The SEO landscape for law firms is fiercely competitive.
Not surprisingly, law firms were early adopters of SEO and remain some of the most aggressive spenders.
However, not all law firms got it right, and many remained on the sidelines.
Unlike some industry laggards, the legal profession as a whole appears to understand that digital marketing is a necessary piece of an effective overall marketing strategy.
Lawyers understand that gone are the days of leveraging the “yellow pages” or securing the back cover of the telephone book to drive new business.
Law firms should leverage multiple digital marketing strategies, including paid ads on Google and Facebook, but SEO content writing is a particularly effective strategy for lawyers.
That is because law is knowledge-based, and the written word is highly conducive to spreading that knowledge to a sizable online audience.
So, to the law firms and SEO agencies who work with attorneys – let’s dig into what I think is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies for lawyer clients: writing effective SEO content.
Writing Effective Content for Law Firm Clients
Content writing is important in any industry, but especially for those in the legal field.
No matter what a person’s circumstances are, needing a lawyer is likely to induce a great deal of stress.
Lawyers manage complex legal situations every day, but chances are, many of their clients do not.
Seeking a lawyer’s services can be a highly emotional experience, depending on the details of the situation.
People probably will not choose the first lawyer they see; they are going to put in the work and research the right lawyer for them.
Before deciding, potential clients need to feel like this lawyer is a person they can trust during a difficult time.
Building trust and authority is perhaps the most important purpose of content marketing.
Thanks to the internet, law firms have the perfect opportunity to show off their skills and encourage potential clients to use their services.
SEOs who work on attorney clients’ accounts should take all of this into consideration when devising strategies for law firm blogs.
The posts on that blog may be the deciding factors in whether an individual on the fence will actually make that call and hire the firm.
Therefore, the content must be fresh, authoritative, and relevant to the firm’s target audience.
If the topics are pertinent to the situation, the details are spot-on, and the writing is natural and engaging, the firm will not only ascend the rankings but will also ideally begin pulling in more and higher-quality clients.
1. Write for Topics Over Keywords
Often, the first concepts that come to mind when thinking about starting a piece of SEO content are keywords and keyword research.
Keywords are a component that all of your written SEO content needs to have. This is partially how clients are able to find your content organically when they search online.
But gone are the days when keywords were all that was needed to get a piece of content to rank on Google.
Today, we use keywords to tell Google what some of the ideas in our content are, but we do not write our content around keywords. That is not why they are there.
As Google has gotten smarter with how it interprets queries, so, too, have people gotten smarter about evaluating the quality of the results they get.
Writing around SEO keywords is an institution from a previous age, and content that does this will stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Instead, law firm blog content should be based on actual topics that relate to the legal industry.
Writing for topics helps to match content to what potential clients are actually searching for more than keywords alone ever could.
When content is written for topics over keywords, you create a way to target multiple keyword phrases, not just one per blog post.
So, how is this done?
You can take several approaches.
Tools such as Answer the Public and SEMrush’s topic research feature can help you to generate content ideas based on key phrases.
Or you can just search the topic you are writing for and mine Google’s SERPs to see what is already ranking, and how the content is presented.
These methods will undoubtedly guide you toward content that directly addresses user questions.
It will then be up to you, the digital marketer, to make your content better for your law firm client’s blog.
How do you do that?
By laser-focusing your topic research to the needs of your audience and then writing the post like a pro.
Let’s keep looking at how that works.
2. Define Client Personas
What is the point of putting time and effort into writing a piece of content without directing it toward a specific audience?
SEO beginners might think their target audience is everyone on the internet, but only a select group of online users are looking for lawyer services.
To focus on a better quality of user – someone who is ready to hire an attorney today – we need to determine the different client personas.
A client persona is a representation of the types of people who would be the best clients for your law firm client.
Client personas vary greatly between different law firms, depending on what type of law is practiced.
This is why it’s important that you look at the client personas for your law firm client specifically.
You might already have a good idea of what a given firm’s target client personas are just from your experience doing the firm’s digital marketing.
In any case, it is crucial to determine your target client persona before writing any content.
By understanding who you are writing for, you will have a better chance of creating something relevant and useful.
- What challenges are the lawyers’ clients going through to make them need legal services?
- What kind of people are going to run into these challenges in the first place?
General questions like these are important to ask yourself when defining client personas.
You should also be using Google Analytics to look into the demographics of your web traffic, which can lead you much closer to your target client personas.
Those demographics include the areas of:
- Geographic location
- Job title and salary
- Education level
3. Types of Content to Create
SEO content often refers to the written word, but not always. Here are some major types of SEO content.
The type of content writing most people will already be familiar with is blog posts.
Blogging is proven to bring in more traffic to a given website.
It is a straightforward way of earning the trust of potential clients by simply communicating with them about a topic they care about.
The keywords for law firm blog content should be chosen carefully and always point back up to the website’s top-level pages, which would be the firm’s main legal service pages.
Blog posts give the firm the chance to expand upon those legal subjects by adding details, providing examples, or reflecting on recent developments in legal cases around the country.
Law firms can also benefit from creating location pages that target certain cities or other geographical areas.
The firm’s location pages do not have to target every local municipality on the map.
Key locations are important, but remember that people will travel a relatively short distance to access the services of a high-quality lawyer.
It is perfectly all right to target the right client personas in a city 10 or even 20 miles from the law firm’s offices.
Audio & Visual Content
The written word is a phenomenally useful SEO tool, but don’t forget audio and visuals.
Podcasts are popular right now.
If you are a digital marketer wanting to stay on top of current content-stacking trends, you will want to suggest to your law firm clients that creating podcasts based on their existing written content can be a great move for their organic rankings.
Podcasts are relatively easy to produce since you don’t have to worry about perfecting any visual elements.
Just have some of the firm’s attorneys get on air and go into detail about a legal subject.
Have them explain the types of bankruptcy or personal injury to educate the public.
People will come to see the law firm as an authority in its particular area, which can drive sales leads.
Similarly, videos can cover the same information as a written or audio piece but can provide the public with an interesting visual experience.
Perhaps a lawyer explains a concept using a chart or graph.
This can help people to understand an idea more fully.
4. Essential Qualities of the Content
When you are actually writing the law firm’s content, you should be aware of what is needed for the piece to be of the highest quality.
Even aside from the heavy SEO stuff of written content, it is vital that blog posts and service and location pages get down the basics of good writing.
Who is going to put their faith in attorneys who confidently publish grammar mistakes on their website?
Furthermore, remember that, while a firm of lawyers might have a lot to say on a variety of legal topics, their potential clients probably will not be able to digest a large amount of information all at once.
Ensuring that the content is readable for the audience you’re targeting is key for making it effective.
You must also make sure that any content your digital marketing agency helps to produce for a law firm is accurate to the last detail, since the public could construe it as legal advice and follow it to the letter.
And I know I don’t need to say that all your written legal content should end with calls to action that tell readers exactly what to do next.
Those can help the content to convert more people into legitimate leads.
Finally, remember that all legal content you create for your law firm clients absolutely must have someone you can trust to edit the work.
And it should be edited more than once, with multiple sets of eyes looking it over for even easy-to-miss mistakes.
The editor should be familiar with all the basics of a well-written piece as well as the elements that make the content SEO-friendly.
5. Promoting Your Content
Ideally, if you have done everything correctly, you will have potential clients finding that law firm content organically while looking for legal information.
This is what you hope for when you publish any type of content, but it sometimes isn’t enough to publish something and have that be the end of it.
Many times, content needs a little bit of a nudge to be impactful.
After creating a piece of content, the next step is to promote it.
Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are perfect for promoting content.
Sharing new content on your social media channels is not only an easy way of putting it in front of an audience, but it also ensures you’ll continuously have something to post.
But social media isn’t the only place you want to have your content.
One of the most fitting places to promote content is via email.
If the law firm that hired your SEO agency provided you with email addresses for potential clients, blast that list with new content to remind people that that firm is a great choice if they need legal aid.
6. Measuring Conversions
After you’ve put in all the work to create content for your law firm client, you will want to know that it’s working.
The goal of writing content is always to bring in new clients, and there are a few ways you can go about determining how the content is faring in that area.
Tools such as Google Analytics are available to help you get accurate information regarding the impact that SEO content has had on sales.
Talk to the lawyers at the firm to see if the quality of their inbound leads has changed since the content was published.
Staying patient is an important part of SEO content writing, so you might not see results for the firms right away.
Checking conversions provides you with key information you can use for your future content strategy.
Everyone would like to get great ROI on the first try, but it might take some time for a law firm to find its footing when just beginning its content strategy.
Taking a few tries might be stressful, but it will pay off when it is done right.
Optimized content is a monumentally effective way for law firm websites to ascend Google’s SERPs and get seen by high-quality potential clients in need of legal services.
Content in all its forms serves to educate the public in legal matters and concurrently show that the law firm that published it is an expert in that part of the industry.
SEO agencies that manage a lot of law firm clients would do well to follow this guide for legal content writing.
It will take some time to build up a rich repository of content for the law firm, but the effort involved will be well worth it in the end.