It may be close or perhaps it is that time of year where you have to consider whether or not to renew your FindLaw website. Of course, having a website for your firm is very important because it is a doorway in which your clients reach you. However, there is one very important aspect of your firm having a website and that’s that you don’t need your website to be exactly like every other firm. You need a unique online presence that is a reflection of you. Your website should relay information customized to your firm and not something that is mechanically churned out.
With that said, there are some things to consider when deciding whether or not to stay with FindLaw or not.
How are the FindLaw Products You Pay for Each Month Helping You?
There may be a list of items on your FindLaw bill each month, but it is good to understand how those things are (or aren’t) helping you. In fact, you may not even know what some of those things are. Sure, you may be getting a hit from FindLaw’s directory now and then. You may even get an inquiry through your FindLaw website. What you are most likely not getting is the search engine position you need to get more business through your website.
Another aspect to consider is that you may be getting billed for the same products each month, but search engine algorithm changes can influence the effectiveness of those products. For instance, Google is notorious for doing algorithm updates in April and August, but they can do them any time they decide it’s appropriate. They perform major updates every 18 to 24 months, but, again, they can do it anytime. If you are paying for a set of services in March and then an algorithm update occurs in April that affects some of your services, you shouldn’t be paying for those same services in May. Either your services need to be updated to accommodate the change or changes need to be made to those services to ensure they are compliant.
Who Owns the Rights to Your Content?
If a page on your website is custom written for you, then it belongs to you. This is good. That means you can take your content with you. However, some of the content on the website may be syndicated or licensed, which means it doesn’t belong to you.
The fact is that all content on a legal website needs to be unique. There shouldn’t be any licensed or syndicated content because that type of content does nothing. In fact, a competitor using FindLaw may have the same exact FAQ section as you, which can confuse someone comparing law firms.
It is also important to consider your blog. If FindLaw is providing you with your blog content, they own that too and your blog posts may exist on someone else’s site as well.
Consider that your map listing may be what is pulling in your traffic and not the services that FindLaw is providing you.
Search Engine Optimization For Law Firms
Search engine optimization (SEO) is very important because of the role it plays in rankings. It is an ongoing process because search trends change and, as was mentioned earlier, so do algorithms. What you want is a company that monitors web traffic and can show you where it’s coming from. This alone can show you how effective the SEO services they are offering are in bringing traffic to your website. You would probably be surprised to find that the traffic isn’t necessarily coming from their directory or other overpriced method listed on that monthly bill.
SEO takes a personal touch. It can’t be automated and be effective. It can’t be a “one size fits all” solution to everyone’s ranking issues. Each site needs individual attention in order to perform the way it is supposed to.
Updating Your Website should be Easy
Something else that is important is the ability to have a web designer who can perform an update quickly or for your website to be built on a platform that allows you to easily go in and make edits. Again, it is all about the personal touch and having someone available who is familiar with every aspect of your law firm and your website.