Imagine a 90 lawyer firm that’s been around for decades with a very nice website with the biggest referrer of traffic to the website being a blog published by a lawyer who just joined the firm. And the blog is only 6 months old. Just got word from a client that just that is happening.
Fact is, it’s happening all the time. Why? Couple reasons. One, law firm websites suck as far as being search engine optimized. Two, there’s nothing compelling drawing traffic to law firms’ websites.
Most law firm websites were built by law firms and legal web developers who were totally focused on the look of the site and the wonderful things that were going to said about the firm and its lawyers. During design and development no one discussed how anyone was going to find the website. Crazy, but true.
Law firm websites are what they are. Good summary backgrounds of the law firm and its lawyers, the type of work they do, who they do it for, and their contact info. Law firms no matter if you stand on your head or do cartwheels all day long are never going to be legal information portals drawing sophisticated consumers of legal services. It just ain’t happening and that’s okay.
The result? Legal marketing professionals are feeling the pressure to draw traffic to law firm web sites with no realistic chance of doing so.
Blogs are turning out to be a very cost effective means to drive traffic through the law firm website and particular, practice areas and lawyer bio’s.
- Law blogs focus on substantive legal information, as opposed to promotional copy. Google can tell the difference and is obviously more interested in pushing information, as opposed to marketing copy, to the top of search results.
- Blogs have more frequent updates. More updates, the more keywords and key phrases people will be searching for that you’ll have in your blog site.
- Viral marketing. Blogs routinely get cited by other blogs and reporters. You’re seen when your target audience is doing research on your niche in the law.
- Subscribers by RSS and email. Websites don’t have subscribers.
- Blog RSS feeds being aggregated by Google Blog Search and Technorati so blog posts are picked up by reporters and bloggers subscribed to keywords and key phrases at those places.
- Links. The holy grail of search optimization. Incoming links from other relevant sites (law in this case) establish the importance of a site in Google’s mind. The more links, the more important, and the higher you’ll be in search results.
Of course, the blog needs to be set up properly to draw traffic through the website. Logo of firm on blog with link to main page of website. Posted by ‘lawyer author’ linking to bio on website. Nice pages set up for ‘About the Authors,’ ‘Firm’s Services,’ and ‘Contact Information’ including strategic linking to website sections.