Many law firm Web sites are a billboard out in a cornfield -- hastily built with almost no one looking at it. To the unhappy surprise of a law firm my firm is advising, only a smattering of visitors were going to their very expensive, Flash-adorned Web site. They didn't even know it.
It turned out that no one was checking the traffic statistics to the site. At first, they weren't even sure whom to ask to find out. Later, I read through the traffic logs and found that fewer than 1,000 visitors per week went to the site, which is very low for a law firm Web site. The partner I reported this to was very sad.
To make it worse, I reported that 80% of their visits came from lawyers and other employees from inside the law firm. So only 200 people per week from outside the firm were visiting the site. Now the partner was really sad.
I could immediately tell what the problems were:
- The Flash graphic on the home page was causing the bots and spiders sent out be search engines to bounce off. Search engines index text, not graphics. We're going to make that a static, non-animated graphic.
- The site had no <title> or <meta> tags. There was no bait to attract the search engines.
- There was no text on the home page. This meant that there was indeed nothing for the search engines to index.
Fortunately, these are all easy things to fix. My point is that you must know the basics about your Web site. You wouldn't drive your car without checking the gas and looking at the speedometer. Similarly, you shouldn't put a Web site online without checking the traffic statistics.