It is no secret that the Internet is a driver of what, in the 90s, used to be called the “global village” as much as it is a symptom of it. Through ecommerce transactions, money crosses boundaries with a simple click. Some businesses have hundreds of employees who work online from overseas and get paid through electronic transfers and deposits. While the Internet has accelerated the trend toward English becoming the world’s most widely understood language, in recent years, the number of websites in other languages has increased dramatically. Should your law firm’s website become one of them?
Reasons to Add Other Languages to Your Website
All law firms are unique. Whether your law firm should invest in adding non-English content to its website, as well as which languages you should add, depends on your geographic area and practice area. These are some situations in which having non-English content on your site might be beneficial.
· One or more of the lawyers at your firm is proficient in another language. Clients who speak this language may find out about the lawyer through word or mouth, but having bilingual content on your site is even more effective.
· Your city has a large immigrant community. Even if none of the lawyers speak another language, prospective clients who can read another language more easily than English will value your site when they are doing preliminary research about their case. This is particularly true in practice areas where almost anyone can be a prospective client, such as family law, personal injury law, and criminal defense.
· Your practice area is directly related to transnational or multilingual communication, such as immigration law or international trade law.
· Even if you are a monolingual lawyer in a monolingual city, people all over the world can access your site if Google considers it relevant to their search queries. You never know who wants to find out about U.S. laws on copyright, child custody, the legal rights of defendants, or whatever subject you deal with in your practice. Multilingual content will give you an SEO boost, even if the people navigating to your non-English pages are an ocean away and will probably never need to hire a lawyer in your state. From an SEO perspective, the more content, the better.
A Blog in Any Language Is SEO Gold
Even if the idea of adding non-English content to your site remains a distant dream, you should not wait to add a blog to your site. If you already have a blog, you should update it frequently. Finding the best translators to write a version of your site in another language is a big project, but professional writers who can write appropriate content for your law firm’s blog in English are just a click away.
Contact Legal Content Writers
Updating your law firm’s blog is a reliable way to get Google to acknowledge that you are serious about getting people to notice your site. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create interesting, readable content in impeccably written English.
Now that you have taken on the project of building a website for your law firm or of improving your law firm’s existing website, you have probably run into plenty of conflicting advice about how to do it. So, what should you believe? Some people will tell you that you should make it your first priority to have your site appear on the first page of results in a Google search. Their reasoning is that even the most elegant website with the most information content will not help your business if prospective customers cannot find it when they search online for law firms or answers to law-related questions.
Others will tell you that you shouldn’t waste time following the whims of King Google. Their argument is that you should just make the best website possible, and its quality alone will help increase its search result rankings. If you ask professional SEO experts, they will tell you that the rules of SEO are always changing, and they are correct. For this reason, Who’s Talkin SEO included “user experience optimization,” which technically is not SEO at all, as an item in its listicle about the biggest SEO trends of 2019.
What Is User Experience Optimization?
Whereas search engine optimization (SEO) means designing your web page and its content so that search engines can easily find it when users enter search terms related for its subject matter, user experience optimization (UEO) means designing your web page so that, once users navigate to the page, they can easily find the information they are looking for. Who’s Talkin SEO identifies three components of UEO:
· Loading speed- A web page that loads slowly adds to the time it takes users to find the desired information, needless to say. It also makes them more likely to give up on your web page quickly and navigate to other ones that come later in the list of search results, such as the websites of your competitors.
· Free of glitches – The best content in the world is useless if technical glitches prevent it from displaying clearly.
· Mobile compatibility – An increasing number of Google searches, especially law-related ones, happen on phones and tablets. Your web pages should be as easy to navigate on these devices as they are on a full-size computer screen. It is not easy for users to find information on your site from their mobile phones if they have to scroll across every line of text because the site is not formatted to fit their screen.
User Experience Isn’t Everything
The flipside is that user experience is no substitute for content. Prospective clients will not contact your law firm if your site does not have information that relates to their questions, no matter how snazzy and easily navigable your site may be. You should pay attention both to content and to user experience to make the best website you can.
Contact Legal Blog Writers
It is just as worthwhile to buy professionally written content for your law firm’s website as it is to have the site professionally designed. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, engaging content to complement your prospective clients’ user experience.
The Internet has been full of ads for as long as anyone except hardcore old generation computer geeks has been using it, but in recent years, the commercialism of the Internet has become more pervasive and insidious? Remember the early days of the World Wide Web, when you could easily spot ads because they were clearly displayed at the top or bottom of a lovingly crafted website that had, and sought, no other source of revenue? You could read a thoughtful essay on, say, the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, and at the bottom you might see a Pepsi logo, which you were free to ignore.
Even when search engines became central to the web surfing experience, as it was then called, you usually had to navigate to a web page before seeing an ad. Today, many searches yield a results page with one or more ads displayed above the first, which is to say the most relevant, result, and from there on, Google’s bots endeavor to bring you customized commercial messages with every click.
The bottom line is that Google is always evolving, and getting your website listed on the first page of results is no longer a guarantee that prospective clients will click on it. Your SEO goal for 2019 should be to have your law firm’s blog cited as a featured snippet.
What Is a Featured Snippet?
The featured snippet is a relatively new feature of Google search results pages, a concession to frustrated users who are tired of wading through the ads to find the content they were searching for. They belong to an era where many search engine queries are direct questions. Maybe the librarian in your high school told you that media literacy meant knowing that you should type “noneconomic damages personal injury lawsuit” into a search engine, but today’s search engines can deal with search terms like “how much money can you get for pain and suffering.”
A featured snippet is a box, displayed above the search results and above the ads, that endeavors to answer the question. The body text in the box is a short paragraph or a list of bullet points with information that answers the question, and at the bottom of the box is a link to a web page. Your goal is for that web page to be one that belongs to your law firm.
Why Blogs Matter
As a rule, the home pages of websites cannot be featured snippets. The featured snippet can only link to a content page within your site, such as the description of one of your law firm’s practice areas, or to a post from your site’s blog. It is in your interest to write blog posts that directly address the questions that prospective clients of your law firm type into search engines.
Legal Content Writing
Researching the search engine queries of prospective clients and writing content that addresses them can be a full-time job. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, readable content that directly relates to your prospective clients’ concerns.
Imagine that little Billy Bloggins walks into his third grade classroom on a day that seems at first like any other. He tries to turn in his homework that was officially due a few days ago, but the teacher refuses to accept it because the statute of limitations has passed. At lunch, a classmate borrows a dollar from Billy so that he can buy a bag of chips. Billy agrees but makes the classmate promise to pay him back in solido. In P.E. class, Billy’s team performs abysmally at kickball, but a severe thunderstorm leads to the game ending early.
Billy’s team taunts the other team about how they don’t get to enjoy their victory because they didn’t actually win, and they respond by gloating that Billy’s team was on track to lose. The coach says it’s a moot point; the game ended with a force majeure event, not with a victory for either team.
Clearly, this paragraph includes terms that were not part of your everyday vocabulary before you studied for the LSAT. They sound confusing and inappropriate outside of formal legal writing. The moral of the story is that these terms do not belong on your law firm’s blog any more than they belong on this blog.
Think Like a Prospective Client
One of the main purposes of a blog is to help your law firm’s website rank higher on lists of Google search results. In other words, you want people to find your law firm’s website when they type search queries into Google that are related to your practice area. Someone who knows almost nothing about estate planning, but now needs information about it, will type “What happens if someone dies without a will” instead of “what happens if someone dies intestate.” They will probably know what “intestate” means after reading a few web pages that they find as a result of their search. Your law firm’s site will not be one of them unless you find a way to phrase things in terms that non-specialists who want to find out about them might use. People who have never hired a family lawyer search for “back child support,” not “arrears.”
When to Use Legal Terms When Talking to Non-Lawyers
Blogs are meant to be informative, and people read law firm blogs to learn about the law. That includes learning legal terms relevant to their cases. Explaining the meanings of legal terms in your blog posts will make the posts readable, and even shareable. Do not, however, do so at the expense of language that prospective clients would use; Google has no concept of synonyms. Once you have met with the clients, it is fine to use technical terms that you have discussed with your clients and which you are sure they understand.
Contact Legal Blog Writers
Writing is a lot of work, even when you intentionally use a simple writing style. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, readable content to help prospective clients find your site and learn about your practice.
When lawyers look for ways to increase the number of new clients at their law firm or, in practice areas where such is relevant, to give clients the incentive to hire the same law firm multiple times, they often run into lots of irrelevant advice online. Even when they consult professional marketing agencies, the strategies the marketing agencies come up with often seems tone deaf, because generic principles of marketing and customer satisfaction do not apply to law firms the way that they do to many other types of businesses.
People who hire lawyers are not exactly customers. No one wants to go back and fight another DUI charge because the lawyer they hired the first time was awesome; it is not like going back to the same restaurant next week because you enjoyed the food there so much the first time. Despite the differences between law firms and other types of businesses, a post on MyShingle encourages law firms to adopt some “client first” strategies, inspired by “customer first” marketing tactics employed by other businesses.
Walking Clients Through the Process
The services for which clients hire lawyers are complex and require specialized knowledge; if this were the case, then clients would simply write wills and draft business contracts on their own, instead of paying a lawyer to help them. Despite this, the more lawyers help clients understand every step of the legal action in which they are involved, the more empowered they feel. Explaining to clients, from a statutory and practical perspective, what you are doing build trust between attorneys and clients. Here are some ways lawyers can help clients see the big picture about the legal process in which they are involved and understand their role in it:
· Checklists on relevant pages of your law firm’s website
· Videos readily available on your law firm’s website
· Blog posts about specific cases in your practice area from your state
· Acknowledging, in person or by email, ways in which your clients’ actions have helped their case
Communication Is Key
Lawyers already work hard and have very little free time; no one is suggesting that you spend even more time working than you already do. Clients value responsiveness from lawyers, though. Here are some ways you can stay in touch with clients without giving up all your privacy and free time.
· Set up an email account or phone number for text messages where clients can ask their questions after hours. If your law firm is big enough, have different lawyers and paralegals be responsible for reading the messages on different nights of the week.
· Send a weekly newsletter by email about your law firm’s activities and about current news related to your practice area.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Many “client first” services require your individual attention, but you can easily hire professional writers to write an informative blog. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create well researched, readable content to help your current and prospective clients stay informed.