It used to be that a website or blog post could plug in as many keywords as possible (now known as "keyword stuffing"), thus artificially boosting their search engine ranking. So Google created a more complex algorithm that will now black ball you for these kinds of tricks. Google analyzes the keywords to ensure they fit the context of the page on which they are used, as well as your entire website. While this is frustrating for those just catching up with the use of keywords, it will improve the overall quality of search results.
We are also seeing a stronger correlation between the amount of content you have on your website and how well it ranks. Google is favoring larger and larger websites. In fact, Hubspot.com reported in a survey released earlier this year that companies with 101 to 200 pages of content generate 2.5 times more leads than websites with fewer than 50 pages.
The writing is on the wall-if you want to continue ranking well on Google, which drives more qualified traffic to your website so you can generate more online leads, you must put more and more content on your website. I'm going to share with you eight of the best practices in content marketing.
Best Practice 1: Create content prospects will connect with and will want to read. If your website is the first to pop up in a Google search, but a potential client reads your home page and finds it littered with meaningless legal jargon, then chances are they are going to move on to website number two. People hire attorneys they feel a connection with. If the viewer doesn't connect with your website, then chances are they aren't going to call you.
By creating content that viewers find informative and relevant, easy to digest and in multiple formats (like audio or video as well as written) you are encouraging them to spend more time on your site. By filling each page with informative and easy-to-understand language, an attorney is boosting their visibility on the web and converting browsers into believers.
Best Practice 2: Know the critical keywords prospects use to search. While Google is making sure the context fits the keywords, websites still need to focus on certain keywords. Start by making a list of at least 20-30 terms you believe an interested prospect might use to search for your kind of services. Then do your research.
I recommend two sites: Google Keyword Tool and WordTracker.com. You can find the first one simply by searching on Google for it. The terms definitely emphasize Google's pay-per-click model, which is why I strongly recommend double checking your findings against the results from WordTracker.com. Use only one or two key terms per blog post and do not post duplicate content.
Best Practice 3: Make sure your blog is on the same domain/subdomain. I used to recommend having two different sites: your primary website and a separate blog site. Due to the recent changes in Google I now recommend keeping your blog on your website (use ABClaw.com/blog instead of blog.ABClaw.com). If you already have two separate sites don't combine them unless they are less than six months old.
By integrating your blog and your website in one place, you can increase your rankings by adding more content via your blog. Topics for your blog can include recent cases you have handled, commenting on current events or stories in the media, answering frequently asked questions, and discuss aspects of the law.
Best Practice 4: Create geo-targeted pages. You need to write several pages for each city you want to target. For example, if you are a business litigation attorney in the East Valley of Phoenix, you want to have several pages of content focusing on each of the following cities: Phoenix, Tempe, Chandler, Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, etc.
Do not make the mistake of only targeting Phoenix because every single other attorney is doing that. Put as many pages of content up there for the secondary cities. Even though you will not receive nearly as many hits for those cities the competition to rank on the first page of Google will be significantly less.
Best Practice 5: Use video to give visitors a sense of who you are. Video is one of the best ways to improve your website conversion rates. I highly recommend you record several videos for your website: an overview of each major practice area your firm offers, a few case studies of typical clients you want to attract, a video introduction for each attorney, and reasons why people should hire you versus a competitor. You can also add videos from seminars or presentations you make to add more content to your site.
Best Practice 6: Take a position on a topic and frequently update your blog. When you begin a blog, you need to make sure that it is a topic you feel passionate about. Make sure that you will still be energized to write about the topic in six months or a year. You also need to make sure that there is an audience for your blog.
In order to keep your website and blog at the forefront of Google's mind, you will need to post regularly. The most successful lead generation blogs post every day. If you aren't willing to post new content at least a few times per week then you should seriously consider hiring someone to do the writing for you. In a survey of over 7,000 small businesses, Hubspot.com found companies that blog 15 or more times per month generate five times as much traffic
as companies that don't blog!
Best Practice 7: Add social media to your website to make it easier for people to share your content online. Most major websites people visit have fully integrated social media-whether its Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter you want to make it easy for people to share your content with their friends and colleagues.
Best Practice 8: Keep your content consistent with your brand. If you're an estate planning attorney, write about estate planning and rarely about anything else. Professional blogs need to remain professional. The tone, content and focus should demonstrate the type of attorney you are. If your office is more relaxed and friendly, then try to convey that in the tone of your blogs. If your firm is more traditional, that too should be apparent in the tone of your piece.
Your content also needs to stay relevant. If there is a major change in what area of law you practice in, then you should be discussing it right away on your blog. If there is a big ruling in your practice area that is causing a lot of questions or anxiety for clients and prospects and you are the last person to mention in on their website or blog, then chances are the readers will have moved on to someone who is more on top of things.
Conclusion. Content marketing is one of the best ways to build targeted traffic to your website and become recognized as a thought leader. However, it is a long-term strategy so set your expectations appropriately. Depending on the level of competition in your practice area, how well-established your website/blog is, which key terms you are targeting, and how frequently you update your blog it may take several months to start seeing some significant results.
As always, if you do not have the time to write 10-20 high quality, unique blog articles every month and would like some help, please give us a call at 888-588-5891
or sign up for a complimentary strategy session
with one of our trained Rainmaker Law Marketing Consultants by filling out this form.
We'd like to help you achieve your goals in creating a lifestyle law firm.
We have helped over 10,000 attorneys across the nation discover the secrets in building a financially successful and personally satisfying legal practice and we would love to have your law firm be our next success story!