their area of law. Also, posting employment openings to your site allows clients or colleagues to review the information and refer potential employees. As with all job postings, it is important to provide a description of the position, requirements and preferred method of submission for resumes.
The Zola Creative Site Manager allows all of the previous suggestions to be easily implemented. With the ability to add unlimited custom pages and articles at any time, you can create unique sections that appeal to the many audiences you are trying to reach.