Content Strategy and Creation for Law Firms
If you want to drive consistent, high-quality organic traffic to your law firm website, you will have to invest in content. Not re-publishing news stories, not sharing press releases, and not short, thrown-together opinion pieces that you wrote in an hour or less…
You will need deep, well-written legal content that answers your potential customers’ questions.
We use our status as a Google Partner to find the questions that people are asking, and we can put together a lengthy list of topics around your area of practice that should be present on your website. After we’ve researched the phrases and keywords that people are using on the web, one of our skilled writers (each of whom has graduated with a JD degree) will write accurate, ethically compliant content for your website.
Why You Need to Start Content Now – The Statistics
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.
The First Step: Audit Your Existing Content
Remember that short, 150-word blog post from from 2008 in which you paraphrased a news article from somewhere else?
In the time that’s passed since you (or an intern) wrote that blog, Google’s algorithm has updated several times.
Google Devalues “Low Quality” Sites
If you have any number of spammy, empty, or relatively low quality pages, your site won’t compete with better websites in your niche.
We can quickly crawl your website and check for low quality pages; the gains our clients have seen from simply adding a few paragraphs or updated facts on key pages are incredible, and we’d love to do the same for you.
Keep Your Content Up to Date
Some of the most effective resources you can have on your website are date-specific, such as an article entitled “2019 Guide to Joint Custody in Michigan,” for instance.
These types of articles require annual maintenance, though, and if you don’t update your content, you will lose both traffic and credibility. From the traffic perspective, web users will no longer be searching for “2019” terms in a year or two. Secondly, laws change, and if you don’t maintain your resources, you could be providing inaccurate information to your readers.
“Intent” – I.e., Answer the Questions People are Asking
What if you knew the exact legal questions people in your geographic location were asking? What if you had content on your site built to satisfy those questions?
That’s the whole point of legal content marketing. We use software and data from Google itself to see what people are searching online, and we can create in-depth, search engine optimized content that will attract potential clients.
Better yet, a lead that finds you through helpful content is much more likely to pick up the phone and call — after all, you’ve already done them a tremendous service by answering their question online.
The Anatomy of Google-Friendly Content for Law Firms
While the most important step is creating an editorial calendar based on intensive user and keyword research, the next step is creating the pages in a SEO-friendly manner.
Firstly, the “title” of a page communicates the page’s meaning to Google’s algorithm, and it’s also visible to web users as they scroll through the search engine results pages (SERPs). It needs to contain the right mix of keywords for Google and the right content for your audience.
Next, the meta description” tells potential readers more about your page — a well-written meta description will increase click through rate (CTR), ultimately giving your law firm’s SEO visibility a boost.
Thirdly, you’ll need to organize your page content with proper subheadings. The most important of these is the H1, which should contain your target keywords as well. Secondary headings, or H2s, help your audience keep the information organized as they read.
Lastly, you’ll want relevant images optimized with alt text (used by Google to communicate the image’s meaning to visually impaired readers) present on your page — images can show as a thumbnail in Google’s results pages, and don’t overlook the importance of showing up in an organic image search on Google.
Credibility Matters – Here’s Why You Need an Attorney to Write Your Content
If readers find your content incorrect, unhelpful, or embarrassingly shallow, you don’t have much hope in retaining them as clients. The whole purpose of writing content is to attract customers by providing them value.
That said, J.D. grads and admitted attorneys understand how to research and write legal content, so the articles themselves will be full of helpful definitions, legal code, and references to court decisions and constitutions. Google will see this material and consider your content to be high quality, thus improving your search engine rank.
Furthermore, lawyers will stay ahead of the curve, content-wise; they will be up to date with current litigation and legislation, and they’ll be able to write articles about said subject matter before everyone is doing it.
So, What Kinds of Content do Law Firms Need?
Many firms take the incorrect approach to producing content for a ‘blog’. ‘Blogs’ are not meant to be an area where you talk about yourself or repost news articles. From an SEO standpoint, these are extremely destructive misconceptions. In reality, producing content that specifically targets the intent of internet searches performed by your target audience is one of the most important forms of web writing. Simply put, if don’t have a blog, or if you aren’t producing intent-targeted content regularly, your site isn’t reaching its full potential. The reason blogging is important is that blogs afford opportunities that other types of site content don’t. Blogs have the advantage of:
- Interesting content. There’s only so much leeway when it comes to writing product descriptions, but blogs can be as humorous, controversial, opinionated, or serious as you want. Blogs allow you to be memorable and to engage with your customers on a personal level.
- Consistent updates. Google algorithms and human readers both love frequent, regular blog updates. People have more motivation to keep returning to a consistently updated blog than a blog which is updated sporadically.
- Driving visitors to product and service pages. Blogs can help drive people visiting your through searching for a term or through a social channel through to the pages that you need them to visit to convert into new business.
We mentioned above the need to write content that directly answers users’ questions, but it doesn’t stop there. We also create unique content around each of a law firm’s practice areas; you’ll need deep pages for personal injury, car accident law, and medical malpractice, for instance.
Furthermore, you may need specific geo-targeted pages for nearby townships (a “New York City Personal Injury Lawyer” page won’t rank well for “Westchester, NY Personal Injury Lawyer,” for instance).
We also like to take current events into consideration. Laws or court cases will sometimes become newsworthy, and residents in a particular state or region will start wondering how it will impact them. By creating content surround a current issue, you can attract lots of interested potential clients as well as media recognition — if you write a good enough article about a current issue, journalists may reference it in their articles.
Articles for Off-Site Publication
Interesting content is easy to pitch to other websites and publications. The SEO logic behind off-site publishing is: i) it is part of a healthy and balanced backlinking campaign; and ii) if you feature an interesting, relevant, well-written article on Website X, the readers of Website X then come over to your website. If managed properly, the content needs for this strategy can be voluminous. We can take some of that burden off your hands. We have successfully created and placed content on sites such as Yahoo Finance, USA Today, The National Law Review, Forbes Magazine, Law.com, as well as countless other well-traveled industry websites.
Turning Readers in Leads – How to Capitalize on Your New Traffic
Attracting website visitors is great, but how do we turn those visitors into paying customers?
First of all, we include strategic calls to action (CTAs) in each blog post we write. For instance, if a reader reaches the end of a blog about DUI sentencing guidelines, he or she should see a button that says something along the lines of “call now for a free consultation.”
We can also A/B test the format of a page — it’s incredible to see how one button may perform better than another, or how simply adding a “call now” button on the right sidebar may perform better than one the left.
Perhaps the most direct method of capitalizing on web traffic is to “remarket” to those users — while Google has largely blocked this feature in the legal niche for privacy reasons, we can sometimes send advertisements directly to individuals who have already interacted with your site’s content.
Track How Your Site Traffic Engages with your Content
By setting up Google Analytics tracking, we can measure how long people stay on your page, how far they scroll, and whether or not they call you after reading the article. We always recommend keeping an eye on these “engagement metrics;” if you can’t see how readers are interacting with your website, how do you know the content is meeting their needs?
For instance, if the average page visit time on a blog post is 2 seconds, we can assume there’s something wrong. However, if a particular page averages 5 minutes per session, and 24% of those readers call you after reading the content, we know it’s a high value page.
If you have any questions about how we build editorial calendars for our clients, how we pick topics for those editorial calendars, and how we go about writing thousands of words in high-quality material for law firms every month, please get in touch. We’d love to learn more about your content strategy needs.
How Majux Can Help
Our team of admitted attorneys, JDs and content strategy experts will handle every step of the writing process for you, from selecting topics, matching intent, pitching ideas, to generating copy and editing the finished product. After a piece of content has been completed, we will optimize it and publish it on your site. We also offer editing and content ‘clean up’ services. Some of the services we offer include:
- Optimize your content for SEO.
- Create a robust editorial schedule.
- Expand the length of your content.
- Address plagiarism issues on your site.
- Repackage your content for different formats.
- Replace fluff with content that matches searchers’ intent
We do not take a generic, one-size-fits-all content marketing strategy. We tailor every project to the specific practice of the client as well as the intent and voice of the target geography and audience. You can be as involved in or removed from the writing process as you like. Some clients prefer to step back and let us take over, while others prefer to be involved. Whichever approach appeals to you, we accommodate all levels of client engagement.