In the age of mobile phones, everyone is a know-it-all. If you have a smartphone, you can find the answer to almost any question in a matter of seconds. This is relevant to law firms, not because the partners in your law firm are grumpy because, at most of the parties they attended in law school, the conversation was dominated by a single know-it-all, but because, at every minute, around the clock, someone somewhere is using Google on their phone to find an answer to a legal question.
For better or worse, short attention spans rule the day, and if people cannot find the answer to their questions quickly on your website, they will click back to the search results and then navigate to someone else’s website. Making your law firm’s blog accessible and useful to mobile phone users will enhance the search engine optimization (SEO) rankings of your website.
Not Just Readable, but Skimmable
By the time you graduate from law school, you are an expert at skimming documents, even if the text appears as a single block, without paragraph divisions. The audience of your law firm’s blog, though, needs some help from the formatting of the blog posts to enable them to find the information they are looking for quickly through skimming. The small screens of mobile phones are not ideal for reading, even for people with good vision, as it is very easy to lose your place. Therefore, you should employ the following formatting tactics to make it easier for users to find information on your site.
· Headings and subheadings, perhaps using different fonts, sizes, or covers
· A font of at least 12-point type for body text
· Short paragraphs, perhaps even a single sentence per paragraph
· Single-spaced text within paragraphs, with an additional space after every paragraph
· Images spaced throughout the post, so that there is a limited amount of text between images
· Posts that are not too long
These techniques are also important for mobile sites because people often visit websites via their mobile phones when there are other things besides the text competing for their attention. They might be fact-checking a legal question during a work meeting. They might be trying to settle a friendly disagreement at a social gathering.
Although no lawyer wants his or her website to encourage distracted driving, the reality is that people sometimes even search for legal questions while stopped at a red light on the way to work. Important information should be easy to find on your law firm’s website even when the reader frequently looks up from the screen when reading blog posts on your site.
Content Legal Blog Writers
Formatting is important, but when it comes to digital marketing for law firms, content still reigns as king. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, readable content that your prospective clients can easily access on their mobile phones.
Happy birthday! You owe thousands of dollars in back child support! Happy birthday! You still have two more years of probation, thanks to your friendly neighborhood criminal defense lawyer! Happy birthday! You are one year closer to death, so celebrate with your estate planning attorney! Lots of adults do not like to be reminded of their birthdays, even if the birthday greetings do not also come with a reminder of their legal troubles. Despite this, birthday promotions are an effective form of marketing for many businesses. At first glance, law firms may not seem like an appropriate fit for birthday marketing, but if done right, sending birthday greetings to your clients can be an asset to your law firm’s marketing strategy.
Birthday Marketing Is Not One-Size-Fits-All
Sending coupons for people’s birthdays is an excellent marketing tactic for restaurants, clothing stores, nail salons, and similar businesses. Customers who like burgers well enough to sign up for the mailing list of a burger restaurant are likely to use a coupon for a free burger during their birthday month. Likewise, a free manicure for customers who regularly get manicures is a good way to encourage repeat business. Law firms cannot, however offer freebies the way that restaurants and retailers can. No one wants a free divorce or a free felony defense, if the other option is not needing a divorce lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer in the first place.
Don’t Advertise, Just Wish Them a Happy Birthday
Some law practice areas require lawyers to develop long-standing relationships with clients, while others offer services that no individual will need more than a few times in his or her life, and, in fact, most clients need these legal services only once. Therefore, birthday marketing (or any kind of marketing, for that matter) will not make the difference between a one-time visit and repeat business; that is already dictated by your practice area. Instead, the goal of birthday marketing for law firms is to get the recipients to remember that your law firm exists. Therefore, they will contact you when they eventually need legal services in your practice area or when someone asks them to recommend a lawyer to them.
Thus, the most effective kind of birthday marketing for law firms is a simple birthday card, wishing the recipient a happy, healthy, and prosperous year, and signed by the attorneys and staff at your law firm. It makes the recipients feel that someone remembers their birthday. If the card is especially beautiful or funny, then some recipients will save it or display it, which is even better. In this regard, physical cards are a better investment of your marketing budget than email birthday greetings, even though physical cards are more expensive. The recipients can be anyone who has entered a physical address in the online contact form on your law firm’s website, not just people who have already used your services.
Contact Legal Blog Writers
Your time is better spent redeeming all those birthday freebie coupons you receive in the mail, rather than writing blog content. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, readable content to inform and entertain your prospective clients all year round.
What is wrong with the following statements? In my day, we used to listen to good music like the Temptations instead of garbage like “The Thong Song.” They say that Stanley Kubrick’s next movie will be about Napoleon. I followed The Rules, but he still acts like he doesn’t notice me; maybe I will try getting the Rachel haircut. The Internet is unanimous that Baby Sussex will be a girl; I wonder what Harry and Meghan will name her.
Despite the elegant use of semicolons in the latter two examples, all of the above statements are dated. Your content does not have to overflow with 90s pop culture references to be out of date; the predictions about the name and gender of Baby Sussex (now known as Archie) were trending as recently as last month. No matter where you click on the Internet, it is full of reminders that the world changes quickly, and your law firm’s website is no exception. Your choices are to follow the trends, which requires constant research, to rise above them by writing evergreen content, or to chart a middle course between the two.
Examples of Evergreen Content
Like its name suggests, evergreen content is blog content about subject matter that does not change quickly. When you write an evergreen blog post, statements you make in the present tense will still be accurate in a year or more. These are some examples of evergreen blog posts for a law firm blog:
· An explanation of basic concepts or terms in your practice area (for example, the types of alimony in your state, the Constitutional rights of defendants, or the concepts of negligence and duty of care in a personal injury lawsuit)
· Frequently asked questions about a sub-topic of your practice area
· Posts about Supreme Court cases that set important precedents in your practice area (such as the Daubert standard, based on a 1993 ruling)
Readers search for evergreen content the way they used to consult reference books in the pre-Internet age.
In Praise of Deciduous Content
Not all interesting and useful information is unchanging; in the old days, people got as much information from newspapers as from reference books. Publishing posts about current news related to your practice area is a sound blogging strategy. Crimes and criminal trials, celebrity divorce, and product liability frequently make the news headlines, so if your law firm deals with one of those practice areas (even if it is just regular people divorce, not celebrities), you might as well write about those news stories. If your blog posts contain insightful, readable analysis of the legal issues in the cases, people will still want to read them even when the news stories you reference are no longer current.
Legal Blog Writing
Whether or not your content is evergreen, readers will appreciate it if it is truthful and well-written. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, understandable content that will keep readers coming back for more.
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.
Outside of rap battles and in-game banter, bragging is almost always an undesirable quality. If you doubt this, just count the times you avoided entering your co-worker’s office just so he wouldn’t brag to you about his children’s most recent accomplishments. Think about how often the bragging on social media (often in the guise of self-deprecation, the dreaded humblebrag) ruins your mood so much that you have to click on law journals to cheer yourself up.
The obvious solution to this problem is “don’t brag,” but then, how do you convince people you have never met of what an awesome lawyer you are? What is a blog, if not a place for bragging and self-promotion? How can you make your law firm’s blog brag without wearing out its welcome with prospective clients?
If It Feels Disingenuous, It Probably Is
Just as an experiment, write a paragraph talking about how great you are. Once you get past the easily measurable accomplishments already listed on your resume, such as your law school GPA or articles you have published, it probably makes you cringe to write self-aggrandizing copy, even if you are not an especially self-critical person. Sentences like “Mortimer G. Blogwright, Esq. is an excellent lawyer who shows extraordinary dedication to his profession” grate on the ears, and they should.
Now, as another experiment, write a paragraph about a colleague, perhaps a former classmate from law school, and what makes him or her a good lawyer. You can probably name specific things the person has done that, while they are not listed on the person’s resume, make him or her stand out. Perhaps your classmate found an important piece of information for a case, not by consulting the Law Library but rather a different department of the Library of Congress. When describing your friend, you tell the entire story, instead of trying to summarize it in platitudes like “Lillian Blogsworth, Esq. thinks outside the box.” It’s just easier to write about other people.
Let Other People Brag About You
Perhaps, then, the solution is to let other people talk up your law firm. The best way to leverage this indirect bragging strategy for your blog is to link to content that mentions your law firm or any of its employees in a positive or neutral way. (Cynics call this “link bait,” but it works.) For example, if a partner at your firm spoke about the legal profession at the Career Day event at a local elementary school, link to the newsletter on the school’s website that mentions this, even if the partner is only mentioned by name in a long list of participants.
Then write a post entitled “Mortimer Blogwright of Blogwright, Blogsworth, and Bloggerson Participates in Career Day at Snail Run Elementary.” Write a paragraph about the school’s event and your colleague’s role in it; then include a link to the original content. Linking to other people’s sites is a great way to promote your site and the site to which you have linked.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Still feeling creeped out by writing what feels like self-aggrandizing copy? You can count on Law Blog Writers to create original content that strikes just the right tone.