10 Things Every Legal Site Needs

No matter what industry you are in your website should be designed with specific goals in mind. Even if some high level goals, such as attracting new clients, are similar your approach should be tailored to your specific industry. How is a legal website different from others? What should it contain to ensure it is as successful as possible?

Your Areas of Practice
Potential clients want to know your specialties so they can determine if you are a good fit. There is a vast difference between personal injury practice and corporate real estate. If your areas of practice are not detailed in a prominent location visitors are likely to pass on your firm and instead locate one that clearly demonstrates they can accommodate their situation. If possible, provide detailed explanations of each area. Not only will this help potential clients understand if you can meet their needs but it will also provide rich content to search engines, helping to improve your rankings.

Your Partners and Staff
Potential clients want to know who they will be working with and the past successes they have achieved. Each member of your firm should be given a profile complete with areas of expertise, years of experience, law school attended, and any prominent awards or litigation. In the legal industry, the quality of your staff will speak volumes in building credibility. Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase them.

In this competitive recruitment market you website should be used as a recruitment tool, particularly towards university graduates. You should include information such as employee benefits, professional development opportunities and training as well as the social aspects of working for your firm. If possible, include photos of your office and case studies of previous graduates that have worked their way up the firm. You may also want to list available positions.

Community Involvement
If your firm has made a commitment to pro bono work or other community enhancing activities these should be highlighted on your website. In addition to your community service goals, you should include case studies of prominent pro bono work and recaps of community events.

Email Newsletter
You should undertake email marketing on a regular basis for both your prospective and existing clients.  Each page of your website should offer an easy method of signing up for your email newsletter. This newsletter should introduce readers to each topic and provide the ability to click through to the content on your website.When appropriate, the content should direct the reader to take further action such as contacting you for more information or requesting a quotation for services.

Industry Relevant Content
Both the amount and the quality of your content are critical for attracting prospective clients. Try to create a rich resource library that explains various legal terms, current laws, and frequently asked questions relating to specific areas of practice. Not only will this help drive traffic the content will help populate search engines and increase your rankings.

Lead Generation
Don’t assume that interested parties will automatically contact you via the email or phone number contacts your provide. Incorporate a lead generation tool that will entice prospective clients to take the next step and provide contact information.One example would be to create a simple quotation form. This form would ask prospective clients specific questions which would aid in the development of a quote. Ensure that your lead generation tool is kept as simple as possible.

Industry Tools
No matter the industry, every site can benefit from an innovative tool which helps drive traffic.What tool, gadget, or calculator would have wide spread appeal to your existing or future clients? What about a free legal document generator or a searchable legal library?

Case Studies
Your website should contain case studies that highlight your firm’s previous achievements. There should be a wide cross section of case studies from all areas of practice and industries. Be sure to mention any special circumstances where you went above and beyond for your clients. Also, don’t mention the company name specifically. Instead, use anonymous language such as “a large western retailer”.

Your Stance on Recent Rulings
Like most professionals, you’ll no doubt have a professional opinion on high profile litigation in your areas of practice and how this could impact your clients. But how to do you share this opinion with your clients? Have you considered writing an article or maintaining a professional blog on your website? By sharing your opinion in this manner, it will become searchable by others interested in the matter. A well thought out article is sure to attract traffic and links to your site. In the long term, this builds credibility and your rankings in search engines.