Designing a conversion-focused website doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to create a website that brings in more clients and contacts for your law firm or medical practice, it takes a little time and work.
There are lots of ways to build a website, and everyone’s process is a little different. When you choose to build a website with FWM, you can generally expect to go through five main steps or stages, which we’ll break down for you below.
We’ve developed this process over our years of experience building websites that are attractive, functional, customized, and truly effective for our clients—and we know it works. (Check out some of our favorite designs and success stories here!)
Stage 1: Planning Your Website
The thinking and planning portion of your website design is one of the most important phases of the process, even if it doesn’t always seem like a lot is getting done at this stage. We want to know you, your brand, your goals, and your ideal clients before we start writing code or doing anything else!
During this first phase, you’ll get to know your design team and start thinking about how you really want your website and online branding to look and feel. These discussions usually cover just about every aspect of your website, including:
- Your long-term online marketing goals
- Where and how you plan to launch your website
- What features you want to offer to your online audience
- Who your target audience is and what resonates with them
- How to make your website launch successful
- Your preferences for color scheme and layout
- Your ideal “tone” and content strategy
- Your images and videos
You can think of this as the “idea” phase, where we work closely with you to gain a good understanding of your vision for your website and what you want it to be able to do. This is a great time to brainstorm and share your ideas with us, as well as to ask questions about what’s really possible and what it will take to make it happen.
Stage 2: Building Your Website
At the end of stage one, you should have a clear vision of what you want from your website and how it’s going to take shape. So, in stage two, it’s time to start getting down to the real nuts and bolts of website creation. You’ll work with our web design team to choose your colors, see layout options in action, review mock-ups, and make your final decisions. This is also the point where we’ll start writing your website’s homepage and main content. Depending on what you’ve chosen to do with your website, you may also need to gather or design new images, shoot new photos, or record new videos. Your web design team will facilitate each part, and then they’ll stitch it all together for you into a beautiful and powerful finished product.
This stage of website creation is often the most time-consuming because you are building up your site page by page—and decision by decision. The backend of your site is being built up at the same time, and everything is getting the detailed finishing work it needs to go live. Although working with an experienced web design team speeds up this process, there are usually still some edits, tweaks, and changes involved as you go.
The timeline on stage two might be a few weeks or a few months, depending on how complicated your build is and how quickly you find and approve the designs you like. Keep in mind that, if you’re doing something very unique or customized, you’ll need to allow extra time for your designers, coders, and writers to get it just right for you. Want a better idea of what it will take to get your website “just right?” Request a no-obligation design consultation with the FWM team.
Stage 3: Publishing Your Website
Once your website is built, and you’ve approved, it’s time to launch! Your shiny, new website goes live and becomes available to the world.
Now that you’re live, you’ll want to verify that everything looks how it should and is working as planned. You and the FWM team will go over the live version of your website together to make sure that:
- Your homepage, practice area pages, and other major landing pages look good.
- Your navigation system is in place and there are no broken links.
- Your images, videos, and other page elements are working properly.
- Your text content is well written, relevant, and free of errors.
- Your contact information is correct and easy to find.
- Your contact forms and lead notifications are working correctly.
At this point, we’ll also train you to use our DSS (Dynamic Self-Syndication) system, which makes it easy to manage, add, update, upgrade, and delete pages later.
Now that you’re live, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and celebrate the start of a new marketing journey. Then, roll up your sleeves and get back to work—we’re not done yet!
Stage 4: Promoting Your Website
Even though your website is live, no one will visit it if they don’t know about it or can’t find it. To jumpstart your success and generate excitement about your new website, you should:
- Announce your website’s launch through email, word of mouth, direct mail, etc.
- Connect with your potential perfect clients on social media
- Add your website address to your online profiles and directory listings
- Build a powerful organic strategy that brings in visitors from search
- Use paid advertising wisely for a short-term boost
If you’re working with our marketing services team, we’ll spend the first few meetings after your launch date doing all of the above, including getting your profiles in order, developing your ongoing strategy, and employing organic SEO techniques that connect you with potential clients.
Don’t sit back and forget about your website once people know about it! Promoting and improving your website is a journey that never really ends—and that long-term maintenance is exactly what we’ll talk about next.
Stage 5: Maintaining Your Website
The final stage of creating a website is all about your ongoing maintenance after launch. In a way, that’s the great thing about having a modern website—it’s never really finished! You can always keep tweaking, adjusting, and adding to what you’ve already built. You can always keep making it better and better!
There are a lot of things you should check regularly on your website, just to make sure that it’s all in working order over time. Beyond that, you should also regularly update your website with new content and compelling landing pages. Adding new articles, blog posts, videos, and other content to your site keeps visitors engaged in what you have to offer, and it drives new traffic to your site from search. Google loves websites that update regularly with highly relevant content!
It’s also important to keep the backend of your website up to date so that you can consistently offer your visitors a fast, private, and secure experience. FWM rolls out technical updates regularly to keep your website working great, and we’ll even let you know when there’s a big change in technology or best practices that might affect performance. And, when you eventually need to upgrade or redesign your site, we always have your back.
If you ever find yourself sitting back and thinking, “Yes, my website is finally done,” then think again. When it comes to web design, the design is never complete because your site should be continually evolving. Whether you’re adding exciting new landing pages, installing a security update, or just changing the headline on your homepage, maintaining and managing your website well means that it will grow with your business.
Create a Website With Our Award-Winning Design Team
A website can do a lot for your business, but only if the potential and power is built into it from the beginning. Starting with a high-quality build and maintaining it with powerful tools—like our DSS software—position you for long-term success. And, when you’re ready to redesign your website or freshen it up a few years down the road, a great initial build means that you don’t necessarily have to start over completely from scratch.
We’ve been designing successful websites for lawyers and doctors for decades, and we’d love to talk about how we can bring your ideas to life. Ready to get started on a conversion-focused website that does more to bring in clients and cases for your office? Call 888.886.0939 or request a website design consultation with our talented team.