As more research and shopping occurs online, businesses are expanding their digital marketing efforts to improve visibility and capture leads. Law firms are no exception, and the savvy firms are taking advantage of the internet.
People facing legal situations turn to the web to get basic questions answered and decide who they want to hire. In fact, three out of every four people looking for an attorney use online resources.
Improving your internet visibility through blogging is one of the best strategies your firm can implement. Google and other search engines don’t rank stale and outdated websites. But sites that actively publish quality, educational content (i.e. – blog content) can perform exceptionally well. When you pair blogging with an inbound marketing strategy, you have the potential to experience significant growth.
It is estimated that 33 percent of the traffice for each keyword goes to the site in the number one position. By comparison, a site ranked at number 10 only captures 2.4 percent of the people who initiate a Google search. This drastic fall-off highlights the necessity of keeping your website updated with fresh content so it ranks high.
Here are some other key stats about blogging
- Websites that include an active blog receive 55% more traffic than those that don’t.
- 46% of people read blogs more than once a day.
- Content marketing (a.k.a – blogging) generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less.
You can use blogs to engage and educate potential clients. And your articles will demonstrate your expertise as the “go-to-resource” in your niche. Since you want your blog articles to stand-out and perform well, here are the items you should include in every post.
A focus keyword
Many entrepreneurs understand the value of blogging and they believe publishing any content is good content. In reality, your content needs to match what consumers are actually searching for. Those search words and phrases should form the basis of every blog article.
It won’t do you any good to blog with a random keyword (or key phrase) that doesn’t generate traffic. You need to be aware of what people are typing into Google. You can use the Google Keyword Planner to better understand what consumers are searching for, and how many searches take place each month.
A stand-out title
Which title is more appealing to you: “How to Improve Your Email Marketing” or “3 Steps to Create Your Best Email Marketing Campaign Ever.” Obviously the latter is more descriptive and enticing.
The title of your article is the first thing that will catch people’s attention. If it’s dull and drab, people will scroll right past it. But if it addresses their need in an exciting way, they are more likely to stop and read what you have to say.
Your title should absolutely include your keyword or key phrase because that’s important for search engine optimization. We also recommend that you have a working title while you are drafting your article, but be open to making adjustments once your content is complete.
Your blog article should provide something of value to the reader. That’s the only way you’re going to start building credibility and expert status! Many attorneys are apprehensive about blogging because they don’t want to give free advice or encourage people to solve their legal issues on their own.
That’s not what we’re advocating. Instead, share enough useful information to help answer the reader’s basic questions. You don’t need to give them the tools they need to develop their own estate plan (for example). And it’s perfectly acceptable to remind the reader to contact a licensed attorney because every case is unique.
A blog article should be at least 300 to 500 words in length, but we find that you need around 600 words to adequately address a topic. Longer blog articles (what we call long-form content) that are 1,200+ words in length are also good to publish. Having a mix of shorter articles and long-form content will help build strong search engine optimization (SEO.)
Most people don’t like to read one long block of text. It’s difficult to read, and many people prefer to skim the content to get the main points. As you are formatting the content on your website, here are a few tips to implement:
- Use short paragraphs to create white space on the page.
- Bold important points and concepts so they stand-out.
- Use section headings and sub-headings.
- Use bullet points for people who want to skim.
Headings and sub-headings are also important for SEO. They are one of the items that search engines scan for keywords and relevancy, so try to include your keyword (or phrase) in one of these if you can.
A good visual element
It’s estimated that 80% of the population learns through visuals, so try to include at least one image in your article.
Stock images are a great solution since most small companies don’t have an in-house art department. We use DepositPhotos.com for many of our stock images. If you wanted to take your visual content to the next level, you could include infographics, or use images to walk your readers through a step-by-step process like we did in this blog.
A call to action
Now that you have an article full of great, educational content, what’s next? What is the action you want your readers to take? Remember that blogging is supposed to improve visibility and generate leads for your business. But if you don’t include a call to action (CTA), you won’t be able to capture the readers contact information.
A CTA can take a variety of forms, such as a white paper available for further reading or an offer for a complimentary 20-minute phone consultation. In either case, the reader must fill out a contact form, provide their contact information and give you permission to follow-up.
This is where the benefits of blogging really start to happen. Some leads will want to speak with you immediately. Other leads may need nurturing, so your inbound marketing strategy campaign can help coordinate the follow-up.
Final thoughts on blogging
A blogging strategy takes time to plan and implement, but companies who are investing time and money into their blogs are seeing great results. If every article you publish includes these elements, you’ll be well on your way to out-ranking your competition.
Have more questions about elder law marketing or blogging? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond.