Thursday, October 19, 2006

Is Your Website A Business Development Tool?

Yesterday's Legal Marketing Association meeting in Austin, Texas had a phenomenal speaker on the Top Ten Foundational Best Practices For Law Firm Websites. The speaker, Deborah McMurray (CEO of Content Pilot), has worked in and around law firm marketing for over two decades, and is one of the sages in the industry.

Deborah also knows her stuff about how to make websites more than just a sterile brochure. She has consulted with firms across the country, helping them to create websites that communicate their message. But her presentation transcended industry lines, and would apply to any company that wants their website to be a true business development tool.

Deborah's company conducted an in depth study of the websites for the Am Law 100 (the country's largest 100 firms) ranking them in ten areas:

1. Communication of message
2. Graphic design
3. Navigation
4. Narrative content
5. Lawyer biographies
6. Practice/Industry descriptions
7. Contact information
8. Site searchabiltiy
9. Site optimization for online search
10. Site "hygiene

Not surprisingly the results showed that these large firms mostly had room for improvement. Only 10% ranked excellent, with over 40% being labeled as fair or poor.

Deborah is an engaging speaker, coupled with her knowledge on the subject made this one of the best luncheons I have attended in a long while. Even after a decade of working in and around law firms I am still amazed at how many lawyers fail to understand the importance of all the aspects of marketing, business development, public relations, and sales. To ignore the website as a business development tool is another example of firms failing to reach their full potential (and thus allowing their competition to beat them!)

More information on the survey and on Deborah and her company are available at www.contentpilot.net.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer
www.thomsinger.com
thom@thomsinger.com

1 comment:

Andrew said...

This is a quite interesting study. Having done my share of law firm research online, I would especially testify to the lack of search capabilities and online search optimization of firm websites. In fact, I completely gave up using firm search options, and I just use Google (site:www.firmname.com). The problem is that some firms use Flash for pages, and you don't even get results with Google. Frustrating!

Thanks for the post.