An Adviatech™ company. Celebrating 10 years!

Nine types of blog entries to help generate good topic ideas

bloggingMarketers have been telling attorneys to blog for years, since it became obvious that content would rule the online marketing world. Scheduled blogging makes your website relevant to visitors, gives people a reason to trust your expertise and provides a consistent stream of content that is helpful when building organic links to your site.

Good blog entries take time. If you are blogging on a regular schedule, it can seem like you are under constant pressure to produce. You should just be able to sit down and hammer out a bunch of content, right? But creativity does not always work that way – with a sudden flash of brilliance that all the Web will recognize. Thoughtful blog posts that present a solution or give practical advice (and are by definition more likely to be shared) require your attention for longer than 30 minutes. But that does not mean that you should (more…)

Six tips for building your blog readership

Lawyers blog for a variety of reasons, marketing often being chief among them. Blogging and other online social activity can be both rewarding and frustrating. Every regular blogger has wondered if there is really anyone out there reading their tips and insights. For your professional advancement (and peace of mind), it is good to know that your blog readership is growing. More readers mean more interaction, more prominence online, more opportunities to build trust with visitors and ultimately more chances to secure a new client. Try some of these tips for making your blog more active and productive.

1. Be a good reader. Good writers read. Regularly. Writing in a void without exploring examples of the skilled writing of others can result in poor quality material. Reading helps strengthen your own writing and critical thinking skills, particularly if you read material that comes from a point (more…)

Is your firm developing its own voice online?

Most law firms understand that regular online activity helps with marketing efforts. But the formula for success can seem elusive, and frequent changes to search algorithms frustrate some firm’s efforts. Your ranking may bounce about unpredictably, making it difficult to determine what is working and what is not. It is clear that blogging and social media can be a force for good, but they may also backfire, harming your reputation among clients and peers.

Google claims to be waging a war against unoriginal, robotic and repetitive content. Over the past several years, the search engine has targeted and taken out one technique after another that it considers to be cheating or in some way unethical. Some of these changes have succeeded while others have been less effective, and adapting is challenging enough. You must also factor in the additional weight that is now being given to social cues such as (more…)

Fifteen Phrases You Can Drop (and not lose any meaning)

Good writing is essential to your ability to communicate with clients, judges, colleagues, and those who read your blogs and social media posts (whom you hope to convert to clients at some point). Whether you are putting together formal articles and briefs or sending a quick email response, your writing can confirm that you are a professional adult… or tell a different story.

Even the best of us will succumb to typos, and unless they are in a particularly embarrassing place (like a resume), we will be forgiven. But systematic use of unnecessary phrases that muddle your meaning can be a turn off for your readers. Here are some common culprits of cluttered copy that can be stricken from your lexicon post haste:

Redundancy. Our speech contains a lot of redundancy, and it is easy to let some of these conversational quirks sneak into your writing. But what is ok for informal (more…)

New and Revolutionary! Fifteen of the Most Overused Words of 2012

Every year, some words are more popular than others. As fashionable words get bandied about with abandon, you will find some of them begin to grate on you. The more they are seen and heard, the less meaning they retain. You can only read that something is “cutting-edge” so often before nothing will ever seem cutting-edge again. And how many times can you hear the phrase “best practices” before you automatically tune out any advice that follows?

We have written about the damage that overused words and jargon can do to your writing’s effectiveness. At best they simply take up space without adding any substance, and at worst they turn readers away who are tired to death of hearing them. Do not take unnecessary hits to your credibility. Start your list of words to avoid now.

PR Words:

Press releases have to be somewhat formulaic. Newswires have standards and requirements, and (more…)

Position your attorney website as a valuable business development tool

In the not so distant past, having a law firm website simply meant slapping up a few pages about the firm and its practice areas and then checking “develop online presence” off the to-do list. Websites were seen as a sort of online brochure – a static presence advertising the firm’s services.

However, the understanding about what makes an attorney website effective is evolving. In recent years, the Internet has begun serving as a great equalizer, giving both large and small firms access to a growing client base. The fact is, law firms have websites. The question is, are they being used as an effective business development tool?

Law firm websites are advancing from static sales brochures to frequently updated, dynamic publishing platforms. Good attorney websites have blog content that is regularly updated, take advantage of automatic postings on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and consider the needs (more…)

Content is still king on an attorney website, but pictures are good for sharing

The value of blogging for attorneys lies in creating relevant content. Writing and posting regularly to a blog on your attorney website helps establish you as a trusted resource and creates interest in your work, giving prospects and clients a reason to return to your website and to refer it to others.

Blogging as a part of a law firm marketing strategy does drive traffic. In 2011, Hubspot released a set of statistics from a study of online user habits. The study reinforces the importance of using your firm’s website as a publishing platform. It examined the effects of regular website updates on brand exposure and found that businesses that blog get 55% more web traffic. The value of timely content is clear.

But what about adding images to your blog posts?

If you are blogging regularly, you can get more mileage out of your content by sharing it and having it (more…)

Lessons from LinkedIn’s split with Twitter: Use each social media platform to its advantage

At the end of June, Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn, announced a social media separation. Twitter users will no longer be able to display their Tweets automatically on LinkenIn. Since 2009, users have been able to sync their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts so that anything shared on Twitter would simultaneously post to LinkedIn. Now, users will have to post updates individually to each network.

Of course, speculation abounds about the motives for the move on LinkedIn’s part. Shortly before LinkedIn’s announcement, Twitter revealed on its development blog that it would be reigning in third party developer use of its platform and taking more control over how third parties can use Twitter. LinkedIn may have bristled at the new restrictions, and some are calling the split a social media turf war.

LinkedIn also could have been driven in part by the idea of protecting their own site for what it is: (more…)

Social Media Marketing for Attorneys: Make Your Clients’ Choices Easy

A recent article on forbes.com points out a growing disconnect between what marketing and business executives think consumers want and what those consumers actually want when it comes to interacting with companies online. While business leaders talk of building a community and engaging users, most consumers are just interested in getting some sort of perk or discount for following companies online. Being a part of a community is not their top priority.

This presents a unique challenge for attorneys who cannot rely on inventory blowouts, buy one get one specials or other retail-oriented gimmicks to get clients to engage with them online – and by extension to use their services.

Attorney marketing is similar in some ways and distinct in others from retail-oriented marketing. Attorneys are selling both their services and themselves; personal branding is inexorably linked with firm branding. However, attorneys can take lessons from studies in retail consumer (more…)

Lawyers Should Balance Credentials with Solutions

The content of a law firm’s website is one of the elements that determines both search engine ranking and visitor conversion. When working on your content, you need to strike a balance between you and your firm’s successes and credentials and the solutions the visitor went to your website to find.

As a rule of thumb, we always recommend solutions first, credentials second. When someone is looking for a bankruptcy attorney, divorce lawyer, personal injury lawyer, etc, they have a problem. If you immediately introduce yourself, starting talking about your history and where you are from, you are going to turn off the visitor.

Think of your visitors as people in an audience asking a question. Then, use your website to provide answers to those questions. You may want to include some frequently asked questions on the home page that link to longer pages with more details. If a visitor is impressed with (more…)