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Over and over I hear the refrain that law firms should have a blog to drive traffic to their website.

A Hubspot study which found businesses that blog get 55 per cent more visitors to their website is regularly cited by marketing, business development, and website professionals to drive home the point.

But is your blog really driving visitors to your website? Is it possible that it’s your strong word of mouth reputation and the relationships you’ve built with clients, prospective clients and their influencers through blogging that’s driving traffic to your site from your blog? People wanting to learn more about you checking out your website?

What about the trust you’ve earned through blogging as someone who provides valuable insight and commentary, thought leadership status if you will? Same thing. Just as people will check you out on LinkedIn as a result of your blogging, people will want to learn more about you and may click on a link to your website on your blog to learn more about you.

I have stumbled across many a law blog where I wouldn’t think of clicking over to the bloggers website. The blogging was awful. I had seen enough.

I’ve also come across law blogs that were so bad that I couldn’t resist going to the firm’s website to learn more about who was embarrassing themselves.

Lawyers and law firms who buy the “do a blog to draw traffic to your website” end up measuring the success of a blog by exactly that. How much traffic is my blog getting? How much traffic is being driven from my blog to my firm’s website, practice group pages, and lawyer bios?

That’s sad. Success ought be measured by relationships, reputation, and revenue. None of these three are the result of traffic to your website. All can be achieved through effective blogging.

Lawyers networked to build relationships and enhance their word of mouth reputation long before law firm websites (think 15 years ago). Lawyers wrote articles, presented at conferences and spoke to the press to further enhance their reputations as “go to” lawyers in their field.

No one told lawyers then to do these things so people would ask for a copy of the law firm brochure or stop by the law office. I’m not sure anyone even told lawyers to do these things so that people would look them up in Martindale-Hubbell, then the bible of law firm and lawyer profiles.

I am not suggesting that you leave links to your firm website or lawyer website bios off of your law blog. By all means make it easy for users to click over if they wish.

At LexBlog, we’ll do everything we can in design and development to provide users a seamless experience if they wish to navigate to the law firm website. We’re known for leveraging the law firm’s brand, logo, and style guide in our designs.

Our goal is to leverage the reputation and brand of the law firm for bloggers. Blogging while a lawyer in a recognized law firm can provide a lawyer added credibility.

But at no time that I can recall have we told a lawyer or law firm to start a blog to drive visitors to their firm’s website.

It’s the strong word of mouth reputation and relationships you’ve built through blogging that is driving traffic to your website. Traffic from your blog, LinkedIn, Google+, email signature lines, and even business cards.

It’s not the blog that’s driving the traffic. It’s what you’ve earned through blogging that’s driving the traffic.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Jim Culp