Not so long ago, legal blogs were the crucial centerpiece of online marketing for law firms. Every firm that was serious about using the internet to get new clients had one and was updating it regularly.
Now, though, law firms that are aggressively marketing their firm online are spending more time and resources on targeted pages that single out specific keywords. They make a point of including content that is specifically tailored to beat the competition in the search engine results page (SERP).
This development in the world of search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) has led some to wonder: Where does the legal blog fit in?
The Obvious: Evergreen Content is Out
We’ve said it before in our blog: Evergreen content in legal blog posts are out.
With Google’s Freshness Update slowly sinking articles that have datelines on them – including legal blog posts – covering a topic that will not change for several months serves little purpose on a legal blog. Those pages that go into detail about a concept that will still be as relevant next year as it is, right now – topics like why it is so difficult to get doctors to testify against other doctors in medical malpractice cases or what people should do during a traffic stop – should get their own standalone article. Writing a legal blog article about it and putting a timestamp on it will only hurt you in the long run.
Keeping it Topical, But Relevant
Just because the issue has to be a topical one for it to be a good post for your legal blog, though, does not mean that it has to be irrelevant to your practice area. It should just be something readers six months from now are going to frown upon as stale.
This leaves open dozens of avenues for legal blog topics, including:
- Legal commentary about a new court case in your state and practice area
- News articles about issues in your field of practice, and why that news is a big deal
- Local news pieces, like crimes or topical car crashes, with legal analysis about what happened
Of course, you will have to make sure to couch your legal analysis in ways that are clearly not legal advice.
Legal Blogs Reach Into Other Online Marketing Ventures, Too
Maintaining a legal blog is just as important now as it was, before. It is still a crucial medium for you to use to cram content into your law firm’s website and lay several internal links to important landing and conversion pages every week.
But your blog is more than that, if you use it properly and in conjunction with other marketing ventures.
Have an email list? Your legal blog posts can add some great value to its subscribers and keep it fresh.
Are you on social media? Legal blog posts are great fodder for Twitter or Facebook posts. They provide an opportunity for the public to see your firm and interact with it, and they show tentatively interested clients that you are active and up to date.
The thought of using your legal blog as a kind of rapid response to new developments in your field might not be too appealing. A lot of attorneys like the idea of using legal blogs to explain complicated legal topics, rather than just comment on the news. For them, writing a legal blog post was a breath of fresh air that allowed them to cover interesting legal topics, in the knowledge that people were actually reading the posts and learning from them.
But you can still write those in-depth articles about legal concepts. It just shouldn’t be in your legal blog, where timeless content is quickly treated as yesterday’s news and thrown in the recycling bin by Google’s Freshness Update. The need for the evergreen content is still there. It’s just better placed in a standalone article that targets a particular set of readers.