Get your site right

Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has over 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and mid-sized law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and has spoken at Chicago Bar Associations CLE programs.  Reach him at tc@tcpr.net.

What is usually the first thing people usually do when they want to find information about a firm? They go to the firm website. When potential clients visit your website, they will decide in seconds whether or not they like what they see. Think of your website as your online law office. You want to keep it clean, want to make a good impression and want visitors to remember it, right? Right.

Here are a few suggestions to consider when reviewing, revamping or recreating your website.

Incorporate Something “Sticky”

A “sticky” idea is something that site visitors will remember, something that will “stick” in their memory after they leave your website. It doesn’t have to be something flashy or obnoxious, but it should be something that adds uniqueness to your site. You could use interesting pictures from past cases, video testimonials or offer a “Legal Tip of the Month.” The “sticky” possibilities are endless, so choose one that fits with your firm.

Broadcast Your Own News

Telling visitors the latest news about firm happenings is a way to show not only your credibility but also that you are active online. Consider adding links to new articles or audio files of recent interviews on your homepage. With social media the way it is, having up-to-date, ever-changing information is EXPECTED. In addition to a “newsroom” page, you can sync your blog or Twitter account with your site so that each new post or “tweet” automatically appears in a live feed. Don’t be afraid to show you are social media-savvy. These outside networks will certainly help direct more attention your way.

Don’t Overdo It

A website that is too busy or difficult to navigate can deter potential clients from calling your firm. There’s a reason people say less is more, so make it easy for site visitors by following some basic guidelines: 1) keep your layout simple and navigation bar consistent on each subpage so visitors can retrace their steps, 2) keep the scroll to a minimum so visitors can see information all on one page, 3) do NOT go overboard on hyperlinks as this can “lose” people.

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