09/08/2011

Most legal firms nowadays have realized the necessity of having a website. However, there are still many who have not understood the power of blogs as a way of generating new clients and leads. Lawyer blog design is an essential service for any legal company, small or large, that wishes to expand its influence.

When setting up a lawyer blog, it is important first of all to be clear what is its main purpose. While it is a valuable lead generating tool, its main objective should not be to advertise, but rather to enable the professionals to engage with their clients and potential clients. Although conventional websites nowadays are much more interactive than they used to be, they are still predominantly a one-way process, their purpose being mainly to provide information to visitors. The specific point of a blog is that it is a two-way process. It needs to be designed to make it easy for legal professionals to develop relationships with clients and potential clients – to listen to their concerns, and to respond in a way that shows they are human.

The main priority therefore for lawyer blog design is to ensure that the blog is dynamic in its architecture – that is, that it can easily be updated regularly, and that it has the facility for two-way communication. The most effective way to do this is to install a CMS or content management system, such  as Joomla or WordPress. This will enable you as a professional to keep adding and changing content without needing a lot of technical knowledge. You can if you wish set this up in a way that allows all the partners in the company to create their own personal blogs on the site and keep posting to them, not just with text but with interactive content like surveys or polls. Alternatively, if for example there is a large class lawsuit in process, you can enable all the litigants to keep in regular contact through a private blog on the site, accessed through a password.

You will of course need to ensure you have a comments section on your lawyers blog. Visitors will want to comment on your posts but they will also almost certainly want to ask questions. This will be your opportunity to build relationships and show that you are genuinely interested in your visitors.

You also need to make it as easy as possible for readers to access the content on your blog. Avoid having only your newest post available to someone who logs on to the site – you hope you will be regularly gaining new readers, so make it easy for them to see earlier content. There are several ways you can do this. One is by highlighting particular posts relevant to a current one, for instance by an “Alerts” link at the top, headed “Read this first!” Another is to provide direct links to past posts within newer postings on similar topics. Rather than saying “We mentioned this in our post of May 7th, 2007”, insert an actual link to that post. A third way is to have your archives categorized by topics, rather than purely by date.

Keeping a good lawyer blog may seem like a lot of work. However, if it is set up properly it does not have to be maintained by just one person, though one person needs to be responsible for ensuring it is kept up to date. Getting your lawyer blog design right can pay dividends for the whole company, as well as its clients.

Mark Zaman – Lawyer Marketing / SEO Services / Law Firm Web Site Design



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