5 Tips for Selecting a Legal Website Vendor


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Hi there, Mr or Ms. Lucky You. If you found this page, it is likely you have been tasked with revamping the firm’s website and possibly the marketing program.

You’re likely a busy lawyer with client work to do, so we created this post to save you boatloads of time.

After reading you will be able to immediately strikeout companies which may be outdated, overworked, or worse, under worked and behind the times. Don’t let them squander your afternoon with presentations, or worse the collective hours of several people in the office thereby costing the firm hundreds of dollars!

Let’s begin: Contact with each vendor will start with a phone call or possibly an email, and a phone call has its advantages.

Why?

Because they should be learning about YOU and the firm’s goals and it is easiest to do on a phone call. Asking about the type of clients that work with your firm; where they are geographically; how they make contact; why those clients chose to hire your firm previously.

Tip: If you don’t have such a discussion it’s a red flag.

They may also ask about budget, which is your call, but it can save everyone time.  Make sure to state a budget that is reasonable and below your max. Once the company understands a bit about you, then the following topics are to help keep the discussion apples to apples as you speak with vendors.

#1. Mobile

Most of our client sites in 1 million+ populated cities began seeing mobile traffic making up 20-30% of their total in early 2014. If their site was built in 2011 or before, it was likely not built in a “responsive” format.  Today most clients have ~50% (or more) mobile traffic to their site.

Mobile is paramount, and the presentation or collateral you receive, Mobile strategy should be a major consideration. If you’re not hearing about “touchable” and “responsive” formats they are likely not the right fit.

#2. SEO

SEO is not dead. I repeat, it is not dead. It’s actually better than ever before and there is a ton of opportunity to those who are creative.

SEO for 2017 will come from providing remarkable content that is helpful to a reader, while also including important technical principles.

If you are not sure what SEO is, start here – there is a video that will quickly summarize and save you time.

#3. Website Design

There are great websites, and websites with great designs. The difference is in the system engineered into the site.

A great website has newsletter and email capture features for future contact so you may begin an email strategy.

The site’s text and branding is as distinguishing as a “purple cow” because the company crafted the design from competitive research, then gave it an intuitive flow, with every page having a common goal: contact the law firm. Adding written content, leaving reviews, and keeping people updated on what the firm is doing has been engineered through – and this is really important – a WordPress system or other “open source” system, and not a proprietary one.

If you simply want to upgrade an old design, there are templates available online and programmers on Craigslist that can do it cheap. Check out UpWork.com as well. The caveate to this is you will need to self-manage the creative process, so it’s a time opportunity matter to consider.

#4. Agreements / Contracts

Long term agreements are unnecessary unless you hear and see a reason for the value, such as offering exclusivity. Ok, so you’re basically talking marriage at that point which is moving a little fast. Learn if the company is interested in exclusive agreements, and then get an understanding of what the company can do to welcome you on board and see how the working relationship is.

Month to month and 90 day agreements are common in marketing ventures, however be willing to listen to (and dismiss) ideas which may take longer commitments.

Any company worth their salt who asks you to trust them should be willing to take a chance on you if your business is worth it to them.

#5. References & Testimonials

Of course you are going to ask for these, and potentially they sent over a well-designed sheet with testimonials from same 15 clients they have been using for years. Things change, and deeper research is available.

Now you can look into Glass Door employee reviews, check out a Facebook or Instagram page, and get an inside glimpse into the company. Yellow flags should go up for the company claiming to aid you in social media marketing if they can’t do it for themselves.

About Obu:
We’re interested in being considered for your business which is why we created this post. We also understand the needs and time constraints that comes with working with lawyers who run their own firms, or lawyers who get the task of handling firm website needs while juggling a demanding career.

We have worked with over 100 law firms to help them reach their goals. If you have questions, please give us a call at 800-619-5499. We look forward to learning more about you, your firm, and your goals for the coming year.

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Landon Harlan
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August 26, 2016

Landon is the co-founder and CEO of Obu Interactive.

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