Content Pilot’s Ten Foundational Best Practices (FBPs) for law firm websites, which launched in 2005, are refreshed each year to take into account foundational changes that have been made in the broad web industry, as well as changes in visitor expectations and the behaviors of buyers of legal services. Certain FBPs have been included since the beginning, new ones have been added and others have been updated.
There are a total of 70 attributes within the 2019 Ten FBPs, but briefly, they can be described as follows:
- Communicating your Message – clear and differentiating firm strategy, strengths and focus are apparent, geographic reach can be understood
- Design – bold, distinctive branding, responsive design, intuitive information hierarchy and strong imagery
- Navigation – global/local navigation are consistent and intuitive across multiple devices. Hamburger menus or hybrid menus are becoming standard in all redesigns
- Professional Biographies – detailed lawyer experience, an overview filled with keywords that paint a current, relevant picture of the person’s practice, current and larger-format photos, social media and page-tool links
- Content (excluding biographies) — quality, clarity, effective portrayal of domain expertise and intuitive organization of all other narrative content. Smaller, more consumable pieces of content enable mobile and desktop visitors to quickly scan
- Interactivity, Engagement and Social Outreach – how interactive and engaging is your site? Ready access to additional content, including multimedia, blogs, social media, alumni portals, extranets and share functionality
- Site Search – remember, it’s not about searching, it’s about “finding” – easy access to and quality of multiple site search options and intuitive search results
- Site Optimization & Online Awareness (SEO) – is your site optimized for search engines? We analyze nine basic attributes that make your Internet presence more powerful
- Mobility / Responsive – brand integrity is high on mobile devices, your design and functionality are intuitive and provide a good user experience on the latest devices
- Site Hygiene and Usability – site functions perfectly on the latest desktop and mobile browsers, no error pages or broken links, site meets the W3C Level 1 accessibility standards
If you want to see how the AmLaw Global 50 law firms did in the Ten Foundational Best Practices, check out our last comprehensive study. And stay-tuned for our upcoming CP Flash Survey – Websites and our next comprehensive look at the Ten Foundational Best Practices.