What is it worth to have a web site?

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eNewsletter – www.paperstreet.com

PaperStreet Web Design is pleased to bring you its newsletter geared toward legal professionals.

Question from Readers: What is it worth to have a web site?

Every law firm has a web site. So should you. But in today’s competitive economy, it’s no longer enough to simply post your firm name, address and phone number online and think that this will somehow gain you prestige and clients. What you need is an effective, professional looking web site that allows your existing clients instant access to information about your firm and — more importantly — a site that will attract new clients without any time and effort spent on your part. Thus, the question really is not, “What is it worth to have a web site?” but, “What is it worth to have a professional web site that acts like a virtual rainmaker?”

In my seven years of experience, I have seen many web sites. I have seen solo practitioners create simple, yet effective, designs in one week on a limited budget. I have seen 200+ lawyer firms spend $100,000 or $200,000 per year. The old saying goes, “Money doesn’t buy taste.” But it can buy results. Yet successful web site campaigns, big and small, all have one common theme: the web site brings in new clients. It not only pays for itself, but generates a profit. If yours isn’t, something’s wrong.

A web site should not just be an online brochure that you mention to potential clients. Rather, potential clients should come to you because of your web site. Many lawyers do not understand this subtle difference. They are the ones letting a friend design their site and putting various “cool” technologies on the page just because they look nifty. However, the firms that “get it” are the ones that truly understand that a web site is an investment that can generate 10, 20, or 50 new clients per year.

But what does it take to develop a successful internet marketing campaign? You don’t need a budget of $100,000 to drive potential clients to your site. However, you don’t want to be cheap and spend $1,000 for a template. Not only will you waste your time, but your cheap design will ruin your reputation and more importantly allow your competitors to capture your online market.

You can create a successful internet marketing campaign by doing three things:

1. Hire a Consultant: You already bill 2,000 or 3,000 hours per year. Do you really think you can handle the entire internet marketing campaign? I know we think we are all special little snowflakes because we went to law school. However, most likely you did not go to design school before you hit the books. And even if you did, you are wasting money by doing it yourself. For every hour that you spend creating a web site, writing content, or marketing the web site, you are probably losing money. This is because most likely you bill at a higher rate than your consultant.

2. Make it look Purty: Andre Agassi is right, “Image is Everything.” Many times your initial contact with a potential client or opposing counsel will be through the web site. Do you really want to have a bad first impression? Let a design expert brand your firm online and give your firm a unique and professional look. Not only will they make it look purty, but most likely they can write compelling advertising copy that won’t bore your clients to death. I am sure you are great kicking out a five page joint settlement agreement, but lawyer-speak does not transfer well to the real world.

3. Dominate your Online Market: Many web design firms love to build Flash web sites and give you the latest technology. But they give little or no attention to the real rainmaking ability of your web site – optimization. As explained in our previous articles, a solid optimization specialist will allow you to gain a top spot in Google, AOL, Yahoo, MSN or other search engines for “Dallas criminal defense attorney” or “Florida employment lawyer.” With these top rankings you will receive new client inquiries each week and perhaps each day. Without them, people will only learn about the site from your business card or print ads.

3. Internet Marketing: In addition to creating a web site that looks purty and is optimized for top rankings in the search engines, your firm needs to consider other Internet marketing ideas to attract potential clients. Your firm can advertise in directories, such as findlaw.com, martindale.com, or techlawonline.com. Your firm can setup pay-per-click campaigns on Google Adwords and Overture. Your firm can also setup a Blog or eNewsletter. Try these simple internet marketing techniques and you will soon see a return on investment.

How We Can Help

PaperStreet Web Design has extensive experience developing, redesigning and optimizing web sites for the legal profession. Our expertise can save you time and money while increasing your firm’s business traffic. Contact us and we can easily redesign your web site to impress clients and get results.

Feel free to contact Peter T. Boyd, Esq. at PaperStreet Web Design, or 954.523.2181.

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