Attorneys regularly use Google’s Blogger platform as a way of starting their own law blog. I recently discussed whether Blogger is a good platform for attorneys who wish to build a website. While I find it very limited, it is a commonly used platform by attorneys and the extent to which it is used by the legal profession is why I decided to write this article. There are three common mistakes I see attorneys make on Blogger. Correcting these errors will help you get more out of your blog.
Many attorneys fail to add a custom URL to their Blogger site
There are a couple of things you need to be aware of with Blogger. First, you don’t own the content – Google does. Second, you don’t own the “.blogspot” domain associated with your site. Google owns that as well. This can lead to problems if you ever want to move your site to a more robust platform. You may put a lot of hard work into your site just to lose a domain that has built up credibility with the search engines. Fortunately, you can ensure your ownership of the site by adding a custom domain in Blogger. Blogger allows you to use a custom domain rather than the .blogspot option used by default. There’s a big benefit to doing this. If you begin using a custom domain now then the platform will automatically re-direct all of your content to your custom URL and the custom domain begins building credibility with the search engines. You can then take this URL, and the established credibility, to another platform later. Adding a custom URL is easily done from your basic settings. It’s important that you buy the domain on your own through a company such as GoDaddy. Buying the domain and pointing it at your site is relatively simple. Do NOT buy the domain through Blogger itself (even though it gives you the option to do so). The reason for this is that Google actually purchases the domain on your behalf and Google owns it – even though you paid for it. This would put you right back in the situation of not being able to easily take your domain to another platform. When the day comes that you want to move to a more robust platform it is easy to migrate your posts into another option (such as Word Press) and point your domain at the new site. Make sure you delete your old Blog on Blogger after the migration.
Attorneys often fail to use custom permalinks in their Blogger posts
When you write a post the Blogger will automatically pick the permalink of that post for you. The permalink is the part of the URL that is specific to that article (such as www.mydomain.com/permalink). The problem with this is that a search engine friendly permalink is important to SEO; Google uses the keywords in the URL as one way of determining what the article is about. Fortunately setting a custom permalink in your posts is easy. The option for doing so is in your post settings. This will make your permalinks much more search engine friendly.
Attorneys often fail to include custom descriptions in Blogger
Meta descriptions are very important for SEO. Like custom permalinks, Google uses these descriptions as one source of determining what an article is about. Blogger, to make its platform less intimidating refers to Meta descriptions as “custom descriptions.” In addition to using these descriptions to determine the meaning of a post, they are displayed in search results underneath your link. To set your custom description simply add it in your post settings and save it. As with adding a custom permalink, using these descriptions will be a big step towards better SEO.
Again, these are common mistakes I see in attorney blogs built on Blogger. If you are using the platform I would suggest you see it as a way of learning more about these types of content management systems and eventually upgrading to Word Press or something equivalent. That being said, making these changes now will go a long way in getting more out of your experience with Blogger.