In my opinion, the world is too caught up in the concept of a website.
Websites did not even exist ten years ago. We did not have this insecurity about what we are doing for our website . We were more concerned with what we did to get work and further enhance our reputation.
We do not have the yellow pages anymore, so lawyers say, okay, I have a website. The same family law lawyer who had to buy a quarter-page ad in the telephone book paid $15,000 for that before. Now the lawyer is worried about spending $500 or $600 for a website. Lawyers may have a false impression that just because they put up a website, even an attractive one, they are going to get a significant number of visitors at the site.
Websites are getting diluted to the point where they look like the yellow pages. So how do people decide whom to hire? How many websites do you read where somebody says, “we are fully committed to client service”? Nobody says, “Hey, I am slightly above average” or “I am almost as good as these other people.”
To some extent the website is helpful. You want to have core information here. You want to go to Google to register for local search and have your website hooked into that so you are found.
But you really want to create an effective Internet presence. An effective Internet presence is bigger than a website—it does not come from having a website that can be seen all the time. Effective Internet presence is the ability to communicate and demonstrate expertise. It is what causes people to talk about you online. We network more online now than we do offline.