In 2018, a new business cannot hope to succeed unless it has a website, and professionally designed websites are made with at least a passing consideration of search engine optimization (SEO). In some industries, keeping up with the latest trends in SEO is essential to the survival of your business. If, for example, you run an ecommerce site, then how highly your site ranks on search engine results pages when users search for the names of individual products or categories of products that you sell can make or break your business.
As a lawyer, though, your professional duties include a lot more than just convincing Google to acknowledge your existence. It is a good idea to leverage SEO enough to make prospective clients want to visit your site, but once they get you’re the site, then your work should speak for itself. These are some ways that SEO keywords can help bring traffic to your site and some ways in which your energy is better spent being a competent lawyer than chasing the latest SEO trends.
Where on Your Site Should the Keywords Go?
Digital marketing experts who live and breathe SEO will tell you that where on your site you place the SEO keywords has a big impact on your site’s SEO rankings and therefore on how many new customers you attract. In entirely online industries with lots of competition, this might be true. As a law firm, though, it doesn’t make sense to build your website according to a long checklist of places where, according to conventional SEO wisdom, you must put your keywords. There are much more important criteria for a good law firm website than whether an algorithm-generated SEO keyword appears in the domain name, heading, subheadings, image captions, first and last paragraph of text on a page, and so on.
How Many Times Should a Keyword Appear on a Page?
Once is enough. An obvious Google-baiting keyword like “South Florida personal injury lawyers” does not appear naturally in a 500-word blog post more than once. With law firms, as with business websites in many industries where the job involves a lot of reading, the keywords write themselves. If the blog post mentions your practice area once and your geographic region once, that it plenty. A better idea is to include both the phrase “personal injury attorneys” and “personal injury lawyers.” Do not overdo it with the keywords in your law firm’s blog posts. Let the keywords write themselves and the people who really need to find your blog post, the ones who want to hire a lawyer in your practice area in your city, will find your site.
Get Law Blog Writing Help
Even better, don’t think about SEO at all and just concentrate on being a lawyer. You can count on Law Blog Writers when you need someone who has one brain hemisphere in the legal profession and the other in digital marketing.
A popular saying in business goes that you have to spend money to make money. Lawyers, of all people, know this. Graduating from law school with tens of thousands of dollars of debt is the rule rather than the exception. One of the most memorable moments in the documentary Gideon’s Army is when Brandy Alexander, a public defender, fills her car at the gas station and is left with twenty dollars in her bank account to last the rest of the month.
Lawyers in all practice areas have to choose carefully how much money to allocate for marketing and how to spend their marketing budget. Being a competent lawyer is the best marketing tool for your law firm, followed by having an informative, user-friendly website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is certainly an important element of a good website, but should you pay for SEO or do it yourself? If you choose to do your own SEO, should you pay for an SEO training course?
Yes, Anyone Can Do SEO
Learning to build a search engine-friendly website is a much simpler process than, say, learning enough about the law to enter the legal profession. If you decide to build your own website, it is a good idea to read a few articles about the principles of SEO. Of course, if you know enough about web design to feel comfortable designing the web site that will represent your law firm, then you already know enough about SEO to avoid SEO mistakes so egregious that they would cost you web traffic.
SEO should not necessarily be your highest priority for your law firm’s site. A law firm is not e-commerce. Lawyers help businesses comply with regulations, plaintiffs recover damages, and defendants in criminal cases establish reasonable doubt; you as a lawyer have many more important things to do than simply vying for clicks. Most lawyers choose to hire a web design company or marketing firm to design the law firm’s website; SEO can be a part of this choice.
Beware of SEO Scams
Everything you really need to learn about SEO you can learn without paying for it. If you are building and maintaining your own website, you might choose to pay for analytics services that help you monitor your site’s search engine rankings, but that is not the same as paying for SEO training courses. Expensive courses that promise to teach you online marketing skills to vanquish your competitors are almost certainly scams, and the more they cost, the shadier they are.
Get Legal Blog Writing Help
Hiring a marketing firm to design your law firm’s website and create content for it is a wise choice. Choosing Law Blog Writers is even better, since it works exclusively with law firms, and its writers and web designers have a background in legal studies. Even if you decide to design your own website, you can count on Law Blog Writers to deliver valuable content to update it regularly.
Will a Website with a Red Background Make Prospective Clients Want to Eat or Sue?
Much virtual ink has been spilled about what sort of content to write on your law firm’s website. Of course, before the visitors to your site read any of the informative, well-written posts, they will see the background color of the site. If it is an off-putting color, they might click away immediately, not even reading what you have to say.
This does not mean that every law firm’s website must stick to boring, neutral colors. Choosing the background color for your law firm’s website is still an opportunity for creativity, although perhaps not quite to the extent of painting your bedroom wall when you were in high school. Here is how the choice of colors on your site can help or detract from your marketing strategy.
How Colors Affect Consumer Behavior
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, most famous as the author of Faust and The Sorrows of Young Werther, also wrote about how seeing different colors can affect a person’s emotional state. He classified red, orange, and yellow as warm colors and green, blue, and purple as cool colors. He theorized that warm colors engender positive emotions, whereas cool colors give rise to negative emotions.
Current theories of the effect of color on people’s emotions and behavior hold that red awakens people’s appetites, as well as their fight or flight response. Thus, it is a popular color for restaurant décor and for food packaging. It is also a popular color for personal injury law websites. When people see the red background, they remember the fear they felt when the accident happened and how angry they are about the financial hardships they suffered in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
For almost any other practice area besides personal injury, blue is the best color. Lighter shades of blue can help people feel at ease. This is especially important for practice areas like family law and criminal defense. People often visit sites for these law firms because they are afraid. Someone who fears being convicted of a crime or who fears that his or her plan to adopt a child will fall through may be more likely to click through to contact you if you have a welcoming site that makes visitors feel relaxed.
Green is also a popular color for commercial law websites because of its associations with money. While dark green makes people feel rich, though, yellowish green is a queasy color. If corporate law is your practice area, or if you represent clients in the financial sector, you might want to choose green as a theme color for your website.
Find Legal Content Writers
After you choose the perfect color to make your site put readers in the mood to move forward with the legal process they are considering, it’s time to start updating your site’s content regularly. You can count on Law Blog Writers to deliver informative, trustworthy content every time.
The stereotype of the lazy employee who spends large portions of the workday surfing the Internet on his or her work computer is as outdated as the phrase surfing the Internet itself. Employees spend more of their workday than ever interacting with content via the Internet, but a few assumptions about unproductive Internet use at work must change. First, the line separating the workday from leisure time is blurrier than ever, especially in the legal profession.
Lawyers have always spent long hours outside the 9 to 5 business day conducting research and writing and revising drafts of documents, but today’s lawyers receive an almost 24/7 barrage of emails, text messages, and voice calls on their smartphones. Thus, the idea of the work computer is the most outdated part of the stereotype. Smartphones, the same ones that you use to play a Candy Crush copycat game that your niece got you hooked on, are the primary tool of searching for information that is relevant to your work, whether you are searching the online catalog of a law library, scrolling through Facebook posts that contain evidence to support your client’s case, or looking up the professional contact information of someone you hope will serve as an expert witness.
It should not be a surprise, then, that many of your prospective clients first see your law firm’s website on their smartphones. Unless your law firm’s site is smartphone-friendly, you could be losing out on business.
Content Is King, but Formatting Is Diplomatic Immunity
A few websites from the days of dial-up Internet are still available online, and their die-hard fans are almost as numerous as the long-lived sites themselves, as evidenced by the proliferation of nostalgia pieces about them. That old site that catalogs every mistake the Beatles ever committed to vinyl is pure geek gold, but thanks to its sickly yellow background and tiny type, it’s such an eyesore that only people with the patience and stamina to survive law school would dare try to read it on a mobile phone. To survive today’s Internet, your site should be formatted so that visitors can easily read it on a phone.
Tips for a Mobile-Friendly Website
· Use short paragraphs. A normal-sized paragraph looks fine on a laptop computer screen, but the same paragraph on a phone might as well be War and Peace, and many prospective clients won’t bother to scroll through it.
· Use subheadings to help readers get their bearings. Mobile phone screens don’t have much room for sidebars or tables of contents.
· Format your images in a mobile-friendly way, as described in this post, and position your text and images relative to each other in a way that allows for a readable layout.
· Animation has no place on a law firm’s website, no matter whether it being viewed on a phone or a computer.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Having a professional digital marketing firm design your firm’s website and create content for it is a good investment, even better if it only works with law firms. You can count on Law Blog Writers to understand your law firm’s perspective and deliver your message right to your prospective clients and their mobile phones.