Your law firm’s website is the base of your digital business which is why it’s important to invest in it. A successful law firm needs a website that’s well-branded, informational, aesthetically pleasing, SEO friendly, and easy to navigate. However, before committing thousands of dollars to an agency to have them redesign your site there are several considerations you must make to avoid ownership issues and crashes you can’t fix. Here we provide five things to know before hiring an agency to redesign your law firm’s website.
Who would you trust more to perform heart surgery on you, a cardiologist or a general practitioner? Probably the cardiologist. When you’re making a big investment, specialization is key. This is why you might want to consider working with an agency that specializes in law firms, not just web design in general. Why? They know the market and they’re familiar with legal industry specific best practices. When hiring an agency to redesign your law firm’s website you want to choose the team with the most pertinent knowledge about your industry and your competitors. This can help avoid having a site that’s too cookie-cutter or on the other end of the spectrum, not appropriate for a law firm.
Ownership & Access
If your law firm’s name is on the website and you pay for it, you own it right? Not quite. A lot of firms don’t realize that domain ownership and content rights are not automatic when hiring an agency to create your website. Therefore it is critical that you ensure that your contract specifically states who owns the domain name of your law firm’s website and then all the content uploaded there once it’s live. If your firm ever needs to change agencies, it’s vital to have the right control and access to your law firm’s site. This includes all passwords associated with where your site is hosted.
Even the most attractive and engaging sites are useless if they don’t rank highly on search engines. This is why SEO is a critical component to consider when you’re designing your law firm’s website. Yet, some web design agencies don’t offer these optimization services. This means you should either hire an agency that handles both design and search engine optimization, or be prepared to pay an extra price to optimize your site’s content after it’s designed.
Once your website is live, you’ll want to track certain metrics on monthly basis. For example, how many visitors did your site get or how long are people staying to read your content? If you’re a legal marketer, this information is important to develop new strategies and make improvements. Make sure you hire an agency that can set up Google Analytics and Search Console for you and ensure that you have access.
Will the agency help you make website changes and additions after it goes live? If not, will they at least provide your law firm with training on how to navigate the backend of your site? Maintenance is another area that often gets overlooked in the rush to launch the site. In order to avoid being left with a site that your law firm doesn’t know how to use, talk about the maintenance details from the outset of the design project.
Before beginning the web design process with an agency, be sure to create a list of detailed questions to ask. You’ll want to consider who will own, host, and set up analytics and search console for your law firm’s website. Being prepared before the design process starts will help ensure that everything goes as smoothly as possible while working with the agency and after.