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When was the last time an advertisement actually caught (and kept) your attention?

If you’re anything like me, it’s a difficult question to answer. I can’t remember the last time I sat through a television commercial without using a DVR or clicking “Skip Ad” on a YouTube video. I use ad-blocking software wherever I can. I ignore the paid ads at the top of search engine results pages. I’m even happy to pay a little extra on my television and music streaming services just to avoid ads.

Here’s one thing I don’t do: I don’t ignore web content. Website and blog content is the most useful thing at my disposal. That’s regardless of what I’m looking for: whether I’m seeking answers to my questions, reading a product review or deciding on a service provider, I almost always turn to the web, first.

That’s what your potential clients are doing, too. They ignore traditional advertising. Instead, potential clients use the web to answer questions they have about their case or problem, and they’re using search engines to ask those questions. The result is that they find high-quality content to learn more about their issue, find answers to their problems, and select the right counsel.

One of the best ways that your law firm can attract those potential clients is by giving them the quality content they’re looking for — and a great way to accomplish that is through a law firm blog.

Here are five reasons why — if you haven’t started blogging for your law firm yet — you should start today.

Reason 1: Blogs Help Attorneys Stay Relevant

Traditional advertising methods are headed the way of the dinosaur. And not only that, but people actively ignore radio ads, television ads, billboards and snail mail. Your potential clients intentionally disregard these traditional channels in favor of a web-based approach to finding the answers, products and services they need. If it seems like just about everything has found a way to move to the web, you’re not mistaken. It has.

If the web is the medium by which potential clients will find their attorney, that means that your law firm should be easy to find and engage on the web, too. Your law firm’s absence on the web can raise red flags. Your potential clients expect to find your website. They want to be able to read your blog. They want to connect with you on social media and to read reviews of your services in popular online directories. Your presence in those places are not only a major advantage for your law firm, but a poor web presence — or your complete absence — may cause potential clients to have feelings of uneasiness or distrust.

Your blog helps keep your law firm front and center. Blogging on a regular basis allows you to consistently connect with potential clients while creating discourse about a variety of topics. It helps answer the questions that clients have and helps to build a bond of trust. If potential clients find answers in what you have to say, they’re much more likely to engage your law firm when it comes time to choose a lawyer.

Reason 2: Law Firm Blogs Naturally Improve Traffic & Rankings

Are you worried about traffic, rankings and search engine optimization (SEO)? A lot of lawyers are. One question we often get here at LawLytics is from those attorneys who ask us, “My SEO strategy doesn’t seem to be working. How can I improve my traffic and rankings?” A follow-up question that we often ask is, “How often are you blogging?” When SEO strategy isn’t working, what it can often be attributed to is a lack of blogging, whether that’s infrequent blogging or no blogging at all.

You could, theoretically, spend your time learning the ins and outs of SEO, but there’s a far easier — and better — way to improve your law firm’s rankings and web traffic.

Blogging.

Attorneys who blog have a significant advantage over those who don’t. Blogging eliminates the anxieties that lawyers have when it comes to the details of SEO. You’ll avoid time spent worrying about the next Google algorithm update, whether metrics like PageRank matter for your law firm, or wondering if the provider you hired to do your marketing may actually be putting your website at risk through bad web practices.

The simple act of blogging — even if you spend just 15 minutes a day writing a quality legal blog — eliminates those worries.

Blogging improves your law firm’s rankings by naturally doing the detailed SEO work for you: by writing about the sort of topics your potential clients are interested in, you’ll naturally use keywords and terms associated with those topics. By writing significant, useful, informative and trustworthy content, you can eliminate the need to worry about the next algorithm tweak that Google makes. By writing blogs on a regular basis, you can improve your traffic: the more quality content you write, the more opportunities Googlebots see to come back to your website and index that new material for the relevant queries of potential clients.

The best thing about blogging is that it creates overall improvement for your law firm: better rankings, more of the right traffic, a trustworthy reputation and an increased likelihood that those who read your content will contact your firm and recommend you to others.

Reason 3: If your law firm buys PPC ads, but no one’s around to see them…

Remember that question about the tree falling in the forest? Don’t worry — it’s not time for a philosophical thought experiment. But here’s something worth thinking about for the financial security of your law firm:

If you’ve been spending lots of money on pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, that may not be money well spent. According to recent statistics, people have wasted $6 billion dollars on ads that don’t get seen. With Google’s recent crackdown on ads, among the other problems with PPC ads, that’s money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Here’s a free and effective way to advertise your law firm in a way that will be seen: blogging.

For the reasons listed above, blogging is a free way to improve your law firm’s traffic, overall visibility, and reputation. Your competitors can’t click on your blog and make life more expensive for you as they can with a PPC ad. They can’t outbid your blog. And best of all, the value of PPC ads can vary over time (and as we’ve seen above, aren’t always effective). But a blog is a continuously appreciating asset — one that’s not tough on your marketing strategy or your wallet.

Reason 4: Blogs Demonstrate Your Unique Value As A Lawyer

As of last year, there were nearly 1.5 million practicing lawyers in the United States alone. As an attorney, you’re still competing with thousands of other attorneys in your state. How do you differentiate yourself from that many other lawyers? A good way to prove your unique abilities to your potential clients is through blogging.

Blogging not only sets you apart from lawyers who don’t write, but it also indicates to your potential clients that you care about the questions they’re asking and the problems they’re having. It gives them a sense of who you are and what matters to your law firm. By building strong relationships with your readers, you give them a reason to return to your site, read your latest piece, and seek your unique brand when it’s time to choose an attorney.

Reason 5: Rainmakers Survive Law Firm Mergers

With an increasing number of small firms being eaten up by larger firms, you’ll want a way to make sure that your presence is unique and priceless, even in the face of a merger. And that’s where thought leadership comes in. Blogging isn’t only an appreciating asset for your law firm, it’s an asset for you personally, too. If it comes time to trim the proverbial fat when a merger happens, a larger firm may not cut an individual who’s amassed a large following with a blog. Blogs establish you as a thought leader — someone who is an authority in their field and uniquely influential. Because blogs are highly effective in connecting with potential clients and turning them into your clients, a blog is a major asset for your law firm, for you, for your financial security, and for your future.

New to blogging or need inspiration? Here are several great webinars to help put you on the right track:

Blogging & Content Webinars For Lawyers