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Keys to a good law firm Web site

November 22, 2003

Creating a good law firm blog or Web site does not have to be hard. It also does not have to be a process you hand off to someone else beacuse you think it is beyond you. By keeping a few key things in mind you’ll go a long way to helping yourself.

When doing or redoing your site, keep these principals in mind:

  • Look sharp. Be professional. Make your site look sites people regularly see on the net, not necessarily what other lawyer sites look like. Think of the sites you enjoy using and return to on a regular basis.
  • Be well organized. Make it easy for your users to find their way around and to readily find what they are looking for. Organization comes before look and feel.
  • Be personable. Be yourself. A blog or Web site is an expression of you and your firm. Present yourself in a way that makes you feel comfortable. A Web site is something that you should have fun building and adding to over time. Your site will fail if you do not feel great about what you are doing.
  • Communicate. The Internet may be the best communication tool ever invented but communication is two-way, not merely a broadcast. Your site must create interaction between you and your existing clients & clients prospective.
  • Use common sense in what you present and how you present it. It’s just the Internet, not rocket science or brain surgery.
  • Blend lots of useful legal information with information about the firm. People come to your site first to obtain information on how to solve the problem they face not to find information about you.
  • Be ready to publicize your site on and off the Internet. Getting the Web site up is just the start. The site is only an interactive business card chock full of information. You will need to develop and execute plans for ‘bringing the world’ to your site.
  • Make it easy for site users to contact the firm. Your contact information should be everywhere on the site, preferably on each page.
  • Your site is to both retain existing clients and draw new clients. Your site needs to be a resource for existing clients so that they continue to use you as their lawyer and so that they tell others about you.
  • Make the site a rallying point for the firm. A good Web site creates camaraderie between all firm employees, both staff and lawyers. The site should tell each other all the good stuff you do for people. Employees can learn who is doing what and for whom. They may even start to tell friends and relatives about what you do.
  • Make the site work for you and continue to regularly work the site. A Web site is a breathing entity unlike a firm brochure or a directory listing. You need to be ready to add to and update the site all the time. Whatever you do, create a site that makes doing so easy.

Just because you hire someone to do your Web site does not mean you will be on the outside looking in during the construction and evolution of the site. You have a big role to play from beginning to what really never ends. These key points should keep you headed in the right direction.

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