The Ten Foundational Best Practices are refreshed each Study to take into account foundational changes that have been made in the broad web industry, as well as changes in visitor expectations and the behaviors of buyers of legal services. A few core FBPs have been a part of the Study since the beginning, new ones have been added, a couple deleted and others have been updated.
The 2020-2021 Ten Foundational Best Practices and a brief summary of the 71 attributes are:
Communicating Your Message
Clear and differentiating firm positioning strategy, expertise strengths, geographic reach, and focus are apparent; alternate languages are present and easy to find and access on your desktop site.
Bold, distinctive branding, responsive design, intuitive information hierarchy, and strong imagery; your design tells your unique story.
Global and local navigation are consistent and intuitive across multiple devices; pages all have unique URLs.
Detailed and specific experience; an overview that tells a compelling story of the person; current and larger-format, magazine-style photos; social media and other links; and importantly, the professional’s personality comes through.
Content (other than biographies)
Quality; clarity; effective portrayal of domain expertise and organization of all other narrative content; visitor-focused (not “it’s all about me and we”); good information hierarchy and easily consumable content.
Interactivity, Engagement + Social Outreach
How interactive and engaging is your site? Access to additional content, including multimedia, blogs, social media, videos/podcasts, alumni portals, and share functionality.
Remember, it’s not about searching, it’s about “finding” – easy access to and effectiveness of the multiple site-search options; intuitive, well-organized search results; separate detailed experience search.
Site Optimization + Online Awareness (SEO)
Is your site optimized for search engines? We analyzed 11 critical attributes that make your Internet presence more powerful, including desktop and mobile site speed, accessibility, structured data and Schema markup, backlinks, and more.
We evaluated the firms' brand integrity and that it was high on mobile devices; it was intuitive and visitors should have a positive user experience.
Site Hygiene + Usability
Your site functions perfectly on the latest browsers; no error pages, spelling/grammar problems or broken links; site meets the W3C WCAG 2.0 and 2.1 accessibility standards for Level A.
Each attribute is scored on a 100-point scale and all 71 attributes are reviewed and scored separately.
For example, FBP04 - Professionals' Biographies has nine attributes – each attribute has its own score on the 100-point scale. We average all attribute scores within each FBP to determine the law firm’s score. Once all 10 of the FBPs have their average score, those will be added, divided by 10 and that is the law firm’s total score for the Study.