Content marketing for law firms is a vital tactic for any legal practice looking for a highly-efficient, cost-effective way to attract and retain clients.
There’s no doubt that content marketing works. However, any law firm’s content marketing success depends largely on following some best practices. This guide reviews these and offers other tips for executing legal content marketing campaigns that get results.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing for law firms involves strategically offering relevant content to targeted audiences with the goal of generating interest in your law firm or legal practice. There are many different types of content that can be used in content marketing for attorneys. These include:
- Blog posts
- Landing pages
- Press releases
- Legal service pages
Content marketing for law firms prioritizes value and relevance over direct promotion or sales.
Why Is Content Marketing for Law Firms Important?
Increased Website Traffic
When your potential clients need legal help, the first place they'll go is a search engine. Forget the antiquated yellow pages — your clients want to find the help they need at the click of a button. Today, that means using Google or other similar search engines, and so if you want to increase your clientele, ranking higher in search results is the single best way to do it.
After a search, most people will click on a link at the top of the page. You need to make sure that's you. But how do you make this happen? That’s the part of law firm content marketing known as search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO for law firms is especially tricky because Google and other search engines may change their algorithms at any time. What works one day may not work the next. Fortunately, there are some standard practices that you can apply to help your law firm's website content rank higher.
Some tried and true tactics include writing content that is optimized for keywords, earning reviews from satisfied clients, and creating up-to-date and consistent business listings for your law firm. All of these approaches should improve your search ranking.
Increased Brand Awareness
You need to increase your brand awareness, but note that this doesn't merely mean churning out 50 blogs that say the same thing in slightly different ways. With content marketing for law firms, it’s important to prioritize quality if you want to build an online presence that communicates the authority of your law firm. This means creating content that is relevant, informative, and engaging. This content impacts your ability to earn better search rankings and gain the trust of your clients.
SEO is competitive. Google and other search engines evaluate the content you publish to determine its value compared to similar content published by other sources. As a general rule, these other sources will be competing for law firms. It’s important that you make your law firm stand out with content that is:
- Specific: You probably won’t rank for general topics. Create content that answers specific questions. For example, “How to File For Bankruptcy And Keep Your Home” is better than “Bankruptcy Law.” These topics are also more likely to meet the search intent of your target audience.
- Well-Sourced: Legal content marketing must meet high standards. Use reputable sources. Back up mention of laws or statistics with links. Share data that supports your claims. This approach helps you build credibility and authority.
- Easy to Read: Content marketing for attorneys may address complicated issues. It should still be easy to read. Write short sentences. Divide your content into logical sections. Add headings and subheadings for increased scannability. Also, proofread your content. Poor spelling and grammar have a negative impact on readability.
Apply these practices any time you create law firm website content. This approach will elevate your law firm’s brand in the eyes of your prospects.
Building trust should be a key part of legal content marketing. That means that a winning strategy when it comes to content marketing for law firms is to foster a sense of trust and familiarity. This trust is what will make prospective clients more likely to convert.
You can build trust with your law firm’s content if you:
- Focus on Your Area of Expertise and Do Your Research: It’s important that you write about things your target audience wants to know. To do that, you must engage in effective research to gain a clear understanding of the needs of your potential clients.
Then, find where those needs align with your legal expertise. If you want to cover a trending legal topic, make sure you understand it completely. You will lose trust if you create online content that is vague or inaccurate.
- Don’t Use Hard Sell Tactics: Relationship building and trust are symbiotic in content marketing for law firms. That relationship is stronger when you offer relevant content that answers the questions your target clients ask in a direct manner without spending an excessive amount of time promoting your law firm or legal services.
Try sharing testimonials, guides, eBooks, and other content as a way to demonstrate that your law firm is a source of expertise without too much promotion.
Audience-centered legal content marketing can help your law firm earn trust.
It's not enough to simply drive traffic to your web pages. Once on your site, a potential client must find a quick answer to what they're looking for. For example, if someone looks up “California car accident statute of limitations,” your content should provide the information specified, clearly and plainly. This is what builds trust and authority in the mind of your prospects.
It's important to note that conversions like this are much more likely to occur through organic search than they are through paid search. So if you plan to increase traffic naturally with lawyer SEO, you must have the answers ready to back it up.
After you've answered your prospect's question, you can use the opportunity to showcase how your law firm is uniquely qualified to meet that prospect’s needs if they are ready to hire a law firm. You can accomplish this by including information about your years of experience, certifications, or testimonials and case studies. Just make sure that this promotional information doesn’t overshadow the main purpose of the content — answering the reader's question.
If you execute these steps correctly, your name will be top of your prospect's mind when it comes time to hire a lawyer they know will get the job done.
Guide to Content Marketing for Law Firms: Some Detailed Tactics
1. Create Your Law Firm Content Marketing Funnel
When prospective clients engage with your law firm, they go through the three stages of the buying process. These are awareness, consideration, and conversion, and they align with the legal content marketing funnel.
A large portion of content marketing for law firms is built around the awareness stage. You are creating legal marketing content to create awareness for your law firm and ensure you are on the minds of potential clients.
That early stage content helps you earn trust and create a sense of authority. When clients are ready to move on to the other stages, they are likely to keep your law firm in mind.
The descriptions below work well with the visual of a law practice marketing funnel:
- Top of Funnel: "TOFU" content is intended to focus on creating awareness. For prospective clients, the buyer’s journey begins here. People consuming content at this stage may have never heard of your law firm. So in addition to educating and informing, you also need to establish your expertise.
- Middle of Funnel: "MOFU" content is more specific. Here, legal content will address more specific questions that are posed by your prospects. In this stage, you are likely to interact with potential clients directly.
Prospects at this stage are trying to determine whether your law firm can help them. Law firm content marketing in the middle of the funnel should be designed to nurture leads and mix educational and promotional information. There are fewer clients at this stage than at the top of the funnel.
- Bottom of Funnel: The smallest number of prospective clients will reach this "BOFU" stage. This content will work to convince clients that your solutions are best for them. For example, you might share explainer content on how your legal services work. Here, you are working on convincing clients to hire your law firm.
Your law firm’s content marketing strategy should include plans to engage your target audience in each of these three phases.
2. Understand Your Audience
Content marketing for lawyers should help law firms connect with clients. However, before you can create content that connects, you have to understand your target audience. The best way to do this is to develop client personas that represent people who are most likely to use your services and then write valuable content that meets their needs.
A persona is a detailed representation of a client. Your lawyer content marketing strategy may work best if you develop a persona or several personas for each practice area. Make sure to include the following information:
- Family structure
Once you have accurate and detailed personas in place, you will be able to use them to select the most relevant topics and conduct keyword research.
3. Use an Author Who Builds Trust
Search engines care about bylines. They want to give ranking priority to content that is created by real people, not bots. If the author can be verified, that’s even better. An author who has a social media presence or website is going to be viewed as more credible than one who doesn’t.
If attorneys in your firm are going to create blogs or social media posts, they should create an online presence that boosts their credibility. You can also work with guest bloggers who have established authority in your practice area.
4. Conduct Keyword Research for the Best SEO Results
Content marketing for law firms depends largely on your ability to choose the right keywords. This selection impacts how Google ranks your content and whether people will find your pages when they conduct relevant searches.
Keyword research involves identifying the words and phrases potential clients use when searching for information relevant to your law firm or legal services. You can take several steps to find the right keywords to optimize your content marketing campaigns:
Think of the services you offer, your location, and other relevant details about your practice and target audience. Then, come up with a list of detailed keyword phrases that you can use in your law firm content marketing.
Discover Relevant Keywords Online
Use keyword research tools to find keywords that people are actually using in internet searches.
Refine Your Keyword List
Once you have your list, you will want to edit it down to the phrases that will earn you better rankings and traffic. Law firms get better results when they focus on specific, long-tail keywords. Shorter, more general keywords tend to have a lot of competition, making it difficult to rank highly for these terms.
5. How to Find Topics for Your Online Blog
The next step in content marketing for law firms is identifying content topics that answer the questions and match the search intent behind the keywords you have defined. You don’t want to simply include the keywords — you want to build useful content around them.
As you think about topics and content, consider your target audience. What are their needs when they search for a specific keyword phrase or ask a question? Answer that inquiry with your content, and make sure you use language they can understand, not complex legal jargon.
For example, if someone searches for workplace injuries in PA, you could write about their rights under PA law if they get injured at work and advise them that they have the right to speak to an attorney before they sign anything.
Competitive analysis is also important in this phase of law firm content marketing. Look at your competitors' content. What are they doing a good job at covering? Where are there gaps that you can fill in with your own relevant content?
6. Create Valuable Content for Your Law Firm
Keep in mind that the goal of all this is to provide value and not just throw keywords around. You want to keep people reading and clicking. You want to give them answers and information that they need.
Videos on law
Law firms don’t use attorney videos as a part of their content marketing strategy as much as they should.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content and has many potential applications. Law firms can produce video testimonials from satisfied clients, for example. Firms can also use video to explain the services they offer, answer questions about legal processes, and profile attorneys.
Content marketing for law firms tends to center around legal blog posts. These are ideal for sharing insights and advice. Because you publish these to your law firm’s website, there is no cost or limit to how much you can write or the topics you can cover to attract potential clients.
Think of the pillar and cluster model. Pillars are large pieces of content that provide comprehensive answers to a client's question. Clusters are the little spinoff topics that you might find within that larger topic. When you create content, everything is interconnected, making links that keep visitors on your site, happily reading and clicking.
One thing to keep in mind is that longer content tends to perform better in search. So don’t hesitate to include longer, more detailed posts in your law firm content marketing.
Guest posts are another form of blogging that you can use in law firm content marketing. In this case, you will be writing blog posts or articles for other websites or publications.
To do this, you must identify sites where you believe your legal insights will be useful and then reach out to the owners of those sites. Guest blogging can help you reach more potential clients and build web links back to your law firm’s website.
Service pages on your website
Service pages can be used as part of content marketing for law firms. However, adjustments often need to be made for this to happen. Service pages that are shorter and more promotional won’t be very useful for your content marketing strategy.
Longer service pages that provide detailed information and answer questions will rank higher and attract more traffic. Think about creating service pages that function more like blog posts for law firm content marketing.
Legal podcasting is emerging as a valid form of content marketing for law firms. Prospective clients can listen to podcasts where and when it suits them. This flexibility makes podcasting a great medium for sharing information without being intrusive.
Currently, not many law firms in the United States have podcasts. This approach can be an effective content marketing strategy if you want to stand out from your competitors.
In content marketing for law firms, infographics are visual tools that are used to communicate legal information to your target audience. Infographics allow law firms to share expertise in a way the average person can understand.
Lists of useful links
People who need services from a law firm may also need to connect with other resources. For example, someone going through a divorce may need financial or housing advice.
When you provide links to professional and community services, you may not be directly promoting your firm. However, this assistance can increase trust and help you build better relationships with your prospects.
Content marketing for law firms should include long-form downloadable guides and other content. This detailed, in-depth information is especially useful for bottom-of-funnel customers.
Additionally, you can gate this content to collect lead information. This approach is a great technique for bridging law firm content marketing with email campaigns.
7. SEO Optimization
You need top-quality content for your law firm content marketing strategy. You also want to make sure that you have used all the right SEO techniques to ensure that Google and other search engines can index and rank your content for the right keywords.
While keywords are an important part of content marketing for law firms, there is much more to SEO optimization. The practice also includes using meta titles and descriptions, ensuring correct internal linking, properly forming URLs, and the use of alt-texts.
Optimization involves using keywords in the most effective way to get the best results from search engines. Some tools, including SpyFu and Surfer SEO, can help you optimize keywords when creating content.
Meta data are descriptions you use in web content to explain to Google what the content is about. Inserting a good meta title can help you noticeably boost your search rankings. Meta descriptions tell people why a piece of content might be interesting for them.
Your URL also impacts SEO. It should be short and contain relevant keywords. Long and cryptic URLs tend not to rank very high.
Alt texts are captions that you use to describe the images in your content. Google can’t see your visuals, so you have to tell the search engine crawlers what they are. Also, if an image doesn’t load, the user will see the alt text instead. Alt texts increase accessibility by providing image descriptions to the visually impaired.
Formatting involves the length and overall layout of your content. Good formatting makes content easier to read, especially for people who skim for the information they need. A well-formatted page will earn more clicks, increased conversions, and fewer bounces. All of these things can increase SEO.
The content on your website should be interconnected. This interconnectivity is what internal links or cross-links help you achieve as part of your law firm content marketing. For example, you can link to a service page from a blog post. If you do — that's a crosslink.
Backlinks are links to your pages from other websites. These attract more people to your website and increase your authority. Google uses backlinks as a ranking indicator.
Content marketing for lawyers relies on SEO tactics to ensure that target audiences can find the content they are searching for.
8. Promote and Monitor Your Content
Once you have created quality content and optimized it for SEO, you will need to help ensure it reaches an even wider audience. You can do this by promoting your content on multiple channels and monitoring how it performs. The steps detailed below will help you accomplish this goal.
Content marketing for attorneys also includes promoting the content you create. Fortunately, you have more options than ever before. You can use your social media presence to share content for free or use paid search ads and promoted posts on social media to reach an even wider audience.
Content promotion is a great way to get visitors to view your blog posts, service pages, and other website content. Keep in mind that search engines prefer to see traffic to all of your pages, not just your home page.
- Social Media
With so many people being active on social media and so many platforms available for sharing content, it’s understandable that content marketing for lawyers now relies very heavily on law firm social media profiles.
There are platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok that are ideal for getting information to target audiences. Attorney LinkedIn profile is a great place for sharing educational content and for building authority as a thought leader.
Content marketing for lawyers can be used as a tool to collect email addresses for drip campaigns. You can also use email to distribute newsletters with links to blog posts and other content. This approach will increase the number of people who are consuming your content.
- Internet Forums
There are many online forums that focus on legal topics. You can create a presence on these as a legal expert to increase your authority.
In some cases, you may be able to share links to your content if it is relevant. However, you want to follow forum rules to avoid being accused of spamming. If you are able to share your content on internet forums, this is a great way to earn backlinks to your website.
If you are going to invest time and money in content marketing for lawyers, it’s important to have ways to ensure that your efforts are working. To do that, you can use tools like Google Analytics to track performance.
When you use Google Analytics, you will receive real-time data that you can use to gain insight into how your content is performing. For example, you can see which blog posts are getting the most traffic and engagement and which aren’t. Analytics data shows time spent on your page, the links that are being clicked, traffic source, and more.
If your content isn’t performing well, you may not need to discard it. Your content marketing for attorneys will get better results if you have a plan in place to upgrade that content so that it is more up-to-date and has more value. This work is particularly important with content that uses dates such as “X Most Important Changes to Employment Law in 2021”.
As you collect analytics data, you may notice that certain topics or content formats get the most engagement. When you do, lean into those. Produce more of that content to continue growing your audience. Likewise, if a particular type of content is ignored, you should either optimize it or abandon it.
Your content marketing for lawyers strategy should include regular content reviews. It’s important to check for and fix dead links and other issues that could be detrimental to the user experience.
9. Repurposing Content
Repurposing content doesn’t just fix performance and relevancy issues. You can also update content to give it a new look and attract new readers. This work also saves you time and money on content creation costs.
You should already be making sure your content remains relevant. But you can also repurpose older content, turning it into something new and fresh. This approach is a great way to use what you already have, save money, and keep visitors happy.
If you have a strong blog post, consider turning it into a script for a video post. You can also share the audio alone for people who prefer consuming content that way. Do you have a graphic designer on hand? Use data from blog posts to create a visually compelling infographic.
Grab old articles and blog posts and convert them into informative and promotional emails.
Expand your reach by sharing your content with other publications. Law blogs may allow you to post your content and place a promotional link back to your law firm’s website. This work builds authority and improves your site's search ranking.
Share snippets from your blog posts as social media posts. Look for compelling facts or graphics.
10. Keep Your Content Up-to-date
Content that is highly relevant today may not be as valuable in the future. Increase the success of your content marketing for attorneys by updating your content.
In the case of legal content, laws may change. Legal journals you source may go out of print or restructure their pages. Even your internal sources may change. These things can lead to broken or outdated links. When people recognize outdated content, they may dismiss an entire piece. That’s the last thing you want.
Updating and optimizing
While you have to review content manually for changes in law and factual issues, there are tools that you can use to check for broken links. Set up a content review schedule to stay on top of this issue. Keep in mind that a working link can still send your readers to the wrong page.
Don’t stop at wrong or outdated content, either. You can improve old content by finding more up-to-date data and linking newer sources. For example, a case study from a trial you handled this year may be more relevant than one that is four years old.
Once you have updated content, republish it and share it with your followers. Google will reindex newly published web pages. You can also promote updated posts on social media.
11. Convert Your Visitors to Clients
Your primary content marketing goal is to turn visitors into clients. You are doing this work to gain additional clients, create more brand recognition, and generate more revenue. Conversion is the culmination of the web marketing process.
There are a few important components to achieving this goal.
Calls to Action
Calls to action are links that you ask visitors to click to complete some desired action. These actions can include contacting you for information, downloading content, or signing up for an email list. When people answer your call to action, Google also notes that your site is receiving engagement.
People will visit your law firm landing pages when they click on your ads. These pages will usually have additional information about a service or offer. Landing pages will have a call to action to share contact information or schedule a consultation.
You can make additional content available in exchange for answering a call to action. This setup can help qualify leads and allow you to contact prospects. Just make sure that the content you offer is valuable enough. Otherwise, potential clients may feel as though they gave up personal information for nothing.
12. Writing Tips to Take Your Law Firm Content Marketing to a New Level
When you write content for potential clients, focus on clarity and readability. It’s better to make points that people can understand than to be witty or clever. Your goal is to have people engage with your content, share it with others, and answer your call to action.
Take estate planning, for example. Instead of writing a lengthy blog about inheritance law, remember that more people will probably appreciate a simple how-to post that walks them through writing a will or avoiding probate issues.
It also helps to stick to the point. Be concise, but include all relevant information. Avoid too many dates that could make your posts seem old in the near future.
Follow these points to make your content easier for people to skim and read:
- Break content into logical sections with subheadings
- Use numbered and bulleted lists
- Write short sentences
- Avoid legal jargon
- Add images to make the content interesting
- Use links to prove your points
Finally, use Grammarly or another tool to make sure your content doesn’t have spelling and grammar mistakes.
Content Marketing for Law Firms: Best Examples
Sometimes, the best way to improve your content marketing efforts is to see other legal industry examples of great content strategy and execution. We’ve identified a few samples to showcase below:
This example is a health and social care attorney website. Its content marketing efforts stand out because the firm has focused largely on podcasting. By doing this, it can reach audience members who are interested in consuming audio content. The firm has also created a niche because few other law firms use podcasting in content marketing.
Engagement is an important part of legal content marketing. Stowe Family Law builds better relationships with clients and prospects by being responsive. Firm members regularly engage with online reviews and recommendations.
Irwin Mitchell is a personal and business solicitor. People who find his content online can view his many webinars covering a range of legal information. He also shares up-to-date news and insights. These posts are linked on his home page for maximum visibility.
Social media allows Hodge, Jones, & Allen to share content with a wide audience and engage in valuable conversations. Additionally, by creating a social media presence, the firm adds a human element to its brand. This site is a great example of how powerful social media is in content marketing.
Final Thoughts on Content Marketing
Content marketing takes a significant amount of effort. You have to invest considerable resources in getting started. Then, you must sustain efforts by regularly producing and promoting new content.
Fortunately, these efforts pay off nicely. Content marketing provides a fabulous return on investment when it comes to driving traffic, creating engagement, nurturing legal leads, and boosting revenue.
Keep in mind that quality is the largest determining factor for content marketing success. Many law firms find that they get better results at a faster pace if they work with law firm digital marketing experts like Grow Law Firm.