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Educational information comes first on your Web site

Two types of content are used on law firm blog or Web sites, promotional based content and education based content. Promotional content tells people about you and your law firm. Education based content provides people with empowering information about the legal issue they are facing. Education based content is by far and away the most important for your Web site.

The leading reasons people come to lawyer sites are:

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  • To learn about the law as it pertains to their situation
  • To learn how they can help themselves
  • To learn how a lawyer can help them with the issue or they are facing
  • To learn how to select a good lawyer

    When folks are coming to a lawyer’s Web site to learn, then you darn well better educate them. Unfortunately, most lawyers’ sites have little, if any educational information. Lawyers’ sites generally emphasize promotional content with educational information often looking like it was added as an afterthought.

    Promotional content, though necessary of course, will not draw people to your Web site. If people do find there way to your site, promotional content will not get them to return. Getting people to come and then return to your site builds name recognition and loyalty.

    This only makes sense. When was the last time a client called and asked where you went to law school, whether you were on law review, whether you got an award in evidence class while in law school, what states you are licensed in, what bar associations you belong to or whether you have gotten any recent awards? Do you think a client ever told a friend or relative they had a lawyer who was on law review or a member of the state bar association?

    Consider these powerful reasons to emphasize educational information on your site:

    • Lawyers have an awful reputation when it comes to helping people for free. Put it to work for you. When you publish educational information on the Internet, you show you care about others’ needs. You will stick out from the pack.
    • People like to hire people they think are nice people. You can distinguish yourself as a good person by providing helpful information.
    • People want to hire a lawyer they can communicate with. To lay people, lawyers speak ‘legalese.’ That’s a turn off. A lawyer who publishes down to earth consumer friendly legal information on their Web site demonstrates they are listening to people’s problems and is prepared to respond in a way lay people can understand.
    • Being published, on or offline, is one of the more effective means of promoting yourself. The Internet provides a cost and time effective means of publishing. No publisher is required, less time is required as you put up the article when done and there is virtually no cost.
    • You will be viewed as an expert in your field not only by prospective clients but also by publishers of other blog and Web sites. People will link to your site.
    • Search engine optimization requires educational information. Search engines are looking for frequently updated educational content to help to visitors as opposed to promotional content. It is this content which accounts for 80% of searches. Google.com states that the “Best way to improve your position is to have relevant content and multiple links from other Web sites.” Google and other search engines also award bonus points to sites that offer lots of authoritative information to interested visitors – useable content, not just facts about the firm and its lawyers.
    • Brings return visitors who will tell their friends, co-employees and relatives about your site.
    • Blog andWeb sites of any kind are best when free and content rich – that’s the legacy of the Internet.
    • With traditional advertising, you can get the message to people over and over without them looking for it but on the Internet you need to bring them to your site.

    Many sites look like they were built as shrines to the firm, as if someone just copied information off the framed degrees and awards that were hanging behind the lawyers/ desks. Don’t make the same mistake.

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