This project started out as a website redesign for Edmonton-based DePoe & Bottos Criminal Lawyers, but shortly after we launched the new site, D’Arcy DePoe was asked to become a provincial judge. With one of the name partners moving on to a different endeavour, the project expanded to include a rebrand of the firm into Bottos Law Group.
ABOUT THE CLIENT
Founded in 2012, Bottos Law Group is one of the top criminal law offices in Edmonton, Alberta, and they are committed to the defence of individuals accused of serious criminal and regulatory charges. Located in the heart of downtown Edmonton, Bottos Law Group is currently home to a team of four lawyers.
- To have a responsive website that offers a strong experience on mobile
- To increase organic search traffic
- To establish a new visual identity that could be quickly adopted by the renamed firm
- Website design, development, and migration
- Brand design
- Stationery design
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Website Design & Development
Based on our extensive keyword research, we were able to determine exactly what potential clients for Bottos Law Group searched for. This helped determine the naming of each section of the site, and the order in which the information needed to be presented.
Because of the nature of the area in which Bottos Law Group specializes — criminal law — many of their potential clients need to quickly access information regarding their charges on-the-go. With a mobile-first approach in mind, we decided to:
- Place the phone number prominently at the top of the navigation bar so that potential clients could contact Bottos Law Group easily with one tap, no matter what page they were on
- Have an obvious link to the Search function at the top of the navigation bar so that users could easily type in their offence and find an easy-to-read list of corresponding information to click on
- Help the user by asking questions on the home page: “What do you need help with?” and “What area are you in?” to lead them to the area of the site they required
- Include a contact form in the footer so that users would have the option to quickly email Bottos Law Group on every page of the site
Visually, we kept the site minimal in design to allow it to load quickly, be easily navigated, and for all information to be quick to parse. A liberal amount of whitespace, less imagery, clear typographic hierarchy, and obvious calls to action (buttons) were used to achieve this. Curtis Comeau shot interior photographs of Bottos Law Group’s new office (along with their new headshots). The modern, minimal design of the space and the colour palette it incorporates worked well with the overall design of the site.
The Practice Areas and Areas Served sections are arguably the most important on the site and much time was devoted to making them as effective as possible. We focused on strong, succinct copy and avoided extraneous images that could have made the important text sections harder to read quickly. The Areas Served pages provide contact information, a map of the local Provincial Courthouse, and Criminal Sitting details — so that potential clients can easily (and quickly) find what they need.
When D’Arcy DePoe was presented with opportunity to become a provincial judge, Dino Bottos found himself in an unexpected situation. Under a time crunch, Dino Bottos reached out to have us rebrand the firm as “Bottos Law Group”, and design all the print collateral that would correspond with the change of brand. Dino didn’t want the new logo to be a significant departure from its predecessor because the firm was already an established presence in the world of criminal law.
We kept the existing brand colours and, instead of reinventing the wheel, revised the logo to have an updated look — which erased some of the readability issues the previous logo had faced at smaller sizes. Keeping with the same feel of the website, a minimal, respectable style was used for all stationery elements, and Dino was able to have his new brand and collateral ready to go within two weeks after D’Arcy announced his departure.
This website redesign project also had the added challenge of multiple domain migrations! DePoe & Bottos was using the domain criminallawyeredmonton.com and wanted to move to a domain name that was representative of his business name. Originally, the site was launched at depoebottos.ca and criminallawyeredmonton.com was redirected to this new domain. Then, when the firm was renamed Bottos Law Group only 15 days later, we migrated the domain again to bottoslaw.ca. There was zero loss of organic traffic from these domain migrations and there was zero loss of organic traffic from these domain migrations, and organic traffic has risen by 46% since the site was launched.
There was no loss of organic search traffic through two domain changes. The new website was developed using mobile-first methodology so the firm’s potential clients can now find information and get in touch easily using the only communication method they typically have available to them; their phones.
Additionally, Bottos Law has a strong, recognizable brand presence that maintained the history established by the firm DePoe and Bottos, but brought the logo and wordmark up to current web readability standards.
Our design choices were limited by the need to have the site download as fast as possible, especially on older mobile devices — for example, a single header image would have to be used for multiple practice areas pages, instead of having unique images for each.
When an agency and a client work together and are open about changes, curveballs are always manageable! Nothing ever went unsaid during this project. If we needed something, we asked. If Bottos Law needed something (like a quick brand change, for example), they let us know as soon as they possibly could. Increasing organic traffic instead of losing any at all was important to the firm and to our team. We are now working with Bottos Law Group on a Local SEO project to ensure continued growth.