Man in suit with a chartThe new year is approaching and it’s time to think about how you’re going to increase profits. One thing you need to consider is the idea of return on investment. We live in the real world and, unless you’re a huge national law firm, you’re trying to grow your firm within the context of budgetary and time constraints. Focusing on the things that give the best return may seem like common sense, but it’s something many lawyers fail to do. Let’s look on why improving your firm’s blog is the best way to grow revenue. We’ll also discuss what you can do to achieve that growth.

Lawyers are quick to spend their time and dollars on things which don’t provide the best return. If you spend $1,000 a month on a form of advertising (Google Adwords, billboards, radio ads, putting your name on the Goodyear blimp, etc.) and it brings in $5,000 a month then it’s easy to say “I made money.” The problem is that the $1,000 is gone every month and you have to spend the same amount the following month to bring in the next $5,000. Effective blogging gets you out of this trap.

We have a client who recently wrote a blog post on how drug use impacts child custody cases. That post took about an hour to write. So far it has received 122 clicks. If she was paying for Adwords then getting 122 clicks would have cost her around $2,440 when you consider her practice area and market. Saving $2,440 isn’t bad for an hour worth of writing. More importantly, that post is going to remain on her site and continue getting clicks, and bringing in clients, even though she doesn’t have to spend additional time on it. When’s the last time your firm received a source of ongoing business by doing something that only took an hour? Not recently I bet. Do I need to tell you whether this client pays for things like Google Adwords, etc.? Of course she doesn’t. Focusing on your blog is a key to increasing revenue, keeping overhead down, and increasing your profits. Let’s look at three ways you can get more out of your law firm’s blog.

Attorneys can boost traffic to their blog by making it a wealth of useful information for potential clients

Potential clients will come across your blog articles in search when your writing speaks to a specific problem they are facing. It’s important, therefore, to put yourself in the shoes of a potential client and think about what it is they are looking for. Here are a few tips:

  • Potential clients are searching the web because they are already facing a legal problem – Let’s use a criminal law example. I see a lot of attorneys who write articles along the lines of “how to avoid getting arrested.” The problem is that someone searching online for legal information has already been arrested. If the person is not in custody then they’ve also already been released on bond and are sitting at their computer awaiting an arraignment. Instead, write about what one can expect from the process and how to proceed. This is a mistake I see a lot, from attorneys in all practice areas. I also discussed it in my article on why law firm blogs don’t’ connect well with clients.  The right approach in this area will make your blog useful to potential clients.
  • Your blog needs to provide an in-depth level of information – If you want to stand out from the other attorneys then don’t write single articles meant to cover an entire topic. People will be more likely to find, and read, in depth discussion on their particular issue. Instead of writing a single post on an issue, that might devote a few hundred words to each individual point you want to make, break your points out and make each one a separate article. This will make you relevant to clients and, in turn, relevant to search engine. I’ve only been harping on how attorneys need to blog in the form of a series for about a year now.

Want to be different from all the other law blogs out there? Then provide in-depth information.

Attorneys who blog regularly will do a better job of connecting with potential clients

Blogging regularly serves a few different purposes. Most importantly, think of how it integrates into the approach above. If I’m a potential client, and you’ve got a series up on my legal issue, then I’m going to want the information. If you post the first article in a series, and wait a month to post the second article, then you’ve got a lot of people wanting that information but it’s not available to them. When you map out a series it’s important to develop a publishing schedule and to stick with it. You certainly wouldn’t like a blog that started a discussion and never finished it. Well neither do your potential clients. Blogging twice a week will put you well ahead of most of your competition.

Make sure your law blog’s navigation makes the content easy to find

It blows me away how many law blogs I see where it’s hard to find what one is looking for. People will get frustrated very easily, and leave your site if you don’t put the information right in front of them. Here are a few tips on how to feed your content to readers:

  • Include a “blog topics” list that is easily viewable from every single page of your website. These topics should be divided into clear categories. A family law site, for example, would have categories on child custody, divorce, child support, etc. When one clicks on a topic then they should see all of your posts on that issue.
  • Include a “related posts” section at the end of every article. Making additional information, on a given topic, readily available to someone who just read one of your blog posts will keep them on your site longer and make them more likely to pick up the phone and call.
  • Include a search box on your blog so people can easily find additional information they might want – the reasons for this are obvious. For reasons far beyond my understanding, many law firms fail to do so.

People aren’t going to jump through hoops to find your content. You need to make it readily available to them. If you don’t then they’re going to hire the attorney who chooses to make their content readily available. It’s that simple. Take a look at how you serve up content and ask yourself which of these two signs people are following to find your posts:

Direction signs

There’s no better return on investment for a law firm then effective blogging. Most of your competition is trying to grow their respective firms but are neglecting their blogs. Want to get ahead of your competition? Follow these steps. It’s that simple.

Why do you think so many attorneys neglect the great ROI that comes from effective blogging? Chime in through the comment form below.