Why Lawyers Need a Website

Nearly 80-percent of United States residents have access to the internet, making the web a valuable tool for reaching potential clients. Law firms with easily navigable web pages see substantially increased business, as customers will seek out attorneys through mobile phones or laptops the second the need arises. Clients have gone from distrusting legal professionals with heavy web presences to viewing those without as potentially dubious in nature. Here is a list of reason why a professionally designed website is no longer an add-on, but a business need.

Websites are a Necessity

According to a 2010 study by Technorati, the average blogger earns close to a living wage. Unlike these hobbyists, a professionally managed website realizes the internet’s businesses potential and draws clients from competing firms. Today, everyone, from your child’s first grade class to your local dentist to your favorite restaurant, has a website where interested parties can easily and quickly find vital information about them. Many law firms have websites that are hundreds of pages large, detailing their cases, their employees, their charity efforts and even providing advice for potential clients. If your law firm doesn’t have at least a very basic website introducing potential clients to your attorneys, you are telling the world that you aren’t interested in providing service on a very basic level. In addition, you’re proving that your law firm is behind the times and outdated.

People Look for Service on the Internet

The rise of internet shopping lead The United Kingdom’s Office of Fair Trading to research internet shopping practices.

The Internet Provides Accessible Information

Awo Inc learned that less than 20% of Americans believe that finding information on attorneys is easy when searching for a professional to best represent their case. The majority of potential clients are unsure of where to find legal information. An informative website will reach out to potential customers and illustrate that your law firm has the concern and experience needed to handle their cases.

Internet Advertising is Growing

The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that internet spending revenues totalled six billion dollars the last fiscal quarter, a 17-percent increase from the same period in 2009. Online legal advertising boosts clientele and provides smaller firms an edge against bigger law firms.

Internet Advertising is Cost-Effective

Tight marketing budgets limit start-up law firms, which reduce their marketing potential in television and print mediums. Practices only pay for a professionally-designed legal website once and additional maintenance fees constitute a pittance when weighed against the additional revenues. Law firms which build an online reputation give their clients access to more information and means of contact than newspaper advertisements or television and radio spots.

SEO: Number One Priority

Google, Yahoo and Bing funnel virtually all the traffic to websites. Clients in need of representation pick a website off the first search engine page nine times out of ten. Improving and maintaining your web search ranking optimizes the web potential of a law firm. Search engine optimization achieves this goal effectively.

Websites Host Contact Options

Law firms which post their email, phone number and physical address reach the maximum number of clients. Regardless of the clients’ comfort level when using the internet, each method is presented to them in an accessible and recognizable fashion. A contact form allows the law firm to familiarize themselves with the clients specific needs before their first conversation, be it electronic or otherwise.

Social Networking Websites are Increasingly More Relevant

The Pew Internet & American Life Project reported that 35% of adults now have a profile established on at least one of the social networking sites back in 2008. Twitter and Facebook have increased their presence in the country’s cultural landscape since then. That percentage jumped from 8-percent in 2005, and experts postulate that the number will increase in the coming years. Networks for Counsel found that nearly half of attorneys have set up social networking profiles in 2008. These options include personal blogs, Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter accounts. Designing a profile allows legal professionals to exploit formerly untapped networks.

Connecting to the Blogosphere

Legal blogs inform audiences which follow court proceedings like judges, court reporters and journalists. This online news source adds a personal touch to a law firms internet presence, and ensures that all avenues of information are utilized in publicizing a law firms work.