How To Leave FindLaw
When small firms are looking for website solutions and digital marketing, FindLaw can be an easy, obvious choice. More than 17,000 small law firms use FindLaw for their website. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, and after working with FindLaw for a few years, many firms are ready to look for something new. Leaving FindLaw can be intimidating, but your website and digital efforts are easily the most important marketing you can do for your firm. Be confident in making the best decision for your firm.
Why leave FindLaw?
Because FindLaw is so ubiquitous in legal marketing, it seems like the easy choice for many small firms. But FindLaw is not the best choice for every firm. Every firm is different, striving for unique goals and functioning in a unique market. The “one-size-fits-all” approach that has to be taken by a company of FindLaw’s size may not match up with the needs of a small firm. FindLaw’s digital marketing methods focus very strongly on search engine optimization. While this is a critical part of any company’s web strategy, it is just that: a part. Depending on your firm and your goals, law firm search engine optimization may not be the most important part of your digital marketing. Given that search engine optimization is at the heart of most FindLaw strategies, it also begs the question: how can FindLaw make all of its clients show up in search? FindLaw can have more than 250 firms as clients in a single metro area. It is likely that many of these firms would be aiming to rank for the same search terms. Any marketing firm that works in a specific industry will have to face the problem of clients competing for the same rankings eventually, but with such a large number of the clients in the same industry vertical in the same market, only a few can “win.”
FindLaw owns your content
FindLaw has created a proprietary content management system to manage websites. This means that if you decide to leave, you will not be able to take your site with you, unless you are willing to continue paying a subscription fee to use their content management system. Although we certainly hope you won’t need to find another web marketing company after working with us, we understand that you need the flexibility to work with whatever vendors and service providers are best aligned with your goals. FindLaw also considers the design of your site proprietary and will not provide you with the original design files when your contract ends. These proprietary systems effectively hold your website hostage, forcing you to start from the beginning if you want to move on. But making the change is worth the effort.
Preparing to move on
When you are ready to end your contract with FindLaw, you will first need to find out who owns your domain. If you purchased the domain on your own, you should be all set; if FindLaw purchased the domain on your behalf, let them know that you need to have the domain transferred to your ownership.
Next, consider the services that you currently have in place on your FindLaw site. We can help you perform an audit of your current site to help you determine which services are truly helping you work toward your goals. Any of the services you would like to keep using, from video to live chat, will need to be recreated with new vendors. This is also a very good time to take a good look at the content you have on your site. There is not an automated export process from FindLaw, so we will need to plan on manually moving your site content into the new site. Review your current content to identify any outdated or unnecessary pieces that do not need to be transferred to the new site, and identify any gaps that you would like to fill before the new site launches.
Leaving FindLaw can be intimidating, especially for a small firm, but if you are starting to think that it’s time to move on, you and your firm are probably ready to take on something new. You can depend on us to help you assess your current site, make sure all of the technical requirements are in order, and build you a great new site that’s perfectly tailored to you and your goals.