While growing your law firm’s blog or website’s traffic can be challenging and time-consuming, it is worth it to invest those precious hours into search engine optimization (SEO). But, there is a right way and a wrong way, and it would be a shame to dedicate a considerable chunk of time toward wasted efforts and mistakes. Here are 17 commonly made legal blogging mistakes that may prevent you from reaching your SEO goals.
Legal Blogging Mistakes + How to Avoid Them
1. Starting Without a Plan
Before you start a blog, you need to consider your goals and have a strategy. Who are you trying to reach and with what information? What’s the best way to reach them? Establish both short-term and long-term goals for your blog based on measurable and attainable outcomes. Then, create a road map of how you can get there.
2. Not Publishing Consistently
Search engines are constantly looking for new, high-quality content. The more you post, the higher you’re likely to rank. Furthermore, your readers will visit more often if you consistently provide value for them. Skipping a blog once in a while is no big deal, but try hard to stick to a regular schedule.
Related: How to Blog When You Don’t Have Time.
3. Focusing on Quantity over Quality
The quality of your law firm’s blog content is one of the most important SEO factors. Don’t make the common mistake of only focusing on the technical aspects of SEO and not the actual substance of the blog. In other words, you shouldn’t expect a blog post to rank high just because you followed the technical steps to make it SEO friendly.
4. Using an Inconsistent Brand Voice
Your legal blogging voice should be consistent with your overall brand voice. Establish key branding elements, including the type of voice you will use before you start writing. Document these elements so that multiple authors can write using the proper tone.
5. Forgetting Your Key Audience
Your readers should be at the forefront of every blog post your law firm publishes. What are they interested in? What answers do they need? That’s the best place to start with any content. It’s necessary that you fully understand your target audience. We recommend creating an ideal client profile to do so.
Here’s a free guide you can use to do that: A Law Firm’s Guide to Creating an Ideal Client Profile.
6. Choosing Topics That Don’t Add Value
If you blog on subjects that your audience finds boring or irrelevant, you’re wasting your time. Focus on providing value by considering which questions your attorneys are often asked, what new industry research or news is being discussed, and client success stories.
7. Making Bad Keyword Choices
If you’re blogging for SEO, then you need to do your keyword research. Keyword research enables lawyers to find out what topics or issues are important to their target audience. When you’ve identified your target keywords, use them in headlines, sub-headings, and several times throughout the copy and with image captions.
8. Lacking SEO Understanding
If you’re going to make the time to blog, SEO should play a significant role in your strategy. It’s important to know SEO best practices so that you can make the most of your content. Frequency, length, keyword distribution, and format all matter for SEO – if you’re not sure of best practices, reach out to an expert for some guidance before starting to blog.
9. Using the First Title You Draft
Your blog headline is critical. It grabs the reader’s attention and convinces them to read your content versus a competitor’s. Once you write the entire post, go back and look at the title. Is there a more compelling way to write the heading? Often, revisiting the title the next day produces better results.
10. Creating Too-long Paragraphs
Most consumers simply skim online content. That means your articles need to be skimmable, and creating short paragraphs with plenty of white space and bulleted lists can help with that.
11. Ignoring Visuals
Include graphics, photos, or video in your posts. Articles with relevant images have a much higher rate of readership, and people tend to remember visuals more than what they read. Plus, images help to break up the text which ties into the point above.
12. Not Promoting Your Blog
The entire point of legal blogging for SEO is to increase online visibility. If you don’t promote your blog, you’re not helping it to do its job. Make sure to publish your law firm’s blog on social media channels and in an email newsletter, and possibly even with a paid social campaign. Blogs that receive more traffic will rank higher on Google.
13. Never Revisiting Older Posts
If you wrote a post a while ago and believe it’s still relevant (or the topic has come up again), simply update and then republish. Refresh any details that may be outdated and then reshare them on your blog.
14. Not Checking Analytics
Ideally, you already have Google Analytics installed on your site. Make sure to regularly check these analytics as they relate to your blogging activities. Use the insights to develop new content.
15. Spending Too Little Time
While blogging for SEO, it’s essential to make sure content is truly valuable and well written. The only way to ensure this is to take the needed amount of time. Make time to not only write the post but to edit, find great visuals, publish and promote.
16. Expecting Instant Results
Most facets of digital marketing take time, and blogging is no different. Expect to wait at least 12-18 months for positive results from your blog.
17. Neglecting SEO on the Backend
Always double-check that any backend SEO is taken care of, along with the best practices mentioned above. Items like a meta description, alt tags, and file names with keywords make a difference. If technical SEO isn’t your strong suit, try using the Yoast SEO plugin. The plugin makes it easy for your site to meet the highest technical SEO standards.
If it seems like there’s a lot to think about when it comes to blogging for SEO, that’s because there is. Law firms should look out for these common mistakes for a better shot at blogging that helps your SEO efforts. If you need tips for creating content that people will read and react to – as well as content that helps your website to rank with search engines, download our free eBook: SEO for Law Firm Websites.
If you need assistance developing a comprehensive SEO strategy that will improve your search visibility and increase the number of visitors to your firm’s website, contact us for assistance.
This post has been edited and republished from March 3, 2021.