I frequently discuss the subject of law firm websites. In the modern era, your website is your firm’s shop window. The question is, how often do potential clients look in?
That’s largely down to how your site is performing in search engine rankings. If you aren’t near the top of page one on Google, no-one will see you. So, when Google decides to mix things up a little, you need to pay attention.
Google commits itself to making your online security its main priority. Since October of this year, version 62 of Google’s Chrome browser will display a “Not secure” warning in the address bar at the top of the page if you enter data into a form on an HTTP website.
So, what are HTTP and HTTPS? The former stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions web servers and browsers take in response to various commands. Many of the websites you visit, particularly online shopping sites, run the alternative HTTPS system. Google is now encouraging everyone to move to HTTPS. The extra “S” standing for “Secure”.
In addition, if you don’t have an HTTPS website, Google will penalise you in search page rankings. You may just not appear at all.
Any sign that your site is insecure will make potential clients think twice before contacting you. In addition, if your non-secure site means you are not listed in search results, new business enquiries will take a hit.
According to a recent article in Today’s Wills and Probate News, an estimated 80% of all law firms will be affected by the changes. Clearly, these are changes that you should not take lightly. You are always only one click away from losing a potential new client. It doesn’t make sense to do nothing as, effectively, you are sending an enquirer direct to one of your competitors.
Fortunately, this is an issue that you can easily rectify. Contact your web hosting company and seek their advice about the best way to move to HTTPS.
HTTPS pages typically use one of two secure protocols to encrypt communications – SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security).
Whatever the case, a good web hosting company should be able to make the change for you with little fuss. If this isn’t the case, consider moving your site to a reputable host.
When we made the change at LawWare, the whole job was completed by our web hosting company in a matter of an hour.
You may have to redirect a few of your key URLs on your site. However, your hosting company can help with this too. For most modern websites built on the WordPress platform, this is not necessary.
When LawWare moved its website over to HTTPS, we noticed a slight dip, followed by a marked improvement in our Google rankings. It was well worth the effort in terms of hits to the site and enquiries generated.
We also took the opportunity to look at a few other aspects of our site to help our rankings and visibility. I suggest you do the same. The main one is to assess how your site is set up for search engine optimisation. You will probably need professional assistance to do this but, in terms of improving your rankings and new enquiries, it’s well worth it.
In addition, the following earlier posts offer an idea of alternative methods to improve your site:
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Our clients range from small start-up legal practices to multi-partner, multi-site firms.
Another great customer service experience from LawWare. My laptop had to be stripped back to factory settings as part of a repair - taking hours! In contrast, restoring LawWare took one phone call to the support team and I was up and running in 6 minutes. If only everything was so easy!
As the first commercial user of LawWare back in 1998, we have had no hesitation in remaining with the product through its development. We thoroughly recommend it to any firm looking for a practice management system.
The helpdesk is exceptionally good. Whatever the query there is always a human being there to help. No leaving messages or being advised to go to a website. The best computer service for solicitors I have ever used!
The linking of documents and casefiles saves so much time! I have experience of several accounts packages and I like that LawWare is simple to use and easy to learn. Support is quick and effective and staff are helpful and courteous.
I have worked with a number of Case Management providers over the years but have not come across anything with the attention to detail and thoroughness of LawWare. My colleagues and I have not been disappointed.
I can’t imagine trying to be a law firm in the 21st Century without 21st Century IT systems. Having a ‘single system’ that underpins all the work, whether we are in the office or out, is an integral part of what we are building.
The level of support is the main benefit using this system. The system itself once you have had training is simple and easy to use. We have a great relationship with LawWare and the ongoing support is second to none.
Significant preparation was required to configure and import the data from our old firm. We had to get all clients onto the new system and then learn how to use it. We just find it very easy to use, much easier than our old system.
Being a busy litigator with a growing firm it is incredibly useful to be able to view my files from any location with some form of internet connection. I am a fan, and want to keep working with LawWare to make a good product great.
The switch to the new LawCloud system, which is still on-going, has gone very well. We found the LawWare team without exception to be very helpful and knowledgeable. All queries are followed up and dealt with promptly.