Legal Content Marketing
What is Legal Content?
As it relates to SEO, it’s blogs, practice area pages, guest posts, video, infographics, eBooks, white papers, and similar content, all of which gives website visitors non-specific guidance on their legal situation.
Virtually every page on an attorney’s site is designed to fulfill a specific purpose. Content is not just written for the sake of telling people about the firm or about the service, but rather, it should be crafted to drive people to perform specific actions (like getting the information they need for their legal situation) and ultimately hiring an attorney.
Law Firm Content Frameworks
Good content is built, not written. Content frameworks are blueprints for constructing information in order to accomplish a specific goal (e.g., ranking well in search, converting a visitor to a client, achieving shareability, etc).
From Steve Pockross, CEO of Verblio (formerly BlogMutt)
“After creating content for dozens of law firms and having the opportunity to hear what works directly from our clients, my best advice is for attorneys to focus on a combination of…
- Helping average people understand specific areas of the law and…
- Local law-related news.
Including a local bias in your writing can be extremely helpful.
For example, if you’re a personal injury attorney in Denver, write about Denver pedestrian laws, and the impact ride-sharing services have had on drunk driving rates.
Google can also be a great resource to find content ideas – search for something related to your practice, scroll through the search results and look for “People also ask” and the list of related searches at the bottom of the page – each of these is a great idea for content.”
As it relates to the legal vertical, there are specific law firm content frameworks that are helpful for ranking attorney web pages in search.
These are “direct intent” pages that are at the bottom of the purchase funnel. That means these are the pages where people are converting (i.e., hiring an attorney).
Your practice area pages should:
- Cover only one practice area at a time and be as specific as possible. For example, personal injury lawyers should have separate pages for car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, etc., rather than one personal injury page with all of those sub-topics.
- Use the word “attorney” or “lawyer” somewhere in the title tag of the page in most cases.
- Include in-depth, lengthy, and useful content, including video.
- Deliver multiple calls to action, so it’s clear to the visitor where to go when they are ready to contact the attorney. These could be contact forms in the sidebar, chat windows, contact info in the header of the page, etc.
- Contain social proof badges (e.g., Super Lawyers, BBB.org, etc.)
- Be geographically relevant, if applicable (i.e., if you serve multiple cities, you should have a car accident lawyer page for each one and make each page location-specific).
Like we mentioned before, bottom of the funnel (practice area pages) are the pages that need to rank in search however they present a challenge due to their orientation as a sales page. Blog pages offer a more compelling target for editorial-based links whose equity can then be funneled to practice area pages.
Blog content has long been a staple of successful SEO campaigns. For attorney SEO campaigns, blog posts serve as “top of the funnel” content. In other words, blog content draws in users who have long-tail, specific queries and are looking for guidance on their legal situation.
Here are some tips for running an effective law blog (BLAWg):
- Be strategic about generating content by writing posts from queries people are actually using in search.
- Generate informative content that is helpful to readers and is the best source of information of its kind available on the internet.
- Use best practices for formatting blog posts, including:
- Use short paragraphs.
- Use lots of images to break up text.
- Use headings to break up text.
- Link out to authoritative resources that help visitors.
- Use primary keywords in headings to help users find what they are looking for quickly.
- Add social sharing functionality to the post page so people can easily share the content.
When looking for examples of topics, here are some good resources:
These are pages on a site that provide helpful information relevant to visitors of a law firm website. The information on these pages will be unique to the type of law the firm practices because people interested in that law firm will be looking for specific resources.
For example, divorce attorneys may post links and information to family counseling services. DUI attorneys may have resources pages with information on treatment centers for drug and alcohol abuse.
From Robbie Richards Marketing Director at Virayo
My agency works with a lot of lawyers across the US, and while there are countless different content promotions out there, I’m going to touch on a super simple 3-step approach we’ve had a lot of success with.
Caveat: I’ll preface by saying this is something we focus on after all the usual stuff – technical, GMB optimization, citations, service-based (bottom funnel) keyword research, etc. – has been taken care of.
- Question-based content strategy:Once all the “money” keywords have been mapped to important service pages, we’ll shift our focus towards building out content assets that fill the top and middle of the funnel. We start by doing question-based keyword research around the firm’s core service areas. There are a few simple tools we do this:a) Google autosuggest and related search
c) Forums/ QA sitesThese sources will surface a TON of content topic ideas based on the exact questions your target audience are searching for during the research phase. For example, if you’re a divorce lawyer, you’ll find that people are asking the following question online: ‘How do I know if I have a good divorce lawyer?’. Divorce can have a significant financial and emotional impact on someone’s life. So, people want to know they have someone who knows what they are doing. The firm could create a comprehensive checklist covering all the things people need to consider when hiring a divorce attorney.Once we have a content calendar filled with questions asked by our target audience, we’ll move onto the promotion phase. Now, there are a lot of ways to go about this – answering questions on forums and QA sites, posting to GMB, etc. But, we like to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible because there is a lot of work there for often little payoff.
- Promote informational assets with Facebook ads:Even though you’re paying to play, we’ve found the investment is worth it. Facebook is a great way to get immediate local visibility in front of a targeted local audience. For example, a divorce lawyer could promote the answer to an audience within their geographic location to anyone who has changed their relationship status recently to separated or divorced. You’re getting the content immediately in front of a very targeted audience. While there is no hard sell in this ad, you’re building awareness and credibility during a time when people are actively researching the right attorney to help them through a difficult point in their lives.
- Retarget and move down the funnel:By now you’ve created valuable resources and engaged your target audience. But, 96% or more of these people aren’t going to take action (schedule a consult) on the first touch point. So, we need to re-engage them. Our agency does this across both Facebook and Google (AdWords). We’ll typically retarget anyone who has consumed the content promoted in step #2 with one of the following:- Video: Features the principal attorney offering a free consult- Carousel: Featuring testimonials from happy clients saying how the firm helped them get through a tough time (with CTA to get a consult).This audience has received helpful content, engaged with the firm already, so these ads are used to move them down the funnel and schedule a free consult with an attorney.This is obviously a very simplified example of how a firm could promote content, but it is one of the quickest ways we have found to produce valuable content, amplify it to the right audience, and ultimately turn some of that traffic into leads and cases.”
Resource pages should always contain links to information or services that would be relevant for potential clients.
Resource Pages as Link Bait
You can use resource pages as a tool to earn links to your site. Since they are pages with inherent value, they can be used in link outreach campaigns for other site owners who may find the content valuable for their own visitors.
Chapter ROI by Chris Dreyer, CEO of Rankings.io
Content for a law firm website should be produced strategically and methodically. Each practice area page and blog post serves a purpose in the process of driving traffic to a site and then converting those visitors into clients.