You are well-educated, articulate, and by all means an expert on your particular niche of practicing law. Yet, despite these facts, you struggle to write blog content that performs for your firm. Writing for the web is a little bit of a different beast, but there are some things that you can do to help your content rank higher.
#1: Write for Real People
You have been living in the legal world for so long that you might have forgotten the rest of the world doesn’t speak legalese. There is a fair amount of jargon and formality in language that comes with practicing law. However, your clients are probably not lawyers, and talking over their heads about difficult topics isn’t going to win them over.
#2: Research Keywords
Search engine optimization (SEO) includes intentional activities designed to help search engines categorize your website. There are many factors that affect search engine ranking and many pieces of information that you can optimize. But it all starts with targeting the right keywords.
Lawyers seem to have the best luck targeting niche keywords related to the areas of law that they practice because this is how people search. For example, 91% of the first page Google results for terms like “personal injury lawyer + city name” belong to boutique firms with a single specialty. The same was true for criminal defense attorneys, and DUI lawyers.
You can get a good idea for niche keywords by typing your area(s) of law in the search box and reviewing search suggestions. Build blog content around relevant keyword phrases including your areas of expertise and local search results.
Format for the Web
Forget everything that you learned about how to format an essay. When you write for the web, you are not writing an essay. You are writing for readers on a mission to find information. These readers spend a lot of time quickly scanning websites to determine if they contain the information that they are looking for — and they are focused on disqualifying your website.
Help the right readers identify your content by making the content skimmable.
● Short visual paragraphs (about 3 lines)
● Generous use of headings
● Bulleted Lists
● Bold formatting for keywords and phrases
Build a Wealth of High-Quality Content
Consistently posting new, high-quality content can help you rank higher. It can also help build trust with your audience. It will take some time — 300 posts on average, but eventually, the search engines will recognize that your website is legitimate and valuable. In fact, good blog content is the key difference between getting some traffic and getting a lot of traffic.
This review from Legal Business World did some digging and found that legal websites without a blog averaged 182 organic search results per month and those with a blog averaged 3,000 per month.
Create a Content Strategy
Match your target audience to different personas and figure out what those people need. Create content that is relevant to your services and useful for your ideal clients. Every detail from deciding what to post, how often to post, and how to promote your content should be outlined in a content marketing strategy and backed by real data.
Make Your Content Easy to Navigate
Search engines like it when you include relevant internal and external links within your content. If you have other content on your blog that is complementary to your current post, include a link with a strong keyword anchor.
It turns out, you don’t have to do much to be better than “most” of your competition. Did you know that 40% of law firms don’t have a website? And those that do have disorganized content and are missing key details. You can help yourself out by adding a call to action at the end of every blog post and using relevant internal links to other useful content on your website, particularly to sales pages.
Optimize Your Content
It takes more than keywords to optimize your content for search engines. Keyword placement in the title, headings, and body is a good start. But you also need to pay attention to the meta title and description provided for your content. This information is displayed directly on the search engine results page and can influence potential visitors to click on your link, so it is pretty important.
Put Some Effort Into Reputable Link Building
Search engines tend to notice when websites with a high domain authority link to your website. In a way, it is like that website is vouching for you. Guest blogging remains to be one of the safest ways to build links without risking penalties from search engine providers. Plus, it puts your name in front of a new audience and helps bolster your credibility.
Be Social Share-Friendly
Make sure that your posts are optimized with social share buttons and that the images are compatible with social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you write great content, people who read it will be happy to share it. All you have to do is make it easy for them.
Words are an important part of the way that we communicate, but real engagement comes from appealing to as many of the senses as you can. All of your content should include images at a bare minimum. And, as much as possible, try to incorporate other forms of multimedia like videos and infographics.
The Bottom Line for Better Ranking Blogs
Many legal blogs are turning out exactly the right kind of content and still failing to show up in search results because they are missing the key component of writing for the web. It takes a little more than knowledge and passion to write a great blog post. You need to craft content that is relatable and engaging, and then you need to present it in a way that readers want to interact with it and search engines can identify it.