Law Content Writing Matters: A Lawyer’s Guide to SEO
In today’s hypercompetitive legal environment, maximizing your law content writing efforts is more critical than ever.
Nearly everyone who needs the services of a lawyer starts their search online through Google or Bing. If your law firm’s website isn’t up to snuff and you haven’t built an online presence, potential clients will walk straight to your competitors — no matter how talented the attorneys in your firm are.
To turn this tide of clients back to your firm, you’ll need to engage in a thoughtful and thorough search engine optimization (SEO) and legal content campaign that boosts your website’s online search rankings.
What Is SEO?
SEO comprises several techniques that work together to increase the visibility of your website on popular search engines, such as Google and Bing. Higher-ranking law firms bring more digital traffic — and ultimately, more foot traffic — to their legal practices.
There are two primary forms of SEO: on-page and off-page SEO. You have the most control over on-page SEO, which includes keyword usage, content topic coverage, relevance to user searches, and on-page optimization techniques, such as metadata and link usage.
Off-page SEO includes backlinks to your website, your social media presence, external mentions of your firm, and online reviews. While you can manage off-page SEO and implement techniques to improve it, you’ll never have as much control over it as you do over on-page SEO.
Why Law Firms Can’t Afford to Ignore SEO
Before the Digital Age, your clients likely turned to the Yellow Pages or asked colleagues for a referral when they needed a lawyer’s assistance.
Those days are gone. Today, most people start their search for an attorney online. If no one can find your website because you haven’t implemented an SEO strategy (or even worse — you don’t have a website), you’ll see far fewer clients.
A law firm that implements a solid SEO strategy will rank higher in search engine results, bringing in a steady flow of clients and expanding its local presence.
If your SEO strategy is successful, more people in your community will choose you when they need legal help — especially if they view you as an authoritative and trustworthy figure in your practice area.
Law Content Writing Is the Key to Your SEO Strategy
Legal content is critical to your SEO strategy. Legal content includes blogs, articles, videos, white papers, e-books, and other media that discuss legal topics relevant to your law practice.
A wide breadth of law content writing will help you establish credibility as a knowledgeable attorney in your practice area and improve your rankings in the search engines.
You probably encounter the same questions from clients during consultations and throughout the legal process. These questions should give you a good starting point for finding topics to cover in your legal blog writing.
For instance, if you’re a personal injury lawyer who specializes in motor vehicle accidents, you might hear questions like:
- How much is my car accident claim worth?
- What if I’m partially at fault for the car accident? Will I lose my claim?
- What are the most common reasons for car accidents?
- Should I contact my insurance company immediately after a car accident?
- Should I accept a settlement offer from my insurance company?
- What should I do if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?
You can turn these questions into written articles for your website, improving your search engine rankings over time.
Before You Start Writing, Have a Content Plan
While it can be tempting to start your law content writing campaign at full speed, it’s smarter to sit back and develop a content plan.
Your content plan will establish a strategy for creating and publishing blogs and articles. Instead of writing about whatever topics come to mind, you’ll develop a process that strategically introduces new content to your website that is relevant to your audience’s needs.
To start your law content writing plan, consider your primary practice areas. For instance, you might practice criminal law but specialize in white-collar criminal defense, not homicides or petty theft. Your content should be highly relevant to your practice areas; you don’t want to drift into constitutional law topics if you’re not taking on civil rights cases.
You’ll also want to plan your publishing schedule. If you don’t have a website, or if your website is minimal with little content, consider kicking off a content sprint.
In a content sprint, you create a series of blogs and publish them in a short time — usually around two weeks. Ideally, you’ll post at least 30 articles, giving the search engines more substance to consider when reviewing your site and determining how to rank you.
Following a content sprint, you’ll settle into a more sustainable publishing schedule, such as two to five new articles weekly. As search engines see more content from your website, they’ll push you higher in the rankings, making it easier to stand out among your peers.
Of course, lawyers typically don’t have time to devote to writing blogs and articles. You’re busy enough keeping up with your caseload and overseeing your staff. That’s why most law firms choose to outsource their law firm content writing to an agency that handles it for them.
Devote Time to Keyword Research
While you might think you know the topics your clients are searching for, their inquiries will differ from what you might expect. You’re an expert in your practice area and well-acquainted with what to expect during the legal process.
However, your clients don’t have the same level of expertise you do, and they’ll want answers to basic questions you might not have even considered.
Keyword research can help you uncover the topics most relevant to your client’s needs. To begin, make a list of issues that concern your legal practice area. Then, identify several common terms that relate to each topic.
For example, imagine that you’re writing about the penalties for assault and battery in Massachusetts. Search terms that relate to the topic might include:
- Misdemeanor assault and battery Massachusetts
- Statute of limitations assault and battery Massachusetts
- Definition of aggravated assault and battery Massachusetts
- Assault and battery Massachusetts with a deadly weapon
If finding keywords related to the topic proves difficult, try using a keyword research tool like Keywords Explorer from Ahrefs or Google Ads Keyword Planner. Both tools are free and can provide you with insights that help you develop a content plan and choose the keywords that will most likely bring traffic to your website.
Consider Using an SEO Writing Optimization Tool
Several high-quality SEO writing optimization tools on the market can help you tailor your legal content to the topic you’re writing about.
Platforms like Surfer and Clearscope list keywords and relevant terms to include in each article you create. These tools offer suggestions to optimize your content for SEO, like the optimal length of an article or the number of images to include. Both tools grade your content as you create it, and once it achieves a high grade, it’s ready to publish.
Keep in mind that both programs come at a cost. If you don’t have much time to devote to writing blogs and articles, your money may be better spent by partnering with a lawyer content writer agency.
Don’t Forget to Optimize Each Page’s Metadata
Aside from the written content you create, you’ll also need to hone each page’s metadata and other technical aspects.
Most website creation platforms, including WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix, include support for the technical elements of your posts. Technical SEO best practices help search engines understand the content of your page, which is essential when they determine where and how to rank it.
Metadata includes a meta title and meta description, which you can create. A meta title is a secondary heading for a blog post. For instance, if your article is titled “What Is the Statute of Limitations on Contract Debt in Connecticut?” you might use a meta title of “Understanding the Statute of Limitations on Connecticut Contract Debt.”
A meta description is a short summary of what readers will find when they click on your article. Meta descriptions should be between 140 and 165 characters. If your meta description exceeds the character length, search engines may have difficulty displaying it.
If you include pictures in your post, you can provide descriptions of the images and how they relate to your article. For instance, you might label a photo with “statute of limitations in Connecticut.” A photo description that relates to your blog’s content provides more context about your blog, which is helpful to search engines.
Ideally, your law content writing plan will include categories under which each of your articles will fall. You should include tags for each blog to make it easy for visitors to search your site for similar articles that fall into the same categories.
Have a Plan for Internal and External Links
All of your articles should include a combination of internal and external links. Internal links connect readers to other articles and landing pages on your website, encouraging them to stay on your site and take further action with your law firm, like scheduling a consultation.
A solid internal linking strategy connects all your pages cohesively, like a fishing net. Internal linking also makes it easy for search engines to understand your website and crawl it efficiently.
External links provide additional resources for readers to learn more about a topic. For instance, if you create an article discussing your state’s laws on workers’ compensation, linking it to the existing law might be helpful. Such a link can improve your website’s authority since you’re citing legal sources, not just writing from your own knowledge.
Remember to avoid external links that direct people to your competitors or to sources that you’re unfamiliar with. Stick with high-authority sources, like websites ending in .edu or .gov, or established news sources like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Improve Your Website’s Off-Page SEO with a Google Business Profile
Aside from creating relevant content, you’ll also want to improve your website’s off-page SEO by creating profiles in reputable directories. One that’s especially important is your Google Business Profile.
A Google Business Profile is free to create and helps Google users locate your law firm when they need your services. In your profile, you’ll list basic information about your business, like your practice areas, opening hours, and contact information. You can also include a helpful Q&A section to address your clients’ typical inquiries.
You’ll connect your Google Business Profile to your website. Anytime someone is searching for legal services in your area, your profile will appear. This visibility allows you to attract more clients.
Once you set up a Google Business Profile, clients can leave reviews for your law firm. You should encourage your clients to leave reviews, as positive word of mouth is a significant deciding factor in choosing a law firm. Google will also consider your law firm’s reviews when determining how to rank your content and your firm in local searches.
Establish Backlinks to Your Website through Directories
Legal directories can provide you with potential leads and quick backlinks to your website. Credible directories like Martindale-Hubbell, FindLaw, HG.org, Super Lawyers, and Justia provide free lawyer listings you can sign up for.
Including your law firm (and yourself) in a legal directory provides another way for potential clients to locate you. It also adds further credibility to your law site, as search engines consider backlinks from other websites when determining your domain’s authority and your site ranking.
Over time, you’ll naturally generate more backlinks to your content without seeking them out. However, listing your law firm in directories will significantly boost your website in its early days.
Benefits of a Lawyer Content Writing SEO Strategy
Implementing a solid SEO strategy takes time but is well worth the effort. Here are a few of the benefits you’ll see.
Establish Your Law Firm as an Authority in Your Practice Area
One of the primary purposes of an SEO strategy is establishing credibility in your legal practice area. You likely have more than a few competitors in your city. If your website outranks them and is more informative, people will see you as the top dog in your field.
Aside from publishing lots of content, you’ll also want to promote it. For instance, you might create a LinkedIn account to share recent articles from your website and current news about your practice area.
LinkedIn is a more professional version of other social media platforms, like Facebook and TikTok. People who follow your LinkedIn account may share your posts with their own followers, helping you expand your reach and establish yourself as a thought leader.
Improve Your Online Visibility
Online visibility is extremely important to a law firm. Without a website and an established online presence, there are few ways that potential clients can find you. You’ll also have difficulty proving your credibility to people unfamiliar with your firm — even if you’re a top lawyer in your field.
Think of your website as your most valuable advertising resource.
In the past, law firms relied on the Yellow Pages, TV commercials, and print advertisements to attract clients. While those sources still exist, most clients turn to search engines to find a law firm that provides the services they need. That’s where a company that specializes in blog writing for lawyers can help you.
Generate More Leads and Clients
With an SEO-focused website, you’ll see far more leads and clients than you would without it. As you provide search engines with more information about your firm and services, you’ll see the rewards in the form of higher rankings.
Higher rankings lead to more organic traffic on your website, which you can sustain over time as long as you continue to follow a thorough SEO strategy.
A Legal Content SEO Strategy Pays Off
Unlike other advertising methods like paid media and TV ads, your SEO strategy will continue to deliver results long after you make your initial posts. Internet users can access your legal content until you decide to take it down. Every post you make is an investment in your law firm’s future.
However, pursuing an SEO strategy isn’t for the faint at heart, especially if you try to do it yourself. Creating written content can take hours from your day — time you could spend meeting with your clients or preparing for court.
Work with a professional law content writer from Write Collective to get the most from your SEO strategy. Our team of legal content writers is ready to craft unique articles that will attract a steady stream of potential clients directly to your office door. To learn more, check out our law firm content packages.