Legal blog writing is an extremely effective way to market your law firm online. It can establish your firm as a leader in your practice area, improve your website’s rankings for various search terms, and lead to new professional opportunities. The return of an investment of time or money on blogging can be substantial – in fact, according to Hubspot, marketers that prioritize blogging see 13 times the ROI than businesses that don’t.
All of that said, law firm blogging is significantly different from blogging for other businesses. Not only is the legal market extremely competitive, but law firms are subject to substantial regulations regarding their advertising and marketing materials. In addition, there is a significant gap between getting people to read a blog post and getting them to become a paying client. Here are 10 tips to help you do it.
First things first – remember your audience. Legal consumers aren’t concerned about the newest developments in case law; they are worried about things like how they are going to pay their medical bills or who will get custody of their children after their divorce. Blogging is a great opportunity to target long-tail keyword phrases that consumers are searching for. If you answer legal questions that your clients are asking, there is a good chance that you’ll show up in the search results when they Google their questions. Some examples of blog topics that could answer common questions include:
- Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
- What are the penalties for a first-time DUI?
- Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 bankruptcy
- How do I start an LLC?
People looking for legal services typically are not lawyers or judges and likely have not gone to law school. As a result, you should avoid using legalese in your blog material. While you may know exactly what comparative negligence is, don’t assume your readers do. If you do use legal terms, explain them in a clear and concise way that your readers will understand.
Creating content is pointless if no one is reading it. One of the best ways to get people to click on your links is to use catchy and intriguing headlines. The unfortunate reality is that clickbait works. It’s a good practice to create titles and headlines that pique your readers’ interest and leave them wanting to learn more. Some examples of effective headlines include:
- Don’t Make This Mistake after a Car Accident
- Why Talking to the Insurance Company Yourself is a Bad Idea
- Here Are the 4 Things You Should Do Before Filing for Divorce
According to digital marketing expert Jeff Bullas, posts with images get 94 percent more views than those without images, and it’s easy to understand why. Blog posts with images tend to receive more engagement for several reasons. Firstly, images capture the attention of readers and make the content visually appealing. They break up the text and create a more inviting reading experience. Additionally, images help to illustrate and clarify concepts, making the content easier to understand. They also evoke emotions, establishing a connection with readers and encouraging interaction.
Your content isn’t going to convert readers into clients if nobody sees it. In order to maximize the chances of your blog posts ranking well in the SERPs, you should use search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Some of the most important of these include:
- Using your target keyword at a 2-3 percent density
- Link to external authoritative sources
- Link internally to your other pages on your site
- Use header tags for your subheadings
- Demonstrate experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T)
People read text on screens differently than they read books or newspapers. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, 79 percent of users scan websites, and only 16 percent read word-for-word. As a result, you should structure your blog posts in a way that makes them scannable. Specifically, you should include:
- Informative headings
- Bulleted lists
- Highlight keywords
- One idea per paragraph
Importantly, scannable doesn’t mean short or lacking in substance. In a “your money or your life” (YMYL) area like law, it’s important for your content to demonstrate expertise, which often means longer content.
It’s a good practice to link to authoritative sources in your blog posts. For example, if you cite a state statute, you should link to your state’s official code. Similarly, if you use a legal term, you could link to Wikipedia (if there is an article on it) or a source like Cornell’s Legal Information Institute. Be sure not to link to seemingly informative websites like nolo.com, which are actually platforms for lawyer advertising. If you link to a source where other attorneys are running ads, you could inadvertently lose potential clients to them.
Google has made it clear that there is no “right” word count for content. That being said, law is clearly a YMYL area, which means that your content needs to demonstrate E-E-A-T. Demonstrating experience, expertise, authority, and trust often requires discussing topics in detail, which in turn requires longer form content. For context, we regularly create web pages in the range of 4000-5000 words for clients in competitive markets, and our blogs are typically in the 1000-2000 word range.
Remember that people who are reading your blog likely have a legal problem that they want someone to solve. So, even if you are writing a blog about how much a personal injury case is worth or what the penalties for a first-time DUI are, always bring it back to how a lawyer can likely provide a more favorable outcome. For example, in the personal injury valuation blog, address the factors that determine the value of a personal injury case, but then pivot to discussing how legal representation can maximize a settlement or award. Similarly, in the DUI example, discuss the potential penalties but then explain to the reader how a lawyer may be able to identify potential defenses or negotiate a plea bargain.
Your blog should end with a clear call to action. In fact, you should likely have a call to action “above the fold” – the part of your website that is visible without scrolling – and one at the end of your article. Make it easy for your readers to contact you by including your phone number and a link to your contact us page.
Here’s our call to action – if you need legal content, contact us today. The attorney-led team at Lexicon Legal Content creates blogs, practice area pages, press releases, and other forms of content for digital marketing agencies and law firms throughout North America. Call us at 877-486-8123 or contact us online. You can also order content online or request a free sample here.