When it comes to legal blogs, you can either host your blog on your firm website, as part of your site, OR you can create an entirely separate blog site.
Which is the RIGHT answer?
I’m going to tread lightly on this aggressively debated topic, but will let you know right off the bat that I recommend hosting your blog ON your actual website.
Specifically: I recommend this for solo and small firm lawyers who aim to increase their search ranking, and be found organically by potential new clients.
- On-site blogs that are updated regularly help your SEO. Your site will rank higher, you will get more site traffic, and potential clients will be more likely to find you. (The stipulation here is that you would be writing high-quality content on a regular basis, and publishing to a solid platform such as WordPress, which is both a website and blogging platform in one…but more on that later.)
- If you have a separate blog, you have two entire websites to maintain and update.
- It avoids confusion. With all of your information in one place, potential clients don’t have to click around to multiple websites (where you run the risk of losing them in the process). Having your blog on-site also avoids traffic dilution for your keyword search terms. There’s a great reference post that Marketing M0jo published on how separate sites hurt SEO.
- High quality links help your site rank in both organic and local SEO. So link building via an on-site blog leverages the two primary “free” sources of potential traffic. (That means more business coming in.)
However, to address another school of thought on this topic, Kevin O’Keefe has been a long time cheerleader for the separate blog argument, under the idea the blogs should be considered independent publications, and that people hire lawyers not firms, so it makes sense to build your personal brand recognition rather than focus on building SEO for your target practice area.People hire lawyers, not firms.
But if you’re a solo attorney, you ARE your firm. Which means an on-site blog can powerfully serve to help connect with and convert potential clients.
And with all the time and effort that goes into producing quality blog content, wouldn’t you ALSO want it to be building up your SEO and helping to generate clients as well?
This seems like a no brainer.
But lawyers still seem to be confused, since “thought leaders” like Kevin O’Keefe are so unwaveringly vocal about their opinions that separate blogs are the answer.
Enter: Conrad Saam.
If you thought that Kevin O’Keefe was the authority on this issue, you should probably read Conrad Saam’s breakdown of LexBlog’s anti-SEO agenda and why lawyer blogs do, in fact, belong on your firm site.
I think that attorney Michael Romano’s comment on this is simply brilliant:
“…being “anti-SEO” is like being “anti-typography” in publishing or “anti-color” in graphic design. If your site isn’t readable by Google or usable by humans, that site will simply not be seen.”
(You can read that comment and others in full, including the one by Kevin O’Keefe going into attack mode on Conrad for calling him wrong.)
So it really boils down to what you’re trying to achieve through blogging:
Are you trying to get more traffic to your website?
Do you want potential clients to easily find you online?
Do you want to appear at the top of the search for your specific practice area keywords?
Then go with an on-site blog.
If you’re blogging to gain followers as an industry thought leader outside of your firm, rather than attract new clients, then Kevin O’Keefe’s argument might stick.
Still not sure what’s right for you or how to get started? I can help with that. Click here to schedule a free 15-minute consultation.