You know that you’re the authority in your area, but your competitors keep dominating search results, and you keep seeing their articles everywhere online.
What’s their secret? What are they doing that you’re not? Most likely, they have a sophisticated content marketing plan in place to get their educational materials online and in front of potential clients.
Content marketing is the process of creating, publishing and distributing content. In my experience, many law firms find content marketing overwhelming.
But if you break down the actual components that go into successful content marketing, you can boost your Google search rankings and get your ideas out into the public. Here are seven tips.
1. Define Your Goal And Strategy
Many firms have a goal of maintaining revenue or increasing it by 10% in the next year. But how? Do you want to grow your probate practice or your wills/trusts group? Or maybe you want to offer an entirely new service? Whatever your goal, content marketing can help.
Once you’ve defined your goal, do a bit of research to see whether people in your area are searching for the services you offer. You can use Google Ads Keyword Planner to help you choose the best terms (keywords) to focus on in your content.
Once you identify the terms you want to use, conduct an audit of all of your firm’s existing written materials on your website and offline. Match existing content to the terms you’ve chosen. You may want to consider writing content for any terms that don’t have matches.
2. Understand Basic SEO
While you don’t need advanced experience in search engine optimization for content marketing, it’s best to understand the basics so you can properly write an article. Here are some things to know about to get started:
• Headings: An H1 tag is an HTML element that’s used to indicate a heading on a page. Use H1 tags to relay the topic and tell search engines about the content on the page. If your keyword is construction litigation, an excellent H1 tag would be “Construction Litigation Attorneys in New York.”
• Keywords: One of the ways that search engines determine the best search results is looking at the keywords on pages. Incorporating keywords naturally into your content can help your pages rank higher. Also, include related keyword phrases in your articles.
• Meta descriptions: This is the HTML attribute that offers a summary of a page when it appears in search results. It’s generally up to 160 characters long and can significantly influence click-through rates. Make your meta description something people would want to click on and read about.
• Title tags: Title tags, another HTML element, help search engines understand what a page is about and act as the first impression for readers since they serve as the title of a page. These titles appear at the top of web browser tabs and when the page shows up in search engine results. Ensure that your title tag includes your primary keyword phrase, such as construction litigation, and also something about the focus of the article or your company (a reason to click on the article). A good example of a title is “Attorneys Practicing Construction Litigation in New York.” Title tags ideally should be 60 characters or less.
• Link building: If your site has inbound links from authority-driven sites, this serves as a signal to search engines that your page is an authoritative resource. If you really want your site to rank high, get published on a site that already has a lot of links from other sites. There are numerous ways to get your content published on other sites, such as through magazine submissions, blogs, e-books, infographics, etc.
• Content length: Your articles ideally should be anywhere from 1,000 to 2,500 words. It’s best to have comprehensive content so you can show Google that you’re an authoritative resource for your clients. Really go in-depth on each piece. Answer user questions, and become a go-to resource on a topic.
3. Know Your Audience
Another important factor is knowing your audience — their education level, age, whether they’re business professionals, etc. This can help you write in a way that appeals to them. To determine your audience’s demographics, do your research and take a look at your competitors’ content. Look at their style of wording, their keywords and what kind of graphics they’re using. Additionally, Google Analytics can highlight this information in demographics and interest reports.
4. Find Your Marketing Channels
To reach your audience, find out what they read while online and where. Are they on Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Do they read specific trade publications? Are they even online? You can do this by querying your clients to start. Use the channels that your clients commonly mention as your starting point for sharing social posts with links to your content or publishing your articles and blog posts.
5. Generate Ideas And Create A Content Calendar
It’s not just about generating a few great articles but having enough content ideas to propel your firm’s website from the present into the future. To help make sure that your firm’s content is a priority, create a content calendar and outline how many articles or blog posts you’ll write per month and how often you’ll post on social media. Then, hold employees accountable for executing this plan.
6. Make Content Readable
A common mistake many law firms make is not making their content readable, which means not adequately formatting articles or blog posts. Ensure that they have clear headings and subheadings and use bullet points to help break up text and make them easier to digest.
7. Use Photos And Videos
Many people are visual learners by nature, so breaking up your site’s text with photos and videos is essential. Using custom graphics and photos, infographics and videos to help supplement written content can help keep viewers engaged with your site.
With these content marketing tips, you can more effectively market your law firm and get noticed by potential clients. A solid content marketing plan can offer a positive long-term return on investment for your firm’s practice.