Law Firm Website

Startup Law Firm Website

Why Does Your Startup Law Firm Need a Website?

In the United States, about 80% of the population has internet access, and the internet is quickly becoming the top resource for potential clients looking for the right firm to handle their cases. Having your contact information published in an online database may be helpful, but that is no longer enough to substantially increase business at your firm. A legal website that highlights your exceptional legal services is no longer an option. If you remain skeptical as to how a legal website can be an invaluable asset to your startup law firm and marketing, familiarize yourself with these compelling facts on the importance of having a firm website as well as an online presence in the lawyer community.

Websites are a Necessity

A 2008 study by Allurent illustrated that businesses lacking online information can lose up to 67% of their potential client base. Without an idea of the kind of legal services your law firm offers, a potential client will take their case to another firm.

People Look for Service on the Internet

A 2007 Safe Home Products survey study showed that 89% of Americans prefer to shop for services and products on the internet. Your startup law firm can capitalize on this fact by creating an internet presence in the online legal community; this includes not only a lawyer website, but also internet marketing techniques.

The Internet Provides Accessible Information

Awo Inc. found in a 2007 survey that only 17% of Americans believe that finding information on attorneys is easy when searching for an attorney to best represent their case. The majority of potential clients feel unguided when they need legal assistance. Your legal website will reach out to these potential clients and illustrate that your law firm has the concern and experience needed to handle their cases.

Internet Advertising is Growing

The Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that the total spent on internet advertising is $23.4 billion per year, which is an increase of 10.6% between 2007 and 2008! Without online legal advertising, your established competitors will be boosting clientele while you are left fending for yourself to bring in new clients and billable hours in your first years as a startup practice.

Internet Advertising is Cost-Effective

For startups, limited finances and the restricted marketing budget are part of the territory with starting a new practice. However, unlike television and print ads, a professionally-designed legal website is a one-time only cost and a marketing tool that will cost you little to maintain. If you choose to continue to build your online reputation as a law firm through additional marketing techniques such as news sites and blogs, so many more potential clients will be able access information about your firm than with a simple, one day newspaper advertisement.

SEO Should be a Priority

Approximately 80-90% of all website traffic comes from the three major search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing. Most clients looking for an attorney to handle their case will find the lawyer they need on the first few pages of these search engine results listings. Your priority as a startup looking for new clients should be to have your website ranked as highly as possible, on all search engines. Through search engine optimization, this goal can be most easily accomplished.

Websites Provide Clients Contact Options

While the jury is still out on whether phone or e-mail conversations are more effective ways of bringing in new clients, contact information, and even a contact form, on your legal website gives potential clients the opportunity to choose which method of communication works best for them. For some, typing a few paragraphs regarding their case that they can refine is easier than speaking to a lawyer they don’t know about their case they need handled.

Social Networking Websites are Increasingly More Relevant

A study by Pew Internet & American Life Project in 2008 reported that 35% of adults now have a profile established on at least one of the social networking sites. This percentage has jumped from just 8% in 2005, and experts project that the number will only increase. A 2008 survey by Networks for Counsel found that nearly 50% of attorneys have set up social networking profiles. If you haven’t already, now is the time to join them and set up your own lawyer profile on social networking sites to increase your visibility.

Lawyer Blogs are the Next Big Thing

What some members of the legal community call “blawgs” are becoming the latest marketing tool to be used by attorneys to create the visibility and credibility they need to boost traffic to their firm websites and increase revenue for their firms. While a relatively small percentage of lawyers have blogs, this amount will no doubt increase as more firms become familiar with it. A blawg will show your clients that you and your startup firm are on the forefront in legal marketing technology.
Get More New Clients

In addition to building the reputation of your start up law firm, a website can also be an enormous source of new clients to your law firm. Online marketing is all about bringing traffic to your business whether it be online or offline. Since more and more people today are using the internet to search for the services they need, it’s crucial that you harness the power of the internet to bring your law firm new clients via your website. You simply cannot afford to lose the clients you would get through your website to other law firms that are using online marketing to boost their business.

Generally speaking, the way people find law firms today is they go to their internet search engines (most often Google) and they type in a particular search query. Google then analyzes which websites to show in their results pages based on a complex algorithm that attempts to rank all the content on the internet into a hierarchy of relevance. Using advanced search engine optimization techniques, you can actually develop your website specifically so that it ranks highly for those particular keyword phrases that would bring in the most targeted traffic and the highest conversion rates.

Let’s say, for example, that you are starting up a law firm and want to build a website catered to your clients with the hopes of getting great traffic that turns into more new clients for you. Which web searchers is it that you want coming to your website? Well, ideally you want those people typing in a specific search query that points to exactly what and where you practice. For example, if your law firm is made up of DUI attorneys and your law firm is located in San Francisco, you would probably see the highest conversion rate on those people searching “DUI attorney in San Francisco”. That keyword phrase is highly targeted and would be very beneficial to rank highly for.

What your website can do is actually bring in those people using those targeted keyword phrases in search of the very legal services that you have to offer. Take a look at the top competitors in your particular field. Find out what their websites look like and the content they offer so that you can get an idea what your potential clients are finding when they’re performing their searches online. The best thing you can do is create a great website with lots of quality content that shows your potential clients that you are the best law firm they could possibly choose to represent them.