Inside Blawging Lawyers, we’re big on SEO (search engine optimization). We “bake it in” right from the very beginning in all of our lessons, so that our members learn it in a very non-technical fashion (because the best on-page SEO is simply the most relevant content presented correctly).
Since our last post — How Blogging Helps Solos Beat the Big Firms (and How Firms Make it So Easy) — was about solos, I thought I’d write something beneficial for firms this time. This isn’t a solos vs. firms thing, it’s just that firms need different strategies and tactics when it comes to marketing with blogs and in general online.
You’re Doing it Wrong
Having said that, most firms’ website are horrifying. Yes, they need to use different strategies and tactics, but by that of course I mean the right ones. Here are some mistakes many law firms make with their website:
- It looks like it was made in the mid-90s and never changed
- It’s filled with stuffy, pretentious legal-speak gobbledy-gook marketing lingo
- Other than pronouncing how great the firm is, no other real information is provided
- Each page in the site has the same title tag as all the other pages
- Graphical links are used instead of text links
- The content of the pages offers no compelling reason to justify retaining the firm
- Other than the name of the firm may be a string of partner names, there is no indication that human beings work in the firm, who they are or their practice area
If all the other law firm sites were like this, too, nobody would notice. But more and more, blogs and social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are being used successfully to market law firms. These blogging law firms appear in search results when consumers research online to find an attorney (and make no mistake about it: that’s exactly what they’re doing–consumers turn to Google and the yellow pages are dead).
Law Firm Blog Marketing
A solo setting up a blog as the main site for a practice makes perfect sense, but how should a firm do it? Should there be one blog, or many? What domains should be used? There are many questions. Without giving away all the best stuff on the inside of Blawging Lawyers, here are some tips for firms that wish to redesign their marketing methods:
- If a firm covers more than one area, each area should have its own blog and domain or subdomain of the firm’s domain. For example: criminaldefense.lawfirmname.com. Google loves subdomains.
- For firms that cover multiple practice areas, the attorneys for these areas will blog for the practice area blogs (if a firm has several family law attorneys, they will all write on the family law blog, for example).
- If a firm specializes in just one area, the blog should replace the previous site entirely, and each attorney will contribute articles to the blog
- Multiple practice area firm blogs need to point back to the firm’s main site like spokes in a wheel point to the hub.
- Clearly placed contact forms and information need to placed at the top of each blog (preferably top right).
As you can see, the biggest hurdle to get over is simply that it is the attorneys themselves who do the marketing (certainly ghostwriters may be used, but it’s preferable to be as “real” about this as possible).
The advantages of the above tactics are:
- SEO – If a firm can’t be found via search for keywords related to the firm’s practice areas (not the name of the firm, which nobody will search for) then it may as well not exist on the web. The tactics I’ve outlined above will greatly increase the chances that the firm’s online properties, both singly and collectively, will have higher search rankings. This starts a cascade of other benefits, such as…
- Greater traffic to the site, which means higher conversion rates.
- Far more convincing and persuasive marketing information, which will greatly increase conversions.
- The firm will be more prepared to attract, hire, and retain the next generation of attorneys, who will be much more web-savvy.
On the Inside
The above is barely the roughest of overviews for this subject. We cover the details of strategy and implementation inside the members area of Blawging Lawyers. If you really want your firm’s marketing to succeed and thrive by taking advantage of change (instead of just merely suffering it), then we invite you to join us in Blawging Lawyers.