The internet is full of exceptional legal content. More and more law firms publish regular blogs and if you do not provide your website visitors with well-written and educational content, they can just go elsewhere. So how do you capture your audience’s attention? What makes a good law firm blog article?
There are certain characteristics of effective, impactful blog posts that legal marketers should keep in mind. Here’s our breakdown.
1. Start with why.
Every blog post you write should have a purpose – just like your blog overall. Before you put pen to paper, consider your end goal and work backwards. Is it to inform on a specific topic? To drive traffic to a certain landing page? Know what you are hoping to accomplish and work from there.
2. Understand your audience and what they want to read.
Once in a while, talking about what’s going on in your firm can be interesting. But generally, your audience is going to be looking for legal information, checklists for complicated legal processes, or updates on legislation or cases. In general, it’s a smart marketing practice to build out personas of who your target audience is. Then, build out a section on their interests and what they’d like to read – and create posts based on that.
3. Listen to your clients.
One of your greatest resources for new blog topics is your clients. They come to professionals seeking advice, answers, consultation and reassurance on a daily basis. Take note of their questions and pay particular attention to the language they use to describe them. These will make great fodder for relevant, useful and search-friendly blog posts.
4. Write for readers and for search engines.
Speaking of search-friendly, you want to make sure your target audience can actually find your law firm’s content, and SEO (search engine optimization) is the bridge that’ll help you get there. The better visibility your blogs have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing clients to your website. Make use of keywords (without keyword stuffing), craft an engaging meta description, and follow the rest of these tips to write blog posts that rank well on search engines like Google and Bing.
5. Write what you know.
If your firm specializes in certain areas, write about those. Write about what you are an expert in and have significant experience in whether it be energy law or divorce law. This positions you as a thought leader, and builds credibility and loyalty. If you try to fake it with other topics, people will see through that and you’ll lose their interest and their trust.
6. Use evidence.
This is something lawyers should be comfortable with! The best blogs have strong research backing them up, and the citations to prove it. This is a big reason Google favors content with several links and citations. The more research you perform on your topic, the more credible your information will be, and the more likely it is to rank in search engines. You can also set up free Google Alerts on specific topics in your area of expertise and review them daily. If something is breaking in the news, you’ll be on top of it.
7. Take a fresh approach.
As you perform your research, you are going to find no shortage of posts that share the sort of information you’re writing about. It’s important to avoid “herd content”. That is, content that others have written about extensively, or are trendy right now. It’s certainly smart to write about subjects that are trending – but take your own approach and add a unique perspective. Don’t just replicate what someone else has already said.
8. Be helpful.
This might seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many corporate blogs do not do this. When people are searching online, typically they’re looking for answers to a question or help with a certain scenario. Provide the information they’re looking for. Answer their questions. Offer solutions.
9. Don’t focus on length.
Though some studies show that articles with 2,000 words or more tend to rank better, that doesn’t mean you need to meet that number all the time. Research shows you should focus on saying what you need to, without filler or fluff. If that means that your blog is only 500 words, that’s ok. If it’s a complex topic that takes 3,000 words to explain – that’s fine too. Make your law firm’s blog as long as it needs to be to get your point across.
10. Avoid walls of text.
Especially with longer content, this can be hard to do. However, it’s critical to keep the reader interested and visually stimulated. Be sure to include images, headlines, graphics, and bullets with your text. Break up paragraphs into only a few sentences. Keep bullets short. The new standard in content is visually interesting pieces with a variety of media formats.
For a comprehensive guide on crafting a content strategy, tips on measuring the effectiveness of your content distribution and plenty more, download our eBook: The Law Firm Guide to Content Marketing.
Lawyers and law firms derive many benefits from effective blogging – but if no one reads your blog, you’re wasting valuable resources that could be applied elsewhere. Taking the time to research timely topics that are of interest to your target audience is key. Keep these 10 tips in mind for more compelling content.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to stay on top of the latest developments in legal digital marketing and learn best practices and tips to enhance your marketing and business development efforts at your firm.
Updated and republished from April, 2020.