Does your law firm want more corporate counsel clients? If so, then you may need a redesign of your law firm website, because corporate counsel are looking for something very specific when they research your firm. With the wrong website design elements you may turn away potential corporate clients before they ever have a chance to realize how great you are.
Top 5 best and worst website tactics
A survey of U.S. corporate counsel commissioned by LexisNexis describes what corporate counsel want to see when they visit your law firm website. These findings were collected in a LexisNexis Insights Paper, which sought to determine what will bring corporate counsel to a law firm website and make them contact that law firm as a result of the visit.
Here are some of the practical points to implement as a best practice on your law firm website:
- Make your website easy to read and navigate.
- Clearly demonstrate your firm’s practice areas.
- Showcase your senior attorneys.
- Pay attention to overall site organization, as well as individual page layouts.
- Make it easy for corporate counsel to see all of the jurisdictions your firm covers.
Of course, a quick look around the web will reveal many common mistakes in law firm website design. Here are the top 5 things that should be avoided when trying to attract corporate counsel to your site:
- Making it difficult to find out who to contact and how
- Using distracting flash, graphics, and video
- Making them guess about the firms personality by presenting confusing imagery and branding
- Information overload – too much content
- Ignoring the needs of key constituents, i.e. whom your site is trying to target
These points should inform any law firm website of the things that need extra attention attract and make an impact on corporate counsel.
“Corporate counsel hire lawyers, not law firms.”
The most important page for converting corporate counsel on your website is the attorney profile page. Corporate counsel visit law firm websites to vet the attorneys’ experience, and they look for very specific points of information. They engage in a granular analysis of the lawyers, corporate counsel expects a depth of information not demanded by the ordinary consumer. Note that if you have a website that caters to both types of clients, you need to be able to strike a balance (more on that below).
How to Make an Attorney Profile Page That Corporate Counsel Will Love
- Make the profile easy to scan by using headings, clear links, and bullet points.
- Corporate counsel prefer formal profiles written in the 3rd person (no personal information).
- Emphasize blogs and articles, detailed case studies, and representative clients and cases.
- Give prominent and clear placement to the attorneys section so corporate counsel can quickly determine if the attorney can easily practice in the proper jurisdiction.
Corporate counsel are looking for certain core elements, including the lawyer’s title, photo, years in practice, law school attended and practice-area expertise. Beyond this basic information, corporate counsel want to then drill down to more detailed practice area information that paints a deeper picture of the attorney’s experience, including detailed case studies and articles written by the attorney.
Even following all of the advice above will be fruitless if you have not determined exactly whom your site is meant to target, and which sections cater to each key constituent.
Turning your law firm website from a marketing tool to a business development tool
Traditionally law firm websites have been treated as a mere marketing tool. Many law firm websites serve as a digital Yellow Pages ad, providing very little information other than what is needed to contact the attorneys.
Today’s clients demand more. For example, posting original content on your site, whether videos on different client issues that appeal to consumer clients, or sharing in depth case studies that appeal to corporate counsel, the way that content is delivered can make the difference between a site visitor and a new customer.