Out of the three ranking factors upon which Google places the most emphasis, content is arguably the most important. In fact, without quality content, it’s tough to make other ranking factors matter.
You can’t (and won’t) build a portfolio of high-quality backlinks if there’s nothing notable to link to. Google’s RankBrain won’t up-rank your law firm’s website if there’s no authoritative content on it to give people the answers they’re looking for.
Content is the foundation on which your attorney SEO campaign must be built.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing involves creating and sharing information in different forms on digital platforms. It’s not about pitching your brand or your services – at least not in the in-your-face way of most types of marketing.
Rather, content marketing is all about providing information that’s helpful and beneficial to your users (i.e., your potential clients).
Creating quality content and sharing it gets your law firm’s name out there and shows you’re an authority on a particular area of law.
Content involves much more than words on a page.
What is Content?
- Evergreen practice area pages
- Articles and guest posts
- White papers
- And more.
If you’re creating something that relays information to the user, you’re creating content. It doesn’t matter if it’s meant to be read or conveyed through imagery.
Why is Content Marketing Important?
Search engine optimization – or SEO – is an incredibly nuanced aspect of digital marketing for lawyers. It involves taking certain steps to get a website to rank organically at the top of search engine result pages (SERPs).
Google is, by far, the most important search engine when it comes to SEO. More than 90% of all online searches run through Google. When someone searches for an attorney or poses a law-related question online, there’s a really good chance that they’re using Google. The law firms that rank highest on Google’s SERPs will get the most clicks and traffic to their websites.
How do you get your law firm website to rank high on Google’s search results pages? There are hundreds of ranking factors.
But, according to Google insiders, there are really three things that matter most:
- RankBrain (an oversimplification of this is “user intent”)
Let’s put content aside for a moment and talk about backlinks and RankBrain.
Backlinks and Content: A Special Connection
Backlinks. These are links from other websites to your law firm’s website. Google cares a lot about backlinks, and for good reason. When you have links from high-quality, authoritative websites, Google takes note.
Why? Think about it. Why would another website link to you? Because you have content that’s noteworthy or helpful. Because you have content that stands out and is worthy of recognition.
Google’s primary purpose is to help people find answers to their questions. It does this by putting the most relevant and helpful information at the top of search result pages.
While Google does scan the content on websites, it has to rely on other mechanisms to identify quality content.
Think of backlinks – particularly from sites with high DA (domain authority) scores – as an arrow for Google to follow. High-quality websites aren’t going to link to low-quality ones. So, Google can find other quality – and rankworthy – websites by following backlinks.
It’s simple: creating high-quality content will help you build backlinks from quality websites. The more people that are pointing users to your information, the more impressed Google will be by your law firm’s site.
RankBrain and Content: Satisfying the User’s Intent
RankBrain is an inherently complicated thing. It’s basically artificial intelligence that’s designed to help Google understand the intent behind user searches.
When someone conducts a search, the program analyzes different ranking factors (think keywords, engagement, dwell time, bounce rate, and freshness) and tries to identify which website ultimately satisfies the user’s quest for information.
The program then digests information about that site and keeps it in mind (so to speak) when a similar search is conducted in the future.
In theory, the better Google understands the intent behind a search, the better the search results for a given query will be. Better results equal happier consumers.
So how are RankBrain and content connected? RankBrain is largely about how users interact with a website. The algorithm gives a lot of weight to user signals like dwell time, bounce rate, and engagement.
Basically, the longer someone sticks around to consume the content on your law firm’s website, the more powerful the user signal.
Again, it all comes back to content – quality content. You want content that will draw people in and get them to stay there. When you can accomplish that, you’re more likely to rank higher (and convert your website visitors into paying clients).
How Do I Create Quality Content For My Law Firm Website?
Let’s take a step back for a moment. We’ve mentioned over and over again that quality content is critical for marketing success. But what exactly does quality mean?
Quality content doesn’t have to involve writing a detailed answer to a question on a law school final, drafting a lengthy complaint filled with citations and legal jargon, or penning a white paper that puts your colleagues to shame.
In fact, when we’re talking about quality content within the context of SEO, those approaches can really do more harm than good.
Quality content is content that’s optimized for search engines.
This means content that:
- Is written with your target audience in mind – in this case, potential clients
- Is easy to read – think somewhere between 8th- and 10th-grade reading levels
- Works in relevant keywords in a natural way
- Is broken up into short, easy to read sections with relevant, informative headers (H2s and H3s)
- Incorporates photos, videos, and infographics to keep the reader engaged
- Includes external links to authoritative sources
- Provides internal links (those within your own website) to other relevant and helpful pieces of content
- Is fresh, relevant, and up-to-date (laws, statistics, and legal approaches change).
In order to create quality content, you need to:
- Identify your target audience
- Determine what keywords potential clients are most likely to use when conducting a Google search
- Decide what type of content you want to create – do you want to have an in-depth practice area page on car accidents, a resource discussing liability, or a blog on different traffic accident injuries?
- Write an article that incorporates relevant keywords (tools like SEMRush are great for this)
- Include relevant external and internal links
- Publish it on your law firm’s website or blog.
And, it’s not just about creating one piece of search engine optimized content. It’s about consistently creating great content and building a library of helpful resources and information.
Content marketing is about quality and consistency. That takes time, patience, and, at the very least, a basic understanding of SEO best practices.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney SEO Company to Handle My Law Firm Content Marketing?
As an attorney, you’ve mastered the art of legal writing. You’ve come to understand the practices and approaches that yield the best results for you – in litigation and even in communication with clients and other parties. SEO content writing is an art, as well. Not everyone has the time or ability to do it well.
Attorney SEO companies specialize in creating high-quality, optimized content for law firms. The best law firm SEO companies will have legal professionals at the helm of this process.
At LawRank, we put the “law” in law firm content marketing. Our founder holds a JD. Our content development department is run and staffed exclusively by licensed attorneys. And, our legal content writers are attorneys, JDs, and other people with real-life experience with the law.
This means that when you choose LawRank to handle your content marketing, you’ll have people with actual knowledge of the law (or the ability to find it) writing the content that’s on your law firm website.
You can rest easy knowing that you’ll get high-quality content that’s not only well-written and optimized for Google and your potential clients but legally accurate, as well.
We know that the people who visit your website will think that you’ve penned almost every single word on the page. So, we know how important it is for your content to be of the highest quality.
We’re committed to making sure that the content we produce for our clients conveys the attorneys’ depth of knowledge and entices the reader to pick up the phone and call them for help.
If you want to learn more about SEO for law firms or content marketing, give us a call or reach out to us online. We work with all practice areas, including personal injury, divorce law, and criminal defense. Our attorney SEO experts would be happy to discuss your marketing needs, including web design, PPC for lawyers, and local SEO to explain how we can help.