Law firms around the globe know lawyer Micah Buchdahl as the force behind the Internet Marketing Attorney Awards (IMAs), which rate and review what's good, and not so good, about firm Web sites ( www.internetmarketingattorney.com). When he's not clicking through sites, Micah focuses on assisting law firms with business development. We asked him to bring us up to speed on Web marketing.
You've been reviewing law firm Web sites for a few years. What's your number one gripe about them? It is scary to realize that I've been involved with law firm Web sites for 10 years! Yet we're still reading about Web marketing for lawyers like it's something new. That is gripe number one. Online business development, like marketing overall in the legal profession, is still extremely green and elementary in nature. Gripe two is that firms of all sizes continue to be ultra-conservative and cookie-cutter in their approach and development.
Where do you see the greatest improvement? The depth and consistency of data in the key areas—lawyer bios, practice areas and related publications and seminars—are vastly improved, along with the ability to find them (both through searching on the site and through search engines).
What's next? The vast majority of blogs will fizzle out. More specialty sites will be created for offices, practices and events, following a traditional corporate advertising campaign model. For many firms, the site itself will simply be a repository of all that is being done through offline marketing channels.