What do you need to look for when trying to find the ‘Best law firm website design companies’? What are the essential skills they must have, how much should you pay and how do you know when you have found the best available for your budget?
As someone who has helped thousands of solicitors with their law firm websites since 2003, I think I have a fairly good understanding of what to do, and perhaps equally as importantly, what not to do.
I am writing this article for the same reason I wrote my book, The Law Firm Growth Formula, which is simple:
To stop law firm owners from blowing their marketing budget on the wrong website meaning that they will have to start the entire process all over again!
I cannot tell you how many times solicitors come to me having spent £10,000, £20,000 or £50,000 on a website that simply does not and can never work for them.
When I say ‘doesn’t work for them’, I mean one thing: ‘It will never bring in new clients’ which, in my view, is the sole thing that your 24/7/365 marketing tool should be doing.
Do I have a vested interest in this article, in other words, am I just trying to sell you my websites?
I only offer website design to a few clients who are working with me already in other ways and it is clear that their website is holding them back from making the easy progress that I know they should be making.
I have a small, perfectly formed team and do not want to change that, with a waiting list, so it really isn’t about that.
What is it about then?
Ensuring that you do not waste your hard earned marketing budget on a useless website, as so many before you have already done so!
Now that I have covered those questions I am sure that you had running around your head, let’s move on to the most important points you need to be aware of and questions that you need to ask when it comes to choosing the best law firm website design company.
What Price Should You Pay?
Let me start with the most important point, how much should you expect to pay for a website design?
One off fees can range from £2,000 to £10,000, possibly £20,000 if your website has over 500 pages of content. If you do not know how many pages of content your website has, download my guide below and I will share with you a free tool you can use that will quickly and automatically add up your pages for you.
The same tool will also show you if your website design company has carried out the bare minimum Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)/ Content Marketing that should be done on every website (yet so often is not).
A company charging you a monthly fee to include website design and ongoing content addition might charge you a few hundred pounds a month plus VAT.
A monthly fee is how I charge my client for two reasons:
- it saves them a large up front fee; and
- the ongoing assistance to add content, change staff members etc means that they will not be afraid to keep adding new content to their website so it will grow and always be up to date, meaning that it will do its job of bringing my clients new enquiries much better.
Now that we have covered cost, let’s talk about choosing the right platform from your law firm website design company.
The Website Platform (Think Case Management System)
Your website has to be put together and sit on a platform, which is very similar to case management systems for law firms.
Now, as I am sure you know already, not every case management system is created equal.
That is also very much the case for content management systems for websites, your website platform as it were.
Some are incredibly difficult to work with (so you shy away from adding new content to it) and add lots of junk code to the page (which makes it hard for Google to work out what you do (meaning less website visitors/enquiries)).
The good news is that most of the platforms out there are free, from Wix to Square Pages.
However, when it comes to websites that generate a lot of new clients for law firms, the platform that I always see them sitting on is WordPress.
There are thousands of WordPress website developers out there, but there is one more thing you need to know about WordPress before making that your platform of choice…
WordPress Page Builders
One of the things that I love about WordPress is the simplicity with which my clients can make changes to their websites.
If they need to edit a paragraph, when WordPress is constructed correctly, it is as simple as editing a Word or Google Sheet document. You find the part you want to edit, you change the words, press Update and you are done. The changes are live.
However, if your WordPress website designers use a page builder, such as Divi Builder or Elementor, what was a simple process has suddenly become a lot more difficult.
Now the page is constructed instead of in one nice simple Word document, in about 100 different blocks, meaning that you have to track down the block with the content you want to edit in it, which is no simple task, open it, edit it, then update it.
Then, if you want to make any other changes on the page, you have to find each of the blocks you want to edit and update them individually too.
The other major problems with page builders for WordPress are:
- They slow down the page loading speeds of your website (which is a really bad thing for getting more visitors to your site as a fast site is one of Google’s key objectives); and
- The amount of junk code on the page makes it very hard for Google to read the words (which again means less visitors).
What About The Website Design Companies Bespoke Website Platform?
A lot of companies will try and push you away from the platform mentioned above and instead advise you for many reasons that the best option for you is to use their ‘bespoke law firm website design’ platform.
There is only one reason that they do this:
It ties you to their services for as long as possible.
If you think about the process that you are going through at the moment, ‘choosing a website design company for a new website for your law firm’, it isn’t easy or a lot of fun is it?
The truth is that you have probably been putting it off for a long time, dreading the process.
You know it is going to take up a lot of your time and be a painful process.
With this in mind, one of the key requirements is that you make the best decision now, so that you do not have to go through the same process in a year or two.
You want a platform that is easy to use and that should anything happen to your existing website design company, you can easily move to a new one without having to completely redo your website.
If you choose a website design companies bespoke platform this will not be the case. You will have to start from scratch again.
However, if you choose WordPress, there will be hundreds of companies who can pick up your website and help you with it.
You are future proofing your website.
That is a very sensible thing to do.
Now that we have covered that, what about the website design itself?
Your Law Firm Website Design
When it comes to your law firm website, would you like me to share the most important part of your website, when it comes to:
- attracting more visitors to your website; and
- persuading those visitors into parting with their contact details to get in touch with you?
CONTENT, CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT!
When people are choosing a solicitor, they are making an informed decision.
They are looking for an expert, a specialist, the best solicitor available for their needs.
No amount of pictures of rolling countryside, sheep, cows or local landmarks are going to make a jot of difference in their quest to find the best solicitor.
It is the words that sell your services, time after time.
So if your website design company is all about building you an ‘edgy, funky website with loads of cool pictures and very few words’, you absolutely should run a country mile away from them.
If you come back to our primary aim for your law firm website; which is to generate client enquiries for you all day, every day, there is another reason that a beautiful website with no words will not work for you, so let’s look at that.
Website Marketing (SEO / Content Marketing
Here are the rules for getting to the top of Google to generate more enquiries for you:
- Each page which you would like Google to find must have at least 750 words, but often 1-2,000 words. A website designer who wants your page to look beautiful, will not be happy with this. They will only be happy with a beautiful website. However, remember one thing. You will be paying them whether your website brings in clients or whether it doesn’t. They do not mind which, as they will be paid either way. You MUST obtain a website which generates visitors and clients for you.
- You must add content regularly, ideally weekly, to grow your reach across Google and obtain more visitors and more enquiries for your legal services. A website that is very difficult to add new content to (page builders or your design companies bespoke platform) will deter you from doing this.
- You must optimise your website to make it easy for Google to understand what your website page is all about. This means it must be easy to add title tags, description tags, image tags and some other minor elements which help Google to send you more traffic. A good website design company should do this for you as part of their offering. Many do not. You can see how by using the free tool I mention above and share with you in my law firm website design and marketing guide.
I hope that this article has given you enough information to ensure that you obtain the right website and the best website for your needs.
For even more detail, please click the button below to download my free website design and marketing guide: