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Lawyers, are you looking for tips to get your blog noticed in 2013? Look no further; these best practices will draw visitors and get them to stay, bookmark your page and hopefully come to your firm for legal representation.
Writing a successful blog in 2013 is all about making the content interesting and easily digestible. There are millions of blogs to read, so you want to make sure that yours doesn’t turn viewers off from a visual perspective — if a post looks too long, many consumers will simply navigate away from it. The best practices include:
Pithy is in these days when it comes to blog content, so organize your thoughts and get them on the page quickly. If you need to expand on a topic, just write another post!
On the Internet, people often scan blog posts before actually reading them. You need to consider your post’s overall composition, rather than simply thinking of it as a linear block of text. Indeed, blocks of text are often seen as incomprehensible and skipped over in favor of a well-organized piece. Informative sub-headings are useful for viewers to understand the gist of each blog. If they like what your subheadings have to say, they’ll read your posts.
Include at least one image in each blog post to break up the text. This image could be as simple as an evocative close-up, such as a line of police tape for criminal defense attorneys or a stock photo of a hospital operating room for medical malpractice lawyers in Chicago. You could also go the other direction and use a complex infographic to explain your position.
Either way, viewers want something that breaks up the text, so they can get an additional level of nonverbal understanding from your blog. All the image has to say is “this is about criminal law” or “this is about corporate fraud,” but more creative images often provide better page view results.
In today’s blogging world, short is usually the best way to go. If you want your posts to be read by all, make them fit within a 300- to 600-word limit. Any shorter, and it feels unprofessional or poorly planned, but any longer, and it might turn off your audience.
As an attorney, don’t fall behind your competitors’ blog traffic. Use the best practices, write interesting articles, and you’re sure to get plenty of Web visitors and client conversions.
If you’re looking for a way to connect with your blog’s visitors and build some buzz around your firm, creating a column is a great idea. This can be written by an individual or a team and is designed to give readers a somewhat personal point of view. While there are plenty of reasons to create a column, we’ll focus on a few for now and provide some ideas for getting started!
Perhaps the biggest reason to start a column is the following you can expect to build. When you consistently publish a column, you can grab the attention of your audience and establish rapport with them. Providing interesting insights and entertaining your audience can lead to increased traffic and exposure, which can have an accumulative effect where readership continually grows.
It’s also perfect for building authority. If your column’s content is genuinely helpful and provides value, your firm will be viewed as being credible in the eyes of your audience. Credibility often means more leads and more clients.
Typically, you will want to concentrate on the areas of law that your firm focuses in. Fayetteville, AR SSD attorneys might create content concerning the various aspects of social security disability including laws, claims and appeals. While it’s okay to incorporate different insights, you should stick with a central theme to keep your audience on track.
Educating your readers is a key aspect of a column, so providing “how to” information and tangible examples from previous cases can be helpful. Addressing the needs of your audience while being entertaining can hasten the building of your following. It’s also smart to answer questions from your readers because this includes them in the conversation and can help you establish trust. Just be sure to adhere to a consistent posting schedule so that readers will know when to check your site.
Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is one of the most overlooked elements of online marketing. The purpose of RSS feeds is to deliver fresh and updated content directly to subscribers; in this sense, they are similar to email newsletters with the added advantage that they are not as obtrusive. RSS feeds are neat and convenient, for they save subscribers precious time by alerting them about what’s new in terms of what they are interested in.
Cultivating a strong RSS following is in the best interest of legal professionals. RSS subscribers are loyal acolytes, and in many cases they are easier to attract than social media followers. Here are some ways for attorneys and law firms to attract RSS followers.
RSS technology has been around since the days of the Netscape browser, but not everyone has caught on to the concept. In fact, lawyers who are not familiar with the concept should subscribe to other feeds by looking for the orange RSS icon and observing how it integrates with their browser or email program.
Placing an attractive RSS button on the header of a blog along with a description of its benefits can go a long way in getting readers to subscribe. The description must be written in simple terms and can be accompanied by a friendly text hyperlink inviting users to subscribe via email.
Legal practitioners should take advantage of every opportunity to remind followers about their RSS feed. A family attorney answering questions about legal separation in Media, for example, can write a clarifying blog post on that topic and remind readers that they can stay up-to-date on such issues with RSS. Sharing that blog post on different social networks will extend its reach.
Once the RSS option has been added to website, lawyers should stick to an editorial calendar and step up their publishing efforts as RSS followers enjoy being notified about new content.
Legal professionals who keep blogs and engage their social media followers are ahead of the competition with regard to online marketing, but those who stick to an editorial calendar for content creation and publishing are sure to be more successful over time. Easy to use and simple to create, editorial calendars help authors avoid writer’s block and keep readers coming back for more.
Attorneys and law firms can derive a wide range of benefits from editorial calendars:
Basic editorial calendars have main topics running down one column followed by the scheduled publication dates for proposed articles. An auto accident law firm that chooses to publish eight posts a month could schedule one topic ahead of time per week to rotate through the types of cases they handle.
Editorial calendars have the added advantage of providing legal professionals with an overview of what their blog is saying about their practices. If the proposed articles for an entire month seem to be heavy on the technical side of the law, it may be a good idea to change some of them or space them out. Other ideas include setting aside certain days to scanning a specific online news site and making a commitment to pick out a topic, write an opinion and link to the original source.
Improving click-through rates and driving more business to one’s website or blog is a primary focus for lawyers beginning to establish a web presence, and they can benefit from using preview images or other engagement objects to improve their website’s search rating and create more leads. Embedding such objects is a quick, easy way to improve a site’s value and reach even more clients.
A landing page with a preview image is over three times more likely to be clicked on than the same page without a preview image. This was confirmed in a statistical study that showed that preview images improved a landing page’s conversion rate by as much as 359 percent.
There is a lot of text on the Internet; consequently, a relevant and attractive image will stand out and draw a viewer in. Preview images and other media such as videos are often called “engagement objects,” meaning that they can be used to engage the viewer’s attention while searching. When a viewer is comparing the website or blog of employment lawyers in Pittsburgh to their competitors’ websites, for instance, this small detail could make all the difference in his or her ultimate choice.
Using preview images in your legal firm’s website or blog is as easy as simply changing up your landing page’s design: Rather than having it only include text, consider embedding videos and images to make it a multimedia experience for potential clients. As the web becomes increasingly social, you can receive a big boost in interest if a client links to your informative videos or images.
Self-generated content is a positive way to promote your business, protect your reputation and showcase a side of yourself that your clients may not normally see when they come to you to discuss issues like selling their home or seeking a child custody order modification. A blog lets you discuss your interests, link back to your website and attract social media clients.
Blogs are the original form of social media, providing a simple way to share your thoughts with friends and potential clients searching for a Massachusetts personal injury attorney (or any other type of lawyer) online. They can provide a way to proactively manage your reputation. It’s a known fact of SEO that it is harder to get into the search rankings if there are several websites devoted to the same keyword updated on a regular basis. Your blog or blogs can help you prevent negative reviews from having as large an impact. It can also help you showcase your expertise in your field of business through a more candid, unofficial medium.
There are several guidelines to keep in mind when starting a blog for or related to your business. You should:
A great blog will do wonders for your reputation. You may develop a professional following and receive positive feedback from potential prospects, but even if you don’t, blogging is an important SERM technique that will help you keep your law firm in the top search rankings.
Coming up next is videos and reputation management, the last subject up for discussion in CaseDetails.com’s Reputation Management series.
In the past decade, blogs have evolved from casual hobbies to major Internet money-makers. A blog is a way for a business owner to self-publish daily in an indexed, searchable marketplace. If your website has a regularly-updated blog, it will work wonders for your SEO, give potential clients the chance to scope you and your law firm out, and help you build business relationships with others in your field.
Blog marketing is one of the easiest types of Internet marketing to begin. You don’t need a lot of technical know-how — you just need to know your subject, sign up for a free professional blogging service like WordPress, and start writing. However, following certain guidelines may help your blog have a greater impact. Use the tips that make sense to you!
It may take some time to develop your blog-writing process, but once you have it down, it will only take half an hour or so every day or every other day to write a new post, respond to comments and reach out to other bloggers and businesses. What are you waiting for? Start blog marketing today!
One of the most difficult things about blogging is finding good inspiration for blog content. (We’re not all Shakespeare… wait, did he blog?) The ultimate goal is to write legal blog posts that will attract potential clients, establish your authority or solicit comment by other lawyers. With this in mind, how do you create blog posts that speak about legal topics in a way that’s accessible to the public and enticing to read? There are a few tried and true methods I use to find blogging inspiration, so I thought I’d share those with the audience.
This is the greatest source of inspiration for most blog articles: things that happen to you during the day… something you heard on the radio… a question someone asked you. All of these everyday events are a good source for a blog post. Here are a few examples:
Sit down with a calendar of your firm’s upcoming outreach events or event sponsorships and blog about your involvement in the community. Alternately, blog about public safety events on your community’s calendar.
If you’re a lawyer who likes to blog, it’s likely you read many others’ articles about legal and local topics. Take something that someone has said on a national or regional level and use it as a springboard for a post of your own. I’d go as far as quoting that source and citing the URL where that quote originally appeared. Examples: a right wing blogger promotes expulsion of illegals. A left wing blogger wants in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Either of these should be fertile ground for blogging for an immigration attorney.
Go to the Google Keyword Tool and put in a keyword about your area of practice… “personal injury”, “divorce”, “work injury” and “discrimination” are good examples. The results will be composed of many phrases you expected but will also include many you didn’t. Those unexpected results are usually great inspiration for articles. Another good source of similar article-inspiring keywords is the SEOBook keyword tool (a free utility based on WordTracker).
What are your goals for blogging? To generate more personal injury clients? To establish B2B relationships with corporations? To promote your expertise as a lawyer? Use your goals to inspire your posts.
There are certainly more sources for blogging inspiration than what I’ve outlined above, but these five things should get most law firms well on their way to creating interesting, purposeful content. Readers, what sources of inspiration have you found?