Posts Tagged ‘Website Legal Blogs’

Achieving Artistic Distance When Contemplating Your Legal Website

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Like any creative endeavor designing your firm’s website can truly be a labor of love, even if it is mostly tagged as “commercial.” The successful web solutions created on a daily basis are nonetheless based on sound principles of art and design even for those who have yet to take a course on the subject of web design. If we accept that all website design is truly artistic—probably on several levels—we must also accept that just like artists we can get too close to our creation. When this closeness becomes “too much,” then we can form a mental block which prevents us from seeing what might be obvious flaws to others. Those who can apply artistic distance when looking at their website are more readily able to create a much more successful website which can lead to higher rates of conversion for your firm.

Many of those who have been in the business of website creation for any significant length of time are aware of the industry’s tendency to shy away from challenging the status quo, meaning a well-constructed analysis of another’s website can be met with ridicule or anger. If the goal of website creation is truly to continue to raise the bar for design and content, the objective discussions on the subject are essential. In any case, like anything we human beings create, when we have looked at our own creation for days, weeks or months on end, it can be extremely difficult for us to offer any kind of objective assessment of something we have put our heart and soul into. Being able to critique your own work requires a level of honesty and impersonality which is not always easy to achieve.

How to Achieve Artistic Distance

So, you want to know if your painstakingly created legal website is spot on, or if it could use some tweaking—or even a complete overhaul? If you have colleagues who you trust to offer an honest opinion, backed up with concrete comments, then give them the opportunity to look at the site and give you feedback. If you happen to be a one-man island, then you must learn the art of self-critique. When considering the overall design of your site, get up and back away from your computer screen to more fully get the overall impact your site offers the user. Does the layout appear to make good visual sense or is it too busy or even too minimalistic? Move closer and look again. Is there a clear visual path which allows your users to easily find mandatory items? Illustrators have been known to turn their work upside down to identify any potential problems with perspective. This technique forces the brain to temporarily reboot in order to understand the visual impact and can also point out flaws in your overall composition.

Take a Look at Your Color Scheme

Even if you are absolutely certain your color palette is flawless, convert it to grayscale temporarily to get the full impact of your color choices. We humans can become extremely emotionally attached to a certain color theme and may not realize that it is not working as it should for the overall website effect.  Along with your attachment to your color scheme you can also find you’ve created a bond with your entire web design, at least in your head. Walk away from your design, for at least a few days then come back to it with a fresh eye. You may be surprised to see things which need tweaking that you simply didn’t see before. This technique works just as well with content. Walk away from your written words for a while then come back and read over. You will likely be shocked at the mistakes you absolutely did not see before your break and may even see an entirely different direction you should take your words. In short, your goal is to get to the place where you can contemplate your design elements and content on their own merits rather than on an emotional level. When you’ve achieved this goal, your website will absolutely improve.

Promoting Your New Blog

Friday, March 9th, 2012

If you’ve recently decided to take the plunge into the world of blogs, you may be wondering how on earth you will promote that blog and make it as successful as possible. Blogs are often an extension of your business website, allowing you to increase your overall sales and profits. The goal of your online business website is obviously to get more and more traffic, thus more conversions. Blogs are a great tool for generating traffic, but even better, blogs help you keep that traffic as your readers will come back time and time again.

Blogging allows a two way flow of information; you get insights into your customer’s wants and needs, then you turn around and offer them the exact information they are looking for. If you keep your blog content high quality, informative and intriguing, you will grow an incredibly loyal audience who will then visit your website, turning into loyal customers. Take a look at the following tips, then try to incorporate at least one of them each week—you will soon see the fruit of your labors in incredibly increased traffic.

1. If you want to let specific search engines or other websites know each time you update your blog, you can ping your blog post. There are several popular pinging services such as Ping-o-Matic and Pingoat, which are both free and easy to use. It takes less than a minute to ping your latest blog posting, and this effort will attract the search engine spiders to your site, getting it indexed all the more quickly.
2. Use social media to your advantage. Make sure you set up profiles at the most popular social networking sites, including Facebook and LinkedIn, including the URL of your blog. Any time you update your blog, announce that update on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Even better, do this several times a day in order to reach every single person possible.
3. Do a Google search to find popular communities which are specific to your particular niche. Many of these websites will allow you to submit a link which will increase your traffic, plus you have the added bonus of building professional business relationships through these communities.
4. Comment on other people’s blogs, primarily those within your niche. Blog commenting can drive traffic from your comment to your blog, resulting in new readers and subscribers. Remember to avoid any type of “great post” blog comments. Take the time to actually read the blog posting and make sure your comment is thoughtful and even controversial, but reflects the fact that you spent time on another blog.
5. Use your chosen keywords often, although not in a contrived manner. Your keywords should appear in your blog post titles, your links and throughout your content in a natural way. Make sure your blog content is always high quality, and gives your readers something of value. Remember that blogging is not specifically about selling—although your hope is that your blog sends readers to your website—rather it is about educating and engaging your readers. Create an outline of sorts which encompasses your audience, your proposed topic and the keywords you want to incorporate into the posting, then use this outline to stay focused and on topic.

A few more tips: Brainstorm, making a list of ideas for your blog. Post a “definitive guide to….” whatever your blog niche is. Interview an interesting person in your area of expertise. Although you don’t have to blog every single day, at least try to stick to some sort of regular schedule so your readers know what to expect and when to check back. Write a guest posting for another blog—if you’re published you should see a spike in your own traffic. In short, don’t wait for others to stumble across your blog. Promote each and every one of your blog postings and you will soon see better search engine rankings, higher quality traffic and, eventually, an increase in traffic and conversions on your business website.