What to Do Before Redesigning a WebsiteIt’s inevitable that at one point or another you’re going to want to redesign your law firm’s website. Maybe search rankings have dropped off. Maybe lead generation and conversions have fallen. Maybe it’s just been a while and the site isn’t fitting in with modern trends. There are plenty of good reasons to give your law firm’s site a makeover.

Redesigning a website —  big or small — can be a lot of work, and mistakes can be costly. The key to a successful transition is planning. If you take the time to look at exactly where you are and research where you want to go, you’ll remove a lot of the stress and raise your chances of success.

Audit Your Law Firm’s Website

The first thing you need to do is make sure that you understand where you are now. You want to know what’s working and what’s not on the current site. Look at your analytics to see which pages and content are driving traffic, leads, and conversions.

Once you’ve got an idea of where your strengths and weaknesses are, you’ll be able to set much clearer redesign goals. Think about what you can do with a new design that might help fill in holes. Can navigation be made easier? Does the current design distract readers? Are there obvious design differences between popular and unpopular pages? Use your findings to decide how you can accentuate what’s working and try to eliminate what’s not.

Audit Your Competition’s Websites

Once you have an idea of what’s working and what’s not on your own firm’s site, it’s time to take a look and see what your competition is doing. You should pick out at least four or five of your competitors and spend some time looking through their sites. Think about things they all have in common — which are likely to be things that are working well — and things you can do to make your site stand out from theirs in a good way.

Make note of anything you see that you think will improve your site, and, better yet, anything you think you can improve upon and then integrate into your own site. Anything you can show your design team will help to keep everyone moving in the right direction.

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Review Your Brand Styles And Guidelines

Aside from functionality and content, you’ll also need to make sure the look of your new site is going to be consistent. Of course, everything on the site should fit together, but colors, fonts and logos should also match with social media profiles, printed literature, etc.

Review The Technology On Your Site

Many sites are run on some sort of content management system, like WordPress. While you’re redesigning your site, it’s also a perfect time to look through CMS plugins and other technology you might be using on your site. Removing old plugins and considering new ones can do a lot to enhance the experience users get from your firm’s website.

Set Measurable Goals

Aside from just refreshing the look of your law firm’s website, you probably have some more pressing reasons for undertaking a redesign. It’s important to let your design team know why you want to change things.

You should discuss why you think your current design is no longer serving its purpose and what results you expect to see with a new design. Are you looking for more traffic from search engines? More leads? Or is it a jump in conversion rates that you’re after? Your overall goals will make a difference to the design team.

Create A Realistic Timeline

“As soon as possible” is not a good way to go about setting a deadline for your law practice’s website redesign project. Good work is going to take time. Expectations need to be realistic, not rushed. Talk honestly with your design team or agency about what you expect and what you need. The timeline needs to work for both ends, or neither is going to be happy with the results.

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