These Are the Big SEO Mistakes Your Law Firm Should Avoid Making

 

A law firm website should always be visible to the search engines as well as to your ideal clients. Thinking about SEO anytime that you add content to your site can go a long way towards helping you get the traction and traffic that you want. Any content posted on your site should be serving two purposes.

Telling the search engines that you update your site regularly with quality content is one of them. The other is by communicating directly with your ideal clients about the benefits of working with your law firm, you can position your website and your corresponding blog and social media channels to illustrate that you are very familiar with the practice areas that you are taking clients for.

Any law firm website that is invisible to a search engine like Google will never perform well when compared with other law firms. The landscape for marketing online has become increasingly competitive for law firms and that is why it is imperative to have a comprehensive SEO marketing strategy and one that accomplishes all goals at once. Some of the biggest mistakes made for a law firm website include;

Lack of Content

Not adding relevant and regular content to your website is a classic mistake and one that frequently occurs because someone in the firm will take on their responsibility for adding content and then be unable to keep up with it. Posting at least 2-3 articles every single week tells the search engines and your potential clients that you are knowledgeable about these topics.

No Incoming and Outgoing Links

Having links that serve both purposes on your website such as linking to a high authority website sharing details about a government study or news story and having other people who link to you is imperative for the best SEO result.

Make sure you link to other relevant pages on your law firm's website in addition to linking to the outbound pages to back up what you're writing. Criminal statutes, research studies, and other high-authority sites only help to bolster your site. 

Finding That It’s Too Hard to Update Your Website

Any content management system that allows easy access is strongly recommended for your law firm website. There are many different types but the most important thing is you can do is make your site relatively easy to update. If your site is difficult to update, you will never log in and ignore the website altogether. That's allowing it to plummet in search engine rankings.

If you have to email someone everytime you need to make a change, it’s time to reconsider your approach. Using a tool like WordPress allows you and your designers to make prompt changes and post blogs regularly. You’ll find that your SEO benefits increase immediately after finding a platform where you can make updates or assign that job to someone on your team.

Not Using Keywords Properly

Performing keyword research should be an important component of your online marketing strategy. You need to understand the terms that people are searching for and your ability to rank for these competitively in your local area. Do not use your own instincts to determine what keywords you'll use on your site. You need a law firm SEO blog that is geared directly towards the keywords people are already looking for.

Avoiding these mistakes can help your site gain more visibility and also lead to conversions and interested clients when they land on the site. 

 

How to Write Better Titles for Your Legal Content Marketing

The headline is everything in content marketing. One of the most popular sayings in the world of content marketing is that content is king. Even in the age of Facebook live and Snapchat, content marketing in the form of written text is extremely important for attorneys. This is because Google loves websites that have regularly updated high quality content on them. It's important to get people to read that content, however, and that all begins with choosing the right headline.

What a Good Headline Does for Your Law Firm

Your ideal headlines should drive traffic, encourage shares, and improve your search engine results. Your title needs to be click-worthy, meaning that it covers the topic that is written about in the article but also entices individuals to click it open to begin with. Writing amazing headlines begins with understanding your keywords. The most common types of headlines that convert include:

·       Questions

·       How-tos

·       Lists

 

Tips and Tricks for Better Headlines for Your Law Firm Blog

 

One of my favorite ways to analyze headlines is to first begin with a keyword research strategy that aligns with the individual law firm's practice area pages as well as what is trending currently. For example, when Pokémon Go was extremely popular, it made the most sense to write about distracted driving studies and Pokémon Go. Crafting the right headline, however, can be accomplished using a tool like CoSchedule's headline analyzer.

 

Thankfully, CoSchedule's headline analyzer is free and it works relatively easily. As an example, for a blog post, I entered the term "preventing distracted driving". This headline is relatively basic and only incorporates a couple of words but it only got a headline score of 44. This meant that it was a generic headline.

 

However, when I tweaked that based on CoSchedule's response and changed it to "five ways to prevent distracted driving", my score immediately got boosted to 71.

 

You can continue to use the recommendations made inside CoSchedule's headline analyzer to determine the type of words to use, the structure and the best way to craft your headlines so that it increases your chances of getting the article opened to begin with. This headline analyzing strategy is powerful for email newsletters, blog posts, social media shares, and any other type of content that you wish to create.  

 

Remember, in a world where we’re bombarded with information constantly, the headline could make or break whether or not someone chooses to open an article on your site. Starting with the title first and then crafting content around it delivers a one-two punch for any law firm serious about blogging.

This One Misstep in Your Legal Marketing Strategy Could Cost You Thousands

 

If there is one mistake I see attorneys and law firms making over and over again, it's that they are not completely familiar with the rules associated with using pictures. A well-intentioned attorney may understand the rules associated with copyright law fine and well on their own, but outsourcing content writing or social media scheduling to a freelancer, for example, could generate problems if the freelancer also isn't on the same page about copyrighted photos. Hiring the right legal SEO writer is half the battle, but if you want to use images (and you should), you need properly licensed photos.

 

I've had the opportunity to work with law firms who have been served nasty cease and desist letters from Getty Images because they did not know that their outsourced freelancers were posting stolen content on their blog in the form of pictures. Simply googling "lawyer" or "courtroom" could turn up hundreds of thousands of possibilities in Google images but this doesn't mean they are properly licensed to be used on your law firm website or your social media channels.

 

Some people have even gotten into the business of profiting off of the misuse of their own pictures. I've even heard stories of individuals who are posting their pictures on royalty-free stock photo websites and then pursue legal action against the individuals who are unable to prove when the picture was downloaded or how it was obtained.

 

This makes it extremely important to identify a legal SEO content writer who has the experience identifying properly licensed photos for your blog. This will frequently involve their own membership to a stock photo website where they download pictures. This generates a clear receipt and chain of who had the picture and when it was obtained in the event that a question arises.

 

Make Sure Your Legal SEO Writer Freelancer Knows the Law

 

It also puts the responsibility on the freelancer to be clear about using things that are only properly licensed for commercial use. Certain photos, even on paid stock websites, for example, will have information listed that is only for editorial use so it wouldn't be an appropriate fit to take that same picture and put it on the cover of your paid e-book to promote your services on Kindle. No matter what route you decide to go, I strongly recommend a membership to a paid stock photo site or working directly with a freelancer who has an in-depth understanding of using properly licensed photos for commercial use. This could save you thousands of dollars or headaches from the law firm's perspective.


Bear in mind that this becomes even more important if you are considered a thought leader in your industry. Having stolen or improperly licensed materials on your website could generate problems you simply don't have time to deal with. Make sure you've done the proper research in hiring a legal SEO content writer who understands how to approach pictures safely and legally.  

How to Increase Your Law Firm's Client Base with Search Engine Optimization

Attorneys have to deal with serious competition online. Technical barriers associated with marketing and the changing moods of consumer shopping behavior; this only highlights the need to infuse search engine optimization planning into your business. As a law firm, it is extremely important that people be able to find you in their moment need.

Depositphotos_33764657_m-2015.jpg

Many people are turning to Google in order to search for an attorney in their local area. This usually begins with a keyword search entered into a search engine like Google. You need to understand how your potential clientele think and the information they enter into search engines because this can help drive them directly to your website.

Search engine optimization and content marketing strategy work together in order to increase the chances that your website is listed as one of the most popular sites on Google, when these potential clients enter the keywords into Google, but the right content marketing strategy can also help people stay on your website and prompt them to take action by hiring or contacting you right away.

Up to 60% and 80% of searchers online use Google, which is why it is important to understand how to align your website properly for Google. It is extremely important, however, for lawyers in this space to be knowledgeable about the best way to represent their firms online. Unfortunately, however, state bar associations may step in to respond to allegedly unscrupulous actions even in the situation where you outsource content marketing or search engine optimization to another company that simply didn’t know better.

The truth is that the legal marketing industry is quite different from other industries as there are ethical rules and general guidelines that need to be followed when you engage in search engine optimization strategy.

You need to hire a legal SEO writer who has a knowledgeable background in this field and understands the state by state rules as well as the things that can and cannot be said within your content marketing strategies. The first step is to conduct the necessary keyword research to identify the words and phrases that you intend to target directly on your website.

Having excellent static landing pages in the form of your practice area pages, your contact page, your about page and your home page are all important, but it is equally important to have dynamic material posted on a regular basis to your blog. You have to be extremely careful posting this material to your blog, however. There are several things that many content writers who do not have a background in the legal industry do when they get their first attorney or law firm client. Unfortunately, these mistakes could cost you as the law firm significantly in the event that the state bar association finds out.

Some of the marketing tactics regularly engaged in by SEO content writers outside of the legal industry may work well for other businesses, but they simply do not apply in the legal world. Properly vetting your legal SEO writer is the first step towards identifying the right strategy for you.

 

How to Write Better Headlines for Your Legal Content Marketing

 

The headline is everything in content marketing. One of the most popular sayings in the world of content marketing is that content is king. Even in the age of Facebook live and Snapchat, content marketing in the form of written text is extremely important for attorneys. This is because Google loves websites that have regularly updated high-quality content on them.

 

It's important to get people to read that content, however, and that all begins with choosing the right headline. Your ideal headlines should drive traffic, encourage shares, and improve your search engine results. Your title needs to be click-worthy, meaning that it covers the topic that is written about in the article but also entices individuals to click it open to begin with.

 

The right headline can convert a briefly interested person into a full article reader. It’s important to walk the fine line between writing a clickbait title just to get someone to click and finding a title that captures attention while also appropriately previewing what’s in the article itself.

 

Writing amazing headlines begins with understanding your keywords. The most common types of headlines that convert include:

·       Questions

·       How-tos

·       Lists

One of my favorite ways to analyze headlines is to first begin with a keyword research strategy that aligns with the individual law firm's practice area pages as well as what is trending currently. For example, when Pokémon Go was extremely popular, it made the most sense to write about distracted driving studies and Pokémon Go. Crafting the right headline, however, can be accomplished using a tool like CoSchedule's headline analyzer.

 

Thankfully, CoSchedule's headline analyzer is free and it works relatively easily. As an example, for this blog post, I entered the term "preventing distracted driving". This headline is relatively basic and only incorporates a couple of words but it only got a headline score of 44. This meant that it was a generic headline. However, when I tweaked that based on CoSchedule's response and changed it to "five ways to prevent distracted driving", my score immediately got boosted to 71. You can continue to use the recommendations made inside CoSchedule's headline analyzer to determine the type of words to use, the structure and the best way to craft your headlines so that it increases your chances of getting the article opened to begin with. This headline analyzing strategy is powerful for email newsletters, blog posts, social media shares, and any other type of content that you wish to create.  

 

Here are some examples of great potential headlines for your legal content marketing efforts:

 

  • How to _______________ After _____________________

  • 5 Reasons You Should _________________________

  • Top Mistakes People Make When ________________________

  • Why You Should Never _____________________________________

 

What headline on your legal blog is performing the best for you?

                                                                                      

How to Avoid Law Firm SEO Scams

Unfortunately, there are plenty of companies out there today trying to take advantage of law firms by offering pricey SEO scams and encouraging the law firm to sign up immediately. Many of these SEO firms will tell you that it could take up to 6 months to see results.

 

While there's some general truth in what they're saying and that it can take several months of consistent strategy to begin to have everything tweaked perfectly in order to see results, if someone's telling you that you need to wait 6 months or longer before seeing any leads rolling into your business, run away. What follows are some of the most common SEO scams that you should be aware of, and how you can spot them in order to skip out on someone just trying to take advantage of you and you firm.

Someone with No Background Experience

If you're going to be forking over thousands of dollars for your law firm's SEO strategy, the person should have at least handled a law firm's SEO strategy before.

Everyone has to start somewhere, but there's no reason that a person should be telling you they are an expert in the field of law firm search engine optimization when they've never actually worked with a law firm before.

The truth is that in terms of SEO and in terms of content, the legal industry is different. It requires a careful approach- not a blanket strategy that worked for a doctor or a dentist. A legal content marketer or SEO specialist should understand the landscape well before he or she starts working with you.

Someone with No References

Now, sometimes law firms don't want to share the information that they've outsourced SEO management to an outside professional, so it can be difficult to obtain references and testimonials.

However, if you've checked the company owner's LinkedIn page and there’s no testimonials on the company's webpage either, it's perfectly appropriate to ask for a reference for someone they have worked with. A company should be able to provide at least one other individual who is satisfied with their services or at a bare minimum, a case study.

A Firm with No Accountability

These days SEO scams are running rampant with firms who promise all the results in the world but never actually follow up with accountability. A credible professional is going to give you an update on a regular basis, whether it's weekly, monthly or every quarter.

This should be based on analysis of specific data for your firm and then a determination of where this strategy goes from there based on the results that they've obtained. If someone is promising you all of these results but isn't backing it up with remaining accountable, this is a good clue that you're actually just flushing money down the drain.

A Firm That Won't Generate a Custom Strategy for You

Surely, any SEO firm is going to use their best practices knowledge and the information about your law firm to craft a strategy and tactics that are most in line with the outcomes you hope to see. This should always begin with an intake call in which they learn more about you and the services provided by your company.

If you want to target car accident victims, for example, they should not be spending SEO money or time on advertisements about slip and fall injuries. It's imperative that you be on the same page as your SEO firm when you initiate this partnership because otherwise you could end up frustrated and having wasted money.  

Having worked with law firms on SEO content strategy for five years, believe me, I’ve seen it all. Many unscrupulous marketers think dollar signs when it comes to law firms, but it really matters that you vet who you’re considering as an SEO specialist or content marketer. The devil is in the details and that’s true more so in the legal industry than elsewhere.

Ready to hire a content writer who gets it? Contact me- www.legalseowriter.com

                                                                                      

What Social Media Channels Are Most Important for Law Professionals?

Putting together your blog and crafting a content marketing strategy should always include some consideration of the social media channels you'll use to share the materials that have been written. As a legal SEO writer, it’s often my job to not just craft the content, but to add in images and taglines that make the blog interesting from a social media perspective.

 

Do We Need a Social Media Presence on Every Channel?

Thankfully, these days there are many different scheduling tools that can make your life easier than ever by giving you everything you need in one holistic location. There are many different types of social media platforms out there, but only a couple of them are actually relevant to the information you want to be sharing about your law firm.

That's because there is a very small chance that any of your clients are going to follow you on Snapchat and you're probably not comfortable on that platform, anyways. Your firm is much more likely to benefit from a targeted content marketing strategy focusing on the blogs first and using the social media channels to share that information.

The Top Platforms for Law Firms

Law firms can be extremely effective on platforms including:

·       LinkedIn

·       Facebook

·       Twitter

These are the most relevant social media platforms for law firms today because their ideal clients may find them through that platform whereas it's unlikely that they will find you through Periscope or Pinterest or Instagram which are more video or image based. Sharing your content over these other platforms helps to establish you as a thought leader in the industry and by publishing regular content, the search engines are going to reward your site and see that it is a location worthy of a high search engine ranking. To make things simple, invest in a scheduling tool such as:

·       Hootsuite

·       Buffer

·       Co-Schedule

All of these can allow you to get the maximum traction out of the material that is being created for your law firm by scheduling it well in advance. You can also determine the most appropriate times of day to be posting on these various schedules so that again you reach a higher audience. A multi-pronged approach that allows the content to be created and then shared throughout various social media channels and then shared again several weeks later is the best way to receive maximum impact with the information you craft for your law firm.

Most law firms find that it’s important to have a presence on social, but that it doesn’t often make the best use of their own time. That’s why, increasingly, law firms are looking for ghostwriters and social media managers who can handle putting together these campaigns for them. The law firm gets the benefit of working with someone who understands best practices and the firm is able to push out quality content on a regular basis, increasing engagement and search engine rankings.


 

Blog Topics All Attorneys Should Write About

When crafting your legal content marketing plan, even if you are going to manage it in-house as opposed to hiring a legal SEO writer, it is strongly recommended that you have an arsenal of blog topics to pull from. This makes things easier for you as you plan ahead for your content marketing strategy and ensures that you have covered all kinds of different topics that could be engaging to your readers. Remember that posting legal content on a regular basis not only benefits you in terms of increasing engagement with your ideal clients as they read this information, but it also helps boost your search engine ranking.

 

This is one of the primary reasons why law firms hire me to assist them with their content marketing strategy. Many of them are interested in maintaining a top Google ranking or are striving to get to the first page of search results in a very competitive local market. One of the most effective ways to do this is to have a long-term search engine strategy that allows their content to be directly targeted to what the search engines are looking for and the people who are looking for that kind of information.

There are several different types of blog topics that you may consider writing about. Of course, you will have differentiators based on your practice area type and the kinds of cases that you hope to procure. However, there are several common types of blog posts that are relevant.

Research Studies

This is relevant for all different fields. An individual who practices bankruptcy law, for example, might share information about the growing number of credit card debt in the United States.

A personal injury lawyer might share their write up on a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's study. This information provides excellent blog fodder and it is also extremely valuable for linking to these high-quality meaningful sites, such as .gov and .edu websites.

Case Results

It is not always recommended that you directly mention your clients’ names or their case name or specific things about the case, but you can talk in general about the results you have been able to achieve for your clients, such as by saying that you recently received a multimillion dollar award for a patient who suffered a slip and fall injury.

This can be a great entry way into discussing common slip and fall injuries and writing a blog about how to prevent them and what to do if someone has already been injured in them. This also helps cement your credibility as it indicates the experience that you have in the field.

Common Questions Asked by Your Readers

No matter what kind of law you practice, there are many questions that frequently lead individuals to your website or to pick up a phone and contact an attorney. Without providing them every small level of detail written in state and federal laws and regulations, you can provide an excellent window of information to these potential clients by answering popular questions that they have. Some examples of great questions include:

·    How long does it take to file bankruptcy?

·    Should I talk to a police officer if I am pulled over in a car?

·    What things you should avoid doing at the scene of the car accident?

·    What mistakes do most people make with their estate planning?

As you can see, across various practice areas, you can delve into a broad range of topics that can help to answer pertinent questions for your ideal readers. These blog topics make it easy to keep the material on your blog fresh as well as relevant and it also gives valuable linking opportunities to establish your credibility and to send a signal to Google and other search engines that you know what you are talking about.