A common trend among law firms, from small to medium sized firms, all the way up to Am200 firms, is to run separate blogs outside the core domain of their website.
But is this is a good idea?
One great example of this is from the law firm of Gordon & Rees.
Quick side note: Gordon & Rees is one of the fastest growing law firms in the country and also an Am200 firm… so this discussion is solely on the strategy (pros and cons) of running a separate blog from your main website.
If you look at their blog homepage, you will find 8 different industry specific blogs.
And each blog runs on a unique top level domain… i.e., they are not linked directly from the top level domain.
In essence, each blog is its own unique website.
The strategy for running a separate blog outside the main domain is one of focus and topical authority.
The intent is to create a highly focused blog around one topic or industry, such as the Insurance Coverage Law Blog, and then leverage that focus to increase the presence and awareness of the brand behind the blog (i.e. Gordon & Rees).
Most of the time, people assume the content from an industry specific blog will rank higher in search and attract a higher quality audience.
But does this strategy work?
And what are the pros and cons for running a separate blog from your main domain?
The key metric I use to answer this question is the Domain Authority (DA) of the law firm’s primary website vs. the Domain Authority of the individual blogs.
Domain authority is based on 100-point scale or grade that was developed by Moz and is used to predict how well a website will in search engines, mostly focused on Google search rankings. Domain authority is most valuable when used to analyze how your law firm’s website is ranking relative to your competitors.
How the law firm blog’s DA measures up to the main website
Let’s start by listing out the Domain Authority of Gordon & Rees’ main website and the DA of each blog:
- Gordon & Rees’ main website: DA 43
And now the Domain Authority for each of their 8 blogs:
- Construction Law Blog: DA 10
- Environmental & Toxic Tort Defense Insight: DA 13
- The E-Discover Files: DA 8
- Heath Care Pulse: DA 8
- Insurance Coverage Law Blog: DA 16
- IP Blitz: DA 16
- Medicaid & Medicare: DA 9
- Privacy Teaches and Breaches: DA 16
As you can see in this comparison, the main website for Gordon & Rees has far more Domain Authority than all of their individually ran blogs.
Even though the main law firm website links out to each blog with a do-follow link, the domain authority for each blog remains comparatively low vs. the main website.
Argument for running blogs off the main law firm website vs. separate domains
As such, I would argue the more authoritative approach would be to run each of these blogs off the main domain URL.
For example, my recommended structure would be something like this for the 8 topically related blogs:
By running the blogs off the main domain, each blog would benefit instantly from the DA 43 of the top level domain.
So instead of starting out with no DA, they would start out empowered by the authority in the main website.
This means each blog post written on the blogs would carry substantially higher levels of authority starting with the day they were published.
Now, each blog and article would not instantly carry a Page Authority of 43. But since they would, in this example, be part of the DA 43 domain, they would have more momentum and leverage.
More authority for each blog and article means they would rank higher in search for a wider range of long tail keyword phrase variations, and in a shorter period of time.
Also, each of the blog posts would contribute to the ongoing process of building domain authority to the top level domain as content production and frequency play a role in domain authority.
Finally, as part of the DA 43 domain, each blog and article would gain more traffic and exposure as a result of the inherited domain authority of the main URL.
As it is, with lower levels of domain authority, each article published on these 8 blogs are restricted to the Domain Authority of the respective top level domain.
What do you think?
Do you think law firms should run blogs on separate domains?
Or do you agree with my position that blogs that are part of the higher DA site would ultimately perform better for the law firm?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.