Sooner or later, every lawyer in solo or small firm practice asks themselves whether they should create a law firm website — or how long they can put it off. Given all the unknowns — cost, scope, disruption — they may wonder whether launching a law firm website is really necessary, especially if they already have a robust digital presence.
Maybe you have started by claiming a free Google business profile for your law firm and using social media to connect with potential clients. According to the ABA 2021 Legal Technology Survey, 86% of law firms use social networks for online marketing, with LinkedIn being the most popular choice. Add to that the numerous legal directories, apps and internet forums, and there is no shortage of places on the web where lawyers can gain visibility.
So, What Are the Benefits of a Law Firm Website?
Setting up a law firm website may seem daunting since it involves web design, search engine optimization and content creation — skills that aren’t taught in law school. Figuring out who to hire (assuming you have dismissed the idea of doing it yourself), and how much it will cost, takes time and adds stress as well.
Consider these five advantages to help answer the question: Do I really need a law firm website?
1. Boost Your Credibility
No matter how potential clients find your law firm, they’ll likely turn to the web to learn more before they call. A law firm website allows you to showcase who you are and what you can do for them.
It assures clients that you are a serious and credible person who can see them through their legal issues. The best law firm websites can put small law firms on equal footing with more prominent and better-resourced firms. Plus, potential clients won’t have to go sleuthing around the web to piece together the information they need to know.
2. Control Your Content
A potential client can learn much about you through a simple Google search, even if you don’t have a law firm website. But are they seeing the information you want them to see?
A law firm website gives you a platform to tell your law firm’s story. It’s an opportunity to share what services you offer and let clients get to know you better.
Unlike other digital platforms, with a law firm website, you own it and you control it.
Many online legal directories allow you to host a law firm webpage. But this is not the same as having a law firm website. Also, you may find hidden fees and costs when you read the fine print on these offers.
3. Build Your Brand
Law firms use branding to define how they are perceived and what makes them unique. It helps answer intangible questions like what values they stand for.
If you are ready to take your marketing efforts to a new level, a law firm website can serve as the hub for your branding. The branding and web design choices made when launching your law firm website will carry throughout your marketing efforts and help your firm stand out.
4. Capture Ideal Clients
Perhaps you’re getting enough leads already without a law firm website. But how many of those leads translate into clients — and how many of those clients are your ideal clients? The best law firm websites help you attract clients you want to serve. Say you practice labor and employment law but want to specialize in handling cases involving workers in a particular industry. Your law firm’s website allows you to appeal directly to those workers by creating content that answers common questions. Providing helpful content for your target audience also builds trust.
5. Add Features That Boost Marketing and Help Automate Your Practice
One of the best things about having a law firm website is the ability to keep adding content and features as you need them.
At a minimum, a firm website should have a home page listing your contact information and individual pages for lawyer biographies and practice areas. But your website can do much more:
- The best law firm websites also provide helpful news, articles, videos and other resources for potential clients. These features do double duty: They serve as lead magnets when optimized for organic search and help establish you as a thought leader in your niche.
- Depending on your needs, you might add features that help manage leads or inquiries, including call-tracking, chatbots and a contact form.
- In addition to vetting clients, some firms add features that automate the intake process with smart forms and questionnaires that allow clients to provide information about their legal issues.
- On the client service side, adding features such as client portals helps automate your practice — especially if the portal integrates with your case management system. A portal provides a place for you to share documents securely and communicate with clients via email, text or video. Adding a scheduling app makes setting up meetings much simpler for clients, and direct access to a payment system helps you get paid faster.
- Depending on your practice, your website may become the hub for your virtual practice, where you provide legal services online.
The Best Law Firm Websites Work Overtime
A law firm website is much more than a static online brochure. It represents your own piece of the web that keeps working for you 24/7, even while you sleep. Done right, it can help boost your credibility, build your brand, and capture and serve your ideal clients.
Consider your business goals and whether the benefits of launching a law firm website would help you reach them.