Trust and credibility is everything for lawyers and law firms.
It ought to be the same for your law blogs. But do you know which factors make your blog trustworthy? What factors cause people to return? What factors destroy credibility?
Of course quality content is most important, but second most important is good design. Bad design almost does more to destroy credibility than bad content.
Author and leading social media strategist, Jeff Bullas (@jeffbullas), ran the results of a survey by free lance writer, Mitt Ray (@MittRay), which identified the factors contributing to a credible and trustworthy blog.
Here are in the results in detail.
Which Factors Add Credibility To a Blog?
Good blog authors, regular posting and social media presence all trail good design when it comes to credibility.
Design is eight times more important than traffic and comments, both items which law firms tend to be too concerned about. Good design is twenty times more important than badges and awards. Heck, badges are an eyesore on many well designed law blogs.
Which Factors Destroy Blog Credibility?
Bad design is nearly as big a credibility killer as bad content.
Factors such as having few subscribers, shares, and comments do not do destroy credibility. Bad design does.
Before I started LexBlog eleven years ago, I was blogging on TypePad. My greatest fear was that lawyers were finding me. My blog was so darn ugly I feared that I was losing the credibility of those who saw it.
When I couldn’t find someone to help me with good blog design (and how to blog) I started the company. True story. And LexBlog as always worked to provide the finest in law blog design.
I always believed lawyers needed to make a favorable impression. I had nice suits and a nice office while practicing. Mrs. RLHB chides me for having a nicer looking car when I practiced than I do now.
Far too many law firms set their lawyers up on blogs with poor design. The same firms have beautiful offices, a nice website, and well-dressed lawyers.
But when they send the lawyers out to network online via blogging, the lawyers and the firm lack credibility because of poor design. In the case of firms with marginal content these poorly designed blogs may be hurting the firm and its lawyers more than helping.
Absolutely content and a working understanding of what blogging is all about is paramount. But blog design is almost as important in establishing trust and credibility.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Sean MacEntee