The Real Reason Your Law Practice Needs a Website
Your practice needs a website because your practice must have a proper presence on the Internet. This is true even if you are not on the first, second or even third Search Engine Results Page (SERP) of relevant search results. Your website can and probably will draw new clients, but don’t be fooled by all the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) professionals promising to place you on the first page of all relevant search results. With proper SEO and constant attention, including publishing quality content on a regular basis, you can achieve good search results. However, it’s mathematically impossible for every practice’s webpage to be appear on the first SERP. That is not the purpose of your website and achieving such results takes a great deal of time and money.
I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t compete for the first page. I’m just saying that if you can’t you still must have a quality website for your practice. The most important function of your website is not to GAIN new clients, but to make sure that you don’t LOSE new clients. You may not get a lot of potential clients that find you because of your website. However, a large percentage of potential clients who are considering your firm will visit your website to find out more about you. That is why you have to have a website that can close the deal. Your website is your firm brochure. Spell out what you do, who you are and why people should hire you.
Your website is a great place to develop your “brand.” You should have a “Testimonials” page, although you probably shouldn’t call it that. Whatever you call it, it is effective to have positive comments or “reviews” on your website as people are now conditioned to look for reviews for everything from products, to restaurants and now even to professionals. A page listing case “results” is also a useful selling tool, though be sure to adhere to all ethical requirements regarding confidentiality. The cases you are likely to want to talk about on your “results” page will be high profile cases and the facts may identify your clients. Consult your clients before publishing anything about their cases out of courtesy, if nothing else, even if the facts are public record.
Have your basic contact information readily available on every page of your website, not just on your “Contacts” page. There will be people who Google your firm name just to get a telephone number, possibly because they received your name from a friend. Don’t make them search for your telephone number. Put your basic contact information one every page because they can arrive on your site on any page, not necessarily the home page. Your Email, fax number, contact form, etc., may be confined to the Contacts page, but whenever anyone arrives at any page on your site you want them to be able to see at least your general location, so they can determine if your office location works for them, and your phone number so they can call you.
A good website provides landing pages for online marketing campaigns. If you want to use Google Ads, etc., you will need good landing pages to convert the leads. You can have landing pages that market each of your practice pages individually so as to maximize the chances of converting a lead interested in a particular practice area when they reach a particular landing page. You also need a good website and landing pages to convert leads that reach you through online directories such as the Alphalegal Directory. Make sure your directory listings include your website address.
In addition to what we have already discussed, there are more advanced reasons to have a good website. Your website may serve as a client portal where you can have clients provide information for their cases and access their case documents. You can use your website to accept payments for invoices and retainers. Not everyone has to go that far with their website to benefit their practice, but everyone should have a good website capable of informing the public about their practice and converting leads to clients. Having such a website is no longer a luxury. It is a minimum requirement for a legal practice in the United States.
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