Websites for service businesses like title companies or law firms are all too often to be looked at as an apples-to-apples comparison.
But what you get from a website builder like Wix, isn’t the same you’d get from your IT, which is also different from what you’d get from a marketing agency or freelance web developer.
In this post, we’ll discuss the difference between website providers and how to find the right one for your title agency or law office.
Website Builders (Wix, GoDaddy, etc.)
Website builders have grown in popularity over the last 10 years as web technology has improved. They definitely have some advantages (primarily low cost), however, that is not met without some disadvantages.
For example, website builders are just that – they require YOU to do the work. So many times we’ve had people ask us to build their website after trying to “build it themselves.”
Especially because as an attorney or title agent, your time is often better spent working on a file or case.
If you just need a single-page website and don’t want high search rankings or business from your website, a website builder might be a good option for you.
Another thing you must be careful of here with the generic website builders is if they are compliant with your industry. For instance, the very well-known GoDaddy has come out to say that they are not SOC 2 compliant.
In the early years of the Internet (1990’s and 2000’s), websites required a technical person to set them up. But as content management systems (CMS) like WordPress have come into existence, this is no longer the case.
In fact, even technical aspects of Search Engine Optimization are even handled for you by a good CMS.
While your IT company probably has the technical chops to get a website set up for you, it is likely lacking the marketing that you need to actually need to make the website effective at reaching your target audience.
“While your IT company probably has the technical chops to get a website set up for you, it is likely lacking the marketing that you need to actually need to make the website effective at reaching your target audience.”
For instance, how should you be positioned among your competitors?
What towns or neighborhoods does the majority of your business come from?
Do you have enough of the right content to be found by your target customers?
These are just a few of the things that are typically left out when an IT provider handles a service provider’s website.
Local Marketing Firm
Local search engine optimization has been “all the rage” in recent years, and rightfully so. Search engines have gotten more local in their results, which makes sense if you think about it.
For example, if you are in Kansas City searching for a bar-b-que restaurant, your search results SHOULD be different than if you are in Atlanta Googling the same type of restaurant. It wouldn’t make sense!
The same is true for your business. However, the good news is that you don’t have to work with an expensive local marketing company in order to show up in local online searches.
There a few major drawbacks to working with these companies:
First, they often don’t know your industry and how to market your services or practice areas. That means that more work is going to fall on you as the business owner or manager.
Sidebar: One of the main reasons people like working with us is just this reason alone. We not only work solely with Attorneys and Title Insurance Agents, we actually have worked in your industry.
Second, they hire expensive people and do everything from scratch. As such, they have to charge large fees to pay their team and earn a profit. This is why websites can range from $5,000 to even $100,000 (yes $100k) for a website from a marketing agency.
It is not that you are getting overcharged. Their learning curve and time are on your dime.
The best part about a marketing firm is that they’ll do the work for you. But you will likely pay a premium for that work upfront with no guarantees, and still, be no happier than with some of the other options on this list.
The only time I recommend this route is if you are truly building something unique such as a custom closing or payment portal.
Unique branding is typically not a good enough reason to build a custom website. Don’t fall into that trap.
Freelance Web Developer
A freelance website developer might be a tempting value proposition. This can be a great way to get a website built for you (so you don’t have to do it yourself) but without the premium price tag of a local marketing company.
But as with any of these choices, there are pros and cons.
The pros include that the work is done-for-you and at a reasonable price tag ($3,000-$7,000 on average).
But the cons are that this person still doesn’t likely know your business so you’ll be spending time explaining how you get customers. And freelancers are known for disappearing once the main project is complete.
Maybe they started doing something else or work in a full-time job now so they don’t have time to help you.
Once the invoice has been paid, don’t expect much support from them to make minor updates like staff changes or if your website gets hacked.
You are often on your own once the website is live.
So many of our customers have had an “old web guy or gal” they cannot locate to help them with their old website, domain, or anything.
Just beware of this if you go this route.
Specialized Service Provider
There is another option for a website provider that has mostly advantages over the other solutions listed above. This is, instead, going with a specialized service provider like TitleTap, which specifically has a solution for businesses like yours.
Due to the specialization in a single industry, they can often keep costs down since they are not constantly reinventing the wheel with each client.
In addition, the specialization also gives you the advantage of industry knowledge and content. What works for one law firm like yours across the country, often will work for you.
This gives you the advantage of a better price, like a freelancer or website builder, but the results like a full-service marketing firm might provide.
The downside of this type of provider is that they may require hosting with them and you may not be able to transfer your website out.
It may seem restrictive but this is often for your own benefit.
For instance, at TitleTap, we host all of our websites in a secure data center that is compliant with industry best practices. As we mentioned, even giants like GoDaddy have come out and said that they are not compliant with those same standards.
Having all customers on a central platform also helps us quickly make changes to your website on your behalf, handle security patches for you, and manage and monitor a firewall with spam prevention to deter against cyber fraud that is plaguing the industry.
Best of all offer a money-back guarantee on our websites AND give you free design upgrades every 3 years.
So, if you run a law firm or title company and you need a new website, schedule a free demo today to see if TitleTap is a good fit for you.
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