In the past few weeks, attorneys have been asking me to look at their websites and give them my opinion.
I want to state at the outset that I am no expert on websites. I looked at their websites purely as a potential client might take a look.
Before I go any further, I want to ask when was they last time you looked at your website? When someone asks me to take a look at their website, the first question I ask is when was the last time you looked at your website. More often than not the answer is: “I don’t remember or when it first went live”. You spend good money to get your website up and are you sure it is even working. You would be surprised at how many websites for one reason or another simply are not working. Someone going to your website gets an “error message”. Guess what; they go on to the next sight. SO, as soon as you read this check you own website to see if it is even up and also check for some of the problems I will be pointing out.
I would suggest that you or someone in your office make it a regular habit to check your website. Put it on your calendar to check it at least every other week.
I digressed a bit with the above, but let me now continue discussing what I found on some of the websites I looked at and I hope you are not making the same mistakes. Again I was looking at these websites as a client or potential client would.
Many lawyers I speak with tell me that in the type of practice they have, potential clients are not going to their websites to find them. They say they realize that it is important for the consumer lawyers, i.e.,. personal injury, bankruptcy, divorce and criminal law to have a good website but since their practice does not fit the “consumer practice” potential clients are not looking for them on the internet. THEY ARE DEAD WRONG!
If you are say for instance an Estate Planning lawyer and I refer you to a friend, even though that friend respects my opinion, most likely the first thing my friend is going to do is go to your website and check you out. What does your website say about you, would you hire you based on how you come across on your website.
Again, I am not going to comment on the pictures you use or the number of pages you have, etc., because honestly I am no expert in this area. My comments will be solely directed to some very glaring and potentially damaging aspects of your website.
If you were a “SUPER LAWYER” in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, and there is nothing listed after that people will wonder what happened. If you were such a great lawyer in those years, what are you still not a “SUPER LAWYER”, what happened, what kind of a lawyer are you now? Listing yourself as a super lawyer may be good if it is current, but other than that it can be very detrimental. I am not sure of the ethical considerations, and you might want to check this out, but if you were a “SUPER LAWYER for a number of previous years, perhaps you can just point that out that you were designated as a super lawyer and leave out the dates. Again, you will need to check on the ethics of doing this.
Another area has to do with blogs. I believe that it is important that you do have a blog. However, you need to consistently post. On two of the sites that I looked at, one blog was last posted to in 2013 and on another site the other blog was posted in the latter part of 2014. Again what would this say to you as a potential client looking at your site and seeing that you last posted months and even years ago?
Do you have a “testimonial tab”? If you do make sure you have many testimonials posted. One site I looked at simply said: “testimonials coming soon” That sure is a confidence builder, I don’t have any testimonials, but I am sure someone will post one for me soon.
The comments I have made in no way are indicative of every website that I have looked at. There are some great ones out there, my only point here is to take a look at yours as a potential client would and simply ask yourself: “would a potential client hire me based on what they see on my website”?
If you would like me to take a quick look at your website and make some comments, please let me know.
James E. Thompson, JD is the President of Lawyers Marketing Resource a company dedicated to helping lawyers grow their practice. You can contact him at jet@lawyersmarketing resource.com.
He is the author of “Why Lawyers Fail to Get the Referrals they Deserve and Need to Grow Their Practice and What They Can Do About It” and “Why Most Lawyers FAIL at Getting Referrals from Other Lawyers and How to Change That” If you would like an ebook copy of either or both books visit his web site: www.lawyersmarketingresource.com and you will find instructions on how to get the books