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.
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.
Your experiences studying for the LSAT taught you not to waste even a fraction of a second by reading irrelevant parts of texts too slowly, and law school cemented that lesson. By the time they graduate from law school, lawyers have developed a virtually superhuman ability to simultaneously skim texts to weed out unimportant information and to think through the implications of the important parts. When prospective clients read blog posts, they are likely to skim the post and then click back to the list of search results. In fact, an essential feature of business website blog posts is that they are made to be skimmed by people who are not giving the text their full attention.
A Copyblogger post by Belinda Weaver suggests ways in which the formatting of numbers can help commercial blog posts get their point across to distracted readers. It goes without saying that law firms are not just any business and that law firm blog posts require more careful reading than most web content, but much of her advice applies to law firm blogs, too.
Belinda Weaver’s Advice on Numbers in Blog Posts
Here are some of Weaver’s key points:
· Numbers Are Eye Catching - Many web content style guides advise writers to write out the numbers “zero” through” nine” in words, but to use numerals for numbers with two or more digits. Weaver encourages the use of single-digit numerals in blogs, as they are eye-catching and memorable. It appears that many listicle authors agree with her.
· Blog Readers Are Math-Phobic – Weaver cautions bloggers against making readers do calculations. For example, you should mention the total amount of damages a plaintiff won in a personal injury lawsuit, rather than mentioning the economic and non-economic damages separately and leaving it to readers to add them together.
· Don’t Fear the Percent Sign – Weaver argues that “90%” is more eye-catching and more conducive to fast reading than “90 percent.”
· Numbers Are Convincing – Using specific numbers in a blog post, no matter how you format them, strengthens your argument with specific details.
Take Marketing Advice with a Grain of Salt
If you follow Weaver’s advice, or any commercial blogging advice, to the letter, you will end up with a blog post that looks and sounds like an ad. Hiring a lawyer is a serious matter, and law firm blogs need the gravitas that is absent from most web content. For example, it is appropriate to write “$5,000” in a law firm blog post (where you might write “five thousand dollars” in a legal memorandum), but “$5K” looks like it belongs in a text message or tweet, not on a law firm’s website.
Legal Blog Writing
What lawyer has the time to write 500 words of blog content per week? You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, readable content that your prospective clients can easily skim, savor, or use as a reference.
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.
As a lawyer, you have probably gotten so used to writing certain types of documents that you can turn out a nearly flawless draft on the first try. A big part of what makes you more productive than your younger self, the self that used to write for fun, before time was money and before you constantly operated under the assumption that anything you say can and will be used against you, is that you don’t experiment with your writing anymore.
If, as it has been said, law school takes the fun out of reading, imagine how much life after the bar exam takes the fun out of writing. In a recent post on Copyblogger, Stefanie Flaxman reminds us of how the true gems of our writing often come encrusted in what she so eloquently calls a “necessary mess.”
Let the Mess Shine In
In Flaxman’s post, even the phrase “necessary mess” is itself a second draft; she originally called this indispensable aspect of writing “the ugly draft.” Your baby boomer English teachers probably called it a “sloppy copy.” Many writers use this phase of writing to help themselves overcome writer’s block; they write the first thing that comes to their minds.
Flaxman says that she sometimes just writes the word “something” again and again until her mind starts producing other words. In the age of instantly visible word counts, you can set yourself the goal of writing a certain number of words and resolve to call it a day even if you have written 1,000 words of gibberish, as long as you met your word count. Many times, if you keep writing “something something something,” you end up with something brilliant by the time you reach your word count goal. Then you make the brilliant part the starting point for your much better organized second draft.
What About Blogs?
Much of the blog posts on the Internet deserve their reputation for being poorly thought out. Some writers just write gibberish until they reach their word count goal and then click “post.” Sadly, this even includes professional writers, especially those who work for low-paying content mills. If you are only getting paid a dollar for every 200 words, typing a slightly more grammatically complex form of “something something something” until you reach your target length is all you can afford to do. When you read the blog on a business website, you can usually tell whether the blog content is the result of several drafts or was simply outsourced to the lowest bidder. If you are writing your own blog on a law firm’s website, though, your blog is an opportunity to publish some of your best thought-out writing.
Legal Content Writers
In a perfect world, lawyers would have time to spend writing and revising blog posts, but the reality is that most don’t. The next best thing is to entrust your blog content to experienced writers knowledgeable about the law. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, accurate content for your law firm’s blog.