Why Attorneys Need to Guest Blog
For the last decade, there has been a consistent stream of rumors about the death of guest blogging as a tactic for attorneys looking to increase their online presence, drive traffic to their website, and increase search traffic. These rumors came from all sides, ranging from the marketing agencies focused on selling you a complete website redesign, to the public relations firm trying to convince you that their services were the only way to go, all the way up to the former head of Google’s webspam team, who said in 2014, “Stick a fork in it, guest blogging is done.”
Contrary to those sentiments, guest blogging is alive and well in 2018 and has become even more valuable in recent years for attorneys who are willing to put in the time and effort to draft unique, valuable, and high-quality content and who can find the right distribution channels. Today, we would like to debunk some of the myths surrounding the practice of guest blogging, share with you three reasons guest blogging can help your firm increase its online presence, and provide you an opportunity to get started.
Myths and Facts about Attorney Guest Blogging in 2018
Myth: Guest blogging is dead.
Fact: Spammy guest blogging is dead. The practice of pumping your guest blogs full of links, posting the exact same content to dozens of websites, and providing little value to readers is detrimental and will do more harm than good for your site and reputation.
Myth: Guest blogging is a black hat (illegitimate and frowned upon) practice.
Fact: As long as you avoid uniquely black hat guest blogging techniques (paying for links, link exchanges, duplicate content, etc.), guest blogging is completely acceptable and beneficial to your site.
Myth: Only spammers guest blog.
Fact: Anyone can guest blog; many attorneys do guest blog. The level of “spamminess” depends on the individual writing the blog.
Myth: Guest blogging is only about links.
Fact: While guest blogging often provides backlinks (external links to your website), you should not explicitly write guest blogs with backlinks in mind.
Myth: I should only reach out to sites with millions of views each month and which can pass off as much “link juice” (PageRank) as possible back to my site.
Fact: You should write your guest blogs with relationships and client education in mind, working only with relevant websites. As an attorney, would you rather see your blog on a website explicitly focused on legal content or would you rather see it positioned between blogs about celebrities?
Myth: You should try to get your guest blog on as many sites as possible.
Fact: You should carefully select the sites on which you choose to guest blog, working only with sites that are relevant to your business, selective about the content they post, and receive traffic from your ideal clients.
Myth: Guest blogging is a waste of time.
Fact: Guest blogging is a valuable practice that exposes your firm to a new audience who may not frequent your website.
Top Reasons Attorneys Should Guest Blog
With the myths dispelled and the facts presented, we turn our attention towards some of the top reasons guest blogging is good for your business.
On an average month, how many people make it to your website? A few hundred? A few thousand? Even if the content on your website is well-written, engaging, and educational, if the Google algorithm thinks you are no different than any other attorney, it will not display your website any differently than any other attorney—meaning you’ll find yourself somewhere on page 4 (if not lower), stuck between two firms whose websites, scope, and size aren’t much different than your own.
Comparatively, the results at the top usually fit into one of three categories: large firms with a giant online presence, thousands of legal articles, and hundreds of attorneys to write them; small firms who have made a concerted effort to build their search authority; and third-party sites who list attorneys or provide legal matching services.
Whether you are trying to answer a specific question such as Which Type of Mortgage Modification is Right for You? (long-tail keywords, in SEO jargon) or brand yourself as the leading [field of law] lawyer in [your city] (short-tail keywords), the top results often fall into one of those three categories.
Showing up on Google search engine results page (SERP) is, in simplest terms, a snowball effect:
- A website shows up on Google for a specific term.
- Google sees that your site satisfies a search term better than other websites (using metrics such as clicks to your website, time the user spends, and whether or not a searcher visited more than one page on your website).
- The Google algorithm considers the page helpful, showing said page to more users (i.e. ranking higher).
Guest blogging—especially on a site that connects attorneys with clients—satisfies two needs. Not only does it give you a bigger presence on one of those websites that appears more often on page one than yours does, it also establishes your presence on Google.
While backlinks should never be priority number one when it comes to guest blogging, they are essential to your overall SEO strategy, as they comprise a healthy portion of the factors that Google uses to rank web pages. Think of a backlink as you would a referral: a site linking to your site is essentially telling Google, “this page can answer a question or satisfy a need.” Google compares the trustworthiness of these recommendations based many factors including website size, traffic, reputation, and focus to determine if the backlink is valuable. The best backlinks come from sites that receive high traffic, have a high reputation, and most importantly, are related to your business (i.e. a site that is known for discussing legal topics linking to an attorney website will provide a stronger backlink than one that is either generic or unrelated).
Personal Branding and Extended Reach
As we’ve said, it’s not all about backlinks. For attorneys, your most valuable marketing asset is your personal brand, and guest blogging is the secret to reinforcing this. Proving yourself to Google is one thing, but continually reinforcing your brand as an expert practitioner and source of information is another. Knowing this, it’s very likely that a legal consumer will only land on your website when they need legal help and are ready to retain you. Guest blogging, on the other hand, reaches potential clients before this stage, putting your firm in mind if and when they need your services.
Through guest blogging, you can expose your brand to a new audience, inserting your commentary on something that is happening within your field and scope with people who may need your services sometime in the future.
Guest Blog at Legal Services Link
From branding to backlinks, guest blogging is and will always be an effective tactic for those attorneys who take the time to create unique, useful, and educational content for readers. There are many places that accept guest blogs, but remember that relevance is possibly the most important factor in choosing the sites to which you submit.
At Legal Services Link, we are in the business of helping clients connect with the legal help they need, and helping firms to build their business, enhance their reputation, and gain more clients. Guest blogging at Legal Services Link is not only a valuable tool to drive new traffic to your website, it provides you the opportunity to reinforce your brand and receive a coveted backlink from a leader in the legal services field. Get to know our guest blogging program, read our guest blogging guidelines, and learn more about marketing your law firm by reading these resources:
- Attorney Content Marketing: What Types of Content Should You Create?
- An Attorney’s Guide to Breaking into Podcasting
- How to Generate New Business with Webcasts
- 6 Features Every Law Firm Website Needs
- Beyond the Basic Biography: Writing a Bio That Converts
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