You hear it all the time, how every business needs to have a blog and an inbound marketing strategy. Cries of “content is king!” and other common sayings about SEO and marketing spin in your head, and you can’t imagine where to begin, let along why your law practice might need a blog at all.
The answers are simple and yet more complex than you might imagine. The simple answer is that the more potential clients can find you in relevant searches, especially local ones, the more likely they are to hire you.
The more complex answer is that the larger your digital footprint, the more likely you are to be found in searches. The conversion rates (searchers into actual clients) rises significantly with higher search engine rankings. Besides that, searchers that you help with great blog content are more likely to choose your law firm for their legal needs.
Here are five reasons your law practice absolutely needs a blog.
Your Competition is Ahead of You
Go ahead. Google DUI attorneys in your area. Or whatever your law niche is. We’ll wait. Is your name in the first page of results? Second? Where do you rank in that first page? Now perform the same search on your mobile device. What did you discover?
Unless you are on that first page, clients are not finding you through the web, and studies show that most searches start on mobile devices and end with customers calling one of the top ten search results (that is not an ad) first. If your name is not on that list and your competition’s name is, you are losing business to them in the digital sphere.
Now, take a look at the websites of the top five search results. You don’t have to dive really deep here, just note one thing. Odds are those sites have a blog or have other content that websites are linking to and building their authority. Yes, content and link building still matter for search engine ranking, and if you are not doing anything about it, your competition is.
Online Search is Your Friend
Often it is hard for more traditional businesses to understand why online search matters so much, but many potential clients search for and find the law firms who represent them on the internet, and if you are not there, you are missing out on clients and leaving money on the table.
Secondly, online search allows you to rank for certain questions, questions potential clients may already be asking you on a daily basis. Answering them online ahead of time in a way that ranks in search engine results pages (SERPS) will lead them to you faster, and will also lead to more clients who may currently be finding those answers from other websites like those of your competition.
Simply put a law practice without a blog and a digital presence is sacrificing clients to those who do. Imagine you are a DUI attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. Your competition has a blog that offers advice about when to contact an attorney in the case of a DUI and things to do and not to do when it comes to facing charges in court.
Even if both of you have prominent billboards in strategic areas, the practice with the blog that answers searchers’ questions will be more profitable and win more clients. Those potential clients might see and recognize your name, but what they find on the web will sway their decision about who to hire.
Local Search Matters
Local search results matter a great deal. Most searches start on mobile devices and potential clients are looking for attorneys near them with the type of specialty you practice. Google as launched a couple of initiatives like the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project and the Mobile First search initiative.
The way your listing appears in local searches matters to potential clients and appearing in the first three to four listings displayed will increase your conversion rate from the web exponentially. This means it is also important to keep all of your business information up to date on Google and other search engines, including contact phone numbers, email addresses, and the hours your practice can be reached.
Neglecting any of these things will literally drive your potential clients to the arms of your competition. Having a blog that explains what they can expect of you and sets you apart from your competition will set up your practice for even greater success.
Social Media is the New Word of Mouth
How are you going to get the word out about your law practice? Word of mouth is still the most powerful form of advertising, but now clients have a megaphone and will tell hundreds, sometimes thousands about your business rather than simply 10 close friends at a party. Social media is the new word of mouth, and your blog gives those who would share about your practice something to talk about.
This is why not only having a blog but the content of your blog matters so much. Answer the questions your clients are asking. Offer free advice that illustrates the client’s need for an attorney to protect their rights. Give potential clients what they want that will inspire them to call you before anyone else.
This means sharing success stories, talking about changes in the law, and many other topics. The more relevant the post, the more likely a searcher will share it on social media and tell their friends and followers about it. Posts that are evergreen—in other words, ones that address an issue that is common over a long period of time—perform even better.
You may have heard of content marketing and how inbound marketing is where the future is headed but may not have adopted it yet. Your law practice needs a blog just like any other business does. What you do with that information may lead to your success or failure as an attorney.