In this podcast, Guy Alvarez discusses what law firms and companies need to consider before redesigning their site. Many firms want to move from a brochure-like website to a more modern site, optimized for lead generation. However, they often forget to consider details like domain name ownership, preexisting analytics data, or how SEO can be affected when a site is redesigned.
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Podcast Show Notes
When you work with an agency, they sometimes own your domain name which makes it difficult to move to a new agency or bring design in-house. For this reason, ensure that you have control over the DNS setup to avoid future issues. If you don’t own your domain and you want to move to a new agency, speak to your current agency to ask for ownership. Transferring this ownership is fairly simple – if the developer you’re working with is willing to cooperate. When beginning a redesign with a new agency, take the time to make sure that your law firm owns everything that’s being built.
Often, agencies or web developers make a firm’s analytics account under their own parent account. This can be an obstacle when redesigning a site because you won’t be able to easily transfer ownership of your Google Analytics ID. In many cases, you will be forced to start from scratch and in turn will lose all past web data. If you end up in this scenario, ask your agency or developer to export all your data from the past year so you can still have some reference for historical analysis.
Some clients pay thousands of dollars for a new website only to realize it has negatively affected their search engine rankings. At the beginning of the design process, it’s essential to analyze your current SEO tactics. Make sure that on your new site, valuable links are redirected and target keywords remain intact. Sometimes web design agencies set up the website, but don’t submit it to Google Search Console, a tool which enables you to see how Google is indexing and crawling your site. Access to this information is important during a redesign because you will understand what needs to be fixed and how to continue ranking for target keywords.
What Works and What Doesn’t
Use the data on Google Analytics to see your current top performing pages, average session duration, and average pages/session. These metrics can help inform you of what does and doesn’t work on your current site which will allow you to make strategic decisions about your new site.
Your firm should also use this background to set goals for your new website. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Generate more leads? Improve thought leadership? While all of these things are good to do, determine which is the most important for your company so you know the type of website you want to create. Also, research your target audience and the website’s of your competitors. Being informed on what your audience likes and what the competition is doing can help you get inspiration of what to include or exclude on a new site.
A new site is an opportunity to rethink your content strategy. You don’t want a site filled with self-promotional content. Instead, develop a client-centric content strategy for your website that helps educate your audience. What do you do and how do you help your clients? Case studies are a great option for showcasing your firm’s expertise.
User Friendly Features
You want to make it as easy as possible for users to navigate your site and access your content. This includes optimizing your site for multiple devices and browsers. On the same note, make sure your web developers ensure that your new website is SSL encrypted – you don’t want your visitors to see that your site is not secure.
There certainly are a lot of details and factors to consider when redesigning your law firm or company’s website. However, they’re all necessary for a smooth design process and the end result of a newly designed and optimized site is well worth the time it takes to make these considerations.