Category: Content Marketing

Get More from Your Current Content with Historical Optimization

You recognize that content is king, but you may not be making the most of the content that you already have. And this is where historical optimization shines. Historical optimization sounds more technical than it needs to be – the bottom line is that it involves breathing new life into the content you’ve already published, which can do you a world of good in terms of giving your return on investment a bump.

Your Existing Content

You worked hard for the content you have, and it’s worked hard for you. The thing to remember, however, is that there is no sell-by date on your docs. By updating any outdated information, freshening up your prose, and tightening up the technical end of things through improved search visibility and heightened organic traffic, you can take your existing content to the next level – without the expense of purchasing new content or the time investment required to put pen to paper.

Optimize that Content

Let’s say that you have a well-written blog dedicated to prenuptial agreements from 2014 on your firm’s website that saw a lot of traffic back in the day, but that isn’t generating much of anything now. The fact is that the information in your blog is likely just as relevant today as the day you posted it. As it slipped in rankings, however –which could simply be a function of the date it was posted – the piece quit engaging potential clients, and the calls to action therein quit calling anyone to act. With a few tweaks, however, you can revolutionize pieces that have gone flat without reinventing the wheel. Consider the following:

  • If you have more than one article out there about the same range of information, you’re better off consolidating your efforts into a more in-depth piece (instead of diluting your message across several online offerings).
  • Lace your content with hyperlinks that guide potential clients to other relevant areas of your site.
  • Update your keywords and skillfully weave them into your existing content.
  • Optimize your calls to action to better reflect who you and your potential clients are today.

Update your information as needed, and voilà, you’ve got dynamite content that might as well be brand spanking new on your hands.

Getting the Job Done

There are three basic steps to historical optimization (that work across all genres).

One: Content Audit

You won’t be able to measure your content’s meteoric rise in rank if you don’t know where it’s at, to begin with. It’s a good idea to always have a good idea about how your content is performing, and if you don’t, now’s a good time to get on it. In order to scope out your winningest work, you’ve got to get down to the business of a content audit. Make a master list of your existing content, and from here, note all the following for each:

  • Their search rankings
  • Their CTA click-through rates
  • Their overall bounce rates
  • The organic traffic they generate

Once you have this master list established, you’ll have a better feel for what kind of content is performing well for you, where you have topical gaps, and where there are prime opportunities for growth. Don’t be afraid to dig around online to mine for those top-ranking pages that are receiving the keyword action you are going for.

Two: Start Small

During the course of your audit, you may have found a whole bunch of content that you’d like to reinvigorate, but choosing one or two to focus on is the way to go. Taking an all-or-nothing approach is generally a recipe for disaster. By starting small, you’ll have more control over the process and will have a better feel for where your baby steps are most likely to pay off big. If you’re attempting to garner interest, you may want to jazz up your current content’s wording, and if action is what you’re looking for, try being a bit more direct with your CTA – and see where things go.

Three: Check Your Balance

You performed an audit, to begin with, and now it’s time to consider the return on your efforts. Because you are working with a manageable amount of content, it’s far easier to ascertain what’s working and what isn’t and to make the necessary edits where they’re needed – as you hone your historical optimization chops.

Polished to Perfection

Not for nothing did you put all that effort and expense into your existing content, and with some strategic historical optimization, it can prove invaluable moving forward. Good content is good content, and scrapping what you’ve got for something new is not necessarily going to move the needle in the direction you’re going for. Taking a closer look at what you’ve already got on tap may uncover diamonds in the rough that are just waiting to shine bright.

10 Legal Content Marketing Terms You Should Get to Know

Marketing your legal content seems easy enough – write stellar copy and get it out there where it needs to be. There are, of course, challenges along the way. One of the primary building blocks of solid legal marketing is understanding the terminology that populates its principles and methodologies. Because even major players use terms in different ways – sometimes with newly imagined meanings – it’s important to have a nuanced understanding of the basics. Others may play fast and loose with their legal marketing terms, but once you and your team have settled on meaningful definitions that work for you, you’ll be far better prepared to make your mark in legal marketing.

One: Audience

We all know what an audience is, but understanding your audience and directly targeting this group with your content marketing is a more complicated matter. Your prime audience amounts to those people who need specific legal guidance or information and who are motivated to find a legal resolution to the conflict at hand.

Two: Content Marketing – as Art (and Science)

According to DICTIONARY.COM, content marketing attempts to attract potential customers, but instead of relying upon traditional advertising practices, it proffers information that the target audience mentioned above may find helpful. While this definition is all well and good, there’s more to the story. Content marketing is less of a marketing strategy and more of an art. The goal is to apply your unique marketing magic to your body of content, including:

  • Written pieces
  • Photos and videos
  • Social media offerings

And in so doing, you’re attempting to extend your content’s reach, staying power, and overall effectiveness. It’s a lot, but that’s what legal marketing professionals are for.

Three: Content

Content remains king, and the thing about your content is that it has to be written and polished. You want to connect with your audience, which means that slapping words into a doc isn’t going to cut it. You are obviously going for pieces that are timely, relevant, and compelling, which includes paying attention to all the following:

  • Writing style
  • Tone
  • Voice

Keeping your target audience in mind is paramount, but don’t be afraid to explore your firm’s inner voice and use it to express your unique brand.

Four: Content Creation

Writing mechanics are critical to polishing your content and should not be ignored. Consider the following:

  • Copyediting – Once you have copy in hand, it’s time to copy edit, which amounts to reviewing the content for any missteps in terms of style, grammar, punctuation, and/or overall readability.
  • ProofreadingProofreading is all about giving the writing another peek and ensuring that the piece is ready for the presses. This is where any minor typos, misspellings, or grammatical snafus that have made it this far need to be caught.
  • Fact-Checking – When your content is legal, facts matter, which makes fact-checking essential. Make it your policy to never skimp when it comes to double-checking the accuracy of your content (and the veracity of its sources).

Five: Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) refers to an element of your content that underscores the reader response you are going for. And if you work in legal, your content requires a specific type of call to action – contacting your firm for the professional legal counsel your audience is looking for. Calls to action are critical, and those CTAs that shine are not only clear, concise, and inviting but also pop.

Six: Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about honing a strategic path forward toward achieving your highest rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher you climb, the better positioned your content is to garner clicks, which is the bottom line when it comes to legal content marketing.

Seven: Keywords

Your keywords describe your content (in a nutshell), and they are a key component of your SEO. The keywords you mine and employ should be based on the terms that the people who populate your target audience are likely to use. When well-considered, keywords are an asset that help keep your legal content marketing vibrant.

Eight: Sales

Your legal content marketing is intended to promote business, and this boils down to sales. Your sales break down into the following fundamental categories:

  • Consumers – Very generally, consumers represent your intended audience.
  • Customers – Customers are those consumers who’ve already availed themselves of your legal services in some capacity.
  • Conversion – Conversion refers to customer-generated actions that your firm deems meaningful. Contacting or calling you to schedule a consultation is a prime example.
  • Ideal Customer Profile – You have ideal customers, which means you should also have an ideal customer profile (ICP) that identifies those potential customers who perfectly match your vision of a dream client.
  • Sales Funnel – Your sales funnel defines your target audience’s decision-making journey from the moment they dip their toes in your market to the time they pull the trigger and hire an attorney. Your sales funnel is the pathway from potential consumers to conversions, which makes it a big deal.

Nine: Metrics

Metrics refer to those workaday measurements that quantify specific value adds your firm offers. Examples include:

  • The number of likes your social media posts receive
  • The number of page views your website receives

Ten: Measurements

In the end, you need a verifiable means of assessing how well your content marketing is doing – so you can fine-tune it along the way – and some of the most credible tools of measurement include:

  • A/B Testing – A/B testing is a means of testing one piece of content against another – in a randomized experiment approach. The upshot is a glimpse into which approach, A or B, is better suited to your marketing goals.
  • Return on Investment – Return on investment (ROI) is a measurement of how hard your marketing dollars are working for you. When you know your ROI for specific content marketing campaigns, for example, you’ll have a better feel for where and how you should be investing.
  • Analytics – Analytics, unsurprisingly, analyze metrics data to provide you with readings on your ROI in relation to the content-marketing tools you employ.

Call Us Today for Help with Your Legal Content Marketing

If you need content for your law firm’s content, you have come to the right place. Call or contact us today to discuss your needs with a legal content marketing expert.

Four Easy Ways to Find Fresh Ideas for Your Law Firm Blog

Whether you are a solo practitioner or part of a large law firm, improving your Google search rankings and online authority should be one of your top marketing priorities. When your audience likes and can relate to what you are publishing online, Google rewards you, as do your prospects when they turn into clients. The best way to accomplish these goals is to draft high-quality content for your website frequently.
However, creating compelling content isn’t as easy as it might sound. For most attorneys, wordsmithing tasks become buried by the dozens of other duties they must complete. Publishing excellent content that resonates with your desired audience must be a priority, or your blog won’t be an effective marketing tool. You won’t reap the rewards you desire. In fact, it’s so crucial that we highly recommend creating an editorial calendar that can serve as a guide and will remind you to keep creating content.

Finding Fresh Content Ideas

Sometimes it’s less about prioritizing your blog and more about fresh ideas. Far too often, lawyers give up on their blog because they run out of topics they want to talk about or think their audience wants to hear. Generating new content doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming—consider these tools to help keep your content up to date and innovative.

What Are People Asking About Online?

Research what people are asking about online. Garner ideas from questions people are asking about in your area of practice. TextOptimizer is one tool that can help you get inside your readers’ heads. It allows you to research what questions are being asked about specific topics. Simply type in a keyword on the “Find Content Ideas” page. For instance, typing “personal injury” reveals these results:

  • Do I have a personal injury case?
  • Do I have a personal injury claim?
  • What is a personal injury lawsuit?
  • Do I need a personal injury lawyer?

For more detailed results and tools, you can pay for the subscription service on the site. Its additional features can help you narrow down content suggestions and find keyword combinations that meet search engine requirements.

Many people turn to the internet daily for answers to their questions. If your website can provide a reliable answer, it will see more traffic and reach higher rankings.

Enlist the Help of Your Intake Team

To help specify your topics even further and keep them relevant to your potential clients, consider asking your intake team to document your prospects’ questions and concerns. This step can provide you with insight into what your audience is looking for when it comes to legal information and help.

Apps such as Slack or Google Docs are an excellent way for them to record the questions they receive on intake. Such a database will provide a convenient way to view them easily in one place when you are ready to do so.

Use Keyword Research Tools

While keywords are typically thought of in terms of SEO, they can serve other purposes. Taking the time to research relevant keywords can give you some valuable insight into your prospects’ questions and interests. Check out these tools:

  • Kparser generates several keyword ideas around the main topic of your choosing. It can provide you with fresh topic ideas that you may never have even thought about.
  • Answer the Public allows you to use keywords or key phrases and receive an aggregated view of the questions Google and Bing receive. For example, if you type in “slip and fall,” you will receive hundreds of different answers and topic ideas.

Recognize Seasonal Trends and Relevant News

Your audience experiences many of the same things you do, including seasonal trends such as:

  • Holidays
  • Back to school
  • Summer vacation
  • Travel
  • The Super Bowl and other popular sporting events
  • Gearing up for winter weather conditions

Suppose you practice family law. In that case, you may want to focus on parenting topics and shared custody during the Christmas season or summer vacation. If your practice focuses on estate planning, make it a point to discuss tax topics during the first quarter of the year.

You may also want to focus on what is nationally recognized on certain days or weeks of the year. For example, if you are a business attorney, publish a blog about National Small Business Week a week or two before it’s recognized.

Making your blog timely and relatable to what is going on will also help draw traffic to your site. Your prospects also pay attention to the news from various sources. As such, if there have been recent news stories or changes to the law that impact your area of expertise, be sure to address these matters in your content. Not only will it help increase your online traffic, but it can show your audience that you stay up to date and are an authority in your area of practice.

Do You Need Help Publishing Frequent Fresh Content?

It’s easy to get bogged down when it comes to publishing fresh and timely blogs on your law firm’s website. Whether you find it challenging to make room in your schedule to write and post your blog or to keep your readers coming back for more with fresh content, our team of attorney-led writers can help. Call us today at 877-488-8123 or contact us online. Our seasoned marketing professionals are happy to address your content needs and show you how we can help.

What Is Content Readability and Who Defines It?

Most of us think something is readable if we enjoy it. We want a piece to have a beginning, middle, and end, preferably in that order. If it’s fictional, we want it to be about people we care about or like. Sometimes, it’s a book you just happen to come across or a title or a cover that drew you in, and you couldn’t leave till you finished the story. Sometimes, it’s something so powerful that you simply can’t let it go. However, these qualities aren’t the only kinds of readability.

When it comes to getting your law firm website to rank, content readability is an important factor. Search engines analyze readability and reward it. In other words, they rank (and put at the top of the SERPs) the articles that have the features the engine thinks will make a reader stick to the end. Aside from all the other things the contributed to readability, being current and up-to-date is one of the most important factors. Keeping your firm’s website current and up-to-date with content that people want to read will go a long way to keeping you high on that first results page.

Do We Know It When We See It?

One of the ways a search engine defines readability is by determining how long a reader stays in place before sliding on to the next result. It doesn’t just matter how many people click on your page; it matters how long they stay after they get there. There are ways to encourage them to stick around, such as with video and audio content and eye-catching graphics. Paying attention to these things takes more time than simply reading – or not reading – whatever copy you’ve offered. Still, words are usually far less expensive than sound, pictures, and graphics, so it is very much worth your time to offer the best and most readable content you can provide.

Key Readability Factors

Factors that Google will focus on when deciding the readability of your page include:

Sentence Length & Variety

You want short sentences but with some variation in their length and style. Avoid unnecessary or overly formal words. Additionally, it’s better not to crowd your text with words like “actually” and “usually,” which give you no value for the space. Avoid using too many adjectives and consider breaking up long, complicated sentences.

Structure & Style

Again, short sentences are vital. Each sentence should have a subject and a verb – preferably in that order. Make sure to include graphics and video here as well. They are supporting tools and hold your visitors. Avoid fussy fonts.

Paragraph Length and Formatting

Use short paragraphs made up of short sentences. Readable paragraphs are usually 5 or 6 lines long. Use a title and subtitles. Bullet points are your best friends, and you should always try to include at least one. Don’t forget to include keywords. You’ll want to put them in subtitles as well as in your paragraphs and try to repeat them without sounding like you’re just adding keywords.

Make It Work for You

All of these factors and more can make your website attractive and engaging to readers. You can contact us to help you provide the most readable copy for your website. We will even provide a free sample, marketing written expressly for you to help you decide how best to move forward with your legal content.

A content marketing graphic

Assessing and Changing Underperforming Content

A content marketing graphic

Although SEO strategy is multi-faceted, content optimization is a big-hitter when it comes to successful marketing. Like other methods that bring traffic to a website, ups and downs are common in content marketing. Unfortunately, many companies using best practices still find that their content underperforms or that it is not reaching as many people as they would like.

If you find this happening with your content, don’t simply chalk it up to a natural waning in your marketing. Content that isn’t performing or working to increase the success of your business demands your attention. It’s a wake-up call that something needs to change. You should start by reevaluating your content to detect what contributed to its poor performance.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

No matter the business, it makes sense that you want content that will reel in the most user traffic. However, having your content geared towards an audience that matches your company’s brand is imperative. Carefully select content topics, ensuring that they will reach and interest the audience you need to attract. Your content should establish your knowledge and expertise within your field. Furthermore, headlines are a significant piece of garnering traffic—they should grab the readers’ attention and draw them in.

Additionally, you should consider the type of promotion and your desired audience when determining the length of your content. For example, individuals who dive deep into scientific journals will be more than willing to read longer content than someone who browses blogs. Using email newsletters or websites as a platform for content advertising won’t reach as many people as social media platforms. While newsletters and websites may give you more digital real estate to publish content than social media platforms, the priority should be quality over quantity.

Deciding on a Topic and Avoiding Duplications

If you have a built-out SEO strategy, you may have already published numerous blogs and other pieces of content. Although this is usually a good thing, it can create duplicate and overlapping topics within the content. It’s critical that you are mindful of your previous publications so that you can avoid repeating topics and significant overlap.

Suppose you already have a well-performing page or blog with the same predominant topic. It could be receiving more of an audience than a newly published one. In that case, reconsider your current content, reframe it, or focus just on the original piece itself.

Overdone topics also lead to underperforming content. It’s crucial to recognize that readers can locate hundreds of versions of one single topic. It can all blend together and, honestly, might bore your readership. Content marketers should pivot from these old habits and instead utilize a unique and fresh perspective when approaching their content marketing strategies.

For example, search for holes in competitor content. Use those weak spots to target where there will be little, if any, competition. Another strategy would be to integrate attention-catching components into your blogs—such as:

  • Altering the headline
  • Adding certain keywords like “free” or “instantly”
  • Using visuals and an easy-to-read format

Changing underperforming content to successful content is often a challenging task. However, organizations can attain substantial improvements in their reach and conversion rates by:

  • Reevaluating their marketing strategies
  • Working towards more effective SEO practices

If you aren’t quite sure what your next steps should be when it comes to SEO and content marketing or if you are simply ready to let someone else take the reins, our attorney-led team of legal writers is here to help. Join the many law firms and digital marketing agencies with legal clients that rely on us to create highly effective and visible content marketing campaigns. We promptly provide ethics-compliant content that establishes your authority in your niche. Our team will focus on your content while you focus on serving the needs of your clients. Call our office today at 877-488-8123 or contact us online to discuss your content needs with one of our marketing experts.

Your 2021 Legal Content Marketing Toolkit

A graphic of gears

If you’re a law firm and you’re unsure about this content marketing you hear so much about, there’s no reason to panic. Content marketing consists of publishing content on various platforms. The content you publish can be blogs, social media, podcasts, videos, or anything else that allows you to connect with your potential clients. When it comes to legal content marketing, the most important point to keep in mind is that it matters. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing for your firm can garner about three times the number of leads you’re likely to bring in with paid searches. 

Potential Clients Appreciate a Genuine Approach

The web is full of flashy ads that very few of us actually rely upon. In fact, the average online consumer is bombarded with thousands of ads a day, and the sheer volume alone has a way of dimming their shine. It’s difficult to break through that wall of advertising noise with an ad of your own, no matter how well-produced it is. Your potential clients are looking for professional legal guidance, which means they are looking for authenticity, authority, and accessibility. While online ads certainly have their place, they can’t help you connect with potential clients in the same way that well-written, targeted, and informative content can, and this is especially true for law firms. 

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SEO Predictions for 2021

A person pointing at an analytics chart on a screen

2020 is finally behind us, and the best and the brightest in the SEO and content marketing space are weighing in on what just happened. They’re also dusting off their crystal balls and making a few predictions about what we should be on the lookout for in 2021. While the early focus for 2020 was spam reduction, the whole global pandemic tipped that on its head, and things went in a different direction. Google was busy putting out other fires, and spam stayed put.

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How Important Are My Competitors’ Keywords?

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When you’re strategizing for SEO, it’s only natural to consider your competitors and their keywords, but knowing where to begin can be a problem. There are some keyword zingers out there that seem to be surefire bets, but you’re looking for a good fit and a good value. Fortunately, there are some basic guidelines that can help you make the most of your keyword journey.

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Search Local in 2020

A tablet displaying the Google home page

Now that we’ve rocketed into the new decade, it’s clear that local results are becoming more and more important to Google, which is, of course, good for businesses like small to mid-size law firms. As with all things Google, it’s important to learn the ropes and to anticipate how best to participate. Looking into our crystal ball, we’ve curated some of the most interesting and relevant expert predictions for local search trends in 2020, and we’re happy to share.

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5 Legal Content Marketing Trends to Look for in 2019

A person using a pen to point at a pie chart displayed on a tablet.2019 is the year to get serious about your legal content marketing. Content is the foundation of your online presence, and in our hyper-connected world, content that connects you with your potential clients can increase awareness and generate new business.

Here are five key legal content marketing trends that you can’t afford to ignore in 2019.

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