Legal Websites and Attorney Business Websites have specific business requirements. RO Communication has the experience of having built some of the most complex and effective law websites around.
Here are some of the things attorneys should look for when contracting with a web design firm to create an attorney website:
- Always get it in writing. Make sure the website firm you select offers you a written explanation of what you are paying for. Some of the items on that list should include the following.
- Copy that truly captures the qualities that your firm can offer that others can't. I put this item first because, as a professional writer, I know this is often a web design firm's weak link. Your web design firm should make sure your audience can understand why you're the attorney for them.
- Design that captures the mood of your firm. Be sure that you approve design that truly communicates who you are clearly without mixed messages. There's nothing wrong with bold flair - no one's saying that every attorney website should be cookie-cutter, staid and bland. In fact the unexpected can really capture a prospective client's attention. Just be sure that it doesn't detract from your overall message.
- Be sure that your web designer understands the requirements for attorney websites as stipulated by your state's bar association. Some states require attorney websites carry legal disclaimers etc.
- Search Engine Optimization is sometimes disregarded by some web designers. But you should demand that your site be optimized with proper page titles, heading tags, keyword placement, meta keyword and description tags. Because much SEO exists on a site's meta level, it is not something that is immediately obvious to the naked eye. But search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing do notice if it is omitted and as a result your site that you have invested in might not show up well in search results.
- An ongoing search engine optimization plan specific to your attorney website is a good idea. Because SEO ranges from passive to very active, you should be sure to find out what you're paying for, what results you should expect to see, cost and a documentation of ongoing updates. Expect to pay something every month for SEO updates. Costs vary.
- Be sure that you own your domain name. There are few things more frustrating that building up a website identity that is connected to your firm and then not having access to your domain name when it's time to make changes. Your attorney website designer should assist you in choosing the best domain name for your site and then you should register it for multiple years (I would register it for as many years as the registrar allows) and keep the login information in a safe place. Most web designers will protect your access to your domain name, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Get it in writing that you are the sole owner of your domain name or names.
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