Running a successful law firm website in the US is both competitive and challenging. On the flip side, law firms that fail to adapt to the digital transformation, are losing clients and their business is falling behind the rivals. Are you yet to adapt to the digital change? Here is a brief of what has happened until now.
Digital marketing has made its impact felt across a myriad of industries, and law firms too have felt the disruption.
A survey conducted by Altman Weil Flash in 2016 found that 82% of leading law firms are facing stiff competition from “non-traditional service providers.” In addition to this, the survey also reveals that increased use of technology among prospective clients has reduced the need for lawyers and law firms.
Even though the rate of digital adaptation was slow, many law firms made the transition before they were too late. Effective blog management turned out to be one of the most successful digital marketing strategies for law firms and this tactic continues.
Does your law firm maintain a well-updated blog? If not, your competitors are luring the prospective clients in their favor. According to studies, law firms with websites get a majority of their online leads from the blog posts.
Successful law firms unilaterally accept those blog managers who takes care of the whole blog management process, play an essential role in the success of the website and in driving new clients. Effective blog management requires keeping the blog section live with latest updates and articles.
Blog managers are usually professionals with expertise in writing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They play a tough but vital part in the success of law websites by posting relevant and in-depth articles consistently.
Are you running the blog section for your legal website? Do you have a blog manager to set up a proper content calendar for the law firm website? If not, you may be stressing out getting the right content published.
Hiring an experienced blog manager will enable you in getting the right people to create the content. He/she will also decide on the best blog topics for the niche legal service you offer and take a call on how frequently the blogs have to be published on the website.
Since a blog manager plays such vital role in the success of the digital marketing efforts of law firms, it’s imperative to know more about the responsibility, skills, and above all the need of a blog manager for running a successful law firm.
Why law firms should hire blog managers?
Often, attorneys get excited with the idea of starting a website but when it comes to setting up a blog section, many are skeptical because of the time constraints. Some consider writing blogs as a time consuming task that serves no purpose. Contrary to that belief, the statistics show that blogs are integral for the success of digital marketing efforts – not only for law firms but also for other industries.
According to a recent study conducted by HubSpot, 38% of users who are in the consideration stage for choosing a service (including legal service) make the final decision based on reading the blog posts. Interestingly, blogs are the third most influential source of information, only next to word of mouth and customer references. Adding to this, the report also states that more than 60% of quality leads are generated through inbound marketing practices such SEO and Blogging.
All these stats compiled, the key takeaway is the importance of an experienced blog management team for the success of law firm websites – both to grow as a legal brand and also for magnetizing new clients.
What is the role of a blog manager in Law Firms?
Since blog managers are part of a larger digital marketing chain, their prime responsibility is to get the right content published on the website. In this process, he/she should ensure that the published blog post addresses the questions and issues faced by prospective clients who may read the content. Moreover, the blog managers should also understand that apart from providing information, the blog post must serve a larger purpose – drive more new clients for the legal organization.
Have you set the right targets for your legal blog? Law firm websites become successful when valuable information is passed to the target audience who in turn visit the website and consider their legal service for future requirements.
According to a survey conducted by LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, more than 60 percent of the total adult Internet users in the United States seek legal service least once in their lives. They also found that Google was the single largest online legal resource opted by the respondents.
The same survey found that 57 percent of the people who availed service from an attorney used online resources to check and compare the ratings/reviews of a lawyer or law firm. Among those, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) found the ratings/reviews to be extremely or moderately influential in their decision.
Here are some of the key functions of a blog manager of a legal website
Lead brainstorming sessions with experts in the legal industry
Unlike the other niches, the visitors who come to read blogs posted on law firm websites seek useful information from the author. They also expect to get valuable insights and opinions. For fulfilling this requirement, it is imperative to have experts opinion. Blog managers are themselves bloggers, but it is important to get the best information out for the targets. Consulting with experts will help blog managers to come up with content tailored to address specific issues of the audience.
Keeping a tab on the legal updates
Since the legal industry is rife with new updates, the blog manager must let the audience know about what is happening. One of the easiest ways to let them know about these updates is through newsletters. Sending newsletters on a regular basis is also one of the critical tasks entrusted on a blog manager.
Set up a content calendar so that the blog posts are published regularly
To generate consistent traffic and leads through blogs, it’s highly recommended to set up a content calendar. This will assist you and others in the organization to be aware of the content action plan for the coming weeks and months. In addition to this, blog managers can use the content calendar to schedule the blogs and get in touch with contributors as and when required.
Managing writers and hiring in-house experts if required
Does some regular content writer write your blog article? Or, is it a lawyer or legal expert who has written it? According to the latest Google guidelines, the articles written by experts in a particular field will get more weightage than the one by a professional article writer. It is the job of the blog manager to find the best attorneys and legal experts to contribute to your law firm’s website.
Finding other blogs in the law niche and submitting guest blogs on influential website
One of the ways to get more traction for law firm website is by getting leading law portals to feature them. For example, think of an immigration based law firm getting a prominent mention on the Law360, which is one of the leading legal news portals. Such direct remarks on popular websites will help in increasing the brand value of your law firm. The task to find such high-traffic generating site and supplying them with highly valuable content is vested on the blog content manager.
Analyzing the results of the whole content strategy
Marketing the law firm website and attracting more clients is vital for the success of any law firm, both in the present and future. So, it is a priority of the blog managers to track the content performance and the user engagement. This analysis will help in tweaking the content strategy of the law firm and devise better tactics further.
The success of a legal blog is rooted in ensuring that your content is useful for the prospects and influence them to move a step more into the buyer journey. The Blog Manager has to ensure that the law firm is investing in creating content that increases leads and sales.
Web Content Lifecycle and the Responsibilities of a Blog Manager
Setting up the content required for your legal blog
- Define your Audience – It is essential to define the audience for each blog post that goes live on the website of your law firm. The blog manager should achieve this by first identifying and ranking the prospective users whom the law firm wants to target.
- Chose the Content Type – Once the targets are defined, the next step ahead is to finalize on the kind of content you want to push across to them. The blog manager should decide whether the content should be informational, persuasive, reassuring or trying to instruct the users/visitors of the legal blog.
- Define the User Intent – In the third step, the blog manager has to define what users should ideally do once they reach your page. It is imperative to select the right message to the visitors so that their intent can be channelized to a buying decision. Therefore, the topic of the blog post must be chosen based on the interest of the target audience, and what you want to tell them about your law firm and its business objectives. It is also recommended to set the right tone for the content.
- Find Relevant Keywords – This step is more focused on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as the blog managers have to come up with the best keywords that can help rank the blog on Google. This step has to be completed giving impetus to the user intent of the keywords selected. The blog manager must ensure that the chosen keywords resonate the user intent defined in the initial stage of the process.
Getting the Content sourced
The experienced blog managers with expertise in writing legal blog content can start with the writing process, but unfortunately, a majority of them may not be experts. In such cases, they are bound to seek external help from attorney and opinion leaders in the legal industry.
Review the Content
The quality of the blog post is integral to the success of your blog posts. In most cases, the reader will judge your entire legal organization based on the content he/she is reading. Any error that falls through the crack may end up in giving the reader a wrong impression. No matter who writes the content for the legal blog, the blog manager has to double check the facts and figures, and if possible push the material through a second-level of proofreading before clicking the publish button.
Publish the Blog
Once the blog manager approves the content comparing it with the standards and guidelines that the law firm follow, it is ready to go live. Once published, the content must be shared across multiple social media channels.
Maintain the blog
The job of a blog manager doesn’t end with publishing the content. Over the time the content may require tweaks as there could be updates, which is quite common in the legal industry. Also, it is their responsibility to track the interaction of the users. Finally, a blog manager must be able to produce a report about how the blogs succeeded in generating more leads.
Should a law firm hire an in-house blog manager to manage the web content?
With all these information put together, you might be wondering if you need to hire a blog manager? If you are serious about your law website and has already seen a substantial number of clients walking into your office after noticing your site, then I would say an emphatic “YES.”
Hiring a dedicated in-house blog manager may seem like impractical considering the salary of blog managers in the United States. According to the latest figures, the salary of a blog manager may reach up to $60,422 per year or more considering their experience. Also, it is hard to find a blog manager who is experienced in managing a legal website.
Thinking of the best alternative? One of the alternative ways that most successful law websites follow is to seek the assistance of a professional digital marketing company. There are digital marketing agencies that can manage all your blog requirements.
Since digital marketing agencies have in-house experienced blog managers in serving niche industries including legal industry, you can count on them. Since they already have established a relationship with leading attorneys and legal experts, they can source the content for your blog effortlessly. In addition to this, digital marketing firms have SEO experts and proven editors who help your blog content rank in Google for your niche legal service.