In a recent post, we discussed 2 core questions you need to consider when creating or updating your website, the fundamentals of Who are your visitors? and Where do your revenues come from? The answers to these questions will help drive the function and content for your site.
From our perspective, below are some important Do’s that should be followed when focusing on a website update to ensure your investment is protected.
Do take the time to gain consensus from the louder voices in your firm. It’s a fact of life that there are voices in the firm that are louder than others and can sap the strength of an initiative. So, make sure you have those voices “inside the tent”. Doing this will ensure your effort does not stall, or minimize changes in course.
Do understand that law firm websites today really are. In most cases, they simply need to be a way for visitors to get an overview of what the firm does and supports the ability for contacting the right resource at the firm quickly and easily. So, no need to over complicate your initiative with over thinking the required content.
Do realize that building a website today is far less expensive than in the past. The advancement of technology and tools available allows for time and money savings.
Do establish a framework for keeping your site current. A quality website is never done. You will always want to keep it current and add-on as you have additional content to enhance the core function of the site.
Do select technology and support that enables you to easily control your content. (slipping in a don’t here…) There is no need with today’s technology to create a situation where you are captive to an outside entity for updates to your site.
Do understand who will be visiting your site and how. Statistics tell us that a growing percentage of visitors will access your site from mobile devices. So, this needs to be considered in your design and whether you need to make an investment in ensuring your site can be found with organic search (from google, Bing, etc.)
Do understand what SEO really is… You will hear about SEO from many vendors. For some firms this is critical. However, for some it is a waste of time and money. (More on this in the upcoming post on Don’ts)
Do maximize existing content available from your site and other data available through traditional sources. It is amazing the amount of quality data that can be found for free if you know where and how to find it.
Do select a vendor that has experience working with attorneys and law firms. The list is long of outside creative/technology companies that say they will never work with another law firm again. If you have not experienced “life in a law firm”, it can be a shock to the system.
Do know that it’s not always about you. This point is for the senior attorney reading this post with a mature practice. You may not care about the website, but you likely have attorneys in the firm with less mature practices and your current site is a serious impediment to their success.
Do assign someone other than a busy attorney as the conduit with your vendor. This is key to ensuring the project flows smoothly. Client work always comes first. Stopping and restarting projects is always a budget buster.
Do stay away from these common mistakes:
- Dated content: Leave out dates unless it is absolutely critical!
- Reams of words not broken up with bullets, headings and paragraphs. Fogs the mind and blinds readers to the key facts you want highlighted.
- Navigation and links that are there just because you can. Do not create unnecessary “loops” within your site. Simple and easy. Think mobile phone visitor access.
- Images that are not sized for speed. Nothing worse than waiting for a picture to load…
- Bloated menu options. Again, focus on simple navigation.
Do “Contact Us”. A short call is all we will need to determine if we are a good fit for you, and the potential cost of a website project.
We know law firms. It is our business to make your projects a success. Our references will attest to the quality of the work we do.
We hope to speak with you soon!
The ProfessionalWORX Team