In legal digital marketing, content is king: a long-lasting effect with great ROI
In our 29 years of digital marketing experience for professional services, we’ve learned that providing website visitors with accurate and comprehensive information on search terms they enter into Google et al. results in the best return on investment (ROI) in marketing. Hands down.
Great content creation with SEO (search engine optimization) applied puts a law firm at the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs), right under the advertised listings shown above. This position earned with content marketing is called an organic search result, as opposed to paid search results gained through buying a Google Ad, a service we also provide.
Two stats about click rates (the percentage of viewers shown the listing who click on it) tell it all:
- A law firm’s page in the #1 organic search spot has a click rate of 39.8%.
- An attorney ad showing in the #1 spot for the same search has a click rate of 2.1%.
Organic search results are essentially free; paid search results in the legal field are expensive. Organic results last a long time; paid results are only up as long as a law firm buys the ad. And organic position #1 gets a boatload more clicks than ad position #1.
What is content marketing for law firms?
Law firm content marketing is a marketing strategy to attract a specific, defined audience through the use and distribution of valuable content (relevant website and blog content overall but also videos, infographics, white papers, etc.). The aim is to attract a clearly defined audience and encourage them to take action (such as filling out a contact form or becoming a client).
“Valuable” and “relevant” are key to content marketing, which is based on the understanding that people who type in a search term know what they need and are actively looking for it online. They are qualified leads.
That’s a shift away from billboards and TV commercials everyone sees. Everyone is not a qualified potential client: people searching for legal information most likely are.
Google, the big dog of search engines with 86%-96% of the search market, has its own criteria for such content: E-E-A-T – expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. E-E-A-T drives Google’s search quality evaluations, meaning a legal website’s content better have it or the firm is wasting time and money on its website.
Vanguard has been producing E-E-A-T quality content long before Google minted the term. The more detailed and consequential the search term, the more E-E-A-T comes into play. When searching for “employment law attorney near me,” only those firms with content that meets the E-E-A-T requirement will appear high up in the SERP results.
How every law firm benefits from content marketing
We believe lawyer marketing dollars are best spent on digital marketing strategies. And content marketing is the most effective and efficient form of digital marketing. This is particularly so in the law, which is an information driven field.
Attorneys possess key information and skills that are vital to people’s happiness, livelihood, and security. Potential legal clients are hungry for that information – and searching for it before selecting an attorney. By creating a strategy for content marketing for law firms that utilizes blogs, guides, and other content with key information, marketers can position a law firm as a trusted resource and, ultimately, shorten the sales cycle to retain happy clients.
That is the essence of content marketing for lawyers.
A website for a law firm should be like a mini Google
What content to include on a website for a law firm depends on the firm’s areas of specialization or the areas the firm wants to promote. For instance, a divorce law firm will want to have info that addresses the questions divorce clients have.
- How much is my divorce going to cost?
- How does the divorce process work?
- What are temporary orders in a divorce?
- What determines if I get child custody?
People ready to divorce their spouse will often search online for those answers to get an idea of what’s in store for them.
The legal firm that has a website full of such information (showing expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness) will rank high up in that divorce questioner’s search results. Searchers who click on a legal website and get good information they were looking for have a strong appreciation for that law firm right off the bat.
They are already moving into that law firm’s sales funnel, with a great chance of becoming a client. What got them there was content marketing. The firm that provides them free information they trust is well on the way to earning their trust as a client.
Nailing content & marketing in content marketing for law firms
These two parts of content marketing for law firms have to be in sync from the start. Vanguard has more than two decades experience writing website and social media content that puts clients at the top of search engine results.
Our work elevates each website’s Page1 Google rankings typically from a handful to the hundreds. We are a writing company dressed in an internet suit, devoted to producing only the highest quality and most accurate online information for law firms.
Our team of seasoned writers is overseen by an editor-in-chief and a JD-educated CEO who collectively possess more than 60 years of experience writing and editing for print, broadcast, and digital media. Our process is rigorous with a series of research, writing and editing steps – every written piece gets at least three sets of reviewing eyeballs. This is a good place to say:
Vanguard does not use content created by artificial intelligence (AI), which cannot be trusted for accuracy. We exclusively use human writers and editors to create the content. As AI improves, we will consider using it as a tool to assist – not replace – our human team.
At every step in our content creation process, we address the marketing part, which is essentially getting the content in front of readers looking for it. That means anticipating Google’s evaluation of the content we create.
Vanguard’s secret sauce for content creation
We begin content marketing by discussing with our legal clients their needs and objectives in digital marketing. We identify and agree on the topics to cover and the manner in which to most effectively address them.
This could be a long list, requiring prioritization of topic production. Our client services manager works with the client on a schedule for delivery, review, and website posting. Each page goes through a detailed process we never vary from, including a lawyer from the client firm conducting a final review and signing off on the copy before publication.
Ingredients for engaging, sharable content
- Keep it simple: Copy needs to be geared so it is accessible to a general lay reader.
- Specific, yet concise: Use short sentences and short paragraphs when possible. Avoid legalese.
- Scannable: Pages should not appear dense with copy. Use bullet lists, and ensure there is ample white space.
- Organized for humans and search engines: Headings and subheadings are crucial for reader engagement and for SEO.
- Keep to your brand: The tone, imagery and type of fonts used on pages is an important factor.
- Make it easy to take action: Have clear paths for readers to follow to related information if they aren’t ready to become clients, and to take action if they are.
- Sharing content: Once the excellent content is created, we can share it via e-newsletters and linked social media posts, which can be boosted (a paid service for more exposure).
Blending in SEO for lawyers and Google web crawlers
This is how we coax search engines to feature a law firm’s authoritative content. Understanding keyword use is the first building block in content marketing. Keyword understanding is vital to content marketing.
Human visitors look for keywords related to their search on the website. Google web crawlers do as well, and note it in their evaluation of the webpage – and how much to reward it or penalize it for good SEO practices.
Keeping website content fresh
Once the content is live on a lawyer website, our work is not over. We use website analytical tools to regularly assess how a page is performing. We make adjustments to the content as needed and to the way it is presented to web crawlers ranking page value.
Refreshing content is an effective way to increase a page’s performance. This can include updates with new information and page rewriting. Web crawlers note when a page has been updated and refreshed, and they like it.
Keeping Vanguard in mind for content marketing for law firms
Essentially, Vanguard’s content marketing team thinks like a reader who doesn’t know much about a legal topic like divorce costs, while also thinking like a Google web crawler. We do many little things to make it easier for both of them to understand the content and judge it to be valuable.
That’s what’s needed to succeed in content marketing for law firms. That’s what we do, and we can do it for your firm. See that “Let’s talk strategy” button below?