10 Essential Tools Every Law Blog Needs
Every law blog should be equipped with basic tools to maximize visibility, engagement, and uniqueness. Below you will find the top 10 essential tools every law blog should incorporate.
My Top 10 Law Blog Tools
1. SEO for WordPress by Yoast
This plugin is hands down the best “free” SEO plugin on the market. It allows you to write better content, provides an in-depth page analysis of your content for SEO purposes, and offers a descriptive meta and link element field for you to customize.
There are 3 key features I really like about this plugin:
The permalink tool allows you to easily edit the page url. Most WordPress blog posts come with a canned page id. This permalink tool enables you to create a custom permalink to optimize your webpage.
SEO Title Tool
Most legal bloggers I talk to are unaware of the fact that the SEO title page can differ from the actual webpage displayed on a blog. Usually, the SEO title defaults to what is generated based on the sites title template for the post type; however, this tool lets you display two separate titles: one for the actual webpage and a title for Google’s search engine results page (SERP).
Like the SEO title tool, the meta description tool lets you draft a customized summary description of the page that will display on the SERP. This is a great tool to attract traffic to your website. Well written meta descriptions will help increase your SERP click-through rate.
2. Heading Tags (H Tags)
When you create a blog post, use heading tags to break up the content. Heading tags help guide your readers through your article. Since most readers skim content, heading tags are great to use to identify specific discussions regarding your content.
There are 5 basic heading tags:
The H1 tag is commonly referred to as the title tag. This is used for the name of your blog post. Use only one H1 tag per blog post.
H2 – H6
The H2 tag should complement the H! tag. The H2 – H6 tags are used as subheadings of the previous H tag. For instance, if your H1 tag title is “how to recover damages for a breach of contract,” then the following H2 tag may be “damages for a breach of contract.” The H3 tag would be “money damages,” “consequential damages,” and/or “restitution.”
3. Author Box
Display information about yourself by using an author box at the end of each article. This gives you an opportunity to connect with your readers and grow your community. There are several plugins you can use to create your author box. Check out 10 Author Box Plugins for WordPress for more information.
A blog without photos is just plain boring. Some blog posts do not necessarily require photos, but if you want to increase visual engagement on your webpage, start using photos.
You can also use tools like Snagit to take onscreen photos.
5. Social Media Share Bar
A social media share bar is a great tool to allow your readers to share their content with their followers. It helps drive traffic to your website and spread your content across various social networks.
6. Comment Section
A comment section allows your readers to provide feedback regarding your content. Depending on your state bar ethic rules, you may not be able to display a comment section on your blog. You will need to do some research to ensure you will not be reprimanded for having a comment section.
7. RSS Feed
An RSS feed allows you to syndicate content from your website. When you publish a page, a notification will be sent to your RSS feed that will distribute your new content to your readers who use RSS readers or news aggregators.
8. Mobile Optimization
Most people who read blogs use mobile devices to view the content. You want to make sure your blog content is optimized for mobile devices. There are several plugins you can use to help mobilize your content. Some website templates have mobile optimization built in. WP Touch is a great plugin to use for mobile optimization.
9. Similar Posts Tool
A similar post tool illustrates additional articles you have on your website pertaining to a topic. This tool is great to keep readers on your website by showing them relevant topics pertaining to their legal issue. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin is a great tool to show related posts.
Make sure you provide any necessary legal disclaimers in the footer of your website before you begin to blog. Some effective disclaimers may state that the information on your website is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice.
Check with your state bar to determine if you need to display any mandatory disclaimers on your website to protect yourself from violating any ethics rule.