Content marketing is a relatively new term and vocation. 20 years ago as the internet was evolving into what it has become today one of the key components in its growth was content marketing. Many tend to get some kind of mental block about it because it is an aspect of internet marketing that a lot of people are intimidated by. The bottom line is that content marketing is similar to offline publishing in periodicals such as magazines and trade publications.
One of the biggest differences between offline publishing and content marketing is that the lead time is much faster. It can take several months to get a piece published in a hard copy magazine whereas one writing their own content could post daily if they so desired. Another important difference is that much of the content published offline is for information only whereas content published online also has an impact on search engine optimization. At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, we work with law firms nationwide in all aspects of lawyer marketing.
Lawyers have been publishing offline in legal trade publications for decades so the concept of content marketing isn’t really new, it is simply in a new format. Another point to be made is that the writing attorneys are used to doing is intended more for other lawyers than for the consumer. Content writing for lawyers for the point of this post is done for the purpose of educating potential clients and building external links that help SEO. While the days of keyword stuffing to achieve higher search rankings are over, well-written content that focuses on particular phrases is still the predominant method.
When beginning content marketing one should first list the goals that need to be accomplished such as:
Most law firms that we work with specialize in certain areas of law such as personal injury, wrongful death, criminal defense, etc. The best strategy for content marketing is to focus on specific practice areas or specific legal issues that the law firm handles such as DWI or drug possession.
For firms that specialize in multiple practice areas, we write content for different subjects each month, sometimes multiple posts. For example, if we have a client that wishes to rank well in their area for terms like DWI or drunk driving, we will write content that will perform well for those terms.
For ranking well in local geographic areas it is necessary to show relevance to the area so in addition to using keyword phrases such as “Cook County divorce lawyers”, we also link to local towns and landmarks.
It isn’t enough just to write content, the content must be high quality and relevant. Google ranks sites using a system they call E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. In order to rank highly, you must cover the subjects thoroughly. If there are 10 pages covering the same topic Google is going to show the results that cover the topic the best.
Although there is some disagreement on word count among SEO experts, research shows that the highest ranking pages also have higher word counts. We like to stay over 1,500 words when possible and like to set 1,000 words as a minimum.
Backlinks are like the neuro pathways of the internet. Within your own website, internal linking links to other pages on your site that are relevant to the content being written about. For example, if you are writing a blog titled “10 Signs Your Marriage Is Headed For Divorce,” you would want to link to your law firm’s practice area page on Divorce. External backlinks link to websites outside of yours.
The proper use of these is for references in the content you are writing, local points of interest, and authority sites. Google also specifies that the anchor text being designated in the links is highly descriptive.
Content creation covers a wide variety of mediums and the best practice is to utilize as many as possible. This excerpt from Gary Vaynerchuck explains the process simply.
It starts with a piece of “pillar content.” With my personal brand, it takes the form of a daily vlog, keynote, Q&A show, or another video that I do.
Since I start from video, my team is able to repurpose that one piece of content into dozens of smaller pieces of content, contextual to the platforms that we distribute them to.
This could take many different forms — for example, if you’re not comfortable on video, you could record a podcast. You might even film yourself recording the podcast so you could have a video out of it as well. And from that video or audio clip, you can create content for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
Gary Vaynerchuk, the chairman of VaynerX, a modern-day media, and communications holding company has espoused content marketing for years. Vaynerchuck creates his own content daily as the active CEO of VaynerMedia, a full-service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients across the company’s 5 locations.
Data analysis is one of the most important components of content marketing that actually occurs after the content is published and should be an ongoing process. When we write content we do the best we can to create it in a way that it will rank well in the search engines. After publishing, we are able to track a number of data points including:
At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, our SEO Director goes through this data and uses it to tweak the content, update it, and edit information such as title and META data. It is a huge mistake and a waste of resources to simply write content and then never go back to it. Using data analysis enables us to adjust content and make it better with visitor input as well as the data from algorithms.
This case study shows how a single-attorney family law practice started attracting more high-asset, financially complex divorce cases.
Click here to read about a family law firm that increased caseload five-fold in a few months.
At FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, we employ extremely experienced people in the law firm marketing industry. Our SEO Director has been marketing online for well over two decades and oversees all SEO tasks including editing content and performing on-page optimization as well as internal and external linking. Our specialty is lawyer marketing and SEO for lawyers at FORWARD Lawyer Marketing, call us at (888) 590-9687 to discuss how we can increase the revenue of your law firm.