He wants a strong internet presence and doesn’t just want a website with 4-5 pages of uninteresting and irrelevant content that never changes.
He uses social media like Twitter and Facebook and wants to have this as an integral part of the website to allow his business reach out to clients who now expect this to be part of every website that they visit.
As part of my research for this project I looked at the current range of legal websites that were in the Cork area to see what was the quality of site out there..
I was surprised in some cases as I expected to see the usual boring approaches of using the legal scales and courtroom backgrounds. This wasn’t the case but there was a lot of work that they could still do to bring their sites up to date and provide more value to clients who visit.
It is critical that your website delivers an excellent customer experience for the visitor and starts their potentially life long engagement with you. Failing to make this link in the first visit may mean you losing a client that will stay with you for many years.
Listed below are some of the areas that worked on the sites that I visited and some that didn’t seem to have been done as well.
No Social Media Usage
It might not seem that solicitor or barrister would need social media but if you want to target a young and mobile customer base social media channels as Twitter and Facebook can be used very very effectively to display the companies focus and message.
Only one of the sites I looked at had a visible presence that I could see. The New York Bar recently had an article which said it was OK to use social media to do juror research . It is a contentious issue in the age of privacy laws.
If you plan to use social media in your office it makes sense to establish some simple policies and approaches. This of course should apply to all businesses and a one page sheet of guidelines which will make a big difference to the quality of what you are pushing out to your social channel.
Ad Hoc Approach to Content
From looking under the ‘hood’ quickly it looked like most of them were static sites so to update them would require some HTML knowledge. Some seemed to have some form of a Content Management System (CMS) but this was the exception.
A content management system allows you to edit your website without having any technical knowledge. Most now just need you to be able to login and use a simple editor. These systems allowing this editing power are now dominating the market.
In the past if you didn’t know the HTML language then you had to pay someone for every single edit. Now as most people can use Word, with a CMS you can edit easily and change your content and message in seconds.
Several of them were making an effort to write about what was happening in the legal space and speaking to findings.
With content marketing now being a backbone of any successful website business nearly all were sadly lacking in a consistent approach. While I am not looking for a solicitor to become the Mashable of the law it would be great to see educated commentary on line to what is happening in Irish law today.
Approach to Sites
It is great to see solicitors with websites. 5-6 years ago this was the exception,
I was pleasantly surprised to see that in most cases they were of a reasonable standard. Being able to edit themselves would give them a step ahead of the competition however as people are hungry for information these days and as and when news come out in the legal arena they look to their solicitor to have some opinions.
With a strong online forum or even a news section on your website you can easily post a note on new legal developments in seconds and be ahead of the competition
Here are some additional tips that you should consider adding to your site tha would attract new customers and improve your reach in your market.
- Make sure that your site shows up well in all the modern browsers Chrome and Firefox are now more and more popular.
- I spotted a few broken links. Broken links are links that go nowhere. This could be due to pages being deleted or links to other sites that no longer exist. It happens to all of us. Check your links regularly as links do age and disappear. I can help you check links on a site wide basis. Broken links send a bad message to Google and customers.
- Think of using social media. IT isn’t just for kids and geeks these days and tons of Cork and Irish businesses use it very well.
- Think about writing regularly on your website on your area(s) of expertise. People appreciate it and will come back regularly to read about it.