Digital marketing and well-conducted search engine optimization can be a make or break for law firms. With the restrictions in place that dictate how law services can advertise, you need to be creative in order to build a healthy book of potential new clients.
One of the best ways to attract visitors to your site is through a blog. It is effective, long-lasting, and the best part is that you don't even have to write a single article on your own (unless you really want to). You can hire a content marketing strategist to set up and handle your blog for your firm.
But, for those who want to get their hands dirty and put up the work here are 11 tips that will help you transcendent your blog creation.
Why Should a Law Firm's Website Have a Blog?
Lawyers face strict regulations that control how they advertise their services, but need to attract potential clients the same as any other business. A blog is a simple and effective tool to show that you are a capable, experienced attorney while reaching a diverse group of prospective clients.
It is an incredibly cheap way to drive web traffic to your site by making it easier for people looking for legal services to find. Any law firm, no matter the size, should actively maintain a blog. The article below will outline some ideas to help you get the most out of your blog.
Write Effective Blog Posts
Lawyers and law firms of all sizes can benefit enormously from blogging. The benefits include client relations and referral systems, business development, community relations, marketing and public relations, media relations, networking, reputation management, and more.
Before you sit down to write new articles for your blog you should first make a plan. Know what you're trying to accomplish with your blog and then write something to meet that goal. Take your time to make your blog posts engaging for potential new clients, and effective in delivering your message. The quality of the content is more important than the quantity.
Guidelines for Effective Posts
- Focus on a single topic
- Avoid giving legal advice
- Focus on your key points and repeat them
- Set a word target between 800 and 2000 words. Content that is too short might be viewed as less credible, while content that is too long will push some readers away in favor of more easily digested posts.
- Use lists and bullet points. These will make your post easier to read.
- Link to outside resources for particulars not in your law firm's expertise.
- Use simple English. Your blog post won't help anyone if they can't understand it. Using too much legal jargon will confuse your prospects and push them to another law firm that can explain the subject more clearly.
Guidelines for Effective Headlines
- Draft your headlines like front page news
- Keep it short and to the point
- Tell a story
- Use action words and active voice
- Craft your headline last
Write Posts for Your Clients
Remember that your blog should be a source of information, not just an avenue through which you advertise your firm. Think about what information you want to convey, and try to do so in an entertaining way.
One of the easiest ways to come up with new ideas for posts is to remember questions clients have asked you about particular cases, legal issues they have faced, or the practice of law in general. If you can establish yourself as a reliable source of information on particular areas of law, you can grow your website through repeat traffic.
Focus on Two Types of Posts
Lawyers should effectively use two types of blog posts:
- Posts focusing on specific topics such as recent court decisions and legislative rulings. These should be timed to gather more readers due to relevant current events. New rulings or decisions that are relevant to your target audience should have a post within 1 to 3 days. The sooner the better with these as you want to capitalize on the current news cycle.
- Posts focusing on general topics that will always be relevant to your target audience. These will be used to address situations you may face in ore everyday scenarios. Use these to answer questions you frequently face from clients. A good post on your evergreen topics can generate considerable more views than your posts on breaking news will over time.
Identify Topics of Value for Your Audience
Writing new blog posts should be a quick and simple process, but sometimes it can be difficult to consistently come up with new ideas. Use these tips to break through that mental block and get back to producing content that will grow your business.
- Keep a notepad by your phone or take notes on your cell phone. Whenever a client, a new prospect, or even a colleague asks you a question, make a note of it. Answering good and helpful questions can be a great way to write new blog posts.
- Look back over your memos and briefs. Substantive content can be edited and turned into blog posts as long as you leave out fact-specific points.
- Use specific experiences to write a new post. Turn the specifics into generalities and write new posts about them.
- Check for new developments in your area of practice. Even better, set up Google alerts so if there is any breaking news you'll know as soon as possible. Write a blog post as soon as you can to maximize views off of the news cycle.
- Make use of materials from CLEs and seminars to draft new posts.
- Transcribe any presentations you give and edit it into a blog post.
- For transactional attorneys, use every new transaction as a basis for a blog topic. Contract attorney, for example, can write posts on the pros and cons of different contract clauses.
Use Search Engine Optimization on Your Blog Posts
When you write a new post, think of a title that will be similar to how someone might search for the topic. This will make it easier for potential new clients to find your page rather than somebody else's. Use relevant keywords in the body of your post to describe the topic, your practice, the regions you practice in and more.
Make sure you use both "attorney" and "lawyer" in your writing. People will search for both, and leaving one out of your post can mean missing out on new leads. Think about specific keywords your target audience will search for. Use these terms in your writing so someone searching for them can find your post.
Your blog should serve one purpose: building your client base. Utilize SEO to drive traffic to your webpage from search engines. Focus your writing around one specific keyword per post and make mention of your practice area and geographic location.
Add the Blog to Your Website
Add your blog to your existing webpage, don't create a new one or host it somewhere else. You want your blog to drive traffic to your website, and for your site to get credit for backlinks to your post and gain from increased page numbers and new content. Make sure your blog is simple to navigate and easy to find information on.
If your users can find all the information they need on your page, you can keep them on your website for longer. Holding the attention of your potential clients will help you generate more leads and pull more traffic onto your website.
Develop a Schedule and Stick to It
Delivering consistent new relevant content is important for both readers and search engine algorithms. Create a schedule for blog posts and stick to it to ensure you have a steady stream of new content bringing fresh eyes to your webpage. Know ahead of time what you'll be writing about and when you'll be posting so that when the time comes all you have to focus on is the writing.
Add links to your blog posts to direct your readers to relevant information on your site or external pages. This can give your prospective clients a better experience and help equip them with more information. Link to pages that offer complementary information to your blog post to give additional context to the topic.
If you use links in a deliberate, well planned manner, you can give your blog more credibility and increase user satisfaction, which can pay dividends for your business development.
Write Hooks to Draw Readers in
People have short attention spans, particularly when doing preliminary research on a topic. Many readers will read little more than your main headline and intro before deciding if the article or blog post is relevant to them. Write your hook in the beginning, this might be a frequent question, an interesting fact, or an emotional appeal.
Once your reader finds something they can relate to or are interested in, they are much more likely to keep reading.
Include a Call to Action
It isn't enough to simply bring more eyes to your webpage. You need some sort of follow-up from your readers. This may be scheduling an appointment, signing up for an email list, or something similar, but the important thing is that you have to tell your reader to do so. Include a call to action in your post to draw a response out of the people visiting your page.
Proofread Your Posts
Take some time off after writing your blog post or read it aloud to yourself. Better yet, have someone else read over it after you finish. You want your blog to show you as a competent professional, something that will be undermined by typos or poor grammar. Very few people are going to trust that you are an authority on a subject if your blog post is riddled with spelling errors.
Grow Your Business With GoEngine
Our marketing team and content creators have the experience to help you create a new blog or up your game. We'll provide you with the help you need to grow your firm's online presence with an engaging and effective blog. The marketing strategy for law firms is continually moving toward online engagement.
At GoEngine we pride ourselves in building connections between legal professionals and the online community. Don't miss out on one of the best-proven business development strategies. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!