Law and marketing don’t always mix. But sometimes, you can use your website to showcase your expertise, or use your legal know-how to improve your website. Find out how to put your law degree to work on your website.Continue reading
If you’re reading this blog, you probably already agree that lawyers (and other business professionals) need websites to compete in today’s market. I probably don’t need to convince you that your website will drive clients to you or that you need to be visible online. But if you were an early adopter to the lawyer-website marketing strategy, it may be time for a tune up.
Web marketing strategies change over time. When the big marketing companies started their push to get lawyers on the web, search engines were using different algorithms. Marketing experts encouraged you to cram as many keywords as possible into your web content so that no matter how the client looked for you, there you would be.
This resulted in long, tedious, redundant, unreadable, and monotonous websites. (See what I did there? Now picture it filling the whole page.) Paragraphs were long, dense, and sometimes difficult to read as web designers toyed with new color pallets. Pictures were few and words were many because, simply put, the search engine, and not the person doing the search was the primary target.
Fast forward to today. The best websites are optimized for mobile, include vibrant pictures, and are easy to read. Content is pared down to the bare minimum to get the point across. Keywords have been relegated to the mysterious world of “metadata.” In short, websites are now reader-focused.
But if you got on the bandwagon of attorney websites early, you may still have a sluggish, dense website that’s hurting you more than it’s helping. That’s because the search-engine-focused sites are eyesores. Readers have so many sources for information that if what they see is difficult to read, they will move on quickly.
The good news is that all that old content laid the groundwork for the new. Buried in all those redundant keywords is the gem of what your firm actually does, and does well. You just need a tune up to clear out the gunk and let your site run more smoothly.
A high quality web designer can help you adjust your layout and images to match your brand, but they can be expensive. Cut some of those costs by having your content ready to go. Lisa Schmidt, a ghostwriter for Legal Linguist, can help you sort through the muck of your outdated content and write high quality content ready to be plugged in to your shiny new web design. If your website needs a tune up, contact Legal Linguist today to schedule a meeting.
When you set up your blog, you need to decide where it will be on the Internet, specifically whether your blog will be an extension of your website or a separate page altogether. Here are some thoughts to help you decide:
Is Your Website SEO Focused?
There are two schools of thought on website URLs: brand recognition and SEO maximization. If your website is all about the name, like JonesSmith.com, then people looking for articles on dog owner liability might surf on by. But if your website is focused on a searchable topic, like dogbitelawyer.com, it may be the perfect place for your canine-related legal thoughts.
Are You Representing The Firm?
Your blog is inherently personal. It includes your preferences, voice, and ideas. If you are trying to build the reputation of the whole firm then the company website might be an ideal home for these thoughts. But if others in your firm have different practice areas or perspectives on key parts of the practice, you may want to host your blog separately.
Who Owns the Blog Content?
What happens to your blog if you leave the company? Would someone else pick up where you left off? Would you expect to be able to take your writing with you? A stand-alone URL is more portable, but a page on the company website clearly belongs to the firm.
How Focused Is Your Blog?
Most lawyers don’t do just one thing. But when you choose your blog’s topic you may define it narrowly on the one practice area you prefer. There may be room for another blog on another topic down the road. If that’s the case it may be better to use a separate URL for your blog rather than occupying the spot of firmwebsite.com/blog.
How Do You Want Your Blog to Look?
Aesthetics are important on the Internet. Your firm website is probably contemporary and professional, but that look could be all wrong if your blog is targeted at single mothers or teenagers. That said, you wouldn’t want an ABCs or heavy metal theme on your company webpage. By using different themes for your website and blog you can evoke different moods from your readers and motivate them to take different actions. But for consistency’s sake they may need to occupy a different spaces on the web.
How Will The Two Sites Be Linked?
No matter whether your blog is a page on your website or a separate URL, integration between the two sites is important. Even if you decide to host your blog under an SEO maximized handle, you still need to make sure there are clear and easy-to-find links between it and your website. Remember, one of your main goals is to attract clients, so you need a strong connection between your business and your ideas, even when the URLs are completely different.
Deciding where to place your blog on the web can be a complicated decision. But with careful thought you can maximize your impact and your marketing for you and your firm.