You’ve Launched Your Law Firm's Website. Now What?
The big day has come—it’s time to celebrate! You did it! You finally launched your site! But alas, the work continues even when the adrenaline dwindles.
Now is the time to ensure that your fancy new website becomes a serious long-term success. Execute these quick post-launch tips well and you’ll get even more value out of your investment in a new website.
From submitting a new sitemap to configuring marketing tools correctly, here are the six things you need to do after you launch your website.
Make sure it’s functioning
You may have already tested the site on the staging server before launch, but it’s important to do it again now that your site is live.
Try out every single contact form (and be sure they are received by your team). If you use a CRM, the webhook will be tested by this action. If you have tracking numbers set up, give them a call and make sure the forwarding is correct.
Once again, test each of these tasks across multiple devices.
Submit a new sitemap
When you create a new site or make changes to an existing website, it’s helpful to inform Google by updating your sitemap.
Sharing an accurate sitemap with search engines can help your site be indexed properly—and discovered by the right people.
Your web developer should take care of this for you but if they don’t, you can create your own sitemap.
Configure analytics and marketing tools correctly
This one is very important! If you’re working with a digital agency, they should take care of this step for you.
Ensure that Google Analytics (and any other tracking tools) you use are configured correctly. In most instances, this simply means that a snippet of tracking code is embedded in your site.
Get your embedded tools set up ASAP to capitalize on all the initial traffic generated by your launch.
Update listings and marketing materials with your new URL
Now that you know your website is functional, it’s time to get the word out!
If you have a new site, you may need to create profiles on platforms like Google Business Profile and Facebook. Otherwise, it’s simply a matter of updating the URL on your existing profiles.
Here are some digital places you may need to update with your new URL:
- Local listings (like your firm’s Google Business Profile)
- Bar association listings
- Social media profiles
- Your email signature
Once you update the digital assets, you can proceed with physical marketing materials like business cards and stationery.
Schedule site reviews and content updates
It is important to treat your website as a dynamic asset that gets regularly updated. Do not let your site become outdated and inaccurate!
Before you move on to the next big project, make sure to schedule site reviews and content updates with your design team and staff. Create a content calendar and carve out dedicated time to work on your website.
Put dates in your calendar to ensure that you stay on track and maintain the site properly—otherwise, you will nullify all the money you just spent on a new site.
Share with family and friends
Now that you have a stunning website, it’s time to share the URL with your friends and family.
Close friends may have seen how much hard work and commitment you’ve devoted to this new site. Family members may have dealt with long hours and bad moods.
Thank them for supporting you in making this site happen and invite them to celebrate this major accomplishment.
Review and next steps
After you launch your site, the work is nearly—but not quite—done. These six steps will help ensure that your new website lives a long, happy life while serving your business.
- Make sure that all features function in the live version of the site.
- Submit a new sitemap.
- Configure analytics and marketing tools correctly.
- Update online listings and marketing materials with the new URL.
- Schedule site reviews and content updates.
- Share with your loved ones.
High-five! Take a breather. Next, we’ll discuss how to increase your firm’s visibility on the web.
Taking Control of SERPs When It Comes to Your Law Firm’s (and Professionals’) Names
To achieve the best possible outcome with your website, you need more than just a pretty, functional site—you need to take control of SERPs.
Search engine results pages (SERPs) are a complicated mix of organic and paid results. You may assume that if your firm has a website, it will appear as the top result on the search engine page. Unfortunately, this just isn’t the case.
Advertisements, directories, and other sites could rank incredibly well and bump your site further down on the page. So what can you do?
This article covers the basics of SERPs, including what they are, why they’re important, and what you can do to take control.
What does SERP mean?
SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. In simple terms, it describes the page of results that you see when you query a search engine. This includes both paid and organic results.
For a website to rank higher on SERP, you can either pay for a spot or earn it with SEO strategies like backlinking, optimizing, and using keywords.
The key to SERPs is understanding which search queries to build your strategy around.
Here’s an example. If someone has your name but not your URL, they will probably go to Google and look up your name: “Crawford and Kumar lawyers”. If someone is looking for general assistance, they might look up something like “car accident lawyers in Trenton New Jersey.”
To take control of SERPs, you must think about what someone may type or speak into a search engine when looking for someone like you—and then optimize your site to attract those people.
Why are SERPs important?
SERPs are important because they affect the visibility and reputation of your website.
The majority of people will only click on organic results on the first page. So, if your website does not appear on the first page, it is extremely difficult to discover—even if people are looking for the exact service that you offer.
The focus of most attorney websites is either 1) to attract new clients or 2) to validate prospects who have been referred. In both cases, search engine results are critical to your success.
If you get most of your business through word of mouth, you may not need to work as hard to rank with competitive keywords on Google. However, search engines can help you maximize the visibility of your brand along with the specific attorney names within your practice.
If your website is primarily a lead generation tool, then search engine results will ultimately determine your success. You will need to compete intelligently with other firms to be discovered.
If you want your website to be effective, it needs to rank highly on a SERP.
Strategy #1: Create a good website that is appropriately optimized
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a complex and important undertaking. SEO experts may employ a variety of techniques to optimize your website so it is more appealing to search engines.
Here are some ways to optimize your website to improve your ranking position on a SERP:
- Use relevant keywords.
- Publish regular, authoritative content on a specific topic.
- Include metadata and alt tags.
- Link to other authoritative sites
- Get backlinks to your site (this should also happen organically if you publish high-quality content with regularity)
- Decrease load time by compressing images.
- Enable static URLs.
Pro Tip Backlinks are extremely important for websites focused on thought leadership and firms who want to rank better with Google.
Strategy #2: Beef up your local listings
Have you ever Googled a business to find out whether it’s open or closed? That’s a Google Business Profile (GBP) —and you should have one, too!
Your GBP should be as complete as possible since it appears on the first page of search engine results. This is valuable social proof. Don’t forget local listings!
An effective Profile should have these elements:
- Review from clients and colleagues
- Accurate contact information, including your website.
- Services Offered
Strategy #3: Consider running a branded PPC campaign
PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s a strategy where you pay to get an advertising spot at the top of a SERP. Every time someone clicks, you pay.
The trick to a successful PPC campaign is choosing the right phrase.
You have to bid on a phrase, and popular phrases cost more than uncommon ones. You’ll have more success—and you’ll pay less—if you bid on your own name.
Of course, a competitor firm may try to bid on your name and tagline so they can place their own ad higher up on the page than your website. But in general, it’s much tougher to compete with other businesses for common search terms like “personal injury lawyer in Ohio” than personal names.
The cost for this is usually quite low (less than $50/month).
Pro Tip: Make sure to choose a strategic landing page on your website to welcome PPC visitors, where you get to control the narrative.
Review and next steps
Search engines may seem fickle but they follow a set process for ranking websites. Improve your website’s performance by taking control of SERPs with three strategies:
- Optimize your legal website for search engines.
- Add information to your online profiles, like Google Business Profile
- Run a branded PPC campaign.
Got questions? Our team can help you navigate the Herculean task of optimizing your site and attracting the right people.