Is Hiring Someone to Write Your Legal Blog Really Unethical?

Lately, there’s been a bunch of noise about dangers of “ghostwritten” legal blogs. Apparently, no one is safe and practicing attorneys are supposed to stop focusing on their practice to take time out to write informational, educational blog posts, engage on social media, and otherwise not bill out for their time. After weeks of reading about this, particularly rants by an individual who profits from having attorneys ‘write’ their own blogs, I decided to share my own thoughts on this matter, as both an attorney and the founder of a company who writes legal content on behalf of lawyers.

Argument #1 – Bad Content

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5 Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve spent thousands of dollars creating a new website and it’s not bringing you any new business. You’re probably frustrated and ready to give up on the whole “building your online presence” thing. But before you do, call us for a free website consultation or review these tips for SEO mistakes to avoid (or do both!). These days, a practicing attorney just can’t get away without having a strong online presence.

 

Here are 5 common SEO mistakes to avoid.

1. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content in the context of search engine optimization (SEO) means the same content on more than one webpage (URL) within same or different domain (web site). Search engines can’t decide which content to index, eventually not showing either page in search results. Where do many attorneys get in trouble with this issue? Practice Areas. This can be avoided with properly-drafted content written by attorneys.

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It’s Confirmed: Clients Use Lawyer Review Sites to Find an Attorney

Yelp is the most trusted online review site for lawyers. This powerful statement comes from a recent survey by Software Advice (an online evaluation company for legal software) that shows how prospective clients use online review sites before hiring a lawyer. Other notable findings:

  1. 58% of individuals surveyed would turn to Yelp first to find and/or research a lawyer.
  2. The most important information to prospective clients is quality of service and years of legal experience.
  3. 70% of prospective clients will travel further to see an attorney with better online reviews.

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Law Firm Website Content Consultation

Is your law firm’s website bringing you new clients? If you cannot answer with a resounding “YES!” it’s time to mix things up. Your web marketing team should be working closely with you to ensure that:

  • You are directing quality traffic to your site
  • Your website engagement is always on the rise
  • You are turning visitors into clients
  • Google’s various algorithm updates have not dropped you from your place on search engine rankings
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Blogging Lawyers: Are You Maximizing Your Google+/Authorship Presence?

If you are a regular reader of our blog, or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn or Facebook or Google+, you know just how important Google+ and Google Authorship is for lawyers looking to increase their online presence. One of the perks of Google Authorship is the avatar (i.e. your headshot) that shows up next to links associated with your Google account, which means instant facial recognition, increased search engine rankings, more clicks, and on and on… But if you have Googled yourself lately, you may have noticed that your Google+ photo (and other identifying information) has disappeared from the search results.

So what’s happening? Read on to learn how to regain your powerful online presence.

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5 Tips for Building a BIG Social Media Presence

Are your law firm’s social networks garnering the kind of attention that actually brings in new business / connects you with thoughts leaders / expands your referral network? Why not?! If you are devoting the time and expense to maintaining an active online presence, you want to see a return on your investment, don’t you?

Read on for 5 tips on how to make sure your law firm’s web presence is buzzworthy and profitable.

1. Understand Your Audience.

Understanding who your audience is and what they are looking for will put you leaps and bounds in front of your competition. While this tip is Marketing 101, many lawyers think like lawyers, not like their prospective client base.

Some questions to ask yourself when you’re tweeting, blogging, Facebooking, etc.. include:

  • What are the needs of my community?
  • What questions are they asking online and how can my content help answer these questions?
  • What types of content make the biggest impact with my audience: Text, video, images?
  • When and where are they most likely to be active on social media?
  • What types of content are they most likely to share?

2. Hit a Nerve.

Is your blog post touching on a hot legal issue? Current event or tragedy? Timely, relevant content is everything, especially to Google. Incorporate an element of analysis into your commentary and watch as people respond and relate to you.

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On-Page SEO Strategies for Lawyers Looking to Dominate Search Results

If you’re a lawyer interested in or involved in building your law firm’s online presence, you have probably heard something about Panda, Penquin, and/or any of the other recent Google algorithm updates. For most of us, these updates are good news. They promote quality content over quantity, and reward bloggers who have taken the time to write accurate, thoughtful content — on a regular basis (as always, consistency is key).

A few years ago, anyone could throw low-quality, keyword-rich (and ethically dubious) content on his website/blog and see an increase in page rank for weeks! No such luck today. Every major search engine’s focus has moved sharply away from short, overly-optimized content, and has moved toward longer, more comprehensive and in-depth articles.

But at the end of the day, all we really want to know is how to secure that premium placement on page 1 of a Google search. How does Google determine which content is high quality (and should therefore rank highly), and which isn’t? Keep reading for 4 on-page strategies every blogging lawyer should utilize to ensure Google recognizes the value of your content.

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Hashtagging 101 for Lawyers

You’ve set up your law firm’s Twitter account. Maybe you’ve even sent out a few tweets. But you’re just not getting the feedback — and followers! — you were hoping for. Your possible missing link? Hashtags (#). When used properly, hashtags can be one of the quickest and easiest ways for a lawyer to expand their online influence beyond their current pool of followers.

Using hashtags in your social media posts allows potential clients who are searching for those keywords to find your social media updates, and, therefore, find you. Once reserved for Twitter, hashtags can now also be used with Facebook and Google+. LinkedIn does not support the use of hashtags as a search tool.

Just hashtagging for the sake of hashtagging will not be effective. Read on for a few tips on how to research and discover relevant hashtags for your practice area(s).

1. What hashtags are the influencers using?

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