The right content strategy can generate significant amounts of web traffic, leads, and signed cases for attorneys in every practice area. Better yet, you don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars to Google Ads for every click you receive. This guide will cover the importance of content marketing for law firms, how to execute a meaningful content strategy, and what to look for in a content marketing agency.
If you’d prefer to skip straight to the results we’ve driven for our clients, take a look.
What is Law Firm Content Marketing?
Attorney content strategy is the practice of publishing educational material, on your website or another platform, with the goal of generating new leads or sales.
The content you produce should directly meet the needs of people in your target audience. If you are a small business attorney, for instance. you would write or produce videos about common breach-of-contract issues. Furthermore, a good law firm content strategy should reach potential clients at all points of the marketing funnel.
Content Marketing Steps For Lawyers:
We will elaborate on each of these points below, but in a nutshell, here is how to enact a content marketing strategy:
- Define your target audiences
- Separate them into the top, middle and bottom of your funnel
- Research and develop a list of topics for each audience segment
- Consistently publish that content on your website
- Using those article topics, shoot videos and share to YouTube
- Use your website and YouTube content to fill your social media calendar
Why Do Law Firms Need Content Marketing?
Ads Don’t Always Work
According to a 2017 Time Inc. survey of 17,000 individuals across three demographics, 90% of respondents said they enjoy reading or watching custom content from brands. More importantly, about 66% of respondents said they trust content from brands more than traditional advertisements.
When you mix in the fact that as of 2018, over 30% of internet users use ad blockers in some capacity, content marketing isn’t just a good idea — it’s a necessity.
Law firms that fail to produce original, high quality articles, guides and blog posts are leaving huge amounts of revenue and leads on the table.
Attract Visitors At All Points of the Marketing Funnel
Take a hypothetical auto accident victim, for instance. A possible funnel of internet searches for them would be:
- What to do after a car accident” (top of the funnel)
- “Who pays medical bills after a car accident” (top of the funnel)
- “What’s a good settlement offer after a car accident” (mid-funnel)
- “Car accident lawyer near me” (bottom of the funnel)
If someone finds you at the top of the funnel, they will be more likely to hire you when they reach the bottom. In fact, if they appreciate your content enough at the top, they may just hire you on the spot.
This strategy is necessary in an age where bottom-of-the-funnel terms are so competitive. It’s very difficult to rank in the top 5 on Google for a bottom-of-the-funnel term (it can take years of SEO for lawyers), and if you bid on those keywords as part of your law firm PPC strategy, you might pay $500+ per click.
Convince Existing Visitors To Convert
If a visitor does land on a bottom-of-the-funnel page after Googling something like “Las Vegas personal injury lawyer,” they may be more likely to convert if you have helpful resources on hand. You can present these resources in the sidebar, as internal links, or something similar.
Your reviews and results will always be the most important factor in your site visitors’ conversion journey, but addressing all of their needs with helpful, easy-to-find content also helps. You will appear authoritative and trustworthy in a website visitor’s eyes.
Attract PR Opportunities and Backlinks
Link building for law firms is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO, but great content can help you acquire good referring domains for your website.
News websites, legal blogs, and other resources on the web won’t want to link to you if you have nothing to share. However, if you’ve written excellent blogs packed with data and insight, you may acquire backlinks naturally over time. Journalists and bloggers have to research the topics they cover, and if they cite your content, you may receive a backlink.
We can also use your content to do this manually. We can pitch your resources to other websites, use your blogs in a “broken link building strategy,” and more.
Use Web Content As a Springboard For Other Mediums
YouTube is a great platform for lawyers. It isn’t nearly as vital as Google, but people do search for informational legal content on YouTube, and Google is increasingly showing video results in the SERPs. So how do you come up with video topics?
Our process includes identifying the client’s highest-performing blog posts, fashioning a more streamlined version that can be used as a script, and sending that to the client for recording. Then, once the video is live on YouTube, we can embed that video in the corresponding blog posts. Google will often show the video thumbnail in the SERPs when we do this.
You can also use your blog posts and video content to keep your social media feed fresh with stats, quotes, and helpful information.
What Types of Content Do Law Firms Need?
Lawyers need in-depth pages, blog post content, and conversion-focused content, like testimonials and results.
The Differences Between Pages and Posts on a Law Firm Website
We consider pages to be static in nature and closer to the bottom of the funnel. An example would be a typical practice-area page entitled “Los Angeles Wrongful Death Lawyer,” and you would want this page to rank well on Google for that exact search phrase.
Each practice area you serve should have its own page (car accident, general personal injury, medical malpractice, etc.), and these pages should include a deep and thorough treatment of the subject matter without plagiarizing any blog posts you may have written. You will probably need several thousand words of content on these pages to compete on Google.
Posts, or blog posts, are often more informal. They answer top-of-funnel or middle-of-funnel questions, and they may even include timely content, like a law firm’s analysis of a mainstream case that is receiving attention online. We try to answer specific questions in our blog posts, like “what is the statute of limitations on a wrongful death case in [state]?”.
Furthermore, blog posts play an important role in your internal linking strategy. From your blog posts, you can “link up” to corresponding practice area pages with relevant anchor text.
Content that answers “longtail” search terms should be posts.
What are “Pillar Pages” in a Law Firm Content Strategy?
A pillar page is a static, authoritative, and important page on your website that you link to from a number of other pages on your website. You are basically telling Google that this “pillar page” occupies an authoritative position in your site’s hierarchy through your internal linking strategy.
This is something for your SEO or content marketing team to worry about, but in all likelihood, your main practice area pages will serve as your pillar pages.
What Information Should Your Content Strategy Include?
Answer Relevant Legal Questions
We mentioned this previously, but there’s no reason to blog about anything other than hyper-relevant legal questions. Instead of a blog entitled, “7 Things To Do After a Car Accident,” name it, “Who Should You Call First After a Car Accident,” or something like that.
You can use Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, the People Also Ask feature in Google’s SERPs, and more tools to come up with a list of questions.
Include Localized Content
Statutes vary from state to state, and your content should reflect this. In fact, people often Google legal questions with the geography in the search. Firstly, make sure your editorial team is familiar with the law in your state, cites the correct laws, and doesn’t give generic national information. Secondly, include your locale in the title of your blog posts. For instance, “How long do you have to file a lawsuit after an accident in PA?”.
This accomplishes several things:
- It weeds out irrelevant leads
- It tells Google to rank your content in local searches
- Even if a user searches without geographic parameters, Google will often show local results ahead of nationally-focused blog posts.
You want to become the de facto expert in your practice area niche in your region – this will yield the most relevant traffic and cases for your firm.
Your Main Practice Pages Should Have In-Depth Statute Information
In your top-level service pages (“pillar pages,” “practice pages,” whatever you wish to call them), include real educational content, not just sales copy. You will need to answer FAQs, cite actual laws, and give potential clients helpful information in addition to background information about your firm.
Does News-Jacking Work For Attorneys?
No, news jacking does not effectively drive cases for law firms. There are outliers to this rule – for instance, we had a client get involved in an ongoing malpractice lawsuit against a prominent and newsworthy doctor. We wrote blog posts about developments in that doctor’s case, and as former patients Googled the doctor’s name, our client received relevant traffic that did yield some leads.
But more often than not, writing a quick, low quality blog post about car accidents happening on a daily basis will not be worth the effort. You may end up with hundreds of website visitors each month who found you by Googling “accidents on I-95 today,” and that traffic is completely worthless.
About Majux’s Content Strategy For Attorneys
Cleanup of a Client’s Current Website
When Majux inherits a law firm’s website, one of the first things we do is crawl the website in Screaming Frog and other tools. We look for blog posts and pages that are short (less than 700 words or so), don’t have page titles/meta descriptions/H1s, and more. We then analyze those blogs to see if they are worth saving.
If a blog is worth saving, we re-optimize the post for Google, and our editorial team rewrites or edits the content to provide more value to readers. Blog posts that aren’t worth saving (news-jacking blog posts, among others), get cut and redirected.
E-A-T Analysis For Law Firms
The latest permutation of Google’s algorithm prioritizes expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT). Firstly, we check clients’ pages to make sure they have a purpose. Does the page need to exist, and does its existence satisfy a critical legal issue for potential clients?
Secondly, we ensure that the purpose of the page is clearly defined in the title, headings, and content of the piece. Typically, we prefer that headings pose a legal question, and that the ensuing copy directly answers that question. This provides the best user experience, and Google prefers good UX.
Thirdly, we make sure the content is accurate, well-cited, and organized in a digestible manner.
Keyword Research To Find Blog Topics For Law Firms
Using SEO tools and the keyword data that Google provides, we are able to spin out editorial calendars with scores of highly relevant blog posts and pages for our clients. But perhaps more importantly, Majux has worked with hundreds of law firms – this gives us insight into what people are searching for. Google doesn’t give everything away, so we have to draw from our legal industry expertise to produce great content for clients.
We also use data from Search Console properties to see the literal search terms that drive results.
Our Editorial Team Members are Actual Experts
You can’t afford to have non-lawyers writing your content. Majux has a staff of writers who have passed the bar exam, worked in law firms or DA offices, or have other relevant legal experience. We write and edit our content carefully so you will be able to generate cases online.
Our Content Strategy Leads To Signed Cases
We track the results of our work in close detail. When we take on a new client, we set up or audit their web tracking through Google Analytics and Tag Manager, and we are able to see how many visits your content is receiving, what visitors do when they arrive on the site, and whether or not they call you or fill out a form submission.
Start Marketing Your Firm With Content Today
To start implementing a cutting edge content strategy, give Majux a call today. We can discuss your previous SEO experiences, your goals for your law firm, and your practice areas.