So, you’re finally fed up with paying the high cost of your FindLaw website. You’re probably not even sure what all those extra bells and whistles that have been added to your account over the years are supposed to be doing. But you continue paying for them.
The good news: There is life for an attorney’s website beyond FindLaw. And you don’t have to lose the juice FindLaw maybe has brought you over the term of your contract if you’re ready to switch.
You’re here because you’re obviously searching for ways to cut ties with FindLaw. And we’re here to offer you some advice and assurance that your website won’t disappear into digital oblivion when you make the switch.
Keep in mind, giving us a call is your first step in preparing for your switch. We can provide you with a free analysis of your current website and SEO situation and provide guidance and reminders to help remind you to have us get started with enough time before your contract expires.
Where Does Your FindLaw Contract Stand?
Hopefully, you’re exploring options now because your FindLaw contract is due to expire soon and you’re interested in moving on. If you’re contract is expiring in the next 90 days you should give them proper notice ahead of time that you want to switch to month to month contract or plan to cancel. Do not wait until 30 days or less before giving us a call as we will need time to build your new website and avoid your website going offline.
The FindLaw contract allows you to transfer your domain name and any online profiles when you are ready to cancel as long as your account is in good standing.
If your contract is not near expiring, it’s possible to negotiate or buy your way out of the remainder of your contract, but it might take a little extra time and money. In the long run, with this option, you’ll likely still save money by switching.
If you’ve gone into default and FindLaw has shut down your website, you’re probably going to have difficulty getting your domain name back and your basic content. Findlaw typically will release your domain to poweryourname.com which you then should have transferred to a different registrar.
Do We Have to Start from Scratch on a New Website?
Again, there’s good news here: Much of the content you have on your FindLaw pages can be transferred to your new website. You also can transfer the metadata that comes with it to ensure you don’t lose that link to the search engines. However, you should have someone assist you with reviewing your contract to ensure what it is you do and do not own the rights to.
Your main Practice Area pages are what attracts the attention of the search engines, so if you’re happy with the way they’ve been performing, you don’t have to be concerned about losing that appeal. Of course, you can edit them, spruce them up and make sure everything is current, but keeping the basic structure is the surest way to retain your search engine mojo.
If you subscribed to the FindLaw blog service, you likely won’t be able to take those posts with you, but if you have certain posts that were effective, you certainly can rewrite them, start a new blog series, and keep the juice flowing.
Also if you used some FindLaw boilerplate pages that were licensed or syndicated to you, such as an FAQ, you won’t be able to transfer that content. That’s not much of a loss as it’s the same content other lawyers’ pages use, so it doesn’t help you stand out from the competition or draw search engine attention anyway.
At Mankato Web Design, we can provide you ongoing monthly blog writing services to keep your website fresh and social media updated.
What About Our Google Local Listing?
If FindLaw set up your Google local listing page, you’re going to want to take that with you. Your Google local listing is verified through a phone number and physical address, so it’s difficult to create a new one using the same phone and address.
Your Google local listing is important because it’s what pops up when people search for you directly by name. It also will feature any star ratings and reviews you’ve received and can be linked to your Google Ads and YouTube accounts.
Because it pops up on the right-hand side of the search page, that Google listing likely also drives more traffic to your website than all the SEO boost FindLaw has generated for you.
If you’re unsure whether or not you own your Google Map listing, give us a call today and we will help you find out. Even if Findlaw had created the listing, there’s methods we can use to request ownership transfer rights of your map listing to you.
Will We Lose Our SEO Rankings?
If you’ve been paying FindLaw that extra fee to do search engine optimization (SEO) management, you’re probably also concerned about losing that boost.
We can help you interpret the data from FindLaw and determine where your traffic is coming from and, just as importantly, where it’s not coming from. We also can perform SEO analysis on your pages to make sure they are optimized to current standards.
Search engine companies update their search criteria frequently, so you could use other SEO sites or services to monitor your own website and make sure it stays current.
Should We Maintain our FindLaw Listings?
When you transfer your website away from FindLaw, you can maintain your listings in features such as Spotlight to TopSpot for a fee (through Findlaw). Whether that’s worth continuing will be something for you to determine. Certain practice areas and geographic locations perform better then others and some lawyers see more benefits then others by maintaining their TopSpot listings.
We can help you analyze your traffic reports to determine whether there is value in maintaining these FindLaw listings.
What Happens to Our Videos?
FindLaw, for whatever reason, maintains their clients’ videos in-house, rather than outsourcing them to YouTube. This means if you have videos with FindLaw, you’ll need to find another way to get them into your new website.
The best bet it to create a YouTube channel and put your videos out where the world is more likely to find them anyway. Your videos best perform when listed on YouTube. YouTube is the second-most-trafficked site, after Google. You’ll have the potential to generate much more traffic once your videos are on YouTube.
You also can link your YouTube and Google local listing, making it more likely that potential clients will be drawn to your YouTube channel.
A good local alternative, if you’re nervous about losing your videos, is ReelLawyers.com. This is a company started by Bill White, founder and publisher of Super Lawyers and Minnesota Law & Politics Magazine (1990-2010).
Let’s Get You Away from FindLaw
The main takeaway is that you don’t need to be scared about shifting your website from FindLaw. You’ll be able to keep the most important components – your domain name, your best content, your TopSpot listings, and your search engine juice.
In fact, when you do it the right way, you’re likely to gain traffic to your website as you’ll have more control over the content, you’ll add that all-important YouTube channel and you’ll save money.
If you’d like even more assurance that you’re making the transition the right way, we’d be happy to help. Our website design team has worked with more than 1,000 businesses over the past 10 years creating vibrant and SEO powerful websites. Contact us today to learn more about making the transition away from your FindLaw website.Request a free estimate