So you’ve decided you need a website. You started your virtual practice, or you have a brick and mortar office but no solid web presence. Getting a website up can feel like a huge, time-consuming project if you’ve never done one before and it can be confusing just trying to figure out where to start. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re wondering what your next steps should be, keep reading for some guidelines to follow that will help you streamline the process of getting a killer website done so that it’s up and running in no time.
1. Decide on a look. Take a look at how other people have designed their sites, making note of what you like and don’t like. Decide on what type of home page you want. Do you want the focal point to be an introductory explanation of you and your practice? Or would you prefer it to be divided up into areas that highlight and link to the most important parts of your site?
Here’s a tip: Don’t feel like you need to limit your research to just attorney websites. You can find design inspiration anywhere. If there are elements in a design that you think are effective, make note of it and consider adopting something similar on your own website. This advice applies to logo design as well if you don’t have one yet. Take a look at other logos to figure out the design styles you like.
2. Get your content together. So you have a general idea of how you want your site to look, but that solves only half of the problem… have you thought about what’s going on it? For an attorney site, getting content together for an About Page, Services Page and Contact Page is a good place to start. But you’re also going to want to include some images as well. Use stock photo sites like Shutterstock or iStockphoto that have a huge selection of photos to choose from.
Here’s a tip: If you’re writing the content yourself, work on that first – before you start building the actual site. If you put writing content off until after the excitement of seeing the final design and a working website, it will be hard not to procrastinate and suddenly, it seems like the site is taking forever to finish. Be prepared by already having your content ready to go and avoid wasting valuable time sitting on a website that’s only halfway done.
3. Get the word out. This third and final guideline may be the shortest of the three, but it’s arguably the most important. After all, what good is a killer website if no one sees it? Use social networking (both the online and in-real-life kind) to build an audience.
Here’s a tip: Work on building your community now! Start inviting people to your mailing list on MailChimp and connect with people on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. This is something you can do before and during the development phase of your site so that you have an audience by the time you’re ready to launch.
That’s it! Pretty simple and straightforward, right? Once you’ve followed these steps, you’ll be ready to start working on getting your site designed and developed. And I bet you’ll find that your preparation as a result of following these guidelines will make the rest of the site building process a breeze. You’ll also be happier with the end result.
Want to know if your website is kickass or confusing? Check out our free webinar, How to Build a Virtual Law Office Website That Performs, where we reveal the key features of awesome VLO websites. Plus, I’ll tell you some big mistakes that may be preventing you from turning your website visitors into clients.
If you’re ready to get a killer website done for you, get started by clicking here and purchasing a web design package.