Most lawyers know that creating content for their website is an excellent way to increase the number of new clients contacting their firm. But law firm content marketing is also a big challenge for many lawyers because of the time, money, and effort it takes to create and rank high-quality content.
Getting pages on your website to rank at the top of Google isn’t just a vanity metric. High rankings matter for clicks and conversions. In a space as competitive as the legal industry, you can’t afford to throw away your resources on a gamble that the content you create might rank one day.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips for planning and writing great content for your law firm.
1. Don’t Start Without a Plan
Successful content writing campaigns must begin with a strategic plan. Even if you have a few content ideas for your legal blog, you need a plan for when, how, and what it looks like to execute that website content effectively.
Most lawyer campaigns that set out to create quality legal content fall apart because of a lack of planning. You must start by knowing your goals, as this will drive your legal content marketing and the tone and style of each piece.
A content campaign designed to get more leads for a specific part of your practice, such as more slip and fall cases, will look different than a content strategy designed to attract more referrals from other lawyers who recognize you as an expert.
In short, your goals determine the kind of content you need to create. These goals also help you decide on your key performance indicators for success.
Content marketing is just one component of an attorney marketing plan, but it’s vital that you get the big picture right before moving on to the smaller details.
2. Invest Time in Detailed Keyword Research
Keyword research helps you identify the terms, phrases, and questions your ideal clients are most likely to type into a search engine. It’s the process of gathering data and selecting which topics you want to go after to fulfill your plan, narrowing it down to the most valuable keywords.
When you know what your potential clients are looking for, it’s much easier to create targeted website content aligned with answers and information those potential clients crave. You can’t succeed without knowing what the reader needs.
It’s not just about finding what people are searching for when you start with keyword research, though.
It’s about looking at the high-value legal topics aligned with your law firm practice areas. You’ll have a better sense of direction and topics once you do keyword research, and then these can be structured in production order from there.
Lawyers can do some basic keyword research on their own without investing in big tools.
Start by making a short list off the top of your head of what keywords and phrases you think are most closely connected to your law firm. For example, that might be car accident lawyer Dallas or Dallas car accident attorney.
Then start to type those phrases into Google to see what related terms the search engine suggests.
In this example, you’ll see how Google guesses what we might be looking for when we start this search.
While some of these are not relevant to a Dallas personal injury lawyer, some give clues about other search terms new clients might use, such as Dallas car wreck attorney Spanish and personal injury car accident lawyer Dallas.
Add these to your list of potential topics to cover in your content plan.
A slightly more efficient way to find potential target keywords is using Google Keyword Planner within Google Ads.
Enter your search term into Keyword Planner, and the tool lists some ideas for the other topics most important to your potential clients. In the example above, you can see that entering the term Dallas car accident lawyer results in 51 additional keyword ideas.
While these tactics are a good starting point for thinking about buckets of SEO content, they’re not the endpoint.
Determining which keywords to target and in what order requires advanced search engine optimization knowledge, which is why most lawyers delegate this to an experienced SEO content marketing team.
Experienced keyword researchers use industry-leading tools, like Ahrefs or SEMrush, to find thousands of potential topics at once.
They then use their skills and expertise to sort through massive lists of topics to find the ones that hit the sweet spot between the number of people looking for the topic, the business case for creating blog content around it, and the potential for your brand to rank competitively for it.
3. Define Reader Personas But Write for One Person
Before you even begin writing content for your website, you need to nail down exactly who you’re writing for by developing reader personas that align with your services.
You likely have more than one type of reader you’re trying to reach with your content. For example, if you’re creating content to get more class action defective product cases, that’s a different client persona with distinct questions and concerns from a person harmed in a local truck accident.
Brainstorm a list of target audience personas to start, making sure each one is distinct. Too many personal injury lawyers go too broad with their definition of a client persona. A “victim” or “victim’s family member” is not narrow enough to be a target persona.
Instead, you might have something like “a working person with a family who has been injured in a truck accident and is worried about paying bills and getting justice” as a persona for truck accident cases.
You don’t need to limit yourself to just one persona for the sake of content marketing on your law blog—your firm may handle a variety of case types, each with its associated persona.
Once you have sketched your personas, you can align all your planned content with them. This can help you ensure that all the content you create broadly aligns with your reader’s needs.
But more than just developing personas is needed for creating great law firm content.
Each piece you make should be written as if you were speaking to one specific individual within that persona.
Legal content writing is an art form that bridges the gap between complex subjects and a challenging situation in someone’s life, balancing information that the reader needs with clear explanations of how your law firm approaches these problems.
Taking the extra step from writing for personas to writing for a person forces the writer to dig into the important questions the reader has about any given topic. It helps writers find better ways to bridge the gap between complex subject matter and clear, simple explanations.
When writing to one specific person in that persona, answer these questions:
- What does this one person care about?
- What issues do they face?
- What are their biggest fears?
- How can I help them?
Writing for one person in each piece of content doesn’t mean you’re giving up on connecting with all readers matching that persona. Those readers should be able to relate to the article’s ideas because they face the same challenges.
4. Know What Types of Content to Create
It’s a common myth that blog posts are the only law firm content worth creating. There are other content tools at your disposal, and it’s best to be strategic about selecting the right type for each keyword to match what your readers are looking for.
The different types of content a law firm could create include:
- Blog posts, including everything from list posts to how-to articles to short guides answering readers’ legal questions.
- In-depth resources, including long-form guides and data studies
- Service pages covering your broad practice areas
- Local landing pages covering your practice areas in the locations you serve
Each type of content requires a specific approach at each step of the creation process. A data-driven piece has an entirely different process from a casual blog post.
New content for your website should be based on topics and questions you found in keyword research and identified as the most important to your readers. To determine which type of content matches a keyword or topic you want to cover, you need to consider the “searcher’s intent.”
To do this, consider why someone might type a keyword into Google.
For example, someone searching best pain relief whiplash might just be looking for exercises or medical recommendations. While the searcher is looking for a blog post, this topic may not have an angle for your law firm to serve the searcher’s intent.
Meanwhile, someone searching for the term can I sue for whiplash is much more likely to be looking for an informative blog post that a law firm could opine on. This person is also more likely to hire a lawyer after getting an answer to their question.
Finally, someone who is searching for something like whiplash injury lawyer is probably not looking for a blog post. This person is looking for a service page or local landing page to assess their options for an attorney and reach out to the one they think would be best for their case.
Once you understand what type of content to create for your target keywords, each piece you make will better match the searcher’s needs and stand a better chance of ranking for the lucrative keywords you want to rank for.
Here are just a few examples of content matching the search intent.
When people search for average neck injury settlement, they’re looking for an in-depth study that translates the raw statistics into an easily readable format.
The law firm that published this study on their site correctly identified the intent and used rigorous research to provide the reader with a resource that helps them understand the details behind what goes into determining an injury settlement.
When people have questions about how lawsuits work, they’re not looking for services yet. They want to gather more information before deciding if contacting a lawyer is right for them.
This blog post from the Dolman Law Group is approachable, easy to read, and explains a complex process in simple terminology. It matches the intent that the reader had when they searched for this topic, and it functions as a great top of funnel article for the law firm.
5. Create Content that Stands Out
There’s no shortage of content on law firm websites. One in three lawyers already blogs on their site, but that doesn’t mean there’s no room for you to add your firm’s voice to the mix.
It also doesn’t mean your content can’t stand out from the competition.
Most attorney blogs follow each other’s leads, resulting in blog posts that read like carbon copies of one another. This creates a valuable opportunity for law firms that identify this trend.
Creating great content isn’t about doing what the competition does. It’s about creating comprehensive pieces that satisfy your prospective client’s needs.
If all of your peers are creating copies of the same kinds of content, you must go beyond that.
When you begin drafting content that targets a topic a competitor is already covering, think about what you can do better. This helps you stand out and introduces you as an expert in your legal practice area.
Here are some things to consider when you look at competitor’s content:
- What important questions aren’t being answered?
- What topics are being overlooked or not fully explained?
- What can you do to make your content unique from everything else out there?
- How can you better format or structure your piece so the user gets exactly what they need?
When you think about these questions before creating each piece, you’ll be able to produce content that truly satisfies the searcher’s intent and eclipses anything your competition has published.
Answering these questions may seem difficult, but if you’ve already narrowed down your reader personas and have a good grasp of search intent, it’s much easier to determine what could improve the experience of each piece for your potential clients.
6. Promote Your Content Effectively
Publishing a blog post to your site is only a step in the content marketing process. The life cycle of a piece doesn’t end with publication.
Once your new article is live, you must distribute it effectively. Consider the channels that you can use to get your message out to more potential clients.
Be careful of “set it and forget it” marketing practices, such as simply copying and pasting links from your blog on social media. Each social media channel is different, and users expect content suited to that channel rather than a link to some article on another website.
Always adapt the message to fit the market when you distribute it elsewhere. The goal here is not to reinvent the wheel but to build interest-piquing content for each social media channel that is most likely to get clicks and views from your target clients.
Instead, you can reconfigure the key ideas from each post and adapt them to meet the expectations of each channel’s audience.
Here are some examples of ways that you might share the same blog post concept on various social media channels:
When it comes to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for lawyers, you might pull out a statistic from the article and then pair it with a custom graphic and attention-grabbing headline.
@lawbymike Pulled Over By the Cops? 👮 Know This! 🚨 #speedingticket #traffic #besafe #trickquestion #didyouknow #fastcar #driving ♬ Invincible – Pop Smoke
On TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram Reels, you might create a short informative video addressing the main two concepts of your blog post. Things like this make for excellent Instagram post ideas to drive engagement and pull in leads
The best part about this is that since blog posts tend to be longer and contain more details, you can usually create more than one social media post from a blog post.
This tactic takes more time than simply sharing a link, but your chances of receiving engagement from social audiences increase.
7. Have a Plan for Measuring Results
If you’ve followed every other tip on this list, you start your content marketing campaign with a plan. Once you’ve begun publishing content, it’s time to measure how that plan is working by collecting data and gauging your written content’s performance against your initial goals.
Here are some metrics worth tracking as key performance indicators:
- Volume of traffic received to website/blog per month
- Conversions from landing pages and other key pages
- Number of pages ranking on the first page of Google
Advanced tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs can give you these metrics and many more. But if you’re not ready to invest there, you can use Google Analytics and Search Console to learn more about how viewers use your site.
These tools help you track your results over time but can also prove fruitful when auditing or pruning content in the future.
If you want your SEO efforts to pay off in spades, you can get better results with less of your time by partnering with an outside SEO expert and content marketing team. Working with an agency means your content is constantly being published, indexed by search engines, and analyzed with advanced tools.
8. Find Skilled Partners to Handle Content Creation
Creating content takes a lot of skilled work and time that most lawyers and their legal teams are not set up to handle. It quickly becomes too difficult, making it more likely that content production stalls out or quality decreases.
Attorneys doing double duty as writers often can’t keep up with a regular production schedule and may produce content that is too complicated for the average reader.
And when you delegate to an internal team member, such as a paralegal or other staff, you run the risk of distracting them from important operations tasks.
For an effective campaign with high-quality content, you need at least a few experts:
- A legal content writer
- An editor
- Graphic designers
- A content strategist
Putting the plan together, doing keyword research, coordinating all team members, distributing content, and analyzing the results is usually too much for a lawyer or staff member to handle on their own.
In most cases, it’s best to work with a partner who is familiar with running an SEO content campaign. It’s far more effective to partner with a marketing agency with all the right people in place than finding, hiring, and training them individually.
It’s especially important for lawyers to work with partners who have experience running SEO campaigns for attorneys. These teams are more aware of your industry than an all-purpose marketing company. They know what works for lawyers and are more familiar with the ethics rules for law firm content marketing.
When you partner with an expert attorney marketing agency to handle your SEO content production, you get the marketing benefits without teaching yourself everything it takes to get it right.
At Rankings.io, we create content designed with your end reader and search engines in mind. We base every piece we make on years of experience successfully marketing attorneys like you. If you’re committed to making your mark with SEO, contact us today for a consultation about how you can improve traffic and conversions.