Blogging is an effective way to engage new clients and drive business to your law firm. But you might not be sure how to get started with blogging or how to blog effectively. Maybe you already have a law firm blog, but it doesn’t have much of a readership or it’s not generating new business for your law firm.
There are a number of useful blogging strategies for attorneys, whether you’re just getting started or you want to make your existing blog a more effective driver of new business for your law firm. However, it’s also important to know what doesn’t work.
Here are five ineffective law firm blogging strategies.
Ineffective strategy #1: Creating blog content for search engines, rather than for clients
Google has consistently said that you should write content for users, not for search engines.
Despite that, we often see attorneys waste time and effort on outdated search engine optimization (SEO) strategies that are designed to appeal to search engines, rather than to their potential clients.
Often those SEO strategies are intended to “trick” search engines into giving a website an unnaturally high ranking.
Keyword stuffing and link schemes are two of the most common outdated strategies that may be used. Rather than improving your website’s search rankings, these outdated strategies violate Google’s guidelines and may result in reduced visibility for your law firm’s website and blog in search engine results.
See our guide on search engine optimization for lawyers to learn which SEO tactics will actually help your law firm meet its marketing goals, as well as how to avoid using outdated and ineffective tactics that will waste your time and money.
Ineffective strategy #2: Writing law firm blog posts that only other lawyers can understand
Your potential clients likely aren’t legal experts. If your law firm’s blog posts read like a legal brief or journal article, this can intimidate and overwhelm your potential clients.
Their first line of defense in that situation is to simply leave your website and go somewhere else. If your blog posts aren’t written in a way that potential clients can understand and learn from, you may be losing out on new business.
Avoid using overly complicated legal terms. Ask yourself whether an average person reading your post could walk away from it having a basic understanding of the topic. You may want to have someone outside the legal field look over your content before you publish it. Consider asking a non-attorney (friend, family member, office staff member) to look over your blog posts and give you an honest opinion.
To learn more about writing easy-to-understand content for your potential clients, check out our blog post, “Is Your Law Firm Website Content Client-Friendly?”
Ineffective strategy #3: Publishing low-quality content on your law firm’s website
To be an effective part of your online marketing efforts, your law firm’s blog content needs to be unique, high-quality, and readable (by humans and by search engines).
To ensure you’re publishing high-quality content on your law firm’s blog, avoid the following:
- Duplicate content, either copied from other websites or duplicated within your own site (for example, using find-and-replace to create separate location-specific practice area pages by just changing the name of a city or town)
- “Thin” content that doesn’t provide value to website visitors (such as a page that only says “to learn more about DUI laws, contact our firm”)
- Irrelevant content that doesn’t relate to your clients’ interests
Ineffective strategy #4: Publishing new law firm blog posts infrequently
If you haven’t published new posts recently, it can make your law firm’s blog look out of date. Potential clients may think you are no longer deeply engaged in your work or just out of touch.
Consistent blogging demonstrates your expertise, thought leadership, and continuing interest in your practice area(s) to potential clients. Attorneys are unlikely to see the benefits of content marketing if they publish a new blog post once a month or once a year.
Fresher content may also have SEO benefits. Publishing blog posts regularly gives Google more content to index and potentially return in its search results for relevant searches. While no one outside of Google knows all the details of Google’s search ranking algorithm, there are indications that the “freshness” of content may be part of its ranking process.
Ineffective strategy #5: Outsourcing your content to someone who doesn’t understand Google’s guidelines or legal ethics
Blogging doesn’t have to be complicated, especially with blogging tools that make it easy for attorneys to create and publish high-quality content.
That said, some attorneys simply don’t have the time to blog. In that case, they may choose to outsource their law firm’s blogging activities.
Outsourcing content is an effective way for attorneys to develop their blog and website content, but it must be done carefully.
Your writer(s) should have a solid understanding of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and should abide by those guidelines.
Your writers should also understand and abide by legal ethics. They don’t necessarily need to be a lawyer, but having a legal background will help them avoid mistakes that could get your law firm in trouble, such as re-wording legal terms in ways that change their meaning or violating state rules by describing your firm as the “best,” for example.
Effective blogging strategies for attorneys
If you’re just getting started with law firm blogging, our on-demand Basic Blogging Clinic shows you how to turn your law firm’s blog into an asset that can help build your firm’s reputation, educate your readers, and attract more clients.
If you’re ready to move beyond the basics, our Advanced Blogging Clinic is full of pro tips to make your blog an even more effective marketing tool.