As an online marketing specialists for attorneys, we can’t overemphasize the importance of legal blogging (otherwise know as blawing). In fact, of all the strategies available to lawyers to market themselves online, such as search engine marketing, social media marketing, and pay-per-click campaigns, blogging is perhaps the most important aspect of any successful digital marketing for lawyers.
As much as online marketing strategists have stressed the importance of blogging, many attorneys are still skeptical about whether blogging is worth their time and their effort. In this article, I’ll explain exactly why blogging is so important to your online legal marketing. I’ll also give some real-world examples of how blogging will pay off for years to come.
Blogging is Crucial to Lawyers’ SEO Because Google Says So
One of the primary goals to successful internet marketing by attorneys is to rank well in Google’s search results. Don’t take my word for it; here’s exactly what Google has to say about your website’s content vs. your visibility online:
One of the most important steps in improving your site’s ranking in Google search results is to ensure that it contains plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.
However, some webmasters attempt to improve their pages’ ranking and attract visitors by creating pages with many words but little or no authentic content. Google will take action against domains that try to rank more highly by just showing scraped or other cookie-cutter pages that don’t add substantial value to users.
The take-away is that Google serves up original, relevant, and quality content first. So, if you don’t have content besides a few landing pages with calls-to-action, then your site will never rank well organically. Of course, you can pay for clicks, but that can be costly, and the ads stop when your budget runs dry. If you’re still not convinced after reading Google’s own words, then here are five more reasons why blogging is an important part of any lawyer’s digital marketing efforts:
Blogging is Evergreen Content
Simply stated, paid advertising isn’t evergreen. However, depending on how you choose your topics, blogs can be evergreen content. Evergreen content is SEO content that is continually relevant and stays “fresh” for visitors to your law firm’s website. For example, on my law firm’s website there is a post from December 2013 regarding South Carolina’s handgun carry and concealed weapons laws. Each month, approximately 2,000 people visit that post, and it has continuously generated leads and clients for my firm. If there are any changes in the law, then I can revise the post within an instant without any cost to me. Now that is serious evergreen (and SEO) content!
Blogging is Potent Soft-Sell Digital Marketing for Lawyers
A debate has persisted among digital advertising professionals over which advertising strategy is best: hard-sell or soft-sell. Hard sell strategies are aggressive and put a high amount of pressure on the client. Albeit this may work for “in-your-face” personal injury television ads, my experience is that consumers with legal problems are under enough pressure to begin with and oftentimes distrust or even resent hard sells.
Soft-selling focuses on the relationship-building aspect of the consumer’s purchase of goods or services. You don’t put psychological pressure on potential clients. Instead, you find passive ways to show them that you have the solutions they need. A well-written blog post that provides value to the reader is an excellent form of soft-sell marketing that will turn your website’s visitors into calls and leads. When a visitor reads your blog article, there are two positive and immediate results from your post:
- You’re Establishing Your Authority Over Your Competitors -There’s no better way than blogging to establish your law firm’s online authority over your competitors. I oftentimes ask new clients why they chose my firm over others they found online. Nearly every time, the response is that they found my law firm’s website more informative and helpful than other sites.
- You’re Building a Relationship of Trust – By providing helpful information to consumers, you’re instantly building a beneficial relationship that can easily turn into an attorney-client relationship. It’s my experience that that client leads from our blogs tend to be very comfortable during an initial consultation because they feel that they’ve gotten to know us from our firm’s site and posts.
Blog Posts Have Phenomenal Marketing Reach
Other forms of marketing for lawyers, chiefly television commercials, can be very effective. However, television commercials can’t be shared. Because of sharing via email, print, or social media, your blog posts can have extraordinary, long-lasting marketing reach online. Over the years, my firm’s blogs have not only attracted clients locally but have attracted clients from all over the world. Here are just a few of hundreds of examples over the years:
- A client from Japan derived from a post concerning Title VII claims for discrimination
- A client from Turkey derived from a post concerning copyright issues
- Clients throughout the U.S. such as Virginia, Hawaii, Montana, Washington State, and so on regarding posts concerning family law issues such as custody and visitation
- Referrals from other lawyers throughout the U.S. stemming from posts regarding personal injury and malpractice claims
I could go on and on, but I don’t want to sound as if I’m bragging. Instead, I want to impress on how far-reaching your blog posts can be. Essentially, you can attract clients from across the globe by investing some time and thought into well-crafted blog posts on the areas of law in which you practice.
Final Thoughts on Blogging For Lawyers
The other day I spoke with a lawyer who asked me how many articles I’ve written for my firm’s website. So far, I’ve written 211 articles consisting of approximately 1,000 words each. The lawyer seemed daunted by the prospect of writing (or paying someone to write) so much content for his website. I explained to him that it is never too late to start blogging. To be successful in digital marketing, you don’t have to write hundreds of articles for your law firm. Instead, you need to focus on writing quality content that provides useful information to your readers. Be patient, keep at it, and I assure you that you’ll reach more leads and conversions than your competitors.