Pursuant to the Am Law 200 Blog Benchmark Report 2015 from LexBlog, 92% of the Am Law 200 firms keep their blogs on independent websites apart from the law firm’s website.
This growing trend is indicative of large law’s desire to establish authority and influence via blogging. Only with blogs separate from a firm website can firms create an independent, editorial feel for their blogs.
Traditionally, websites are viewed as advertising, noted by the required disclaimers. A separate blog site, with links to the firm website, reduces the possibility that the blog will be perceived as a marketing tactic by readers, and also increases opportunity
for inclusion in Google News.
Blogs independent of websites open opportunities for guest posts, interviews and other strategic initiatives that are foreclosed with content published in a website. In-house counsel and other authorities welcome contributing posts to established blogs while they’ll have little taste for publishing to law firm websites.
Getting a link from a law firm site means little to an influencer or someone in a firm’s target audience as compared to being cited by a well known independent publication — a blog.
Blogs inside websites limit engagement as well. They’ll be cited less often by bloggers and the media. Such blogs tend not to be have their posts shared across social media due to their lacking editorial authority. The result is declining influence for the blogging lawyers on Google and across social networks including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
The thinking of large law falls in line with a recent UK survey finding individual blogs trusted by consumers far more than the media and corporate brands. Blogs inside of websites would be shrouded in the firm brand and likely to be trusted far less.
A few large law firms include blogs inside their websites because of the SEO and traffic opportunities. The approach is short sighted per most large law firms who look to blogging as means to build reputation and relationships across niche areas, not as a means of advertising their websites. The majority of large law firms, in effort to establish authority, are looking to get their content off and away from their websites.
SEO and traffic as the primary goal for blogging may be fine for consumer goods and services companies focused on inbound marketing. Such companies may also be drawn to buying Google Adwords and Facebook ads in order to draw attention.
Such companies are not in the professional services space. Professional services, including legal services, are founded on reputation and relationships.
Though they have not focused on SEO in blogging, large law has found that their blogs and the subjects they post on in their blogs rank high in search, the majority of time far higher than the law firm’s website.
LexBlog is holding a free webinar tomorrow, July 15 at 12 PM ET on the state of blogging by large law firms in the United States. You are invited.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Dylan’s World