Website Designers and SEO Consultants

Law Firm Website Designers & SEO Services Providers

Maybe you’re fresh on the scene as a small-firm or solo lawyer and you’re looking to build your very first website. Or maybe your firm is looking for a website and digital marketing refresh (or even a full-on redesign). No matter, we’ve done the research—and are continually sharing that research and the strong feelings we’ve developed as a result of it—to help you find the best law firm website designers and SEO services providers out there, assuming you don’t feel like trying this yourself.

Alphabetical List

Selecting Law Firm Website Designers and SEO Services Providers

Your website is often your potential clients’ first view into your proverbial soul. You only have, at most, about 10 seconds to convince the average visitor to stick around. So you better make your first impression a doozy. That means your website has to sing.

Before we go further, let’s get a few definitions out of the way:

  • Website designers create your website’s look and feel. They help with branding, logos, colors, and website and page layout. They should also be knowledgeable about calls to action, organizing your site’s content, and setting up layouts that best meet your goals.
  • A website developer takes the designer’s guidance to then code and builds a functional website based on the designer’s layouts. Developers also add functionality to your website and help with troubleshooting. Sometimes, you’ll find someone who can competently handle both web design and web development work, but not always. Definitely not always.
  • SEO is “search engine optimization.” It’s how you build your website and its pages to attract more visitors by ranking well on search engine results pages. SEM is “search engine marketing,” and typically refers to all paid search activities, like paid search ads, display ads, pay-per-click (PPC), social media ads, and remarketing (or retargeting). SEO and SEM are only part of your overall marketing strategy.
website designers Best Law Firm Websites 2018

Check out our Best Law Firm Websites of 2018 for some tips and inspiration.

There are a host of resources here to inspire you toward great website design and cajole you into incorporating SEO best practices on your firm’s site. But when you want to hire website designers or SEO service providers to help, here are a few things you should consider:

Free audit. Just like most companies now offer a free trial before you buy law practice management software, most web design and digital marketing firms should offer a free site audit or SEO assessment and share how you might improve. Be wary of firms that tell you all the things you’re doing wrong and that no one else can possibly help improve them. You should also be wary of firms guaranteeing SEO rankings, offering minimal detail about their services or process, selling you into long-term contracts (i.e., more than a month-to-month contract), or working with your competitors.

Your project’s scope. What, exactly, do you need for your project, and how long will it take? Do you need responsive design? (Spoiler alert: Yes.) How do you define success for your website or digital marketing campaigns? What exactly do you want from a particular firm? Scope this out to better understand what services and skills your project demands and how much it might cost (we can help you with this). You may even find that you don’t even need website designers.

Communication. Knowing what you want from your project also means knowing how to communicate it clearly to potential web designers and SEO specialists. Communicating well helps avoid potentially costly confusion and delay. You should also be involved, by monthly check-ins at a minimum, in website and marketing strategy decisions (they are your decisions, after all). On a related note, make sure you get along with your website designer. A standard website, branding, and SEO services package could take at least 60 days, so why work with someone you don’t enjoy?

Experience. You may prefer that your website designer or SEO services provider has worked with other law firms before. While this may not be a deal breaker, those with experience in the legal industry are more likely to be conversant in what requirements and ethical obligations lawyers need to meet. The counterargument: companies that have worked in our industry may have preconceived ideas about what a “good” law firm website looks like. And if those preconceived ideas involve mahogany, bookshelves, or scales of justice, you’re in the wrong place (and, probably, the wrong decade).

Lastly, don’t forget: above all else, content is king.

lawyer street ad needs website designers

Having a well-designed website that incorporates SEO best practices means you won’t have to resort to this.

Other Considerations

What you look for in law firm website designers or SEO services providers will vary depending on your project’s details. But other considerations you should be aware of before hiring a company for their web design or SEO services are:

Core service. What is this company’s primary focus? Web design, but not development? Are SEM and SEO services their forte? Do they mix in a bit of everything? Make sure that the business you engage can meet your project’s needs.

Other services. Maybe they focus on web development but have an in-house graphic design team or SEO specialists. Maybe they boast skills in logos and favicons. These little extras often represent small things in the grand scope of your project but are nice accouterments when done well.

Team. Some companies have an in-house team. Others hire freelancers on an ad hoc basis, and still others may outsource projects in their entirety. There are good reasons that any one of these arrangements could be the right fit for you. The point is only that you want to know who you’re spending your money on.

Platforms. Does the company work exclusively with WordPress? Or drag-and-drop platforms only? What sort of Content Management Service (CMS) do they use?

Design ownership. At the end of the project, who owns the website design? You or your design company? Does this mean you’ll have to license the design? Does your contract accurately describe this arrangement?

Follow-up help. Sometimes you’ll end up with a website that looks amazing but doesn’t work. You want the company you engage to help you troubleshoot issues that surface after the work is done, without additional fees.

Support. Say you’re tinkering with your website and can’t figure out how to set a button on a page. A vendor with baseline competence in “support” means you can count on them to help you solve the problem, rather than trying to Google the solution yourself.

Portfolio. This check means the website designer had a portfolio available for your perusal to see if their style fits your aesthetic. Want to know your aesthetic? Share a Pinterest board with your designer that highlights sites, color schemes, and features you love.

References. This check means that the company has references you can contact. Of course, you could always just reach out to previous clients of theirs, too. Do your research. Don’t hire someone without speaking to people who’ve used them in the past.

The Small Firm Scorecard example graphic.

The Small Firm ScorecardTM

Is your law firm structured to succeed in the future?

The practice of law is changing. You need to understand whether your firm is positioned for success in the coming years. Our free Small Firm Scorecard will identify your firm’s strengths and weaknesses in just a few minutes.