Why your Law Firm probably should NOT have a blog.
I feel like almost every law firm I've built a website for in the last year or two has asked me about having a blog. I typically tell them all roughly the same thing. I believe that the content on your website should be the number one priority. This keeps your efforts in one place, instead of diluting them across multiple platforms.
Do Blogs help the SEO (search engine optimization) of my main website?
In theory, links pointed to your website help your search engine position. That said, Google is constantly reviewing and changing their algorithms that determine how sites are ranked. One theme that I feel has been fairly consistent over the last 10 years is that Google is always leaning away from any platforms that are free and can be mass produced. For the most part, WordPress blogs do not rank high for competitive searches on Google. It's fair to assume that the links to your website from blogs are not making a large impact on your website.
Is New Content Important for my Website?
Yes. New content is probably the MOST important thing you can do for your website. This, more than any other reason, is why I typically encourage people to focus on their websites instead of starting a blog. Unless you have an unlimited amount of time and great ideas to write about, it's going to be difficult to consistently provide new content for your website as well as your blog. There is no shortage of ways to include topics that people typically blog about into your main website. "Recent Cases", "Law Firm News", and "Legal Articles" are just a few of the possible sections that could be added to your law firm website to display new content.
Can Blogs for Law Firms Be Successful?
Blogs can be successful with careful planning, a solid budget and a high level of dedication to the blog. However, the blogs I have seen that ARE successful require a level of effort that is extremely above average. Kevin O'Keefe runs a company called LexBlog that provides excellent guidance on both blogs and social media. Success in blogs and social media for law firms is attainable. However, lawyers need to understand that it's not easy or simple. No one is looking for something else to read, you need to compel people though fresh and interesting content. No one is going to follow your blog or allow your thinly veiled advertisements into their Facebook feed unless you exert an extraordinary amount of effort.
A Matter of Definition & Opportunity Cost
There are a lot of ways to do this incorrectly; if your law firm's aim is to start a blog on Blogger, Wordpress or another free platform, re-publish content from other writers, link it to your website and watch the great result roll in, I would encourage you to rethink your strategy. Buying a blog from a company like FindLaw is very likely going to cost you more money than it's worth. Finding time to create content is difficult, and putting it on a blog makes it less likely that people will find it at the most important time....when they're actually looking for it.
If you have questions about blogging or your law firm website, feel free to call me at 651.271.8845 or email me through the form on my contact page.