Look at most websites for lawyers today — they have blogs.
But, as it turns out, that most blogging is done horribly wrong because these blog posts do not achieve effective and profitable objectives for law firms.
Your blog should be a client attracting machine, pulling in the right prospects and then converting them into viable opportunities to serve.
A poor-performing website can convince about 0.75% of all visitors to pick up the phone and call. Say you get 100 monthly website visitors who really need your services—that’s three people you get to talk to, and, if one of three becomes a client, then you’d get one client every three months.
A high-performing website, on the other hand, can convince 10% of visitors to call.
Your law firm’s blog can be the most powerful business tool your firm has to turn a poor-performing site into a high-performing converting machine.
Let’s see how.
Blogs can attract the right prospects who are looking for the legal problems you solve because they’re a hotbed for keywords that Google can index as “valuable” or “relevant.” But your blog won’t only attract prospects who are ready to engage an attorney now.
You need to ensure your expert content is found by every interested prospect in your area you can help regardless of whether they are ready to talk now or in a few days or weeks.
Start by using SEO for lawyers to boost your Google 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 you can to help Google figure out what you offer.
But also be sure to post information for each type of opportunity, in other words for prospects in different stages of the buy. Today, 67% of shopping for services is done while consumers research online before they even think to make a call.
Which brings us to…
67%: that’s two-thirds of the attorney selection process done before they talk to any attorney. So, what do they do?
When your prospects face a legal problem, they want to know what they’re up against. They google and read to understand what their options are, the possible outcomes and what repercussions they face.
Your blog has to answer these questions. A blog that has individual posts that answer every question prospects ask, will draw a lot of attention who need legal help. (There are a few technicalities that must be implemented, but it is too technical for this post.)
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. Use video and written content, too.
You don’t just want to produce content. You want every person in the geographical area you serve to come across your content and see you, your expert writing (and videos)
You want to dominate your area of expertise on Google. Consistently be visible in the top 5 search results for every subject related to how you help your clients solve their legal troubles.
Start by taking the most common or the biggest question your prospects have. For example, say you practice personal injury law in the Chicago area. The first thing your prospects might ask (or 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?!”
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.
But even a high-level, value-packed blog still won’t get into the weeds 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 their own shorter blog piece to get into specifics on what considerations come into play in those types of cases.
When you organize your blog this way, you become an expert on your subject because you have more than one post. And when prospects google “personal injury,” you’ll have all the answers to all the questions they ask.
Remember: your blog is fundamentally there to answer questions. And prospects will have some far-reaching questions to ask—and those will lead to more questions.
And 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 beg their own posts to better define them, prospects will be fast to click those links to additional content you have on the subject.
These links between content are called cross-links, and they are the key to bringing more value to your prospects—and to boost your Google ranking.
You can cross-link 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 cross-links 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.
And then, even more, people will learn about your firm and expertise.
It snowballs from there.
There is a caveat: a lot of 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.
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.
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.
Do you want a marketing plan that fits your individual needs? Let us craft a strategy that drives results to your company based on your objectives.
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