Should Law Firms Host Their Blogs Off-Site?
Date: May 5, 2022
Law firm blogs are excellent sources of content for your website’s visitors. A blog can help you reach a broader audience and increase the number of potential new clients that your website generates. There’s no argument that regular blogging is excellent practice for any law firm looking to expand its marketing reach.
While we can all agree that blogs provide many benefits, thought leaders seem to disagree on where the blog is hosted. If you ask lawyers and marketing professionals their opinion on the efficacy of off-site blogs, you’ll find that there are generally two camps: those who believe it is better and those who think it’s worse.
So, should you host an off-site blog? Or is it better to keep everything on your primary website?
We know that this topic has been highly debated since company blogs first became popular, but we’re here to provide you with more information to make the best decision for your law firm. Keep reading to learn more about why some law firms choose to host their blogs off-site and why they shouldn’t.
Why Do Law Firms Host Blogs Off-Site?
In order to help you make a more informed decision, it’s vital that you understand why some law firms prefer to keep all of their blog content separate from their website. While each law firm can have its own opinion on the matter, we’ve found that many of them share similar sentiments. They believe that the off-site blog allows them to:
Create Instant Credibility:
Some people believe that having a blog as an independent publication gives it more credibility. They view integrated blogs as more of a sales pitch than thought-provoking pieces.
Use a More Personalized Approach:
When you don’t have your blog directly linked to your website, you have more room to be yourself and share your ideas. Having the freedom to take a personalized approach can get your blog shared with a broader audience as well.
Separate Attorney from the Firm:
The logic that clients hire lawyers, not firms, is one of the biggest arguments against integrated websites. Having your own off-site blog allows you to showcase your knowledge and experience without worrying about aligning your tone and style with the rest of the firm’s website.
Add More External Links to Website:
If you struggle to find external links that don’t send clients to competitors, you might want to consider an external blog. You can always link to it from your main website or vice versa to build backlinks for each website.
The Promise of a Well-Optimized Blog Site:
Many vendors offering off-site blog hosting and management services sell the promise of an outstandingly well-optimized site to blog on. While this is often true, it presents a scenario where your off-site blog and core website are essentially competing with each other for key terms, which we dive further into below.
Why Law Firms Shouldn’t Host Blogs Off-Site
Though there are several great reasons to choose an external law firm blog, we – and the greater SEO community – believe that internal blogs can yield even more benefits. In fact, we always recommend that you integrate the two sites if you want to get the best results. If you are determined to keep your website separate, you should be prepared for the following downsides:
It should come as no surprise that having two separate websites is a lot of work. Not only do you have to maintain both of them, but you must also make sure that they are updated regularly.
If you are a solo practitioner, this could be far more work than you could handle. Even if you choose to outsource the content and site maintenance, you’ll still pay double the cost.
It’s not just about maintenance and updates, however. You also have to work twice as hard at SEO. That means you need to double the keyword research and strategy.
Missing Out on Valuable SEO and Website Conversions
As we mentioned, you’ll have to work even harder to achieve your ideal SEO results if you decide to have two different websites. Why? Because you are missing out on all of the valuable content and traffic that can elevate your core site’s standing with Google.
When you choose to keep an internal blog, you are able to utilize long-tail keywords that your prospective clients are searching for. These keywords can be questions or phrases that you can help to answer. The more you can add this kind of content to your website, the better your chances are of improving your rank in search results.
Further, the percentage of people who convert when navigating an off-site blog is much lower than those using an onsite blog due to the added friction of getting to the law firm’s website before making direct contact with the firm or one of its attorneys.
We also recommend that law firms avoid external blogs to prevent any confusion among their client base. Your clients could easily believe that there are two separate entities in place.
You run the risk of losing people as they navigate between your off-site blog and primary website if they look different as visitors may be unsure where they ended up and why they had to navigate elsewhere and they may choose to disengage with the websites entirely as a result.
While it’s nice to be able to share your opinion and work separately from those of your law firm, it could ultimately cost you some leads. For that reason, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Competing for Market Share in Search Results
It’s also worth pointing out that your external blog will be in competition with your website. We know that sounds odd to say, but the fact is that Google can’t differentiate that the same person runs your blog and website. Instead, they are viewed as two entirely different websites, and as a result, they will end up working against each other in terms of SEO.
For example, if you prioritize creating SEO-friendly content on your external blog, it could quickly overtake your main website. After all, they are both in the same market. There are enough other legal websites and blogs that you will have to compete against to land on the first page of search results. It doesn’t make sense to compete against yourself.
Request More Information on Hosting a Blog on Your Law Firm’s Website
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of having an on-site blog, you’ve come to the right place. At 9Sail, we specialize in helping attorneys like you with their SEO marketing and blog structures. Therefore, we know a thing or two about how an external blog can impact your website’s search results rank.
We encourage you to set up a free consultation with our team of experts to find out whether you should use an internal or external blog for your law firm’s website. You can make your appointment by calling or submitting your contact information through our online form. We also offer a free, no-strings-attached site audit so that you can get a better idea of your site’s SEO performance.