This is the final part of a seven-part article on innovative law firm websites. Link to entire article below.
Previously, law firm websites content consisted mainly of words and pictures. Today, they include a vast range of content, from illustrations to webinars to video.
No matter what the type of content you are posting, however, one rule remains the same. It must be kept fresh. Each time you add new content to a law firm website, it “shakes” the web and attracts the search engine spiders to take a new look.
“Words will always be an important part of law firm websites,” said Walsh. “We just have to be more careful how we use them. On the Internet, people read 25 percent slower than they do on paper. Plus, they scan rather than read. You cannot present them with a dense block of grey text and expect them to read it carefully – or at all.
“Headlines and subheads are important for providing ‘clues’ to the busy reader,” said Walsh. “Sentences and paragraphs should be kept short and active, with lots of white space. Lists and bullet-points are good, as long as they are not too long. Keywords should appear in headlines and subheads, and in the first paragraph of any text.
“Avoid abstract language about legal concepts,” said Walsh. “Use concrete, engaging stories to keep readers interested.”
Attorney bios or profiles are a good place to introduce fresh content. Most law firm bios consist of a dry list of accomplishments. Instead, create bios and profiles that truly reflect an individual lawyer’s personality. What makes him or her unique? Supplement credentials with meaningful quotes and personal outside-the-office interests. Support this message with meaningful graphics.
The best law firm websites do not sell, they teach. They establish law firms as thought leaders in their targeted niches. In addition to case stories, websites should provide links to a steady supply original work like the firm’s blog posts, e-alerts, newsletters, white papers, analysis and original research.
Law firms should know that more than 75 percent of potential clients will use the Internet to find and research them before making a call. In the Internet age, your website has become extremely valuable real estate. It should look and feel unique. One way to do this and set yourselves apart from the competition is to adopt the look, feel and navigation techniques made popular by social media.