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, whether you’re looking for a comprehensive website complete with all the bells and whistles or simply an online business card, we’ve done the research 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 law practice and greatly influences whether that person wants to hire you or not. 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 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 and web design 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 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 want a simple website, or something more complex that has pages with subpages and a blog? 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 out your goals and what you want for your website or SEO campaign 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 with certain projects you don’t even need website designers or SEO consultants.

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 (these 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 take into account 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 a forte? Does the company mix in a bit of everything? Make sure that the business you engage can meet your project’s needs.

Other services. Maybe the firm focuses on web development but has an in-house graphic design team or SEO specialists. Maybe it boasts 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. But they may also be extra costs you don’t need to pay for with your particular project.

Team. Some companies have an in-house team for certain departments, like for graphic design or photography. Others hire freelancers on an ad hoc basis, and 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) does it use? This is especially helpful to know if you have law practice management software or a client relationship management software or other interfaces that integrate better with one platform over another.

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? Will you be able to take the design and the content with you once you leave the company? 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 hire to help you troubleshoot issues that surface after the work is done, ideally 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 it to help you solve the problem, rather than spending precious hours or minutes trying to Google the solution yourself.

Portfolio. It’s often helpful when a website designer has a portfolio available on their website for your perusal to see if its style fits your aesthetic. Want to know your aesthetic? Take a look at different websites or color schemes to see what you want your website to look for. Create a Pinterest board to share with your designer that highlights sites, color schemes, and features you love. The more communication you have up front about your tastes and preferences the less time you’ll need for revisions and edits at the end of the process.

References. Sometimes the company you’re interested in hiring has references you can contact, either by asking the company directly or previous clients whose websites are featured as part of the company’s portfolio. But do your due diligence. Don’t hire someone without speaking to people who’ve hired the company in the past.