Does the website matter anymore? Do people still use, or even care about, websites? With the proliferation of social platforms and mobile obsessions, these are legitimate questions.
The short answer is an emphatic “Yes” to both.
And in the legal world, the website is still one of the most important segments of your owned media dominion. The reason?
Your website is under complete control of your law firm – everything from the look and feel to the messaging and the content.
The most effective sites today are living and breathing communication hubs that exist as a central brand platform and conversion point. And, not coincidentally, they cost more to create. However, you’ll see the value of that investment comes back 7-fold—and more.
Think of your website as your law firm’s:
- Digital Storefront
- Brand Building Block
- 24/7/365 Employee
- First Impression Maker
- Lead Generating Machine
- Information Hub
- Thought Leadership Platform
It’s Your Digital Storefront
Let’s start with the basics. When someone is searching for a law firm in relation to a location or specific type of legal case, you want your law firm’s website to come up, right? Online leads are still prized by your business, correct?
Without a modern, highly optimized website filled with original content and all the organic search triggers Google loves, you are undiscoverable to the majority of potential clients who begin a legal search online.
In the digital “mall” of lawyers, your storefront didn’t get a corner spot. If your website is not updated, positioned and tracked for performance, it’s like you don’t exist. And that’s no way to win cases.
It’s Your Brand Building Block
Creating consistency in your legal brand—your signature selling points—is critical to your reputation. Whether potential clients understand it or not, they are looking for a dependable set of messages that prove your firm reliable, trustworthy and the best firm for their specific case.
Your website is that one quality-controlled digital presence, integrated with other owned-media channels, that users can count on. Unlike a social platform, where in effect you “rent” the message space, on your website you control the entire experience. You can give visitors everything they need to know to make an informed decision about your practice.
It’s Your First Impression Maker
The Web is the first place people go for information. Because it’s easy, and because you can poke around for facts and figures without ever having to talk to someone. So when someone searches Google for a law firm in your state, and your website pops up, that might be your first (and only) chance to impress them.
If your site looks shoddy, doesn’t have enough information, can’t be viewed across different browsers and devices, and doesn’t allow people to connect when they’re ready to reach out, you might have lost a chance at a highly lucrative case… and not even know it.
It’s Your 24/7/365 Employee
In the old days, the look and feel of a law office was mission critical. People strolling past might come in for a chat. Most initial meetings took place in person. Today, the reception desk has moved online. When people come to your web “office,” you need to have an official “receptionist” ready to meet and greet in the most professional and courteous way possible in the digital space.
In fact, you might consider your website your hardest working employee. It’s on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Why wouldn’t you invest in a tool that welcomes new clients and sets expectations—and appointments—helping you convert window shoppers to paying customers?
It’s Your Lead Generating Machine
When connected in all the crucial ways to your online audiences, websites are lead-generating machines. Ads and email campaigns send people directly to your site; your database can be linked to your site and mined for targeted marketing strategies, and your live chat or digital points of contact create another lifeline for clients.
Your website is the nucleus of your Internet intake strategy, and it must generate leads – in the form of phone calls, contact forms, live chats, or even social follows.
It’s Your Information Hub
Once people get to your law firm’s website, either through a search or through a digital ad campaign, they need enough well organized and clearly presented information to make an educated decision about whether or not your firm can help their specific situation.
Your website is a concentrated storehouse of real-time information—firm facts, brand boasts, actionable intelligence, video assets, news, linked reviews, and more. It’s where people will go, and perhaps return, to learn more or to contact you.
It’s Your Thought Leadership Platform
For the set of potential clients, partners or other interested parties who want to dig deeper or validate your legal expertise, your website is a platform for demonstrating thought leadership and positioning your firm as a knowledgeable go-to resource.
There are endless opportunities to show your legal capabilities through regular blog contributions from your legal experts, informative videos set in your office environment, through white papers on specific legal topics, and as an online guide to more information.
By leveraging your website—and your brand—as an intelligence tool, you build a reputation as a trusted source and industry thought leader. And if you don’t invest in your website, you’ll lose out on an untold number of potentially high-value cases.