You Built Your Solo Firm’s Website — Is it Time to Take it to the Next Level?

We’ve seen it time and time again: Solo attorneys building their own websites or turning to family or friends because of lack of resources and time.

Some find the least expensive local provider, put a few pictures up and leave it to collect dust in some hidden corner of the internet.

You probably have a website, but the question to ask yourself is whether it’s ready for the modern, fast-paced world of today. The internet moves quickly and what may have worked for you even a few months ago may be obsolete today. Solo firms struggle with this fact, but it’s very real.

To make sure your solo firm’s website is up to speed, use the following five criteria to gauge how it performs.

Is it mobile-friendly?

According to the FindLaw U.S. Consumer Legal Needs Survey, more than half of legal consumers use a mobile device to find an attorney, and many others use tablets working on a mobile operating system. Consumers are on the go and many are using tablets and cell phones instead of computers. So, what happens when a prospect finds your site and it isn’t mobile-friendly? Chances are he or she will turn back to their search and click on the next site.

It’s hard to believe that number will decline as mobile browsing becomes even more commonplace.

If your site isn’t optimized for mobile this is the first thing you need to change. Google doesn’t look fondly upon mobile-unfriendly sites. Furthermore, consumers aren’t interested in the hassle of searching a website that isn’t intended for mobile use.

What’s its image quality like?

Do the images or videos on your website look like they were taken with a disposable camera from the drugstore? Though branding is more than visuals, consumers expect pictures that are clear and high-quality. Something that harkens back to the days when you had to use the tracking button on a VCR player will turn consumers away.

What’s the user experience like?

Website design has come a long way since the days of dial-up internet access. Back then, most companies were happy to just be online. Now that nearly everyone is, web design has become a science and consumers expect a lot from their online experience.

Consumers tend to turn away from websites that are dense or complicated. Look at your website from an outsider’s perspective. One recommendation is to have an image relevant to your firm on the homepage. Whether it’s your picture or one of the city or town you represent, make sure it’s personal and engaging. You should have a contact page that gives only the basic information a prospect needs, like phone number, address or a contact sheet for them to fill in. If your site has a blog (and it really should), paragraphs need to be short and punchy, broken up by headers that let consumers know what they’re about to read.

The moral is that most consumers appreciate a simple and visually appealing website.

Does it speak to you or the consumer?

The “about me” or “bio” on any solo attorney website is the most highly trafficked page. It’s where consumers get to know more about you to find out whether they want to contact you. Unfortunately, too many attorneys write their bios like an endless resume, listing their accomplishments as if they were trying to impress a colleague.

Your attorney profile should be directed at the consumer you’re trying to entice to contact you. In other words, use language that helps them understand why you’re the best attorney for him or her. You’re obviously passionate about your practice area; let that come across to the reader. It’ll do more to convince them than will your personal bibliography.

Is its performance being ignored?

You should obviously track your website’s top metrics such as views and bounce rate. Many words can be dedicated to how to view analytics, but, in the end, it’s about whether consumers are contacting you. So, how do you know when they are?

A call tracking number is an easy way to understand how many people are picking up the phone after looking over your website. Contact forms and chat functions also help paint an accurate picture of your lead generation funnel. Keeping up with these contacts will help track ROI and help reveal the impact of any changes to your site.

A solo attorney’s website is one piece of a powerful integrated marketing strategy but it’s certainly not a set-it-and-forget-it program. It takes constant monitoring and adjusting to keep it running properly. Get the full picture on what you can do to get your solo firm’s marketing up to speed by reading our one-attorney-shop playbook.

FindLaw marketing guide

Solo attorneys face the difficult challenge of running their law firm while also managing a host of personal and professional priorities.

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