For most people, the Internet is a fun way to waste time with friends, share music and photos, and look up trivia. If you're a lawyer, though, the web exists for one reason, and one reason only: as a medium to attract potential clients. If you lose sight of this crucial fact, any investment you make in your web page will be completely ineffective, and in the worst cases, completely counterproductive.
The Function of Your Website Is to Attract Clients
Flashy graphics, music, and specially designed fonts will make your website look terrific, but looking terrific does not translate into potential clients picking up the phone (or clicking on your “email me” button) and initiating contact. The best lawyer websites have the following essential components:
- Top-notch search engine optimization (SEO), so your site shows up on the first page of results when a potential client enters a key search phrase into Google or another search engine.
- A compelling “headline,” which needn't be an actual headline—a well-crafted video can be more alluring than even the cleverest headline copy.
- The ability to maintain the visitor's interest long enough for that person to sign up for your offer (a book, a video, etc.) or send you a question via instant messaging.
- The ability to take a visitor's contact information and automatically upload it into your client-management software, so you can follow up with that person automatically.
That's it. No photo galleries, no interactive games or other doodads, no distracting Flash animations or special effects. These bells and whistles cost a lot of money, and there's no way of recouping your investment, since they're not the features of your site that attract a potential client who is interested in hiring a lawyer.