If you’re trying to find more clients for your law firm, starting a blog will be one of the first suggestions you see. The reason for this is that law blogs do work. However, focusing on your practice area pages can get you even better results.
Why do so many law firms have blogs?
Legal professionals like to follow the crowd. But even the biggest crowds still have leaders.
The number one reason most firms have a law blog is that it’s helping them get clients. People search the internet when they have a legal issue, find a blog, and hire that law firm. It’s that simple.
Where do blogs fit into your marketing plan?
Law blogs are a part of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is the process of getting your website to show up in more searches and rank higher for those searches.
Search engines use the content on your website to figure out who you are and what you do. They don’t know they should show you in searches for legal topics unless you have content about those topics.
The more topics you cover, the more people find your firm.
What does it take to run a law firm blog?
The basics of running a law firm blog are fairly simple.
You need a:
- An understanding of SEO for law firms
- A way to find keywords that potential clients are looking for (think like a client, not like a lawyer)
- Time to write or money to hire someone to write your content for you
Do law firm blogs work?
If you’re trying to get those clients who are searching online, there’s only one real alternative to SEO. That’s buying pay-per-click ads from search engines to make your firm appear in searches you could be showing up in for free with SEO.
What are the downsides to law firm blogs?
The first downside to blog marketing is that it takes time. According to Semrush, a brand new website can take up to six to 12 months to start appearing in Google searches. For new posts on existing sites, content marketing guru Neil Patel says it takes about three months to start ranking well.
There’s also a practical and visual downside to blogs. The format of blogs means that it’s hard for people to find old posts if they entered your website on another page.
For example, say someone who lives in the North Pole and is facing breaking and entering charges. He searches for North Pole lawyers and ends up on the home page of two firms. Your firm has a blog post on breaking and entering, but you wrote 100 posts since then. The other firm has a breaking and entering practice area page linked in the menu on the home page. Guess which lawyer gets hired?
Are practice area pages a good alternative to law firm blogs?
Making better use of practice area pages solves the problem of having chronological pages of blog posts. While both will perform equally well in search rankings, practice area pages work better for people who entered your website through a different page.
What’s the difference between a practice area page and a blog post?
A blog post is a single web page on just about any topic. They’re usually posted in a separate blog folder on your website that lists them in chronological order.
A practice area page is a page that’s designed to be linked directly from your main menu. For example, it’s the “Air Conditioning Repair” page on an HVAC contractor’s website.
The approach many private practice attorneys take is to have general practice area pages like criminal defense then blog posts describing different crimes. A firm taking the approach of expanding their practice area makes each crime its own practice area page.
Why do practice area pages work better than blog posts?
Practice area pages make it easier for clients to find out whether you can handle a specific legal issue. Your website is a shopping experience for potential clients. You want to be the grocery store with clear aisle signs visible right from the front doors. Ikea might make more money by getting customers lost inside, but it’s much easier to click on a different website than it is to leave an Ikea.
To see it in action, go visit different legal websites and online retailers. Think about which ones are easiest to navigate if you’re looking for something specific.
Should you still write blog posts even if you focus on practice area pages?
Legal blogs can still have a purpose even if you focus on your practice area pages. Not every topic is good for a practice area page. Your keyword research might tell you to cover different frequently asked questions or additional topics that just won’t fit into your main menus.
Your blog posts can pick up those less common keywords and help more clients find your main practice area pages.
Blog posts are an effective legal marketing strategy. However, reimagining your most important blog posts into practice area pages can get you even better results. You’re still producing the same content, but you’re restructuring your website in a way that makes it easier for potential clients to navigate and decide you’re the lawyer they’re looking for.