According to the most recent American Bar Association Tech Report, 42% of respondents who personally maintain a blog said they had a client retain their services as a result of their blog. Yet only 26% of law firms reported that they maintained a blog.
This study notes that larger firms are more likely to report that their firms have blogs. Larger firms have some advantages over smaller firms when it comes to blogging, in that they often have more resources available to them.
They often have in-house marketing departments that can handle drafting and editing blog posts, as well as promoting those posts. And, in cases where attorneys at large firms are writing their law firm’s blog content, blogging tasks can be delegated to a larger number of attorneys.
The fact that large law firms often have bigger budgets and more resources might discourage some small law firms and solo practitioners from starting a blog.
But, it shouldn’t.
Attorneys don’t have to have the biggest budget in the game in order to compete online. When small firms and solo practitioners use the right tools and strategies — and learn what’s fact and fiction when it comes to law firm blogging — they can do effective blogging that drives business to their firm without wasting time or money.
Here are six myths about law firm blogging for small firms and solo practitioners.
Myth 1: My law firm website doesn’t need a blog.
Creating and publishing quality content to a law firm blog is one of the most effective online marketing strategies for law firms.
A law firm blog has many benefits for your law firm’s bottom line. A blog helps establish you as a trusted, knowledgeable resource for potential clients, making them more likely to engage with your law firm to address their legal case or matter.
When you address the topics that matter most to potential clients on your blog and answer their questions in detail, law firm blogging also has SEO benefits that may increase the likelihood that Google will return your posts in potential clients’ search results.
When a potential client types a query into Google, Google tries to return the most relevant match. While there are hundreds of factors that Google uses in its search results algorithm, Google has always said that “quality content” is an important part of its ranking system.
That means having high-quality, relevant content on your website makes it much more likely that your law firm’s website will appear in your potential clients’ search results.
Myth 2: I don’t need to publish blog posts regularly.
Attorneys may start blogging with the best of intentions, planning to post a thoughtful, relevant blog post a few times a month or even a few times a week. But that initial enthusiasm can wane. Attorneys are often busy. With the demands of their practice and life outside of the office, or lack of a content plan, publishing new content can take a back seat and the law firm blog ultimately languishes.
For a law firm blog to be an effective marketing tool for your firm, blog posts must be added regularly.
Consistently blogging on topics that are relevant to your potential clients demonstrates continuing interest and expertise in your practice area(s) and helps potential clients learn more about their case or problem. When your posts give potential clients the information they need, it helps to build a bond of trust that encourages them to contact your firm.
In contrast, if your blog hasn’t been updated recently, it can make your website look “untended,” and potential clients may think you are out of touch or no longer care about those topics.
Fresher content may also benefit your SEO. There have been strong indications that search engines prioritize “fresher” content. While the exact details of Google’s search results ranking algorithm are not public information, it appears that the “freshness” of content is part of its ranking process.
Publishing new blog posts on a regular basis gives Google new content to add to its index and present in search results when potential clients conduct relevant searches.
Myth 3: My law firm blog posts need a certain kind or a certain number of keywords.
Attorneys are often told they need to use specific keywords (and lots of them) to improve their web presence. However, you don’t need to waste time and money on elaborate keyword strategies to improve your website’s visibility in search results.
Rather than engaging in keyword stuffing — which makes content on your website sound unnatural to potential clients and goes against Google’s guidelines — focus on writing meaningful content for your potential clients.
When you blog about topics that are of interest to your potential clients, you are likely to use relevant keywords. As you write your blogs, imagine that you’re explaining a topic to a potential client sitting across the desk from you. When you do, you’ll likely use an appropriate number of relevant keywords that appear naturally in the text and that don’t seem strange or forced.
Myth 4: All blogging platforms are created alike.
While you can use almost any blogging tool for your law firm’s blog, some will be easier to use than others. Certain blogging tools can get in the way of your blogging process, wasting your time as you get bogged down in the technical or confusing aspects of some publishing platforms.
The LawLytics website system makes blogging easy for busy attorneys. We offer easy-to-use blogging tools designed specifically to help you publish great content without wasting time and money struggling with overcomplicated website systems.
Myth 5: Blogging will bring instant fame and fortune to my law firm.
Content marketing works best when content is client-focused, planned in advance, and published regularly.
Unfortunately, you can’t just publish the occasional blog post and expect eager new clients to start pouring into your office.
In order to do content marketing succesfully, it’s important that attorneys:
- Learn the basics of SEO for lawyers and best practices for writing for the web
- Develop a content strategy
- Create a content plan
Blogging isn’t a quick fix for your law firm’s online marketing efforts, but the effort is worth it.
As Dan Jaffe, CEO of LawLytics, puts it: “When it comes down to it in law firm marketing, content creation is the new SEO. Without quality content done well and frequently, no amount of other “SEO” efforts will matter over the long term.”
Myth 6: It doesn’t matter who writes the content for my law firm’s blog.
Once attorneys recognize that content is essential to effective online marketing, they have to decide how to create that content. If they’re having a hard time getting started or they’re too busy with client work to blog regularly, outsourcing content development can be a good solution.
This is also where law firms can get in trouble. Remember: no matter who is writing content for your law firm’s blog, you are still ultimately responsible for what gets published.
That’s why law firms need to delegate their content activities very carefully.
If you are going to outsource content development for your law firm’s blog, your writers should:
- Have a legal background. They don’t necessarily have to be lawyers, but they should understand the business of law. For example, someone without a legal background may use a synonym for a legal term which could change the meaning of your blog post in problematic ways. In contrast, someone with a legal background is more likely to be able to write copy that your potential clients can understand without being misleading or inaccurate.
- Understand legal ethics. Your writers must also have a sound understanding of legal ethics and understand what they can and can’t say on a law firm website.
- Know what works–and what doesn’t–in law firm content marketing. To be effective, a writer for your law firm’s website needs to understand how search engines work, how potential clients search for information, and your practice area(s).
Are you ready to attract and engage new clients?
Whether you’re just getting started with online content marketing or want to improve your return on investment, LawLytics can help.
In addition to easy-to-use website and blogging tools, LawLytics provides a host of educational resources to help you create the kind of compelling content that will turn potential clients into actual clients for your law firm.
Schedule a demo to learn more and experience LawLytics for yourself.