As a busy attorney, you will likely hire a lot of people to do the business tasks you don’t have time for. You probably have a “web guy” who takes care of your online business aspects—but since it’s not in your wheelhouse, you may not be sure what his exact qualifications are.Don't confuse web design with web marketing.

There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your Internet marketing efforts, but you have to be sure that your webmaster is living up to his name. Some webmasters are merely web designers—people who are great at making your site look good, but don’t set up the “behind the scenes” functions that make it work. If you don’t know the first thing about Internet marketing, you could end up spending a ton of money on a very pretty website that delivers no new cases.

This is not to say that web designers aren’t necessary; they are. But your website must be more than a good looking page to bring in business.

The three strong pillars of an effective legal website are:

  • Design. The face of your website is important for a few reasons. First, it is the first point of contact for many of your customers, and they will judge you on how it looks. Second, it must be easy to read and full of videos answering common questions. Third, it must be designed to allow your readers to easily navigate to the content they want to read.
  • Content. Your website must be helpful to your customers if you want to turn them into clients. Give away as much free information as you can in your articles and blog posts (something else you can outsource), and your customers will come back for more.
  • Search engine optimization. This is the magic that makes your website work. Your customers won’t read what they can’t find—and links, keywords, text placement and tags are all vital to making your website rank highly in search results.

Even if you employ someone else to run your Internet marketing operation, you’re going to have to understand how the technology works to craft your law firm’s advertising strategy.

Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.