Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Website Design and Marketing for Attorneys, Doctors, and Other Professionals
Below are some questions many clients have when they first contact Foster Web Marketing about the online marketing world.
The questions below may address many initial concerns you may have. If you don't find your answers here, you should contact us for answers to any questions specific to your firm.
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I want to offer a free book on my law firm’s website. What should it be about?
These days, most of your online audience is likely to have a hard drive that is clogged with all kinds of free e-books and downloads from different sites. And, as unfair as it might sound, your online audience expects more than ever from your online marketing freebies.
We are not saying you shouldn’t write a book and offer it on your website for free—quite the opposite actually. We’re just saying your book needs to meet the needs of your potential clients and the needs of your law firm, and it all starts with the topic you choose.
Your Topic Should Be Relevant to Your Potential Clients
You are writing a book to attract more of the kinds of cases and “perfect clients” you want. That means your topic planning for your book needs to start with what is most relevant to that audience.
Think about who you want to reach and what you can share with them that will be valuable and relevant to their lives. If your free book isn’t relevant to most of the clients you hope to attract, then they probably won’t download it, even for free. Why would they?
Instead, you need to focus on why they are visiting your website or searching for your law firm and what matters to them:
- Choose a topic that helps your readers handle a crisis. For example, a personal injury lawyer might write about what to do at the scene of an accident. A criminal defense lawyer might write about what you should do after your loved one is arrested, or an estate planner might address what to do after a loved one’s death. Aim to provide the information your perfect clients need at the point of crisis, and they will remember that you had the answers they needed in a difficult time.
- Choose a topic that makes the legal process easier. Walk your readers through a common legal process in your practice area. For example, you might give a timeline and more information about how a personal injury case proceeds in your state or talk about the steps in bankruptcy and loan modification. The idea is to break down complex legal topics into digestible—and truly useful—information that addresses what your potential clients face.
- Choose a topic that focuses on a specific segment of your audience. If you have more than one practice area, it’s hard to come up with a topic that will be truly relevant to everyone. If you have a broad practice area or highly varied client base, it’s hard to speak to everyone’s needs. By choosing a topic that focuses on one niche, practice area, or portion of your audience, you deliver the most relevant information to exactly the right people. Think “A Woman’s Guide to Divorce” or “What You Need to Know After a DUI.”
Your Topic Should Be Interesting to Your Potential Clients
When was the last time you enjoyed a boring book? Relevance is crucial, but you don’t want to make your potential clients wade through a bunch of dry information or boring definitions to get the information they need. A boring book is not an effective conversion tool!
You’ll attract more readers and make people happier if you can present relevant information in an intriguing, exciting, or interesting way:
- Choose a topic that expands upon current news and events. Is there a big story or trend that relates to your area of law? Have there been recent changes to the law that people need to know about? Has a case related to one of your practice areas had a lot of media coverage? People are probably already curious about these kinds of topics, so a book that explains or expands upon popular subjects in accessible language can be a huge draw. For example, you can use your book to explain why a prescription drug was recalled, how a change in tax laws affects your estate planning clients, or the lessons your potential clients can take from a trending story.
- Choose a topic that offers “insider” knowledge. Some of the most irresistible book topics give readers a unique peek into a particular process or industry. That kind of “insider” information not only establishes you as an authority on the subject, but it also helps your readers orient to the topic and avoid making “rookie mistakes.” For example, you might write about “5 Secrets of the Hail Insurance Industry Revealed” or “Why Injured Patients Don’t File Medical Malpractice Claims.”
- Choose a topic that highlights what you do best. Every law firm is unique, so focus on what makes you stand out. Are you the go-to person for a certain kind of case? Do you have expertise in an unusual area or with a highly specific client base? Do you have a unique point of view you can share with your potential clients? Choose a topic that shows you as the authority you are and offers a glimpse into why your law firm is different. This is a great place to use stories of past clients and cases to bring your book to life and illustrate important points for your readers.
Your Topic Should Be Robust Enough to Warrant a Book
When looking for topics that are both relevant and interesting, it’s easy to end up with ideas that are a little too narrow to warrant a whole book on the subject. If your free “book” is very short or seems to mostly just be a pitch for your services, your potential clients are likely to be more disappointed than delighted.
Don’t be tempted to just “pad” thin information with useless information for the sake of the word count. If you can’t write enough useful, unique information on your original topic to come up with a 30-page book, you might consider combining several related topics or publishing the shorter document as a “guide” or “report” instead.
If you’re having trouble coming up with enough for a substantial and valuable book offer or guide, you might also think about other kinds of free offers that are relevant to your potential clients and can reinforce your core message. Would a first aid kit, mobile app, checklist, or other offer be relevant and helpful? Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Partner With a Marketing Team That Understands Free Offers and Book Writing for Attorneys
If you’re having trouble coming up with a topic for your book, our book writing services team loves brainstorming ideas from scratch and talking through clients’ ideas. We can even partner with you to create a book that will be a great resource for your potential clients and make you look like the professional you are. You don’t have to have it all figured out before you come to us!
Ready to see how a book can change the way you market your law firm but don’t want to do it all yourself? Don’t miss out on this rare opportunity to get a book written for you and see all the marketing parts in motion for your success. With a Practice Expansion Campaign, you can get focused on your perfect clients in one practice area, get a book written that will attract their attention, and build a strategy that keeps that investment working for your law firm.
What is the best length of time for an email campaign?
Email campaigns are a powerful way to reach out to your perfect clients, whether you are breaking the ice, following up, or letting them know about something new. The problem is that, if you send email too often, you end up seeming pushy. If you don’t send email often enough, then you risk your contacts forgetting who you are and what you do.
So, what is the right length of time for an email campaign? It all depends on who you are reaching out to and what you want to accomplish.
1. It Depends on Your Goals for Your Email Campaign
What are you trying to do with your email campaign? Your goals have a lot to do with how many emails you should send and for how long.
If you are just trying to introduce yourself or a new service, a handful of emails over a few weeks might be just right. If you want to educate clients who have already signed up for your services, it might be more appropriate to break up the information over many emails that are sent out over 6 months or a year.
Here are some “ballpark” ideas for 2 common goals to get you started:
- For following up after a book download, we usually recommend starting with weekly emails over 8 to 12 weeks.
- For a “blast” campaign about an upcoming event or special offer, we might recommend sending a few emails on an increasingly smaller time scale as the event date approaches.
Feeling lost? If you are a Foster Web Marketing client and need help figuring out the right length for your email campaign based on your goals, just reach out to our team at 888.886.0939 for guidance.
2. It Depends on Who You Are Reaching Out To
People who don’t know you probably don’t want to get stuck hearing from you for the next year or two. People you do have a relationship with will be happier to hear from you more often.
If you are managing your email contact list with appropriate tags, then you should know exactly who you are reaching out to with a particular email campaign—and that will help guide the length and frequency of contact.
For example, if you are sending email “cold” to new contacts, we might recommend that you keep it short and sweet, with prominent options to either “unsubscribe” or officially sign up for more information. If you are reaching out to past clients, then we might recommend that you reach out less often (for example, monthly instead of weekly), but over a longer period of time.
This is also the time to think about how many of your other campaigns your contacts are subscribed to. If a big portion of your audience is already receiving your newsletter and your book’s drip campaign, they may not be as open to getting yet another intensive, long-term series of emails from you.
It’s all about thinking through what your contacts and perfect clients want to see from you and tailoring the length of your campaigns to meet their needs and expectations.
3. It Depends on How Long it Takes to Convert Your Perfect Clients
How long does it take to convert the contacts that are most important to your business? We can give you “ballpark” ideas based on who you’re reaching out to and why, but nothing will give you concrete answers about what works like testing the campaigns you try.
Ultimately, everyone’s perfect clients and contact lists are different, and what they are selling is unique. You can start with an informed guess, but the real answers will lie in the numbers you get from what you’ve tried. For example, you might start a drip campaign for your book offer with a length of 8 weeks. If you see a lot of engagement fall off after week 6, then you might want to test a 6-week campaign. If there is still a ton of engagement at week 8, you might want to test a 12-week campaign. This is a simple example, but the cool thing about email is that you can get very granular in your testing and analysis.
Track your emails. Look at how well they have performed for your goals. Look at the emails that performed the best, and adjust your future campaigns to replicate that success. The data you analyze from your email campaigns is really just your perfect clients telling you exactly what they want.
All the Tools and Expertise You Need to Do Email Right for Your Law Firm
Email is one of the oldest and most effective digital marketing tools out there. It’s easy to get started, but there’s a steep learning curve to true mastery.
Do you need help building email campaigns that convert or figuring out the “sweet spot” for frequency of contact? We have you covered. Find out how we help attorneys get on top of their email marketing, or sign up for a demonstration of the email tools available in DSS.
How do I properly optimize images for attorney websites?
Great images draw the eye and bring your website content to life for your potential clients. Using them effectively, though, is not as simple as choosing great images and adding those images to your website.
You also need to optimize your website’s images so that they are accessible to users, understood by search engines, and ready to be a part of an engaging online experience for your perfect clients.
Need help whipping your images into shape? Below, you’ll find our best tips for optimizing images for your law firm’s website.
Optimization Starts With the Names of Your Image Files
You should always optimize your images with descriptive files names, including little touches that make those file names play nicely with your website.
Image file names are typically NOT the place to target high-level, vanity keywords. Instead, you should stick to short, simple descriptions of what the images show.
That being said, though, the photographs on your bio pages can be the limited exception to this rule. For example, if you want to name your bio photo “des-moines-personal-injury-attorney-carmen-sandiego.jpg” instead of “carmen-sandiego.jpg,” that is acceptable because it still appropriately identifies the subject of the picture.
We also recommend that you always use dashes between the words in your image file names. Spaces in filenames aren’t always handled well when they’re uploaded, and you can sometimes see some crazy characters, like this:
Those “%20”s replace the spaces and make a mess of the filename in the URL. When you instead use dashes in your file names, there are no spaces to worry about.
It might seem like a lot of concern over something small, but you and your users get a lot out of the few extra steps it takes to name image files appropriately.
Need some concrete examples? Take a look at this picture:
Let’s say that we have three options for naming this image file:
Example A, “img-377863702.jpg,” is a terrible file name, from an optimization standpoint. It gives no information about the file and doesn’t help anyone understand what it contains.
Example B, “san-antonio-medical-malpractice-attorney.jpg,” is an unacceptable file name. Again, it does not help anyone understand what the image file contains, and it adds salt to the wound by rudely stuffing keywords where they do not belong.
Example C, “medical-patient-in-hospital-bed.jpg,” is a good file name and the best choice of the three. It describes exactly what is in the image, and it does not try to shove keywords in your face. Imagine, too, how much easier it is to find and use this image if you download it or want to use it again later! You know what to expect from the image before you even open the file or see a thumbnail.
Compress Large Images to Retain Quality and Protect Load Speeds
If your site loads quickly, that’s a good thing. Google likes fast sites, and so do your site’s visitors. That is why you may have to do a little balancing act with the images you use.
Few things slow down page load times like humongous image files, particularly huge image files that have to be shrunk to a small display size on the page.
You may think you’re doing the right thing by using the 4MB, 2080x4056 pixel version of your photo. However, that huge image is going to considerably hamper how quickly your page loads, and you might be shrinking it to a 200x300 pixel image anyway to fit the layout of the page.
Fortunately, you can quickly and easily compress an image (while retaining its original quality!) to reduce the file size of your image. I like to use TinyPNG, though JPEGmini (notice a trend?) is also a fine option for fast, free, in-browser image compression. Simply drag and drop your image. It will be compressed, and you can download your new, smaller file. This compressed file is the one you should upload to your site.
Keep in mind that, along with the size of the image file, the size of your image as displayed on your site matters. If it is too small, it lacks visual effect and can be hard to understand. If it is too big, it can mess up the text formatting on the page and become a distraction. For example, an image that is over 500 pixels wide is so big that it will cause problems with the way your website displays. As an example of an image that is too small, here is our image from above shrunk by half:
Are you squinting to figure out what is happening in this picture? Does the smaller picture have the same visual impact as the larger version of the image? An image’s display size can make a surprisingly big difference!
Use Alt Text to Help Search Engines and Screen Readers Understand Your Images
“Alt text” is a text description of an image that is added to your page code with the image file. Alt text helps users with visual impairments, users using screen readers, and search engine crawlers understand what the picture should show, even though they may not “see” the image directly.
Alt text can also help visitors understand what they should be seeing in the event of technical difficulties that prevent images from load properly on the page.
Like image file names, you want your alt tags to be short, simple, and descriptive of the image. Remember that the alt text you write is there to help people understand the picture on the page and make your website more accessible. While keywords can naturally fit into alt text, trying to over-optimize or stuff keywords here can get you in trouble with Google and disappoint your users.
If you are having trouble thinking of alt text to add to your images, imagine they are being described to you by a screen reading device. Screen readers already tell users that they are describing an image, so you don’t have to worry about prefacing your alt text with words like “picture of” or “photograph showing.”
You want your description of the image to be straightforward, but as descriptive as possible. For example, the alt text for a photo of the Statue of Liberty could just be “Statue of Liberty,” but you can provide a better user experience by being a little more specific. For example, you could use alt text to more accurately describe your image as an “aerial view of the Statue of Liberty” or a “stylized Statue of Liberty holding U.S. flag.”
Give Your Images Some Space to Look Neat and Professional on the Page
Sometimes, images speak for themselves. However, most of the time, you are using the images on your attorney website to help illustrate and bring interest to your text content. They need to look nice, but they can’t interfere with the text on the page.
DSS gives you a lot of flexibility for stylizing your images and formatting text. One of the best and most common ways to get started is to learn how to add margins to a website image and use wraparound text.
Wise use of margins and text formatting gives your images a professional-looking touch, and the extra “white space” between text and image improves the reading experience.
Get Help Making the Images on Your Law Firm’s Website Perform Better
Little optimizations and extra steps are what make the user experience on your website stand out to your perfect clients. However, it can be a challenge to keep up with every detail and follow through with every best practice on your own.
If you need help optimizing the images your law firm’s website, or if you have questions about how DSS can make it easier to do it yourself, reach out to our friendly team at 888.886.0939. Our goal is always to help you get your time and energy back with solutions that let you work smarter, not harder.
What is the difference between email clicks and opens?
Tracking and analyzing performance is crucial to the success of your email campaigns, but it isn’t easy to make sense of the numbers you see when you’re first getting started.
One of the most frequent sources of confusion is the difference between the similar-sounding email “opens” and email “clicks.” While they represent very different actions from your recipients, both are key numbers to look for in your analysis and to aim to improve as you move forward.
Any email marketing solution worth using will give you reporting about these metrics, but for the purpose of answering this FAQ, here is what a version of this data would look like in our DSS CRM software email marketing dashboard:
The first step, though, is understanding what you’re looking at. Is “opening” an email really different from “clicking” on it? The answer is yes—and here’s why.
What Do Email “Opens” Mean for My Email Campaign?
“Opens” or “open rates” measure how many people opened up your email and looked at it. Hopefully, they read it, but there’s no guarantee they did any more than glance at it, and there is no way to track how long they looked at the email.
While that may seem really straightforward, there is a hitch. The number of “opens” you see may not represent everyone who viewed your email.
To collect data on the “open,” the recipient must allow HTML and images in their emails. Some people do not, especially on mobile, so you have no way to know if those recipients opened the email you sent. Instead, you’ll see a separate section of your CRM email reporting data that shows those emails were “delivered, not tracked.” This is something to keep in mind as you review an email campaign’s performance, especially if it was targeted for mobile-heavy audiences.
It also worth noting that, since “opens” happen before the recipient has read the content of the email, open rates often have more to do with how your compelling your subject line is and the relationship your law firm has with the recipient.
If your open rates are struggling, you can work on improving your numbers by improving the subject lines you write for your emails.
What Do Email “Clicks” Mean for My Email Campaign?
“Clicks,” “click-throughs,” “click rates,” or “click-through rates” measure how many people clicked on a link within your email.
While “opens” only measures how many people look at your email, your “clicks” represent how many people read the content of your email and were compelled to click through to your target page. For example, the “clicks” for an email about your new book might represent how many people clicked on the link to the offer page from the email you sent.
This is an important number because it helps you measure how effective your emails are at driving traffic to your website and convincing readers to take action.
If you’re getting lots of “opens,” but your “clicks” are suffering, you need to look at the “meat” of your email campaign:
- Do your emails look good? Find out how to build eye-catching emails with the DSS Advanced Email Editor.
- Does your email content speak directly to your audience? Does it make sense and explain how your message or offer is relevant to their lives?
- Did you include a call to action that asks readers to click on the link or button? Do they understand why they’re clicking and what they’ll find when they get there?
Your “click rates” have everything to do with what people see (and how they feel) after they’ve opened your email and started to read, and everyone’s “perfect clients” are different. As you improve and adjust your email content, keep testing your ideas and measuring the results. Good tracking and analysis are the only ways to make sure you’re hitting the mark with the people who matter most to your business.
Do you know how well your emails are performing? Are you happy with the numbers you see when you look at your campaigns? If you need help tracking, analyzing, or improving the emails your law firm sends, reach out to our team at 888.886.0939. You can also learn more about how to do it yourself in DSS.
What is Project Beacon? What do beacons mean for my business?
Did you get a little box from Google’s Project Beacon with a strange device inside?
If so, you probably didn’t get a lot of information about what to do with it or what it means. The information included with the new beacons is sparse, and—so far—the packages are only going out to a few, select businesses.
What Is a Beacon?
Google describes beacons as “one-way transmitters that are used to mark important places and objects.” In practice, the Bluetooth-powered beacons can send information to users’ mobile devices when they get within a few meters of the physical beacon location.
This might mean that someone could walk down the street, get near a local restaurant’s beacon, and get specials sent right to their phone. If a law firm has a beacon-enabled, potential clients could park nearby and get step-by-step walking directions from their phones to the front door.
Beacons can be used in offices, stores, public buildings, and other fixed locations, and they can also be used on vehicles, like buses and taxis.
There are a lot of possibilities, and there are a lot of potential uses to explore as Google reveals more. Beacons are still a little new and mysterious, and there are lots of musings out there about their potential benefits, especially now that Google has entered the ring.
Why Do I Want a Beacon From Project Beacon?
If you’ve received a beacon, you’re among a lucky few. For now, what we know is that the beacon can help businesses by:
- Helping you get more reviews. Beacons from Project Beacon help stimulate reviews, photos, and more from people who have stopped by your office location.
- Refining location and proximity. Beacons can put you on personal maps for users that have turned on Location History, and it can reduce confusion because it transmits from where you actually are.
- Improving the client experience. Beacons make it easier for people to find you and engage with your business, and it brings your online and offline messages together locally—where it matters most.
Getting involved with Project Beacon now also means that you get access to additional features as they are released.
Keep in mind that the beacon doesn’t give information directly to business owners, and it’s hard to say exactly what kinds of metrics Google may provide for beacon users in the future. Having a beacon doesn’t automatically improve visibility in local search, but the benefits it does provide are the right mix to support most local strategies.
It’s optional for now, but it is something cool to try that might improve the experience of clients visiting your physical office location.
How Do I Get One for My Business?
As part of Project Beacon, Google has started sending free beacons to some businesses that:
- Have a physical location
- Have enabled local extensions
- Use Google’s ad services
Do you have questions about how to leverage Google’s beacons or how to take your local SEO strategy to the next level? Contact us at 888.886.0939, and let’s start talking.
How often should I redesign my medical practice's website?
Websites for doctors and medical practices need to evolve as patients’ tastes and expectations change. While most practices find that they’re ready for an update or overhaul of their websites every few years, there isn’t a set-in-stone schedule. Instead, it is a decision that depends on your practice, your patients, and how well your current website is working for you.
Are you having trouble deciding how often is often enough to redesign the website for your medical practice? Here are four major signs that the time is right.
Your Medical Practice’s Website Looks Outdated
Take a good look at your website. Now, compare it to websites for similar practices in your area. Does it measure up? Does it look as modern as the other websites you visit every day? Do you like the current design and how it showcases your practice and your doctors? If not, then a redesign could do a lot for your practice.
Ultimately, looks matter online. Patients notice when you’re behind the times, and they are often suspicious of medical websites that look and feel a little abandoned.
Updating your design, adding high-quality photos and video, and adjusting for modern aesthetic expectations gives your website that healthy glow that lets patients know you’re still there for them. It is also an excellent chance to highlight new staff, new services, new locations, and other changes since you last gave your website a major facelift.
Your Website Is Built on a Crumbling Foundation
Redesigning a website is about more than just looks. The technology behind the Web can change as quickly as design trends. Redesigning and updating your website every few years—or when there is a major change in best practices—means that you are always on top of the game.
If your current website is hard to use, hard to update, or limited by old technology, it is definitely time for a redesign. Even if you choose to keep a very similar design, this is the kind of thing that can affect every part of the user experience, from how fast your website loads and the kinds of media you can feature to how your offer forms work and how visitors navigate through your site.
You Are Concerned About HIPAA and Online Security
If you haven’t updated your medical practice’s site in a while, then it probably isn’t as secure as it should be. Digital security and privacy are big issues right now, especially for medical websites, and patients are increasingly savvy about protecting themselves online.
Because of this, Foster Web Marketing has taken steps to ensure that all protected health information (PHI) communicated through our clients’ websites is safe and secure, but a redesign may be in order if you have an older site. Find out more about HIPAA-compliant enhancements on FWM websites.
Your Website Is Not Ready for Mobile Visitors
How does your practice’s website look when you pull it up on your phone or tablet? Is it easy to use? Is it easy for patients to find the information they need? Mobile search accounts for a huge number of visitors to most modern websites, and all indications are that it is here to stay.
Older websites force mobile users to zoom in, zoom out, and tap through tiny links and menus to get what they need. A redesign will help you build a responsive, mobile-friendly website that looks and works great on all kinds of devices.
Freshen Up Your Online Image With Our Award-Winning Website Design Team
So how often should you redesign your medical practice's website? If it's been a few years since your site launched, or you've gone through this list and decided that your practice’s website is ready for a change, we can help put your plans into action. Reach out to us for a free website design consultation, and let’s talk about how to update your website so it can better attract, convert, and retain your perfect patients.
How often should I redesign my law firm's website?
The short answer is that there is no set schedule for updating your attorney website design. However, don’t let that fool you into believing that design updates are unnecessary. Time moves fast on the Web, and a site that was beautiful two or three years ago could already look outdated and shoddy today. It’s sad, but true!
Pull up your website right now on your phone or desktop. How does it compare to other sites you’ve visited today? How does it fit with your current brand image and services? If you’ve taken a good look and still aren’t sure if your law firm is ready for a website redesign, here are our best tips for deciding when the time is right.
6 Signs Your Law Firm’s Website Is Ready for a Redesign
Websites don’t come with expiration dates, and the right time to redesign is unique to each website and law firm. If your law firm has maintained the same website for a while, watch out for these signs that you’re ready for a change:
- Your website looks outdated. Tastes and design trends change over time, and users expect websites to keep up with the times. Does your website look modern, or does it stick out like a sore thumb next to more current sites? Look at your competitors’ websites to see how yours compares to others in your industry. Think about the other websites you visit every day. The comparison makes it much easier to decide if the look and feel of your own site are in line with your visitors’ modern expectations.
- Your website is built on outdated technology. The look of your website aside, users also have evolving preferences for how they access, navigate, and use your site. Backend technology and online possibilities evolve along with those preferences. A redesign can offer better security, better navigation, HIPAA compliance, and a device-responsive mobile site. Lots of small changes to website best practices add up over time, and even a simple redesign can make a big difference in how your website works and what it can offer to potential clients.
- Your law office moved, or your areas of practice changed. You don’t necessarily have to redesign your website every time something changes, but it’s worth considering if your law firm makes a major change in location or offerings. A redesigned website can help to inform your potential clients about your new services, attorneys, or offices, and it also gives you a fresh canvas for changes to your overall digital marketing strategy.
- You’re starting a fresh digital marketing push or rebranding effort. Your website is the hub and funnel of everything you do to market your law firm online. If you make any kind of major change to your digital marketing strategy or online image, then it is critical that your website seamlessly reflect your new focus. Sometimes, you can effectively work within the bounds of your old design. Other times, it just makes good sense to start fresh.
- Your website offers a bad user experience. Your website will make a bad impression on potential clients if it is slow, hard to use, or does not work as intended. If an outdated website is getting in the way of the user experience, then it should be a giant red flag that you’re ready for a design update.
- Your content is difficult to update, find, or promote. Older websites are not always prepared for the modern, interconnected internet. If you can’t do much with your content besides publish it to your website, then a redesign can be a real game-changer. Modern designs can include social media sharing, improved navigation to important content, and ways to highlight what is most relevant. If you already have a ton of content on your old site, a redesign is also a good time to perform a complete content audit.
If you are still looking for answers about when to redesign your law firm’s website, we can say that we generally recommend that our clients shoot for a site-wide redesign every few years. This keeps you on top of all the current trends and best practices, and you can be sure that your website continues to deliver a great user experience and convert your perfect clients. A redesign can consist of small updates, or it can be a complete overhaul, depending on what is most appropriate for your law firm.
If you aren’t sure how your website measures up to current design trends and technology, contact us for a free website design consultation. We would be happy to show you how your website stacks up, what is working well, and what can be improved with a fresh design.
How often should you add new content to a law firm’s website?
Fresh content is good for your website’s visitors, and it also lets Google know that your website is alive and kicking. Adding and updating compelling content frequently means that you stimulate more keywords, attract search engine crawlers more often, increase your online authority, and give your visitors something of value. That’s hard to beat!
Google considers a lot of different ranking factors, but the “freshness” of a website is one of them. While updating your content won’t necessarily rocket you to page one, it’s a good practice that is truly the core of effective content marketing.
But how often is often enough to add new content?
Evergreen Content Stands the Test of Time
The quality of your content will always be more important than how frequently you update. If you are focusing on in-depth, “evergreen” content (content that doesn’t lose its relevance to your perfect clients over time), then you can worry less about quantity. “Evergreen” content should be content that your audience can really dig into. It should also help you set yourself up as an authority in your field—both in the minds of your readers and search engines. Even just a handful of informative and engaging posts or pages each month can be enough to do the job.
However, even the classics can get a little stale over time. Improving and updating your “evergreen” content once in a while can add freshness to your website. Search engines recognize page edits and user comments as a sign that you’re alive, so you don’t necessarily have to add brand new content all the time. Visitors also appreciate websites that offer the most current information in a seamless style that matches what they see on your other pages, so edits and updates to older content can improve the overall user experience.
The goal with evergreen content is high page views, low bounce rate, and longer session lengths. If you’re not seeing those kinds of numbers on your “evergreen” pieces, then you know they’re ready for some tweaking.
Regular Updates Keep Your Perfect Clients Engaged
Your law firm’s website isn’t just an information resource, though. It is also an important tool that helps you attract the right kinds of clients to your services and convince them to convert.
That means that more regular updates are important to you in a way that they aren’t for a purely informational site. Frequent content updates help keep you top of mind, and adding new pieces gives you a steady stream of fresh content to promote through social media, email campaigns, and more.
While you don’t want to wait so long between updates that your audience forgets who you are, you also don’t want to overwhelm them by pushing out so many updates that some get lost in the shuffle.
Start with a simple digital content schedule that you and your marketing partners can comfortably maintain. This may mean posting new content a few times a month or a few times a week, depending on your resources and the size of your audience. After that, you can adjust your frequency as you test and measure your performance. Your website’s content should grow and evolve with the success of your website, your business, and your target audiences.
Coaching and Guidance to Help You Do Online Content Right
There is no single answer about content frequency that will work for every law firm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a schedule that will fit your and your perfect clients’ needs. If you need help, contact us at 888.886.0939 or sign up for a free FWM analysis with our team.
What topics should I write about for my personal injury website?
Personal injury attorneys typically work with a wide range of clients who have been hurt in very different kinds of circumstances. One of the biggest challenges on personal injury websites is to create content that can resonate with all the kinds of “perfect clients” you might be looking for. The next biggest challenge is organizing it all in a way that makes sense to readers and leads them toward the right goal.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, you can get started by looking at our general guide to finding topics for website content. However, personal injury law is a broad industry, and your content will benefit from ideas that are a little more focused on what you do best.
Breaking Down the Wide Scope of “Auto Accidents”
In DSS, you can organize your website’s content under different “service areas.” For most personal injury law firms, especially large firms, this is a deceptively simple way to organize big blocks of content into digestible topics for your readers. This can also help you focus your website on the types of clients you’re most interested in working with.
Auto accident cases are a great example of this function in action. If your law firm takes a lot of auto accident cases, you may get better engagement by breaking it down into more specific service areas, such as:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus and transit accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
You can then write content that is focused on the subgroups of auto accidents that are most relevant to your firm, assign it to the appropriate service area in DSS, and give readers much better options for narrowing their search for content on your website. By writing content that speaks directly to the unique circumstances of each subgroup, you will also generate better and more natural “longtail” keywords that help bring more relevant people in from Google searches.
Breaking auto accidents into smaller categories can also help you come up with tons of highly focused ideas for great content. For example, think about what makes a commercial truck accident different from a wreck with a personal vehicle. What kinds of questions would someone have after they’ve been hit by a drunk driver? What kinds of injuries are more common in certain types of accidents? For the auto accident portion of your practice alone, the potential topics are nearly endless.
Talking About Other Kinds of Injuries
Auto accidents are often a major source of cases for personal injury firms, but that doesn’t mean that you should totally ignore other types of cases your firm is interested in. Think about the kinds of cases you would like to see more of or have taken in the past. You may benefit from creating content focused on other subcategories, such as:
- Medical and drug injuries. If medical and pharmaceutical injuries are a component of your practice, consider writing content that is focused on the major subgroups of cases you take. For example, you might write content that focuses on birth injuries, malpractice lawsuits, or mass drug recalls. You might even create a “cluster” of information-rich articles around a very narrow topic or case type to help launch a focused campaign, such as content about knee-implant litigation or mesothelioma lawsuits.
- Premises liability. Dog bites and slip-and-fall accidents may not be your main focus as a personal injury attorney, but you may want to have a few pieces of content that speak to premises liability clients. You don’t have to go crazy creating content for these cases if they aren’t a main focus, but having a few relevant pieces can help bring in potential clients and educate them about the kinds of cases you take.
- Maritime and workplace injury. If you work with clients who have been injured at work or at sea, your content can be the key to their understanding of the different laws and regulations that apply to their circumstances. This is your chance to explain complex information in an approachable way and really show off how you help. Think about what your potential clients need to know after they’re hurt working on the oilfield, with a railroad company, on a vessel at sea, or at an unsafe construction worksite.
- Wrongful death. Surviving family members often have a lot of questions, and you can provide a more comfortable user experience by writing content that is specifically focused on them and their needs after the loss of a loved one to negligence, regardless of the cause.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to generate so many subcategories of your practice that you confuse people, but you do want to break it down enough to funnel readers to the content that is most relevant to them. Just like Goldilocks, you should aim for just enough subcategories to be “just right.”
Curing Your Writers’ Block When You Run Out of Topic Ideas
Check out step two of our guide to estate planning topics to find out how to dig deeper for topic ideas with a quick Google search. This really is a quick and easy way to find out what else is out there, what kinds of competition your potential clients might see when they search, and what kinds of topics you might have overlooked.
If you’re producing a lot of content across a lot of different practice areas, we also strongly recommend that you plan out a content strategy. With a plan in place, you’ll already know what you need to write about and why, which means less time spent staring at a blank page without ideas. An organized strategy also gives you a better foundation for tracking and analyzing your success with the content you write.
Storytelling with case results can also be an awesome source of content that resonates with your readers. Case stories tend to be “evergreen” content that showcases you at your best and educates potential clients by example.
If you’re still having trouble finding engaging topics to write about online, talk to us about a free FWM marketing analysis, which will give you a better idea of how your content is going over with your readers and what you can do to increase engagement with the potential clients who matter most. We are dedicated to your success, and we love talking about how attorneys can create better content for the Web.
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