A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Successful Law Firm Blog Post
Date: January 10, 2023
It’s one of the first things you hear when your law firm decides to pursue search engine optimization (SEO) or other digital marketing channels – you must begin producing content. This can feel like a big ask – your law firm, no matter the size, is busy, and your attorneys are hard at work doing what they’ve been hired by clients to do. But content creation truly is one of the most tangible and consistent ways to boost your law firm’s online profile. Starting a legal blog and producing content doesn’t need to be overwhelming or difficult. Let’s break down the blog writing process into digestible pieces, so that you can tackle your content marketing and continue to see your law firm achieve success.
Why Publishing Blogs on Your Law Firm’s Website Has Value
Why is it that every SEO professional or digital marketer has such an obsession with content? The truth is that while so much of search engine optimization can feel to the outsider like an enigma, content is something tangible that helps you to understand what’s happening inside your website. From beginning to end, the content creation process focuses on each aspect of search engine optimization, all brought together in a single marketing tool. Choosing a blog topic comes from your market research and understanding of your target audience. The writing incorporates your keyword research. Optimizing and posting your content brings in the analytics, seeing how potential clients and the search engine results pages (SERPs) have reacted and responded to your pages and whether that’s had an impact on conversions. As a microcosm, content can truly give you a picture of where you are in your digital marketing journey.
On a more practical note, content is often what, simply put, brings people to your website. Producing content gives your law firm’s website greater visibility, and utilizing those keywords associated with your legal niche will bring potential clients to whatever content you’ve produced relating to that topic. You want to be seen as a thought leader in your legal niche, both by your target audience and through your digital footprint, and producing successful content demonstrates your expertise and experience. Your content should aim to speak to both your potential clients and to your partners in technology, mainly the SERPs – writing well-researched content related to your experience, combined with the knowledge and research from your SEO team, should produce content that truly balances all goals. Remembering, for example, to utilize keywords is vital to the SEO success of your content, and once the SEO puts it in front of potential clients, writing for actual humans with empathy and humanity will encourage that target audience to pursue a further relationship with your firm.
Now that we’ve established the value of building a blog for your law firm, let’s break down the process into steps.
Determine Your Focus and Target Audience
Content is always speaking to an audience. It makes a big difference if you go into the writing process already understanding the audience you’re targeting – namely, the faction of people most likely to utilize your law firm’s services. Consider your client base – what do they have in common? What is the question that they all want answered? Are you aiming for a specific financial standing, a niche business market, a small local community? Knowing the answer to that question makes developing your content much more straightforward. Similarly, narrowing your focus makes a difference in how your content reads to your audience and how Google views your pieces. You may know about a breadth of legal topics, but do those all relate to the work your firm does? Make sure that the focus of your blog is your legal niche and how it relates to the client experience and the world around you.
Consider Your Content Strategy and Posting Calendar
A great deal of the success of your content strategy comes from planning and preparation, as well as documentation. When content is a nebulous part of conversations but not a part of written protocols, it invariably falls between the cracks as other work comes up. When starting a legal blog, make sure that you and your team understand expectations going forward – how many pieces are being written monthly? How often is your marketing team posting? Creating a content calendar that outlines topics, due dates, and posting dates, along with any other information you deem relevant, streamlines the process and ensures that every member of the team knows what needs to be done and when.
Research Your Topics Thoroughly
Once you’ve chosen a specific topic for your blog post, you can begin the process of researching and building your article. A significant goal of law firm blog posts is to elevate your law firm’s status, demonstrating that you and your team are thought leaders in your legal niche. You want to ensure that your information is accurate, and just as important, you want to ensure that your information is relevant to what a potential client needs to see. It can sometimes feel difficult to choose a blog topic – your law firm may already have an extensive back catalog of articles that you don’t want to repeat, you may feel that you’ve exhausted your options in a narrow niche, or you may simply find yourself with writer’s block. Inspiration can come from a plethora of sources, and you should use all the tools at your disposal to choose and flesh out your topic. Refer to your law firm’s focus keywords for ideas, or read through the blogs of your competitors and see how they treat and approach topics that are relevant to you and your firm. Consider what your clients ask you, and what unique perspective you bring to the table. Researching for inspiration and for up-to-date legal information will ensure that your blog stands out for the right reasons.
Develop the Related SEO Factors
As we know, a blog’s purpose is multifaceted, and one of the key reasons to blog for your law firm is to feed into the online algorithm that fuels the search engine results pages (SERPs) like Google and Bing. Of course, you don’t want your content to sound like it was written by a robot for robots – your humanity is still key. However, there are ways that you can incorporate SEO tools and best practices into your blog that will improve its success both with consumers and with SERPs. For example, consider keywords. These are the search terms and phrases associated with your niche that drive traffic to your law firm’s website. A common misconception is that a blog post must be stuffed with keywords without regard for the flow or readability of a piece in order to have an impact on your SEO. The truth is that strategically utilized and placed keywords can have a huge effect on your blog’s SEO standing without affecting the content within. In fact, researching relevant keywords can even give your blog post direction that you may not have considered.
Another SEO tool that doesn’t affect readability is the incorporation of header tags, or headers. To the reader, header tags appear as standard section headings, so they give the reader context for each section of the blog and allow the eye a break so the reader can process what they’ve read so far. To Google, however, these tags serve a much greater purpose. By optimizing these headings – that is, incorporating relevant keywords about the following section in a way that is still consumable – the search engines are able to understand that those topics are vital to what is being discussed in your blog post. This encourages the SERPs to push your blog topic to the top when those terms are searched. Your use of headers may also inform the format of your blog – do you want it to read like an FAQ? Do you want to utilize bullet points or infographics? Considering your audience’s attention span when planning your SEO can bring you to a unique or interesting formatting opportunity that keeps your readers engaged as well as informed.
Congrats: You’ve finally reached the point at which you can actually begin writing your blog post! This may feel like an inordinate amount of steps to reach what you may consider the “point” of the exercise, but everything you’ve done up until now has set your actual writing up for success. Your headers, while optimized for SEO, have provided you with an outline. Your keywords, while researched and honed, give you direction and ideas. Your own experience in your legal niche gives you both the information and the passion to fuel the contents of the blog post.
Combining all of your research, experience, and tools together, you can exercise your expertise to show prospective clients that you know what you’re talking about. You can use the meat of the blog post to not only provide relevant information but also to show your law firm’s personality and how that plays into the work you do. For example, a family lawyer can let their humanity and empathy shine through in a blog about adoption, while a business attorney may demonstrate a cool head and past successes in a blog about emerging corporate structures. Use the actual writing to show both who you are and what you can do.
Post and Promote Your New Content
With the writing done, it’s time to post and promote your law firm’s new blog content. Part of the posting process is what’s referred to in SEO as optimization – making sure that your blog post is as attuned to the SERPs as possible. A major part of optimization is adding links within your blog post. You can link back to your law firm’s own internal service pages for relevant topics, your firm’s past relevant blog posts, or even link out to major publications where you found your research to demonstrate authority.
Depending on the blogging platform your law firm utilizes, there may be other small optimizations involved in posting that seem like simple tasks but make a big difference to the SEO success of the blog. For example, on a WordPress website, you’ll find a section for your “Google preview” involving your SEO title, slug, and meta description, all of which enhance your SEO profile. Inputting a relevant title as your SEO title, a simple and straightforward URL structure for your slug, and a brief meta description of the article will encourage the SERPs to boost the profile of your blog. However, every content management system (CMS) is different– be sure to research and understand what will give you the most mileage on the CMS your law firm uses.
Promotion is the next phase of blog creation, and it cannot be overlooked. Your SEO efforts will help generate organic traffic to your blog, but it makes a big difference to also have direct traffic coming in from social media and other publications. Posting your newest content on your social media platforms like LinkedIn will give you an initial boost of traffic. That boost can show the SERPs right out of the gate that your blog topic is relevant and necessary, and worthy of being promoted. It can also bring in traffic from unexpected places – if your blog is on a topic worth sharing, your law firm’s website may end up with an even broader reach than you expected.
Analyze Your Success and Continue Developing Your Strategy
It’s important to remember that content creation is not a one-size-fits-all process, and that the landscape surrounding law firm digital marketing is constantly changing. What once worked may not still. Utilizing metrics on services like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can give you an idea of how many people are interacting with your content, for how long, and how they found it in the first place. Consider breaking up your law firm’s blogging efforts into quarters and analyzing the success of the content at the end of each three-month period, looking at what has generated success and what has fallen short of expectations. In continuing to understand and grow your content efforts, so too will you see the positive effects on your law firm as a whole.
Contact 9Sail to Get Started on Your Law Firm’s Content Strategy
Content creation is no small feat, but it is a necessary aspect of successful law firm marketing. At 9Sail, we specialize in helping attorneys and legal marketers like you with their SEO marketing and content creation. We know how to utilize SEO tools and tricks in a way that maintains the humanity and readability of your content, creating informative and interesting blogs in the process.
We encourage you to set up a free consultation with our team of experts to start the content creation process. You can make your appointment by calling or submitting your contact information through our online form. We look forward to hearing from you!