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Are you familiar with the terms “content marketing” and “SEO”?
Content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) work together to boost a law firm’s website’s traffic by producing free, helpful, and valuable information in order to attract visitors to your website.
When people search for legal help online, ideally, your website’s content (including blogs) will be highly visible in a Google search and will direct people to your website. Once on your website, you can convert your visitor into a new case lead.
However, with no website or content, you’ll never be able to capture the thousands of monthly views that the top ranking legal websites receive from Google searches.
In this post, I’ll share with you the most essential pieces of content you should be creating for your law firm’s website — from your website’s navigation to your blog page. I’ll even quickly explain what SEO is and why it’s important for boosting organic traffic to your website.
What is SEO for lawyers and how does it improve traffic to a law firm’s website?
To understand the importance of your law firm’s website’s content, you must be familiar with search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO.
Google has AI-driven programs called “Googlebots” that crawl the internet for new websites, new webpages, and new updates to existing content.
These Googlebots then sift through the content, rank it, and then “index” it into Google’s search engine results page. If your page isn’t indexed, it will never show in Google’s search results.
Among the several things these bots are looking for are keywords, which are essentially just words — common search terms and their close variations.
Therefore, the more keywords your website has, the higher the likelihood your law firm’s website content will appear in a Google search. The higher your Google ranking, the more traffic you will receive.
This is just a simplified explanation, however, because Google uses about 200 factors (some known and some that are trade secrets) when determining the “relevance” of a search result based on the searcher’s query, or search terms.
The following is a list of other factors that affect your law firm website’s Google ranking:
- High-quality of content
- Page load speed
- Having a mobile-optimized website
- Time spent on the site
- Conversion rate
- Domain age, or age of the website
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How does Google’s algorithm evaluate the quality of a law firm website’s content?
As I said before, one of the most important factors for ranking high in a search is providing high-quality content.
You may be asking yourself, how does an AI program evaluate content written for humans? Well, here is what Google’s algorithm is looking for:
- Blog posts that are at least 1000 words, however, 2000 words is often the sweet spot. 500 word blogs don’t really cut it, unless there’s low competition.
- Posts that receive a high number of backlinks. Backlinks are when other websites link back to your page or blog post. The more backlinks it has, the more trustworthy it is.
- Websites that have an HTTPS secured certification will be recommended above unsecured websites. Nobody wants to submit sensitive legal information through an unsecured website.
- Expertly edited pieces of content free of misspellings.
- Content that uses the appropriate header types (H1 for article title, H2 for subheadings, H3 for subheadings within subheadings, etc.)
- Content that sufficiently answers the user’s question. How is this determined? Usually by time spent on the site, reading multiple articles in one sitting, and other engagement metrics.
- A low bounce rate. When people land on your website, don’t click on anything, and leave in under 30 seconds, that’s a “bounce.” It’s an indicator that your search result didn’t satisfy the reader’s needs. Having a high bounce rate will cause your rank to drop.
Pitfalls to avoid so your law firm’s website SEO doesn’t drop:
- Never plagiarize content, especially copying and pasting large chunks of existing text onto your website. Google will punish you for that.
- Don’t use AI-generated content. It may be tempting to use machine learning to crank out articles or website content, but according to Google, this is considered spam.
- Proofread your content and make sure there are no misspellings. Misspellings automatically raise red flags for spam detectors.
- Avoid “keyword stuffing,” which is suspiciously using certain keywords an unnatural amount of time, to the point of being spammy. For example, don’t type “car accident lawyer’ a hundred times on your car accident page.
- Don’t stop blogging regularly. Blogging is an easy way to constantly update and add new content to your law firm’s website. When you stop blogging, Google will start dropping your Google ranking in favor of more up-to-date websites.
- Don’t buy backlinks. Backlinks are when another website links back to your website. The number of backlinks is often a key determinator in websites that rank in the first spot of Google’s search engine results page (SERP). However, if Google finds out you bought backlinks, you’ll receive a “Google Penalty” and much of your SEO work will be lost.
The most important law firm website content to improve SEO
Okay, now that you have a basic understanding of law firm SEO. Let’s dig into the most essential content to populate your lawyer website.
Your aim is to add as much relevant information, keywords, and content on your website to improve your visibility in legal-related Google searches.
If done correctly, your law firm’s website Google ranking will improve, showing your website higher up in search results. Websites that rank higher receive significantly more traffic, which can then increase your monthly case leads coming in.
1. Homepage with mission statement
Your law firm’s website needs to have a strong mission statement right at eye level for your readers. Something like “Compassionate attorneys fighting against malpractice,” or whichever practice you serve.
The purpose is to instantly reassure readers they’re on the right website to satisfy their query. Without a mission statement, people might bounce immediately.
2. Landing pages for each of your key practice areas
This is one of the most important steps on the list — create individual pages for every practice area you serve. Car accidents, divorce, probate, wrongful death, etc.
Every single practice area needs its own page and URL to improve your SEO. When people Google search “probate lawyer near me” your probate page will get picked up and shown in Google’s SERP.
Also, it’s been shown that having more landing pages on your website will retain visitors longer, improving your odds of turning a visitor into a new case lead.
3. Attorney bios
Every attorney will need an individual page with their biography, a headshot, and their contact info.
You can also create individual pages for your paralegals and office assistants.
When people Google search for a particular lawyer, your law firm’s website should appear high in search results because of their attorney bio page.
Tip on writing an attorney bio: Keep it on a human level.
Try to avoid legalese and speak from the heart. Tell your reader why you’re passionate about law, what got you into law, and always end with a call-to-action to encourage the reader to message you!
4. Contact Us page
Every page of your website should have CTAs, contact forms, and a phone number visible.
But just in case your reader didn’t see those, always have a Contact page. It’s just good practice and people are accustomed to seeing these pages on the top navigation of websites.
You can use the Contact page to enter your full address and include a Google Map of your location for easy directions.
And of course, put a contact form on this page.
5. About Us page
Use your About page to write about your company’s history and make sure to include any high-profile cases you’ve worked on! When people Google search for that case, your website will be high in the search results.
Your About page is also used to add further social proof by showing off your certifications, awards, and associations your law firm belongs to. This is for improved credibility.
6. Your law firm’s blog page
I cannot place enough emphasis on maintaining an active legal blog on your website.
There are two kinds of internet search traffic — organic and paid. And blog posts are considered organic, meaning people naturally find your blog posts in a Google search.
Blogs and paid ads (PPC) are the main ways lawyers boost traffic to their website. Unlike paid ads, which stop showing after you’ve stopped paying, organic blog posts remain on the internet forever!
Most of the pages on your site, the about, contact, bios, etc., won’t be updated that often. There’s no need to update those pages. So how do you add new keywords to your website? Through blogging!
Always be blogging. Always be publishing new blogs. Aim for at least four a month, but write more if you can. I’ll cover how to write a blog later in this article.
7. Your footer
A lot of website designers ignore the footer of a website, or treat it as an afterthought, but having a great footer is another way to engage your reader.
For one, your footer tells your reader they’ve reached the bottom of the page. And so your footer should be optimized to collect more leads by including:
- Phone number
- Email address
- A link to contact
- Physical location and address
- Copyright notice
- Links to social media
- Link to blog
Your footer is sort of like a last attempt at getting your readers to engage with your website before leaving.
Content strategy for lawyers: how to write blogs for your law firm’s website
Okay, now you know the essential pages and content your law firm website needs, let’s give you some advice on how to actually write that content.
First, you will need to focus on a particular keyword to target. Without getting into technical SEO and keyword planning stuff, we’ll start simply — write blogs about topics you know and practice in.
Stick with how to guides and list-based articles, since those tend to perform the best in a Google search. For example:
- How to divorce your spouse
- When to sue for delayed birth injuries
- 10 tips for DUI victims to get justice
- 12 steps to follow after immediately being in a car accident
- How to successfully sue your employer for discrimination
Here’s a secret: look to your competitors to see what they’re blogging about. Then write a better, more updated, and longer version of that blog post to rank higher. This is a big part of the SEO and content marketing game because it takes the guesswork out of deciding what to write about.
14 blog writing best practices to follow
Once you understand the basic idea of how to create engaging content, you’ll likely develop your own content ideas and content marketing strategies. As you do that, keep the following 14 best practices in mind.
- Structure your content with appropriate header types. Your article’s headline should be an H1 header. Then make sure to break your article into sections (H2 headers) to improve scannability and comprehension for your readers. Bullet point lists like this one also help to break up the text and make it easy for readers. Never post a blog that’s one giant paragraph!
- Put your main keyword in your article’s title and in many of the subheadings
- Always add a few links to older, existing blogs on your website to keep readers on your website longer.
- Add external links to outside websites to cite any claims you’re making in your article. This adds credibility.
- Proofread your article and make sure your article’s headline and content match up. If your title says one thing, and the article is about another topic, there will be a disconnect and drop off in your audience.
- Place yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do you wish they knew? What should they know right away? What answers are they looking for? What are common FAQs?
- Always, always, always add a CTA at the end of the article to encourage them to contact you, fill out a form, or to continue reading more blogs.
- Write a meta-description for each blog post. This is the sentence that’s shown under the article’s link in a Google search that describes what the article is about.
- Try to avoid keyword stuffing and just write naturally. It’ll benefit your readers and your site’s ranking.
- Try to write 1000 words for your blogs, if not more. But never less than 1000 words.
- Produce 4 blogs a month at the minimum. More is always better, because there are more opportunities for people to stumble upon your website in a Google search.
- Try to add pictures to improve comprehension and styling.
- Use an SEO tool, such as Yoast, to look through your article and tell you if you’re using too many keywords, or not enough.
- Spy on your competitors to see what they’re blogging about. Use ubersuggest.com to type in your competitors’ website and see how much traffic it brings in, what search terms they rank for, and what blog posts are most popular. Use this information as a starting point for your own content marketing strategy.
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Kaleidico — your law firm’s content marketing studio
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency and content studio for law firms, lawyers, mortgage lenders, and fintech companies.
Work with us to build your law firm’s website and actively maintain it with an ongoing content marketing strategy.
We’ll research your specific industry, your competitors, and create custom content for your law firm’s website to boost traffic and ultimately generate more case leads for your company.