Recently as I was skimming through our Twitter feed, I came across a blog post from a marketing consultant that we follow. She wrote about a blog challenge which she had undertaken, vowing to post a new entry every day for 90 days straight. And while it seems like a tremendous undertaking (she is currently about three weeks in), it will undoubtedly have significant benefits on her website and the way she connects with online visitors and clients.
The issue with most people and committing to long-term marketing goals is that we want instant gratification. Most firms we work with start blogging because they know it will help their websites “do better.” They post twice a week for three weeks and then they give up. They didn’t get a client right away so they push it to side to make time for the billable work which will pay much faster than those blog posts. In most cases, if the firm had just stuck with it for a bit longer, they would have started to see the results which would propel them to continue with their content strategies and reap the long-term benefits.
As business slows in the summer months, it’s the perfect time for firms to begin their own challenge to better understand the real benefits that a dynamic website strategy can have. We understand that 90 days is a bit long so we’re challenging attorneys to just 62 which will bring you through all of July and August. We’re not saying that you need to write a full blog post every day but reserve at least 20 minutes each day to perform one website enhancement (we give some ideas below).
Because the point of this exercise is to improve your website and help you to understand the power that regular site enhancements can have, it’s important that you do some research before you begin.
Step I: Identify you current goals
Perhaps you’re an estate planning attorney who has seen a drop in probate cases and would like to focus your attention on these kinds of clients. As you begin your challenge, make a list of all keywords that pertain to probate and base the words on the ways in which your clients describe these kinds of cases. The layperson may not search by probate but may instead use terms like “wills contests” or “estate administration.” Defining these keywords early on will assist you in your updates over the course of the next two months.
Step II: Understand your current standing
When you start a diet, you first step on a scale to see what your starting weight is so you can track your progress. When starting your marketing campaign, you should have an idea of your site’s current standing. This doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours analyzing your Google Analytics reports but instead do a few Google searches and take note of how your site ranks for each term.
Step III: Schedule a time each day for 62 days beginning July 1st
Take a few moments to add a reoccurring appointment to your calendar; 62 reoccurring appointments to be exact. Each appointment doesn’t have to be long—15 minutes on most days and 30 minutes on one or two days each week where you will write some original content for the site. Appointments tend to be more effective, and most likely to be upheld, when scheduled first thing in the morning. Tackle your website update before you even open your Outlook or check voicemails. This will ensure that your distractions are kept at a minimum.
Step IV: Kick off your challenge and start posting
As we mentioned earlier, not every update to your site has to be time-consuming and once you’re in the groove of adding to your site, it will only become easier. Here are a few suggestions on updates you might consider making:
Review one site page each day, updating the content to include new keywords, latest developments in the law and ensure that all of the target geographic locations are still accurate.
Write a new blog post. It doesn’t have to be long; in fact, it might only be a paragraph or two.
Link to an article in the news and include a one or two sentence (original) description to tell visitors what it’s all about.
Jot down a question that was recently asked of you by a client and answer it on your site. If you do this a few times, by the end of the challenge, you’ll have a new extensive FAQ page.
Go through some of your files and upload articles or handouts that you’ve written in the past to your website (again include a unique description of each file).
Make a list of sample cases that you’ve recently worked on (or update one that’s already on the site).
Ask a few clients for testimonials and post their thoughts on your website.
Compile a list of resources which are specifically designed to assist your client base. This may come in the form of links to relevant organizations’ websites, a general timeline of a legal proceeding or a list of what one should bring to a deposition or bankruptcy proceeding.
Step V: Evaluate the effectiveness of your 62 day campaign
When firms evaluate the success of their websites, they very often look solely at the number of inquiries submitted through the website. They fail to account for individuals who call the office rather than submit an online request. They also don’t consider visitors that engage with them by signing up for a seminar or subscribing to their blog feeds. When looking at your website campaign, take a look at the full picture including all website contact (made online and off), Google Analytics and once again perform the exact same searches you did at the start of the summer. You’ll likely find that with all of your hard work, changes have taken place not only in the search engine results but also in the way website visitors perceive your law firm!