What You Can Expect to Pay

It may surprise most legal firms to know that fully 74% of potential clients will visit a website from Google before deciding to get in touch. That’s a lot of undecided revenue that could very easily head to your company – if you develop the right digital assets. And it’s why you should never underestimate the power of a carefully designed web presence to engage new clientele and drive business.

There are two main areas of consideration when you’re building a website to represent any type of business, including law: content creation and design. Both are equally important to get eyes on a web site, keep them there, and to engage visitors, ultimately turning them into paying clients.

Content is King

The quality of the content on your firm’s website cannot be left to chance. It’s the most important element for engaging visitors and turning them into clients. Original, high quality content indicates that your team is established, knowledgeable and in touch with the times. Like banking, the legal profession is often perceived to be behind the curves of technology and innovation. Great website content can subvert that perception within minutes.

Blogging about your practice areas,  industry news and innovations is a great way to engage readers. Blog posts have a proven ability to attract loyal visitors, especially when they are well written, or created by high profile authorities who really know their subject matter.

However, blog posts and news sections should be updated regularly. Static or evergreen websites that represent legal firms in an old-fashioned way have fallen out of favor. You and your team don’t stop growing and changing, so why shouldn’t your website reflect that vitality?

Also, try to include dynamic content elements that have consistently proven attractive to contemporary web users. Video content especially adds tremendous value and can be cross referenced on social media platforms, driving traffic from several directions at once. It’s a relatively expensive ticket item, depending on the production values and content, but well worth the investment in terms of the interest and traffic it is almost sure to generate.

In addition to engaging visitors, a potent weapon is buried within the prose on your website. And that’s the power of search engine optimization or SEO. Making sure your site is easy to find in search engines, that keywords are designed to accurately reflect your firm’s priorities and that tracking and analyzing traffic is performed on a regular basis are all important aspects of website building and maintenance.

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Design is equally important

Showcasing your content with clarity, attractive aesthetics, and ease of navigation can be achieved with considered design. According to the legal website lawyerist.com, around 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.

Although there are tons of DIY platforms (Weebly, Wix and Squarespace, for example) and pre-designed WordPress templates specific to law firms out there, the labor-intensive nature of web design really demands a specialist to be truly cost-effective. So don’t be tempted to bring this work in-house. Hire a design firm that has experience working on legal sites and get them to optimize your assets such as photos, videos, and written material. Ask that company for  content and logos to be incorporated into the design, and include testimonials and evidence of accolades or awards. Together with a sensitively selected font and color palette, and easy-to-use navigation, these things will give even the most casual visitor to the site a reason to look further, or even get in touch for more information.

Credibility is arguably as important in law as it is in the medical sector. Attorney/client relationships must include a degree of trust and mutual confidence. A website can speak volumes about these kinds of intangibles. And it makes a website both a powerful calling card and an effective tool for marketing and growing a client base.

Re-design a cost-effective alternative

There’s good news if your firm already maintains a website. A re-design is much less costly than a completely new website build. With that in mind, strategically plan to overhaul site design, making it look current and accessible. Even swapping out images or changing up fonts and color schemes can make a site look new. Add the bells and whistles that browsers look for – videos, infographics, blog posts, and timely nuggets of industry information. Research what the competition is doing and aim to make your site do it even better.

Top 5 Things to Keep in Mind When Hiring a Design Firm

Whether you’re building a brand new custom site, or refurbishing an existing one, hire a web design expert who can ensure the following key points are addressed:

  1. Content should be original and high quality, on topic and up to date.
  2. These days websites must be accessible to all, including sight and hearing impaired visitors, and responsive to any size device, from mobile phone to tablet and desktop computer.
  3. Images and video content add dynamism to any web site, but make sure they are optimized with an eye on load time.
  4. Text must be optimized according to the most current guidelines for search engines. SEO must be more sophisticated than stuffing keywords into every paragraph. Search engines have evolved and your SEO protocols should also.
  5. Don’t forget the call to action. Each web page should have at least one way, and preferably more, for potential clients can get in touch. Why depend solely on referrals when there’s a vast customer base out there doing their research online?

The Bottom Line

Frustratingly, there is no standardized rate scale for web design. Some developers charge by the hour, some use a flat rate, and some charge by the page. Extras such as e-commerce, or database capabilities and advanced functionality will definitely cost more, but are likely not needed by most law firms. So expect to pay anywhere between $3000 and $20,000 for a site design, and then a smaller amount each month to keep content fresh and updated, and all collected data analyzed. It’s not really about how much the website costs; it’s about how well it works. So take the time to find a designer, developer or web design firm that understands the sector and your firm’s place in it. That may not be the designer that tenders the highest quote.

The investments you make today around web design are not oppressive, especially when balanced against the huge potential for targeted marketing to new clients, and the financial advantages of converting them for the firm.

Most Law Firms Struggle with Generating New Clients...We Fix That!

Since 2009, we have helped many lawyers grow their practice. Let us do it for you!

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