Do you still blog with the sole purpose of “making Google happy”? I sure hope not.
Blogging gets neglected on websites with and without agencies. I think it’s disappointing to not stay proactive with something that could have a much bigger impact on your business than you may realize.
Some people think blogging:
- Gives the website “fresh” content (even though half the time it is rewriting old news) that Google needs to supposedly be relevant
- Is a platform to talk about how great you and your business are
- Gives a chance to write a blog a few times a year to give the impression to visitors to your website that you still update the website
Coming up with ideas doesn’t have to be the reason you don’t blog – check out our quick guide on some easy ways to generate more than enough blogging ideas for your business:
Short on Blogging Time?
Coming up with the time doesn’t have to hold you back – we have plenty of documentation on how you can get content through transcription and repurposing. You may find yourself with plenty of more traffic – resulting in leads and plenty of other benefits. You can see here what it looks like in some cases.
A 54% increase in organic year over year? That’s not bad – plenty of huge impacts to a company’s organic leads can happen around 20-30%.
Now imagine if your blogging strategy took your traffic to over 200%. Again, looking at some of these articles, we can see the searchers likely have some real intent.
But 765%! That’s outstanding for a firm that already had steady traffic coming to the site for years.
Most SEOs would at this point say “blogging leads to plenty of traffic in some instances, but what if there aren’t any leads that come from it?” (I like to play Devil’s Advocate with myself). Being that there would be no negative impact from getting qualified traffic, unless the quality of the content was terrible and the bounce rate was astronomical, we can focus on the positives of leveraging this traffic:
- Traffic of this caliber may not be the end all, be all for lead generation, but it certainly will generate very niche inquiries that could be of high value.
- There is a high likelihood that these pages, with this much traffic and visibility, are naturally getting backlinks, resulting in building authority for the entire website.
- These pages can be leveraged with calls-to-action, referral links, and plenty of other ways of benefiting from hundreds of eyes on a page a day.
- That being said, you can use the page as a launching point to direct people around your website to pages that potentially have more intent.
Blogging is a great way to build up your niche leads – imagine you have a blog that does very well and gets a couple leads a month. Do this 10 times, and you’re talking 10-20 quality leads a month. Do it hundreds of times and you get the picture. This is ultimately the power of blogging – you can have so many pages describing products/services for short-tail, but blogging goes on indefinitely, answering all the questions your potential clients have from the long-tail standpoint.
I’d like to invite you to read a chapter from my newest guide to deep-dive into the world of blogging:
Take Your Blogging Seriously!
I’ve seen focused law firms with great marketing teams let their blogs go to the wayside. If you in your scope of SEO do support the timeless mantra “content is king,” you know that your blog is ultimately the go-to when it comes to creating that consistent flow to keep that philosophy alive. Yet blogging starts zealously at 1-2 a week (I see some firms do 3-4 which I think is totally unnecessary), tapers to 4 a month, then 3, then 2. Then before you know it the last blog was several months ago.
There is an egregious amount of content on the internet. In most cases, for every topic you come up with there’s already 50 blogs on the same topic, with a few of the results already in your geography. I don’t believe that to be an issue or a reason to give up on writing because:
- Most blogs are bad
- Most blogs were written years ago and haven’t been updated. They may not be factually correct any longer, and contain broken images and links
- Google’s standards for content have changed so much, such as on-page best practices and word count, that new blogs stand to take better positioning just by virtue of being written with current standards
- Many blogs are written without correct SEO practices in mind, such as URL structure, meta information, proper internal/external links, H tags (even if Google says they don’t have an impact, we believe it is at least marginal), and EAT standards such as authorship and authority
Why Do Businesses Give Up on Writing for their Websites?
Even with no apparent decrease in the importance of blogging, I think there are some factors that contribute to businesses giving up on blogging, which is considerably the most proactive campaign with SEO in mind that typically occurs:
- Can’t find anything to write about
- Can’t find the time
- Can’t see the importance/doesn’t fit into their 80/20 rule
- Don’t have a blog on the website
Let’s go through each step of this, in a format as if the lawyer is divulging their frustrations directly to me.
“But Ryan, I can’t find anything to write about!”
As an in-house Director of Marketing for a Criminal Defense Law Firm, I created about 400 unique pieces of content for the firm. In the first year. Now, they have over 1,200 pages on their website, each one talking exclusively about specific topics people are searching for each day. And they certainly aren’t just your “Man Arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon – an Alligator” blogs (this firm is in Florida). Let’s look at ways you can come up with topics:
- Rewriting local news via local news sources – this is the easiest as I just mentioned, but can be elevated by offering your own opinion, relating it to current content (internal linking), and some commentary. Appropriate for the occasional casual blog.
- Searching Google News for keywords related to your practice area.
- Going on websites where people are asking questions related to your practice area for topic ideas, like Reddit and Avvo.
- Using suggestive search to find more topics, like Answer the Public.
- Looking at competition’s blogging strategy and see if you can draw inspiration or take their topics and write them better.
- Using social media where people are more commonly telling stories of their situations, like Facebook and Twitter, to draw ideas for content.
- Reflecting on all of the interesting questions and cases you’ve come across over the years that you can certainly draw more topics from.
“I don’t have the time!”
By far the most reasonable response we get – we’re writing content plenty for the people we work with, but if someone doesn’t want to employ an agency for a full campaign, or really even for just a content campaign, other options are:
When You Want Content Completely Written:
- Asking other lawyers in your circles if they have reliable contractors.
- Going to Upwork to find contractors/freelancers with a penchant for legal writing.
- Using a platform like Textbroker to defer your content, though I wouldn’t recommend it much anymore since the quality has diminished over the years. Certainly, cost-effective.
- Verblio, which many agencies similar to ours actually completely outsource to. Fairly expensive though.
When You Want Content Time Cut Down for You:
- Having someone (intern, paralegal, freelancer, etc.) research and paraphrase content for you
“Ryan, is blogging still that important?”
Have I taught you anything in this guide so far?! Blogging is essential for keeping your website fresh, timely, and consistent as far as getting in front of long-tailed keywords. I would never recommend having at least some sort of periodic blogging strategy in place.
“I don’t have a blog in place.”
Being that the vast majority of websites are built in WordPress, you probably have a blog. You just don’t have a link to it yet if you think you don’t have a blog.
Even proprietary platforms, like the ones FindLaw builds, still have a blog in place. If they don’t, absolute shame on them.
Next, we will discuss the mix of blogs you can write to keep your blog not only consistent, but an interesting mix of content for your visitors and your potential website visitors.
Forms of Blogs
- Long-Tailed Answer Blogs
This is when you answer many of the WWWWWH questions:
“Who can I speak to about a child custody case”
“What is the best way to get my record sealed”
“When do I have to file a claim with my insurance company after a car accident?”
“Where does divorce court typically take place?”
“Why do I have a warrant out for my arrest if I just ran a red light?”
“How do I know how much my case is worth?”
- Law Firm Newsworthy Blogs
Additional content can come in the form of new hires, community events, sponsorships, awards, recognitions, speaking engagements, and any other topics you would consider relatable to readers. This not only provides additional content for your website and repurposing for social but gives a more human element to your blog.
- Community News Blogs
Community news blogs are more of a way to discuss what’s been going on in the community – creating content that semantically ties your website to a certain geography. This is especially good content for repurposing into social media.
- The blog isn’t dead – it’s just the name of the place you do all of your long-tailed content and answer questions.
- If you have a WordPress website, it’ll have blog capabilities already built in (WordPress is, after all, originally a blogging platform).
- It’s not uncommon for a law firm’s blog to bring in the majority of traffic, along with plenty of niche, quality leads.
Taking an All-in-One Approach to Content
Sometimes, it’s easier to leave it all up to the experts to use some or all of the above strategies to get content on your site. At Market My Market, we’re never short on ideas for intriguing blog topics for our clients. Come to us for a free consultation for content marketing for your law firm.