Most law firms are so busy with clients that they devote scant attention to developing a content marketing plan that includes publishing legal blogs. Those in the legal industry that do blog tend to do so infrequently with a lack of value-added analysis and fail to publish their content strategically.
However, law firm blogging provides excellent ROI, and for good reason: When done well, a legal blog can develop your reputation as a thought leader, capitalize on discussions surrounding current events and noteworthy legal developments, and drive more traffic to your law firms’ website.
The purpose of content marketing and blog content is to achieve effective and profitable outcomes. A legal blog should be a client-attracting machine. Its helpful content must captivate the right target audience and convert them into hot leads. And, according to The Content Marketing Institute, 60% of marketers report content marketing generates leads.
On the other hand, a poor-performing website will only convince 0.75% of all leads to call you. Let’s say your law firm’s website receives 100 monthly visitors who really need your legal services – that equates to three people you actually get to talk to, and if one of them becomes a new client, then you’re looking at getting one client every three months.
A high-performing website with a legal blog can convince 10% of visitors to call you. Therefore, your law firm blog can be an exceptionally powerful business tool to flip the fortunes of your underperforming site. Let’s look at the benefits of blogging for legal professionals and some best practices that form part of a successful content strategy.
While the most considerable advantage of successful blog content is to generate organic traffic, it also improves online visibility, builds trust, and supports SEO efforts.
Blogging for lawyers boosts SEO quality by positioning your law firm’s website as relevant to your client’s questions. Procuring legal services is not the same as buying a pair of sneakers online. In most scenarios, prospective clients can gather all the information they need from product reviews and general descriptions, before making an informed purchase.
However, more often than not, new clients likely aren’t legal experts and will have loads of litigation questions. This is where legal blogging is advantageous: Firstly, you can answer FAQs on your blog, and save time by empowering potential clients with the initial information they need.
Secondly, if you know what keywords your target audience is searching for online, you can incorporate these into your legal blog, which gives increased opportunity to rank in search engines, over and above relying on your website and paid ads.
There are also other SEO benefits associated with blogging such as:
Blogging fosters positive customer relationships. When you produce quality content that’s valuable to clients, you demonstrate reliability and authority. Promoting a law firm’s brand online comes with stiff competition. Yet, blogs are an effective way to promote your company and keep your audience interested, without opting for a hard sell, which is far more challenging for some legal service niches.
When potential clients find answers to common legal questions via a blog post, they are more likely to come into the sales funnel trusting your services because they learned from you in the past. They also have a deeper knowledge of their particular issue, which makes initial consultations more productive.
70% of clients prefer to get information about companies from articles or blog posts, rather than traditional advertising. So, if your content is useful, prospective clients will trust your firm more, leading to increased conversions over time.
Since most legislation tends to stay the same, once you have written and published your blogs, they’ll rank for days, weeks, months, and years to come. You can always update them if the law changes or include newer keywords. The longer they’re online, the more viewers read them, subsequently building new relationships.
Blogging for lawyers is the perfect tool to demonstrate expertise and continued involvement in your field. If you were a potential client searching online for a lawyer, and you were able to read a firm’s case studies, their answers to common questions, and guest posts, you would be more inclined to use their services compared to a firm with no blog.
When you supply readers with a steady flow of relevant easy-to-read information, you’ll become the firm they depend on for help. There’s a variety of blog content you can publish to make clients aware of your services like:
The trick to great blogging is anticipating customers’ needs and the reasons they’re reading your content. Having a firm grasp on this serves as a writing guidepost and helps narrow down the focus of your blog, especially since there is no shortage of law firm topics and content ideas.
Of course, blogging isn’t as simple as explaining a few legal concepts on your website. It takes research, planning, and careful creation. Below are a few best practices we adhere to at Comrade Digital Marketing Agency to ensure our blogs deliver a high ROI.
As a general rule, your legal blog should attract prospects looking to solve problems part of your area of expertise. By including keywords that Google indexes as “valuable” or “relevant” because prospective clients are searching for them, your blog won’t only attract prospects who are ready to engage with your services now, but also down the line.
Start by using SEO for lawyers to boost your search engine ranking. For example, use on-site SEO tactics like including keywords in your blogs, favoring them in your headers and titles, and including metadata like tags and photo descriptions everywhere to help Google figure out what you offer.
Also be sure to blog information for each type of opportunity, in other words for prospects in different stages of the buyer’s journey. Today, 67% of shopping for services is done while consumers research online before they even think to make a call. So, you want to create content that appeals to general interest and more specific legal scenarios that clients may have closer to the time of eliciting your services.
A note on target audience: Digital marketing is specific and targeted. It’s possible to market to clients based on their demographic, age, interests, location, and more. Most companies have a broad target audience they segment into smaller groups to ensure their content is hyper-targeted and appeals to these segments’ needs.
For instance. If you’re a personal injury lawyer, it’s not really good enough to say you help clients who have been injured in accidents. While this may be the case, from a marketing perspective, it’s far better to conclude you help clients who are victims of dog bites, truck accidents, and so on.
Pinpointing your audience helps you figure out what content and messages your clients care about. You’ll have a stronger idea of what to write about and what the tone and the voice of your message should be. For example, a client wanting to sue for a dog bite won’t look for the same things as a client wanting to sue for a truck accident.
When potential clients face a legal problem, they want to know what they’re up against. And what do they do? Turn to Google! Search engines are the first place most clients go to understand what their options are, their possible outcomes, and what repercussions they might face.
Your blog needs to answer their questions. A website with a carefully curated blog that answers every single potential question prospects might ask, will draw a lot of audience attention.
Become obsessed with documenting every question you hear from prospects and current and past clients, then use your blog to answer each and every one of them. Include video and written content, too.
You can also use the Google Keyword Research tool to help you find which keywords your clients use when typing their queries. Legal keywords tend to be highly competitive, so blogs are perfect to rank for long-tail keywords (a few words or a phrase) that are less competitive and can help you rank higher.
Think about it like this: Your main competitors are already ranking for keywords like “lawyer” but perhaps they’re not using “personal injury case outcomes” as frequently, which means it will take less time to rank higher for that specific keyword. Conducting thorough research is a must!
You don’t want to just produce great content. You want every potential lead in the geographical area you serve to come across your fresh content and convert into a paying client. You want to dominate your area of expertise on Google and be consistently visible in the top 5 search results for every subject related to how you help clients resolve legal issues.
Tackling every single topic idea can feel overwhelming, which is why you should start by taking the most common questions your prospects have. For example, if we continue with the personal injury lawyer example, we might say your firm is located in Chicago. The first thing your prospects might ask Google is “the cop said that I was at fault, but I know I wasn’t. Now I can’t work for who knows how long. I got bills and family to take care of; what should I do?!”
You might re-write that question like this: “Injured and at fault. With bills piling up, what are your options?” Then answer it well—this is not a cheap trick to write riddles and force prospects to call you to get the final clue. Give them valuable information and satisfy the question they have.
This serves as your pillar content, or content that encompasses a big topic with high-level information in the form of a longer blog and/or video.
Make sure to have a number of bullet points each focused on an aspect of the situation. While not all blogs necessitate bullet points, they are a great tool to help readers digest information.
But even a high-level, value-packed blog still won’t get into the nitty-gritty of what your prospects need to know. That’s where cluster topics come in.
Cluster topics are where you take smaller pieces of the pillar content – the bullet points – and expand on them. Each of those could have its own shorter blog piece to get into specifics on what considerations come into play in those types of cases.
When you organize your blog’s topic ideas this way, you become an expert on your subject because you have more than one post. And when ideal clients google “personal injury,” you’ll have all the answers to all the questions they ask.
Remember: Blogging for lawyers is fundamentally there to answer questions. And prospects will ask some far-reaching ones—and these will lead to more questions.
Sometimes, you’ll introduce something in one blog that merits its own cluster-content, like “tort law” or “case screening.” If you use terms that need their own posts to better define them, prospects will be fast to click those internal links to additional content you have on the subject.
These links between content are called crosslinks, and they are the key to bringing more value to your prospects—and boosting your Google ranking.
You can crosslink to related articles you know will be useful to prospects, even if the question answered in the next piece wouldn’t have occurred to them. This means guiding prospects around the “should-ask” questions, providing education and insight every step of the way.
Peppering crosslinks into your content makes it exponentially more valuable. And Google will know that, too, because visitors will be spending more time on your site. Watch as Google ranks you higher for it because your domain and page authority is better.
And then, even more, people will learn about your firm and expertise!
A crosslinking tip: Before you crosslink to another page or blog post, you’ll want to choose the right keyword or what we call anchor text. The keyword matters because it can help a legal blog page rank higher for that specific keyword.
You always want to pick keywords or phrases the page is already being optimized for. For example, if you want to rank for the long-tail keyword “how to file for a personal injury” you must make sure those keywords are part of the copy and add the hyperlink to it.
There is a caveat: Many people who are going to learn from you and about your firm aren’t ready to engage with you yet. Especially for legal services, you can’t look at websites for lawyers as something binary (prospects “ready to buy…” or they’re not your prospects).
Instead, you have to factor in the 67% of the buying process done online before a call is made. So, if your website isn’t up to scratch, or your blog is weak, then you’re likely creating a poor impression. At the same time, if you aren’t taking every opportunity to nudge them towards contacting you, then you’re letting warm leads turn cold.
Hence why you should include lead magnets in your content that add even more value to your prospects’ experience. These are the downloadable resources that make their process easier (like checklists, white papers, and resource lists).
Lead magnets are one of the most important things for your website to have to get more visitors to call. In exchange for that downloadable resource, you get prospects’ names and email addresses.
Then, you can follow up with more value-added resources through automated follow-up emails your website is programmed to follow. You already know what legal problem the prospect is interested in, so send them more resources that help them through it.
It’s just a matter of bringing more and more value to stay top-of-mind until prospects are ready to pick up the phone. And then you’ll be the one they call.
Sending an email newsletter is also a fantastic tactic to share blog content and remain in clients’ minds. In fact, email marketing has an ROI of 4200%. It’s so high that over 87% of marketers use it to disseminate content marketing and sustain customer relationships.
The beauty of having your own website and blog is it can be updated at any time. This means old content won’t go to waste. Conducting keyword research every so often will help keep updates on track, and ensure your rank high on Google search engine results.
Tweaking an old post takes far less time than writing something new. If your old blog post already has authority on search engines, then it’s almost guaranteed that it will rank even higher for searches after an update.
Also, don’t be scared to share old blog posts with new clients (so long as they’re up to date). The users who read your content will inadvertently help it rank higher. While it requires a lot of initial effort, blogging is like marketing gold that appreciates with time.
Marketing strategies today are digital strategies. But online marketing for law firms falls short unless it turns your website into the most powerful business development tool you have. Google drives the most traffic, and there are big updates to be aware of as you talk strategies with your marketing vendor.
Start by downloading our checklist, How to Turn a Law Firm Website into a Client Attraction Machine. If you’re done letting your website linger like nothing more than a digital brochure, change starts today. Contact us for help with all your law firm marketing needs!
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