Website Wisdom: Hunton & Williams

Website launch—the words evoke excitement, pride, relief, and maybe even a little fear. After all, a new website is one of the biggest and most visible commitments you can make to telling the world who you are. The process is also a great opportunity to think deeply about how your firm defines and provides value. Ultimately, your new website will strengthen your brand both internally and externally.

After Right Hat client Hunton & Williams launched its new website this year, we asked Mobina Panicker, director of digital technology and operations, and Katie Abbott, senior marketing and communications manager, to reflect on the experience.

RH: What were your goals for the new website?
HW: We had both branding and technology goals. From a branding standpoint, we needed to refine our messaging and positioning and make sure that our site reflected the high level of work our firm is doing. From a tech standpoint, it was essential for the site to be responsive and have robust search capabilities. We also wanted a flexible interface so we can adapt as our needs evolve.

RH: What was the biggest challenge you faced, and how did you address it?
HW: Every redesign presents challenges. For us, it was finalizing the positioning and the content strategy. One of the reasons that we were drawn to Right Hat is that we knew the Right Hat team would help us hone in on what we wanted to communicate to the market and help us figure out the best way to communicate it.

RH: What is your favorite feature of the new website?
HW: We love our new homepage and how it can feature fresh news items in different ways. The social sharing has also been key. Responsive design was important to ensure our mobile users would have a rich experience and connect easily with important information.

RH: What results have you seen since the launch?
HW: From analytics, we know we’ve increased our mobile traffic. We’ve benefited from lower bounce rates and more time spent on the site, indicating we are connecting the right stories and making strong impressions on visitors. We’ve also received great feedback from partners, associates, and staff. Our lawyers are proud of the site and help guide prospects there to learn more about the firm.

RH: What is on your wish list for future capabilities or projects?
HW: We’ll continue to focus on strengthening and leveraging our news areas and insights. We’ll also look at adding video to the site and building up a media library.

Words of wisdom
Panicker and Abbott have this advice for legal marketers embarking on a website project:

       1. Be realistic about expectations and what you can really take on. You are going to deal with a lot of variables throughout the project. It helps prioritize what is really important and manage internal expectations of those goals.

       2. If you are looking to update content, build that into your project planning. When you’re dealing with people outside your department, you never know what their time commitments will be.

       3. Include professional photography in your budget. Vibrant, up-to-date photos are a crucial design element. Our primary photographer, Andrew Zinn, was fantastic from both a creative and a project management standpoint, which made the process much easier.

       4. Find vendors that you trust and click with. Look for people who understand what you are trying to do and are invested in getting you there.

       5. Know your key internal stakeholders. Communicate their expectations to your vendors. Plan for a weekly meeting or report to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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