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Content is still king on an attorney website, but pictures are good for sharing

The value of blogging for attorneys lies in creating relevant content. Writing and posting regularly to a blog on your attorney website helps establish you as a trusted resource and creates interest in your work, giving prospects and clients a reason to return to your website and to refer it to others.

Blogging as a part of a law firm marketing strategy does drive traffic. In 2011, Hubspot released a set of statistics from a study of online user habits. The study reinforces the importance of using your firm’s website as a publishing platform. It examined the effects of regular website updates on brand exposure and found that businesses that blog get 55% more web traffic. The value of timely content is clear.

But what about adding images to your blog posts?

If you are blogging regularly, you can get more mileage out of your content by sharing it and having it shared by clients and associates. And while content is king, some social networking sites are more visually oriented than others. If no image is associated with a post, sites like Pinterest and Facebook will grab whatever image they can – maybe even from a header or footer – with results that are less than visually compelling.

This is one of the biggest advantages to adding images to your blog posts: people who like or pin your article will have a corresponding visual to attract other social network users’ attention, hopefully prompting more reads and more shares.

Here are some tips for choosing pictures that will work for you:

Pay attention to copyright. There are several good sources for pictures online, and Google image is not one of them. Most of the results a Google image search returns will not fall under the purview of fair use. If your firm is willing to invest in stock photography, sites like istock and veer are a good place to start. Wikimedia Commons is a source for free images, but you must pay attention to the license (many are editorial only) and be sure to attribute the photo appropriately.

Use an image of appropriate size and quality. Pictures should be uploaded and posted at 100% of their actual size. Uploading large images and using a content manager to resize them can result in long load times. Uploading images that are too small and stretching them to fit a larger space will result in poor quality. Download and resize images before placing them online. If you do not have photo editing software, online editors like pixlr.com can help.

Look for less frequently used, relevant images. Everyone knows what two people shaking hands looks like. Overused imagery, like the handshake, conveys absolutely no information to readers and may actually prompt them to pass over your post. Try to find images that are relevant to your topic but also surprising in some way. Perhaps a striking pop of color, or a person in an unexpected situation or even an illustration would work. The bottom line is, if you think you’ve seen that picture somewhere before, so has everyone else. Instead, pick something that helps your posts stand out.

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Other Resources: The Bigger Law Firm magazine | The Bigger Lawyer Social Network | Legal News |Attorney Press Release Distribution

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