The last two decades have been a period of metamorphosis for the world wide web. The development of new technologies has not only made the web more advanced but also more accessible as well. Just as with law in the United States, societal shifts pave way for new standards and values in the world of digital marketing as well. At one point in time the Constitution was sufficient according to modern standards and then a series of Amendments over time were passed to tailor to the changing American landscape. Technology is not all that different.
Websites used to be simpler. A web address in itself once gave potential clients the impression that you meant business. Content was always valuable but the user experience was not emphasized by many, designers did the best they could with what they had. Over the years, new technologies have re-shaped the way we seek information, interpret information and ultimately make important decisions (such as retaining an attorney). With this shift comes a slew of new criteria and much ground to cover. For sole practitioners and small firms who don’t have an online presence, the thought of launching a stellar website can be daunting. You need a powerful logo, SEO , a secure means of collecting information, custom functionality, google analytics, mobile responsiveness and the list goes on.
When the goal of your website is to generate business, the immediate concern of most attorneys is being found. Who doesn’t want to be found? Solidifying your presence online is the goal but how exactly is it done? The answer is by taking a balanced approach, this means investing time and resources prudently. Many professionals, including attorneys just want to rank high and rank fast. If only it was that simple, there wouldn’t be tens of thousands of SEO Experts or Managers on networks such as LinkedIn. Lets think of your website as a business, a storefront in particular. Being on the 1st page of a Google Result in your region is the equivalent of sitting on prime real estate in your city or town. Lots of foot traffic, accessible from public transportation and being at a major intersection can’t hurt. Being there is one thing, but remaining (and thriving) there is entirely different. Take the case of the store or cafe that is in a heavily populated area, sure people may walk by or even enter, but do they stay? Do they make purchases? What do they buy? Do they return after making a purchase or recommend it to a friend?
Now consider those answers and the factors that influence them. It’s about the experience the store or site provides. Don’t be the shop owner who watches the shelves collect dust as groups of people enter and exit your shop before you can ask them what they need. When applied to the world wide web and particularly the niche of analytics, this is known as a bounce rate. If your being found frequently but not generating the business you desire, there is a problem. Thankfully, there is a solution as well. It lies in optimizing your website while using the information the valuable tools we have at our finger tips, provide us.
Don’t be on the other extreme either, that is a beautiful store that people will spend money at (A stellar website) but be on the outskirts of an industrial park (ie: the 9th page of search results). An athlete wouldn’t want to be scouted when there playing with an injury or the flu. Just as you don’t want people landing on your website if it is sub-par. That imagery and frustration a website can invoke will leave a lasting impression on your sites visitors. Ensure your website is a strong representation of you and clients will gravitate towards your services. Stay tuned for more advice on how this is achieved by applying timeless design principles and modern standards.