Monday, November 12, 2012

Why Have a Law Firm Blog If You Don't Update It?

Let me set up a new website and the company which made it encouraged you to create a blog.  You did.  And now you have a nifty little link/tab on your website that says "Blog."  At first, it seemed like a perfect way to share many of your thoughts about your practice area, interesting news developments, and things that happened at your firm.  You added a few posts.  Your web company may even have offered some blogging tips, providing details on the best way to ensure that your blog posts were tailored for search engine purposes.

It all went well at first.   You were excited about the launch of your new online presence.  You were ready to make an impact on the web and be the first stop for potential clients who were searching for a lawyer.  But...something happened...

Running the business got in the way.

At first you wrote a few blog posts a week.  Then you ended up doing it only once a week.  Then there were two-three week gaps.  Eventually, you became so far behind, that you kind of gave up the blog posting thing all together.  You didn't have time for it.  You might have assigned the duties to someone else at the firm, maybe an intern, the office manager, or someone who helps with marketing.  But none of it really worked.

So here you are now, with a blog that is basically dead.  The link is still on your website.  Potential clients can still get to it.  But, it isn't active.  The latest post was months ago.  Oh well, too late now, you suppose.  There are many other things on the to-do list that are far more important anyway.  There is no reason to spend time on something like a law firm blog which would be nice, but is essentially just an extra, unnecessary resource.

Think again.

It is better to have no law firm blog, than a dead one.  Why?  Because not only does a stagnant blog do nothing for search engine optimization, but it may have a negative effect on client conversion.

Think about it.  A community member is thinking about filing for bankruptcy.  They go online to see which bankruptcy lawyers they can find close to them.  Two websites pop up.  They both seem pretty similar, and the client doesn't really know what makes one better than the others.  The potential client first checks out the "Attorney Profile" page on each site.  They want to get a feel for what the person looks like and what their background is.  Is this someone who they can work with and feel comfortable talking about these details? 

What else is on the websites?  One of the attorneys have a blog link.  They click it to see what's there.  They find a page that hasn't been updated for nearly 11 months.  Is this lawyer even still practicing?  Have they closed up shop?  Are they taking new clients?  Who knows, maybe its best just to try the other one first.

This might seem too stretched, but trust me, these sort of split-second, ancillary issues affect web searchers all the time.  That is particular true for the growing number of people going online to find lawyers.  Web searchers are becoming more and more savvy.  They understand that websites are created all the time and then left to the weeds.  They understand that finding a website does not mean that the business is necessarily still active.  A bit more research is needed.  A blog is a good testament to that.  If a blog is active, updated that very week, then there is no question that the doors are still open and a call is welcome.  If the blog is dead, then the searcher might have doubts.

The bottom line: If you are not going to update your blog, it might be best not to have it at all.  However, the best bet is always to have the blog and update it.  The benefits are hard to overestimate, particularly in light of the fact that more and more consumers are finding attorneys online and they are becoming more savvy about it.  If you don't have the time to do the writing yourself, send our legal content writers a message and see how we can help.

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