Looking to start a legal blog? While finding a domain and web hosting provider may be the first thing on your mind, there are several DON’Ts that you need to be aware of before you start building your blog. While building out a blog is fairly straightforward, different rules apply to different types of markets and industries. Here are some of the things that you need avoid.
1. Avoid Fluff Content
It seems that many industry blogs tend to create fluff content that’s completely unrelated to their business when they’ve run out of content ideas. Do not do this as it makes it seem that you don’t take your content topic seriously. You want to use your content to establish credibility and authority. Sure, posts that help your personality stand out won’t hurt, but you want to avoid doing it too often.
2. Avoid Themes and Designs that Are Not SEO Friendly
SEO is one of the best ways to drive traffic. Many legal sites don’t have any kind of plan to invest into SEO, so they overlook the importance of it when building their sites. This is a big mistake because if you decide to invest in it later, you will have to overhaul the entire website.
In addition, there are many different factors also come into play when it comes to ranking your sites including speed of website, responsive design, speed of your web hosting server, coding of your site, and more. It’s wise to look into all of these elements as they also help in terms of lead conversion.
3. Avoid Breaking ABA Rules of Conduct
If you are planning on using things like case studies and success stories to draw in potential clients, make sure you get permission from your client first. Abide by the ABA rules of conduct to guide your content. Also, make sure that you don’t mislead potential clients directly or indirectly in your content. You’re in the legal field, so it makes sense to abide by the rules and protect yourself legally first.
4. Avoid Not Categorizing Content and Navigation
There are many websites in the medical and legal category that produce solid content but fail to categorize their content. This can make it very difficult for your website visitors to find what they’re looking for. In addition, it will be valuable to you to figure out what categories of content your audience is looking for before you start organizing existing content. And of course, you’ll want to categorize your main navigation properly as well.
5. Avoid Excess Multimedia
Don’t distract your site visitors with excess multimedia on your blog. Things like background videos, auto-play videos, and auto-triggered audio interviews. If you’re planning on adding multimedia, make sure that it is in context to your content or page. Give your visitors control of playing the video on their own terms so that it doesn’t annoy them.
6. Avoid Boring Designs
Just because you’re in the legal category doesn’t mean that your site has to be boring. While designs in this category tend to be fairly simple and uniform, you can still help make it stand out through the small details. This includes using personal branding, unique but readable typography, custom form designs, contrasting colors, and relevant images.
7. Avoid Sidebar Clutter
Having too many elements on your sidebar is another thing that can distract your readers. A sleek and focused sidebar really goes a long way. For most legal blogs, the goal probably is to establish credibility and authority with the content. From there, they’ll want to convert the reader into the lead. Too many elements can detract from that process and will ultimately hurt you.
8. Avoid the Dreaded Wall of Text
When it comes to presenting your content, the one thing you want to avoid is a big wall of text. You want to use optimal formatting practices like using headlines, sub-heads, short paragraphs, short sentences, bullet points, and block quotes. This makes your content easy to read and consume which is very important when you are discussing technical legal topics.
9. Avoid Not Optimizing for Mobile Devices
Despite what you may think, many people will come to your website using mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, and even smart TVs. You want to make sure that your website is properly optimized for a wide range of devices. This becomes even more important if you are building out a local SEO campaign. Many local searches originate from mobile devices and Google ranks mobile sites differently from desktop sites.
10. Avoid Neglect the Call to Actions
At the end of the day, you want your visitors to turn into clients. But if you’re not taking your call to action buttons seriously, you’re not going to be maximizing your conversions. Make sure that your email buttons, scheduling options, and phone numbers are designed in a bigger font size. Use various colors and borders to highlight them so that they stand out from the rest of the content. Make sure that they are visible and clickable on all devices.
11. Avoid Copying Competing Blogs
It’s easy to get complacent and start copying other legal blogs whether it’s their web design or content. A big part of blogging will be to establish your authority or credibility. You also want to show that you are different from other lawyers or legal firms. Plagiarizing or outright copying your competitors can hurt your business as it can damage your reputation. Focus on creating your own quality content and design to really set yourself apart. And of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by your competitors or even reference them when required.
Obviously, there are many things that apply to normal blogs on the list. But there is a fair amount of things you need to avoid if you’re blogging in the legal category. This guide should give you a stronger idea of how to approach the creation of your legal blog. Sometimes it’s just as important to know what NOT to do as it is to know what to do.