Legal sector. Digital benchmark The digital performance of thirty of the leading UK-based law firms, evaluated and ranked.

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1 Legal sector Digital benchmark 2014 The digital performance of thirty of the leading UK-based law firms, evaluated and ranked. Analysis, scores and commentary reveals online effectiveness among individual firms, and across the sector.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 2 Content spotlight 28 Executive summary 3 Lawyer-finder tools 28 Methodology 5 Graduate recruitment 31 Rankings 6 Conversion 31 Technology 10 Calls-to-action & more 31 A note about content management systems 10 Loyalty 34 Mobile & multi-screen optimisation 11 Long-term engagement activity 34 Awareness 13 Twitter performance 37 Search engine results compared 13 Popular legal content 39 SEO technical performance 15 Engagement 17 Visual impact 17 Segmentation 19 Content marketing 21 Site search functions 24 Usability 26 DIGITAL BENCHMARK

3 z "Challenger firms... achieved average revenue growth of more than double that of the average rate among the global 100 firms." Acritas research reported by Managing Partner, 2013 "There are some other clear trends... Law is now being much more actively marketed this is expected to increase the overall size of the market to the benefit of all." Neil Rose FT Innovative Lawyers 2013 DRAW DIGITAL BENCHMARK Faced with the financial crisis, leading law firms have become more open to new ways of working. Between restructuring, the Legal Services Act and the entrance of challenger firms, the transformation of the legal market is underway. As the FT recently noted: "There is a greater understanding and awareness of innovation that is striking. Firms are increasingly willing to embrace change; in-house counsel have come of age; new players have entered the market and are here to stay." In this climate, a law firm's website is a key asset. As an important though perhaps neglected, tool for marketing, reputation management, recruitment and generating new business its performance is increasingly important and deserves thought and attention. A second study Building on expertise gained by contributing to L2's digital reports, and by conducting the well-received 2012 Legal Sector Benchmark, Draw has undertaken a second study to evaluate the websites of 30 of the largest UK-based law firms. Covering 55 different touchpoints, the findings are summarised in this document. For more detailed information about your firm's ranking, please contact: Chris Doull Head of Professional Services, Draw FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US: +44 (0) DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 2

4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Excellent websites are not just visually attractive, they achieve the objectives set for them by their firms. They should excel at raising levels of awareness, engagement, conversion and loyalty among potential and existing clients. CLIENT EXPECTATIONS HAVE RISEN, TECHNOLOGY HAS EVOLVED... IT S TIME TO INNOVATE However, after examining the websites of 30 leading law firms over a number of months, we are unable to grade any of the 30 as "excellent" overall. Three sites scraped into the "good" grade; Irwin Mitchell, King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin and Bird & Bird. Sixteen reside in the "average" category, and we reluctantly judged the remaining 11 to be "weak". Too many missed opportunities Let's begin with how the websites are configured for mobile. According to research by Investis, 20% of all visits to corporate websites come from mobile devices. Yet of the 30 law firm websites in our study, only ten are optimising for mobile. Next, let's consider how law firms use the web to raise awareness of their experience and expertise. As I type this, across the globe, potential clients are furiously querying Google's search engine for advice and guidance about business law. Yet of the 30 websites in our study, only four firms reached a "good" grade in technical SEO. Or, in other words, only four firms appear to be taking the steps needed to prepare their content for high visibility in search engines. With their focus on personal legal services it's perhaps not suprising that Irwin Mitchell rank highly on Google for lots of valuable search terms. What is suprising is the gulf between the value of their first page "organic" search results - $19, and the value of the results of their nearest competitor in our study. Field Fisher Waterhouse is in second place with results worth $1, Law firms are packed with intelligent people. Their websites should engage their visitors, and often they do - in one way or another. Eight websites reached the "good" grade for visitor engagement, overall. Recently redesigned sites, such as Bird & Bird's, scored highly for visual impact. Irwin Mitchell won points for segmenting their website visitors and Dentons received the "good" grade for content marketing. Dentons' usability efforts are also to be commended. We also liked Holman Fenwick Willan's site search function, and Pinsent Masons' lawyer finder tool. And some songs remain the same. As we noted in our 2012 study of the sector, "law firms feel that 'laying out their stall' is a little unseemly", and in 2014 many of the websites are still coy about converting their website vistors into customers. Only three websites received "good" grades for their conversion efforts. However, we appreciated BLP's clear calls to action and CMS Cameron McKenna's use DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 3

5 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY "Build web products that meet audience needs: anticipate needs not yet fully articulated by audiences, then meet them with products that set new standards." No 1. of The BBC s Fifteen Web Principles "...we remain at the forefront of legal on-line activity. Indeed, our approach is to look at how we can mirror leading retail online operations rather than the approach of traditional law firms." Irwin Mitchell's Ian Powell interviewed by Kim Tasso of video on their "Expertise" pages. Using their websites to encourage client loyalty is another area that needs attention, across the sector. No sites were awarded "excellent" or "good" grades for their long-term engagement activity. Seven firms reached the "average" grade; Allen & Overy, Bird & Bird, Dentons, DWF, Hogan Lovells, Simmons & Simmons and Wragge & Co. Common reasons? It's suprisingly difficult to locate and sign up for newsletters, no personalisation and ineffective use of sector news. The need for an honest and open dialogue Summarised as "How B2B companies talk past their customers", recent research by McKinsey & Company reveals that there's a surprising gap between the brand messages that firms offer to customers and what their customers really want to know. When McKinsey researched the positioning of Fortune 500 and DAX 30 companies they found that "Themes such as social responsibility, sustainability, and global reach, which many B2B companies cast in a leading role for brand imaging, appeared to have a minimal influence on buyers perceptions of brand strength" and that: "Honest and open dialogue, which customers considered most important, was one of the three themes not emphasized at all by the 90 companies in our sample." In 2012, we used this column to warn of the "introspection" of law firm websites and their digital communications. In 2014, as online technology has evolved and user expectations have risen, it's surely time for more leading firms to turn outwards, to use the web to enter into the dialogue that their clients crave. Thanks for reading Just as a website is essential to a modern law firm's communications strategy, situation analysis is invaluable to the construction of that strategy. Enhanced knowledge of the digital competence of the competition reveals insights, that can be turned to a firm's advantage. We hope that you'll find this report useful, Ciarán Ryan Digital strategist, Draw DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 4

6 METHODOLOGY Updated report structure Wishing to produce more than a benchmark of context-less "digital" features, we have re-ordered the criteria around a path-to-purchase structure. Simply; Awareness, engagement, conversion and loyalty. Although research by Google tells that us that digital is changing clients' habits, that "we're all in a state of constant consideration", the path to purchase model is a useful conceit. It places the emphasis on customer impact, and highlights the business benefits that digital communications activity can bring. Technology Evaluation of mobile & multi-screen optimisation. Clients use tablets and mobile phones, their research is not confined to desktop computers. Conversion What steps are the websites taking to convert visitors into customers? Evaluation of calls-to-action and use of psychological factors. Awareness Are firms preparing their web pages for search engines? Evaluation of a number of elements; from evidence of the correct use of title tags, to the use of Google+. Loyalty Is there evidence that firms are using the web to build long-term engagement with their clients? Evaluation of the use of habit-forming activity, from the use of sector insights to personalisation and the promotion of newsletters. Engagement How are firms attempting to engage their website visitors? Evaluation of visual impact, segmentation, content marketing, site search and usability. Scoring system Independent examination, using 55 questions and touch-points, of the websites of 30 of the leading, UK based, law firms. Each touch-point is given a score between 0-5 (5 being excellent), totals are then converted into percentages. 80%+ Excellent 79% - 60% Good 59% - 40% Average < 40% Weak DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 5

7 RANKING RANK COMPANY SCORE DESCRIPTION 1 63% Good Irwin Mitchell's website is a friendly, useful resource. Its design focus on personal legal services benefits the presentation of its business expertise. The site is easily navigable, optimised for mobile devices and search engines, and uses clear calls-to-action. However, it does not do enough to encourage return visits. 2 61% Good A mobile-optimised, visually "clean" website. The website contain extensive proof of the firm's expertise, and makes its easy to connect with the authors of their insights and articles. The site lost points for its SEO and lack of sector news. 3 60% Good Bird & Bird's attractive website is also optimised for mobile. The site displays the firm's engaging Twitter feed on its clearly-structured pages. Photos are largely absent, which can make its pages appear text-heavy and less appealing. 4 59% Average Dentons' website has a polished appearance, but it is not optimised for mobiles. The site has multiple routes to its content, which can feel overly complex. One of the few websites to use video on its pages. Overall ranking: 80%+ Excellent, 79% - 60% Good, 59% - 40% Average, <40% Weak DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 6

8 RANKING RANK COMPANY SCORE DESCRIPTION 5 Norton Rose 55% Average A website that's clear and easy to navigate. Good lawyer finder tool, and lawyers are pictured on most pages. Separate mobile site. As sector news is not visible on many pages, the site can appear "static". 6= Hogan Lovells 52% Average Slightly "dated" appearance on desktop computers, but well thought-out mobile site. Text-heavy pages often lack visual hierarchy. Interesting graduate pages. 6= Linklaters 52% Average Pages lack a sense of visual hierarchy - and calls to action are mostly absent. Website does not segment its visitors effectively. Superficial mobile optimisation. 8 Pinsent Masons 51% Average A colourful website, that makes good use of imagery. Good site search function. Website is not optimised for mobile, SEO requires attention. 9= Berwin Leighton Paisner 50% Average Good lawyer-finder tool and one of the few websites in our study with clear calls to action. The site is not mobile optimised and its design is beginning to look dated. 9= Wragge & Co 50% Average Website design looks a little cramped by 2014 standards, but its simple segmentation is appealing. Site is not optimised for mobile devices. Too many navigation menus. 11= Allen & Overy 49% Average Website not optimised for mobile devices, homepage noted for "bland symbolism". Pages are clearly structured, but compelling calls-to-action are absent. 11= DWF 49% Average A clear, "modern" design - but the website is not optimised for mobile devices. Poor internal search function, but at least the structure of the site is easy to comprehend. 13 Holman Fenwick Willan 48% Average Mobile-friendly, colourful website. Good internal search function, that uses auto-complete. But SEO requires attention, and there are "slightly dull" graduate pages. Overall ranking: 80%+ Excellent, 79% - 60% Good, 59% - 40% Average, <40% Weak FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US: +44 (0) DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 7

9 RANKING RANK COMPANY SCORE DESCRIPTION 14 Simmons & Simmons 47% Average Website now has a slightly dated "identikit" appearance, and is not optimised for mobiles. However, its clear structure and segmentation aids usability 15 CMS Cameron McKenna 46% Average Simple site structure, and uses video on pages. Separate mobile site. SEO requires attention, graduate pages are uninspiring, and the lawyer-finder tool is overcomplicated. 16 Macfarlanes 45% Average A website with a distinctive, dark appearance. Clear segmentation on homepage. The site is not optimised for mobiles, its content is far from compelling. 17 Herbert Smith 43% Average Good use of imagery, but homepage content is often self-referential. Stylish graduate pages. Website is not mobile-friendly. 18 Slaughter & May 42% Average Good use of photography on the homepage. Stylish mobile website. However, pages are often poorly presented, clunky search function. SEO requires attention. 19 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 40% Average Desktop and mobile site design looks dated and unpolished. Slightly dull presentation of their sector pages. Graduate pages are uninspiring too. Good lawyer-finder tool. 20= DLA Piper International 38% Weak No mobile optimisation, poor SEO. Poorly presented pages do not reflect the wealth of expertise at the firm. Useful lawyer-finder tool. Few reasons for return visits. 20= Eversheds 38% Weak Website is not optimised for mobile. Many pages are search-engine friendly, but their design is "dated". Uninspiring graduate pages. Little evidence of segmentation. 22 Squire Sanders 37% Weak Another website that is not mobile-friendly. Could do better with SEO. Slightly dull, "dated" design. But it is fairly easy to navigate around the website. Overall ranking: 80%+ Excellent, 79% - 60% Good, 59% - 40% Average, <40% Weak DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 8

10 RANKING RANK COMPANY SCORE DESCRIPTION 23 Clifford Chance 36% Weak Few clear calls-to-action. Few reasons for return visits. No mobile optimisation. Weak SEO. Good search function and usable lawyer-finder tool. 24 Clyde & Co 35% Weak No mobile optimisation, little search engine optimisation. Site has a simple structure, that aids usability. Few attempts at conversion, few reasons to return to the website. 25 Field Fisher Waterhouse 34% Weak Evidence of search engine optimisation, but no mobile optimisation. "Dated" design and complicated site search function. "Primitive-looking" lawyer-finder tool. 26 Ashurst 32% Weak No mobile optimisation, little evidence of SEO. "Bland" design. Pages do not do a great job at explaining the firm's services. "Outdated sector news", few reasons to return. 27= Addleshaw Goddard 29% Weak "Clear single statement" homepage. No mobile optimisation, little evidence of SEO. Too many pdfs, too few photographs. Search function "hides results". 27= DAC Beachcroft 29% Weak Website has a "stripped down" design. "Confusing navigation" menus can make it difficult to navigate. Not mobile-friendly. Few photos, pages lacking visual hierarchy. 29 Taylor Wessing 28% Weak Design looks "out of date". No mobile optimisation. Search function returned out-of-date results. Un-engaging practice pages, few calls-to-action. 30 Withers 27% Weak "Big empty space" in the middle of the homepage. Not mobile friendly. Little evidence of SEO. Weak search function. Pages do not reflect the firm's wealth of expertise. Overall ranking: 80%+ Excellent, 60% - 70% Good, 40% - 59% Average, <40% Weak DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 9

11 TECHNOLOGY: A NOTE ABOUT CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Of the law firms in our study that use easily identifiable content management and web management tools, it's noteworthy that a wide number of products are in use in the sector. iapps Adobe CQ Alterian Immediacy Drupal ExpressionEngine Interwoven TeamSite Microsoft CMS Microsoft SharePoint Refinery CMS Sitecore CMS Siteimprove Thompson Reuters / Siteimprove TYPO3 Open Source CMS Umbraco Vignette OpenText CMS Law firm CMS Cameron McKenna Linklaters Clifford Chance Field Fisher Waterhouse Ashurst Clyde & Co Eversheds Herbert Smith Allen & Overy Withers Bird & Bird Irwin Mitchell Simmons & Simmons King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Squire Sanders Hogan Lovells Taylor Wessing Macfarlanes Slaughter & May Wragge & Co FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US: +44 (0) DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 10

12 TECHNOLOGY: MOBILE & MULTI-SCREEN OPTIMISATION "...the number of visits to corporate websites from mobile devices is up a staggering 400% on August Mobile visits are now responsible for a fifth of all visits to corporate websites. Yet across 14 indices surveyed this year, only 23% of companies are offering either a dedicated mobile site or a responsive website." Investis Audience Insight report, 2013 Today s marketers face the increasing challenge of a winding path to purchase, requiring strategic engagements with customers across multiple channels and ensuring content is portable across many devices." says Matt Seeley, president of Experian Marketing Services. Yet only ten of the 30 law firm websites in our study are optimising their websites for multiple screens. Four are using responsive design, six are employing seperate mobile websites. It's an improvement on 2012, when only five of the legal firms in our study were optimising for mobile. Currently, three websites reach the "excellent" grade for their multi-screen optimisation efforts; Hogan Lovells, Irwin Mitchell and Slaughter & May - all three present their content effectively, and attractively, on mobile devices. The ten firms that are optimising their digital content for mobiles, are: Hogan Lovells Irwin Mitchell Slaughter & May Multi-screen optimisation excellence. Use of responsive design? Separate mobile site? Bird & Bird CMS Cameron McKenna Holman Fenwick Willan King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Linklaters Norton Rose DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 11

13 TECHNOLOGY: MOBILE & MULTI-SCREEN OPTIMISATION Hogan Lovells Irwin Mitchell Slaughter & May Three useful mobile websites FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US: +44 (0) DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 12

14 AWARENESS: SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS COMPARED "SEO is very important for B2B businesses as 21% of all traffic to B2B sites comes from search engines, with around 90% of that portion coming from organic search." Econsultancy, October 2013 Choice of business lawyer will always be influenced by personal recommendation and professional reputation, but search engines do have a place in raising awareness of a firm's activities and expertise. For millions of us, typing queries into Google is a frequent, near-automatic activity, so the legal websites that appear at the top of Google's listings will find themselves in front of potential clients. Firms that are not optimising their websites for search engines are not managing their reputations effectively. Currently, the firms with the most "organic" results on page one of Google UK are; Irwin Mitchell, DLA Piper International, Norton Rose, Linklaters and Allen & Overy. It's also of note that if we were to attempt to purchase "single clicks" of these first page results as Google adverts, Irwin Mitchell is in the lead (with its personal law focus) and results valued at $19,808. Next in line is Field Fisher Waterhouse with results valued at $1,669, then it's Allen & Overy - $424, Eversheds $389 and BLP in fifth place with results valued at $288. The chart on the next page reveals the firms that are frequently appearing on the front page of Google.co.uk, and the value of their first page results. DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 13

15 AWARENESS: SEARCH ENGINE RESULTS COMPARED Estimated cost to buy the total single clicks of their page one terms, as Google adverts Number of terms on page one (positions 1-10) of Google UK, Dec 2013 Number of terms at position one, page one Irwin Mitchell Field Fisher Waterhouse Allen & Overy Eversheds Berwin Leighton Paisner Norton Rose Pinsent Masons Clifford Chance DWF DLA Piper International Wragge & Co DAC Beachcroft Linklaters Slaughter & May Ashurst Taylor Wessing Addleshaw Goddard Simmons & Simmons Bird & Bird Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Clyde & Co Herbert Smith CMS Cameron McKenna Withers Holman Fenwick Willan Macfarlanes King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Squire Sanders LLP Hogan Lovells Dentons $19,808 $1,669 $424 $389 $288 $250 $240 $238 $236 $232 $211 $172 $168 $159 $158 $142 $130 $108 $103 $101 $84 $57 $50 $35 $31 $26 $21 $21 $10 $ / 18 2 / 15 3 / 25 2 / 20 3 / 26 1 / 17 6 / 46 2 / 45 1 / 48 5 / 45 2 / 73 7 / 66 4 / 88 1 / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 14

16 AWARENESS: SEO TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE "Discussing Google+ as if it were a social network which needs activity in the way that Facebook and Twitter do misses the point... What matters to Google is that you're signed in, in order that it can form its matrix of knowledge about you." A large part of getting found, of increasing your firm s visibility on Google search engines is "technical SEO excellence" - displaying the trust signals that Google recognises. Of the 30 websites in our study, only Eversheds, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Irwin Mitchell and Linklaters reached a good grade in technical SEO. We examined 650+ pages, and of the 30 websites, only 11 sites are using title tags correctly, 17 are using H-tags, none are using meta-descriptions correctly and 27 have descriptive terms in their URLS. Nineteen sites are displaying social share buttons. Also noteworthy is that only three firms are linking to a Google+ page. Google+ pages appear in 30% of brand Google searches, reports Econsultancy. So Google's social platform may be worth experimenting with by firms wishing to increase their visibility on Google's search engines. Charles Arthur The Guardian DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 15

17 AWARENESS: SEO TECHNICAL PERFORMANCE SEO technical excellence, scored out of 5 Eversheds Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Irwin Mitchell Linklaters Allen & Overy Berwin Leighton Paisner Bird & Bird Clyde & Co CMS Cameron McKenna DAC Beachcroft Dentons DWF Herbert Smith Hogan Lovells Macfarlanes Norton Rose Taylor Wessing Clifford Chance Field Fisher Waterhouse Holman Fenwick Willan Pinsent Masons Simmons & Simmons King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Squire Sanders LLP Wragge & Co Addleshaw Goddard Ashurst DLA Piper International Slaughter & May Withers weak excellent DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 16

18 AWARENESS: VISUAL IMPACT "The number of objects an average person can hold in working memory is about seven." Observation by George Armitage Miller psychologist Visual impact is key when attempting to engage potential and existing clients. Website aesthetics should not be ignored, just because they may be considered subjective or frivolous. Google/YouTube User Experience Research reveals that: Users make snap judgements about whether they'll trust a website, "first impressions can be formed very quickly, based on whatever information is available within the first 39 milliseconds." Familiarity of design is reassuring, "it can be assumed that there may be... a preference for prototypical websites". Simplicity is important too, "websites of high visual complexity lead to a more negative first impression than websites of medium or low complexity". Bearing the above in mind, we awarded five websites in our study a "good" grade for visual impact, they are: Addleshaw Goddard, Bird & Bird, Macfarlanes, King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin, and Slaughter & May. Judging by the new websites in the sector, it appears that the design of the prototypical law firm site is becoming cleaner and less cluttered. Beauty is utility's partner. DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 17

19 AWARENESS: VISUAL IMPACT Bird & Bird Bird & Bird's stylish new website Macfarlanes Macfarlanes make an impact with their dark colour scheme King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Good use of white space DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 18

20 ENGAGEMENT: SEGMENTATION "Most companies segment their markets by customer demographics or product characteristics and differentiate their offerings by adding features and functions. But the consumer has a different view of the marketplace. He simply has a job to be done and is seeking to hire the best product or service to do it. Marketers must adopt that perspective." Clayton M. Christensen Effectively identifying and dividing up your key target audiences makes it easier for the right people to find the information they need, and it makes it more likely that they'll engage with your firm. As Steve Jobs put it: "You've got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology - not the other way around." So, we looked for evidence of segmentation on firms' website homepages and their core Twitter accounts. In the first of our legal studies we mentioned the prevalance of "overt introspection" in the sector's digital communications, and it appears little has changed over the last year. The homepages of many firms are dominated by self-referential content, rather than identifying, and attempting to answer, their audience's queries. Only seven websites received our "good" grade in segmentation; Irwin Mitchell, Macfarlanes, Norton Rose, Pinsent Masons, Simmons & Simmons, King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin and Wragge & Co. Efforts of note, include: Irwin Mitchell clearly stating their Business Legal Services on their homepage, and Wragge's easy-to-understand sector drop-downs. On Twitter, Bird & Bird are one of the only firms to use their core account to actually reach out and attempt to start conversations, rather than broadcast internal news. DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 19

21 ENGAGEMENT: SEGMENTATION Scores for segmentation, out of 5 Irwin Mitchell Macfarlanes Norton Rose Pinsent Masons Simmons & Simmons King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Wragge & Co Allen & Overy Ashurst Berwin Leighton Paisner Bird & Bird Clifford Chance Clyde & Co Dentons DLA Piper International DWF Field Fisher Waterhouse CMS Cameron McKenna DAC Beachcroft Eversheds Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Hogan Lovells Holman Fenwick Willan Linklaters Squire Sanders LLP Taylor Wessing Addleshaw Goddard Herbert Smith Slaughter & May Withers weak excellent DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 20

22 ENGAGEMENT: CONTENT MARKETING "Brands such as Google, Zappos, Amazon, ebay, and others win because they ask How can I help you? instead of What can I sell you? " Joe McCambley Harvard Business Review "Customer service is the killer app of the Web" said Google's Eric Schmidt. Documented expertise, properly presented, can become content marketing - engaging and eventually converting site visitors into clients. When evaluating the sector pages of the 30 firms, we looked for a number of elements, including: use of rich content, meaningful images, page structure and reliance on.pdfs. Only three websites reached a "good" grade for content; Berwin Leighton Paisner, Dentons and King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin. Of the 30 sites, only two are using video in their sector pages (CMS and Dentons), 12 are relying too heavily on.pdfs, only 16 have clearly structured pages, though 21 are linking to their social media pages - which can be useful for engagement. Although there are many millions of words spilled across these 30 websites, they are mostly poorly presented and difficult to read. "Try visual hierarchy instead of dullness" says UI designer Jakub Linowski, "... although we might spend a bit more time on the page, the end result should be that we register more items and characteristics." Interviewed by The Times about law firm web content, solicitor-author Chrissie Lightfoot, said: "Many law firms just pump out messages that say 'Aren't we wonderful - we've won this and that award'... Clients aren't interested in that. It is good to brag every now and then, but do it in a subtle, indirect way. The main focus of content should be on how the firm can help clients to be more successful - individual lawyers talking knowledgeably about specific market sectors." DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 21

23 ENGAGEMENT: CONTENT MARKETING Scores for content marketing, out of 5 Berwin Leighton Paisner Dentons King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Allen & Overy Bird & Bird CMS Cameron McKenna DLA Piper International DWF Eversheds Field Fisher Waterhouse Herbert Smith Holman Fenwick Willan Irwin Mitchell Norton Rose Wragge & Co DAC Beachcroft Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Linklaters Pinsent Masons Simmons & Simmons Slaughter & May Squire Sanders LLP Withers Addleshaw Goddard Ashurst Clifford Chance Hogan Lovells Macfarlanes Taylor Wessing Clyde & Co weak excellent DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 22

24 ENGAGEMENT: CONTENT MARKETING Berwin Leighton Paisner BLP uses clearly structured pages Dentons Dentons use video on their pages King & Wood Mallesons - SJ Berwin Pages link to "Related Insights" DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 23

25 ENGAGEMENT: SITE SEARCH FUNCTION everybody expects search to read their minds. Martin Belam Information Architect An effective site search function is a great opportunity for law firms to build affinity with their visitors. Clients are becoming accustomed to finding results quickly and accurately from search engines, and increasingly expect websites to assist them in their quest for information. According to Roo Reynolds at the award-winning Gov.uk, a good internal search engine will: Help more people find what they want Always return the most relevant results Avoid forcing users to understand the internal structure of the site Allow users to control their results Give results that feel familiar to users and don t deviate from established models of what search looks like Holman Fenwick Willan HFW's website aids the visitor by suggesting appropriate search queries By this criteria, we can award no "excellent" grades, with only three websites in our study reaching the "good grade" for their search functions; Clifford Chance, Holman Fenwick Willan and Pinsent Masons. It is also worth noting that in 2012, only the Allen & Overy website was employing an auto-complete search function. Our 2014 research reveals that the sector is making slow progress - only four websites in our study are now using auto-complete search functions to assist their visitors; Allen & Overy, Holman Fenwick Willan, King & Wood Mallesons-SJ Berwin and Linklaters. DIGITAL BENCHMARK P 24

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