From registering a domain to boosting search engine rankings, Alexander speaks from personal experience, sharing practical tips on four main aspects of website development in plain language. What makes this series stand out is that it’s not just standard advice, it’s customized for the legal industry, and suggests considerations the readers may not have thought of.
Here are a few of the tidbits that stand out in Part 1: Website Building Blocks:
- What to do when someone else owns the domain name you had your heart set on
- Whether you should hide/privatize your information at your domain register
- The most important qualities to look of in a web hosting company
- The potential downsides of all-in-one website packages
- Why using your website domain as your email address extension is the way to go
Part 2: Design & Development gets into the nitty gritty of hiring a professional vs. doing it yourself. Here at Stem, we design all new client websites using WordPress, so I was glad to see that’s what being recommended here. Alexander offers another good point here – if you’re determined to do it yourself, there are tons of good, free resources online, and “most adult community education centers now offer courses in WordPress.” Many cities have WordPress meetups or groups, too.
In Part 3: Analytics, Alexander discusses how to measure the success of your website, and suggests that every law firm should be using Google Analytics if they aren’t already using another tool. She then identifies what metrics law firms should be concerned with, and what to do with that information.
Wrapping up the series is Part 4: Search Engine Optimization, where Alexander says that there are three key things you should do before you get started with SEO: 1) have a basic understanding of how search engines work, 2) understand that SEO is an evolving concept, and 3) recognize the difference between paid and organic search results. She then goes on to explain how content, platform and design, links and social shares affect rankings, and offers four main actions you can take to boost your rankings. No surprises here, just good, solid advice: write good content, regularly; share and engage via social media; hire a professional SEO; and submit your site to search engines.
All in all, this series is an excellent guide to the basics of law firm websites – a must-read for anyone thinking about starting a new site or wanting to improve or just make the most of their current site.