Gone are the days when you made your first point of contact with your potential client through an ad in the newspaper or on television.
Every day, people turn to the Internet first to answer their questions and solve their problems.
Traditional advertising still has a place in a law firm’s marketing strategy, but you have to meet your audience where they are at in order to get their attention and their business.
Your website serves as the first impression you make with hundreds of prospective clients finding your brand through Google searches and social sharing. Like an ad in the paper, a website needs engaging and insightful content to be persuasive.
How Law Firms Benefit From Content Writing
Having the right content on your website can determine how and where your firm ranks on Google, what type of prospective client finds you, and whether or not they trust you enough to hire you as their attorney.
The key benefits of content writing for law firms are:
- It demonstrates expertise to both the reader and Google
- It establishes trust with your audience
- It helps build a relationship with the audience before your competition can
Let’s break down each of these further.
Demonstrating Expertise with Legal Content
Demonstrating expertise through the quality of your website content is vital.
When someone is trying to decide which lawyer to hire, they want one that’s an expert in their practice area. They want someone they can trust to have the expertise to solve their problem and answer questions about their case.
For example, merely mentioning on your website that you handle slip and fall cases isn’t nearly as effective in conveying your expertise as an in-depth piece of content on your blog explaining the in’s and out’s involved with a slip and fall case.
It isn’t enough to talk about the compensation you’ve won for clients, you have to demonstrate to prospective clients that you have the experience needed to win in their specific case. Give specific examples when talking about the cases you’ve won, discuss the nuances of the cases, what made them unique as well as ubiquitous.
Expertise is also an important factor for SEO. Along with keyword research, link building, and optimizing your Google Business profile, your website’s adherence to Google’s Quality Rater Guidelines will help you improve your rankings on Google. E-A-T is critical in professions where the accuracy and validity of information are important — like in medicine and law. Websites that establish their expertise on a subject are able to rank more easily for highly competitive keywords in part because they send Google positive trust signals regarding the quality and accuracy of the information on their site.
Writing informative and accurate content which answers questions that searchers frequently ask helps establish your expertise with Google and can increase your chances of ranking highly for competitive terms.
Establishing Trust with Legal Content
With every piece of content on your blog, you have an opportunity to convey your professionalism and values as a lawyer. This is especially true when creating content that describes your successes and your services.
Visitors will know they can trust you if you commit to accuracy and transparency throughout your legal marketing efforts. It can also increase your referral rate from other attorneys.
Building Relationships Before the Competition Can
A good law firm content strategy involves writing articles that map to all stages of the marketing funnel. This includes writing content for people who may not even be aware that legal help is something they need for the problem they have.
By creating top of funnel content, you can bring in visitors that so many other law firms neglect because they’re too focused on the hot lead—the person who’s just been in an accident.
While hot leads are important to capture as well, they represent a tiny fraction of your total addressable market. That fraction also happens to be the most competitive and expensive to focus on.
You can get in front of all of them simply by being the person who answers questions and solves problems before they realize they want to hire an attorney.
For example, if you wrote an article about what to do after a car accident, the reader may not even be thinking about contacting a lawyer yet. When you explain to them what steps they should take and how an attorney can help, your brand has the advantage of being the first attorney that the reader has in mind (occupying mindshare).And mindshare is one of the most important things to try to control in the market.
Later on, when that same person begins searching for an attorney to hire, they’re likely to encounter your firm again. The more recognizable you are later on in this customer journey, the more likely they will be to hire you, and not someone else.
If you don’t believe that, evaluate your own shopping behavior. Be objective about it and consider how you make decisions and what influences your choice to pick one brand or business over another.
How to Determine the Best Topics to Write About
So, you’re committed to creating quality content — how do you know what to write about?
Think about your clients. What problems do they face? What questions do they have?
Most importantly, what do they search for when trying to solve those problems or answering those questions?
Determining which topics to write about involves understanding your audience and their behavior. We can solve both of these by determining who your target audience is and what they search for on Google using keyword research.
Determining Your Target Audience
For the most part, personal injury lawyers don’t have to dive into the complex persona-building exercises that many other consumer-facing brands do. For a PI firm, your target audience is effectively anyone who has or ever could be injured in an accident of some fashion that is located in a geographic area you practice law in.
There are some instances where this could get more specific, but that depends on how you’ve positioned your firm. For example, if you focus on workers’ compensation cases in rural Tennessee, then your audience is likely going to skew more toward blue-collared males between the ages of 20-55. If you’re a Spanish-speaking car accident attorney in Los Angeles who has positioned themselves as the go-to person for Hispanic people, your audience is obviously going to skew toward that demographic.
In the vast majority of cases though—taking the broad approach is just fine.
Once you better understand who your audience is (or isn’t), you’ll want to conduct keyword research to determine the best topics to write legal content on for your site.
Keyword research helps us understand what people search for, how often, and most importantly: what type of content they’re actually looking for—something we call search intent.
You can use Answer the Public to find examples of things people search around a specific topic.
For example using the seed keyword “car accident”, articles that answer questions like “Why report a car accident?” or “How to settle a car accident claim?” are a good fit, especially to capture traffic of website visitors who aren’t yet aware of the benefits they can get from working with a personal injury attorney.
To tackle more advanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you need to select keywords based on how often users search them, how difficult they are to rank for, and how to properly group them together so you don’t have content on your site competing with itself.
We use an approach called topic clustering to do this. To learn more about how to do this, read our guide that covers our 5 step process to creating topic clusters and content hubs in great detail.
Setting Standards for Good Content
Picking what to write is only half the battle.
You also have to create stellar content that sets you apart from every other law firm you’re competing with. You should have guidelines to ensure quality that you or a legal content writer can follow easily and consistently.
For example, your law firm content writing should be relevant and useful.
Imagine a client you’ve worked with. Could you ever imagine them reading a topic of yours at any stage of their journey? Would it help them?
If you answered no to both, it’s probably not relevant or useful.
It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t ask this question without doing keyword research from the prior step. If you rely on your own gut instinct to create content, you’re probably going to waste a lot of time and end up damaging your website’s ability to rank in the long term.
Readable to the layperson: You want to come across as authoritative and professional — but that doesn’t mean your content should be weighed down with jargon and terminology people have to Google to figure out. Translate the legalese and talk to your clients like you would a five-year-old.
If using a term that the reader is not familiar with is unavoidable, be sure to explain what it means for your reader. Use special callouts in your content to make it clear when you’re doing this. That will help signal to the reader that they can continue to expect that from you and your legal content.
Up-to-date and accurate: Do your research. Even if you’re pretty sure you heard the data somewhere, find it. If research is out of date, cut it. Citing accurate sources is a good practice for building trust with readers and with Google. It can also be necessary from a BAR ethics standpoint on attorney advertising.
Actionable: Don’t just pour on the research and facts with no takeaways. Tell your reader what steps they should take next. Present yourself as a helpful resource they can return to. Make it clear how they can contact you or get more information.
Optimized for search and conversions: Following SEO best practices ensures that your content has the best possible shot at ranking for the topics you want. Don’t solely rely on WordPress plugins like Yoast (it’s only one piece of the puzzle and RankMath is far superior). You’ll want to ensure you have someone who understands the complexities of law firm SEO to review and optimize your content before it gets published and indexed by Google.
Using Content to Turn Visitors into Cases
The ultimate goal of content writing for law firms is to convert your audience to new clients. How you angle your content depends on how aware they are of you and their problem.
We’ll start from the top-down of this pyramid.
This includes people who know of your service, what it does, and know they want it. They just haven’t made the decision to do so yet. When you’re creating content to target these types of people, you don’t need to do much more than put the name of your firm and a compelling reason why they should work with you.
In most cases, your name and tagline are good enough. We’re not trying to educate anyone here, we’re just reminding them we exist.
Product (Service) Aware
People in this category know about your firm and the specific services you offer but haven’t made a decision to work with you just yet. They already know they have a problem, but need convincing that you are the person to solve it for them.
Focus on creating content that builds trust and convincing people you’re the one to pick to help them. Things like case studies, lists of case results, and customer testimonial videos are ideal types of content for these types of people.
People in this category know they have a problem and know there are solutions out there that can help them with it but aren’t aware that you exist. They may be aware your competitors exist though. This includes people who are searching for things like personal injury lawyer near me or even people who are searching for your competitor’s brand names.
It’s important to remember that a person can be product/service-aware for your competitors but not for you.
Creating landing pages that target your local area and the service you offer are great types of content for this segment of people. In most other industries, this is where comparison pages come in as well. For example, if you’re trying to decide between a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, you may search for the differences between the two and will find articles that compare them to each other.
This isn’t something you can easily do as an attorney, however. The best you can do is to create content on why people should work with you over other (non-specific) firms and run Google Ads that target your competitor’s brand names. Be careful about doing this though, a lot of firms hate it when their competition does this and several people are fighting to introduce legislation that bans this practice in the legal industry.
These people know they have a problem but aren’t aware that there are solutions out there for it. This is where some of the most lucrative and non-competitive opportunities exist in the sphere of legal content writing.
People in this stage are searching for things related to reporting a car accident, determining fault, state-specific at-fault laws, and injuries related to their accident. injuries or pain they’ve experienced as a result of an accident.
This is the broadest category out there and often includes a lot of people who may not need your service but because some percentage of them will, it doesn’t make sense to completely rule out marketing to them.
We’ll take a moment here to give a few examples and help you make the connections:
- People who are searching for things like vehicle inspection laws. If they have a car, it’s reasonable they might one day get in an accident.
- People who are searching for safety equipment for their job. If they have a job that requires safety equipment, it’s reasonable they might one day get injured on the job.
- People who are searching for places to walk their dog. If they’re planning on walking their dog then it’s reasonable to think they might encounter someone with a dog who’s more aggressive or handled by someone who can’t control it well and may end up biting the searcher or their dog. To take it even further, anyone who’s searching for a place to run, walk, bike, etc. could reasonably encounter a person with an uncontrollable animal as well and get hurt—the searcher doesn’t necessarily have to have a dog themselves.
You may look at these examples and think, “Why would I want to market to these people?”A few reasons:
- It’s not expensive to market to them.
- Your competitors aren’t doing it.
- All it takes is one to make it immediately worth it from an ROI perspective (because of #2).
- It vastly increases your brand awareness because you’re creating content you can share on social media that far more people will care about.
Number 4 is what this is all about.
Your entire goal with legal content should be to get someone to go from not knowing you exist to knowing you exist. The base of the pyramid (Completely Unaware) is the single largest segment of the population.
The more people you can get from that category to discover that you even exist—even if it’s just seeing your firm’s name, the more cases and revenue you will generate in the long run.
How to Promote Your Content
Content writing for law firms doesn’t stop once you hit publish. You should push your content to a variety of digital marketing channels — depending on the content.
Common marketing channels include:
Social media: Share stories relevant to your local community across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And focus on cultivating relationships with prospects in all stages of the pyramid we’ve just discussed. Use Facebook ads and rely on Facebook’s own algorithm to know what type of content to show to who.
Don’t worry about who will see it and who won’t. Facebook is really good at serving up the right content at the right time to the right people.
Email: A lot of people will encourage using email and it has its place in your distribution strategy but I wouldn’t promote your firm at all in your newsletters. People don’t care and get enough email as it is. Instead, ask yourself what useful information you can share with people in your local area. Email can work great for pushing out content to people who know you exist that’s written to also target the people in the Completely Unaware segment of the pyramid. If they see it and like it, they’ll probably share it on social media, which will help it reach the people who are completely unaware.
Google Ads: Promote your content that performs the strongest in Google Search results. Bid on your competitors' brand names (if allowed), and capture people who are problem unaware and problem aware so you can retarget them with advertising at a much cheaper price as they begin to think about selecting a law firm.
Measuring the Performance of Your Content and Assigning Attribution
Content writing for law firms takes trial and error, which is why it’s important to track what works and what doesn’t.
KPIs To Track
- Website Traffic: How many unique visitors your website receives.
- Conversions: How often does a user complete a desired goal (email sign-up, consultation, or click-throughs).
- Lead Quality: How likely a user is to convert.
How to Track Them
There are a variety of ways to check how your content is performing. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Facebook Business Manager, call tracking software, and a variety of social media reporting tools can give you data to assess how things are going.
What’s most important though, is that you have everything set up correctly and understand what KPIs to track for each type of content.
If you’re looking for conversions from the legal content you’ve written that discusses broad, non-specific topics, you’re doing it wrong. The things you want to look for here are how to tie that user, that visit, with additional touchpoints down the road.
You’ll need to set up your goals properly in Analytics, have cookies firing that will track site visitors who submit any sort of email to you, a Facebook tracking pixel that enables you to retarget people with advertising on Facebook/Instagram, UTM parameters in your emails and links shared on channels outside of your website, and ideally, some sort of funnel-mapping system that brings all of this information together into one place and paints the big picture for you.
We cannot stress enough that you cannot expect people to click on a result from Google and immediately call your firm. We all wish that would happen, but thinking that it will is a fantasy.
Content writing for law firms is a vital part of your marketing strategy. Your law firm website’s content establishes your authority and helps build relationships with potential clients.
Using a targeted marketing strategy, you can spread your awareness to audiences who might not need you now (but could in the future) and convert prospects who do have a problem now from a visitor to a lead to a client.
Like with any marketing strategy, tracking the results of your effort is essential. Pay attention to your conversions, website traffic, and lead quality to get a sense of how well your content writing for your law firm is working and invest whatever it takes to get it all set up properly. It’s not cheap, but it’s cheaper than measuring something the wrong way and making decisions based on it.
It can take time to craft the perfect strategy to get the best results, this is something we know all too well but have been solving this for personal injury law firms for a long time now and have the results to prove it. We only work with the best law firms out there who absolutely want to dominate their markets. If you’re not there yet, learn from our content and grow your firm. We’ll be here ready to have a chat once you’re ready.