Fix Your Website Problems in 5 Steps

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Free: 10 Things the Best Law-Firm Website Designs Have in Common

For seven years, Lawyerist has published an annual list of the best law firm websites. Now, you can find out what they have in common.

I tend to find a lot of opportunities to fix websites when browsing attorney’s websites. Many sites are slow-loading, still using Flash, have spelling and grammar errors, not found by Google with basic SEO (another SEO article here), difficult navigation and most often: way too much text. Here are five typical problems law firms face and how you can fix your website.

Your content is generic or tedious

Effective content is the most common challenge with any law firm website. The goal of your website is to attract people and give them a sense of your firm’s missions and unique ability to solve their problem. To fix your website, consider whether you have identified your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) to make you stand out. Or is your site full of corporate jargon? Does it sound like it was written by a human?

Many of the law firms and attorneys I work with tend to be long winded and prefer to explain things in lengthy detail. If you have a section on your site where you are describing the details of a case, this is great information and keywords for Google. However, remember that your clients are not lawyers so solve this problem by breaking up the information so that you do not require each visitor to wade through all of it. There is a fine balance between displaying your expertise and overwhelming your audience.

Your content is stale

If you can not update your site without help from a tech guy, it is time to fix your website with  a Content Management System. Why is this important? Because your content should be recent and relevant and both Google and your clients will judge you on this factor. If you are not creating new content for Google to index you will get lost in a pile of outdated sites. By all means, make sure that the information on your site is not incorrect, misspelled, or out of date. This is a huge red flag and indicates to your clients that you are potentially overwhelmed or disorganized. This is not the first impression you want to convey.

Your site cannot be found

If search engines cannot find your site, neither can your potential clients. Fix your website simply by making sure that you are targeting specific keywords (not lawyer, but estate planning attorney) and measuring your results. Set a reasonable budget and try Google Adwords, and maximize your SEO. Check to make sure your website has been optimized for mobile viewing, as well.

Your contact info cannot be found

Make it easy to be contacted when your potential client is ready. This is often the most critical point of a potential transaction, so do not put hurdles in front of them to complicate the process. Contact forms work well for many attorney websites but whether or not you choose to use them be sure to include a few methods where you can be reached (phone and email at a minimum). It is also helpful to put your address and phone number in the footer of your site so it appears on every page. That way, no matter what page a client is on your information is readily available.

It’s all about you

Which means the focus is not on your clients. You are not explaining how you can help solve their problems, displaying your empathy, or demonstrating your solutions to ease their burdens. Your bio and expertise are important when your client is ready for that information but first they need to believe you can help.

Try to be human and create some customer interaction to seriously fix your website. Incorporate social content to give your clients a sense of who you are, current events you are following, and offers opportunities for you to educate. Build a professional personality that connects with your clients and engenders trust, building on your relationship.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo/2945457606/)

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