With the number of tools available to design a website, many people working in the legal profession feel pretty confident in their ability to create a website. However, there are a number of idiosyncrasies of which an attorney may not be aware; and certain mistakes can harm the performance of the site.
Before deciding that creating the website yourself is wise, review the following four tips regarding some of the most common mistakes lawyers make when creating their websites.
1. Choosing the Wrong Domain Name
Your domain name is one of the first impressions you make on the web, and it is directly connected to your site’s search engine ranking. When choosing a domain, it is best to stick with a combination that is known to work. For example, a domain that contains an attorney’s first and last name only is great if it’s available. Similarly, the last names of the firm’s partners can also serve the purpose well.
If those options aren’t available, then choosing options based on your primary location or your case type specialty can also rank favorably. The most important point to remember is that this is not the time to try to be funny or unusual.
Additionally, you want to make sure that you have your own domain, and are not a subdomain on a larger site. For example, “[yourdomain].wordpress.com” looks less professional than “[yourdomain].com” and professionalism is key when you want to attract new clients.
2. Failing to Update
Many people assume that once a website is created maintenance isn’t really required. While you may not need to make changes every week (or even every month), you do need to review your content regularly to make sure everything is accurate. Additionally, you may need to rework the style every so often as trends in website design change. A website that hasn’t been updated in years suggests that your firm isn’t taking the time to manage the material, which can reflect poorly on your business. This is especially true if your site contains a blog and new posts aren’t being added regularly. If you can’t consistently create content, then it is best to leave off the blog until you can.
3. Ignoring SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps ensure that when potential clients search for certain keywords, your site appears in the results listing. Failure to manage your keywords means that people searching for an attorney may not find your site.
Using SEO also involves various backend aspects of your site. This can include how URLs are written, alternate titles on images, using tags, and much more. Properly managing the various aspects helps your site to rank more highly, potentially leading to more clients.
Since SEO is as much of an art as a science, it can be wise to work with a law firm SEO agency to get the results you need. Working with professionals is investing in your site. With the number of people using search engines to find the services they need, it can be money well spent.
4. Forgetting Mobile
With the popularity of smartphones, failing to make your site mobile-friendly can also cost you potential clients. You want to make sure that your information is displayed well on all of the key computer-based browsers as well as mobile browsers. Some website designs automatically make adjustments, referred to as a responsive web design, to ensure that your site appears professional on mobile devices, while others require that a second iteration be created specifically for the purpose.
Without a mobile version of your site, potential clients using mobile devices may become frustrated with your site. That can lead them to look elsewhere for the services they need.