Let’s face it – you’re a lawyer, not a website developer, an SEO expert, or a content writer, so if you made your own website, we are going to give you a hall pass if you made a mistake or two. Don’t worry, you’re not the only lawyer in the United States who has made a mistake or two on their website, and we are here to give you a few pointers to think about. Check out the following website design blunders that lawyers – as well as other businessmen and businesswomen – have made with their websites.
1. Gaudy Landing Pages – As you venture around the web, you will find a wide variety of website designs. If you visit the website of an artist, you will most likely find that their landing pages are showy – and maybe even stretching as far as flamboyant. But, if you are a lawyer, gaudy and flamboyant is the last thing that your visitors want to see when they come to your website. In fact, most of your visitors are coming to your website for information, not arts and glitz. One things is for sure in the world of websites: Bad website design will definitely turn visitors away.
2. Stale Content – If you haven’t updated your website in a while, you are harboring what is considered “stale content.” This is a very common mistake that lawyers make, and it can be detrimental to your website. That is because search engines determine your website’s ranking based on whether it is updated regularly or not. You have to update that stale content if you want to rise up in the search engine rankings, as well as provide your visitors with fresh information. A great way to update your website regularly and provide your visitors with fresh content is to add a blog to it, or simply add new content to your law firm blog if you already have one integrated on your site.
3. Bragging Too Much About What You Do –Of course, your website should talk about which areas of law you practice, and you may even have testimonials about your services and have a page that boasts your past verdicts and settlements. But – and this is a big B-U-T…your content should come across as humble and you should let your testimonials and past verdicts and settlements speak for themselves. People who are seeking a lawyer for a legal issue typically will not want to spend much time reading website pages that sound boastful or braggy. People want to hear what you can do for them.
If you are like most other lawyers in America, you probably don’t have much time to worry about the content on your website. After all, you spend part of your day in court, the other part with clients, then you have emails to answer, letters to write, and probably phone calls to deal with, too. Where in a day can you find the time to write content for your website? That’s easy. We can help you with your blog, as well as any website content that needs a fresh perspective. Contact Law Blog Writers or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your website content needs today.
On just about every lawyer’s website, you will find a blog attached to it. Your law firm blog is a great way to showcase your knowledge and experience and even boast and brag a bit – or a lot – about your successes. Regardless of what you publish on your blog, it is a means of communication with colleagues and the public, and, most importantly, marketing to potential clients.
What you cannot do, however, is publish “misleading information” on your blog. That is a provision the American Bar Association (ABA) has stipulated. Law websites provide a wide variety of information to the general public, from explaining the value of legal services to detailing laws or introducing legal institutions. On the other end of the spectrum, legal websites are marketing tools that work 24-7 for the attorneys who provide services to clients and they even provide a link between those who need legal services to an attorney who might be able to take on their case.
ABA Model Rule 7.1 notes that attorneys can offer accurate legal information, as long as it does not mislead reasonable readers. So, what constitutes “misleading information?”
Rewrite or Delete Outdated & Inaccurate Information
Things change quickly in today’s world. In order to avoid violating the American Bar Association’s rules, you need to check your website every few months to ensure that everything is accurate. Also, it is important to check that nothing you have stated on your website – or your blog, if you have a blog attached to your website – is outdated. Anything that is outdated could very well be inaccurate, too.
Include Qualifying Statements or Disclaimers
There is a possibility that a statement on your website could mislead a prospective client or create an unjustified expectation. If that is true, you should include either a qualifying statement or a disclaimer that explains what the statement means – or does not mean – to prospective clients. While it is difficult to draw a distinct line between legal advice and legal information, it is your responsibility to make sure the context of the information leans toward legal information, and disclaimers and qualifying statements are clearly written and easily found, as well.
One way to differentiate between legal advice and legal information is to think in general terms. Attorneys who answer general questions that are geared toward general groups of people are typically characterized as providing “legal information.” If you are answering questions that include specific facts about cases or individual circumstances, you would most likely be considered as offering “legal advice.”
If you come up with a hypothetical legal question and answer it on your website, this would typically be considered “legal information.” To ensure that potential clients are not misled, however, you would want to include a disclaimer or qualifying statement that tells anyone who is reading your answer to the hypothetical case question that the information you are providing is general and warn them that it should not be regarded as personal legal advice.
At Law Blog Writers, we have been writing for legal websites for nearly a decade now. We keep abreast of the rules that the American Bar Association put forth and help to protect your best interests while providing you with top-notch legal content for your website. Contact us today to discuss your website content needs.
In today’s world of law professions, a website is a must-have. In fact, your website is a fundamental marketing tool that can help you boost your clientele lists. There are plenty of lawyers out there on the World Wide Web who are unaware of the vital elements that should be on a lawyer’s website. After all, we aren’t marketing gurus or search engine optimizing geniuses. We are attorneys.
Most website consultants will agree that great websites include the following basic elements:
· Professional Design – You have heard that you only have one chance to make a first impression. This is true for your website, as well.
· Intuitive User Experience – People can get easily frustrated with a website if it is difficult to navigate. Be sure that you provide visitors with an intuitive user experience – one that helps them navigate to the exact information they need.
· SEO Support – Your website will not be found on the internet without adequate SEO support.
· Easy & Clear Messaging Abilities – How can new clients reach you? Make it easy for them.
But, law firm websites should reach beyond the basics.
Take a good look at your website and make sure that you have the following crucial elements:
Past Verdicts & Settlements Page
This page is where you can not only showcase your wins, but also point potential clients to when you want to reel them in. A client might be teetering between hiring you and another attorney. Show them that you have the ability to win cases like theirs – and win big – with a Past Settlements & Verdicts page on your website.
Client Testimonials Page
It doesn’t matter if a consumer is purchasing a $10 watch or even a $5 shampoo, they will scour the internet for reviews and opinions about the product before spending their hard-earned money. By creating a Client Testimonials page, you provide potential clients with that same experience – the ability to research what your past clients have to say about you and your firm.
A law firm blog is the perfect place to showcase your skills, experience, and knowledge. You do not have to blog every day. Once a week is fine. You can blog about your firm’s big wins, high profile cases, your take on new laws, and whatever else you want to share.
Social Media Integration
The world revolves around social media today. That is where all of your potential clients are, too. They are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumbler, and all of the other social media networks out there. You have to be there, too. Be sure to connect at least your blog to social media channels so that you have yet another way of reaching potential clients.
If you are like the lawyers we know, you do not have enough time in a week, nor do you have time even once a month to write blog posts. Some of you love to write, but just do not have the time, while others of you would prefer to stay away from writing. That is what we are here for. If you need timely and knowledgeable blog posts for your website, contact us today.
Lawyers taking to Snapchat to promote their law firms?
Times sure have changed. It may seem a little nuts, but just five years ago, lawyers taking to Twitter to share their commentary, engage with potential clients, and tout verdicts and settlements in less than 140 characters sounded crazy, too. Now, it is common.
No Longer a Sexy-Time App
Snapchat, if you haven’t heard yet, is multimedia and image messaging application for mobile phones that commenced only five years ago. Essentially, “snaps” consist of a short video or photo that can be edited with effects and filters, drawing, text captions, and other cool editing tools. Viewers can watch or look at the snap a limited number of times before it disappears. Back when the app started out, it was known as more of a sexy-time-messaging app, but now, the mobile app is valued near $20 billion with over 160 million users.
Projection for Snap?
Mashable’s projection for Snapchat is “Cloudy with a chance of terrible,” but that is followed by their disclaimer that they do not offer financial advice. According to Mashable, SharePost’s head of research talked about how “Snap’s user growth is generally slowing down, even in newer geographies outside of North America and Western Europe.”
The Deterrent to User Growth and How Snapchat Can Overcome It
One of the reasons that user growth is slowing down is because the younger generation user numbers are high, but the older generations have not taken to Snapchat as much. In order for Snapchat to grow anymore, the app will have to attract the older generations. Debbie Aho Williamson, eMarketer principal analyst says that she thinks Snapchat has the ability to attract people who are over 35, as long as it “builds out its content offerings.” She continued to say that, “Many publishers and TV networks use Snapchat to distribute exclusive content.” She thinks that this will eventually appeal to the older generations.
How News is Embracing Snapchat
For instance, the New York Times is planning to assign a half dozen staffers to publishing a daily Snapchat edition. Also, the Washington Post has made itself the Snapchat “Discover” channel, offering through-the-day updates. CNN has also started to embrace Snapchat with their exclusive interactives, including one that was about the Supreme Court.
How Can Law Firms Use Snapchat?
The way to stand out from the crowd, no matter which avenue you choose on the internet, is to come up with unique content. There is a growing mobile networking trend that you can either jump on and become a part of – or let it pass you by like the train you should have been traveling on.
At Law Blog Writers, we keep our finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the law blogging and social media arenas to bring the information to you, right here on our blog. We also offer legal logging services for law firms that cannot find the time to commit to blogging. Contact us today to discuss your blogging needs.