Are you guilty of having a bad website design?

Written on the 7 April 2009 by Emma Rolley - Bloomtools South Brisbane

The verdict is in and it's essential for all law firms to have a professional, functional website that generates real bottom line results.  Does yours?  Lawyer turned web consultant Emma Rolley from Bloomtools South Brisbane explains the amazing things you can achieve online to get more clients and save money for your business.

Being a lawyer myself, I know you will appreciate these statistics at any one time 22% of a law firm's clients are considering switching because of problems with their current legal firm and typically only 25-30% of a firm's clients are completely satisfied (The Law Marketing Portal, 2001).  This means your firm should be investing a lot of time and efforts into customer service and education - and the internet is the number one most cost- and time-effective tool for this.

Since working in the website development industry, I have noticed that many law firms in Brisbane and around Australia are not maximising the internet.  They may have a basic brochure site that gives a bit of information about what they do, but they are not actively attracting new clients, adding value for existing clients to get them to stay longer (which is paramount in the current economic climate) or streamlining internal procedures to save time and money. 

To inspire you to get serious about your web presence, here are some of the things that our current law clients are doing.

  • Professional website investing in a site that attracts their target market, meets today's usability standards and is easy for them to update themselves.  How do you think your market will view your firm if your website doesn't look professional or is out of date?
  • Case studies - featuring detailed case studies about common client situations on their website, which attracts the specific target markets, educates prospects about the firm's full range of services in a way they can relate to and reflects the firm's point of difference in the market.
  • Ebooks offering free whitepapers and reports for download on their website, which adds value for clients and captures the details of prospects for their database to use in future marketing.
  • Client repository implementing an online filing system where the firm stores copies of client's documents and files for the clients themselves to login securely and download, which adds value for the client and cuts administration time dramatically.
  • Automated emails using a database marketing system to automate communication such as welcome letters and reminders to stay in regular contact with clients and build their loyalty with minimum administration time.
  • Newsletters sending targeted news updates depending on the client or prospects area of interest (eg. family law or commercial property law) to keep top of mind and position the firm as the expert.
  • Events - running workshops and seminars for clients and prospects with bookings and payments made completely on their website to save time and make the firm look very professional.
  • Surveys creating and sending online surveys to clients to gain their feedback and measure key KPIs, which is much easier for both parties and cheaper than phone calls or snail mail surveys.
  • Intranet setting up a knowledge base or intranet system containing staff procedures, policies, documents etc. that team members can securely access online to cut down on administration costs and streamline communication.
  • Online training making training resources for staff available online, with videos, podcasts, downloadable documents etc. to drastically cut training costs and ensure peak performance from staff.

I understand how competitive the legal industry is, so I definitely recommend you take the time to get your website up to scratch and catch up to the firms that are using the internet strategically. It's easier and more affordable to achieve these things than you probably think and the results you can get with an effective web presence are limitless. 

Contact Bloomtools here for more information about building a results-focused online solution for your law firm.

About Emma Rolley

Emma worked for over eight years as an Intellectual Property, IT, Competition and Telecommunications lawyer in various top-tier firms and in-house in both Australia and Ireland.

Since returning from overseas and starting a family, Emma wanted to capitalise on her commercial law background and remain in the field of IT, but instead engage and advise business owners more directly.

Being a huge believer in the power of the internet for business, Emma decided to invest in website development company Bloomtools, opening the South Brisbane franchise in 2008.

Since then, Emma has had extensive training in the web industry and now works with small to medium businesses to enhance their web presence and online marketing.

Author:Emma Rolley - Bloomtools South Brisbane