Content writing for lawyers includes blogs, social media posts, syndicated articles, web pages: In online marketing terms, all of these things are content writing. FORWARD Lawyer Marketing provides personalized, on-brand content writing for lawyers and law firms in all areas of legal practice.
Advertising for the legal profession differs from other types of online content creation. We follow a set of best practices that helps consistently deliver effective, quality writing:
- Follow ethical guidelines
- Stay up-to-date
- Remove technical errors
- Define the audience
- Focus each article
- Organize information
- Establish a style
- Track page performance
- Implement SEO knowledge
- Post consistently
Marketing for lawyers is heavily dependent on credibility, so firms usually benefit from professional writing services. However, even if you don’t end up hiring an agency to provide your content, you might find some of these online writing tips useful.
1. Follow Ethical Guidelines
Before you start writing online content for your law firm, you have to know the legal advertising ethics for your jurisdiction. These guidelines are different in different states, but here are some examples:
- Citing specific credentials, qualifications, and individuals when talking about expert or specialist attorneys
- Avoiding superlatives or other language that would suggest one law firm has categorically better services than another
- Inviting clients to contact the attorney or firm for advice, as well as providing disclaimers about the attorney-client relationship
- Inserting appropriate disclaimers for specific practice areas, such as bankruptcy
- Using clear, predictable link text — especially when connecting to outside sources
Also — and this is probably assumed — it’s important to be correct. If you provide any details about the law, it should be relevant to your potential clients and accurate for your jurisdiction.
If you’re unsure about advertising ethics, you can usually find ample resources at your state bar association. Alternatively, give us a call — we have clients across the country and we are familiar with all relevant ethical standards.
2. Stay Up-To-Date
There’s a concept in online marketing termed “evergreen content“. It refers to writing content that people can use forever.
This is one of the gold standards of content writing, especially for SEO. Unfortunately, it is relatively difficult to achieve in most areas of legal practice. Most lawyers have to maintain their strongest articles, updating or expanding them from time to time and updating when there are changes to state laws.
There are a number of approaches. For example, you could write articles that have a combination of generally useful information and specific information about the law. When you go back and rewrite, you would only need to change the outdated legal information.
You could also separate general information and specific legal information into different articles. Some would be evergreen and some would not.
Some of your updates will be dictated by changing laws. Others will be part of your search engine optimization strategies. You’ll want to do it sooner or later. Planning ahead will make the process as efficient as possible.
3. Remove Technical Errors
How many typos can you have in an article before your audience stops taking you seriously? In law, probably not many.
At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, we have multiple stages of professional editing. We also use several AI proofreading tools to support our human readers — something like a super-powered spellcheck. Every piece of content writing is subject to intense scrutiny before it gets published. Our SEO Director has been writing professionally and performing search engine optimization for almost 30 years and he personally reviews every piece of content posted.
4. Define the Audience
As an attorney in a professional capacity, you’re probably used to talking to people about the specifics of their cases. Maybe you’ve also delivered lectures or written books. You also might have litigation experience, negotiating skills, and various other communication modes at your disposal.
One of the keys to writing effective online content for your law firm is making the most of your communication skills. Think about the people you want to read your article. Then, think about the best way to communicate your ideas to that specific group.
Defining your audience is a fundamental marketing concept. To illustrate the point, here are some examples of content types we have written and their respective target audiences:
- Law review articles: Other attorneys in the practice area
- Blog posts: People with questions about specific legal problems
- Pay-per-click landing pages: Potential clients in a geographical area, or with a specific type of case
- Social media posts: People searching for answers to share with others
5. Focus Each Article
It’s a great idea to have a few general information articles prominently featured on your law firm website. FAQs, practice area explanations, general resource pages: These give people a place to start while considering your services.
However, the bulk of your online content will probably be highly focused. The goal of each article should be to give the readers specific information — and, of course, tell them how you could help.
6. Organize Information
The way you organize content is important. Here are some guidelines we typically use:
- Use bulleted lists and headers to break up the content
- Short, scannable paragraphs are usually more engaging
- Include relevant visuals, such as diagrams, videos, or photos
- Use calls to action when appropriate
- Give people what they expect from the title of your article
- Keep introductions and conclusions relatively short
7. Establish a Style That Matches Your Law Firm Brand
Your writing style should be a reflection of the atmosphere at your law firm. An aggressive criminal defense lawyer who handles violent-crime cases would probably want a different tone than a family law attorney who focuses on alternative dispute resolution.
There is something to be said about writing legal copy, however, you also want to give your readers and potential clients a good idea of what to expect when they contact you.
It really comes down to integrity. You ideally want all of the communications that come out of your law firm to integrate completely with your brand image.
Details matter. Here are some of the elements of style we consider, depending on our client’s brand:
- Point of view (you, we, you/we, the firm)
- Figures of speech
- Sentence complexity
- Punctuation (dashes, semicolons, comma rules, and so on)
- Header case
Many large enterprises have detailed online marketing style guides that outline even the most minute grammatical rules. If you’re looking for a place to start, we usually use AP style at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing. It’s the industry-standard format for journalism and print media in the United States. When we take on a new client with an existing website our SEO Director goes through every page and corrects spelling and grammatical errors plus performs on-page SEO.
8. Track Page Performance
One of the best things you can do for your content writing is to keep track of how it performs. You can monitor and record nearly everything that happens to a website:
- Visitor counts
- Clicks on various graphic elements
- How long people spend on the page
- Where people go after visiting
- Whether visitors contact you by clicking on links
This type of information helps you understand what works and what doesn’t. For example, if people are calling you after reading one of your articles, you might have an effective call to action.
It gets overwhelming relatively quickly, which is why we have dedicated content management teams that do this for our clients. In the context of search engine optimization, this type of oversight goes from useful to essential.
9. Implement SEO In Content Writing For Lawyers
Content marketing is more than just publishing things for people to read. It’s also useful for increasing your position in search results. To do that efficiently, you need SEO.
Google and other search engines read your website, recording the presence of certain keywords and key phrases. When people search for those words, your page might appear. We have numerous tools we use to discover what keyword phrases people are using to get to your website and use that data to write targeted content.
SEO requires research, testing, and strategy. You have to identify your best keywords, integrate them into your writing and follow through on the results.
It goes beyond keywords. The more you focus your articles, the more likely it is that Google will match you with specific searches. The more time people spend reading, the better your engagement metrics will be. The more people who link to your page or share it, the more online credibility (represented as higher search rank) you’ll have.
Writing quality content using SEO best practices: It’s a winning combination. It’s a good way to simultaneously provide value for your potential clients and get exposure for your business.
10. Post Consistently
Last but certainly not least, it’s important to consistently post quality articles. In fact, this is one of the best reasons to hire a content writing agency for your law firm. The more often new content is posted, the more often the search engine spiders visit your site and crawl your content.
As an attorney, you probably write quite a bit. Publishing a minimum of 1500 words or so per month might not seem like much to you. Some of our clients that are having the most success in improving rankings and traffic are posting a 1500 word blog post weekly.
Most of our clients find that marketing writing isn’t difficult, but rather that it’s unfamiliar territory. Copywriting for lawyers needs to be composed and polished in a way that isn’t all that common in the legal profession.
Inserting keywords, creating skimmable articles, checking metrics, updating old content: Each task is simple by itself. However, it takes experience and practice to put the pieces together in an elegant, approachable way.
Contact FORWARD Lawyer Marketing Today
Content writing is one of our core services, and it’s the foundation of your online presence as a lawyer. If you find yourself falling behind in your publication schedule, we’re here to help you catch up. Contact us at your earliest convenience. We can discuss the scope of your project and get started right away. Call us at (888) 590-9687