You’ve dreamed about it since you were in law school: a sign outside your offices with your name on it, a billboard with your face beaming at your clients, and a TV ad proclaiming your practice as the best in the area.

While these may be great ideas, it’s something else entirely for them to be good marketing strategies.Why you shouldn't treat your website like a billboard.

Too many attorneys are married to the “vision”—that picture they see of their advertising campaign when they close their eyes. In fact, some can be so blinded by what they imagine that they make terrible marketing decisions; they cannot reconcile what they want with what works.

Here are a few mistakes attorneys commonly make when designing their law firm’s website:

  • Building a spectacular (but useless) homepage. Many attorneys put a lot of time and money into designing their law firm’s logo. They find just the right picture of themselves, agonize over which font looks the most professional, and then devote most of their web pages to displaying the results. Unfortunately, not only does this make your page look like every other attorney website out there, but it also wastes valuable real estate on a picture that provides no information to your clients.
  • Making it all about you. It makes sense: you worked hard in school, lost many nights getting your feet wet in cases so you could build a portfolio, and you’re anxious to share your credentials with the world. The trouble is, the people who are reading your website don’t care where you went to school or how many cases you’ve argued (at least, not yet). They want to know how you can help them, what information you can give them with the problems they are facing right now, and what they need to know to protect their case.
  • Having only one way to get in touch. Billboards and print ads are static forms of advertising, so it makes sense to see a phone number running along the bottom of the page. However, your website isn’t just dead words; it’s interactive and can be linked and optimized to include many ways to contact you instantly, such as email, web links, a contact widget—and of course, your free report.
Ben Glass
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Ben is a nationally recognized expert in attorney marketing and the owner of Great Legal Marketing.