The Legal Website “Do List”

Published on Sep 24th, 2011 by Jeff Yerkey

Recently I responded to a question on LinkedIn about things to remember when rebuilding your law firm’s website. Not wishing to lose those keystrokes, Right Hat’s brand strategist Jeorjina Maltbie, suggested I repost it on the blog:
When launching or relaunching your law firm’s web presence, we believe the design and development of a great site must for starters include:

  • Background, interviews and research. Developing unique positioning in the legal web space is critical. What do you do best that you competitors either don’t do — or don’t do well? To that end, we’ll interview partners, associates, prospects and clients. This helps distill where your firm sits on the competitive landscape.
  • Positioning. What has the above told you that can be crafted into your website’s “elevator pitch”?
  • Careful sitemap. Review your site traffic logs in order to add insight into crafting an effective sitemap that allows visitors to find the pages they want quickly.
  • Effective wireframes. Is everything you need on the page? Do not forget Social networking tools.
  • Unique graphic design with attention to your brand, including the right imagery, fonts, colors grids and technologies. Try to steer clear of Flash™ except for that rare timeline or special section. The future is HTML5.
  • Social networking plan. Think it through. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others.
  • Forward facing technologies. Will your site view well on mobile devices, tablets of varying sizes, netbooks and overseas? Do you want a dedicated mobile or tablet site?
  • Back-end tech integration. Carefully think through what you want to integrate with your web back end such as case and matter databases, HR systems, proposal generators and extranet services.
  • Content “voice”. Make sure your site has a voice that is consistent and clear. Establish writing and editing guidelines.
  • Clear communication across Marketing partners, stakeholders, developers, PMs and designers.
  • Establish real-world deadlines to avoid mission creep.
  • Test, test, test. Don’t skimp on the time to review the site carefully before you publish it to the world.