For busy lawyers and legal professionals, consistently keeping the firm's website up-to-date with new content might not be at the top of the to-do list. A common misconception we hear from our law firm website design clients is that keeping up with a blog will be a time-consuming task with little or no reward for the firm or the site. However, blogs can be an extremely valuable tool for law firms to boost traffic to their website, engage with current and potential clients, and share knowledge. Thinking about starting up a blog for your law firm website? Here are five reasons all law firms should consider starting a legal blog - or "blawg."
Search engine optimization. Consistently creating compelling content is the best way for any website to rank for a variety of keyword phrases. Search engines index pages, not websites, so the more individual pages of content you have on your site that target a variety of topics, the more opportunities searchers have to find you.
The law is constantly in flux as regulations change and new legislation goes into effect. Maintaining a blog on your law firm website is a great way to draw in leads from people looking for content on a specific legal issue or piece of legislation - such as the Affordable Care Act.
Ward and Smith, P.A., a full-service law firm in North Carolina with over 30 practice groups, uses their article feed to post content about a variety of timely legal issues. Their post about the 2012 Federal Estate and Gift Tax Exemption ranked on the first page of Google for '2012 federal gift tax exemption,' along with posts from www.irs.gov and www.forbes.com. Over the course of 2012, the post had nearly 8,000 pageviews, over 6,000 of which came directly from Google. Those are 6,000 qualified prospects - people searching for information on this particular tax law - on Ward and Smith’s site who likely would never had been there if the firm hadn't posted that article.
Provide information to current/potential clients. In addition to the SEO benefits your legal blog can provide to your website, it's also an excellent opportunity to share general information and knowledge with current or potential clients. Haas & Associates, P.A. is a family law firm specializing in estate planning and assisted reproduction. They created an Assisted Reproduction Law Blog for their site to post information about this specialized practice area - such as The Basics of Using a Sperm Donor or Qualities to Look For In a Surrogate Mother - which can educate and inform clients who may be in the beginning stages of the process.
Give individual attorneys opportunity show their depth on niche issues. Rather than posting articles or blog posts from 'the firm,' have attorneys 'own' their own articles. It gives attorneys the opportunity to post information or updates on niche areas or practice concentrations that might not otherwise warrant their own page on the website, and can attract new clients interested in that particular service.
- Demonstrate the firm is dynamic. A blog with new content added on a regular basis keeps your website looking fresh each time a visitor returns to the site. It's also a great avenue the firm can use to quickly respond to a change in legislation or hot topic issue, showing website users that the attorneys are familiar with current legal trends.
- Law firms are already in a great position to succeed online! Coming up with a new topic to blog about each week can seem like a lofty task. Law firms and attorneys already specialize in creating content (presentations, client handouts, memos, briefs, emails, etc.) These kinds of content all lend themselves well to being repurposed for a blog. In the example from a recent post on our blog about extending the life of your content, an attorney turned a presentation from a university lecture into a blog post, which was shared on social media and posted to directories, and ended up generating a new client lead for the firm.
We recommend all clients - regardless of the size of their website or availability of a marketing team - create good content on a regular basis for their website. Law firms, especially, have a unique opportunity to leverage their repository of content and talent as writers to create compelling blogs. With a little effort each month to repurpose that content, you can easily maintain a valuable legal blog on your own website!