It is standard practice these days for every firm—large, medium, or small—to have some type of blog. Some of the larger firms have complex pages with many different sub-niche blogs. Why? It’s plain and simple: blogs draw traffic to your law firm’s website. And if your blog is good, it could even convert a site visitor into an actual client. If you are thinking of starting a blog, or struggling to keep pace with the demand for new content, there are a few tips and guidelines that can get you moving in the right direction.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of bad law firm blogs out there. There are countless blogs that recycle tired content, and pump it full of so many keywords that the piece offers nothing of value to the reader. Think: “New York Divorce Lawyer Represents New York Clients in New York Seeking Divorces in New York City.” Keep this in mind– Google provides a service for people who elect to use it over other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, or Swagbucks. Google works hard developing code to help it stay competitive. And it does that by putting the most relevant and quality pages to a user’s search terms at the top of the page. To put it in simple terms–Google is not stupid. Google is smart. It can detect garbage content that is pumped with keywords, and devoid of real value. Think about it, if you were looking for a divorce lawyer in New York, and Google gave you “New York Divorce Lawyer Represents New York Clients in New York Seeking Divorces in New York City” as a first result, you might switch to another search engine.
By offering relevant, well written, insightful content, Google will detect this and promote your page up the ranks. Even more important, if your blog offers nothing but recycled ideas, even if people find your page, they will be unlikely to convert into an actual client. You need to inspire your readers. Read about cutting edge decisions in your area of law, and just write about your take on it. We all have unique opinions, and they are all valuable. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Unique perspectives on current issues that are well written provide value. Period.
A lot of firms will also offer well-written overviews of certain areas of the law. This can be helpful to a client with a legal problem that they are grappling with. Sometimes, people have no intention of hiring a lawyer but are looking for advice on how to solve a problem themselves. For example, if a parent is troubled by an inability to collect child support, he or she may be browsing the web to see they have any recourse. Even if they may not be ready to hire a lawyer, offering quality information will put your firm’s name in a prominent place in their mind. If they ever need a lawyer in the future, they will have a positive association with your firm and perhaps view it as an authority on a certain type of law.
Finally, know your audience. Think of who your ideal client is and write for them. If you are a large firm that handles complex business and intellectual property litigation, you may want to write a little more “highbrow” material, with an eye to recent developments in case law. But if you are writing for prospective Workers’ Compensation or personal injury clients in a small town, don’t be afraid to show a little personality. Remember that your goal is to attract clients, so write in a way that enables you to reach out to them and make the right impression.