Law Firm Websites ~ Under Construction

under construction

Having spent the best part of yesterday looking at innumerable websites, I am drawn to the conclusion – as much as it pains me to say so – that they suck!

A website is not just a nice thing to have, it is a business critical platform to the world – your clients’ World.

Design

Do they leave me thinking WOW, Amazing, Brilliant or Cutting Edge?

No.

My impression: design is not important.

But let’s face it emotion sells: Apple being pre-eminent in the stable of WOW products.

Functionality

OMG!

Can you make it any harder.

One, two, three, four and five clicks in order to find what I am looking for and then it is written in 6/8 point size.

And I didn’t even bother to look at the sites on my mobile.

Pictures

I wonder if people know what impression their picture presents?

More smiles p-l-e-a-s-e.

Trying to look serious just frightens people off.

Serious doesn’t connote worldly wise. It just looks as if you are tying too hard. I did come across a few people who looked like they were genuinely having a good time, rather than being embarrassed into pretending!

Many pictures were out of focus, the backdrop was the ubiquitous All England law books (snooze), and there was no consistency between respective people and or departments.

As to dress code, the men all decided on ties and dark suits, and the ladies on a slightly eclectic mix of fashion. I am not suggesting you go the British Airways uniform route, but come on decide what sort of image you are after.

Content

This is in itself warrants a whole book.

When was the last time you read what you said about yourself, the firm or your news?

Dull.

Dull.

Dull.

Sorry, but just because you can dictate a verbose letter and counter pedantic arguments in another prolix response doesn’t mean you can write (I have’t forgotten all my lawyer-centric words).

My favourite writer right now is Steven Pressfield.

He doesn’t use superfluous text. Every word is carefully placed. That doesn’t mean he fills every page unlike most websites.

Give a lawyer white space and they think it has to be filled.

More is not just less it positively draws your clients in.

Blogs

I looked at in excess of 30 sites and I found two blogs.

And…

They were out of date.

A regurgitation of case law is not going to earn the attention of your clients.

Stop it.

Think context.

Ask yourself what would be truly valuable to your clients.

Before you start a blog, you need to get everyone on board. Come on, how many (real) writers do you have in your midst? Very few, if any.

It’s bloody hard to get lawyers to change their habits. Asking them to blog without more is like asking them to jump through a burning hoop naked. It just won’t happen.

Show me the MONEY

Only one firm bothered to show me the money i.e. they were prepared to offer fixed fees.

Clients hate, hate, hate surprises.

“What, how much!”

Clinging like grim death to the hourly model. It won’t wash.

No more brochures, please

Trust me this is not rocket science.

There are gazillions of blogs out there that are better than your website.

Please stop treating your website as another brochure. Ask yourself, when was the last time you bought a product from a brochure?

Think multi-media.

Think YouTube.

Think sound.

Think remarkable content.

Construction

Websites don’t cost the earth.

They are not difficult to build.

And design is not just for brands (see above).

Yours can look cool, WOW and imaginative.

Given the proclivity of your clients to start with a Google search, surely it deserves more than the desultory attention that it currently receives.

In my view, leaving social media to one side, if you are serious about building your firm then please pay attention to your website.

My advice: spend time every day focusing your effort on making it the best in the world – your World.

 

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