Many attorneys like to be in control, and I mean that in a good way. They want to be in charge of their practice. That’s just how it should be. They should have a clear vision of their practice and where they want it go. What’s not always possible is to control the main drivers of new business and new client opportunities. Some of that can be done through the hard work of referrals and networking and what you focus on and what you ignore. Some attorneys believe that their practice is unique and that there are no opportunities to reach new clients through search and the Web. Out of my duty as an SEO consultant to law firms and attorneys, I always take issue with this.
For example I spoke with an attorney last week about their practice and they talked about their understanding of the internet and told me that it doesn’t work for us, meaning that people don’t search for us. He was a real estate attorney, a very nice very talented attorney, and he said that he was very unhappy with his website and that nothing had been done with it. He viewed it as a lost cause. I did check out the website and it was a very outdated and unprofessional looking Law firm Website. It left me with the impression that they were not very technically savvy. But if I was looking to hire an attorney, and I hadn’t met him in person, I certainly would not consider hiring him based on the perception I had of his Website.
I did tell him that believed every attorney must take the Web at his or her portion, he may not be willing to compete on the main category terms, but that it was absolutely possible for an attorney to write about the type of specialized legal work that they do and to publish that and share that information in such a way that it could produce leads for their law firm (it is the sort of thing we help attorneys with.) I argued gently that it really depends on the practice and what you discuss for topics on your website. He resisted and as the door was closing I suggested I would love to meet him for coffee to explain some examples.
If there was / is an opportunity to continue the conversation then I would make the analogy that a law firm website is like a garden. Gardens can be simple, some gardens can be old and have no nourishment, no light and nothing grows there. Other Websites can be like a farm-to-table garden where there are constantly new species being introduced and new strains are being perfected in the blending of one with another. Law is a complex animal that is never truly the same in each case and how a potential client views the law will determine how they seek out legal services.
The best law firm Websites are complex and multi-layered so that there’s depth to almost every subject that an attorney focuses on. That depth is there because information is provided and updated. In order to bring people to your website, that need your services, you need to discuss the things that they’re looking for whether those are simple firm-wide related terms or something more complex. No discussion will lead to no leads.