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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

Website Enlightenment

[Part Two in a Two Part Series]

 

By Ginger Bisek, BASF Bulletin Contributor

 

Last month we let the secret out: In order to understand how the wacky, weird and (at times) wearisome web really works – you’ve got to do your homework.

We covered the development cycle, your value proposition, planning for the future and using custom or ready-made designs.

What will we cover today? (SEO) Search Engine Optimization is not going to make or break you, you probably should spend money on ads, don’t try to redesign your website and create a social network campaign at the same time, and a website is a house.

SEO isn’t going to make or break you. Stop thinking that search-engine-optimization is the end-all-to-be-all to success. It’s not. Yes, there are SEO components that you can control that should be integrated into the copy, but it’s not going to march customers to your door.

Good content, great design, SEO integration, social network strategy, marketing and ad campaigns, word-of-mouth… They all play a part in highlighting your practice. There is no one component that guarantees success. They must all work together.

Spend money on advertisements. Yes, buy online ads. If you don’t know the best way to approach an online ad campaign, hire people who do and sit next to them. Take notes so you don’t have to sit next to them again. Start slowly with an ad or two, test how they perform (metrics folks, metrics) and then go big. And “big” doesn’t necessarily mean spend all your money buying up ad space. Going big means you’ve discovered an ad that works and you’ve developed a landing page (marketing page) that targets potential clients by providing something they value. And you’re gathering those metrics, too. Go big or go home. Do your homework!

Don’t do too much at the same time. Don’t try to redesign your website and create a social media campaign at the same time. Chances are good that you are on a budget (we all are) and people within your office (or just yourself) are adding this website to existing tasks. Americans are working harder then ever nowadays.

First, get your website in shape. While you are engaged in this worthy endeavor you are making discoveries along the way. As you move from the strategic phase to the design and copy phase to the development phase, copious amounts of new ideas will spring to your mind. Write them down. You will forget them if you don’t write them down. Many of these ideas will be the seeds for a great social network campaign or a blog.

A website is the house that holds the facts about your practice areas in a variety of rooms. Social networks are the doors that invite potential clients into the house and then into those rooms.
Make sure they are furnished wisely.

 


 

Ginger Bisek helps solo practitioners, law firms and bar associations create better websites as copywriter and content developer. Email her at ginger@virginiabisek.com for more information.

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