Make Your Business Website an Indispensable Resource

Every business knows they need a website—but they don't all know how to make them useful. Here's how white-shoe law firm Davis Polk found a way to turn their website into a resource for clients.

A desk with an Apple desktop computer and laptop

It sounds obvious: make your website useful.

But in practice, businesses don’t do it.

While it’s good to maintain an About Us page describing who you are and a Services page about how you can help, you need to go above and beyond the usual content.

I’m talking about content marketing that makes your law practice, financial advisory firm, or clothing company a super useful, up-to-date resource for all potential clients, regardless of whether they require your services right now.

If you’ve established yourself as a credible source over time, when that person or company does need a lawyer, he or she will think of your business and also recommend your services.

Case Study: Davis Polk

The global law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell saw a big opportunity after the U.S. Congress passed financial reform in 2010 known as Dodd-Frank. The law would create hundreds of new, complex regulations over time. But there was no resource to track when they’d be implanted, which agencies would handle them, and how agencies were complying with the law.

A young associate noticed this in 2011, and proposed turning the firm’s “database of legal summaries and rule-making deadlines into an interactive site,” according to the New York Times. The firm had also created a subscription service, where for $7,500-per-month, clients could access advanced tools to track the law’s progress.

It quickly reaped benefits for the firm. “There were a lot of new relationships because people want this,” Randall D. Duynn, the head of the firm’s financial institutions practice, said at the time.

The firm, which features a Resources section on its website, highlighting broad expertise, from Securities to Corporate Governance, has particularly featured its Dodd-Frank Resource Center, complete with memos on subtopics, annual progress reports, and graphs. The firm has enabled social too, with a Twitter account sharing updates: @DavisPolkReg.

The Resource Center also serves as a natural way to promote its lawyers’ expertise, who produce the memos by “draw[ing] on their vast experience, as well as their intense focus across a broad range of legal and business developments that may impact our clients.”

A Strategy for All Industries

This content marketing strategy goes beyond law firms to every industry you can think of. If you’re a real estate broker in New York City, you could create a resource to understanding the Rent Stabilization Law – many of your potential clients looking to rent apartments surely would want to review it, and would come to see you as a trustworthy source. Or, if you’re a real estate investment firm, you could design a quarterly guide to Where People Want to Live Now as a way to build credibility with investors.

The key to this kind of great content marketing is not only thinking of what you could write about to become a great resource, but also updating the content frequently (perhaps daily, perhaps weekly), and keeping the writing targeted to your audience and to-the-point.

We can help you do this, give us a call.

Keenan Steiner

Keenan Steiner

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