SEO (search engine optimization) writing is the process of planning, creating and optimizing content that ranks at the top of search engines results pages (SERPs) and adds value for your target audience. Ultimately, higher rankings allow you to earn more traffic, leads, and revenue — a huge win for your law firm. Here’s the latest advice for legal marketers looking to write content that ranks well in the search engines results pages (SERPs).
High Quality Content is Key for Law Firm SEO
Writing content is important for almost every industry, but particularly for the legal sector. Most people that are seeking an attorney are facing a great deal of stress, and are likely going to research heavily. They will be seeking not only answers to their questions, but also thought leadership that shows credibility, and anything that conveys trustworthiness and values. Creating trust and authority is one of the most important things a law firm can do, and great content will help with that. SEO is how that great content can be found. SEO will help you to not only move higher in search rankings, but also obtain new leads. Here are ten tips to help.
1. Create for topics, not simply keywords.
Typically when people think of SEO, the first thing that pops in their mind is keyword research. While keywords are a critical component of content, you shouldn’t write your content around them alone. That’s because Google is now focused on user intent and has gotten smarter about how it interprets inquiries. Writing for topics will ensure that you focus on creating valuable information that potential clients are actually looking for. Tools like Answer the Public and SEMrush’s topic research feature will help you to generate ideas for topics and phrases, not just keywords. It’s also smart to simply Google various phrases on your chosen topic and see what is already ranking.
2. Write SEO content for readers and search engines.
Write content that’s engaging and easy for readers to digest. Make sure your content flows naturally. Just because you’re writing for SEO doesn’t mean your content has to sound robotic. It’s helpful to think, “How can I add value for readers in a way that existing content doesn’t?” Instead of bombarding readers with a sales pitch, focus on creating helpful content that addresses their pain points and helps them solve problems.
To help with this, create client personas, or a representation of the ideal clients for your firm. By truly understanding who you’re writing for, you’ll have a better chance of creating useful and helpful content. In addition to basic demographic information, ask yourself about the biggest challenges that your common clients face, and if there is a certain segment of people who are more likely to face those challenges. You can use Google Analytics as well as data from your own CRM system and other third parties, in addition to asking your business development team for their own insights.
3. Break content into chunks for easy web browsing.
When writing for SEO, sticking to short paragraphs allows readers to skim your content and pick up on the most important points.
Tip: Adding videos, images, and graphics to your content can boost your rankings and engage site visitors.
4. Focus on content quality, not the length.
If you want to earn top rankings with your SEO writing, focus on quality vs. quantity. Search engines like Google rank in-depth, comprehensive content that provides value to readers. Covering a topic in-depth naturally results in longer content, so it makes sense that longer posts get associated with higher rankings. We recommend aiming for 1000 – 2000 words.
5. Optimize your content for featured snippets, aka Position Zero.
The bits of text at the top of many informational searches in Google, featured snippets can drive a ton of attention toward your site and can be an invaluable weapon for marketers. How can you create content that has the chance of ranking in featured snippets?
- Create content specifically to answer questions. Provide in-depth answers.
- Know the questions your readers are asking.
- Create truly high-quality content.
- Work to provide the best answer.
6. Add internal links to other valuable content.
Internal links provide extra value for a webpage and it is a powerful SEO copywriting tip. Here are the two main advantages:
- Internal linking helps search engines understand your content.
- It helps the users stay longer on the website and navigate to the topics of interest.
The best way to use internal links is when you are writing about something and want to bring extra explanations, and link to a page where you previously talked about that.
7. Craft click-worthy meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions are one of the first elements people tend to work on when optimizing for search engine clicks and traffic. Fortunately, meta descriptions are one of the easiest SEO components to understand and improve. Simply follow these 5 steps to create succinct, attention-getting meta descriptions that will play a key role in your law firm’s content marketing strategy.
8. Encourage sharing.
Social media is a powerful tool that can go beyond just promoting your content. In addition to posting on your profiles, consider which forums or groups might be helpful for posting content. You also want to have share buttons on all of your content that makes it easy for readers to post your content directly to their LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter page.
9. Implement Google Authorship.
This is a quick and easy way to tie content to a certain author. Writers need a Google+ account to set it up, but then their articles will come up as rich snippets in the search results featuring their photo and article title. Google Authorship is valuable for personal promotion as well as increasing click through rates to thought leadership.
10. Measure and optimize.
Creating content can be time-consuming. That’s why it’s important to understand what’s working and what’s not. Are you getting new leads? Is your content helping to drive more organic traffic? Use Google Analytics to obtain accurate information about SEO and how your content is affecting your key performance indicators (KIPs). Keep in mind that you might not see results right away – you’re looking for positive trends over time.
Optimized content is important for not just getting found online, but for guiding high-quality leads to next steps with your firm. Any content that serves to educate in the areas your firm focuses on will help your SEO strategy. Follow the guidelines explained above to write SEO friendly law firm content and if you have existing blog posts or web pages that are not optimized, allocate some time to go back and make the necessary changes.
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.