Lawyers who use a website and/or blog to advertise their services are usually subject to rules of professional responsibility and ethics that apply in the jurisdictions where they practice. Often, these rules require that the lawyers state in a prominent manner certain information that can help prevent prospective clients from being confused or misled about the attorney’s services. Here are six common disclaimers that attorneys might need to include on their website or blog. This blog post is not intended to be legal advice. Attorneys with questions about whether their website or blog conforms to applicable rules should consult their state bar or an attorney experienced in professional responsibility/ethics issues.
Including images on your legal blog can make it look more aesthetically pleasing to readers, even though doing so does not affect SEO. However, it is important to be mindful of the copyright status of any photos that you find on the Internet. Follow these basic tips to avoid being liable to a copyright holder for using a photo without the proper permission. This post is meant for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have questions about the copyright status of an image on your blog, you should consult with an intellectual property attorney.
The home page of a law firm’s website is arguably one of the most important. Learn about how to write a home page that is engaging, substantive, and original. Be sure to include not only marketing language, but ways in which your firm is unique as well as substantive discussion of relevant legal issues.
Some law firms might benefit from marketing their services in a language other than English. However, this strategy is not for everyone. Be sure that you follow these four tips if you are considering marketing your legal services in another language: (1) include quality content in the foreign language, (2) be sure to optimize the metadata correctly, (3) be sure that someone at the law firm speaks the language, and (4) try out one page or a few pages before investing a significant amount of time and effort.
Different states regulate lawyer advertising in different ways. Lawyers who use a website or blog for advertising purposes should check the rules in their jurisdiction(s) to see whether their content may (or must) be approved before being published online. Regulation of law firm websites and blogs is a rapidly changing area of law, so it is important to stay abreast of the rules that apply to you and your practice.
Many lawyers want to know easy ways to improve their online marketing strategy. One solution is to blog more frequently. Writing frequent blog posts can make your legal blog more attractive to search engines, human readers, and can also improve your own writing efficiency. However, it is important not to sacrifice quality for the sake of quantity or frequency.
Learn about some of the potential ethical risks associated with attorneys discussing client matters or information on their website or blog. Among these risks are violating the duty of confidentiality; violating rules requiring explicit client consent before you share case details in advertising; and violating rules regarding testimonials by, or actor depictions of, clients. The information contained in this blog post does not constitute legal advice; you should refer to the rules of your jurisdiction to ensure your marketing is in compliance.
For lawyers and law firms wishing to expand the reach of their web marketing, we provide five simple ways to reach more prospective clients and expand your business. These ways include adding video and live chat to your website, being responsive to contacts, and offering initial consultations, where feasible. The points may seem basic, but a surprising number of attorneys fail to do at least one of them, thereby losing valuable business.
A recent ethics opinion by the State Bar of California clarifies the circumstances under which legal blogs may be subject to that state’s professional responsibility and legal advertising rules. Other states have released, or are considering, updating their rules with respect to attorney advertising online, so all lawyers who use a website and/or blog for advertising should stay current on the developments in this area.
Many law firms and lawyers jump at the first advertising company that promises to improve their online marketing strategies and increase their business. We recommend you slow down and consider four things before you choose which firm to hire for your Internet marketing: (1) find out what happens if you decide to switch providers, (2) investigate the company’s track record, (3) find out who is writing the content for your website, and (4) focus on the investment value rather than up-front cost.
Learn how to make your legal website or blog rank higher in Google and other search engines. Having high-quality, original content is one of the most important components of a strong SEO strategy, but don’t neglect some of these other points that can help the performance of your law firm website and blog.