We all know a law firm’s website is crucial to its success in today’s digital age. Your website serves as an online face of the law firm, showcasing its culture, values, and services. But all too often we see law firms have absolutely no control of its access, and that’s just the beginning. I can’t begin to tell you how many times (it approaches about 50% of our clients) firm stakeholders have no password access to other important properties like Google Analytics, their domain itself, social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more. Oh, I know what you are thinking. Who needs social media anyway…I can hear you saying it now as you read this. I would urge you to read our book “Legal Marketing Straight Talk” now and learn why, maybe you’re right! But alas, there’s a good chance you have all or some of these properties already setup and as such, you need to protect them like GOLD!
As your law firm changes and evolves digitally, it’s not uncommon for you to switch marketing agencies to aid your growth a few times along the way to climbing the success ladder. This is where we see most issues. Some agencies that you or your partner hired 10 years ago setup a Facebook page or even the website, and the login credentials are long gone.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss what law firms (that’s you) need to know about these properties and why having contiguous access is so important.
Website domain and the website itself can be somewhat of a complicated topic. Think of your domain name as your cell phone number, and your website as your actual cell phone that many of us replace with regularity. You can move that number from one carrier to the next using the same phone. With me so far? The domain name is www.X.com. It has its own host which is where you purchase and renew your domain. A lot of times this is something like GoDaddy or Namescheap. This is like that cell phone number we mentioned. To put your website live, you need to have its access. This access is the most forgotten point of entry, and if not properly maintained can cost you your actual domain name. Imagine losing that phone number you have had for 20 years! Catastrophic, except losing your firm’s domain name can be far more dramatic. We recently had a client that let their domain expire and held ransom (legally) by another provider for $5,000. To add salt to the wound, the URL was his namesake too, so alternatives were an unattractive option. So, keeping your credentials in a safe place, and an up-to-date credit card on file is essential. I also recommend renewing your domain for 5 years at a time, so you do not have to think about it. Most registrars also have an auto renew function too, which I recommend activating.
Where this becomes important from a marketing perspective is if you design a new website, your agency (that’s us) needs access to go live with the website. There is no other work around either.
Websites are typically built in what is called “WordPress” these days. You have probably heard of it, but if you have not it’s the foundation itself, like the one holding up your house. Its access is extremely important to maintain too for more obvious reasons. But you need to have ADMIN access to this which is crucial, and not a lower tier like editor. You need FULL CONTROL here. Why? In case you need to quickly move that site from one place to another (WordPress is a transferable and migrate-able platform) Admin access will allow you or a developer to move it easily from one web host to another.
What about social media?
I can go on and on about what social media channels you should be using, when and why. I won’t bore you here with that. But I want to impress upon you the importance of organizing this easily. There are a lot of social properties with a lot of passwords. Do yourself a favor (and us too) and use the same password for all of them. Make sure they aren’t your personal accounts but rather your professional profiles. Do not use your personal Facebook profile for your law firm. Use a long form password with at least 10 characters and avoid using something common like “winning” or “triallegend” or something else that is easily hacked. These properties, especially Facebook, make it exceedingly difficult if not impossible to recover a hacked profile. Remember, this is your business we are talking about here. Basic properties you might have setup are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yelp, Google My Business and more.
This is a close second in terms of stack ranking right behind your website domain. The two most important Google properties to keep access to at all times are Google Business Profile and Google Analytics.
GA or Google Analytics is Google tracking of your website traffic, which is especially important, if you are moving from one website provider to another. Losing access to this property can delete years of history making it difficult for you, or whomever is lucky enough to handle marketing your firm, to do their job.
Your Google Business Profile is something you have seen and heard about. Its access can be retrieved should you lose it, but it does take some time and is generally a pain. This is your online billboard and should be regularly updated anyway, so keep access at all times.
Okay cool, but what should I use to keep all my passwords safe?
I thought you would never ask. I like to use a spreadsheet that I keep on my computer and keep saved to Dropbox or another file sharing service. Redundancy is key here, so keep a couple of copies in SAFE places. You may even want to print it out and keep it in a safe place with all your cash from that case your just settled unless you already bought the new Bentley, in which case the glove box will do. I kid. You can use Google Sheets too or there are many cell phone apps used for this purpose. So, check the app store!
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Whether you need help with website design, search engine optimization, social media marketing, or content creation, we have the skills and experience necessary to help your law firm succeed online. With a proven track record of success and a client-centric approach, Precision Legal Marketing is the partner you can trust to deliver results.
Do not wait any longer to start achieving your online marketing goals. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help your law firm thrive in the digital age.