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Law firm re-launches website year in the making

February 24, 2016
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Pam Cross
Pam Cross. Courtesy Rhoades McKee

A downtown law firm has brought its digital presence in line with its physical space and overall re-branding efforts by re-launching its website.

Rhoades McKee unveiled its new website, rhoadesmckee.com, last month, giving visitors a more dynamic view of the law firm.

Pam Cross, Rhoades McKee attorney and member of the firm’s executive committee, said the new website was a year in the making.

Cross said the firm worked with website design and marketing firm Thinkbox Creative of Grand Rapids to develop a website that matched its office space, a “bright, collaborative, friendly atmosphere and comfortable for clients.”

Rhoades McKee began re-branding itself in mid 2014, when it moved into its new office at the River Front Plaza Building, at 55 Campau Ave. NW, from its former home in the Waters Building. It also has a Holland office.

Rhoades McKee’s new office features a modern design, which Paul McCarthy, president of the firm, previously said “parallels the energy and enthusiasm of the firm and better reflects the excellence of our team of professionals.”

The firm also transitioned to a new, more contemporary logo at that time.

The goal of the re-designed website is to further provide clients and potential clients with a comfortable and inviting experience.

One big difference to providing that experience is in how attorney profiles are presented.

Rather than traditional profiles, which emphasize an attorney’s educational background and recognitions, Rhoades McKee attorneys were asked to include a quote that means something to them and to provide a more personal synopsis of the services they provide and how they serve their clients.

For instance, Cross’ profile includes the Winston Churchill quote, "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” In her profile, she talks about the types of clients she serves, what sets her apart from other lawyers in her practice area and how her community interests and activities facilitate how she represents clients.

“We are a more interactive society online, so the experience online has to be more interactive,” Cross said. “That plays into doing the attorney pages differently. We are real people here, and we want to portray ourselves that way.”

Cross said the new style creates a more approachable feel.

The firm also simplified its process for how a new or existing client locates an attorney to make it less intimidating.

“It can be overwhelming when on a website to find the right person,” she said.

The Rhoades McKee website now offers four overarching service categories: services for individuals and families; dispute resolution and litigation services; real estate services; and services for business and industry.

By clicking on one of the categories, a visitor is directed to another page, which provides a more drilled-down selection.

For instance, someone clicking on services for business and industry will be directed to a page that offers nine specific areas of business and industry law, such as agriculture industry services and environmental and natural resources law.

It also provides a single point of contact at all practice areas, so visitors don’t have to dig any deeper.

“We’ve given them an attorney name they can call or email, and they get a call back,” Cross said. “It’s an easier approach than trying to find a (specific) lawyer to call.”

She said the firm has already gained clients due to its simplified approach.

Cross said the website was designed with mobile optimization in mind as well, to reflect how clients search for information.

“People are on their phones all the time researching, so we wanted it easily translatable,” she said.

The website also offers an extensive resources page with links to the firm’s blog, case studies, events, legal alerts and news.

Cross said the firm will monitor how well the website is achieving its goals and make adjustments if needed.

“The project is not finished,” she said. “We built it, and now we see if it’s working.”

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