Producing Top-Notch Content For Lawyer Internet Marketing: A Data-Driven Analysis
If you feel like your business is shooting in the dark when it comes to content marketing for lawyers, you aren’t alone; it turns out that overall, attorneys are not doing a great job at producing high-quality content that appeals to their audiences and results in more client business coming through the door.
In one study comparing the content marketing efforts of the 100 largest US law firms and the largest US accounting firms (as determined by American Lawyer Media and Inside Public Accounting, respectively), BuzzSumo and Infinite Global determined that the accounting powerhouses significantly outperformed law firms—even if you removed “the Big Four” accounting firms (PwC, Deloitte, EY, and KPMG) from the comparison.
To compare just one metric of content marketing success—the number of shares per blog article—accounting firms achieved an average of 131 content shares, versus an average of 27 on the legal marketing side. While the top 100 law firms were more successful on LinkedIn compared to the other social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) they still only experienced 20 LinkedIn shares on average compared to 52 shares per piece of content for the accounting giants.
It is time to face the facts: content marketing for lawyers has to improve if they want to achieve a significant return on investment (ROI) in the form of increased brand strength and recognition, and most importantly, more clients. In this guide, we will be highlighting how attorneys can create better legal marketing content based on data, research, and Optimized Attorney & Attorney Marketing’s decades of industry experience.
How to Define Success: A Brief Word About Lawyer Internet Marketing & Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Before we launch into the best content marketing strategies for law firms, it is important to mention how to define success in the context of “successful content marketing for lawyers,” and how your law firm can assess the effectiveness of your current content marketing strategy as well as the effectiveness of future efforts.
There are many ways to determine the success of a single piece of content and of a comprehensive content marketing strategy—these are called key performance indicators, or KPIs. A few KPIs include:
- The number of shares on social media and via email
- The number of reviews and citations from reputable sites
- The number of comments on a piece of content
- Website visitors (new and/or returning)
- Time spent on a webpage
- Conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who provide their contact information to download a piece of content, or who opt into your email list
In the study conducted by BuzzSumo, content marketing success was determined by assessing a single KPI—shares on social media—among law firms and accounting firms in order to easily compare apples to apples, so to speak. However, content marketing success for attorneys oftentimes encompasses a combination of several KPIs. For example, a personal injury law firm may consider a blog article successful if it receives hundreds of shares on social media, attracts 1,000 website visitors, and leads to 10 new leads and 2 new clients.
Tip: Learn more about marketing vanity metrics to beware of (and 3 to focus on instead).
It is up to each law firm to determine their short-term and long-term content marketing goals, and then track the KPIs that will enable them to assess progress toward these objectives at specified time intervals. A criminal defense law practice striving for increased brand recognition may want to keep an eye on social media shares, while a similar practice aiming for lead generation could track the number of leads generated by their latest white paper every month, for instance.
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Once you have determined your law firm’s content marketing goals, use the following strategies to develop great content that achieves those objectives.
Strategy #1 of Lawyer Internet Marketing: Don’t Give Everything Away for Free
Unlike blog articles, which are often provided for free to all website visitors, informational guides are perfect for storing behind a wall and requiring visitors to provide their contact information for access (these are called lead magnets because they generate leads for your law firm). The key is to make the content so appealing that most visitors don’t think twice about exchanging their name and email address for your lead magnets.
For Main Line Family Law Center, which specializes in divorce and family law, this meant returning to basics: doing keyword research to determine which topics their target market was searching for. According to a case study provided by HubSpot, the legal practice found that a significant number of search engine users in their area were searching for “legal separation in PA,” yet no law firm in their area had produced online content specifically tailored to that keyword phrase.
The marketing team produced a blog article centered on their newfound keyword phrase, which drove hefty traffic to their website. However, their website conversion rate remained low until they created a legal separation planning guide and placed it behind a wall that required visitors to provide their contact information.
Since featuring this lead magnet on their website (more specifically, on a landing page dedicated to convincing visitors to download the guide), Main Line Family Law Center now receives several qualified leads per day and has experienced a massive uptick in the number of leads converting into clients.
The secret to Main Line Family Center’s content marketing success is simple:
- They identified a need within their niche;
- Produced targeted content addressing that need;
- Spread the word about the available content online;
- Offered the content in exchange for prospects’ contact information;
- And followed up with every qualified lead coming into their client relationship management system (CRM)
This demonstrates that if you give prospects the information they need to educate themselves about their problem (in this case, marital issues) and learn about a possible solution (legal separation), and you are perfectly positioned to convert them from a prospect to client at the right moment.
With tools like the James Legal CRM, which contains a library of specialty-specific marketing materials, including a 100-page e-book that can be branded for your law firm, you won’t even have to dedicate resources to producing high-quality attorney marketing materials. The James Legal CRM also enables your legal practice to automate prospect follow-up, saving you time and money while ensuring that every prospect is engaged and cultivated along the sales pipeline until decision-ready.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
Strategy #2 Of Lawyer Internet Marketing: Add Length
Throughout the past few years you may have heard more buzz surrounding long-form content, which generally refers to content that is longer than 1,200 words—or more recently in the content marketing world, anywhere from 2,000 or 3,000 words and up.
You may be thinking “3,000 words? There is no way that my prospective clients would read something of that length!” Yet, research demonstrates that this first instinct may be wrong. Long-form content has become increasingly popular in recent years precisely because more marketers across all industries are seeing success in the form of greater readership, increased brand recognition, and more client conversions.
Buffer, for instance, conducted an internal audit of nearly 600 blog posts and determined that their articles containing at least 2,500 words performed far better than shorter articles of varying lengths, when comparing the number of shares on social media. Articles containing more than 2,500 words received an average of 6,600 social shares while articles between 2,001 and 2,500 words received 3,200 shares. Posts of up to 500 words performed the poorest, at just a few hundred social shares.
Marketing guru Neil Patel came to a similar conclusion—he abides by a 4,000-word threshold for his website content and regularly sees more than 100,000 visitors every month. While your law firm may not have the audience or pull that Neil Patel does, you can still experience the many benefits of long form content, such as:
- Increased value to readers: A 1,500-word article tends to deliver more value to readers than a 500-word post because it simply provides greater depth and/or breadth of information (unless your law firm adds 1,000 words of fluff in order to reach a specific word count—a tactic that will only serve to alienate readers).
- Longer time spent on page: Most visitors spend just seconds on a page, so if readers are spending minutes on your website to read a lengthy blog article, you have a much better opportunity to engage them and build a relationship. Plus, when prospects are poking around on your website, they aren’t straying to your competitors’ sites.
- Greater brand strength and reach: Prospects are much more likely to remember your law firm’s name after reading several high-quality blog articles produced by your practice, and are more willing to share valuable content to their networks.
- Stronger SEO: Content marketers believe that, all other factors being equal, Google will value a longer blog article on field sobriety tests over a shorter blog article on the same topic. This is most likely because of the three factors mentioned above—increased value to readers, longer time spent on the page, and a greater amount of traffic and shares.
The bottom line here: 2,000 words per post should be your new threshold for attorney marketing content while still prioritizing quality. It is better to produce one well-written, 2,000-word post per month that drives targeted traffic to your website than four 500-word posts that receive no engagement whatsoever.
Just remember that each piece of content should focus on a topic of significant value to your audience and be highly-researched, well-written, and optimized with keyword phrases about the topic at hand. Regarding topics, capitalizing on trends can be great for short-term success but evergreen articles—lasting pieces of content that remain relevant for years—result in greater payoff in the long run.
Strategy #3 Of Lawyer Internet Marketing: Invest in High-Quality Video Content
By 2020, video will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. If that is not enough to convince you to pick up a camera, consider this statistic from Hit Search: video marketing can grow a law firm’s organic search traffic by more than 150%!
Video is here to stay and content marketing for lawyers that exclude videos are missing out on massive benefits—not to mention falling further behind competitors. Here is the catch, though: you must invest in first-rate videos. Hit Search has determined that 62% of potential clients are likely to form a negative opinion of law firms that publish poor quality videos.
Invest time and resources into purchasing high-quality video equipment if you plan to produce videos in-house, or work with a video production partner that has built a reputation for crafting superior videos. Video marketing can be a significant financial investment depending on the length and complexity of your videos but it can pay for itself multiple times over in the form of website traffic, brand recognition, and client conversions.
For instance, take this law firm overview video from The Decker Law Firm. As of July 2017, it has received 32,000 views! Not bad for a simple 30-second video that can easily be recreated by your law firm.
When featuring your videos on YouTube, just be sure to completely fill in the video description and include a link to your law firm’s website. A few additional best practices include:
- Responding to comments in order to engage your audience and encourage more comments (videos with a greater number of comments tend to rank more highly)
- Filming your videos in high-definition; HD videos dominate 68.2% of the videos on the first page of YouTube, according to Backlinko
Strategy #4 Of Lawyer Internet Marketing: Let Clients Do Some Marketing For You
In the form of reviews and testimonials, that is. Not only is this type of marketing free for your law firm, but it is also a great way to generate social proof and convince prospects to reach out to your legal practice. After all, nearly every person researching your law firm online will search through reviews; according to BrightLocal, only 9% of consumers don’t browse online reviews, and a whopping 90% of people read fewer than 10 reviews before judging the quality of the reviewed firm.
Put simply, this means that 9 out of every 10 potential clients will form an opinion about your law firm after reading just a handful of online reviews. Are you confident that what they see online will convince them to pick up the phone?
Don’t leave it to chance. At Optimized Attorney & Attorney Marketing, our online reputation management (ORM) tool helps you automatically build a cache of positive online reviews (without ever having to hassle clients!) and “park” the negative reviews that alienate business. Additionally, the James ORM aggregates your reviews from popular online review sites into one user-friendly platform, where you can view what clients are saying about your law firm and respond in real time. No more guesswork, no more poor reviews that turn off potential clients.
Try the James ORM referral tool
This year, take control of your online reputation and employ the other three strategies above in order to build a strong content marketing plan that drives business through the door. If you need assistance, Optimized Attorney & Attorney Marketing specializes in content marketing for lawyers. Contact us to discuss the James Legal CRM and its built-in library of specialty-specific attorney marketing materials, which can save your law firm hundreds or even thousands of dollars!
Schedule a free marketing performance and spend audit
What Lawyer Internet Marketing Will Look Like
Every year without fail, marketers release their opinions about the future of content marketing—what trends will influence the space, new tools at your disposal. You may have already heard a few of these predictions… but did any of them really tell you what your law firm should be doing in response?
In this article, you will not only uncover four attorney content marketing trends and tendencies you should expect in 2017, but also learn what these deductions mean for your law firm and how you can best get ahead.
The competition will be fiercer than ever
In July 2016, Contently released an infographic about the amount of content produced and engaged with in just one second in today’s world. Below are just a few data points shared. Every 60 seconds…
- 300 hours of video are uploaded to the internet
- Facebook users click the “Like” button more than 4 million times
- Users Tweet nearly 350,000 times
What this means for law firms: That’s a lot of content spewing into the internet every minute of every day, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. The competition in the attorney content marketing sphere is fiercer than ever. Standing out in 2017 involves creating a mix of trendy and evergreen content that really resonates with your audience.
For instance, section your email list by where prospects are in the sales funnel and/or their level of engagement (leads, clients, enthusiastic promoters, disengaged recipients, etc.), and then develop targeted email campaigns that appeal to these specific segments. Extremely relevant content is one key to differentiating yourself from the other businesses that are emailing your contacts every day, and therefore achieving greater open and click-through rates.
More visual content, more viewers
As mentioned above, hundreds of hours of video are uploaded to the internet every minute. Additionally, according to Contently, every 60 seconds people share 400 hours of new video, consume nearly 7 million Snapchat videos, and stream 86,805 hours of video on Netflix.
What this means for law firms: Internet and social media users—your prospects and clients—crave visual content. Even if you don’t have the bandwidth to craft videos and build a YouTube following, make an effort to tie visual elements into your existing attorney content marketing strategy:
- Include graphs, graphics, or screenshots in your blog articles
- Brand email newsletters with your logo and colors, and use call to action buttons rather than just hyperlinks (Campaign Monitor found that adding a call to action button increased click-throughs by 28%)
- Post images on social media
- Feature photos of clients alongside testimonials
- Make responsive e-books that are formatted for readability
Mobile continues to be the vehicle of choice
This shouldn’t come as a shock to attorneys, who are probably used to hearing that mobile is the future. But did you know that mobile now gobbles up 65% of all digital media time (per ComScore’s report titled 2016 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus)? That’s nearly double the time spent on desktop—a mere 35% share of all digital time.
What this means for law firms: As mobile continues to trend upward, law firms can’t rely on the same old techniques and strategies that served them well in the past. They must change with the times.
For example, Google Local marketing will be more important than ever as mobile users rely on their phones to search out local resources, and conduct “near me” searches like “criminal defense attorney near me.” Attorneys who fail to focus on Google Local marketing will have no chance of landing in the Google 3-pack that is seen by a huge number of Google users.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
More law firms will use technology to streamline content marketing efforts
It used to be the case that attorneys spent the majority of their content marketing budget on developing content and only a small portion on promoting that material. However, that has changed.
Now, more law practices are seeing results by pumping up their promotional and technological budgets in order to ensure that their content actually reaches prospects and clients (with less administrative work on the back end).
What this means for law firms: Focus less on producing the greatest amount of content and more on crafting the greatest quality attorney marketing content… and then pushing that out to the right audiences. Think Optimized Attorney’s 100-page book (branded with your name and biography) handed out at your office or targeted drip email campaigns sent through the James Legal CRM.
Additionally, migrate to systems that streamline your marketing efforts while cutting unnecessary costs, so that every dollar is spent on effective development and promotion strategies. The James Legal CRM…
- Sends prospects high-quality, specialty-specific legal content branded with your name
- Provides expertly crafted email drip campaigns and lead magnets
- Monitors marketing ROI
- And more
It typically saves clients $500 to $1,200 per month while helping law firms promote content that is extremely relevant to their prospects and clients, which can increase lead conversion and client satisfaction.
With resources like the James Legal CRM available, law firms should not go it alone in 2017. It’s time to work with attorney marketing specialists to master content marketing and finally see the business results you’ve been longing for.
Click here to learn more about automating your firm!
How Great Content Can Reach Your Ideal Client Before They Are Ready To Retain
Marketing specialists talk an awful lot about the sales cycle. But what exactly is that? We can say with some certainty that it begins by prospecting for leads. On the customer side, they’re still in the research phase.
But the research phase of the sales cycle can also be broken down into smaller parts, and this rings especially true for law firms.
For instance, if you have just been through a surgery and are experiencing adverse effects, you may naturally wonder whether or not you have a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your SEO firm’s job is to determine likely search keys for such a query.
The customer will click on whichever choice they believe will best answer their question. This can come in the form of a blog post or a page that is dedicated to answering frequently asked questions concerning medical malpractice lawsuits.
In either instance, the visitor is going to be interested in having their question answered as simply and concisely as possible.
How does this trend differ from past trends concerning legal marketing? You are actually targeting potential clients earlier in the sales cycle. Clients who have questions like these aren’t sure whether or not they have a case or whether they should bother with a lawyer at all. By targeting these sorts of questions, law firms are establishing a rapport with someone before they are researching who the best attorney is to take their case.
Informing and Educating
The why is fairly self-explanatory, so let’s muse a bit about the how. Your website, while simultaneously being a beacon for prospective clients, can also be an incredible resource to others that are interested in basic questions concerning your area of practice. It takes time, dedication, and failing those, money to establish this resource, but it’s not, on the other hand, without value.
It allows you to establish yourself as an authority in your field while simultaneously cobbling together resources scattered all across the web under one roof. In addition, it allows you to discuss important aspects of the law, recent changes to the law, and important decisions that have impacted your area of practice.
In other words, it’s a great place for potential clients to go to learn more about how the law relates to your niche.
That’s rather generic, so let’s get specific.
You want to diversify your approach to content. In other words, shorter pieces are great for answering simple questions but there are many out there who are going to want to understand every aspect of their lawsuit.
Not only that, but they will very likely have enough time to do so. Lawsuits take a long time and can span months or even years depending on the kind of lawsuit being filed.
Examples of the sort of content that could be valuable to potential clients are:
- How to guides
- “What to do if” guides
Answering these sorts of questions will establish you as a thought leader in your area of practice.
Using Email Campaigns
Some folks find email campaigns annoying, but those who do are individuals that have no real interest in your practice of law. That’s fine. You aren’t targeting these people. You’re targeting those who do have an interest, especially those who have an interest in their own case.
Newsletters for your firm are one more way that you can reach out to prospective or former clients and gain referrals based on past success.
Not only that, but you can link special content to entering an email address in order to grow your list.
PPC and General Question Keywords
There are a number of firms that aren’t targeting question-related keywords to their PPC campaigns. While PPC doesn’t make sense all the time, it can work in a number of instances. Depending on your area of practice it may be worthwhile to look into this strategy as the bidding on the search keys may not be very high at all.
Another key to dropping the price is restricting the reach of the audience by location. Running PPC ads on general queries may be expensive for e-commerce companies, but your law firm is a local practice. So unless you specialize in multi-state class actions, you can restrict your audience by location and vastly reduce the cost per click.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter can be an excellent source of cheap advertising as well.
The idea of targeting general queries is an excellent way for your law firm to generate a rapport with potential clients. Even those who do not end up taking their case to court will have some knowledge now that your firm manages such cases. If they or someone they know needs a lawyer in your practice area, they will know right who to go to.
Content marketing is the best way marketers know of to establish that trust and build a rapport with their community and prospective clients. It’s a long-term approach, but it’s an approach worth investing in.
This is why we advise our clients to target leads before they’ve even decided whether to bring their lawsuit to court. Interesting and engaging content makes a memory.
If you need help increasing your lead flow or would like to talk to Travis about your marketing efforts, fill out the form or schedule a time to chat with Travis directly. To schedule a call with Travis, click here.
How to Intelligently Keyword Your Legal Content
19 out of 20 people use search engines when looking for legal advice. So when your law firm ranks high in the search engines, you don’t need to find clients – they’ll find you.
The issue, however, is that ranking your site at the top of the search engines is not necessarily easy. There are many law firms out there is trying to rank their sites above yours, and this competition makes things tough.
However, there is a way to overcome this, and it all comes down to understanding and using the right organic search optimization strategies.
Understanding How People Search Google
When looking to improve your search engine rankings, a reference is typically being made to improving your rankings for certain keywords. Most law firms appreciate this concept, but end up with a poor selection of keywords because they don’t have a good sense of how people actually use search engines.
This often leads to them trying to rank for keywords that are too high in competition, whilst also making it so that they’re ignoring massive segments of their potential target market.
In doing so, many law firms experience little-to-no results when it comes to implementing an SEO plan. As a result many law firms end up writing off SEO as something that doesn’t work – when this couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you understand how people use Google, it becomes a lot easier to identify keywords that will be easy to rank for, of which will also provide a large a return on investment. Understanding this concept is critical if you want to achieve long term SEO success.
People searching Google typically search with three forms of ‘intent’ when it comes to legal matters–
- Commercial investigation
Those using informational keywords, are often looking for content that they can use to help them with a current legal situation/question. They’re not necessarily looking to bring a lawyer on board right now. They just want some background knowledge on a certain topic.
Such people might type the following into Google –
- ‘How to handle wrongful termination’
- ‘How to value a personal injury’
- ‘Impact of new California employment legislation’
Commercial investigation keywords relate to situations wherein people are comparing law firms/lawyers. In most cases, people using these keywords are trying to figure out how each of the local lawyers stack up against each other.
Such individuals might type in –
- Best Startup lawyers in Houston
- Houston Divorce Lawyers Reviews
Buyer keywords are inputted by people who are looking for help right now. These individuals are in a situation where they’re ready to become a client. These keywords typically produce the greatest ROI – but can also be the most competitive.
Examples include –
- Work with Houston Lawyer
- Contact Houston Lawyer
- Criminal Lawyers in Houston
- Personal injury lawyer houston
If you want to build a long term SEO strategy, you’ll want to focus on all three forms of intent. Though it can be tempting to focus on just ‘Buyer’ keywords, doing so can hurt your ability to rank in the long term.
In most cases, the best way to rank for keywords, no matter their intent, is with the help of relevant content – something we’re going to explore next.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
How Content Turns Website Visitors into Law Firm Clients
Before we cover creating content, it’s important to emphasize the importance of playing the long game with SEO.
A lot of law firms think that ‘Informational’ keywords are not worth their time. After all, such keywords don’t look as though they’re being typed in by someone who has a ‘burning desire’ to work with a lawyer right now. Such keywords can, therefore, have a lower perceived value.
However, taking such an approach can lead to you adopting an SEO strategy that isn’t going to be beneficial in the long term, especially when you consider that informational keywords can turn readers into clients – but just not in the way you might think.
To help emphasize the importance of playing the long game and why you should rank for Informational keywords, let’s quickly explore how ‘informational’ content turns readers into clients –
- Someone will type in an Informational keyword to learn more about a certain legal issue.
- They’ll read your content and begin to appreciate that you’re an expert on the matter. They’ll also begin to appreciate that your firm understands how to get the best results when it comes to this kind of legal issue. This helps to builds trust and credibility.
From this point, one of two things can happen –
- If it’s an immediate problem that they’re dealing with, they’ll reach out and ask for help. Your content shows that you know what you’re doing and hence they’ll feel comfortable seeking your assistance.
- If they don’t need help right now, they’ll keep you in mind. Because you’ve proven yourself with informative content, they’ll reach out the next time they have a legal issue that needs immediate attention.
When you account for the above, it’s easy to see why Informational keywords are integral to a solid organic SEO plan and why Informational keywords are, in fact, worth your time. If you don’t take the long term approach and fail to create informational content, you’re going to be limiting the SEO potential of your law firm’s website, thereby producing poor results in the process.
Improve Your Law Firm’s Ranking Using Content
When it comes to creating content, for the most part, your main focus should be to create content that helps you to rank for informational keywords. Doing so will produce the greatest returns in the long run. There is also generally less competition for informational keywords.
If you want to rank for informational keywords, you’ll want to create how-to content.
The kind of how-to content you create is going to depend on the kind of law that your firm deals with. For instance, if you deal primarily with criminal law, then you might create content titled –
- 19 Things Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Wishes You Knew
- What to Expect When Visiting a Loved One in Jail
- Search and Seizure of Motor Vehicles
- Flowchart of a Journey Through the Criminal Justice System
- Collateral Consequences of a Guilty Plea
You need to think about all of the how-to terms that people will type into Google, when looking for advice and guidance on the issues that your law firm deals with. You then need to create content based on those terms.
For most lawyers, this is a relatively easy process, as you no doubt know your specialty well.
If you’re struggling, however, consider jotting down some of the questions that keep cropping up when you’re talking to clients for the first time. These questions serve as perfect starting points for how-to content, of which will help you rank for Informational keywords.
However, if you’re still finding it difficult to come up with informational keyword/topics ideas, you can use the Google Keyword Tool to help you.
When it comes to using the Google Keyword tool to aid the creation of ‘Informational content’ here’s the general process –
- Use the Google Keyword tool to uncover relevant ‘Informational keywords’ of which are related to the kind of law your firm deals with
- Create detailed ‘how-to’ content based on the keywords returned
So, in more detail, here’s how you can use the Google Keyword tool to come up with keyword ideas.
First head over to https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner.
Once there, enter in the ‘type’ of legal issue you want your content to cover followed by ‘legal advice.’ For the sake of this article, the example of ‘identity fraud legal advice’ will be used.
Once done, click on ‘Get ideas.’
You’ll then be presented with two sections – ‘Ad group ideas’ and ‘Keyword ideas.’
It’s best to stick to the suggestions provided in ‘Ad group ideas.’ That’s because this section organizes the keywords into ‘topics,’ making it easier to guide your content efforts.
As you can see in the image below, several topics/keywords have been presented within the ‘Ad group ideas’ section.
It’s also worth mentioning that ‘Search volume’ data has also been presented, letting you know which topics are more in demand.
For most law firms, however, this part doesn’t really matter.
That’s because even if there are only a few searches being performed for a certain keyword/topics, these keywords still have the potential to draw in profitable clients. You’ll also want to ignore the Competition section as this refers to paid advertising.
In any case, each of the Ad groups highlighted provide a good starting point for someone who wants to create informational content based on identity fraud for their law firm’s website.
If you click on each of these topics, you’re provided with some keywords which help clarify the questions that people have in relation to a certain topic. For example, when clicking on the Ad Group titled ‘Report Identity,’ the following keywords are shown –
All of this information can then be used to formulate content ideas. For instance, based on the above, the following pieces of content could be created –
- What to Do After You’ve Been Hurt by Identity Fraud
- The Steps you Need to Go Through to Report Identity Fraud
Alternatively, you can create an extremely detailed piece that aims to answer each of the questions highlighted by the keywords shown above.
So that’s how you can use the Google Keyword Tool to figure out what topics you should be focusing on when it comes to creating content that will help you rank for Informational keywords.
Using the Google Keyword tool, the person in charge of a law firm’s marketing can go from having no idea as to the kind content that they should create, to having a clear evidence-based sense of what they should focus on creating.
Go into as Much Detail as Possible
There are two benefits to creating long form content.
The first is that long form content does a better job at demonstrating expertise and credibility.
If the content is long form, it demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about and people who want help right now will feel comfortable seeking out your guidance.
Secondly, long form content will lead to better SEO results.
Long form content generally ranks in the search engines better than short content.
The chart below is based on one million Google Search results.
Lastly, your content will also receive more shares if it is detailed. This is because people will find it so informative, that they’ll happily promote it for you. All of the above ultimately leads to increased exposure for your law firm and hence increased profits.
If you want to get the best results, you’ll want to use a multi-faceted approach. Properly-keyworded content is an important foundational step, but it is only one of several steps that should be taken to improve your site’s rankings.
We can help you identify:
- What else your site needs to improve its Google page position (we use the very-costly Brightedge software to identify fixes needed and keywords to pursue)
- Easy steps you can take yourself to improve your conversion rate
- Software additions that will generate more calls from prospects
- Technology that will simplify your life
You can begin the identification and improvement process by answering the 6 multiple-choice questions on our marketing audit questionnaire.
Here’s How to Write Law Firm Website Content That Avoids Attorney Speak
Some law firms believe that the best source of website content and marketing material text is their in-house staff. After all, executives and support staff are intimately familiar with the subject matter and know how to best describe their services… right?
Ponder this: if you and your attorney team spoke to the average person on the street using the legal vernacular you utilize daily, would that person understand and want to do business together? Probably not.
Read on to find out how to write law firm website content that avoids attorney speak and resonates with prospects and clients.
Adjust Your Jargon
When speaking via written word on your website or in person, bring it back to basics. How did mentors or colleagues explain concepts to you when you were first learning the ins and outs of your role? Apply these same practices to the content included in your marketing pieces and conversations so you sound more like a friend or knowledgeable resource to your prospects and clients than a dry encyclopedia.
For instance, if your practice specializes in family and divorce law, don’t assume that everyone would know what you mean by “wage garnishment” or “assets.” Instead, boil it down and provide plenty of explanations and examples along the way. Also, if you’re using complicated or uncommon terminology within your website, you can even hyperlink terms to blog posts or explanatory articles you’ve written on the topic, which could serve to drive more traffic to other parts of your law firm website.
Marketing professionals across all industries have realized that people don’t want to be sold to; they want to hear a story, and ingest content that is both interesting and relevant. Sometimes the best way to let others know about the value of your services in a simple, unaggressive manner is to use testimonials on your law firm website.
Testimonials are not only great for your credibility, since they are recommendations of your services from actual clients, but they can also be more relatable to some readers since they come straight from someone who was in their exact position—a layperson either completely or relatively unfamiliar with the legal system.
Consult the Experts
An outside viewpoint can help to dial in your law firm website’s style and tone. Don’t hesitate to ask the experts at Optimized Attorney about content development and SEO services that can increase website traffic and boost leads!
Contact us for your free attorney website consultation today!
How Other Lawyers Are Using Content To Draw New Clients
Refine your niche
Your content development efforts will be more effective if you at least initially concentrate on a sharply-defined niche. Look for a high-demand aspect of your specialty where you can become one of the top authorities in your region.
For example, bankruptcy attorney Michael Mack targets “eliminating credit card debt” at TheCreditMan.com and takes that rifle-shot approach in most of his marketing:
“I started using direct mail, but I did not use it like most other lawyers. For example, the envelopes were hand written because half the battle is getting the letter read.”
“I included coupons offering, for example, a “Free Credit Audit.” These coupons created high perceived value instead versus simply offering a free consultation. I also included a “24-Hour Free Recorded Message” on the letter so folks could hear me providing useful information about a legal topic.”
A second example of successful targeting is Los Angeles divorce attorney David Pisarra’s angle for standing out from the crowd:
“When we focused our marketing on Men’s Family Law and Father’s Rights and became MensFamilyLaw.com, we noticed a sizable uptick in our return on investment in our internet advertising and internet search rankings. This demonstrated to me that one of the largest unknown problems that we had been struggling with was focusing on a target market, and differentiation of our services from the other family law and divorce attorneys.”
With subsequent emails we will outline other winning content strategies and provide examples and resources you can use to implement those proven approaches.
For more tips and other business strategies, contact us—we’ve got methods that work.
How the Holidays Can Help You Create Valuable Legal Content
The holidays are a time for parties, traveling, and spending time with loved ones—but they’re also a backdrop for a host of legal issues. In this way, the holidays offer valuable content you can provide to your clients to keep them safe and sane during the jolliest of seasons.
Let’s take a look at a few content ideas, in a variety of practice areas.
Personal Injury and Holiday Road-Rage
With hurried drivers on the road; whether traveling long distances by car, or circling mall parking lots, the holidays can turn calm drivers into angry drivers. Couple this with adverse weather conditions, and accidents are just waiting to happen.
If you’re a personal injury attorney, or even a criminal defense attorney, create content addressing how to avoid conflict with road-rage drivers, and how to handle the season’s traffic with ease. If someone is the victim of an injury or assault resulting from road-rage, offer legal tips on what steps to take next—the first being contacting your law firm.
Employment Law and Holiday Pay
Employment and holiday pay is often misunderstood, as many employees don’t know that employers aren’t legally required to offer holiday pay. However, there are employees who have it written into their employment contracts that they’ll be allotted holiday benefits, overtime wages on holidays, etc., but this they may be unaware. Therefore, provide content discussing holiday pay, and if an employee is not sure to what he or she is entitled, how to check their company’s policies and their personal contract.
Drunk Driving and the Holidays
There’s a host of content that can be created regarding drunk driving and the holidays. This can range from a blog or infographic on how to host a safe holiday party—such as having designated drivers on hand; DUI checkpoint tips, and how to stay safe on state highways during an accident-prone season.
Child Visitation, Divorce, and the Holidays
Family Law matters during the holidays are difficult to handle; especially regarding a recent or pending divorce, child visitation, child custody, and more. Provide content that can help a separated family deal with the holidays with less stress, or create a gift list for those who want to give a recent divorcee something special, such as a Spa day, a wine tasting trip, or a day of golf.
For parents handling child visitation or custody issues, create content that outlines a parent’s legal rights during the holidays, and what to do if their rights aren’t being enforced.
Use the Holidays to Promote Your Firm, Personally
Share video of your staff at holiday office parties. Upload photos of firm members in awful holiday sweaters, and have your readers vote for the best (or worst) one. Post your staff’s favorite holiday recipes on your blog, or offer tips on gift-giving. This is the season to really let your fun and personal side shine through. Your readers will appreciate it.
Good Legal Content Deserves Great Promotion
Lawyers who add new content on a predictable schedule generate more traffic than those who do so irregularly. And lawyers who promote each new addition through a variety of channels receive far more traffic than those who don’t.
Here are some lawyers who follow these two important principles. First, District of Columbia divorce lawyer Regina DeMeo (Regina DeMeo.com) shares her experience:
“I talked to a lot of my peers, as well as colleagues in other fields, to figure out what was working for them. I was willing at first to give any strategy a shot but over time I really did make sure things were worth my investment of either time or money.
“It turned out for me that I really enjoyed social media marketing. I like blogging and sharing ideas with my friends and colleagues so that is something I have used to keep everyone informed of what I do, and why I love my work. Over 50% of my business comes from friends or colleagues so sharing my passion for family law with them has helped strengthen these referral sources.”
California employment lawyer Alison Dearden says every time she shares a blog post she’s written on LinkedIn or Twitter, she gains new followers and new visitors to her site. And:
“Sharing blog articles on Twitter and LinkedIn is also a great way to share your knowledge with friends and colleagues. Even if a blog article doesn’t directly bring in a new client, your LinkedIn colleague will be reminded of your area of expertise and, thus, more likely to remember you when someone she knows is in need of your services.”
Writing and promoting regularly requires organization and discipline, and can get in the way of your practice.
The Most Successful Legal Content Marketers Diversify Their Efforts
The way you distribute your content is not as important as its helpfulness. Lawyers are finding success with blogging, podcasting, radio, social media, TV, and some less common approaches like this one from Los Angeles business litigator Kenneth Eade:
“I am writing op/ed articles for a California law periodical, discussing the issues that have arisen from the cases I have handled.”
While Eade does attribute some of his flow of new clients to the success stories on his website, he says the main thing driving people to his practice are the op/ed articles he’s writing for the Daily Journal.
Chicago injury lawyer Jonathon Rosenfeld believes strongly in providing content from a variety of sources:
“I share all types of original content that we create: articles, blogs, court filings, videos, and infographics,” he says. “However, my primary goal is to share quality content from all sources. I regularly share material from other attorneys, non-attorneys, and general news sources who produce strong content. It’s very important to share a broad-base of material as you lose credibility when you are solely sharing material from one source.”
Mr. Rosenfeld has also long promoted his content through a variety of social and other channels, and that presence pays off in a variety of ways:
“When I launched StrykerHipFAQ.com, I was able to establish the site relatively quickly because my supporters on various platforms, such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, were willing to help spread the word and engage with us.”
The key takeaway from these examples is not to be reliant on one approach. To secure a steady flow of new clients, continue to add new ways to generate, distribute, and promote your content.
Reasons Why Your Law Firm Should Start a Podcast
Whether social media networking, blogging, even hosting webinars, there’s no shortage of effective content marketing options.
An underlying theme that makes each of these marketing options successful is the connection you can make with your audience through good storytelling. One of the best ways to tell a good story is by way of a podcast.
If you’re not already doing so, here are 5 reasons why your law firm should start a podcast, and how it can promote your firm and help build your brand in all the right ways.
1. Podcasts Are Easily Consumed
Unlike webinar videos (or videos in general), and text-based content such as blogs, podcasts don’t require a user’s undivided attention. A podcast can stream via headphones as a person commutes, exercises, does chores around the house, etc. In this way, podcasts are becoming increasingly popular for those who want to consume interesting and relevant legal information, but don’t need to sit still to do so.
2. Podcasts Allow Intimacy
Podcasts allow you to talk to your audience directly, which promotes intimacy and a more personal connection than static words on a page. Also, by allowing your audience to hear your voice and the way you express yourself, this can be an important selling point when it comes time to hire legal representation. Just make sure to speak clearly, professionally, and with conviction.
3. Podcasts Can Set You Apart
Despite the benefits and increasing popularity of podcasting, few law firms are actually doing it, so hosting a podcast gives your firm a marketing advantage over your competitors. Make sure you advertise your podcast and provide links everywhere you can; on your blog, social media pages, and YouTube channel.
4. Podcasts Are More Than One-Way Communication
Although podcasts allow you to run the show, it doesn’t have to be a one-way show. You can invite legal experts or industry colleagues to do a guest podcast for your firm, as well as conduct interviews, or even broadcast satisfied clients who can talk about their experience with your firm and services rendered.
5. Podcasts Can Connect Your Firm With Your Firm
Podcasts are great for connecting you with present and potential clients, but they’re also great for connecting in-house. Podcasts can help train new staff, make announcements in lieu of company meetings, applaud staff members for case accomplishments and victories, and keep all members of the firm on the same page throughout the week, and throughout the year.
10 Steps To Making A Podcast for iTunes
Has your law firm ever wished that it could demonstrate its legal expertise while sharing helpful information and enticing prospects into reaching out for a consultation? Brief podcasts can turn this dream into a reality!
According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, more than 60% of tablet and smartphone users consume news on their devices weekly and nearly 40% access news from their devices on an everyday basis. In addition, more consumers are downloading news and podcast apps for their devices, enabling them to access content anytime and anywhere.
When your law firm’s marketing team is ready to make the move to iTunes, consider the how-to guide below!
1. Gather necessary supplies.
You may be tempted to use the microphone on your computer to record your podcast, but steer clear—the sound quality may suffer. Invest in a high-quality microphone!
2. Choose your podcast software.
There are a slew of available podcast software products to assist in your law firm’s podcast marketing efforts. Notable free options include Audacity and Garageband, while Adobe Audition is a costly but reputable possibility.
3. Whip up an outline.
Nothing destroys the quality and appeal of a podcast faster than long, awkward pauses and fumbling dialogue. Before recording, be sure to outline a script. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to provide enough talking points to ensure that the podcast flows smoothly.
4. Test, test, test!
Don’t let equipment malfunctions ruin what would otherwise be a solid product—test your equipment beforehand! Adjust the sound controls and distance from the microphone if necessary, and limit background noise.
5. Do a dry run.
Completing a sample recording enables you to work out the kinks in your script and tweak any sound or equipment bugs that you may have overlooked during testing.
6. Record your podcast!
This is the time to let your law firm’s marketing magic work. Remain calm and collected, have fun, and keep the purpose of the podcast in mind—educating the audience and enticing listeners to consult your law firm. Once you are satisfied with your final product, save the audio file in an acceptable file format such as .mp3.
7. Create an RSS feed and cover art.
An RSS podcast feed sends updates directly to feed readers like iTunes. When creating an RSS feed for your podcast, utilizing a blog platform like WordPress might work best. It’s also essential to have a podcast cover graphic, which could simply be your law firm’s logo.
Post your RSS file, cover art, and episode file to the Internet. If your law firm’s marketing team used WordPress in the last step, this is the time to push the post live on its WordPress platform.
9. Submit to iTunes.
Consult iTunes’ Submission and Feedback Process when uploading your RSS feed’s URL.
10. Market your podcast.
Spread the word on social media, blog pages, and your law firm’s webpage. The more people that know about the podcast’s existence, the larger your pool of potential followers!
What is a Podcast?
Entrepreneur’s Journey gives a straight-forward explanation of what a podcast is. Basically, it is a downloadable audio file. The term “podcast” is a contraction of “Pod” and “broadcast. It is like a snippet of a talk radio show that people download and listen to on an MP3 player, either when they are driving in their car, or jogging, or sitting in the garden. If you have considered putting up PDF files on your law firm’s website to attract the general public by explaining aspects of the law, you could produce that information to an audio format in order to benefit from the new podcasting trend. Another big benefit of pocasts is that you can post them on third party sites, like iTunes, in order to get the attention of the general public.
What is a Podcast
This guide from How To Podcast Tutorial explores formats you could use for your podcast. If you have a good speaking voice, you could just produce your podcast as a monologue. However, if you are not so confident, you could hire in a professional podcaster to produce your podcast for you. In the second scenario, the podcast would probably take the form of an interview, with the podcaster asking you a series of questions about the legal topic you want to highlight. Using the “talk radio” format makes planning your presentation a lot easier.
What Mic Do I Need For a Professional Podcast? 10 of The Best Podcasting Microphones
If you plan to produce your podcasts yourself, this Search Engine Journal article runs down the best hardware currently available. If you are going to shell out some of your law firm’s budget on a microphone, read this article first to work out which mic will produce the best quality podcast.
How To Market Your Podcast Online
This article contains essential advice, but, unfortunately, it is a little complicated. The article explains that you link your podcast library to your own website via an RSS feed. If you go back to the Entrepreneur’s Journey page, at the beginning of this article list, you will find links to a guide on how to set up RSS feeds. This Search Engine Journal article also has links to articles explaining procedures to integrate this technology into your law firm’s website. This step is necessary because if you store your podcasts on the same server as your law firm’s website, you could slow down access to your site, or even crash the server because of all the bandwidth required to download copies of the podcast.
What It Takes To Get Your Business Ranked Locally with Bernadette Coleman
One more Search Engine Journal article here and this is included as an example of a podcast. Rather than focusing on the content of this podcast, look at how the article gives a brief introduction to the topic and then explains how to access the podcast via iTunes. The podcast is also included as a stream embedded in the article. Having said that, the topic of this podcast would also be of interest to lawyers trying to raise their profiles in local searches.
Things That Will Tank Your Lawyer Internet Marketing Content
Businesses of every industry today—law firms included—are grasping the importance of content marketing as a crucial component to their overall marketing strategy.
Content marketing includes articles, blogs, videos, andsocial media engagement; posts, tweets, etc.—and is incredibly effective in attracting potential and existing clients to your website and social pages. That is, if your content is any good.
Content marketing is rife with mistakes that can hinder the effectiveness of even the best content intentions. Bad, or ineffective content, can push potential clients away from your firm, and into the hands of your competition.
No matter what stage you’re at in your content marketing, here are 5 things that are guaranteed to tank your marketing content.
1. Your Content Tries to Sell
People are exposed to thousands of sales pitches every day, both online and off. Using your content as just another pitch can mean the difference between being followed, or being ignored.
By providing articles, videos, and social media posts that engage your audience, people will start to come to your site as a trusted source of information. Once you’ve established a relationship with your audience, then you can pitch your firm and your services. And even then, keep this limited.
2. Your Content is Boring
Even the best written text can be a drag after a while if that’s all you’re providing for your readers. Make sure you’re offering up a buffet of content in the form of photos, videos, infographics, even podcasts. A variety of content will keep your audience intrigued and entertained—and coming back for more.
3. Your Content is Inconsistent
To capture and hold your audience’s attention, make sure you’re posting your content with consistency. Upload fresh content to your social media pages at least 3-4 per week (preferably daily), and update your blog at least once a week.
Consistent posting can help maintain your audience, as they’ll become familiar with your posting schedule, and know when to return for new content.
4. Your Content Doesn’t Interact
You post great content, and your audience responds to your content with comments, questions, even suggestions, and you don’t respond. This is a surefire way to alienate your audience, and quickly lose your fan base. If you’re not interacting with your audience by way of your content, your audience will give up trying to connect with you—and will move on to a more user-friendly law firm.
5. Your Content is Written For SEO
Your content should focus on making your audience happy, not search engines. Even if your audience knows nothing about SEO, they will notice if your content is keyword-stuffed, duplicate, flooded with links, etc.
Structuring your content strictly for SEO purposes will bore and confuse your readers—and as more search engines deploy algorithm updates to keep black hat SEO operators at bay, your content could get tossed off the SE’s altogether.
How Much Legal Content is Enough?
It is impossible to research legal marketing without hearing one consistent message from all sides: content is more important than ever. It’s true, producing content is one of the strongest legal internet marketing strategies for your firm due to search engine optimization (SEO) benefits and increased audience engagement.
So how much content should you be producing on a regular basis to see the effects of your efforts? In other words, how much is “enough” content?
Determining Ideal Content Production Rate
Like many things in marketing, your firm’s ideal content production rate is dependent upon a multitude of factors including:
Different mediums attract and cater to different audiences with varied content tastes. For instance, Facebook is a more casual forum where audiences tend to like shorter, visual posts (typically no more than two new posts per day). Long-form posts focused on professional topics—posted no more than once daily—work well on LinkedIn.
The point is: it’s important to tailor content, altering your core legal internet marketing material to fit each medium’s tone, style, and ideal type of content. For example, a criminal defense practice could start by writing a 1,000-word blog article series for LinkedIn about unreasonable searches and seizures, producing one or two articles every week.
Then, the attorney team could break down the weekly article(s) into smaller pieces and make infographics or short videos for each piece, releasing them every few days on Facebook with a link to the original article and the firm’s website. Once a month, the firm could compile a few of the best posts and infographics to share in an email newsletter, introducing the posts with some brief copy and a few well-placed calls to action.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
As with all marketing, your audience really determines how much legal internet marketing content is the ideal amount for your firm. Take a look at:
- You firms’ website traffic
- Blog post readership
- Email open and read through rates
- Social media engagement
These can determine how to adjust your production across the multiple platforms you are managing. If a personal injury practice’s blog posts see very high open rates from website traffic but its social media engagement is nil across Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, it should analyze the discrepancy. If the firm doesn’t release enough content on Facebook, for example, its rare posts are going to get buried on readers’ newsfeeds before they even have a chance to be seen. At the end of the day, there are dozens of reasons why content could under-perform on social media compared to website traffic, but producing too much or not enough content could be the main culprit.
Of course, “enough” content is relative and depends partially on your firm’s resources. If you don’t have adequate manpower to produce much legal internet marketing material in-house, it’s sometimes best to outsource your legal content creation in order to produce the amount of content required to see significant SEO and audience engagement benefits.
Why Your Website Content Sucks, And How To Improve It
I review legal content on dozens of law firm sites each week, and the one thing they all have in common is, their content sucks. Prospects could care less about how amazing you are or how many awards you’ve won; they want to know if you can help them with their problem, that’s it. It is that simple, answer questions your prospective clients have or may have simply and straightforwardly, and you will see a dramatic improvement in your conversion rates.
Writing great content for attorneys or any website has long been one of the most important factors when trying to attract quality prospects to your site. Among the most critical factors is content engagement. Writing great content that answers essential questions your customers have about your services is what Google is looking for from your site. Consider the fact that most black-hat techniques, including keyword stuffing, reduce the quality of the text. No one wants to read through awkward, ill-structured, and poorly phrased text that was written primarily for search engines and not people. Hence why Google is now considering content engagement among the primary ways of ranking websites.
Keywords are still important. They will help your clients find you. But the text cannot be so saturated with keywords that it lacks the common elements that separate bad writing from good.
So the question then becomes: how does Google attempt to rate content engagement and what does that mean for your website ranking? Furthermore, can you use this knowledge to rank better?
There are three main categories of engagement metrics that Google employs when determining a visitor’s level of engagement. Those are:
- Duration of time spent on the page
- Number of pages visited in one session
- Bounce rate
Bounce rate measures the number of visitors that leave your site immediately upon reaching it. The other two factors are fairly self-explanatory.
For Google, the sense of doing this is to give weight to the user’s experience of the page. For content marketing specialists, this means predicting what sort of questions your ideal clients will be asking about their case.
We already know that they’re going to want to learn as much as they can about their prospects and how their case is going to be litigated or managed. Lawsuits are stressful, as are most legal proceedings. They exist to manage some dispute. It’s impossible to think of a legal proceeding that isn’t stressful.
How do we manage stress? Generally through rationalization. We come to terms. Think about that for a second. We find catharsis in an awkward or stressful situation by coming to terms with it.
Therein lies the power of excellent content on your law firm’s website. But it’s not just smoke and intangibles any longer. Google measures how well your site satisfies your client’s needs.
Non-Content Related Considerations
Content is huge, of course, but the success of a law firm’s web page cannot be entirely reduced to it. Why? Well, your ideal client needs a way to navigate your website. Let’s say that they are in the information-gathering stage. They ask a simple question like: “how much is my traffic accident case worth?” Naturally, they’re worried about missing time from work and what that will do to their finances. They also hope that they’ll get enough money to make it through the next few months while they’re recovering.
Two elements to this allow them to find that information. The first relates to keywords, but also, the structure and design of your page are hugely important to how your clients will engage with your website.
A website can have the best content in the world, but if it’s confusing to navigate, you’ve lost the engagement battle.
How to Make Your Website More Engaging
We’ve handled the why and some of the how, but now we’re going to go into more detail. First, though, we’re going to talk about one trend that has notably shifted recently.
In the past, SEO companies have taken a quantity-over-quality approach to content marketing. In other words, the more stuff that they could stick on a client’s website the better. With content engagement metrics being introduced into the fold, that trend has shifted entirely toward the reverse. Quality is much more important than quantity.
Companies were paying pennies for uninspired dreck that had to be produced as quickly as possible for a writer to earn a living on it. That amounted to penny-a-word writers producing thousand-plus words worth of content an hour. But it wasn’t readable, informative, authoritative, interesting, or useful to anyone. It was writing that existed for the sake of drawing hits on Google. It was meant to be read by search engine bots, not people.
The hope, of course, is that visitors now find the content engaging enough actually to read. Mind-blowing, right?
What is it about your law firm that sets you apart from the rest? People want to know what distinguishes you. They want to know what you stand for. They want to know what drives you.
It’s often said that the most frequently used word in advertising is you.
It helps you develop a person-to-person rapport with your customers.
That’s great. But for professionals, the words I and we are just as important. Remember that your client has only one chance to litigate their suit. They want the best they can get. In other words, they want to be sold on you and your firm. They need to be.
Keeping it Simple
Visitors to your page want to know that you know your stuff, but they also, when researching the various aspects of their lawsuit, they want answers to their questions explained to them simply and directly. One metric that is becoming increasingly important is readability.
Yes, there are algorithmic tests that can determine how “readable” a text is. No, these tests do not tell the whole story. They’re useful to a certain degree, however, because they do test things like sentence length, use of rare words, use of unnecessarily pretentious diction, and syllable count for each word. They then generate a score. Hopefully, this score is above 60. That means that it can be read by anyone with an 8th-grade education or 80% of the American public.
Also, you don’t want to throw everything at the reader on every page. Concise is better. Simple is better. Structured is better.
This ties back into how easy your site is to navigate. The easier to navigate, the better the site for the visitor.
The structure of both content and your website is essential. Concepts must be broken down into small chunks. Information should have a linear progression from the generalized to the specific. These are all elements that make an article or an informative easy to navigate. Your visitors want information that is easy to scan.
Attorney Productivity Hacks: How to Make Time for Must-Do Marketing Tasks
As a legal professional who may bill by the hour, you know that time is valuable. While some of your cherished time should be spent on marketing tasks that help to brand your firm and attract business, it shouldn’t be wasted on unproductive actions. The information below can help you make time for must-do attorney marketing tasks and ensure productivity.
1. Make a content calendar
Devoting a few hours every three months to creating a comprehensive content calendar can save loads of time in the long run. Each week, you’ll know exactly what’s on the docket, keeping you on-task toward your specific attorney marketing and branding aims.
Turn off the phone, ignore email, and spend some time brainstorming content themes and ideas for the next three months. Pinpoint:
- Your firm’s marketing goals, such as “add 100 warm leads to law firm’s email marketing list” or “increase Facebook followers by 10%.”
- The most effective marketing actions for your particular firms goals; e.g., a personal injury practice that wants to increase Facebook followers by 10% should focus most of its attention on Facebook posts, advertising its Facebook presence across different mediums like email and holding regular Facebook contests with prizes. The firm can create a contest called “Who Deserves a Helping Hand?” for the months of June and July, which urges followers to nominate a person or family who is going through hard times due to an injury, and needs financial and legal assistance.
- When to complete these actions; e.g., the personal injury firm hosting “Who Deserves a Helping Hand?” could post three times a week advertising the contest and sharing teaser snippets of submitted stories during the month of June. In early July, the firm posts all stories. The person/family that achieves the most likes and shares within two weeks receives pro-bono representation or a financial gift from the firm to help them through hard times.
2. Schedule posts
Facebook, WordPress and other popular website/blog platforms, and Twitter all offer scheduling features that enable you to upload posts and dictate when they’ll go live. Additionally, content management services like Buffer or Hootsuite can streamline these responsibilities.
Handle all of your social media needs for one week in a single chunk of time on Sunday or Monday (or even the week before), leaving you worry-free for the rest of the week.
3. Spin content and utilize each piece to the fullest
Content for a Facebook contest, like in the example above, can also be made into an impactful email message or blog post. Transforming available content into pieces that can be shared across multiple platforms is an efficient time-saver and one way to make your attorney marketing efforts more productive, since it’s often easier to adapt existing content than craft completely new material.
With our content development services, you never have to worry about staying on track. Ask about custom content today!
Attorneys’ Content Marketing FAQs Answered
Whether your firm has already implemented content marketing within your legal marketing strategy or has yet to be convinced of the benefits, you’re bound to have questions. This guide addresses some of the most common legal content marketing questions asked by attorneys today, so you can get the answers you’ve been looking for.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a strategy focused on crafting and distributing valuable content in order to attract and maintain an audience, and eventually convert audience members into paying clients. Contrary to what you might have heard, legal content marketing doesn’t consist of just blog articles. It also includes white papers, email newsletters, guides, infographics, videos, and e-books, just to mention a few.
Why should my law firm invest in content marketing?
Inbound marketing—marketing that draws visitors in—can be much more effective than outbound marketing tactics (aka interruption marketing) like cold calling.
First, inbound marketing strategies like legal content marketing and social media marketing can be far less expensive than outbound marketing; maintaining a blog costs almost nothing compared to running print or TV ads. Secondly, they can better engage your audiences by earning their trust and providing valuable information that readers actually want, as opposed to aggressively “selling” your services in a way that can turn off potential clients.
Overall, content marketing can:
- Cost less than traditional outbound marketing
- Better engage potential clients
- Increase traffic to your law firm’s website and improve SEO
- Keep current and past clients engaged (and therefore, more likely to become repeat clients or refer your firm to others)
- Promote your brand
- Connect with the right audiences to build warm leads
- Result in high ROI
Okay, I’m sold on content marketing. But should I focus only on that?
Legal content marketing is incredibly important but it shouldn’t be your sole marketing strategy. Rather, it should act as a part of your firm’s comprehensive inbound marketing approach that includes additional elements such as:
- Technical SEO: The SEO to-dos that don’t involve content, like optimizing your page setup for search engine spiders
- Enticing offers or promotions on your website can gather tons of leads
- Social monitoring: Paying attention to what your audience members are saying, what appeals to them, how to best interact with them, and where your law firm is being mentioned on the internet
- Referral marketing
Content marketing ties well into these elements. For instance, you could offer a well-written Bankruptcy Guide or Personal Injury 101 e-book to offer on your website and gather email leads.
Note: The strategies above all fall under inbound marketing. However, you don’t have to completely cut out outbound tactics in favor of inbound ones if you find that an outbound strategy works well for your firm, such as repeatedly running a well-received print ad in a local magazine. Simply balance your outbound marketing with inbound marketing efforts to see the greatest ROI.
Download our free guide and learn about the importance of key performance indicators (KPIs)
What topics should I write about?
Instead of getting caught up in trying to think of hot new topics, approach the issue in a different way. Ask “What would readers find the most valuable?”
- Is there one specific topic that your clients find particularly confusing or difficult?
- Are there a few questions that you hear over and over again?
- What are your potential clients’ greatest problems?
- What are your potential clients’ biggest obstacles to consulting your firm? For example, a driver slapped with a DUI may not know that they could fight their field sobriety test results. A blog post about this could help readers realize that fact and reach out to you for help.
Don’t put your law firm in the spotlight. Write content that centers on your audience’s biggest problems and questions—you’ll see much better results.
There’s so much content out there that I’m having trouble getting through the noise. How can I make my law firm’s content stand out?
Quality + consistency + promotion = great legal content marketing.
If one of your readers finds a white paper or blog well-written and informative, they’ll not only consider it personally valuable but also share it to their networks as well. That’s the simple secret to making something go viral. Invest time into crafting well-written, high-quality content on a regular basis and people will notice.
Create and distribute material as often as you can (keeping in mind that quality should take priority; it’s better to create two fantastic pieces a month than four mediocre ones that just repeat what everyone else in your niche is saying). You can use a content management plan to stay on track and ensure that you’re spreading content across all avenues, such as scheduling a blog post to go out every week, one white paper a month, and an email newsletter every other week.
After creating content, be sure to let the world know that it’s there. Share on social media and Medium, incentivize email list sign-ups so people can receive material via email, and enable people to receive your content on their RSS feeds. Also, don’t forget to advertise the content on areas of your website aside from the blog page, like the “Recent Blog Posts” section of the Optimized Attorney website.
Need more leads? Our content development services can help.
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The Bottom Line
Google has taken power away from naive algorithms and given the power to visitors. SEO now considers visitor engagement as a critical ingredient to your page’s ranking. It’s better because it functions more like the market itself.
On the other hand, SEO companies and pages that are using old-hat methods to rank their pages are finding their standing slipping.