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5 Content Marketing Tactics for Attorneys

This post was written by our staff SEO writer, Nancy Rapp, who has a law degree and works as a professor of legal studies. Her unique background allows her to view the world of law firm SEO from the eyes of both an attorney and a web consultant.

Content Marketing for Lawyers

In 2016, the Huffington Post published an article titled: “Why Legal Firms are Racing to Adopt Content Marketing.” The article was updated this past December as the trend continues to gain momentum. Though the author provided a few marketing tips, further “how-to” information is needed for lawyers to stay competitive while maintaining their law firm’s website.

Content marketing for lawyers is part of a digital marketing campaign. Though many attorneys believe website content is written solely for search queries and to offer contact information, content marketing is more nuanced than just search engine optimization (SEO) practices. Writing for purely SEO purposes won’t necessarily make your writing appealing or easy to understand, for example. This blog post identifies 5 content marketing tactics that every attorney should adhere to when writing for his or her site.

1. Understand the difference between evergreen content and blog posts.

Every law firm needs both evergreen and blog content on their website. Many lawyers are unaware of the distinctions between the two categories, and their practice’s website suffers from impractical structuring and lack of necessary content.

Evergreen content focuses on your practice area and clarifies the laws and processes for your potential clients. For example, a wills and estates attorney would have the page “Why you need a will.” A personal injury lawyer would discuss traffic accidents and slip and fall cases. The list goes on. The point of these pages is to explain to your site visitors why they need an attorney at all and why you are the one they should hire..

Blog posts are the items you share on social media. These are trendy topics that will grab your site visitors’ attention. Is there a new marijuana law? Did you win a case regarding the custody of pets in a divorce? Did you participate in a local law school event?

Lawyers often avoid blog posts as they may feel the content seems unprofessional or unnecessary. Evergreen content is certainly more important, but blog posts are also indexed by Google. These posts will show up in search results, and help gain brand recognition for your firm.

2. Maintain an editorial content calendar.

Content marketing is a digital marketing practice, and ad campaigns get stale. Content needs to be updated frequently to follow keyword research trends as well as to keep up with your competitors. For lawyers, keywords need to be researched to ensure you stay up to date with new laws, court decisions and societal trends.

In order to stay fresh, your law firm needs an editorial content calendar. Set goals for how often you will publish—though monthly is a minimum. Additionally, by creating a calendar, you can view which topics you’ve covered as well as plan ahead for the coming months.

3. Create personas of your current and ideal clients.

Though keyword research is a critical source of inspiration for law firm marketing, you probably already know what areas you need to write about. The trick is to market to your current and prospective clients.

Think of your typical client. What are some questions that are raised at every consultation? What legal issues are typically connected? Are certain procedures more complicated than others? Does your region have unique characteristics that make it a hotbed for legal matters? Attorneys near beaches or lakes may want to discuss boating laws, for example. All of these questions could provide months of content marketing topics that need discussion on your website.

Your ideal client is just as important as your typical client. Most attorneys use content marketing to expand their practice, so be sure to target the issues your potential clients may have. In order to break into a new practice area, sound keyword research and competitive analyses are necessary. As your clients take priority, hiring a digital marketing firm is likely the more efficient approach to attracting new clients.

4. Make your content relatable.

Many clients are going through a traumatic event if they are browsing for an attorney. Death, divorce, accidents and job loss are all reasons to hire an attorney. As such, content to make you sound approachable is often more important than sounding like a know-it-all. Keep evergreen content in a conversational tone that will keep you reader engaged. How-to’s and lists also keep content readable and less intimidating.

Your bio page, testimonials and blog posts can demonstrate your legal prowess. Here, you can and should brag about your awards, successes and education. Nevertheless, a line or two about your family and interests are still necessary to appeal to nervous, potential clients.

5. Have a non-lawyer preview your content.

In truth, lawyers don’t write for non-lawyers. We learn a writing style in law school that becomes our new norm. We also take our legal knowledge for granted. We can spout off a law quickly but that doesn’t mean our audience understood what we just said.

Hiring a professional content writer is the easiest solution to this issue. An experienced writer can research any topic and present the information from a marketing standpoint. If you choose to compose the content yourself, ask your spouse or anyone outside of the legal field to be sure that your explanation is detailed and easy to understand.

Paramaya Web Consulting has managed legal websites for years and has an attorney on staff to craft legal content that is informative and SEO friendly. Contact us today for a free consultation as to how we can help expand your legal practice with digital marketing techniques.

Let Keyword Research Lead You to a Pot of Gold

keyword research pot of gold

Though you may be hoping for the luck of the Irish to grace your business this St. Patrick’s Day, search engine optimization (SEO) practices are more likely to find you a pot of gold. With the right SEO techniques in place, you can increase your search presence and make your site more appealing to visitors.

Keyword research is arguably the most important aspect of digital marketing and SEO practices. If your business’s website lacks the terms your potential customers are looking for, they may never find your site in a Google Search. This blog post identifies some of the less common approaches to keyword research to help you optimize your site.

1. Pay attention to your website’s search box.

Whether you have an ecommerce business or a legal or medical practice, your website needs a search box. If visitors come to your site and can’t find what they are looking for, they are sure to leave.

Though a search box helps potential customers with site navigation, you will also benefit from its existence. By adjusting your settings, your Google Analytics account can monitor and list what visitors are typing into the box. Their searches tell you which keywords need to be optimized on your site. You can even adjust Google Analytics’ presentation of its data to help identify the searches that occur on the various landing pages of your site.

2. Structure your content around keyword combinations.

Basic SEO guidelines remind you to position your keywords in headings, alt tags, meta-descriptions, etc. More in-depth keywords optimization, however, requires a bit more strategic planning.

SEO guru, Bright Local, suggests targeting 2-3 keywords per page of content. Detailed keyword research provides insight to the best combinations, but you can also trust your business acumen to identify some of the appropriate pairings. For example, a legal website would be wise to place child custody and child support terms on the same page. An online retailer may pair dresses and shoes. If the keyword combinations make sense to your visitors, their sessions will be longer and are likely to be more productive.

3. Let a simple Google search identify the best keywords for your site.

Many entertainment sites have poked fun at Google’s suggested search. For example, typing in “how to” yields “how to make slime” as a top suggestion. Despite the humorous errors that may appear, Google’s suggestions offer some excellent keywords to target.

A medical SEO scenario works well as an example. Typing in “dental implants” yielded suggestions of “dental implants in one day” and “dental implants and mri.” A dental practice may not have targeted those terms on its site, but those phrases are what potential patients are searching for.

Google also helps you identify long-tail keywords to include. The phrase “dental implants” yielded potential questions such as “How much do dental implants cost without insurance?”

Accordingly, a simple internet search for topics related to your business could provide a host of content suggestions directly connected to the interests of your potential customers.

4. Use your competitors as inspiration.

Plagiarism is obviously a “no no” for any business. Not only is it a crime, but it makes your business look less professional and trustworthy. Nevertheless, keeping a close eye on your competitors’ content is strongly encouraged to help you stay in the game.

There are a host of sites on the internet to help you check the keyword ranking for your competitors. Though SEMrush’s Position Tracker is ideal for comparisons, free keyword rank tools can still be used to gain insight. See which terms are performing better on their site versus yours and make the appropriate adjustments. Similarly, check what keywords your competitors utilize that you might be missing.

5. Capitalize on seasons and trends.

This tip is less research-based than some of the others, but seasons and trends are an important aspect of keyword planning. Though evergreen content is typically not updated enough to be trendy, never underestimate the SEO potential of blog posts. Blog posts are indexed, and relevant posts can help your website’s rankings.

Many businesses have a “season” where they have an increase in clients due to no effort of their own. DUI attorneys interview more clients following the holidays, doctors see dozens more patients once the flu hits, etc. Structuring content around these events improves the relevance of your site. Plan and publish this content in advance and use keyword research techniques to find the search terms that will make your site stand out.

Events in the news are also keyword opportunities. An episode of the popular television show “This is Us,” for example, led to countless searches regarding the safety of Crock-Pots. If a news item falls in line with the nature of your business, it is prudent to quickly craft a blog post that ties in to the trend.

Seasonal and trendy keyword planning, however, takes time away from other important tasks. Additionally, if your content isn’t carefully crafted, it will fall behind similar content created by your competitors. Unless an SEO-trained leprechaun appears to help you manage your digital marketing, you may not be able to accomplish your goals while running your business.

The best approach to digital marketing is to hire a web consulting firm. The right agency is trained in competitive SEO practices and is ready implement the best keyword tactics for your site.

Paramaya Web Consulting has been in business since 2001 and has maintained the websites for dozens of businesses. Call now or use our contact form for a free evaluation for how your website can be improved.

7 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Digital Marketing Firm

Questions to ask a digital marketing firmDigital marketing is a more complex field than many business owners realize. Implementing the different techniques correctly requires significant training that many entrepreneurs and professionals simply lack the time to pursue.

Hiring a web consulting firm is the easier and more efficient approach to digital marketing. Not all agencies are best for your business, however, and this post will help you decide which one is right for you. Here are the top 7 questions you should ask before signing on the dotted line:

1. What is your approach to search engine optimization (SEO)?

SEO is arguably the most important aspect of digital marketing. SEO drives organic traffic to your site and improves your search engine rankings. As nearly 90% of internet usage starts with a search, SEO techniques are too critical to ignore.

SEO requires a mix of on and off page optimization, technical audits and link building. If you speak to an SEO firm that doesn’t identify all of these techniques, they may not have enough expertise for your business. Furthermore, ask them to briefly explain these techniques to ensure that they are not just dazzling you with terminology.

2. How do you measure success for my webpage?

Success is a subjective concept in the digital marketing industry. Goal completions known as “conversions” are the universal measure of success. These goals depend on the industry. Ecommerce businesses want products sold. Law firms want client forms submitted. Medical practices want more appointments scheduled. The list goes on.

Even the best digital marketers can’t guarantee dramatic increases in conversions. (Don’t hire the firm that says they can!) Conversions also depend on the clients’ dealings with your business, your prices, availability, etc.

Beyond conversions, an experienced web consulting firm will also seek an improvement in your rankings, more traffic to your site, etc. Publicity through social media and email subscribers also help a business thrive, so it’s important for you and your chosen agency to have the same measures of success in mind.

3. What programs do you use?

There are a host of programs and websites available for digital marketing. WordPress and Google Analytics are good starting points, but reports through other SEO tools such as Screaming Frog offer more detailed insights. There are also email service providers, social media tools and a host of other options available for a more complete approach to digital marketing. Be sure your firm is trained and well-versed in more than one program.

Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to ask how the firm stays up to date with their techniques and training. Industry giants like Moz and Search Engine Land offer white papers and newsletters to help SEO experts stay on their game. Your potential firm should want to stay on the cutting edge for their clients, so run away from an agency that doesn’t try to expand their knowledge.

4. What is your timeframe for my campaign?

This question is a bit tricky. Depending on the size of the firm and how much business they have, an overhaul to your website may take a lengthy period of time. Thus, there isn’t necessarily a timeframe that is the “right” answer.

Nevertheless, any good digital marketer will tell you that a campaign is never over. Though your website may be fully optimized after 6 weeks, SEO is an ongoing process. Content needs to be updated regularly. Audits need to be conducted to measure the speed and other technical elements of your site. Your competitors need to be monitored to see if they updated to a better ranking than you and how they did so. In truth, an SEO retainer is a much better investment for your business as you need to keep your site optimized and relevant.

5. What are examples of your previous work?

Word of mouth is one of the only tangible measures of a digital marketing firm as you have no way of previewing the analytics of pages created and maintained by the firm. Additionally, most SEO firms have clients all over the country, so a local business isn’t necessarily the better option.

A newly trained digital marketer isn’t always a bad investment, but err on the side of caution and pick a firm that has previous examples of work. References and case studies are also important evidence of success. Not every client needs to have a lifetime retainer with a web consultant. Nevertheless, seek a firm that can send you to happy former and current clients.

6. What training do you and your employees have?

Technology-based training is mentioned above in #3, but there are also degree programs and certifications available in digital marketing and related fields. On the job training is a key learning tool, but the better firms will have at least a little bit of formal education to boast of.

7. How will you keep me updated as to the status of my business’ website?

There are 2 key forms of communication that your web consulting firm should offer you. There should be some form of detailed report or audit available to you to track the data for your website. (Bounce rate, traffic, channels of traffic, etc.) Monthly or bi-monthly is the minimum amount of communication you should strive for with this. When the report is sent to you, be sure that you feel it is sufficiently detailed for you to understand how the public is interacting with your site.

Additionally, there should be a monthly or bi-monthly strategy session with your firm that can take place via a web or phone call. You may or may not have ideas or goals that you would like to express, but it is imperative for the agency to tell you their thoughts and plans regarding your site. Striving for progress is a requirement for any good digital marketer, and you should feel as though your business’ success is a priority to your chosen firm.

Paramaya Web Consulting has been in business since 2001 and has provided SEO and web consulting services to dozens of clients. The firm is well-recommended and provides their clients with detailed reports and extensive opportunities for communication.

Need to hire a digital marketing firm? Contact Paramaya Web Consulting at 678-824-5560 or use our form below.