Tips for Preparing Law Firm Web Site Content for Your Web Developer

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Understanding the Master Content File

Content is key to a successful law firm website. Before any site launches, we ask clients that are providing their own content to organize it in a master document we prepare for them, with attached instructions. We call this the master content file.

Here are some quick tips for preparing the content document:

  1. One Document – We really need one document. Please do not send over multiple files. If you do, we will politely ask you to add them all to the master content file.
  2. Follow the Site Structure – You are welcome to add or remove subpages as you wish, but if you make any changes to the main navigation pages, let us know. The pages in the master content file should follow the order of the site structure on page 1.
  3. Separate Pages – Please put in a page break between pages. In Microsoft Word, the shortcut is CTRL + ENTER to insert a page break. This is relly important. We have to be able to easily understand where the content for one page ends and another begins.
  4. Microsoft Word – We prefer to work with Microsoft Word. It is easier to review and has a track changes feature that often proves helpful.
  5. Comments – Please highlight any comments or questions in yellow, so we can clearly see them and respond – if necessary.
  6. No Photos – Please do not embed photos in the master content file. You can send all images to the design team (your project lead). In the master content file add a note and highlight it in yellow.
  7. Links – Create the link in the actual text you want linked up. To do this, highlight the text, right mouse click and select hyperlink. Then put in the link you want made.
  8. What You See is What you Get – How you format the text is exactly how it will appear. Please use headings, bullet points and ordered lists. (The exception to this is when you have specifically selected overriding design elements – such as a web-friendly font and specific headline sizes that our developers will make sure are applied to match the design you have approved.)

Don’t Forget There Important Elements

Completing the master content file can take some time. It is an important task and we urge you to spend time getting it right. It only benefits your firm. Don’t forget these important elements that are often overlooked. All of this information should be provided in your final master content file:

  • Social Media Links – add links to your social accounts to your home page copy (don’t forget to highlight it in yellow)
  • Practice Areas in Bios – Do the practice areas in your attorney bios match the practice areas in your site structure? They should be a direct match.
  • Contact Information – Each attorney needs contact information to populate the v-cards (email, address, office phone, fax).
  • Blog Posts – Do you have enough blog posts to populate the widgets on the design?
  • Blog Format – Each blog post should have a title, author and category.
  • Disclaimer / Legal – Included in the footer is the legal disclaimer for your website. Don’t forget to provide this content in your master content file.

Additional Resources

Ready to take your content to the next level? Check out some other helpful blog posts below:

 

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