Business & Corporate Articles

Your Virtual Front Door

In the age of social media, it seems everyone is obsessed with their personal image. For good reason too, we are viewed through our phone and computer screens. When people are looking for you, they often Google you, or they check out your Facebook or Linkedin profile. The image you put out there on the “world wide web” is usually your first impression whether you know it or not.

The same is true for attorneys when it comes to their websites. While it is still common practice to acquire clients via referral and word of mouth, your virtual presence is just as important. When clients are looking for an attorney, they often whip out their phones and punch into Google what they are looking for. What they are met with is a long list of attorney websites.

How do they choose? Well they can read through every single website and hope they find something they like. They can go on Yelp or Avvo to see what people think of certain attorneys. Or they can be blown away by your website and click the “call us now” button to immediately get in contact with you.

This brings me to my three principles that I think every attorney should adhere to when they are building out their website.

First, convey your unique message. Every law firm or solo is different. Personal Injury Attorney A and Personal Injury B most likely have the same set of skills. They both have a certain amount of damages they have collected for their clients. But the difference is what kind of attorney you are. Are you an aggressive litigator who stops at nothing to get the job done? Are you friendly and consoling to your clients? Do you have a personal touch? These are things that set you apart from the sea of other attorneys in your area and help you connect with your potential clients. So think hard about what message you are putting out there.

Second, make your website appealing and informative with less words. People consume a lot of information throughout the day, and most of it is in the form of tweets, images, and short updates. They are conditioned to take in information in small bits. So it doesn’t benefit you to have ton of words on your site for the potential client to read. They want to get a good feel for your firm quickly. The more efficiently you can convey your firm’s capabilities with less words the better.

Finally, and most importantly, include lots of “calls to action”. A call to action is asking the potential client to “call now” or “fill out a form to contact us for a free case evaluation”. You have to make it incredibly easy for potential clients to reach you. A number or email address in the footer of your website is not enough. I suggest including a contact form on every page at minimum. This is not a situation where you want to skimp, you want to give them plenty of options to contact you at every turn. Also don’t forget to make every number on your site a linked “click to call” function. Most people search on their phones, and the easier they can hit that number and call you the faster you get in contact with your next client. Bonus tip, always make sure your website is mobile optimized because so many people do search on their phones, and making it friendly to their phone will help them contact you faster.

Your firm’s website is like the “virtual” front door to your business. They get an impression from the minute they log onto your site. If it looks old and outdated, most people will think twice. If you aren’t taking the time to update or care for your site, what else are you not taking care of in your business? Think hard about the message you are putting out there. Make sure to put forth a great first impression so these potential clients are pushing the “contact us now” button and not the “back” button.

-- Philip Mauriello Jr.

**This article is for information purposes only and does not contain or convey legal advice.  The information herein should not be relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting an attorney. Any views expressed are those of the author only and not of the SDCBA or its Business & Corporate Law Section.**