It used to be that choosing the right web design company was mostly about whether or not they made “pretty websites.” In other words, whether or not you hired the designer primarily depended upon whether you liked the work in their portfolio. And while design still matters greatly, there are a variety of other factors that should be considered in deciding whether or not to hire a particular web design company for your law firm. Here are a few things to think about.
Great law firm web designs can take many forms. However, what makes them great depends primarily upon their ability to satisfy an objective. Which means that your prospective web designer should be asking questions like:
Before building your site, ask yourself:
- What is your objective?
- Will it be used to acquire new clients?
- Advertise your services?
- Interact with existing clients?
Your law firm web designer should be poking and prodding you about your goals for your site. If they’re not, it might be a sign that they don’t have a lot of experience building websites for businesses, and more specifically, for law firms.
Before you begin to even plan your site, spend some time thinking about your goals. Make sure you clearly communicate these goals to your web designer. Look for people that have experience with goal-oriented web design design and development.
Flashy features don’t earn potential client inquiries. In fact, in most cases, these bells and whistles merely distract and annoy visitors.
Online attention spans are short. Keep your site content concise. On the web, people tend not to read websites like books. Make sure your prospective web designer knows how to write for the web or is planning on working with a copywriter that has experience crafting web content.
Your website represents your practice. It should have a consistent look and feel throughout and accurately articulate the professional image you wish to express.
If you want to people to find you in search engines, then SEO matters. And optimizing for search engines should begin during the design phase of any website project. You should ask your web designer their opinions about search engine optimization. If your design/development people aren’t experienced with SEO, you will need to add someone to the design project who is. Here are some questions to ask from Google:
- Can you show me examples of your previous work and share some success stories?
- Do you follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines?
- Do you offer any online marketing services or advice to complement your organic search business?
- What kind of results do you expect to see, and in what timeframe? How do you measure your success?
- What’s your experience in my industry?
- What’s your experience in my country/city?
- What’s your experience developing international sites?
- What are your most important SEO techniques?
- How long have you been in business?
- How can I expect to communicate with you? Will you share with me all the changes you make to my site, and provide detailed information about your recommendations and the reasoning behind them?
Make sure your law firm web design team has someone on it that understands Google’s design, content and technical guidelines.
(Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/burningredstudio/5080761951/)