What Matters More: Your Website or Attorney Profile?
From attorney profiles to law firm websites, and even social media, it’s easy to feel stretched thin by the digital marketing demands of today’s legal industry. In an effort to streamline marketing campaigns, some attorneys prefer to focus primarily on specific aspects of their online presence—often to the detriment of others.
Some attorneys may opt to use their legal profile as a substitute for a full-fledged website. The lure of this approach is clear: attorneys assume that a single, easy-to-develop legal profile page can produce the same brand awareness and SEO benefits of a full website. Unfortunately, this strategy often backfires.
Do you feel torn between the demands of creating an attorney profile and a law firm website? Keep the following considerations in mind as you determine how to proceed.
Building Your Brand
In addition to featuring specific pages about various practice areas, your site can provide sections dedicated to your philosophy and mission. Blog content also provides an excellent opportunity to highlight your brand. Through this content and its general tone, you’ll convey the qualities that make your firm compelling for potential clients.
Credibility & Reputation
These days, potential clients expect any reputable practice to have a dedicated website, to the point that any practice lacking a strong digital presence feels suspicious. This reality was evident in the American Bar Association’s 2019 Legal Technology Survey Report, in which 86 percent of respondents reported that they maintain dedicated pages for their law firms.
Many solo firms lag behind, with just 57 percent having dedicated websites as of 2019. This lack of web presence creates a real barrier for solo practices, which already face an uphill battle in competing against larger, more established firms.
A high-quality website can transform a seemingly invisible solo practice into an authoritative resource, granting it the credibility that an attorney profile might not achieve on its own. Law firms should possess a clear identity—and this must go beyond simple CVs for your attorneys. An effective website establishes the identity of your law firm as a whole, not just that of individual attorneys and staff.
Attracting Leads with SEO
Attorney profile pages may be capable of attracting leads via search engines but this isn’t their main purpose. Rather, profiles on sites like Avvo or Lawyers.com form a small, but vital, part of a vast search network.
Prospective clients browse these networks with the intention of finding trusted attorneys. From there, they can learn more by following links to law firm websites.
Dedicated law firm websites strive to capture traffic not only from directory listing and profile sites, but also from organic searches performed on Google or Bing. Not accounting for these types of leads could cause you to miss out on valuable clients.
In order to rank well for key terms and be discoverable to a wider audience, it’s important to have a website optimized for search with plenty of valuable, informative content. The sheer volume of content needed makes law firm websites far more effective at ranking for important terms.
Calls to Action
Calls to action are most effective when included on pages optimized for specific purposes. Like the page itself, the CTA can be designed to reflect the type of content that is most likely to spur leads to set up consultations or otherwise take action.
Targeted CTAs are more likely to convert, but these aren’t practical for attorney profile pages which may need to appeal to a wide variety of visitors. Law firm websites can easily tailor CTAs to specific case types and segment their content to appeal to specific audiences. Targeted readers find these types of CTAs far more compelling and are more likely to convert.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
Your attorney profile serves many important functions, but it can’t be the only digital marketing tool you use to reach more prospective clients. While your legal profile offers a valuable overview, you’ll need content with more authority and deeper information about yourself and your practice to attract a sufficient volume of new leads—and to convince those leads to become clients.
As you move forward with creating your digital marketing strategy, resist the urge to force a single attorney profile to do the work of an entire website. Yes, this page is crucial, but it should complement—not replace—your law firm’s website.