Some of the best legal blogs out there are written by attorneys who are passionate about their profession. But often times, these same lawyers have no idea how to go about making these blog posts rank high on search engines like Google – a key factor in attracting new clients and business.
The good news is, if you are such an attorney, there are some simple things you can do to boost your blog with law firm SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Write Killer Headlines
- Use Important Keyword Phrases (But Don’t Stuff)
- Write About the Niche Topics
- Write Frequently – At Least Once a Week
- Tag and Categorize Your Blogs
- Coordinate with Social Media
- Link to Old or Related Articles
Write Killer Headlines
Headlines are key to achieving top rankings. Search engines like Google use your headlines to figure out what your blog posts are about and assign them value. So make sure your headlines are clear and descriptive.
If you are writing about a recent ruling that affects New Jersey premise liability cases, the headline should say just that (“Ruling Changes Game for New Jersey Premise Liability Attorneys”), not something vague like “Changes Ahead” or “In the News.” You can even be a little provocative, like this blog post of ours on law firm SEO: Is SEO Snake Oil?
Not only will clear headlines boost your SEO, they will boost your readership. If your headline is vague or confusing, people simply won’t bother to read it.
Use Important Law Firm SEO Keyword Phrases (But Don’t Stuff)
Lawyer keyword phrases are the words that people type into search engines when they are looking for a law firm. They usually involve a city/state/region, plus a practice area, plus the term attorney(s)/lawyer(s)/law firm. An example would be “Washington D.C. patent attorney” or “Seattle divorce lawyer.”
The first step is to figure out what your keyword phrases should be. (If you have a team that handles attorney SEO, like PaperStreet, this step can involve a lot of important strategy.) Once you have made a list, look to see if you are using any of these terms in your blog posts naturally. If so, great! If not, you are sabotaging your own efforts.
PaperStreet recommends that you have two keyword matches: once in the title tag and once in the body of the content. Our rule applies for an average-length post of about 350 words; shorter posts will naturally have less.
This also assumes that you can use your keyword phrases somewhat gracefully, without making the copy sound like spam or gobbledygook. Legal bloggers who stuff their copy with too many keywords turn off readers and do not get any better rankings than writers who use keywords simply when they make sense. (Note: If your posts never lend themselves naturally to your keywords, then you are probably writing about the wrong topics!)
Write About the Niche Topics
So you are a newly minted Boston personal injury attorney, and you want to rank high for this same phrase. Get in line. Sometimes, when you live in a highly competitive region, or you practice in a highly competitive practice area, it just plain difficult to rank well (let alone quickly) for the most sought after terms.
The solution? Go after niche phrases. If you are the lawyer that everyone goes to see about dog bites (or you want to be the lawyer they go to see), consider a niche blog, or at least a series of niche posts on this topic. You’ll see easier, faster results.
Write Frequently – At Least Once a Week
Lots of attorneys have great intentions when they start blogging. Then reality hits (cases, deadlines, business issues, personal problems) and the blog moves to the backburner. Six months later, it is a sad, stale thing.
There are so many other legal bloggers out there now, if you want to get noticed, you have to be consistent and write at least once a week. Form a plan about how you will make the time to do this before you start blogging. Set up a writing schedule and stick to your plan. You can even write all your articles for the month at once, and post at a later date. Further, envision the typical problems that will pop up – because they will — and decide ahead of time how you will head them off.
This may involve getting special clearance from your boss to prioritize your writing — or, if you are the boss, delegating less important tasks, so you have the time to write.
Tag and Categorize Your Blogs
Most blog publication tools, like WordPress, allow you to categorize your blogs by subject matter, often practice area, and tag with important phrases. Don’t forget to do this.
You can set up categories when you create your blog and add new categories as needed. Categories should be the topics that your blog posts are about. So if you are a criminal lawyer, you could have the topics such as: DUI, Misdemeanors, Arrests, Felonies, and so forth. Categories appear on every page. They help organize your blog and help with SEO.
Moreover, you can tag each post. Tags typically are keyword phrases associated with your blog post. They are a comma-separated list, usually found at the end of the post that says something like “Tags” or “Found in.” The tags then list all the possible keyword phrases associated with your article such as “DUI, drunk driving, arrest, top tips, lawyer, Dallas.” Users can also search your articles by tags using a “Tag Cloud” that can be found on some blogs.
Creating tags and categories for your blog is easy. It typically takes just a minute to properly organize your blog.
Coordinate with Social Media
Some blogs have a huge following. But most of us aren’t so lucky.
That’s why, once you post your amazing blog post, you need to get the word to your other social media followers on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. If you aren’t yet on these social media, set up your accounts and get going. Today. (Learn more about law firm social media.)
To attract new followers, you can also offer to guest blog on a colleague’s website.
Link to Old or Related Articles
If your blog post is related to past articles you have posted before, make sure to link to these resources in the post. Not only is this helpful to readers looking for more detailed information, but it shows the search engines that you are an in-depth authority on the topic.
For example, because this is a post on law firm blogging, I would be remiss in closing if I didn’t also mention other great posts we’ve written, including:
- 5 Post Ideas for Lawyer Blogs
- Using Google Analytics to Analyze Your Law Firm Website Content
- Legal Blog Post Writing: How Much Can I Copy?
- How to Prevent Your Content From Being Copied
These are just basic tips for lawyer blogs. If you have any other tips for SEOing your blog, feel free to post in the comments section.