7 Common Misconceptions About Law Firm Websites

by: Matthew Samp

Many website design firms have courted the legal market to create website for law firms. The problem is, most designers don’t understand the unique needs of a lawyer, how the firms operate and how to create a website that makes money for the lawyer.

Following are seven common misconceptions about law firm websites.

MISCONCEPTION #1: I can create my own website.

If you’re happy with a website that gives visitors basic information about you, then you’re right. You don’t need to have a website that works.

However, if you want a website that will consistently bring in cases, it has to be different from the websites of other lawyers in your area.

Further, it has to give the visitor a reason to contact you. Simply offering a free consultation or free report is not enough. You have to have a “sticky” website, one that has lots of information that people find useful, one that they come back to for reference and a website that develops a relationship with the visitor.

MISCONCEPTION #2: If I put my website on the Internet, people will automatically find me.

They old saying, “build it and they will come,” couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because you have a site on the web, doesn’t mean people can find it.

Today, SEOs (search engine optimizers) are getting big money (two to five thousand a month) to get websites listed in the top of the search engines.

Once you have a website, you have to have a systematic way to drive traffic to your site. There are many ways to drive traffic, but just putting the site up is the first step in having a website.

MISCONCEPTION #3: If I put my website on the Internet, people will automatically hire me.

Usually not. Most law firm websites are nothing more than a few “fluffy” paragraphs about the law firm. If your website says:

“At Smith Law Office, we believe putting the needs of the client comes first. With the use of technology and competent legal research, our attorneys are able to advise our clients, giving the client an advantage in each matter.”

Or something similar, no doubt your message is ignored by the visitor.

The fact is, consumers are smart today, than ever before. With the amount of information available to people and those lawyers willing to give it out in mass quantities, people expect more than lop service. They want solid information in a format that’s easily accessible.

The visitor has to be compelled to contact the firm, or they won’t turn into a client.

MISCONCEPTION #4: Law firm websites don’t make real money.

This is actually true of nearly all law firm sites. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.

The fact is, there are solutions available to lawyers today, that can replace part or all of a marketing program. In fact, several of my lawyers have massively reduced the amount of yellow pages advertising due to the results and income they get from their website.

Since websites are cheaper than yellow page ads, it makes sense to work to get clients from a lower cost solution.

MISCONCEPTION #5: Putting up my areas of practice, contact information and mission statement is a good website.

Not true. Often times, a lawyer’s website is so poorly done, that it actually causes people to look for another attorney.

And, those attorneys who pay big bucks for snazzy flash presentations, and lots of bells and whistles end up looking too polished. People want a lawyer that’s a person, not a lawyer that hides behind his law firm name.

A site with all sorts of clever plugins is usually a waste of money. It makes the lawyer feel good about his or her website, but it doesn’t actually make money.

Should an attorney spend five or six thousand dollars on a website that looks great but doesn’t make money? That’s not an asset. It’s a waste.

MISCONCEPTION #6: Websites created by web designers are usually “good” websites.

Just because someone knows how to code a website, doesn’t mean they know what will make a person pick up the phone and call you.

Look at it like this: A paralegal can draft a demur, but what kind of success would they have going into court to argue that demur?

MISCONCEPTION #7: Buying a website from I lawyer directory is a safe and easy way to get my firm a website.

Not true. A website that has lawdomain.com/SmithLaw is a website that will rarely be looked at. Sure, there are some big companies around selling these sites to lawyers who know they have to have a website to look “official” yet, all the sites are bases off of a brochure type idea.

Again, putting up your “mission statement,” a few areas of practice and your bio doesn’t mean you have a website that will make you money.

The most likely scenario is that very few people will actually find your site if it’s created by one of these companies.

About the author:
Matthew Samp is a law firm marketing consultant. Information about his turnkey websites can be found at www.lawfirmmarketingwebsites.comor by calling 402-292-3400.

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How to Remodel A Small Bathroom

by: Ken MarlboroughNot all bathrooms can be lavish spaces with whirlpool tubs and two separate vanities. For some bathrooms, space is at a premium and knocking out walls is not an option, but remodeling must be done. Small bathroom remodeling presents its own complications, but with the right information, a small bathroom-remodeling project can shine.

Before beginning your small bathroom remodeling, design a floor plan that maximizes the room’s useable space. Don’t be afraid to design up by incorporating free-floating cabinets. Use mirrors to stretch a small bathroom’s space, and keep the color scheme simple. Keep a small bathroom bright, fresh, and inviting with coordinated colors and accessories.

Pare down the scale in your bathroom. Big items take up more space in the bathroom and look bulky. Corner sinks are simple and small. These sinks free up visual space below, but don’t provide the counter space and cabinet space that a traditional sink provides. Another option is a pedestal sink. These sinks have a more classic design

New bathroom
New bathroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and are free standing. Wall-mounted sinks save space but do not have counter space. Both types of sinks do not provide storage space underneath. Most home-improvement stores stock smaller sinks, or you can custom order one from a cabinet shop for a price.

A simple way to conserve space is to do away with a tub and just use a shower. Smaller tubs, however, are available, although most cannot handle whirlpool faucets. Any tub less than five feet long will probably spill the water sprayed by the whirlpool faucets.

Pick a toilet that can sit close to the wall to conserve space, and the size of the seat and tank design determine just how much space the toilet will use. Also pay attention to the size of the home’s original toilet. Older homes have toilets with 10 to 14 inches between the wall and the toilet drain, but newer homes typically have 12 inches. The wrong toilet won’t fit. Buying a toilet with a low tank takes up less visual space and compact toilets leave more room, but as with any small bathroom remodeling project, use these suggestions to find a toilet that is both stylish and fits in the room.

Finally, limit what you bring into the bathroom. To save space in a cramped bathroom, for example, it may be best to have a dressing area in a bedroom. Limit the number of accessories — clutter can easily make a small bathroom look smaller.

Planning a small remodeling may take extra planning, but the resulting clean, beautiful, an uncluttered bathroom will be an inviting space.

About the author:
Bathroom Remodeling Info provides detailed information on bathroom remodeling ideas, costs, plans, and checklists. Bathroom Remodeling Info is the sister site of Kitchen Remodeling Web.

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