Five things to know before you set up a website for your law firm
If you’re reading this article, I will assume that you are well aware that today people don’t use Yellow Pages to search for a lawyer - they use Google. So if you don’t have a website, your law firm is missing out, period. I won’t be persuading you why you need a website, it’s better that you learn what to do and not to do when setting up a website for your law firm. Hopefully this info will save you money and time.
Let’s get into it:
1. Be in control: Own your domain name and hosting
Don’t fall for the most common trap of ‘dodgy web developers’; They kindly offer to organise and purchase the domain name and hosting on your behalf. Mostly, this means that your website is in a wholesale account owned by your web developer, which means:
• You will not get full access to your domain name and your website.
• The web developer will add his/her commission to the price and often charge you a monthly fee for maintenance of these accounts. (Big reveal: These accounts don’t need any maintenance.)
• You’re locked into your contract with them and you have no option to move to a cheaper provider without asking your web developer to assist you. And this is where all problems start.
• Your web developer will receive notifications of renewal of these accounts, and often, they will renew them before even consulting with you if you wish to proceed with the renewal.
I can go in detail about what’s wrong with this scenario, but I think you get the picture. If you don’t own your domain name and hosting, you have no control over your website - your business asset!
Read more on how to spot a ‘dodgy’ web developer?
2. WordPress rocks
You might ask “what on earth is WordPress?” Without sounding too technical, WordPress is a content management system to build websites. Here is why we love it:
• It’s easy to use, even for the non-tech-savvy. This means that you can write a blog, post images and make changes yourself, without hiring any IT professional.
• It's highly customisable and its functions are ever evolving. This means your website can be anything you want: A business card, a blog, a shop, portfolio or all these together. And if you later need additional functions, they can easily be added.
• It's SEO-friendly, giving your website the best chance of good search results. People will actually find you.
• You can change the look of your website easily and cheaply, whilst preserving all content you’ve created through the years.
• You can choose who you wish to work with as it is so widespread that you can find a web developer anywhere.
3. Beware of custom designed websites
By custom built website I mean a website coded from a scratch. Why?
• Custom built websites take time to build and they cost a lot;
• If you don’t know the code, you will not be able to make changes yourself;
• There are good and bad coders. If the code is messy, Google may have problems ranking your website – which means it is less likely to show up in search results.
If you’re running a business, you don’t need to spend a fortune to have a unique, modern, and, more importantly - functional website. Build a Wordpress website using a pre-designed template, which then gets customised to your needs. This way you know in advance what you’re getting, and you spend less, which means more money for finding clients.
4. Put up an awesome website
I’m not talking about the trendiest design. This is about content of your website. Don’t just dump information from your old brochures. A website is for many potential clients, their first impression of you. Make it count.
A professional looking, simple to navigate, informative website, that speaks directly to your target audience and connects with them, will position you as an authority in your field. Authority equals more clients.
Don’t just give information - give value.
5. Be a person, not a firm
For many members of the public dealing with a lawyer is a daunting and scary affair. It’s your responsibility to relieve their fears and this starts on your website. Your website is about your clients and how can you help them.
Yes, show your authority, qualification and how much you’ll be able to help them, but this is not an ego fest. Pardon my bluntness, but people don’t care about you, they care about what you can do for them.
If you do this part right, you will set your website and your law firm apart from the majority of other law firms online.
Having a user friendly website for your law firm is a great start for your online marketing journey. But like a shop, unless someone enters, you have no means to turn them into your client. A good website should be supported by a good marketing strategy.
To find out more contact Weblicious Solutions.