I’ve blogged more than once about the importance of placing your blogs outside and away from your law firm website. My friend and legal search authority, Steve Matthews, shares another reason for placing niche focused blogs outside of your law firm website in his post on the rise of distributed publishing. The performance of your law firm’s website on Google.
Distributed publishing, as defined by Mathews, is “[A]ll about developing carefully targeted, highly relevant, single-subject websites that respond to the interests of a law firm’s clientele (or potential clientele).” Blogs included.
Many law firms place blogs inside of their website to help the search engine performance of the firm’s website. Ironically, Mathews explains, having blogs apart from the law firm website on separate domains help a law firm website achieve higher rankings on Google.
First, per Matthews, Google rewards blogs placed outside a firm’s website.
- Single-subject sites often embed subject-targeted keywords within their domain names, chosen to accurately fit the topical theme.
- Niche sites apply a consistent subject theme within each webpage’s title tag in the underlying page code.
- Niche sites reinforce a hyper-focus on a single topic with a network of incoming links that originate from similar websites — often publishing on the exact same topics.
Second, as most of you are aware, in-bound links to a web site are key in getting the site to rank well on Google. As Matthews explains, “The outward-bound signals of these [niche] sites, from a search engine’s perspective, are incredibly strong.”
By strategically linking between niche blogs and pages on your law firm website you can achieve higher search results for practice area pages, relavant lawyer bios, and other website pages you may wish to target.
Is it possible for a law firm website to compete against this growing trend of niche focused sites and blogs?
It is, but unless the firm in question is operating from an aged domain with thousands of authoritative incoming links, it won’t be easy. For many smaller firms, a subject-focused publication on a dedicated domain might be their best chance to compete with larger competitors.
Building relationships and enhancing your word of mouth reputation, both better achieved by placing your blogs away from your website, should be reason enough not to make your blog part of your law firm website. Now you have another compelling reason. Your website’s search performance.