The National Law Forum

The Blog of the The National Law Review

How Extensive Is Your Experience? Insights on Law Firm Website Text.

Sonny Cohen of Duo Consulting   provides some food for thought about the same old – same old law firm website text. From Last Week’s Business of Law at the National Law Review

It is common for law firm websites to speak about themselves with hyperbole.  Self-important adjectives litter the site content.  Firm’s with exceptional people are one-upped by those with truly exceptional people.  Knowledge is only valid if it isgenuine. Experience, it seems comes in a variety of flavors as well. Some firms havewide experience.  For others it is deep experience.  But the most common benchmark of experience is that it be extensive.  Does your firm claim extensive experience?

Now it’s not that I don’t believe it when I read of a professional’s extensive experience. It’s just that this really doesn’t tell me anything. Worse, it doesn’t tell me anything different from the next guy who also has extensive experience. In fact, I would argue, my baseline is extensive experience. Now tell me how you’re better.

If you Google the phrase “extensive experience” there are over 6 million website pages where this value is claimed.  Using the search tool on several law firm websites, I discovered an “extensive experience” ratio of about  35% – 50% (# of appearances of “extensive experience”/attorney). So making this claim doesn’t so much separate one professional from the pack as much as it defines the pack. (Check your firm’s ratio and let me know!)

But the problem with this “extensive experience” language is not merely that it is linguistic laziness. Rather, this laziness results in failing to detail the richness, complexity and detail which this phrase references. And in so not doing, opportunities are lost for using this missing content.  You won’t be found in a search engine because, frankly, nobody is looking for “extensive experience.” And you won’t be discovered in your site search because, well, almost half of all attorneys have the same vague amount of experience. And it is all extensive.

Yes, I understand that, often, considerable descriptive detail must be concealed for privacy considerations.  Yeah, so? Content developers (copywriters) simply have to work harder to anonymize those involved. But, with a little effort, it is possible and essential to provide sufficient detail to make the stories comprehensible and relevant – and content rich.

Go the extra mile to gather the detail that elicits that sense of extensive experience. Boil it down to 3 to 5 cogent bullet points of industry and matter relevance. And post it. Your site visitor will have a better experience. This will result in more web pages consumed and possibly a longer time on the site with more opportunity for engagement. And search engines will devour the details for their ranking algorithms.  And you know how I know this? I have extensive experience.

© 1999-2010 Duo Consulting

About the Author – Sonny Cohen:

Sonny works closely with Duo’s clients to develop their online business and marketing strategy. His tactical responsiblities include: Implementing and managing paid search engine campaigns;  Consulting on and implementing permission-based email; Providing strategic online marketing consultation to law firms and others using web analytics to help drive website and business performance and Conceputalizing and implementing social media marketing

Sonny has over 30 years of business management and marketing experience,  He was a Serial entrepreneur and business marketer as an Apple Computer reseller; Internet partner in the business consulting firm Friedman, Eisenstein, Raemer and Schwartz; Director of Business Development for startup Primecom, an online e-commerce application service provider; and Director of Marketing for NextPart, Inc..  312-529-3003 / www.duoconsulting.com

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