Business people know that one of the best ways to figure out what you're doing right or wrong is to spy on what the competition is doing. Back in Ye Olde Times, that might have involved sending a "secret shopper" in to report back what happened at another law firm's intake interview.
Today, though, it's as easy as visiting another firm's website -- and it can be other firms anywhere in your state, or even elsewhere in the country. It pays to take some time to see what the competition, or even your non-competition peers, are doing.
What can you learn from visiting other attorneys' websites?
Are They All the Same?
The legal field is one where lawyers have to differentiate themselves from other lawyers who are basically all offering similar services. If you visit a bunch of different lawyer websites, and they all look the same, then that's your cue to make sure yours looks different. And we don't just mean colors and fonts: We mean organization, copy, and tone. You should also make sure that your website is customized for who you are and what kinds of clients you want.
What Type of Content Do They Have?
Gone are the days when a law firm's website was a single page with some photos and contact information. A law firm website now has to be more holistic than that. If you visit competitors' websites and see things like blog posts and general information about legal issues in their practice areas, it's time to consider expanding your own website. Yours has to be interactive, a place that people can come back to, not just a billboard.
How Do They Describe Themselves?
Are your competitors making aggressive claims, or insisting that they're problem solvers? The trend these days is away from the old personal injury tropes of "fighting for you" and more toward positing that you have a problem the law firm can fix.
Then again, if you visit other attorneys' websites and don't know what you're looking for -- or even if other attorneys are doing things correctly -- then the whole exercise might be futile. That's what FindLaw's Lawyer Marketing experts are for; they can help you determine what you should be doing with your website.