Four Things Your Attorney Website Should Do for Your Law Firm

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How much mileage are you getting from your attorney website? 

Is it serving as a silent salesperson – generating leads and positioning you as an expert

Is it helping to make certain that the people you meet with have enough money to work with you?

Is your website working as hard as it should be to help you build your law practice?

Here are the four basic requirements of a law firm website.  Every attorney website should:

Generate Leads

This is the most important thing a website can do for any business especially a law firm or an individual attorney.  An attorney website must have some vehicle built in that allows the firm to follow up with visitors. 

Consider your website a silent consultant or salesperson.  You would not let a potential client off of the phone without getting some form of contact information from them - would you?  Of course you wouldn’t.  You need a way to follow up with your prospective client in the future.

You website should require visitors to enter contact information – at least an email address – in order to receive something of value.  This could be as simple as entering an email address in order to continue reading an article or entering an email address to access a “free tools” area. 

All of these email addresses are potential leads and many of them will turn into clients.

Find a way to turn your law firm website into a lead generation machine.

Qualify Prospective Clients

Not everyone is suited to be your client. 

You need to make certain the people that you meet with face-to-face are qualified to work with you.  One of the ways to qualify a prospective client is to help him understand the financial criteria you use in accepting potential clients.

If you require an upfront retainer, your website should say so.  If you take cases on contingency but they need to meet certain criteria, you should find a way to work that into the website content.  If there are certain types of cases that you absolutely will not take, under any circumstances, then you should spell those out on your attorney website as well.

We have one client that requires a $250 retainer just to set up an initial consultation.  That fee is then applied to the client’s balance in the first month of work.  Since the attorney requires the fee upfront (before he even sets a meeting with the client) he accepts a credit card on his website to cover the costs of this fee.  Naturally, if the client cancels the meeting or doesn’t show up the fee is not returned.

How many cancelled appointments do you think he has?

Educate Your Clients

I hear many clients (too many in fact) complain that they spend a huge amount of time educating their clients.  This education occurs on both law and business topics and it often falls into the realm of basic education (at least according to the attorneys).  Your website should take care of the majority of these educational opportunities.

On your website you should provide the basics for your clients in a way that they can understand and use as a reference.  An FAQ Section (frequently asked questions) is excellent but some video and audio files would be even better.

Clients who know what they want and how they want it are much easier to handle than clients who are clueless. 

Position You as an Expert

Have you appeared in the newspaper or on television?  Have you published any work that your clients might be interested in reading?  If the answer is “yes” all of that should be on your website.

If you have awards and recognition from governing bodies or a special certification, you should include it in some way on your website as well.

One of the best ways to position yourself as an expert is to share your opinions in writing on your website.  Doing this helps readers not only become familiar with you it also helps them see you as a confident individual with an opinion on the things that are important in your field. 

Today most attorney and law firm websites look like standard brochures.  They provide information on the firm and on its attorneys.  Your website can and should do a great deal more than that.