Web Site Renovations – Part II

If your law firm Web site has decent architecture and a serviceable content management system, a face-lift or resurfacing may be just enough to get you through till the next generation of the Web hits the market.

If you’re having a tough time convincing yourself or your firm to invest in a face-lift, you’re not alone. Plastic surgeons are also wondering what to do in light of the down turn in elective surgeries.

Here are a few things you might consider to determine if the face-lift investment is right for your law firm:

1. What interactions are prospects having with your Web site?

It’s a fallacy to think that you “get” clients from Web sites. As I stated in Renovations Part I

Engaging someone to quarterback your legal needs is a high involvement purchase. It’s not like purchasing a book download for your Kindle.

Before signing the engagement letter, a prospect will do more than just visit your Web site. People use a variety of sources to find trustworthy information; including that which comes from the lawyers’ own mouths and from those they know, like and trust. Relationships.

There are a number of ways to gather that data.

2. Your can create a specific landing page with a call to action that requires the visitor to fill in a short, simple form. Call to action might be a give away something of value, a white paper, an audit of some sort, public domain cartoons they can use in presentations, anything that compels them to participate. Send them there via traditional marketing tactics; e.g. eNewsletters, advertisements, sponsorship events, etc. Make sure your page is optimized with key words to return high in key word searches and get some action from the general public.

3. Add a few questions in a client feedback form that draws out data about Internet usage and habits. Alternately, during a client interview ask your clients about what they do on the Web? What sites or services do they frequent to get their information? What kind of information do they go to the Web for? Do they read or read and participate. Do they buy stuff? How many hours a week are they on the Web?   It’s a short step from there to understanding the Internet usage of others in their industry that may be viable prospects.

4. Make sure you look at your Web stats a few days after submitting a proposal or going on a sales call. Did they go to your site? What pages did they visit? Did they download anything? Document that data and compare it monthly against client intake forms.

5. Use a service such as OpenTracker that shows you more than just the referring URL which may often be generic. It will convert the computer IP address to the name of the company. Who’s visiting you, what are they doing? How did they get there and WHY?

When you understand who’s visiting and understand what they want to know, you can determine if you should invest in an update to your law firm Web site. Key areas to update are:

1. Content. Reader friendly. Conversational. Benefit driven. Concise. Fresh. Contemporary. Key word rich.

2. Meta data. Title tags and page URL’s should be words, not code.

3. Design look and feel. Modern. Colorful. Clean. Simple. Avoid image cliches and flash.

4. Lots of resources. Content with links. Add blogs. Contact info in the footer of each page. Make it easy to find you. Good site search technology.

You may find that the perceived white elephant is actually a real work horse. Dress it up and you’re off to the races.

Can you add anything else to this list?

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