In order to bring new clients into your law firm, you need to do two things: get your brand in front of potential clients and earn their trust. Content marketing can be a fantastic way to accomplish both goals at once. Having quality content on your website can improve your search engine rankings and establish you as an expert in the legal field.
So what goes into creating quality content for your website? Read on to discover our top tips for designing a content marketing strategy and creating content that can bring new clients in the door.
Setting Your Content Up for Success
There are several steps you need to take before you launch into content creation for your site. Doing these things first will give you the best chance of success with your content.
The first thing you need to do in the content creation process is to set goals. What do you want to accomplish with this content, and how much of it do you want to be generating? How much traffic would you like to see on each piece of content, and how often would you like to release new content?
It’s a good idea to keep the acronym “SMART” in mind when setting these goals. Your content goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For instance, you’d like to generate five (specific, measurable) blog posts (relevant) a month (attainable, timely).
Optimize Your Website
Having good content will only take you so far if your web design makes it hard for site visitors to navigate to other pages. You need to make sure that your design is easy to use, quick to load, and optimized for SEO. This can not only keep visitors on your site longer, but it can also help to raise your site in the search engine results.
Put Your Audience First
It’s hard to write good website content if you don’t know who you’re writing to. Before you begin developing content, it’s a good idea to identify your target audience. When you do start creating content, make sure you write it in a way that’s geared toward that demographic. For instance, an article directed at 70-year-old retirees, an article directed at middle-aged professionals, and an article directed at teenagers are all going to look and feel very different.
Analyze Your Competition
When you’re trying to figure out what content marketing strategies work for your market and focus area, don’t waste time re-inventing the wheel. Take a look at what your competitors are doing. Look at the length of their content, what headings they’re using, what kind of media they’re including, and so on.
Conduct a Content Audit
Now that you have a little better understanding of your goals and your audience, it’s time to start taking a look at the content you’ve already developed. For one thing, you don’t want to wind up writing the same piece of content again if you already have it. But it’s also a good idea to go back and look for areas where you can improve your existing content.
Develop “Topic Clusters”
Once you have a firm idea of which content you already have, you’ll want to start developing “topic” clusters. These are topics that you can write several pieces of content about. For instance, a car accident topic cluster might include articles about
- How to prevent a car accident
- What to do after a car accident
- How to know if you need to see a doctor after a car accident
- How to know if you’re entitled to compensation after a car accident
- Most common causes of car accidents
- Cars that keep you safest in the event of an accident
Developing these clusters can make the process of picking subjects to write about easier.
Develop a Formal Content Strategy
The last and perhaps most demanding item on your prep list should be developing a formal content strategy. This will help you decide what sort of content you want to write, as well as how you’ll determine its success. The good news is that you’ve already covered some of the topics that should be included in your content strategy elsewhere in your prep work: your goals and target audience should be included as a part of this strategy document.
- KPIs – Based on your goals, decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll look at to determine if your content is working successfully. These may include readership, search engine rankings, and so on.
- Reporting Framework – Decide how you’re going to report the statistics for the KPIs you’re measuring. Where will you get the data, how will you display it for analysis, and how often will you examine that data and adjust accordingly?
- Preferred Content Types – You’ll need to determine which content types are going to work best for your firm. This can include blog posts, resource pages, practice area pages, and more.
- Publishing Channels – Other than your website, which channels do you want to promote your content on? This may include email newsletters, social media, PPC advertising, etc.
Having this strategy spelled out can keep your content on track and make sure everyone on your content team is working towards the same goal.
How to Create High-Quality Content
You’ve done all the prep work to help your content succeed, and now you’re ready to turn your attention to creating high-quality content. There are a few techniques that can help you write the best article on your chosen topic.
Start at the End
Although it may sound counterintuitive, when you first begin working on a piece of content, it’s good to start at the end. Think about the overall goal you’re trying to accomplish with this piece of content and what message you want it to end on. Once you have that destination in mind, you can move your content in the right direction from the start.
Research the Topic
With your end goal in mind, it’s time to start researching the topic you’ll be writing about. This should start with a simple search engine query – the same kind your audience will be running to find your article. Look at the top results, pay attention to what headings show up commonly among those results, look at the length of the content, and refresh your knowledge about the topic.
An important part of researching your topic is finding which keywords related to this topic get searched most often. Using those keywords can make it easier for interested readers to find your content and can help you show up higher in the search results. Tools like Semrush and Ahrefs can give you good insights into popular keywords, as can free tools like Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest or WordStream.
Write an Outline
Once you’ve finished your research, you’ll want to start compiling all that information into an outline. This will make it easier to form your article and make sure it has a good flow. Take the headings and topics that show up most often in the competitor articles you read, arrange them in a way that makes sense for your content, and add any sections that may be missing. Before you start writing, read through your outline and make sure it makes sense and covers the topic thoroughly.
Break It Down
With your outline in place, you’re ready to start writing. As you write, remember that most website readers aren’t looking to sit down and take in a novel on the topic; they want to skim headings and get quick, easy-to-digest information. Break your content down into subheadings, and try to keep paragraphs to three sentences or less.
Include Credible Links
Once you have your content drafted, your work isn’t done yet. It’s a good idea to add hyperlinks to your content that redirect readers to other pages on your site. You’ll also want to link to non-competitor external sites that have a good reputation. This can increase your credibility with search engines and help your site show up higher in result rankings.
Check Your Work
Before you publish your content on your site, it’s critical to give your work one final read-through. Check to make sure you don’t have any grammatical mistakes or factual errors, and check that all your links are working. You may also want to run your work through a tool like Hemingway to find weaker portions of your writing and adjust them.
EEAT and YMYL
As you’re creating your content, there are two concepts you need to keep in mind: EEAT and YMYL. Both of these concepts will impact how your content ranks in search engine results.
EEAT stands for “Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness”. Google prioritizes content that shows you have each of these qualities. While they aren’t part of the official algorithm, they weigh heavily in the “Search Quality Rater Guidelines” handbook that real people use to evaluate the quality of their search results.
- Experience – Recently, Google has started to rank content from writers with experience on the topic more highly. For example, if you’re writing a post about punitive damages, discussing a case in which your firm recovered punitive damages can help to show you have personal experience with this subject.
- Expertise – It will come as no surprise that Google prioritizes content that comes from an expert in the field. Citing things like board certifications or journal articles you’ve posted on the topic can help to show your expertise.
- Authoritativeness – In addition to showing you’re an expert on the specific topic you’re writing about, it’s also important to establish yourself as an expert in the legal field. Google focuses especially hard on this in fields like medicine, law, and finance, as we’ll discuss more in a moment.
- Trustworthiness – Google wants to direct its users toward sites that are safe and reliable, rather than those that may be spammy or scammy. Linking to other trustworthy sites, including clear bylines, and checking that you have your facts correct can improve your trustworthiness.
After you’ve drafted a piece of content, it’s a good idea to give it a once-over to make sure that it meets these criteria. And the more content you generate for your site, the easier it will be to establish authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
YMYL stands for “Your Money, Your Life” and addresses the higher standards Google has for websites in certain industries. If a reader gets incorrect information from a blog post about the best way to crochet granny squares, the worst that can happen is that they waste some time and a little yarn. But if they get bad information from a post discussing how to handle their finances, whether they should pursue a legal case, or how to deal with a medical concern, there could be much more serious consequences.
Content that impacts readers’ money or life undergoes an extra level of scrutiny. Because legal topics often fall into this category, it’s even more critical that you make sure all your content follows EEAT guidelines. YMYL pages must adhere to the highest EEAT standards or they’ll get knocked down in the rankings.
Develop a Content Creation Workflow
You’ve written and published your first article, and your content creation strategy is off to a great start! But now you have to set up a workflow to keep that momentum going.
Decide how often you want to publish new content in each of the categories you’ve decided to do (blog posts, resource pages, etc.). Determine the steps that the content needs to go through (topic approval, research, writing, review, image collection, SEO, publication, review). And finally figure out who will be responsible for each step and how much time needs to be allotted for those steps.
Must-Have Pages on a Law Firm Website
As you’re developing your content strategy and workflow, there are a few types of content you should plan on including on your law firm website.
- Homepage – `Your homepage should introduce potential clients to your firm. You may want to include your tagline or mission statement, how many years of experience you have, how much money you’ve recovered for your clients, and a link for clients to schedule a free consultation.
- About Page – This page will give potential clients information about your firm, its history, what drives you, and your team.
- Lawyer Bios – You’ll want to include bios for each of the attorneys working in your firm. These should cover each lawyer’s educational background, accomplishments during law school, professional experience, and recognitions or awards.
- Practice Area Pages – These pages will tell clients a little about each area you practice in. Common practice area pages for personal injury lawyers may include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and so on.
- Blog Posts and Resources – Your blog posts and resource pages will form the core of your ongoing content marketing efforts. You can cover topics related to your area of practice, things that you find yourself often having to tell new clients, and topics that are relevant to your target customer base.
- Contact Pages – In addition to letting clients know how to contact you, these pages can be a good opportunity to work in some local SEO. You might want to make a page for each of the cities you have offices in.
- “Request a Consultation” Form – Your contact pages will include your phone number and email and so on, but your “Request a Consultation” form page will have a special form dedicated to potential clients who want to talk to you about their case.
- Testimonials Page – This page is a good place to highlight the wonderful things previous clients have to say about your firm. You can also display the settlements you were able to recover in each of the cases you include on this page.
- “Client Success Stories” Page – Although this page is similar to your testimonial page, it will be a little more long-form. This is where you can dive into the stories of significant cases your firm worked on and show how you were able to help. Remember to keep this content light and easy to digest, too.
- Detailed FAQ Pages – Having a solid FAQ page can help your firm avoid having to answer the same questions again and again, as well as provide opportunities for more SEO.
Of course, your content doesn’t have to be limited to these pages, but these types of content will give you a good foundation to build your site on.
Outsourcing Legal Content Writing
One of the biggest hurdles lawyers face when it comes to content marketing is finding the time to generate the content. Writing takes time, and as you well know, time is one of the most limited resources for lawyers. How are you supposed to find time in your already busy schedule to write thousands of words?
Legal marketing services like LawRank can produce all the content for your site so you can spend your time focused on other things. And unlike other digital marketing services, all our content is written and edited by lawyers. You never have to worry about legal inaccuracies or poor quality; you can just sit back and enjoy the results.
Get Content that Converts
Content marketing can be one of the most effective ways to improve traffic on your website and establish yourself as an expert in your field. Take the time to create a content marketing strategy, and then research your topic and high-search-volume keywords before you start writing. Design a content creation workflow or outsource your content creation.
If you’re looking to improve your content marketing, LawRank is here to help. We provide legal marketing that works, including SEO, PPC, web design, content marketing, and more. Contact us today and start getting honesty, transparency, and results from your marketing firm.