Practice Management

Does Your Web Site Bite?

The Challenge
If you have a web site, you will know that a major challenge is keeping it fresh and interesting.

Content that is updated regularly will draw clients and prospective clients to your site. And it will also automatically improve your rankings with Google and other search engines.

But where are you going to find the time to keep updating the site? And can you really justify losing that much billable time?

The Solution
An easy (and inexpensive!) way to ensure that your site is updated monthly with fresh content is to put all your client newsletters onto it. Every time you send out a newsletter, pop it onto the site as a matter of course.

You should also take advantage of the free, automatic news-feed from GhostDigest (see A Ghostdigest newsfeed for instructions). GhostDigest's weekly updates on happenings and news in conveyancing and property law will be of particular interest to correspondent firms, your clients and other property professionals.

Make the newsletter and GhostDigest links prominent on your Home Page. It is amazing how many firms offer newsletters and news-feeds, but then force visitors to scour their web sites to find them - very few clients (or other visitors to the site) are going to bother!

The "Bite"!
You may not want Rover to bite every visitor to your home, but you do want your web site to "bite" each and every client - and quality potential client - who surfs in for a Virtual Visit.

You want visitors to return, and they will do so if you make it worth their while.

So make sure that your newsletters (and any other updates to your web site) actually do give visitors something of value - and you can't beat topical, interesting, useful information for that. Keep it short and simple - make it accessible to the layperson in ahurry, and you are onto a winning formula.

The Online Sign-Up
If you provide a facility for visitors to the site to sign up for newsletters, keep it simple, and have your web site designer protect it from spammers and web bots.

Some firms prefer to offer newsletters only to visitors who are prepared to supply a bit of detail about themselves. Others are happy just to take an e-mail address in the hope that the recipient will - sooner or later - become a client. The choice is yours.

May your web site bite!

Jack Crook (LLB Lond, LLB Rhod) is the author of LawDotNews, a monthly newsletter which is personalised and e-mailed to your firm's clients compliments of your firm. Readers are welcome to contact Jack, or visit his web site at http://www.dotnews.co.za for further details.

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