What's in this article?
Nearly a quarter of law firms in the United States took steps to improve their technology in 2020. An additional 8% specifically took active steps to improve their law firm SEO, including content for their law firm website.
And those numbers are expected to continue to increase. SEO is arguably the most effective method for your law firm website to be discovered online.
Half of all Google searches are for local information — including local law firms.
To ensure you aren’t losing potential clients, your law firm’s online visibility must remain prominent on search engines, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
So, how do you do this? By leveraging the power of keywords and law firm SEO through content for your law firm website.
What exactly is a keyword?
Despite its name, a keyword isn’t always a single word.
When it comes to SEO, a keyword can be a series of words, sometimes called a long-tail keyword or keyword phrase.
Examples of legal keywords might include:
- Michigan malpractice attorney
- Personal injury lawyer Detroit
- Sue for medical malpractice
They can also be specific terms that a prospective client could be searching for such as:
- C-section birth injury
- Fraud investigation
- Risk management
- Third-party personal injury
When someone enters this phrase into Google or another search engine, you want your website to top the list of results that come up.
How do I research keywords?
The right keywords allow you to target your ideal audience and the specific type of clients you want most to work with.
Start by creating a list of topics you want to rank for on Google. This can mean a list of the services you offer or areas you specialize in.
Does “criminal lawyer Detroit” represent your firm? What about “how to sue a hospital?” or “Dearborn criminal defense?”
Give some thought to practice areas or niches where you want to be seen as a topical authority.
Keyword Planner Tools
Online keyword planners can show you how often a specific keyword is searched each month. Enter the keyword or phrase you’re considering and the planner will display the number of searches it has.
The higher the search number, the more difficult it can be to rank for that keyword through a single blog post—and show up on the first page of search engine results.
You can play around with variations of keywords to find the best options for your law firm.
Searching for keywords is part science and part artistic endeavor.
Understanding your audience
Understanding your audience is crucial for keyword research and creating content for law firm websites.
The more carefully you consider who your website visitors are, the easier it becomes to identify the keywords they are searching for.
An effective tool for this is creating an audience persona (or several). Think about who each persona is in detail. Start with a few questions, such as:
- Where do they live?
- What are their interests?
- What is their education level?
- Their big “pain point”?
- What problem are they trying to solve?
Questions like these can help you understand the people who visit your website.
Once you better understand your audience, you can take this knowledge and incorporate it into the content you create for your law firm website.
The power of understanding your target audience
Audience identification and targeting them allow you to drive the right kind of traffic to your website.
When you understand your target audience, you can create and implement an effective content marketing strategy that will help put your law firm in front of your ideal audience when they search online.
By carefully identifying your target audience, you can:
- Carry out more focused keyword research. This allows you to define the most appropriate keywords you should be optimizing your written content for. The better your keywords align with your audience the greater the return on your investment.
- Create content that really resonates with your target audience. When your content lines up with what someone is looking for, it helps to improve their overall experience of your law firm’s website. (And it helps to establish your authority.)
- Increase traffic from visitors most likely to convert. Not all users who are searching for your keywords are serious about utilizing your services or may not be at that point yet.
Best practices for creating law firm website content
When it comes to creating law firm website content, it all begins with your website.
Your professional website allows you to communicate what you do, who you work with, and clarifies the unique value only you can bring to your clients. It also communicates your expertise and helps establish trust.
But that’s not all your website does.
It also legitimizes your firm while building your authority, reputation, and credibility. And because your law firm website never closes, potential clients can find you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A lot of lawyers are strong writers, capable of articulating complex legal ideas and concepts with ease. But creating content for your law firm that will attract leads requires more than just a good turn of phrase.
The content on your law firm website serves two audiences:
- potential law firm clients; and
- Google bots.
Google’s algorithm relies on bots that read and analyze the content on your website.
While Google bots are incredibly advanced and continually updated, the fact remains that they still scan content in a specific manner.
If your website content doesn’t employ keywording best practices, the bots that interpret your content may not look favorably on your site.
Ranking at the top of Google search engine results requires, at a minimum, good keywording basics and SEO.
Types of content
When people come to your website, you don’t have much time to capture their attention—just 54 seconds. And then your next challenge is to keep them on your site for as long as possible.
Some visitors will want to read in-depth pieces of 2,000-words or more. In fact, recent studies show that the average word-count of Google’s top-ranking articles to be 2,416.
Still, others will find value through an infographic, relevant data, statistic, anecdote, quote, or asking a pertinent question that resonates with your ideal audience.
Website design and layout can have a huge impact on whether visitors to your site will stick around or start looking for your competitors.
Because most people “skim” online content rather than carefully read each word, your law firm’s website content must be easily scannable.
This means ensuring your content has a strong message, short paragraphs, and a call to action.
Other things you can do to entice readers to stay on your website include
- Using headers, subheadings, and lists;
- Make sure your blog post has plenty of “white space” between paragraphs;
- Remove unnecessary words or content that fails to add value;
- Proofread your content to make sure it is free from spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes.
What is legal content writing?
Legal content writing can take several forms.
From blog posts and ebooks to case studies and everything in-between, legal content writing is about reaching your target audience while appeasing the search engine bots.
Legal content marketing means talking to people, not at them.
A good law firm website must strike a balance between approachable and friendly without coming across as unprofessional or too familiar.
The best law firm blogs talk to their readers as if they were talking to a respected friend.
Be personal and accessible while maintaining professionalism and integrity.
Additional pro tips for legal content writing
- Whenever possible, use common terminology rather than “legalese”
- Use an active writing voice
- Use simple language and shorter sentences
- If you must use legal jargon, link to another blog post (ideally on your website) that provides additional, clarifying information about the term
- Whenever possible, provide examples
How is content writing done?
Content writing is the catch-all term that refers to creating, writing, and editing high-quality, informational articles about a particular topic.
The primary purpose of a blog is to engage your target audience through the information you write. Effective content writing hinges on thoroughly researched, current keywords appropriately placed throughout your website content.
Because search demands are constantly changing, it’s important that your keyword research is up-to-date.
We mentioned that lawyers are typically good writers. But do they have the time?
Creating quality content takes an investment of time that most firms simply don’t have.
That’s why many firms turn to white label content marketing. This means that you’ll provide information to a professional marketing agency. Often, the agency will have a whole team of account managers, SEO strategists, and industry-specific writers.
Hiring an agency usually ends up the more budget-friendly option than hiring someone internally. Think about the salary and benefits for one in-house marketer and then research what it would cost for a whole white label marketing team.
Content marketing can also refer to the copy on landing pages, such as “About Us,” or product pages. It can also mean YouTube scripts, podcast content, and other methods you use to get your firm’s name out there.
These are all things that a full-service digital marketing agency can help with, which sweetens the deal even more.
What makes a good legal website?
A good legal website targets the right audience and attracts visitors who convert into clients.
With more than 1.88 billion websites online today, standing apart from the crowd can be challenging.
But thankfully, creating a successful website that regularly generates leads is no longer a mystery. Rely on SEO and high quality content.
But there are other elements that comprise a successful law firm website.
Have a strong, clear message
A good lawyer website should convey who you are and what you do in a simple, straightforward manner.
And obviously, how to contact you.
One of the most effective ways to do that is through messaging on your homepage. This also helps search engines index your website for relevant keywords.
Make your site easy to navigate
If visitors to your site can’t find what they’re searching for, they’ll start looking elsewhere. Make sure your website content is carefully planned and clearly organized.
Relevant keywords can also be used in the copywriting of your landing pages. The art of copy is thinking like the customer and to make the customer’s journey as easy as possible.
Content, content, content (and don’t forget content)
The content on your law firm website is the most crucial aspect in attracting potential clients.
Your content should be optimized for SEO, including well-planned relevant keywords, and error-free language that conveys your authority and expertise to visitors.
Most of all, it should answer your target audience’s questions and show how your firm is their solution.
The adage of “publish or perish” isn’t just for the academic community.
Keep your blog posts relevant and up-to-date. And publish consistently.
Google rewards websites who appear the most active by ranking them higher in the results than inactive websites.
Conclusion — Contact Kaleidico
When searching for a law firm or lawyer, the first thing most people do is check out the law firm’s website. In today’s hyper-digital landscape, your website is your online business card.
And to make a solid first impression, your website needs to be professional, relevant, and current. It’s important to update and refresh your law firm website content regularly. Websites with old or outdated information can wind up sending valuable leads to your competition.
If you’re struggling to generate leads, Kaleidico can create and implement a comprehensive content marketing strategy for your firm.
As a full-service marketing agency, Kaleidico offers content marketing, including SEO strategy and keyword research, email, website design, branding services and more. Schedule a discovery call today.