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.
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.
Almost every family has one, the relative who is so enamored of apparent bargain prices that he or she will do financially foolish things just to be able to brag about getting the item for a low price. Maybe it’s the uncle who buys a used car off of Craigslist and then, when it turns out to be a lemon spends thousands of dollars repairing it and hundreds more trying to unload it on another bargain-hungry buyer. Perhaps it’s the grandma who drives many miles out of her way to buy bulk quantities of more canned soup than she can possibly eat before its expiration date.
These behaviors are different from the behavior of people whose dedication to living way below their means motivates them to plan every financial decision months or even years in advance, the ones who don’t own credit cards and who don’t buy bread even at the dollar store because they bake their bread at home using a bread maker they bought from a thrift store. Buying cheap content for your website is a similar financial fallacy to allowing a discount coupon to lead you on a wild goose chase. These are some examples of types of bargain basement web content to avoid.
The Bargain Sub-Basement: Robo Content
Bots are the worst writers of all. The lowest priced web content services will provide content that is copied and pasted from other sites and then perhaps spun by bots, or else created from whole cloth by bots that have been programmed with a few keywords and with basic knowledge of English syntax. In the latter category, the ideas are unoriginal even if the wording passes Google’s plagiarism tests. You can easily recognize bargain sub-basement content by reading it out loud; it is painful to read more than a few sentences.
The Bargain Basement: Content Mills
These companies offer low prices for web content that is technically original and produced by humans. The writers are paid exploitatively low wages, usually a penny or less per word; some of them are non-native English speakers, while others are native English speakers living in countries where content mill income buys them even less. To make ends meet, the writers must turn out so many words per day that they have no time to put adequate research and thought into their content.
The Bargain Ground Floor: Marketplace Sites
On sites like Fiverr, you contact the writer directly, so you are not going through a company that churns out high volumes of content by paying writers a pittance. Even though you contact the writer directly, and the writer pays slightly more, these sites still operate in the realm of small gigs for small amounts of money, low pay for low commitment and low quality.
Legal Content Writing
The best solution is to engage the services of a content marketing company that exclusively produces original web content for law firms, where the writers are knowledgeable about the law. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create affordable, readable content that is worth every penny.
When you boast, or when your relatives flatter you, that your skills as a lawyer are valuable, a big part of what they mean is that your writing skills are valuable. If you do not believe this, read a legal memorandum, letter, or other document you have recent written in your professional capacity, and then read dirt cheap web content on a similar subject.
Think about how much you got paid per hour or per word to write it, and then think about how much the authors of dirt-cheap web content get paid. The way you get paid may not simply be per hour of writing, and it almost certainly is not per word, but do some calculations. You will see that writing with the expertise of a lawyer is a specialized skill, and is rewarded as such. Therefore, if you put the effort into writing a blog, you will want to make sure that it is protected from copyright infringement. An article on Social Media Examiner discusses ways to protect your intellectual property on your blog.
Registering the Copyright for Blog Posts
Technically, one does not copyright a blog, since a blog is a place online, namely a page on your website, rather than a literary work. The posts do, however, fit the legal definition of literary works. The Library of Congress has new rules about registering the copyright for groups of creative works, including blog posts; you can now register up to ten posts with a single copyright application. Registering the copyright to your posts will give you more leverage if someone tries to republish your blog content without your permission.
If You Write It and Post It, You Own the Rights to It
According to U.S. copyright law, the rights to written works automatically belong to their authors; it begins as soon as you save the Word document with your post, before you even post the content online. If you plan to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, you must register the copyright to your work before filing the lawsuit. The copyright application form includes a question about when the work was created.
You or Your Law Firm Can Still Own the Rights to Your Blog Content, Even If You Hire a Content Firm to Write It
“Works made for hire” are an exception to the “you write it, you own it” rule. Your agreement with the content marketing firm you hire to write your blog content contains a provision that the content it provides for you constitutes a work made for hire. Likewise, if employees of your law firm write the content in the context of your professional duties, the copyright can belong to your law firm.
Legal Content Writing
Whether you write your own blog content or hire a content marketing firm to write it, copyright law is on your side. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create original, well-written, and well-researched content for which you will be proud to own the rights.
It is as easy for business owners to find decontextualized, outdated, and misleading advice about search engine optimization (SEO) as it is for to find decontextualized, outdated, and misleading advice about dating and relationships. Lawyers are used to reading between the lines, so a fun parlor game to play with your buddies from law school after a night of drinking would be to read articles of dating advice and speculate on who the target audience for such advice is, as well as what would happen if someone were to apply said advice literally. Similarly, in this post, we deconstruct a post from the Elle and Company Design website, in which the author, Lauren Hooker, purports to reveal the “secret formula” for writing a successful blog post.
How to Write Blog Post Titles for Humans (and for Search Engines)
Hooker’s first piece of advice is to write a catchy title for your blog post, perhaps even before you write the post. This piece of advice is aimed at making your post appeal to humans. Google doesn’t care whether your post title is catchy. For purposes of attracting search engine, the most important criterion for a successful blog post title is that it should contain keywords, preferably the main keyword for which you are trying to optimize. For Google, a boring title that includes your main keyword is just as good.
Where Writers See Outlines, Google Sees Subheadings
Hooker’s second piece of advice is to write an outline before you write your blog post. While this piece of advice seems to be aimed primarily at making it easier for writers to write high quality blog posts quickly, it has fringe benefits for both readers and search engines. If you outline before you write, the resulting post will be well organized, so readers will be able to find the information they need easily. Meanwhile, Google will see the remnants of your outline in subheadings, which are an ideal place to include keywords.
Are Short Paragraphs an SEO Gimmick?
Hooker, like other purveyors of content creation advice, recommends writing short paragraphs. The main purpose of this advice is to make the text easier for readers to follow, and not because they have short attention spans. The real purpose of this advice is that it is easy to lose your place when reading long blocks of text on a screen, especially the small screen of a mobile phone. Google likes small paragraphs, but readers, especially those reading blog posts on their phones, as many people do when doing research to help them choose a lawyer, appreciate them even more.
Professional Legal Content Writers
Many lawyers are great writers and enjoy writing, but most of them have grueling work schedules that leave no time for blogging. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, original content that appeals to Google and to the human beings who search it when they need legal advice.