There is plenty of blogging advice out there for the legal arena… write less, write more, keep your sentences short and to the point, use legal jargon, write in plain language clients understand, use lots of bullet points since readers skim, use bold for emphasis, quote facts, add visuals… the list goes on and on. Creating a blog for your law firm is really no longer an option and definitely not something to put on the back burner for when you "have time." Blogging by attorneys has become an essential part of any law firm’s overall digital marketing strategy. Research shows that law firms that blog, consistently increase their lead volume and client acquisition.
Relationship building and a strong word-of-mouth reputation are how attorneys have always found new business. The Internet doesn’t change that. In fact, it’s a relationship and reputation accelerator. Between brand awareness, SEO, lead generation, and building authority and thought leadership, there are very few areas of legal marketing that don’t benefit from blogging. So, how does your law firm create a blog that’s engaging, relevant, and valuable, that speaks to your potential clients, and makes them, read, consider, and most importantly take action? It’s time to turn your law firm’s blog into a lead generation machine. Let’s outline a winning strategy for your firm in 2018:
Identify your target audience and ideal potential clients:
Build out your client personas. Great marketing begins when you understand who you are trying to attract. Your success depends on how well your law firm can target and build relationships with the right prospects. It’s crucial that you understand the habits, likes, dislikes, pain points, wants, needs, goals, and concerns of your ideal client and how your law firm can help them solve a problem. Each persona (and yes, you will have more than one) will help you develop a marketing strategy that engages potential clients, with the information they are seeking, at a time when they are in need of an attorney or legal advice. Remember, the majority of consumers, today, are doing their research online. The decision-making process is well underway before a prospective client picks up the phone. Informative blogs are one of the best opportunities you have to introduce your firm, engage, build trust and credibility, and show your expertise as a thought leader to potential clients. Law firms and attorneys that understand the benefits of identifying and creating strong personas will develop messaging that differentiates your firm from your competitors and leave them in the digital dust.
Don’t just market your firm… Network!
Blogging is not only about marketing. It’s about networking… getting out there in cyberspace and introducing your law firm and attorneys to new prospective clients. Blogs are considered one of the most trusted and credible sources of accurate and valuable information on the web. Great blogging answers the questions potential clients are asking. It attracts new visitors and begins to build a relationship. It’s thoughtful and informative. Your blog should include content for every stage of your prospective client’s journey. Top of the funnel content should draw a potential client in, answer questions and build trust and credibility, while middle and bottom of the funnel content should start to lay the foundation of a client/attorney relationship. Blog as you’d talk in person to a potential client and don’t be afraid to provide free insights about relevant, timely topics that engage. Remember, you’re networking and building new relationships. A really great blog:
- Is written for your target audience in language they’ll understand
- Is shareable…make sure social sharing buttons are available
- Can be easily scanned…short paragraphs, bullet points, quotes, etc. so that it’s easy to digest
- Uses strong titles and headlines to entice and engage
- Anticipates your prospective client’s hopes, fears, wants, needs, and concerns
- Is better written than currently ranked pages. Make sure and check out the competition
Last but not least… be specific to be terrific. Top legal blogs all have one thing in common. They're focused on a specific practice area or vertical industry… not on law in general, and not on advertising the firm or the firm’s brand.
Back up your blog with a strong social media strategy
Social media and blogging go hand in hand. It’s another piece of the lead generation puzzle. We’ve talked about creating strong, relevant content that answers questions, educates, and engages. Now is the time to follow it up with social posts which bring value to your target audience, captures their imagination, and builds a source of loyal, passionate clients who literally hang on your every word. Your goal is to start or join a conversation and build community, and a social media plan will do just that. If you have a solid understanding of your personas, you'll know where they go on the web for information, and where they do their "listening." It will be easy to decide which channels and platforms to use to reach potential clients. An informative blog, backed up by valuable social media posts will give your law firm great exposure and help your firm and its services stand out from the competition. Establish your reputation. Become an authority and thought leader. Your ultimate goal is to become the go-to website when prospective clients need help or information.
All roads lead to your website:
Over 90% of law firms have a website. So what can you do to stand out from the competition and drive more and better visitors down the path to becoming new clients? Legal websites with blogs tend to have almost 500% more indexed pages than sites without a blog. Google gives precedence to websites that are continually updating and adding content, and a blog is a great way to keep your site fresh and relevant. This helps the search engines recognize that your firm's website is a strong resource. SEO MATTERS. High quality blogs that are optimized and keyword focused will help you get found by potential clients and will keep them coming back to your website for additional insight and information. A law firm blog has more long-term return on investment than traditional, outbound marketing efforts. Blogs are 63% more likely to influence decisions than print ads. SEO leads have a 15% close rate. Outbound leads, like print advertising and direct mail, have less than a 2% close rate.
Blogging has become the powerful go-to tool to get your messaging out. Great law firm blogging allows you to build a community, reach your target audience at all phases of their buyer’s journey, open a conversation and become a thought leader.
If you still aren’t sure blogging is right for your firm, here are a few additional facts and statistics to help convince you that it’s time for your law firm to jump on the blogging bandwagon:
- Over 25% of Internet time is spent reading blogs.
- Over 95% of people seeking legal advice use the internet first to find answers.
- Over 70% of people who begin a legal search online, end up contacting a law office or attorney by phone.
- People earning over $150,000 per year are most likely to find an attorney through an Internet search.
- 70% of law firms have generated new cases through their website.
- 23% of Internet users spend most of their time on social networks and reading blogs.
- 71% of people reading a law firm blog are looking for a local attorney.
- More than 60% of U.S. consumers say they’ve made a decision as a direct result of reading a blog.
- More than 30% of marketers deem blogs to be the most valuable type of content on the Internet.
- Writing anywhere from 21 -54 blog posts can significantly boost traffic to your law firm’s website by 30%.
- And finally…65% of daily Internet users read blogs. It could be your blog if you follow our suggestions above and make it easy for them to find it!
About WSI Web Mark
Located in McLean, Virginia, just minutes from Washington, DC, Bethesda, MD, and all of Northern Virginia (NoVA), we have been helping law firms and attorneys locally, and across the U.S., leverage digital marketing since 2003. We know that growing your law firm needs an orchestrated approach with a strong marketing message, website, search engine and advertising visibility, and a strong presence on social media.
With industry veterans possessing over 30 years of experience in translating technology into business tools, we have the experience to create the blueprints to leverage these assets, and a rich set of tools to help you successfully execute the plan.