Does a business need a website?

My company, LexBlog, is going to find out as we move to a blog, as opposed to a website, for our Internet presence.

I’ve been asking the website question as to LexBlog’s Internet presence for the last year. So has my COO, Garry Vander Voort. We’ve both been blogging for a long time and believe a blog may do everything a website would do for us and more.

So last week we met as a group and decided that LexBlog would move to a blog as our web presence for now, as opposed to having a website. I pushed pretty hard for a number of reasons.

  • Every company talks of being real, genuine and authentic. We all know that is what customers, prospective customers and the influencers (bloggers, association leaders, reporters) are after. It’s how we build trust. But how many websites are real and authentic? They’re advertising and most people do not trust advertising. A recent white paper from Avvo said less than one-third of Millennials are influenced by a website in their decision on who to hire as a lawyer.
  • Websites are a suck of time. I hear all the time that a law firm or company is working on its website. Every couple years, including at LexBlog, companies talk of upgrading their website. A huge amount of time goes into it. Once a website is done, if ever, marketing talks of drawing traffic to the website. Time is spent on trying to draw traffic, sometimes money is spent. Why? Does traffic to a website mean more revenue for most companies?
  • Your company is your people. Nothing more. Nothing less. Your team members need to grow as people, they need to build a name so they can go on and do great things. Your team members need to get known by your customers, prospective customers and the influencers of those two. Your team members sharing what they are learning internally and by following others in a real and vulnerable way attracts a following and an interest. Garry’s sharing his work, research and decisions on putting our health insurance benefits together is interesting stuff. Our CTO, Joshua Lynch’s sharing insight and research on a security matter is good stuff. By sharing other’s posts online and engaging the source, my team members build a network and build a name for themselves.
  • LexBlog is selling a blog publishing software product that is everything a lawyer or organization needs to make a name for themselves and grow their business. It’s odd if we don’t blog as a lead. We built our company with a blog. I like returning to our roots.

Just as a blog has sections about the publisher, what the publisher does/sells, and how to get hold of the publisher’s company, we’ll do the same with LexBlog. All the information about what our product, the plans offered, our people etc will be part of the blog.

It will be an evolution in stages. Stay tuned and I welcome your thoughts.

  • THANK YOU, Kevin and LexBlog for validating my decision to not have a website since establishing our blog in 2004. And in answer to the sometimes smart aleck question, “And so, Jerry, how has that worked out for you?” Pretty darn well, thank you. The thanks, in no small measure, to the great folks and minds at LexBlog. Happy New Year to all, and Best Wishes for a Health and Prosperous New Year.

    • You’re welcome, but I have come to know you well enough to know that website or not, blog or not, you’re engaging person doing high quality work while gets out and hustles to get it. The blog appears to have gotten your name out there so as to streamline that hustling. I mean hustling too in a very positive way. ;)

  • Contrarian thinking – always a provocative approach to problem-solving and creative thinking. About 100 lifetimes ago, I asked the same question about law firm brochures. When my answer was “no,” it resulted in creating a very different kind of tool to tell clients and prospective clients what the firm was all about.

    • I had not phrased it as contrarian thinking, but I am saying we ought to be different and do what others are not. We’ll learn a few things and we’ll likely be remembered as being different. And if I am told by team that someone looking for LexBlog’s business is different, I want to hear more.

      • Kevin, In my opinion, here is how you’ve been different. You’ve been answering the fundamental question, “What’s the right best fit for us?” and building your business around the ever evolving answer. We’ve refined our answer over the years with 10 characteristics, 7 of which are quantitative and the remaining 3 of which are qualitative. It’s these 3 that I’ve been thinking about since Election Day. So far, no conclusions.

        • It really is a “what is best for us?” Too many business just look at what everyone is doing and felling them. They’ll even measure success as others measure success – even if it makes no sense. I remember picking up a book on Guerilla Marketing by Conrad Levinson years ago. He listed 100 possible tactics. He asked us to score them by letter with C or E being not good for us right now. You just pushed those items aside even if others were doing them. You went with those items that sounded good and they were right for you then – the A’s.

          • I’m wrestling with this idea, frankly. I once had my blog embedded in my website… zero traffic, zero SEO enhancement. In the two months that I’ve been blogging independently from the website, I’ve shot up in the rankings. Hopefully, the next step is for the phone to begin ringing more. That completely validates the value of the blog.

            But my firm website still provides a credibility bump even though it’s less personable than my blog. It allows me to provide the “call me for help, because you can’t do this stuff by yourself”. I can’t do that on my blog without potentially raising the ire of the ethics overlords. Having two platforms– one for the sales-pitchy “here’s what we do, so contact us” stuff (website), and another for the informative/entertaining path to thought leadership (blog).

            They really work in tandem/complement each other.