This is the next post in my series on how attorneys can go about building backlinks the right way. My last discussion went over why backlinks matter in search to begin with. It was important to go over that topic because, like most things, understanding how to build backlinks is much easier if you understand why you need them in the first place. This article is going to go over what is the most effective way to get those endorsements (a.k.a. links) that are really going to give your firm a boost in search – blogging on important topics.
My blog was the most important part of my firm’s approach to the web. The main reason my website did so well was the high number of quality links that flowed to it; the big bulk of these links were a result of my blogging efforts. This was one of the big things I credit when people ask how I started in ‘06 and had a $1,000,000 practice within a few years. Maintaining a law blog is even more important for a firm in today’s world due to competitiveness. While more lawyers have websites than ten years ago, very few lawyers maintain a blog and, of the few who do, the huge majority go about it incorrectly. So let’s talk about how you can 1) identify what are “important” topics to blog about and 2) how to discuss those topics in a way that will result in links.
Many lawyers fail to choose the important topics when deciding on subjects for their law blog
Have you looked at a lot of the law blogs out there? They tend to be pretty bad. Most attorneys discuss topics such as the latest legal news involving a celebrity, overly-generalized issues such as “how the 5th amendment works,” or provide their
manifesto opinions about a case they just won. These aren’t the things that are going to get you those meaningful links. First, there’s going to be a million articles out there on that celebrity so, even if a large number of people cared, there’s no reason for anyone to link to your particular article. Second, people link to sites that provide generally useful information; your vanilla statement on the 5th amendment is no more useful than the other countless ones. Finally, a quick statement of “I won a case” isn’t something that’s going to offer value to the readers of another site, so that other site’s owners have no reason to link to you. To get links, then another site owner needs to find your content relevant enough to share with his or her readers through a link. It’s important to understand which topics fit this description.
There are three big areas you should focus on when blogging on important issues. Important topics for your blog can include:
- How recent court decisions impact your potential clients
- Recent developments that people will need to know about
- Things impacting people on a daily basis
While this list may make you say “duh,” most lawyers strike out in relaying this information. Let’s spend the rest of this article talking about the first one – how recent court developments form good blog material.
Courts regularly make rulings on issues which impact people in areas that they typically research on their own before calling an attorney. These rulings cover issues relevant to family law (a ruling may make one suddenly eligible for a child-support modification for example), bankruptcy (decisions may impact how the value of one’s property is calculated as part of their case), and in other areas such as probate. The key, again, is that people research these types of issues on their own before calling an attorney. Think about it. People regularly search for things such as:
- “Can I adjust my child support?”
- “Can I keep my stuff if I file bankruptcy?”
- “Is a living will valid?”
There are also a lot of websites out there, not run by law firms, which aim to provide answers to these questions to clients. These websites, therefore, need to be abreast of changes to the law and how those changes impact their audience. Timely blogging on these types of issues, in a way people can understand, make those third party sites more likely to link to you either as an authoritative citation or as a resource for their readers to view. This doesn’t even include the many bloggers out there that are likely to read and like to your timely content on these types of topics. In order to make your articles link-worthy, however, it is important that you relay this information in a way that laypeople can easily digest; no one wants to link to something that their readers won’t understand.
Lawyers need to blog with the understanding that laypeople are consuming their content
We live in the information age. This means that those who provide useable information win. Your information isn’t useable, however, if one fails to understand it. When your blogging on legal decisions that impact a large number of people then a large number of people need to understand your discussion. This means no legalese and, contrary to what is typical attorney practice, don’t use two words when one will do just fine.
Another area that will help with gaining links to your discussion of a legal decision is to provide in depth analysis by blogging in the form of a series. I’ve previously discussed how lawyers can improve their blog by posting in the form of a series. Think about it – are you likely to link to something, as a source of authority, if it offers a shallow discussion or if offers a robust series of posts on a topic? This strategy was successful in gaining links to my law firm’s blog whenever the Nevada Supreme Court issues a ruling relevant to family law issues.
What are some other ways in which lawyers can discuss recent cases in ways that will garner links? Feel free to chime in through the comment form below.