Like cheese or bread, your website comes with an expiry date—and if you don’t pay attention, you could end up serving up moldy, stinky design to your potential clients.
There’s absolutely no need to splash out on a brand new website every year. If yours is serving you well, delivering leads, and showcasing your cutting-edge branding, then you can skip this article. However, if it’s been a while since you refreshed your design and you’re concerned about the effect of the design on your firm’s growth, keep reading.
We’ll cover the recommended timelines for website refreshes and redesigns, the reasons behind those timelines, and signs it might be time for a redesign, and tips for making this critical decision.
You should consider a law firm website refresh between 6 months and 2 years
Most websites should be refreshed every six months to a year. That’s an appropriate period of time to adjust your design to meet your changing business needs.
Redesigning your website too often can be confusing for users (and for your own team). However, an outdated website can be seriously detrimental to your reputation.
You should schedule a significant website overhaul or redesign every two to five years. This is essential to keep pace with evolving technology, design trends and user expectations.
In the redesign process, you could be updating your branding as well. In either case, it’s entirely reasonable to redesign your website completely from scratch, especially if you’ve grown exponentially since you launched with a DIY site.
The lifecycle of a law firm website
Here’s a simplified example of a website’s journey from launch (woohoo!) to stagnation (boo):
- Initial investment in web design and development
- Focus on first impression to capitalize on halo effect
- Publish regular content
- Track data and adapt to user needs
- Engagement and conversion rates are dropping
- Outdated branding and functionality
Signs it’s time for a redesign
Not sure whether you need a redesign? Look out for some of these key signs that your site needs an update.
Slow loading times can have a negative impact on user experience. It’s also a ranking factor. You can use Google’s page speed ranking tool to learn more about your site’s performance. If it’s too slow, dig into some of these factors.
Mobile responsiveness is a major factor in the success or failure of your website, as mobile devices are ubiquitous nowadays. If you’re getting complaints about your mobile version or if your data is indicating poor conversion on mobile devices, it may be time for an update. If your website was built before smartphones, then it’s way past time for an upgrade. Ask your developer about mobile-first indexing.
Outdated design or branding can be hard to spot if you’ve been looking at it every day—or if you invested a lot of money into the design. However, up-to-date branding is a key component of a modern, functional website. A redesign doesn’t need to go completely against your firm’s visual identity, but it does need to bring your existing brand story into line with clients’ visual expectations. It’s about trust and credibility. Consider identity development if your firm needs a facelift.
Declining conversions and reduced traffic are serious symptoms of a website that’s hindering your growth instead of helping. Take a close look at your traffic sources, conversion rates, and CTAs. You might simply need a different SEO approach instead of a new website—but in combination with the other factors above, you may need a full redesign.
Factors influencing redesign frequency
Of course, we don’t expect you to make a redesign decision without considering the broader factors at play. You can research these factors, or you can book a consultation with our team to take a closer look at your specific website.
Industry benchmarks and competitor analysis can help you find out whether you’re keeping pace with your peers. It’s easier to uncover industry standards when you look at the leading attorneys in your field or area.
Next, technological advancements can guide your redesign decision. But only if you know what’s possible! From security and compliance updates to algorithm updates, there’s a lot to keep track of. Consult SearchEngineLand.com, LinkedIn, and other industry sources for the newest information on user experience design, SEO, and data analysis.
Designs should balance costs and benefits
A new website is not just a pretty face. It’s a robust machine with a front end and back end that work seamlessly together to capture and convert leads. That’s the measure upon which you should assess the costs and benefits of a website redesign.
How much is your current design costing you?
How much would a new design cost you?
You can prioritize key areas for improvement, of course. But replacing one faulty wheel will not help the cart travel in a straight line. It’s important to consider the ROI of a full website redesign.
Sure, the cost might be scary, but the benefits are even more mouthwatering. Remember to factor in the full cost of ownership.
The long-term benefits of a well-designed website are well worth the investment. Imagine if you could focus on growing your business for the next two to five years on a strong digital foundation.
Choosing the right time for your law firm
Here’s what you need to do to make the right decision tailored to your firm’s unique circumstances.
- Look at the data unique to your site, identifying trends from the launch to current day.
- Check out your competitors’ websites and see if yours stands up.
- Consult with web design and marketing professionals for an expert assessment.
It’s crucial to remain flexible and consider redesigning sooner if you notice signs of stagnation, such as declining traffic, outdated design, slow loading times or poor mobile responsiveness.
Meanwhile, regularly monitor industry benchmarks, competitor websites, new SEO developments and user feedback to determine the optimal timing for your website redesign. The goal is to ensure your website remains effective in attracting and retaining clients.
Chat with the experts to start an honest, straightforward conversation about legal website design. Don’t let an outdated website stand in the way of your success.