One of the challenges of maintaining a blog for your law firm is that, while your legal specialty may not undergo significant change, you have to keep developing new content to stay relevant to your audience – and you need to stay on brand. This can be a tough balance to strike, but by keeping up with trends, you can create powerful content that drives readership and increases conversion. Here’s what to expect, and what you need to bring, to the law blogging community in 2019.
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In: An Emphasis On Authority
One of the reasons that developing a clear niche has always been important to the law blogging community is that it helps you demonstrate your expertise in that area. In 2019, though, it won’t be enough to demonstrate that authority to your readers; you also need to build authority from a technical perspective – think “domain authority.” Domain authority (DA) is an SEO metric, and it’s at the heart of whether your site attracts traffic.
To boost your DA ranking, you’ll need to ensure your blog is well-equipped from a technical SEO perspective, which means that it has clear navigation, a sitemap, and is easily crawlable by search engines, as well as that it has linkable content. Linkable content will attract the attention of other websites and help you build backlinks, as well as providing readers with added value through quality content. That might mean writing ‘Top 10’ lists or using other popular formats, injecting humor into your writing, or creating your own resource guides. The goal is to keep your audience engaged and participate in an ongoing conversation, not just to churn out content.
Out: Vague Branding
There are a lot of law blogs on the web, and the majority are associated with a specific firm or topic, which gives them clear boundaries and an obvious audience and purpose. One blog that closed shop at the end of 2018, though, “Concurring Opinions,” was widely read despite its lack of affiliation, at least until recently. According to one of the core members, Gerard Magliocca, the blog saw a serious drop off in readership as venues for sharing ideas evolved. In Magliocca’s view, the law professor blog format “only really works if there is a kind of brand identity.” That means this is a critical moment to clarify your brand’s position.
From your logo to your blog niche, it’s vital that your blog serves a clear purpose. Readers should be able to recognize who you are, what your focus is, and even your writing style after going through a few posts. As an added benefit, the more firmly you establish your brand, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to drive traffic from a wide variety of sources. Brand recognition is key to increasing referral traffic and creating conversations across the internet.
In: Increased Creativity
In order to keep the content flowing, legal blogs, especially those that have been around for a while, need to shift away from older content strategies and start thinking outside the box. That means reading blogs outside the field to get inspired and using the skills that make you a great lawyer in the first place. After all, being a lawyer demands complex, abstract thought and the ability to solve problems in new, creative ways. It’s how you argue cases, and it will make your blogs more interesting and fun to read.
Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s time to start posting memes on your legal blog; they might be a bridge too far. On the other hand, don’t be afraid to engage with popular culture, sharing commentary and analysis. Those topics can bring in readership that wouldn’t otherwise engage with a law blog, with potentially fruitful results. This is also a good way to remain focused on your blog’s topic without becoming repetitive or dull.
Out: The (Too) Long Form
One of the most common trends across all industries is that more people are accessing websites, including blogs, on mobile devices, and that means they’re reading on smaller screens. Writers need to be conscious of this fact and make sure that their posts are accessible in this way. That means covering all of your bases in terms of what Google looks for as part of the mobile-first indexing process, but also trimming your posts.
The fact is, no one wants to read 1500 words on their phone, and if readers aren’t making it to the end of your post and your call to action, you’re not getting the most out of your blog. You need to hit a happy medium in terms of providing sufficient information while also keeping your content brief. Google also prioritizes brevity over length, so you’ll be doing yourself a favor in more ways than one.
Your law firm’s blog is an important tool for building your business, but it’s important to keep up with changing trends. Luckily, with these tips under your belt, your blog posts will draw a growing audience, driving leads and growing your client base. One feeds the other in a powerful relationship.
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