Solicitors website – advice for a legal practice

For a Solicitor or Legal practice – why create a good website? Six obvious reasons include:

1. To look professional when someone Googles you (and they do). You would make a point of looking professional in court, so why not on the web?
2. To answer commonly asked questions. It would save a lot of time for your team.
3. To attract a certain type of client or business and to put off certain types of unwanted clients.
4. To allow potential clients send you an enquiry 24/7 through the website.
5. To avoid losing work from existing clients who Google your name and find someone else, a ‘specialist’ who seems to fit the bill.
6. Attract high quality legal staff who are searching for a suitable practice. How do you look when these people search for solicitors website

Your website is more than a tool, so do research how you will invest. You have to learn how to use it to good effect or have someone competent do it for you or with you, by outsourcing some of the work, so add that resource to your plan. There are various options and each one comes with challenges and opportunities, costs and returns on investment. And your web presence is a lot more than just your website.

Have a complimentary 30 minute consultation with us, no obligation, just to see what you need for your particular practice. Meantime, below we include 10 guidelines, 10 questions, 10 tips and some general advice, to help you get it right first time, to save a lot of your valuable time.

 


gmcclaw website mockup

10 Tips for a planning and layout of a good Solicitors website

LaniganClarke Donegal Solicitors Website designGallagher Brennan Donegal Solicitors Website designGuidelines
Start with ensuring that any plan conforms with guidelines in the Irish Statute Book S.I. No. 518/2002 – The Solicitors Acts, 1954 To 2002 Solicitors (Advertising) Regulations, 2002

1. CMS – Get a website that is built on a CMS Content Management System, which makes it easy to edit. Content is king, it will decide your success on the net, so create it, add it, curate it and make yourself stand out as an authority on matters legal. You are the best person to produce good content, do not leave its creation to someone else, unless they are competent.
2. Blocks
Get a website that is Modular, so that you can move elements around without needing a developer again. For example, add or move a scrolling ‘Testimonials module’ on the Home page yourself or move it to your ‘About’ page.

3. Open Source
Use a platform that is open source and allows you to move from one web partner to another. Avoid a one man band, someone who offers to be everything, planner, designer, developer, digital marketer. How many professional legal practices have just one person employed to do everything?

4. Design Theme
Get a solicitor website that is theme based, so that you can change the whole design theme without having to create a new website. Also, this makes it easier for you to move to a new web partner – avoid any basic HTML developers who have to make every code change for you – at a price, in time delay and money.
5. Custom Design
Plan your branding, colours, content and CTAs Calls To Action before or when talking to a professional web developer, if how you look online is important to you to build your brand. Think Goodbody, Cox or Mathewson, Frys, McCanns or Mason Hayes & Curran.
6. Navigation
Make Navigation simple, intuitive, stand out and logically show what you specialise in, services such as Family Law, Conveyancing or Litigation, specialist areas such as Medical Legal and experience or qualifications.
7. Blog
Show off your knowledge, experience and useful information from the industry, maybe articles about Family Law or Tax Guidelines on property sales. Try Guest Blogging or answering questions in forums !
8. Social integration
Tie in all Blogging, Social Media and Advertising to your website content and draw people to the site – they might just connect with you by asking a question. It also helps you monitor all your web output, so you have more control over what gets seen. You can to some point dictate what people see when they search your name.
9. Maintenance
Bear in mind a solicitor website, like a car, has to be maintained and updated. It needs constant attention, security updates & patches, cleaning, plugins, software updates, apps updates and useful add-ons – but most of all useful helpful content or advice to engage with visitors, to help promote your practice.
10. Budget
For a spend in Year 1 for the design, branding, photography, CMS website, advertising, digital marketing etc and then do a new budget for year 2 for building on that platform. The higher the spend the higher and faster the return – GUARANTEED (if done well)!

Three Quick Takeaways:

1. Get good web partners, pay them to be supportive – establish an ongoing relationship in the same way you do with your Accountant or other key suppliers. It is outsourced qualified labour, ready to support you when you need help.
2. Treat this web project like opening a new office. How much would that cost ? How much attention would you give it ? Build what you need rather than buy something off the shelf at a set price.
3. Most web agencies are not good at MultiTasking. Chances are you need a 1. Domain Registrar, 2. Hosting Company, 3. Web Graphic Designer, 4. Web Developer and 5. Digital Marketer.
The good news is – a good solicitor website can promote your practice, show your professionalism, get you found in search, showcase your work, answer frequently asked questions, save time, make appointments, take fees or payments online or allow client access.

Now you know the brief ! What is your next step ? Have a no obligaton 30 minute discussion with us to get some direction on your specific requirements.

SOLICITOR WEBSITE – options for a good Legal Practice website

Boyce Kelly SolicitorsSome Solicitors will want:
1. a simple professional looking Starter website with about 5 pages as a basic web presence or digital business card, with contact details and with the general services all listed on one page.
Others will want
2. a Business website to expand on their services in more detail, to attract more visitors, to educate them, answer questions, explain terminology, to filter them and engage with them, to use digital marketing to grow enquiries. We list lots of tips here to help you plan what you need and avoid the pitfalls – contact us any time for a personal 30 minute complimentary consultation.

Let’s Talk

“We wanted a website that reflected the practice well, to explain what we do and where we do it” Mairin McCartney

Managing Partner, Gallagher McCartney

10 good opening questions to consider before building a website for your legal practice:

1. Why do you want a website ?
2. Do you need a website at all ?
3. Is it just a simple Brochure site or a more informative one or a Blog
4. Who is the Target Market ?
5. Who will create the website for you ? Why choose that web partner ?
6. Who will manage it, support & maintain it and train you?
7. Do you have a Digital Marketing Strategy ?
8. How much business do you project will come from your web presence ?
9. How will you measure success or your return on any investment ?
10. What other questions come to mind for you – every Client has specific requirements for their target market ? Case management software, client access to files, secure email, shared cloud folders, taking payments online etc

PS Keep it simple, but do plan it. Talk to Michael directly on 086 2510117 or
Let’s Talk

“Our new website gives us excellent web exposure 24/7 to allow our clients and potential clients get answers when they want to ask questions” Dominic Brennan

Managing Partner, Gallagher Brennan Solicitors

Solicitor website – 10 tips on how to use the web well

10 Reasons to get a professional web presence and a competent team of web partners.

You make a point of looking professional in court, so why not do the same online?

Most people are timid about approaching a solicitor or even changing their solicitor. They are afraid of legal costs or meeting gruff, intelligent, academics with poor interpersonal skills.

1. Look professional – if someone finds your website you want it to reflect the real you whatever that may be. You can dictate how people see you rather than leaving it in the lap of Google search results. You can even look friendly, inviting and agreeable, at least on the web 🙂

2. Save team time – answer common questions on your website and save a lot of phone calls that are time consuming and repetitive. Invite questions and if you get some with any frequency then answer them on the website too.

3. Spell it out – ensure that the practice policy is adhered to by having your enquiries or questions answered the way you want them to be answered, rather than having team members speak off the cuff when the phone goes

4. Make a statement – by using your website to record and promote your policies and standards, terms and conditions – this will help ensure that your team are aware of them too, especially if you have any HR issues around the misunderstanding of policies

5. Engage visitors – add value by offering useful information such as standard costs for conveyancing (not necessarily your fee structure) or how much a barrister charges a day or steps to making a will, how long does a legal separation take and so on.

6. Help – let people find you and contact by having your correct full address, postal code, telephone number, email and functioning Contact Form

7. Provide downloadable forms – on your website as PDFs to save on postage and speed up delivery as well as providing a useful service.

8. Social – Integrate all your social platforms, your various publications, statement or comments, by linking your accounts to your website including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.

9. Blog – use your blog to post news about you, your services, your industry news or your activities in the community

10. Security – ensure that your domain name and hosting is in your name on your credit card

“MeanIT – we recommend them very very highly. They just do the job right.” Garry Clarke

Partner, Lanigan Clarke Solicitors

Guideline on costs for a good solicitor website

Professional Web Services for a Solicitor website – useful ballpark estimates below as a guideline only

Options Simple Business Enterprise
Pages 5+ 10+ Unlimited
Home page Y Y Y
About page Y Y Y
News page Y Y Y
Services page Y Y Y
Contact Form Y Y Y
Pay Button Y Y Y
Facebook integration Y Y Y
CMS Content Management System Y Y Y
Mobile responsive Y Y Y
Design theme Y Y Y
eMail redirect Y Y Y
Google Analytics Optional Optional Optional
Basic SEO Optional Optional Optional
Manual Y Y Y
Open source Y Y Y
Page Builder with Drag n Drop Y Y Y
Training N Y Y
Gallery N Y Y
Blog dynamic N Y Y
Newsletter integration N Y Y
Survey/Poll N Y Y
Events Calendar N Y Y
Forum N N N
Shop N N N
Member area N N N
Support email 72 hours email 48 hours email 24 hours
Monthly Support Optional Optional Optional
Hosting monthly 10 20 POA
Custom design POA POA POA
Digital Marketing POA POA POA
Hours included for Developer 10 20 POA
Price estimate 1000 2000 POA
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Note:
Remember to include a page for your Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditions and Social Media Policy.

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