Sideways Surfing and Other Modern Website Considerations

How do General Counsel use law firm websites? What content resonates, and what would be a waste of energy? These are just the sort of questions answered in the new Law360 article, The Do's And Don'ts Of Law Firm Websites. To gain insights on the current best practices for leading attorney websites, Melissa Maleske turned to three industry experts, including Great Jakes co-founder Robert Algeri.

How are users coming to websites? “Sideways surfing” from search engines, email and social media is now the primary way visitors come to firm websites. Robert pointed out that “80 percent of traffic to the website is bypassing the home page, and where they end up is the bios.”

Which content is key? Attorney bios should be filled with relevant articles, posts and case studies they’ve written, webinars they’ve presented and even photos of the attorneys. As Robert noted, “Websites of the past made claims about experience and expertise. What law firm websites need to do today is substantiate those claims and demonstrate experience.”

Do portrait photos matter? Consistent, professional-quality photos not only speak to the character of a firm, but are an opportunity to inject personality into the website. Robert cautioned against attorney photos being wacky: “We recommend inspiring, imaginative and thoughtful photos that are very well shot.”

How important is search functionality? Poor search functionality often results in the “ping-pong effect” – users aimlessly bouncing around a website. Robert explained the experience users want: “Google has taught us all that search is important; people want to navigate the web using search.”

Is a desktop site enough? Cell phones and tablets are now being used to search the internet with the same frequency as desktop computers. Robert emphasized the importance of being equally accessible on desktop and mobile and said, “Responsive design is the technology that allows for mobile access, and law firms should be embracing it.”

For more great insights and tips, read the full article, here.