Content is king, and nothing has changed in that respect.
Producing content to rise up Google’s rankings and provide valuable information to your target audience is as old as the Internet itself. Today, 73% of B2B marketers and 70% of B2C have a content marketing strategy, and for a good reason. It works.
Content marketing is a core pillar of successful SEO, and the legal industry is no exception. But, like any form of marketing, you need a strategy, so here’s what you need to know about building one for your law firm.
What is content marketing for law firms?
As an art form, content marketing is a broad topic. Beginners often get confused about what it means and why they’re doing it. This is because content marketing as a concept can apply to various types of initiatives.
All forms of content have one goal: to share valuable content.
This is something that applies to every industry. In one study, 67% of marketers reported that content marketing won them new leads. From the perspective of the legal trade, content marketing can involve sharing content like:
- Case studies
- Video interviews
The point is not what type of content you have, but what type resonates with your audience. Getting this right opens up a whole new world of possibilities, with 96% of decision-makers saying that content marketing has been effective for their brands.
Should law firms invest in content marketing?
If you value gaining new clients via the online realm, content marketing is essential to getting seen. Your website might act as your virtual business card, but valuable digital assets offer a chance for prospective clients to engage with your brand.
Content marketing is a powerful channel for growing your practice when done correctly. Some of the reasons to invest in content marketing include:
- Content marketing is crucial to bolstering a Law Firm’s SEO.
- Strong content drives your social media presence.
- Nailing your strategy can help expand your audience.
- Content alone can nurture leads without picking up the phone.
Ultimately, the legal industry can benefit from content marketing as much as any other niche in the overarching economy. Today, 77% of lawyers use social media as a tool, so it’s a natural next step to add content marketing.
Does content marketing actually work for the legal industry?
Think that content marketing doesn’t work for legal practices? Think again.
If you have an audience that asks questions, you have a place for content marketing in your overall marketing strategy. The reality is that content marketing generates three times more leads than traditional marketing whilst costing 62% less.
It makes sense economically, and the results speak for themselves. If you’re still unsure whether it works for local solicitors, remember that SEO is universally important. Without content, you stand little chance of seeing any SEO progress.
What should a content strategy for a law firm include?
Writing a blog or shooting a video and tossing it onto your website isn’t enough to see results. Unlike Rome, building it and expecting people to come isn’t a viable strategy. Competition is too fierce, and without direction, there are no guarantees you’re even giving your audience what they want.
So, consider your strategy before thinking about what you want to create. Here’s what you should do before launching your content marketing drive:
Keyword Research – Keyword research tells you what people are searching for and what your audience is searching for. If people in Manchester are searching for a “judicial separation solicitor”, then it tells you this is a good subject to focus on, and for your area.
Competitor Research – Examine your leading competitors. What are they writing about? Which keywords are they using? How are they structuring their content? If it’s working for them, there’s a good chance it will also work for you, but you have to do it better.
Budget – Time is money. Whether you outsource or not, every piece of content takes time away from other parts of your business. Defining a content marketing budget early will help you to keep all your ducks in a row.
Content Type – Every type of content comes with its own pros and cons. Podcasts can be great for brand-building, but they also take massive amounts of time to produce and promote. Most law firms will start with basic blogs before investing in other content types.
Alignment – How will your content align with your brand? Consider matters like tone of voice, style and whether your content accurately depicts what you do.
Content Funnel – Building a content funnel is essential for turning casual readers into clients. Divide your content funnel into top, mid and bottom so that you can measure how effective your content is at converting.
These strategic aspects spell the beginning of a flourishing content marketing campaign. Every law firm will still have to endure a period of experimentation in the beginning, but once you hit on something good, you’ll be surprised at how effective content marketing can be.
What type of content should law firms create?
Countless types of content exist. Maybe you’ve dreamed of having the number one legal podcast in the UK. Perhaps you’re looking at becoming a YouTube sensation. Regardless of how you approach content marketing, the only thing that matters is whether that content directly or indirectly results in more business.
So, what type of content is likely to work for your law firm?
Blogs are the core pieces of content available. They’re highly effective at delivering valuable information to your audience. Ultimately, a legal blog should educate the reader.
Service pages are often used as landing pages in the legal industry. They tell your audience what you can do for them. They’re a place to provide a solution to a problem someone has, via your services.
Don’t tell people how great you are. Show them. If you were involved in a landmark case that hit the headlines, make a big deal out of it. Writing about your big wins demonstrates to potential clients that you’re a heavy-hitter they can rely on to help them deal with their legal troubles.
The law is complicated. That’s why explainer videos are so effective in the legal industry. Breaking down complex legal concepts isn’t just educational. It’s also an opportunity for you to introduce your staff and promote your brand.
Social media is also a type of content marketing. Due to the casual nature of these platforms, it’s a chance to make your team friendlier and more approachable.
Note that these five options are all great starting points if you’re taking your first steps into content marketing. Try not to do too much at once. A little done well will accomplish far more than casting a wide net.
Best practices for law firms creating content
There’s a misconception that answering the big questions is enough to make your content marketing successful. Whether you like it or not, law firms creating content must always have SEO in mind.
Here are some of the best practices all law firms should follow when generating content.
Answer questions in your content
Only 8% of search queries are questions, but even if you enter a few random words, Google will respond with question snippets. It underlines the importance of answering questions, so the easiest way to do this is by doing just that.
Sometimes, a big question may require an entire blog all to itself. On other occasions, an easy way to answer questions is to append an FAQ section to a piece of content.
Regardless, every piece of content should answer a question your audience has.
Featured snippet optimisation
Featured snippets are your shortcut to the top of Google. These are the answer boxes you see when performing certain types of searches. Approximately 30.9% of featured snippets rank in position one, and 8.6% of clicks go to these snippets.
Let’s get one thing clear. There’s no way to game the featured snippets system. Google decides as to who gets the snippet. You can reduce the time it takes by hitting niche questions your competitors aren’t answering, but higher-quality content always wins the race.
Some tips include:
- Phrasing a question as “What is”.
- Answer a question in two to three sentences.
- Use well-structured headings.
- Bolding the main section of your answer.
Create a content hub
Content hubs are a curated collection of content on a specific subject. It houses all types of content and divides it into a single subject.
The value of creating separate content hubs around your specialist areas is increasing engagement. They act as series that guide your reader through several types of content.
Keeping them on your pages longer and upping your click-through rates signals to Google that you offer great content. It’s also a chance to position your legal brand as an industry authority.
Prove your EEAT
Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, or EEAT, is Google’s way of fighting against low-quality content, especially AI-generated. You need to figure out how you’ll hit these four points within your content.
Here’s how to do it:
Experience – This is proof that you’re not just rewriting someone else’s content. So, in the case of a lawyer, pairing a case study with an article on that case from a local newspaper would hit this point. An author profile including your credentials, whether you wrote or proofread the article, can also help with proving experience.
Expertise – Who are you? Using your leading legal superstar as the author would also hit this point because Google will scour the web for information on that person. If they’ve won industry awards, it automatically contributes to the “Expertise” rating.
Authoritativeness – This is all about who you are but with a twist. Google will also examine your entire website to see if that authority extends throughout. Content hubs help to build up your topical authority.
Trustworthiness – A combination of the previous three. You can’t aim for this one, but consistently producing high-quality content will contribute.
SEO optimisation for all content
Hitting all of Google’s best practices for content should be considered a bare minimum for all types of content.
For example, you should include headings, neatly divided sub-sections and meta descriptions for every page. Any good SEO consultant will ensure these basic SEO components are present throughout your website.
Updating and refreshing content
Evergreen content, or content that’s as relevant today as it was five years ago, creates a flywheel that keeps people coming to your website. Many brands have less than ten pieces of content that consistently attract new business for years.
However, the legal industry is especially vulnerable to disruption because of changes in the law. You may have written a lengthy guide on data privacy laws, but one change could make all that outdated. Google also takes note of that.
Regularly updating your primary content whenever there are changes can ensure they remain high-performing pieces. This doesn’t just mean changing the information but also updating your keywords and other SEO components.
Obviously, it isn’t practical to keep doing this with all of your content, but it must be mandatory with your best-performing pages.
Let Tao Digital handle your content marketing
Content marketing is one of the key pillars of quality SEO. You handle the expertise and let us handle the content optimisation, distribution and technical SEO tweaks. With an expert SEO consultant by your side, you can ensure that every piece of content is primed for success.