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The "About The Firm" page is more often than not the most important page on your firm's site, primarily because it is often your most frequently visited page, but also because it contains an overview that will either set your firm apart or show potential clients you are not ready for prime-time, or at least ready to solve their problem. The "About" page, even more than the home page, is the one page where you're allowed a 15-20 second elevator speech (Home pages are even less forgiving, often only averaging a 4-6 second first impression) to make your case. So why do so many firms treat this page like the "Drunk Uncle" of their website? Here are a few things you can and should look for in your "About The Firm" page.
1. Get personal. No one likes reading long drawn-out details of your firm's practice areas. Save that for the practice area pages; that is what those pages are for. This page should be where you talk about how your firm helps people, how it positively affects lives (do you?), what people or companies you help and how you do it, what your firm's philosophy is (without getting too sappy), and how and how well you treat every client (again, do you?).
2. A little help here. Have a professional writer edit it at least, if not write the whole thing. This is the one page of your website that should be a little slick, without sounding slick. Writers can achieve that difficult balance. Not many lawyers are writers.
3. Keep it brief, keep it simple. While it's ok to list your firm's history and accomplishments, accolades and awards, keep these items as brief as possible. You do want to brag a little, but don't come off sounding like that annoying kid in school who knew everything. Modesty and brevity go a long way. Linking to pages that delve into more detail in these areas would certainly be a good idea however, if your firm has many interesting aspects to it.
4. Skip the videos. While videos can be powerful, how can you create a video that will show the entire firm without highlighting or focusing on certain people or specific practices? Videos should be used to pinpoint expertise in specific areas or topics, not as an overview of an entire firm, even though many firms in my legal marketing niche recommend this. We do not, but we think videos can be a great tool for detail marketing.
5. Read what other law firms are writing about their practices, and be different than them. It would be hard to differentiate yourself from other firms unless you knew what they were saying about themselves, so do the leg work to discover this, and use this as a guide to how to present your firm on the "About" page. it was always funny to me how many law firms used a tag line of "results matter" as if they had no idea that a million other firms had already thought of it!
6. Look for cliches in your writing, and kill them. Clichés and overused buzzwords are more than just annoying: they can turn off an educated reader to the point of alienating them from even contacting your firm. Look carefully at your writing, and if there are Clichés or buzzwords, replace them with terms and descriptions that are natural-sounding and original.
7. Create a nice solid presentation package of services. Summarize your practice areas in their order of importance and link each practice area name to its corresponding practice page. This might be a fairly obvious thing to most, but I run into this quite a lot when I speak with lawyers who need help with their sites, and I don't understand why this critical piece of information is not included on such an important page.