You’ve Got Questions About Website Design; We’ve Got Answers!

A good website design comes off as uncomplicated and simple to use. But creating a design as beautiful as it is useful isn’t as easy as it looks! Here we answer the most common website design questions we field.

We hope that you are able to answer your questions here. If not, pick up the phone and call 888-886-0939. Our team would love to help you better understand how we design killer, conversion-rich websites.


 

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  • How often should I redesign my medical practice's website?

    When to redesign your doctor/medical practice website

    Websites for doctors and medical practices need to evolve as patients’ tastes and expectations change. While most practices find that they’re ready for an update or overhaul of their websites every few years, there isn’t a set-in-stone schedule. Instead, it is a decision that depends on your practice, your patients, and how well your current website is working for you.

    Are you having trouble deciding how often is often enough to redesign the website for your medical practice? Here are four major signs that the time is right.

    Your Medical Practice’s Website Looks Outdated

    Take a good look at your website. Now, compare it to websites for similar practices in your area. Does it measure up? Does it look as modern as the other websites you visit every day? Do you like the current design and how it showcases your practice and your doctors? If not, then a redesign could do a lot for your practice.

    Ultimately, looks matter online. Patients notice when you’re behind the times, and they are often suspicious of medical websites that look and feel a little abandoned. 

    Updating your design, adding high-quality photos and video, and adjusting for modern aesthetic expectations gives your website that healthy glow that lets patients know you’re still there for them. It is also an excellent chance to highlight new staff, new services, new locations, and other changes since you last gave your website a major facelift. 

    Your Website Is Built on a Crumbling Foundation

    Redesigning a website is about more than just looks. The technology behind the Web can change as quickly as design trends. Redesigning and updating your website every few years—or when there is a major change in best practices—means that you are always on top of the game.

    If your current website is hard to use, hard to update, or limited by old technology, it is definitely time for a redesign. Even if you choose to keep a very similar design, this is the kind of thing that can affect every part of the user experience, from how fast your website loads and the kinds of media you can feature to how your offer forms work and how visitors navigate through your site. 

    You Are Concerned About HIPAA and Online Security

    If you haven’t updated your medical practice’s site in a while, then it probably isn’t as secure as it should be. Digital security and privacy are big issues right now, especially for medical websites, and patients are increasingly savvy about protecting themselves online.  

    Because of this, Foster Web Marketing has taken steps to ensure that all protected health information (PHI) communicated through our clients’ websites is safe and secure, but a redesign may be in order if you have an older site. Find out more about HIPAA-compliant enhancements on FWM websites

    Your Website Is Not Ready for Mobile Visitors

    How does your practice’s website look when you pull it up on your phone or tablet? Is it easy to use? Is it easy for patients to find the information they need? Mobile search accounts for a huge number of visitors to most modern websites, and all indications are that it is here to stay.

    Older websites force mobile users to zoom in, zoom out, and tap through tiny links and menus to get what they need. A redesign will help you build a responsive, mobile-friendly website that looks and works great on all kinds of devices. 

    Freshen Up Your Online Image With Our Award-Winning Website Design Team

    So how often should you redesign your medical practice's website? If it's been a few years since your site launched, or you've gone through this list and decided that your practice’s website is ready for a change, we can help put your plans into action. Reach out to us for a free website design consultation, and let’s talk about how to update your website so it can better attract, convert, and retain your perfect patients. 

     

  • How often should I redesign my law firm's website?

    The short answer is that there is no set schedule for updating your attorney website design. However, don’t let that fool you into believing that design updates are unnecessary. Time moves fast on the Web, and a site that was beautiful two or three years ago could already look outdated and shoddy today. It’s sad, but true!

    attorney website redesign

    Pull up your website right now on your phone or desktop. How does it compare to other sites you’ve visited today? How does it fit with your current brand image and services? If you’ve taken a good look and still aren’t sure if your law firm is ready for a website redesign, here are our best tips for deciding when the time is right. 

    6 Signs Your Law Firm’s Website Is Ready for a Redesign

    Websites don’t come with expiration dates, and the right time to redesign is unique to each website and law firm. If your law firm has maintained the same website for a while, watch out for these signs that you’re ready for a change:

    1. Your website looks outdated. Tastes and design trends change over time, and users expect websites to keep up with the times. Does your website look modern, or does it stick out like a sore thumb next to more current sites? Look at your competitors’ websites to see how yours compares to others in your industry. Think about the other websites you visit every day. The comparison makes it much easier to decide if the look and feel of your own site are in line with your visitors’ modern expectations. 
    2. Your website is built on outdated technology. The look of your website aside, users also have evolving preferences for how they access, navigate, and use your site. Backend technology and online possibilities evolve along with those preferences. A redesign can offer better security, better navigation, HIPAA compliance, and a device-responsive mobile site. Lots of small changes to website best practices add up over time, and even a simple redesign can make a big difference in how your website works and what it can offer to potential clients.
    3. Your law office moved, or your areas of practice changed. You don’t necessarily have to redesign your website every time something changes, but it’s worth considering if your law firm makes a major change in location or offerings. A redesigned website can help to inform your potential clients about your new services, attorneys, or offices, and it also gives you a fresh canvas for changes to your overall digital marketing strategy.
    4. You’re starting a fresh digital marketing push or rebranding effort. Your website is the hub and funnel of everything you do to market your law firm online. If you make any kind of major change to your digital marketing strategy or online image, then it is critical that your website seamlessly reflect your new focus. Sometimes, you can effectively work within the bounds of your old design. Other times, it just makes good sense to start fresh. 
    5. Your website offers a bad user experience. Your website will make a bad impression on potential clients if it is slow, hard to use, or does not work as intended. If an outdated website is getting in the way of the user experience, then it should be a giant red flag that you’re ready for a design update. 
    6. Your content is difficult to update, find, or promote. Older websites are not always prepared for the modern, interconnected internet. If you can’t do much with your content besides publish it to your website, then a redesign can be a real game-changer. Modern designs can include social media sharing, improved navigation to important content, and ways to highlight what is most relevant. If you already have a ton of content on your old site, a redesign is also a good time to perform a complete content audit.

    If you are still looking for answers about when to redesign your law firm’s website, we can say that we generally recommend that our clients shoot for a site-wide redesign every few years. This keeps you on top of all the current trends and best practices, and you can be sure that your website continues to deliver a great user experience and convert your perfect clients. A redesign can consist of small updates, or it can be a complete overhaul, depending on what is most appropriate for your law firm. 

    If you aren’t sure how your website measures up to current design trends and technology, contact us for a free website design consultation. We would be happy to show you how your website stacks up, what is working well, and what can be improved with a fresh design. 

  • What are the best practices for call-to-action buttons?

    A call to action (CTA) is a critical part of all the content you create to market your business. While you can write out a CTA in text or even speak it out loud in a video, using a graphical button that directs users to a contact form, offer landing page, or other goal is an attractive and effective way to entice your readers to click. Sound good? Find out how to add styled buttons to your website content.

    However, if maximizing clicks and contacts is your goal, not just any button will do. You can easily customize your buttons to get the most out of your efforts. Take a look at the examples below, which illustrate some of the best practices for custom CTA buttons. 

    Example 1: Short, Sweet, and to the Point

    Best Practices for Website Call to Action Buttons

    This example from our own website may seem simple and straightforward, but it’s also highly effective because:

    • It uses words that entice people to click. Generic web buttons use words like “submit” or “enter.” Custom buttons let you change up the wording, but you can take a cue from the old standard by using words that stimulate action. Try to use imperative verbs (“get,” in this example), words that signal value (“free”), or words that create a sense of urgency.
    • It is short and easy to read. Just a handful of words on the button itself should get your point across. If the text on your button runs too long, or the text is too small to read comfortably, then you run the risk of readers not recognizing it as a clickable feature. If you need more than a few words, consider using a smaller line of text underneath or over your shorter, attention-grabbing text—or save it for text alongside your button on the page!
    • It makes effective use of simple graphics. Part of the fun of custom buttons is that you can dress them up with a little branding. The simple addition of our DSS-logo graphic brings a little something extra to an otherwise bare-bones contact form, while still looking neat and professional. 

    Example 2: Put the Emphasis on What’s Important

    Website Call to Action Button Best Practices

    This example from a live-chat provider offers a quick lesson in using multiple buttons to spice up your content, while still leading readers to your goal:

    • The most important button stands out. If your goal is to get your readers to click, your main CTA button should always stand out on the page. Put it front and center or where the eye naturally goes as you scan through the page. Although you can put more than one button on a page, remember to use them sparingly. Giving your audience too many options will scatter your efforts and potentially leave them confused about what they’re supposed to do next.
    • It takes color seriously. While a button works the same regardless of color, color is one major factor in how appealing it is to your website visitors. Take that into account as you create buttons for your website. Think about your brand colors and the look of your website, then create a button in colors that fit in while still standing out. Using contrasting colors or a little white space will make buttons “pop” on the background, but you can experiment with what looks best to you. In this example, the orange stands out clearly against the dark background, and the button that isn’t the main call to action uses a less attention-grabbing color.

    Don’t Forget to Test What Works Best!

    You hear it from us all the time, about nearly every aspect of your digital marketing strategy, but always test your ideas once they’ve been implemented. You can make educated guesses about what will motivate your potential clients to reach out to you or take another action, but you can never fully know for sure without tracking, testing, and analyzing the performance of your CTA buttons.

    Do you need help adding beautiful buttons to your website? Do you have questions about what makes a great call to action or how to track your conversions? Give us a call at 888-886-0939 to talk it over with our web marketing and design experts. 

     

  • Why isn’t my law firm's website getting me business?

    A poor user experience makes it hard for potential clients to relate to your professional websiteIt’s a nightmare situation. You built a website for your law firm, but it isn’t helping you get new clients. What’s going wrong? If all the nuts and bolts are in place for Google to find your business and crawl your website, then the problem lies somewhere in the user experience.

    Almost every element of a website impacts the user experience. If you aren’t getting the kinds of results you are looking for from your website, then it’s time to analyze some key areas:

    • Look, feel, and functionality. Visitors expect a website to be easy to use and easy on the eyes. If the layout and navigation are confusing, or if your website’s design gets in the way of functionality, then you’re going to drive visitors away. This all holds for mobile, too, so make sure your website is just as attractive and intuitive for visitors using mobile devices.
       
    • Content. High-quality, relevant content is what drives your perfect clients to your doorstep. If your content is thin, full of grammar mistakes, and over-stuffed with awkward keywords, then it’s time to focus your efforts on improving. Think about what your perfect clients want to know and want to read, then develop a content strategy to meet their needs. Your content should also include customized calls to action that clearly guide readers toward the next step.
       
    • “Goal” pages. Speaking of calls to action, your main “goal” pages—like offer landing pages and contact forms—should be optimized to convince users to click or reach out. If people are landing on these pages because they’re interested in what you have to offer, it’s your job to make sure that it’s enticing to take action. It should be clear what they should do, what happens next, and why it’s an important step for a potential client. It is critical that these pages and forms work exactly as intended, so test them routinely.
       
    • Trust signals. As common as it is to do business online these days, people are still hesitant to reach out over the internet to an unfamiliar law firm. By featuring testimonials and case results on your website, you can go a long way toward setting new visitors at ease. This is also a good time to look at your overall online review strategy and make sure that your reputation is positive and consistent across the Web.
       
    • Little extras. Little touches on your website can be big converters. Along with an overall attractive and functional website, additions like Live Chat and site search can show your potential clients that you truly care about their comfort and convenience, no matter what they’re looking for.

    It’s a lot to look at, but it’s important that you consider everything that affects your potential clients when they use your website. Do you need help? We highly recommend that you open up your website and work through our intensive UX Checklist to make sure that your every facet is totally optimized and ready to rock for your business. You can also give us a call at 888-886-0939 to pick the brains of our digital marketing and design experts.

  • Are video testimonials better than written testimonials?

    Yes, video testimonials are better than written testimonials. It has been shown, time and again, that video testimonials perform better on websites, converting at much higher rates than written testimonials. But why?

    Easy Isn't Always Best

    Client in Front of the CameraText-format testimonials are much easier to gather and display, I'll give them that. However, this is exactly why they are often perceived as disingenuous. To a wary buyer, there is no proof that you didn't invent a testimonial and post it to your site. The problem is compounded when testimonials are anonymous or initialed. Without details, such as a photo, title or company, these testimonials can be seen as manufactured—even if they're legitimate.

    Video testimonials, on the other hand, are harder to fake, and thereby can appear more powerful. They add a feeling of authenticity that text and even audio reviews don't provide. Video clips of clients, customers, or patients show prospects that other people—people who may even look like or sound like them—are satisfied, perhaps even thrilled, by your level of service.      

    Addressing the Needs of All Learners

    Just as teachers need to find out how each of their students learn best, you need to figure out how your audience best absorbs information. We often stress the importance of knowing your perfect client, and testimonials are no exception. While video is often consumed better than text, it doesn't mean that every single person prefers video. You need to determine what your ideal customer or client likes, and then test the theory. Running tests on the effectiveness of video vs. text testimonials will give you a clear picture of what works—and what doesn't.

    If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, we can help. Our team can assist you with any and every part of the testimonial process. From shooting the videos to loading them and running tests, FWM has you covered. Call 888-886-0939 today to see how our team can help you make the most of your marketing dollar.

  • What should I look for in a live chat provider?

    Picking the Best Live Chat ProviderWhen looking for a live chat provider, it's wise to use caution. Live chat has quickly risen in popularity, and too many providers are trying to get in on the game—even if they have no idea what they're doing.

    How We Picked Our Provider

    At Foster Web Marketing, we use the live chat company Ngage. To find the best live chat option for us, we vetted many possible companies, and we would like to share the top three deciding factors we used to choose a live chat provider:

    1. The company must test constantly. A chat provider should spend much of their time testing the effectiveness of their product. They should be on the lookout for issues with their product and alert you when they believe that changes should be made. Example: Ngage was running tests on the optimal pop-up times for the chat window. They found that decreasing the pop-up time led to a 10 percent increase in chats. This led to changes in pop-up times for all of their clients, and we reaped the benefits. 
    2. They must listen to their clients. Your live chat provider may be the best in the business, but if they don't listen to their clients, they aren't doing their job. The company you choose to run the live chat for your website should be receptive to your opinions and willing to work you with on a solution. Example: When we expressed concern over the size of the live chat pop-up on our mobile site, Ngage worked with us to make it smaller. This met our needs and tested well—problem solved.
    3. They should provide you with chat transcripts in a timely manner. It's important that you know what's going on when people use the chat feature on your website. Top-notch live chat providers should make every single chat transcript available to you. This allows you to see exactly what questions site visitors are asking and ensures that the live chat operators are answering them to your satisfaction. Example: In DSS, we have a built-in feature that allows you to view all live-chat transcripts. For those who don't use DSS, the company emails transcripts to their clients.  

    We hope that our experience in choosing the best live chat provider for our company will help you find the best provider for yours. If you're interested in adding live chat, please call 888-886-0939. We would love to speak with you about the power of live chat and its importance in improving your website’s conversion rates.

  • I heard that mobile search is on the rise. How do I make the most of mobile search for my law firm?

    First of all, it's important that you understand the difference between mobile and desktop search:

     

    • Mobile search. When people search using their phones, tablets, or other mobile devices, it's considered a mobile search, even if they are using their phones to search from home.
    • Desktop search. When people search using their laptops or desktops, it's considered a desktop search, even if they are using a laptop in a coffee shop.

     

    For a few years now, mobile search has been growing in popularity. More people own mobile devices and understand the convenience of searching from their phones. What's more, those searching from their smartphones are much more likely to act on the search than those searching from their computers. This means that people who search for an attorney from their phones are highly motivated and ready to take action to call the attorney they deem worthy.

    Pleasing Motivated Mobile Users

    In order to make the most of these motivated mobile searchers, you'll need to have your local and mobile games on point. We suggest using a two-pronged approach that will get your law firm found and meet the expectations of mobile searchers.

    Understanding Mobile Search for Lawyers

    1. Make the most of local. In order to be found during a local search, you need to ensure that you are listed on the most important local sites. Start with the big guys—Google Local, Bing, and Yahoo. You'll need to make sure that your law firm is not only listed, but listed correctly on all of these sites. If your name, address, or phone number is different on any listing—even just by one number or letter—your SEO power will take a hit. Tip: A service such as Yext can be used to ensure uniformity of listing information. Yext checks over 50 sites, apps, and maps for your listings and lets you know how you are listed on each site.
    2. Get a mobile site. If you don't have a mobile site, now is the time. If a potential client arrives at your site from a smartphone and gets a traditional site, he or she will click back and try another attorney who has embraced mobile. After all, if you can't offer a modern, mobile site, who's to say you offer modern, competent legal care? Tip: When designing your mobile site, be sure that the main page contains both call and direction buttons. You want to make getting to your office or calling you as easy as possible.

    Taking it to the Next Level

    If you've ensured that people can find you from their mobiles and that you are meeting their high expectations by delivering a clean, easy-to-navigate mobile site, it's time to crank it up a notch. To do so, our attorney local SEO team suggests that you:

    • Create and implement a review strategy.
    • Write interesting content that appeals to your ideal client in your ideal city or county. Use keywords that reflect this.
    • Use your local phone number in all listings, not your 1-888 or 1-800 number.
    • Make your profile picture a professional photograph of you or you and your staff.
    • Make sure the description in your listing is interesting and perfectly written.

    If you'd like our team to help you take advantage of mobile and local search, request a free site audit or call 888-430-8377. We will comb over your site, giving you a full report on how your site is performing and what you can do to improve your local SEO efforts. 

  • From a website design perspective, what makes a landing page “good?”

    First, a landing page is a page you’ve set up to gather a visitor’s contact information.

    It’s where you send someone who wants your free download, to register for a seminar, or get a bumper sticker.

    An ideal landing page should have:

    1. Only one call-to-action. This is typically a form you want them to complete. Do not include chat or other offers.
    2. No navigation or menu. Do not distract visitors from doing the one task you want them to complete. 
    3. No links to other web pages. Remove social icons and search fields.
    4. A title indicating the type of offer and the value.
    5. An explanation of the benefits of completing the form. Explain what’s in it for them. This is best presented in the format of a bulleted list detailing the types of questions that are answered in the book, what the reader can expect to learn more about, or how the offer will help them.
    6. A large image of what they are getting. If it’s a book, the image should be large enough to read the title. Also, use an image with a thin spine—no one wants to read a tome the size of “War and Peace.”
    7. Text that wraps around the image.
    8. Something that draws the eye to the form, such as an arrow, box, or red button.
    9. A headline beginning with an action word, such as “Download” or “Get.”
    10. The shortest form needed:
      1. For downloads, ask for the visitor’s first name and email address.
      2. For hard copies, request the visitor’s first name, last name, street address, city, state, zip, and email address.
    11. Testimonials and badges on the sidebar. These are visual clues to visitors that they are making the right decision
    12. Button text other than “submit”.  “Click Here” and “Go” convert better than “Submit”.

    Have more questions about creating a landing page that really helps you get the clients you want for your business?

    Reach out to our friendly law firm website design team today at 888-886-0939.

  • Which site speed tools are best? Should I be using them to check my website?

    Here are the tools our web marketing team most often uses to check site speed and guide our efforts to improve site speed:

    We absolutely care about site speed and understand that it's crucial to the success of a website. The above tools can help you identify which elements associated with your site are slowing it down. When read correctly, the reports can help you make a dramatic difference in the load time of your site. And, as a bonus, using them is absolutely free! 

    The Rub with Site Speed Tools

    While site speed reports can be extremely helpful, they can be confusing to the untrained eye and, at times, cause undue panic and confusion. This is because site speed reports are meant to be interpreted by professionals. They contain many false positives and have frightened many of our clients, causing them to call us in a tizzy. And who can blame them? Nobody wants a slow site.

    When the average attorney gets a site speed report, they may find that some of their scores appear low. This can be concerning. After all, if a website is running slowly, users are likely getting frustrated by the site and leaving in droves. Also, there is a connection between SEO and site speed. So, if a website is truly slow, its SEO ranking can be affected. Not good!

    However, a few seemingly low scores may not be having much of an impact on the speed of your site. This is because the scores given on site speed reports are weighted. So a low score in one or more categories looks ominous, but those numbers could represent a very minor issue. Too many times, we have heard from people who have paid an SEO company a lot of money to "fix" their site speed problems, but their site speed remained the same. Why? More than likely, there were no problems to begin with.

    The Take-Away for Our Site Speed Tool Discussion

    Our advice is to explore the site speed report sites—just don't panic when you get the results. Instead, call our attorney website SEO experts at 888.886.0939. We can go over the results with you and tell you if it's worth your time and money to improve any low scores.

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