Online marketing for professional services, and in particular law firms, is a difficult proposition. Not only do legal online marketers have the challenge of overcoming lawyers’ sensibilities about legal advertising, we have to contend with 50 states bar’s advertising rules.

Then after dodging these two bullets, we are called to measure what may, at first blush, seem to be immeasurable: reputation, influence and persuasiveness.

Neil Mason’s ClickZ article, “Metrics for Non-Transactional Web Sites” brought me back to the early days of my web’s development when I would ask lawyers, “why do you want a web site?”

In those days of yore (!), law firm web sites appeared to be knee-jerk reaction to what their peers were doing.

But, if lawyers wanted a successful web site (or in this day and age, a successful blog), we had to decide where we were going. If there is no end-game in mind, we will just be wandering around.

This is even more true in the vast wasteland of the web.

Many law firms and lawyers struggle with this question: why do we have a web site?

In a nutshell, the answer is one, or a combination, of the following:

  1. Sell a product
  2. Display an online brochure
  3. Generate leads

Once the decision, it will color a site’s lay-out, design and content. And it will determine how we measure a site’s success.