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Is Your Website Working for You?

by Erik Mazzone |

Law firm website are, for many firms, the albatross around the neck of their business development efforts. They are expensive and time consuming to create and for a lot of lawyers they are not an especially productive part of their business development systems. You have to have one, because when a potential client is referred to your firm or a potential employee is interviewing for a position with your firm, they will very likely first go to your website to see what it is your firm says to the world about itself. 

For a lot of firms, websites don’t earn them a lot of business. But an out of date, poorly designed website can lose you some business.

I’m going to spend the next few newsletter articles on law firm websites; what you might want out of yours, ways to get it done (or redone) without paying a mint, and best practices for small firm websites. But today, we’re going to start the analysis with a self-audit. We’re going to run through some questions for you and your firm to ask about your website and evaluate whether everything is going just fine or if your website has stopped working for you.

Because very few lawyers wake up in the morning brimming with excitement at the prospect of doing a self-audit for their firm website, we’re going to tackle this with some 30,000 foot view questions. Ones that will not be drudgery to answer but hopefully will get you and your other stakeholders taking a look with fresh eyes at your site.


5 Questions to Ask About Your Website 

  1. What are the goals for the site? Is the site meant to host dynamically updating content and improve your search rankings? It is an education-based site where you want your potential clients to come and research their legal issues using your resources, so you build trust and demonstrate expertise? Or is it just a small, brochure website that has to look good enough and professional enough for folks to look you up and not be deterred from calling you once they have been referred to you? These are all viable goals; the first step is getting a clear view of what your goals for your site actually are.
  2. Is the structure user friendly? Is the page layout, the navigation, and the architecture of the site user friendly for your target client? Are visitors able to quickly find what they need from the site, whether it is your bio, contact information or more recent article on your practice area? This entails, of course, knowing why your potential clients visit your site (and that’s why you figured out your site goals first). If you’re unclear on whether it is in fact user friendly, you could do a short survey of new clients or just ask folks who are in the office for an initial consultation if they were able to find what they needed on the site? It’s not a perfect data set but it is a good start.
  3. Is your content fresh and useful? A lot of law firms try to put content on their websites, in the form of blog posts, FAQ’s, videos, and other resources meant to help their clients (and demonstrate expertise to potential clients). Take a look at the areas where your firm keeps content. How many articles or videos are there? When were they last updated? Is the information still accurate and useful? Take an honest and appraising look. If your content is out of date, that’s an addressable concern. If it’s out of date and you ignore it, that’s much harder to fix.
  4. What are your relevant metrics and analytics? You’re probably going to need the help of your IT person or website person to get this info. There are all kinds of interesting analytics you can get about the performance of your website: how many unique visitors you receive each month, how long visitors spend on your site when they visit, and how many hit your site and immediately bounce off to someplace else, to name 3 common ones. This all starts with having Google Analytics or some other similar analytics platform installed on your site so you can actually receive this data. Don’t worry if you don’t currently have that; it’s something that can go on the list for the website revision when you take that one.
  5. What’s your conversion rate of unique visitors to calls for initial consultations? Once you have the analytics platform installed, you can start to correlate the data from unique visitors to the site to calls for initial consultations. For example, you may find that for every 100 visitors to your site, you receive one initial client call in the following month. If you can tease a relationship out of the data like this to determine your conversion rate, you can start to see a little further down the road at what an upcoming month might look like. That data will help you predict whether this a month where large capital purchases are safer or if it would be wiser to keep your powder dry.


Okay, that’s a lot and I don’t want to overwhelm you with this stuff. The important thing is taking these five questions and turning them into action. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good here; 5 decent answers are better than 1 perfect answer and then dropping the review. 

As always, remember that I am available to talk with you about website audits or any other practice management topic; Lawyers Mutual insureds receive three complimentary practice management consultations without charge. Please reach out to schedule at a time convenient for you at: www.calendly.com/erikmazzone 

I look forward to talking with you and best of luck with the website!

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