Kevin Quinlan, legal website design & lawyer marketing maven, provides tips on how to find the right legal web design team and why it requires the best architecture and not just good graphic design to be found on Google and other search engines.
There are essentially three main criteria that your law firm will need to evaluate when making the decision to select a web design firm to create or redesign a legal website for your law firm.
- Are they able to create a site that reflects the essence of your firm and captures the attributes that make your firm unique?
- Are they capable of designing a site that is easily navigable and user friendly?
- Are they capable of constructing a website that has the best architecture for search engine optimization (SEO)?
Usability and Aesthetics
A good starting place when choosing a legal web design firm is to look at the work that they have done for other attorneys in your areas of practice. Share some of their designs with the other members of your firm and include some of the support staff in addition to the attorneys. Get their opinions on how easily it is to find what they are looking for and if they find the sites to be appealing.
Take a good look at the websites of your competitors and leaders in your field to get an idea of how the features, navigation and the overall layout of their sites work towards converting a visitor to a prospect by getting them to call or fill out the form. The visual syntax of a website, or where logos, phone numbers and other key elements are arranged add to the ease of use.
Web Design and SEO
There is a clear advantage in working with an attorney web design firm that also specializes in SEO. Many designers are well versed in graphic design but are more focused on how a site looks than how easily it can be found in a Google search. Often we have to re-engineer a site for SEO that has been designed without a careful eye towards the search engines.
By way of example, an all-Flash site is not crawled by search engines in the same way that a content rich site with text menus and headers would be. All-Flash sites can be very visually appealing so that visitors spend enough time on the site to result in a good conversion rate. However, if the search engines have difficulty finding a site it will not matter how “sticky” it is if traffic generation is minimal. Driving new visitors to a site is the key to the numbers game of growing your business on the web.
In addition, with an SEO/design team, keyword research can be completed while a site is being designed and constructed so that the content developed for your new or redesigned website will be optimized for the search terms appropriate for your areas of practice and geographic sphere of influence. Combination of both disciplines will offer your law firm a leg-up once your website is ready to launch.
For more information on website design for lawyers, SEO or an evaluation of your current legal website contact Rene Perras.