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.Read More
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.Read More
And we’re not talking about esoteric constitutional issues such as the limits of executive power or the emoluments clause.The current administration is making moves that are affecting real people on a day-to-day basis, often resulting in significant uncertainty about legal issues that can have a direct impact on the most important aspects of their lives.
How does this affect legal content marketing? For one thing, it is providing lawyers and law firms (and their marketing teams) ample opportunity to create new, fresh content that is relevant and of interest to their target audience.
The First Travel Ban: A Case Study
To understand how this works, it is illustrative to look at a concrete example. On January 27th, the President issued an executive order banning travel to the United States for people from certain countries, and it was not immediately clear whether legal permanent residents (green card holders) from the affected countries would be allowed to reenter the country if they were overseas when the order was issued, which proved to be a source of significant controversy.
Here is a chart showing the number of searches for “Green Card Entry” over the past 90 days:
(Numbers represent search interest relative to the highest point on the chart for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. Likewise a score of 0 means the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak.)
As these data make clear, the number of people searching for “green card entry” spiked soon after the executive order was issued. Granted, some of these searches were people simply seeking information for information’s sake, but is also safe to assume that some of them were concerned that the order would apply to them or their family members – people who, for some attorneys, are potential clients.
Importantly, other words that are semantically related to the issue show similar spikes in traffic, and identifying these words and phrases is the foundation of creating a timely content marketing campaign.
By identifying the legal questions that people are asking and creating content that answers those questions, lawyers in any area of law can connect with individuals who are actively seeking their services. Here are some of the areas of law that recent actions taken by the Trump administration have affected as well as specific issues on which relevant, timely, and informative content could be created.
Immigration law has perhaps been the most volatile area of law since Trump took office and the uncertainty has certainly captured the media’s attention.
The executive order banning travel from certain countries referenced above is just one area where there is significant uncertainty. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program instituted under President Obama directed federal authorities to use prosecutorial discretion regarding the removal of certain undocumented individuals who arrived in the United States as children. The program provides those eligible with a renewable 2-year work authorization as well as deferred action regarding their undocumented status. In other words, they may live and work in the United States without immediate fear of removal. The new administration has taken a tough stance on immigration and has yet to indicate what it plans to do with DACA – a program that Trump could decide to end at any moment.
Issues regarding the enforcement of immigration laws has also generated significant interest, as the administration recently expanded the list of individuals who were removal priorities significantly.
In late summer of 2013, the Obama administration issued a memo to U.S. Attorneys in all 50 states indicating that “in jurisdictions that have enacted laws legalizing marijuana in some form… conduct in compliance with those laws and regulations is less likely to threaten the federal priorities..” and that “state and local law enforcement and regulatory bodies should remain the primary means of addressing marijuana-related activity.”
In practice, this directive has meant there is a lack of federal enforcement against marijuana operations and users who are in compliance with state law. Importantly, however, this could change with the stroke of a pen under the new administration. Aggressive enforcement could create chaos in states that have robust and established marijuana economies and could result in significant criminal penalties for individuals who have been operating under the belief that they are not an enforcement priority for the feds.
While personal injury matters are generally matters of state law, there are certain cases in which federal regulations may have an impact on the outcome of litigation. For example, in some jurisdictions, noncompliance with FMCSR regulations could be used as prima facie evidence of negligence in truck accident litigation. In light of the president’s directive to repeal two regulations for every new one implemented, the regulatory landscape is on shaky ground, including for the trucking industry. Some regulations that were poised to take effect (i.e. speed limiters on newly manufactured heavy trucks) may never be implemented, and others may be repealed.
Last May, the Obama administration issued guidance that directed all educational institutions to allow students to use facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. On February 22nd, the Trump administration withdrew the previous guidance, calling into question whether federal officials will enforce Title IX against schools that discriminate against transgender students in this manner. The issue is now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court in G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, where the court is expected to decide whether Title IX requires schools to treat students consistent with their gender identity.
Use Current Events to Generate Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
Of course, when creating SEO-friendly content, one of the main concerns is incorporating keywords that will signal that the content is relevant to particular topic. Long-tail keyword phrases that exactly match what a potential client is looking for will ensure that you are attracting the right kinds of visitors to your site. Some examples of long-tail keyword phrases that may be relevant to the practice areas listed above include:
- Will the speed limiter rule be enacted
- What are defenses to deportation?
- Enforcement of federal marijuana laws
- Will DACA be Repealed?
Of course, these are just a few basic examples of phrases that legal consumers may search in response to political developments, and using tools like Google Trends’ Related Queries feature can help you come up with long-tail keywords to target.
As Questions Arise, so do Opportunities to Connect with Clients
These are just a few of the areas of law in which questions raised by the actions of the new administration are creating opportunities for lawyers and their marketing teams to create compelling and informative content of interest to their potential clients. If the trend established in the past six weeks is any indication, the questions will continue to arise.
To discuss your legal content strategy, call Lexicon Legal Content today at 877-486-8123 or send us an email at email@example.com.
A cursory search of the internet will establish that significant percentage of law firm websites greet their visitors with a pop-up window that offers to connect them with a live representative.
While live chat has the potential to increase the percentage of website visitors that become paying clients, they can also be annoying to users and now could have a negative impact on your site’s rankings in the SERPs. These types of pop-ups, known as “interstitials,” often cover up the main content of the site and can be difficult for users on mobile devices to dismiss.
Late last summer, Google announced that websites that use interstitials may not rank as highly after January 10th of this year. Specifically, the search engine stated that:
“Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”
There are some situations in which a site could continue to use interstitials and not be affected by the change. These include the following:
- An age verification pop-up
- Logins on sites where the content is behind a paywall
- Banners that use a reasonable amount of space and are dismissed easily
How to Keep Your Potential Clients Engaged
Of course, one of the main benefits of offering live chat is user engagement and setting an appointment so that visitors become paying clients. Importantly, this update does not mean that lawyers should not offer live chat – they simply need to not do so with a pop-up that covers up their content.
This new ranking signal is consistent with Google’s focus on rewarding sites that provide content that is useful for people searching the web. As content is critical to both search engine rankings and the impression that your potential clients get when they visit your site, it is important for attorneys to ensure that the content on their site is well-written, compelling, and provides site visitors answers to their questions.
Call Lexicon Legal Content Today to Discuss the Content on Your Law Firm’s Website
The content on your website has a direct impact on your site’s position in the search results. Unfortunately for busy practicing attorneys, creating a consistent stream of high-quality, informative, and useful content takes a significant investment of time. The team of professional legal blog writers at Lexicon Legal Content is available to provide your firm or marketing agency with content in a variety of formats that will provide value to your readers and improve the quality of your site. To learn more about our services, call us today at 314.691.8602 or contact us online.
More and more lawyers are starting to starting to understand the benefits of blogging and content marketing. It’s one thing to blog and another for people to actually read your blog, however. Here are some of the reasons that people may be passing over your blog posts.
Your Titles Aren’t Compelling
The importance of your blog post’s title cannot be overstated. A well-crafted title that piques the reader’s interest and makes him or her want to learn more will perform substantially better than a generic title. Consider the following two titles for the same hypothetical blog:
- Common Car Accident Injuries
- 4 Car Accident Injuries that can Change Your Life
In our experience, the second one will generate significantly more traffic than the first one.
Your Posts are too Long
If you ever visit forums or the comments section after a blog post, “TLDR” probably means something to you. People often simply choose to skip reading something simply due to the perception that it would take a commitment of time. We live in an on-demand world and people browsing the internet want answers to the questions quickly and do not want to read a treatise on their legal issue. Keep your blog posts under 500 words and make sure to break up the text with headings and bullet points.
Your Posts Read like a Legal Brief
As an attorney, you are immersed in a professional world that has its own language and writing style. While it is important to be a competent and effective legal writer, your potential clients do not want to read a legal brief. In fact, depending on the area of law, non-lawyers may have a difficult time understanding what they are reading. Always keep your audience in mind when writing your posts.
You Aren’t Writing Content that Your Clients Want to Read
While exploring the finer points of collateral estoppel or res ipsa loquitor may be intriguing for you and your colleagues, your potential clients may not feel the same way. Generally speaking, people who are looking for an attorney have a problem they want to be solved and want answers to very practical questions. As a result, for maximum effectiveness, your blog posts should seek to answer these questions. Examples of the of questions that your clients may be asking include the following:
- What are the consequences of a 1st DUI?
- Can I afford a personal injury attorney?
- Can I write my own will?
- Will filing for bankruptcy ruin my credit?
Call Us Today to Learn More About Our Legal Content Writing Services
A professionally written and managed blog is an extremely effective marketing tool that can significantly increase your online visibility. Let our legal content writers keep your blog regularly updated with compelling and relevant posts while you focus on your legal practice.
When attorneys contact us for help with their website content, one of the more common issues we hear is that they simply do not know what they should be writing about. Of course, lawyers are highly-trained professionals who often engage in writing, whether it be a brief, a motion, or written communication with a client or an adverse party. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of writing that makes for good blog entries.
Your Legal Blog is a Powerful Marketing Tool
What is the point of blogging? Ultimately, your blog should be generating new business, and will do so by driving more traffic to your site. Regular blogging can drive new traffic in two distinct ways:
- It can increase your search engine rank for certain keywords, increasing the likelihood that a potential client seeking legal services in your practice areas will visit your site.
- If you share your blog posts through social media and other channels and get it in front of people who may need your services, it can increase the direct traffic to your site.
As a result, your blog topics should be informative, targeted at your potential clients, and have a title that makes people want to read more. To come up with ideas for what you should blog about, just think about the questions your clients regularly ask. Of course, these will be different for every practice area, but some examples of good topics include:
- Will my personal injury lawsuit go to trial?
- What are the potential penalties for a 1st time DUI?
- Can I write my own will?
- Will filing for bankruptcy ruin my credit?
If you clients have asked you these questions in the past, chances are that potential clients are currently asking Google the same question. By providing answers to these questions for free, you can increase the chances that people will retain you for further counsel and representation.
Our Legal Blog Writers can Help
Finding topics for your blog is just one aspect of maintaining an effective legal blog – you also have to write the entry, optimize it, post it, and distribute the post so that people actually have an opportunity to read it. This can be extremely time-consuming and pull you away from actually practicing law. Fortunately, we are here to help. Our team of legal copywriters can manage every aspect of your blog on your behalf and regularly work in jurisdictions throughout the United States across all practice areas.
To learn more about our services and for samples of our work, call Lexicon Legal Content today.
While just a few years ago it may have seemed like science fiction, it has become commonplace to see and hear people asking their smartphones and other devices to find them the nearest Chinese restaurant or what the weather will be tomorrow.