Legal content marketing has long challenged and confused new and veteran lawyers. In the early days of the web, most SEO practices involved little more than cluttering web pages with keywords, leaving readers lost and frustrated. Thankfully, Google has made great strides in penalizing keyword stuffing and rewarding quality content creation. However, these changes have left many lawyers and law firms scratching their heads and asking “What should I do now?” In this article, we’ll explore how to choose powerful, relevant keywords to boost your search engine rank and deliver value to your readers.
Identify Your Clients
When choosing keywords, it’s important to market to your specific clientele. Whether they’re large corporations, small businesses, or families, try to see things from their perspective. What questions do they have? How will they search for solutions to their legal issues? Try to minimize legal jargon and stick to everyday language. Examples across different areas of practice include “fog car accident attorney,” “cheating spouse lawyer,” “nursing home abuse attorney,” and “employer sexual harassment.” No one knows your law firm better than you, and a good brainstorming session will go a long way in the SEO process.
Ask the Right Questions
SEO phrases define your law firm to search engines. Think about the cases you want to take, the locations you want to serve, and the quantity and quality of clients you want to represent. City, state, areas of practice, and client type should all be included in your keyword plan, especially on prominent pages such as your Home and About Us pages. Now, you’ll have phrases such as “Miami small business copyright claim attorney,” or “domestic abuse lawyer in Fort Worth, TX.” Locations can include your current location, your past locations, and locations you want to pursue. While you don’t have to include locations in every keyword phrase, each page should let your readers know exactly where you provide your services.
Specify to Stand Out
Now that you’ve compiled a list of relevant keyword phrases, it’s time to stand out from your competitors. Consumers search for very specific legal issues and want more than just your run-of-the-mill “Detroit attorney.” Generally head terms such as “Detroit attorney” or “New York law firms” will get you in the game, but you’ll need more specific long-tail terms to score big. Examples of long-tail legal SEO phrases include “experienced personal injury lawyer in Charlotte, NC,” “Las Vegas material breach of contract attorney,” “divorce and child custody lawyer in Orlando,” and so on. Just as a pinch of seasoning can bring a dish to life, a few specific keywords can propel your legal content website to the top of search results.
Organize Your Keywords Across Each Practice Page
Your website should have a dedicated page for each practice area, and each of those pages should have a unique set of keyword phrases. For example, if your law firm handles personal injury, medical malpractice, and theft, you’d want potential clients to be able to easily locate the service they need.
Research and Be Realistic
Novice legal content marketers often choose the most popular keywords and call it a day. The trouble is that these common phrases have thousands of companies gunning for them, many of whom have spent considerable time and money to rank high. You will be much better off by ranking high for more specific, lower traffic searches than on page 25 for the most popular searches.
Incorporate Keywords Naturally
Use your keywords early, naturally, and sparingly. The sooner a keyword appears in your content, the more relevance your content will have in search engines. Having quality content around your keywords will help you stand out from the competition. Furthermore, using a variety of keywords instead of repeating just one or two will increase your chances of reaching serious clients and avoid being penalized by Google.
Fine Tune Your Strategy
Google Analytics will give you a clear idea of how well your pages are performing. Do you have one or two pages that are visited significantly more often than the others? Which keyword phrases bring your firm in the top pages of search results? Try out different keyword phrases in Google and analyze the results. Do the results include your main competitors? What are they doing better than you? If the search brings unrelated results, you’ll need to switch up your strategy.
Use Keywords in Inbound and Outbound Links
Inbound links direct visitors to other pages on your website. You’ll want to incorporate these generously in your content to improve your website’s relevance. Outbound links should direct users to quality sources of information. These might include news articles, case studies, leading industry blogs, and web pages ending in .edu, .gov, and .org. Of course, you should avoid linking to competitors. Most importantly, you’ll want to use powerful keywords instead of generic phrases such as “click here,” or “read more.”
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for legal content marketing. Each law firm has unique experience, goals, and objectives, and it’s up to you, the content marketer, to communicate these values to consumers and search engines. With proper brainstorming, organizing, research, and fine-tuning, you can maximize your law firm’s online exposure and reach more quality clients.
About the author
Edgar L earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He has written hundreds of articles on a wide array of topics for established companies and private clients. He is committed to health and fitness, and has been researching diet-and-exercise-related topics since his high school days. As a professional writer, he is eager to communicate to readers his knowledge and passion for health in ways that help them achieve their own health goals.