At Internet LAVA, LLC, we have build websites and internet marketing strategies for law firms across the United States. We have noticed several mistakes that lawyers make when starting their practice that become harder to fix as time passes. Get these steps right before you open your doors and you will reap the benefits throughout the rest of your career.
Just ask anyone that works at Internet LAVA, LLC. When we start to build the website for the attorney or law firm, from a marketing perspective, we appreciate it when lawyers get these five steps right.
1. Phone Number – Once you select your law firms phone number, that phone number should never change. Pay extra for a phone number that is easy to remember and has advance call forwarding features. That way, you can forward the calls to your main office’s phone number during regular business hours or an answering service during after-hours. Select a local phone number with advance call forwarding features that you will keep for your entire career.
2. The Law Firm’s Address – Ideally, the law firm’s address would never change. When you open your practice your address will be entered on hundreds of website. Changing your address also means changing the information on all of those websites so that individuals searching for you online will find the right address. Think carefully about the location you choose and the options for growing at that same location. Also, make sure you are consistent in the way you list your address so that there are not several variations of that same address found online. If you open an office at a second location, make sure you also select another local phone number that will forever be associated with that second address.
3. The Name of the Law Firm – When choosing the name of your law firm, the goal should be choosing a name that is simple, unique and will not change over time. Adding the name of every partner presents problems for internet marketing efforts. Although the partners like to see their last name in the name of the firm, it might be better to pick a name that doesn’t change over time as partners come and go.
4. Select a URL for Your Law Firm’s Website – Like your phone number and address, the URL of your law firm’s website is an important part of the firm’s identity. Think of the URL as an address in cyberspace. Another good analogy is that the URL is the foundation of your website, just like you have a foundation on a house. You don’t want to move the foundation. Ideally, the URL would never change. Choose the shortest URL and avoid using the names of the partners in the URL. The only exception to this rule is if you are starting a solo practice and do not intend to have partners in the future. Also, select the shortest URL possible and one that is easiest to remember. Talk with your internet marketing company about the best names to choose for your URL. In many cases, it might be better to purchase an existing and more desirable URL instead of trying to come up with a new one that is available at no additional cost.
5. Take Pictures – They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. That is true when it comes to building a website for an attorney. Your ideal clients want to see what you look like. They want to see pictures of each attorney, the office (both inside and outside), your staff, the waiting area and your conference room. Pictures help the potential client feel comfortable with you and your practice. Pictures encourage your potential client to pick up the phone to schedule a consultation. If possible, avoid using any stock photos on your website. Hire a professional photographer and take plenty of professional photographs. Take additional pictures every few years and use those pictures in your marketing efforts. Tell the photographer to take pictures with the wider end of the camera’s zoom. The wider zoom photos give your website design team more options in cropping the photos to use on your website.
Although these steps sound simple, you really can’t go wrong by getting these steps right from the beginning. When you start your law firm, think about it from a marketing perspective and you will save yourself time, money and frustration. Plus, your marketing design company will appreciate the fact that you got these five steps right from the start.