For many law firms, a full web site redesign is a luxury not currently possible. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on every effort to improve your web site. Below is a list of 10 ways to make your current site work better for your firm. See how many of these you can accomplish. And, if you have additional tips — specific ways you’ve improved your current web site — please use the comment feature on this post to add yours. Thanks!
1. Update Attorney Bios. Make sure your attorney bios are up to date. Highlight recent significant experience, link to recent articles and seminars, and update any memberships, board positions, and attorney accolades. Attorney bios are the most read pages on any law firm site, so make sure they are up to date and that they effectively position your attorneys for the types of work that they are currently pursuing.
2. Update Attorney Photos. Are your attorney bios an asset or a liability? Using a good professional photographer who can retouch photos to present attorneys at their best is a worthwhile investment.
3. Rewrite Practice Area Descriptions. Chances are your practices and the type of work you emphasize has changed since your web site went live. Also, make sure you highlight some of your most recent, relevant experience in the types of work that you most covet — even if in a quick list of bullets. Be sure list the services you offer in the vernacular of your clients and their needs, not in lawyer speak. Remember that people come to your web site, often on a recommendation, to see if you are indeed a good fit for their needs. Make sure your web pages give them what they are looking for.
4. Clean Out The Closets. Eliminate information that is out of date, such as news releases about attorneys who are no longer with the firm, and fix or eliminate broken links. Mine the archives and take old articles out of circulation, and/or update and recycle them by republishing the updated version. Don’t let your web visitors find skeletons in your closet. Show that your house is in order.
5. Rewrite the Directions Page. Add better directions to your offices and create a page (or pages) that can be easily printed out for driving directions that includes all important information such as address, phone numbers, etc. Provide links to popular mapping sites such as Google Maps so visitors can get additional location information. For many, using the directions to your offices from your web site will be their very first interaction with your firm — make sure it is a good one!
6. Add Metadata. Add meaningful and unique “metadata” to each page of the web site, especially page titles and page descriptions to better position your site’s information for search engines.
7. Update Images. You can easily change the look of your site without redesigning it, simply by replacing the images used in your current design. If your site’s images have grown stale or don’t represent the look you want, you may be able to create new images at the same size and proportion as the old ones, and simply replace them for a brand new look.
8. Edit for Clarity and Conciseness. Take a look at all the language on your web site. Can you say it better? Shorter? Use more specific examples? Break up long blocks of text into smaller paragraphs, and use subheads to break up information and make it easier to scan. And, while you’re at it, edit to make sure the messaging on the web site is up to date with the messaging your lawyers are using in pitching their services.
9. Add an Informational Offer. Give away some free information that will help establish or confirm your expertise in a given area. For instance, a booklet on “Questions and Answers on Trademarks,” an online quiz on “Licensing for Video Game Developers,” or a PDF pamphlet on “What You Need To Know About Medical Malpractice Law in Vermont.” Doing so engages the visitor, and brings them one step closer to doing business with you. And once you have developed an informational product you can then leverage it in your print advertising and other integrated marketing programs.
10. Add More News. Show what your attorneys are up to by adding more news to your web site. Articles about attorney awards, speaking engagements, recent articles and press coverage will help to demonstrate the specific expertise of your attorneys and keep your site looking fresh in the eyes of both visitors and search engines.
See more articles on improving your web site on my Infoworks! site.