Why Your Law Firm Should Use a Content-Management System

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content-management-systemGuest post by Lauren Pesko.

A law firm’s website should attract new clients, communicate with existing ones, and aid in the sharing of information among the lawyers of the firm. If an attorney website is skillfully constructed and has regularly-updated content, it can be an effective tool for search engine marketing, while still presenting your business in a credible, professional manner.

From an internal management perspective, too often a legal website is static, meaning even the simplest changes to the website can get bogged down in an IT to-do list or create added expense from outside technical services. Implementing a content management system to build your law firm’s website is an effective way to maintain a professionally designed site that can be updated at anytime, from any location by the lawyers and other staff themselves. These days, content management systems are vastly changing the law firm universe because news, articles, fresh content, and announcements can be performed almost instantaneously by office personnel.

Four ways in which implementing a content management system will benefit your law firm

  1. Content management systems are completely customizable. They are designed specifically to meet the discerning needs of the corporate brand and required infrastructure, CMS is all about ease, convenience and the utmost productivity.
  2. It is secure. A CMS ensures that the right departments and people are authorized to review and add content.
  3. A CMS delivers efficiency. Partners who are out of the office or working from home can receive and respond to time-sensitive information. Also, content created for almost any purpose, such as articles, seminars, and other instructive materials, can be easily reused on your website.
  4. CMS platforms allow for analytics. With a little dashboard practice you can really begin to understand the best ways to use your website for communication just by tracking how your visitors find and traffic through the site. Google Analytics as an example, is free, easy to insert and very powerful.

As you can see, content management systems are not only about simplifying work efforts and lowering the cost of productivity. In the marketing sphere, content management systems multitask as a viable promotional tool by:

  • Establishing a firm’s credibility in a specific area of law. A website serves as a firm’s online portfolio. Having the access to keep this information fresh and updated will send the message out to potential clients that your firm is up-to-date, well-organized, an authority in your area and a step above your competitor.
  • Exposing a law firm to media visibility. Content management systems are developed to syndicate news and events to search engines, ultimately disseminating information among media outlets. Whether it’s a high profile case, a partner’s contribution to the community or a law firm’s achievements, a CMS makes it easy to publish and firm updates and legal victories.
  • It will be easier for potential clients to seek you out on the web. The best web content management systems are built specifically for Search Engine Optimization purposes. Executed properly, this will increase the likelihood that a potential client will come across your website in their search for legal services.

In the end, using a CMS to market your law firm is an economical and user-friendly online marketing tool that should prove to be a return on your investment.

Written by Lauren Pesko, Internal Marketing Associate for Auctori:law.

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  • Lauren, great post. Another thing I’d add to this is the importance of making sure the content management system is not proprietary to the website developer. Firms should ALWAYS make sure that they’ll have the ability to use the CMS even if they terminate the relationship with the company/person they used to create the website. It comes up with firms I talk to at least once a week, they’ve invested thousands of dollars and loads of time into a website only to discover they don’t own or have the license to use vital parts of its functionality. I notice this most often with sites from lawyers.com, superpages, FindLaw, as well as the budget solutions from GoDaddy (Website Tonight) and Homestead/Intuit so it’s not an obscure problem.

  • I agree 100%, Brendan. WordPress, Drupla, and Joomla are all very good, well-supported content management systems. They are also all open-source, and many developers know how to work with them.

  • This post, and the comments thus far, are EXTREMELY important. There are law firm website companies that are telling lawyers that static sites are just fine. In fairness they are fine, IF you have no intention of having visitors to your site.

    Let’s put an end to this misinformation. A CMS is MANDATORY!

    Brendan is absolutely correct: “Firms should ALWAYS make sure that they’ll have the ability to use the CMS even if they terminate the relationship with the company/person they used to create the website.”

    We recommend WordPress.org. Open source, fast install, extremely flexible and search engine friendly. See what Matt Cutts from Google had to say about WordPress at WordCamp 2009: http://bit.ly/6XbZpE

  • Thank you for your responses to this post. Brendan, you are right, when choosing a CMS it is very important that the law firm makes sure that they have the right to their website if they choose to terminate the relationship with their CMS provider. We have recently run into a lot of companies who have faced this problem, and believe firm’s should be informed of their CMS provider’s proprietary policy.

    At Auctori:law we have the strong belief that your website is truly your website. If you decide to leave Auctori:law, we will deliver to you all artwork, imagery and supporting files needed to continue running your site elsewhere on a comparable hosting environment, with no additional cost. In addition, Auctori:law offers design and Internet marketing services, but should you decide to switch to another design firm, we would gladly train your new designers on the Auctori:law CMS.

    For more information visit: http://www.Auctorilaw.com