Friday, January 20, 2012
Many law firm websites include a “resources” page with a long list of links to legal, governmental, news, search engines and general websites (like weather.com). For the most part, these links are useless to visitors. How many clients come to you to figure out what the weather is like or how to find the link to the White House’s website? When developing a resources page for your clients and colleagues, it’s important that you put some thought into what visitors are looking for when they arrive to your site. Here are some suggestions for enhancing your “Resources” page:
Articles: With many areas of law, clients are intimidated and anxious to learn more about their options and the process. Articles with some general information can help to ease those fears. If you are an estate planning attorney, you might consider adding an article detailing the basics of estate planning or even list books which your clients might purchase for additional insight.
FAQs: When prospective clients come to your site, they have questions and lots of them; questions about their legal matter, your firm and why they should work with you. Make a list of the questions that you are asked most often and create a helpful set of answers to assist site visitors.
Costs: Now we’re not saying that you should give out your fee structure online but you might consider explaining to your clients how the legal fees will work. If you can give a percentage as with a probate matter or personal injury case, this is helpful. If you offer a free consultation or flat fees, be sure to include this information here. You might also point out if your fees are typically less than those charged by attorneys with similar experience and expertise.
Court Information: Many of your clients will have no prior experience working within the legal system so even things that you find to be elementary will be invaluable to many. On one site we developed, the firm outlined what a client should wear to court and where the best parking lot was nearby. This little stuff will help to put your clients at ease, save your office from a few phone calls and help your clients to realize what a great resource you are.
Client Forms: When clients come to meet with you for the first time, you likely supply them with a stack of forms and documentation which they will have to complete. Give them a jump-start by supplying this information to them on your website. When an initial meeting is scheduled, have your assistant email them a link to this information.
As with any information on your website, your “Resources” page should be well planned and designed with your website visitors in mind. Despite what some popular website developers might suggest, providing a list of links to common sites will not help you with the search engines and it certainly won’t help you connect with your clients.