By Geri L. Dreiling
In the not-so-distant past, a lawyer’s promotional efforts might have been focused on the phone book. Once a year, the art for an ad layout might have been pulled from a carefully filed manila folder, reviewed, tweaked, submitted for publication and then forgotten — frozen on a yellow page for all time.
The attorney website is not a monument revisited annually. It is a tool. As versatile as the Swiss Army knife, the attorney website can serve as a marketing vehicle, a newsletter, a bulletin board and the point of entry for a prospective new client.
Like any tool, though, if it can’t be found it won’t be used.
Fresh Legal Content is King
Many factors go into a well-performing website that people can find easily—navigation structure, the use of keywords, search engine optimization, inbound links—but content is still king.
According to Enrique Serrano Valle, a telecommunications engineer who specializes in website and corporate identity development, fresh, unique content, updated on a regular basis, is crucial for peak performance.
“Create unique, good-quality content,” Serrano advises. “If it is original and meaningful, it will receive visits and be linked.”
Updating your content will also improve performance, but Serrano warns that frequency is more important than quantity: “Publishing a new article once a day during a year will work better than publishing 365 new pages at the same time once a year.”
Finally, incorporating search terms into your content will give your rankings a boost. “If you talk about what interests people in a way that a search engine reads,” Serrano says, “you will get good results.”
Legal PR as Fresh Content
Though feeding your website with content might sound time consuming, it doesn’t have to be. Leverage your legal PR. Your law firm press releases, announcements, guest articles and verdict and settlement reports should also be put to work as fresh content for your website.
Your legal PR campaigns should already be providing you with unique, high-quality attorney website content.
Think about it: No two cases are exactly alike. Each firm’s achievements, honors and awards are different. Announcements highlighting upcoming speaking engagements and continuing legal education efforts vary by lawyer and law firm. Guest and expert articles differ by practice area.
Combine all of the ways a firm uses legal PR, and you will see the opportunities for frequent updates multiply.
When it comes to keywords, the combination of two or three words that will help people find your firm by describing your practice area and geographic location, your public relations material likely already includes the information. With a little bit of effort, the copy can be enhanced to maximize keyword placement on the page.
To make the most of your attorney website, remember:
- Recognize that your law firm website is a tool.
- Add fresh content, unique and enriched with keywords, on a regular basis.
- Leverage your legal PR efforts by integrating them into your attorney website.
If you want your attorney website to serve as a resource and a tool, put your legal PR content to work.
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