Of all the statistics to emerge from the American Bar Association’s 2012 Legal Technology Survey, one stood out in particularly bold relief: Nearly 40 percent of solo practitioners don’t have an attorney website.
Surprising? Yes and no. Law has always been a referral-driven field, and that 40 percent must be doing something right — they are in business, after all. Still, it does seem archaic, and it does make you ask: How much more successful would those firms be if they had websites?
With that in mind, here are four reasons why even the smallest firms need a Web presence.
Reason #1: It’s how people find information these days
The Pew Internet & American Life Project, a long-term study on U.S. Internet usage, offers two telling statistics:
- 92 percent of online adults now use search engines to find information on the Web
- Nearly 60 percent of adults use the Web to find information on local businesses.
The takeaway: Want potential clients to find you? You need an online presence. And as crucial as that is now, it will only intensify. The Nielsen research firm recently released a report dubbing today’s 18- to 34-year-olds as “Generation C.” The “C” in this case stands for “connected.” Per Nielsen, that age group — which represents 23 percent of the U.S. population — has fully embraced everything digital: online video, social media, tablets, streaming music, online shopping, smartphones and more. Using a law firm that doesn’t have a website would probably be unthinkable to them.
Reason #2: First impressions matter
A Web presence also allows your firm to make a first impression on that 60 percent of people who use the Web for local searches — and on the people who get referred to you. Even the most basic website — one with details on your practice area(s), attorney bios and contact information — can quickly make a case for your firm. Augment it with, say, a blog, articles and other types of resources, and you’ll reinforce that first impression.
Reason #3: It will serve as the foundation for your marketing efforts
While referrals will continue to be valuable, law firms need to market themselves in today’s business environment. A website can’t and shouldn’t be your only marketing tool. But given the digital-focused nature of modern-day consumers, it can serve as a key building block for your overall marketing strategy.
Reason #4: Your competitors are probably online
If so, they’re visible to potential clients 24/7/365. They’ve added a relatively inexpensive marketing tool to their arsenal. And, if their sites are well designed and user friendly, they’ve established credibility by offering what is a must-have for most of today’s consumers.
These four points are only the start, and you could easily add a dozen more to the list. In fact, it’s hard to think of good reasons why a law firm shouldn’t have a website in today’s economy.
To learn more about how FindLaw can help with website solutions, please contact us for a free consultation.