We sometimes get frustrated questions from attorneys who blog regularly, but seldom (if ever) receive reader comments to their blog posts. When you don't see anyone "commenting" on your blog posts, it's easy to think your efforts are fruitless ... that no one is reading your blog, you're wasting your time, you should focus your marketing efforts elsewhere ... etc.
This always seems like a strange conclusion to me, coming from a newspaper background where we published hundreds of articles every week and received maybe one or two Letters to the Editor per month. I actually never expected people to write out and publish their responses to the words I wrote back then. And, honestly, it was usually some lunatic who would take the time to do that! So, after nearly 10 years of steady blogging, I never worried too much about whether I received written comments from readers. Today, I think it's even less likely that people will publish a comment to your blog post because most blogs will require them to "sign in" in some manner to prove their person-hood. Before you can post a comment, you usually have to jump through a few hoops like divulge your email address and decipher a scrambled word.
So, if you can't really gauge reader response by posted comments, how do you know whether your blog efforts are worthwhile?
Essential Attorneys™ can turn to their monthly marketing performance report.
Here are some of the statistics you'll want to review, along with real-life numbers pulled from a sample client's report.
- Number of pages indexed on Google: 1,770
- Number of those from blog: 1,710
These numbers show us that while the primary website has only 60 pages (a common number) Google has indexed another 1,710 content pages from the blog -- an impressively high number that delivers a couple of key benefits:
- Google favors larger websites with more recent content. And, yes, this particular website ranks on Google's page one for 17 of this client's key search terms (and that's organic search, not paid!)
- The more relevant content pages you have in Google's index, the more likely your website will show up in related searches that may not include your primary key terms. For example, let's say your website is optimized for terms like estate planning, estate attorney, estate tax, wills and trusts, and probate. A prospective client goes online searching for an attorney, but using different terms. Perhaps they're concerned about pet trusts, or protecting the family home, or a family business. Even though your website's search engine optimization (SEO) may not focus on these specific terms, your blog posts are covering all of these topics ... getting indexed on Google ... and likely will show up on page one when this prospective client searches using non-primary key words.
These are the kinds of results that you simply cannot buy at any price.
But, wait! There's more!
Turning to the Google Analytics pages of the performance report, let's take a look at the Top Referrers in the Site Referrals sections. Here, we are tracking traffic to your website that comes from another site. (Remember, Google Analytics shows us trends, not hard numbers. Google estimates their tracking captures about 1/3 of your traffic).
- Nearly 25 percent of all referral site traffic comes from the blog!
Overall, we find that is a fairly consistent average among our Essential Attorneys™ who blog regularly.
Despite the fact that the blog does not generate published comments, it's easy to see that people are reading the blog by simply reviewing the blog statistics on the performance report.
- Blog Visits = 717
It's a simple number, but a powerful one, especially when you review the trends. Track this number to see if it's going up, staying steady, or declining.
The Cycle of Life on Google
How do you get your website on Google's page one? There are lots of variables that play into search engine optimization, but your blog helps in several key aspects. Remember, Google rewards websites that have:
- More, relevant content (indexed pages)
- Recently added, updated content
- More traffic
Websites with more traffic will rank higher on Google ... which generates more traffic ... which continues to push the website higher on Google ... which generates more traffic ... and so on. Fresh content gets your website re-indexed more frequently, which pushes your site higher ... and generates more traffic. And, more indexed pages means your website shows up in related searches more often, garnering more traffic which ... pushes your website higher on Google ... generating more traffic ... and so on.
How is it that Essential Attorneys boast multiple page one slots on Google for most of their key search terms? Every aspect of The Essential Solution® plays into this success rate, including daily blogging.
But, Where Are The Comments?
Arghh ... I know you're still asking, "But, where are the comments?"
If you really want to get some feedback to your blog postings, here are some tips:
- Enable "comments" on your blog. Yes, I've seen this happen. Client complains that no one is commenting. We check the blog settings and remember that, because of ethics concerns over establishing an attorney-client relationship online, or fear of "bad" comments, client requested we disable the "comments" feature. If you really want "comments," (and spend some time thinking about that), make sure "comments" are allowed!
- Visit other, related blogs and post (positive) comments. If it's true, mention that you also wrote about this topic recently on your own blog, and include a link.
- Personalize your blog. Include a personal anecdote, add a photo, or other comment-worthy personal touches.
- Share your blogs on social media. It's easier to make a quick comment on Facebook than to post a comment directly on a blog. On Facebook, the reader is already "logged in," and won't have to jump through security hoops before making a comment. Again, including some personal note with your shared blog also will encourage more commenting.
Finally, here's a big DON'T if you'd like to get more readers and more comments for your blog:
DON'T STOP BLOGGING!
To learn more about the power of blogging, join us tomorrow (Wed., July 17) at 11 a.m. central time for a free 30-minute webinar, "Blogging to Boost Law Firm Marketing Performance." Register online here: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/891155330