February 17, 2010

Tips for Attorney Web Sites


Hostway Team

By Robert McDonald

Even the smallest law practice will have a Web site that occasionally recruits a new client. But, as you are well aware, in a competitive market “occasionally” isn’t good enough. In this article we will review ways to optimize your existing Web site to attract potential new clients.

Review your current site.

Begin by taking a critical look at your Web site, but assume that you are a potential client who is considering hiring an attorney.

  • Does the home page clearly identify the firm and describe the type of law practice?
  • Is the firm’s address and contact information displayed on every page?
  • Does each page on your site contain a link back to your home page?

If you think your Web site needs fine tuning, discuss your concerns with your site designer.

Make sure that your site is rich in keywords.

Keywords are words and phrases that will attract an Internet search engine such as Google, Yahoo or Bing to your Web site. For a law firm, these keywords could be (among many others):

  • lawyer
  • attorney
  • personal injury
  • probate law
  • liability

As a rule of thumb, each page on your Web site should contain at least one keyword per paragraph of content. As an example, note how every paragraph in this article contains a keyword or phrase.

Capture information about potential clients.

Many law office Web sites use fill-in-the-blanks forms to collect information from prospective clients and then forward that information to the firm. You may want to consider using an auto-response program to generate an acknowledgment response to each email received which will thank each responder and assure them that you, or a partner, will personally contact them to review their particular needs.

Offer several different ways for potential clients to contact your firm.

Every well-designed Web site will include several ways that a client can contact your firm. In addition to email links, always include your postal address as well as telephone and fax numbers for those clients who may not have a reliable Internet connection.

Limit off-site links to content other than your own.

Once a potential client arrives at your site, it is always to your advantage to keep them there. Although it may be tempting to add links to legal information and news sites such as FindLaw.com or to your local or state bar association, always remember that other sites may contain advertisements for other law firms. You should consider writing your own content, specific to your practice, rather than link to a Web site over which you have no control.

There are, of course, many other things that you can do to improve your Web site’s productivity, but the above suggestions should get you started on the right track to improving your Web site’s value as a source of future clients.

About the Author

Robert McDonald is a journalist with a lifetime interest in computer applications for small businesses. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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