There is wide agreement among online experts that blogging is one of the core strategies that should be integrated into an effective digital marketing plan. This is true for virtually every industry, but it is especially the case for law firms. People encounter all types of legal trouble, and these days, one of the first places they go to try to make sense of their legal issues and solve them is the internet.
Before a typical legal consumer contacts an attorney, they will want to read as much as they can about the issue that they are dealing with so they at least have a basic understanding of it, and so they will know what questions to ask a lawyer when they finally contact one.
Attorneys and law firms that take the time to produce content that answers consumers’ questions stand out from their competitors by sharing free information with the public and demonstrating their knowledge of the law. Done correctly, blogging will drive targeted prospects to your web properties, a certain percentage of which should become clients. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow a legal practice.
Developing an effective blogging strategy is not really all that complicated. It does, however, require a time commitment and consistency. A small to medium-sized law firm should be willing to produce at least one to three blogs per month. This could take three to 10 hours or so of your time to write the articles, edit them, and post them to your website.
If you or someone in your office is willing to put in the time, then you can turn blogging into a winning strategy that will grow your clientele. The traffic will trickle in at first, but if you stick to it, your website visits will begin to multiply, and you will produce successful long-term results.
To help ensure that you write a good blog post every time, here are six steps to follow:
Understand your Audience
It is very important to understand who you are writing the blog for and what its purpose is going to be. Primarily, a law firm blog is written for legal consumers (as opposed to other attorneys, etc.) because they are the ones who may eventually become your clients. So, when you prepare to write a blog article, put yourself in their shoes and think about what they are going through. What are their pain points? What kind of resolution are they hoping to obtain by reading your post?
The best kind of content for a blog post is content that connects with your audience and speaks to their concerns. For example, someone who was injured in a car accident is likely to be under a great deal of stress about the medical bills they have to pay, being out of work, and how long it will take to resolve their legal claim. Someone who was arrested for drunk driving is probably worried about the heavy fines they will have to pay, losing their driving privileges, the possibility of jail time, and maybe even losing their job.
By identifying your audience and understanding what they are concerned about, you will be better able to produce content that is compelling and engaging. This will help you establish an emotional connection with them, which will keep them interested in what you have to say.
Write for Topics over Keywords
You have probably heard a lot about search engine optimization (SEO) and the role it plays in getting your content found on the Web. Ranking for keywords that your target audience is searching for is one of the major goals with blogging, but you should never allow the quality of your content to be compromised for this purpose.
“Keyword stuffing” is a practice from a bygone era, and thankfully, it is no longer an effective SEO strategy. Google’s algorithms are far more sophisticated these days, and they are better able to interpret the context of an article and its relevance to various keyword queries.
The best approach for writing legal blog posts is to choose topics that your target audience cares about. One way to do this would be to make a big list of the most frequently asked questions you get from your clients and write blog articles that answer these questions. You could also look in places like Yahoo! Answers and Quora to find some common questions that are being asked.
Create blog posts about topics that are relevant to your target audience, and do not worry as much about keyword phrases. If your content addresses their most important issues, the search engines will reward you for that and your posts will be found.
Make your Content Coherent and Understandable
As a lawyer, you need to project a professional image for you and your firm. As such, you need to make sure that the content you write flows smoothly and is grammatically correct. At the same time, however, make sure it is not overly technical. Remember, much of your audience is not familiar with a lot of the legal terms that are part of your everyday vernacular. When you write a legal blog that is geared toward average consumers, your job is to make complex legal concepts understandable to your target audience.
Make your Content Informative and Useful
Your readers should be able to understand your content, and further, they should find it interesting, informative, and useful. Sure, your ultimate goal is for them to contact you and become a client, but you should not be continually trying to sell that within your post. Instead, give your readers practical information that they can take away from the article and put directly to use, so they believe that it was worth their time to read it.
Show Yourself as an Authority
Avoid talking too much about yourself within the article and instead show your expertise by discussing the legal topic and providing helpful information to the reader. The place to talk in more detail about your credentials is on the area of practice (AOP) pages of your website. Blogs can direct readers to AOP pages when appropriate, and you should do this from time to time. But within the blog post itself, show readers your in-depth knowledge about the subject. This will help establish you as an authority in your area of practice, which builds trust among your target audience and makes them more likely to become clients.
Include a Call to Action
You should end your blog with a paragraph or two that moves the reader toward a desired action. This is one place where you could discuss your credentials while inviting readers to contact your firm for more information and to schedule a consultation. If you are writing a fairly long post, you could also insert a brief call to action in the second or third paragraph for readers who know they need legal help and/or do not have the time to get through the entire article. This is optional and it is entirely up to you.
About Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing
Now here’s our call to action. We know that for a lot of attorneys, even fitting in an extra five to 10 hours a month for blogging and other types of digital marketing can seem like an impossible task. And this is where we come in. Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms by reviewing their current online footprint, developing a comprehensive internet marketing plan, and implementing every aspect of that plan.
We work with attorneys and legal practices in whatever capacity they need us. For some, we just build a professional lawyer website and host it for them while they do their own blogging and other web marketing activities. For others, we implement their entire marketing strategy – from website construction to SEO to content marketing to social media, paid advertising and beyond.
To find out how we can help your firm, call us today at (800) 864-1764 or message us online for a free website evaluation and internet marketing assessment. We look forward to serving you!