I was invited to pitch for a well known barristers chambers website last week. A point we emphasised was the importance of developing and marketing the barristers website following launch.
A typical pitch for a barristers’ website design and build project will involve Clerks, someone representing marketing, a few barristers and depending on the size and structure of the chambers, a variety of people from the Chief Executive, Finance Director or Head of Chambers.
An element which is consistent with each pitch is the huge amount of time and planning that goes into choosing the right company to complete the initial design and build of the barristers’ website. However, even the best laid plans go to waste if a strategy for the ongoing online marketing isn’t implemented following launch. It is after the barristers’ website is live that the chambers who appear at the top of the natural search engine listings really up their game.
Long gone are the days where an organisation sticks a website online ‘because everyone else has got one’ (a good few chambers are taking the same approach with social media at the moment, but that’s another story). A website for a barristers’ chambers should be an organic product that achieves business objectives set out at the start of the project. These goals should generate income for the chambers, as well as raising their profile.
Every element of the barristers’ website can be monitored and refined to reach these goals. Chambers no longer need to second guess whether a website is doing a good job ‘because someone mentioned to me that they liked our website during a phone call’, they should know it is doing a good job because £500,000 worth of business was generated from ‘keyword X’ in the last 12 months.
This process takes time and effort from both the website/marketing agency and the team involved at the barristers chambers, but we have seen the results make a huge difference to the new business enquiries chambers receive.
We have promoted barristers’ websites to the first page of Google for general keyword strings such as ‘barristers chambers’, ‘find a barrister’ and ‘direct access to barristers’ and also practice area specific keyword strings such as ’employment barristers’ and ‘commercial barristers’. These are the barristers’ chambers that have followed our advice by investing the time and a relatively small amount of money into the ongoing marketing of the website. By no coincidence, these same chambers are the ones that have taken a proactive approach to their online marketing after launch.
While online technologies have been embraced by chambers in recent years, the message of ongoing monitoring, and marketing to achieve the best possible returns for barristers websites still has a long way to go.