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What makes a good law firm website?

What makes a good law firm website?

Good question and the answer starts with a few simple but often difficult questions.

What do you actually want it to do?

Is your law firm website primarily there to attract and convert “cold” new clients or is it there to act as a capability statement for “warm” referred clients?

The best law firm conversion sites aren’t capability statements and vice versa therefore if you are trying to do both there has to be a compromise.

The best law firms’ websites are a mix of separate conversion sites aimed at specific market segments and a generalist “mothership” website that’s primary role is for hygiene and capability assessment.

 

Ideal law firm website setup

 

Either way a good law firm website should;

  • Differentiate the firm
  • Highlight expertise over services and service-based attributes
  • Put the client and their needs before the firm
  • Provide insightful and meaningful content
  • Prioritise substance over form
  • Not be a chest-beating exercise

Breaking up your online presence might sound scary and shoehorning everything into a one size fits all box might be more efficient but is counterproductive to a well-differentiated and positioned law firm website.

It becomes even more problematic if your main goal is conversion over capability.

The problem with the “one size fits all” law firm website

Just the fact that you mix B2C practice areas with B2B practice areas highlights the problem, for example, it’s not uncommon for a generalist law firm to have both a commercial property practice and a family law practice under the one brand umbrella.

  • If you were looking for a family lawyer, do you care that the firm has a commercial property practice?
    No, not unless you are a commercial property owner looking for a divorce. Your actual position as an expert family law firm is weakened by the commercial arm and vice versa.
  • Do family law and commercial property occupy the same homepage real estate?
  • If you want to optimise for family law SEO purposes is that harder with a site full of non-family law based content?
    Yes, it is!
  • What about the other practice areas – do your commercial clients really want you promoting personal injury or unfair dismissal claims?

The more practice areas you have the more the problem is compounded and what you end up with is a poorly differentiated law firm website that appeals to everyone and no one.

More on B2C Versus B2B buyers of law

Obviously, they 2 are different buyers types with one thing in common – they need a lawyer but the key differences that matter from a marketing perspective are;

  • The difference in the length of the buying cycle
  • The need for an event to trigger buying
  • The emotional/personal involvement
  • The dollar value of the file
  • Whose money they are spending and its tax deductibility
  • The likelihood of referral versus direct buy
  • Existing subject matter knowledge
  • One-off versus ongoing legal requirements

There are more differences, but you get the picture and they all affect your ability to influence the buying decision.

The less ability you have to affect a buyer’s decision the more you have to rely on subjectivity and/or greater brand awareness spending most of which is unmeasurable and high wastage.

To learn more about how to create a great law firm website please feel free to refer to the following guides

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