Why blog? What, as a law firm, could you get out of regularly posting blog content to your website?
Well, the obvious reason is SEO. Search engines love blog posts – fresh, relevant and interesting content that is often written by experts in their fields? Yes please!
But that’s just part of the reason. Getting your blog posts in front of people is the first step. Getting your blog posts in front of the right people at the right time is a bit harder.
A while ago, my colleague and fellow Copywriter, Ed Prior, wrote this post about what the point of having a blog is. The focus of that post was blogging for conversion – that is, targeting certain kinds of prospective client (e.g. high net worth divorce clients; farming inheritance dispute clients; individuals who have been caught up in a recent high profile criminal drug bust etc) and persuading them to get in touch with you after finding and reading your blog posts.
However, did you know blogging for conversion is just one of the purposes of blogging?
You can also blog:
- For general brand awareness – getting your firm in front of a much wider, but less targeted, pool of prospective clients.
- To provide information for existing clients.
It is beneficial to regularly post a mixture of conversion and brand awareness blog posts to create a multi-faceted online presence that targets your clients’ needs at all stages of their ‘customer journey’.
A smattering of blog posts aimed at existing clients can also be helpful, including to improve your ongoing profitability… but more on that later.
Why write different kinds of blog posts? – ‘Customer journey’
You’ve probably heard of something called the ‘customer journey’, AKA, the ‘sales funnel’. Customer journey tells the story of a person’s experience with a business, from the moment they realise that business exists to the moment they become a loyal paying customer.
Every business’s customer journey looks slightly different depending on factors such as:
- The products or services they provide.
- Their target customers/clients.
- How their target customers/clients find them (e.g. social media? Google? Word of mouth?).
- How their target customers/clients make a decision about purchasing the type of goods/services they offer.
Every business has a customer journey or sales funnel, even if you haven’t really thought about it before.
Here is an example of a basic customer journey:
- Awareness – the prospective client discovers your firm via a search engine, social media or through some other marketing avenue.
- Consideration – the prospective client peruses your website, perhaps they read a few blog posts, or maybe they are drawn in by your accreditations page. They may also be researching other law firms and looking at their sites too.
- Conversion/action – the prospective client is ready to make a decision. They choose to get in touch with you to instruct you, seek a quote, get more information about a service, or they take some other desired action.
- Retention – you do a great job for the client. The client may even instruct you on their future legal needs.
- Advocacy – the client posts great reviews online and/or recommends you to family and friends.
Your goal is to help your target clients move through each stage of their journey until you achieve your marketing goals.
Blogging is a key way to help people on their journey. However, many businesses choose to blog solely for people in the consideration and conversion/action stage of their journey. That is a mistake.
While focusing solely on the consideration and conversion/action stages of the process might help to sell your services to clients who are ready to convert, it completely ignores prospective clients at the awareness and retention/advocacy stages.
Put simply, you may miss out on new clients and you may push away existing clients (and their friends/family/colleagues/anyone else they may have recommended you to).
Different blog posts target online users at different stages of the customer journey
Let’s go back to the 3 different types of blog post:
- Brand awareness
- Information for existing clients
Each type of blog post targets a different type of person at a different stage of their customer journey:
- Brand awareness – targets people at the awareness stage.
- Conversion – targets people at the consideration and conversion/action stages.
- Information for existing clients – targets people at the retention and advocacy stages.
1.Blogging for brand awareness
Brand awareness is about putting your firm in front of a wide pool of prospective clients who may need legal services at some point soon or in the future.
The thing that puts firms off blogging for brand awareness is that the topics are often not directly related to something they can sell. However, the point is not to sell, it’s to:
- Grab people’s attention.
- Build trust and authority (i.e. by showing that you’re up to date with current events).
- Put your firm in front of as many people as possible.
For example, you could blog about:
- Topical legal, political and financial news stories – such as a blog post about mortgage holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Upcoming changes in the law – such as the progress of the Domestic Violence Bill through Parliament.
- High profile people’s personal and legal issues – such as Katie Price’s recent documentary about her search for a specialist college for her son who has disabilities.
- Events that happened in other countries – such as this amusing US news story about a man leaving his $5 million estate to his dog.
Successful brand awareness blog posts are:
- Topical – related to current events or trends.
- Relevant to your services – even if the topic is not something you can directly sell.
- Interesting – not everyone wants to read an informational blog about filling in a Form E. Everyone wants to read about the dog who inherited $5 million.
There are multiple benefits to putting brand awareness blogs on your website, including:
Boost search traffic
Brand awareness blog posts can boost search traffic, putting your website in front of a wider pool of prospective clients. Most of the traffic may not need a lawyer now, but they may need one in the future. Some of that traffic may need a lawyer now, so grabbing their attention is a bonus.
Using your blog posts to comment on local news stories can also boost your local search rankings.
Support your social media strategy
As well as search engine traffic, brand awareness blog posts are more likely to gain traction on social media (because they’re interesting), so should form an aspect of your social strategy.
Brand awareness blog posts show that you know what is going on in the world and that you care. This can boost prospective clients’ faith and trust in you and help you build online authority.
Boost the success of your conversion blog posts
Brand awareness blog posts can boost the success of your conversion-focused blogs, particularly if you can internally link between a brand awareness blog and a conversion blog, for example:
Dog inherits $5 million in owner’s Will = 10 reasons to make a Will.
2.Blogging to convert prospective clients
This is usually the main reason businesses choose to start a blog, and something my fellow Copywriter, Ed Prior, has already written about at length as part of this post on why blogging is great for businesses.
I won’t rehash Ed’s post, but I will add some examples of conversion blog posts:
How long will it take to sell my house?
The prospective client in this case is looking for information about selling their house. This provides a direct opportunity for your firm to provide the answer while offering your conveyancing services.
Note that this blog post title is in the form of a first-person question. Conversion blog posts are a great way to address FAQs and get valuable long-tail keywords into your website content.
10 tips for chasing invoices during the coronavirus pandemic
Who says conversion blog posts can’t be topical? The more relevant to your target clients’ existing problems, the better. Of course, the final top tip in this blog post will be to instruct a solicitor for debt recovery advice.
Here’s a top tip of my own – people love numbers and lists. Optimise your blog post by turning it into a listicle.
5 ways mediation can make your divorce easier (as well as save you money)
For some reason, blog posts with parenthesis in the title are hugely appealing to web users. As well as adding some visual variety, use parenthesis to casually put the main selling point of your blog post in the title.
Try to avoid clickbait (“you won’t believe number 3”) – it won’t help you build trust.
3.Blogging for existing clients
Why would you need to target blog posts for existing clients? Surely there is no need – you’ve converted them, they’re paying you, you’ve already won.
Don’t fall into the trap of forgetting about your existing clients. People rarely just have one legal issue in their life. People also tend to have family, friends and colleagues who will also have legal issues.
Some of the benefits of blogging for existing clients include:
- Engaging with your client-base – making them feel part of your firm ‘family’.
- Cross-selling your services – e.g. someone going through a divorce may also appreciate conveyancing advice.
- Gathering feedback and reviews to improve your services.
- Improving profitability.
Most blog posts targeted at existing clients can also help prospective clients and drive conversion, so there is really no downside.
Here are a few ways you can blog for your existing clients:
- Firm news and announcements.
- Deals for existing clients – e.g. "10% off your Will if you use us for your conveyancing”.
- Competitions for clients to win a prize in return for an honest review.
- Client case studies and invitations for honest feedback on their experience with you.
- FAQs and general information blogs – e.g. “how will the probate delays affect you?”; “how long will your conveyancing take?”.
What’s this about profitability?
Interestingly, many marketers do not consider ongoing profitability to be a priority when developing their SEO and content marketing goals. Strategy ends once the new client has been converted and it’s over to the fee earners to provide the full customer experience.
But consider it from this perspective – how much time do you realistically want to spend dealing with post-instruction enquiries from existing clients? For fixed fee and low-cost legal services, probably as little as possible, right?
So, if your clients could find all the basic information they need without having to contact you directly, how much could you save in unnecessary post-instruction enquiries?
It’s all about working out what information your clients need before they pick up the phone to call you and then making this information as accessible as possible – blogging is one way to do this.
Here are some examples:
- Jargon busters – e.g. common terms you might hear at family court
- General guides to conveyancing; probate; setting up a business etc
- Checklists – e.g. making a Will checklist; your first meeting with your solicitor checklist etc
- What does my solicitor actually do during conveyancing, probate, setting up a business etc
Need help crafting great blog posts for your law firm's website?
I don’t blame you if this has all been a bit overwhelming. Crafting the perfect blogging strategy (and integrating it with your wider search engine optimisation, content marketing and social marketing strategy) is a lot of work.
Great blogs take time and energy. Luckily for you, at Conscious, our Copywriting team does nothing but help law firms achieve their marketing goals through their content.
We can help you create all types of content designed to appeal to your target clients, taking a strategic approach to raise brand awareness and turn those target clients into paying clients.
Getting us to write your content doesn’t just save you the time of writing it yourself, it’s more cost-effective, and we have the SEO knowledge needed to craft the kind of content that blows Google’s mind.