Good content wins new clients. You need to become a thought leader in your practice niche to earn new clients online. One way that lawyers can establish themselves as an authority on the web is through a “Law Hub,” a group of web content pages that exhaustively covers a specific topic or practice area.
Here are the three steps to create a Law Hub, a strategy, plan and platform for showcasing your knowledge:
- Content Strategy
- Publishing Plan
Your strategy is simple: create the best resource online for your practice area. We have been stating this principle for over 10 years now. The best way to earn and retain clients online is to produce content that is worthwhile to read. Articles that answer questions, educate and solve readers’ problems are the articles that are most widely read and shared. Firms that follow this strategy win clients by giving away their knowledge and setting themselves out as a thought leader. Their content is shared online and ranks high in search.
Now, how to achieve your goal is a bit harder. It takes time to generate content. Some worthwhile ideas include “how to” articles, studies, lists, and tools. We also love interactive tools online. This type of content takes time to create, but it can set you apart in a crowded market.
Long-form content is currently ranking high in the search engines. These pages are typically over 2,000 words (about five Microsoft Word pages). If they are done right, they become the de facto guide for a topic area and rank high in search.
Yes, law hubs require thought and effort. You have to have a plan. But once the plan is in place, you will reap the rewards of consistent inquiries.
Your plan should be to educate and inform users. The goal is to become the industry leader. First outline your key practice areas. Go into minute detail, no matter how small. You never know when someone is searching for some obscure tool or topic; this strategy can help you become the single resource online for that topic. Research your competitors to see what topics they are covering. Cover those topics better and identify areas that have not been covered.
This part is easy. WordPress is a great content platform but Drupal, Total Control, Wix/Squarespace/Weebly and other platforms will work too. So long as the system is secure, easy-to-use, and updated by your web team, then you can use that platform.
You also want to present a strong image for the firm. Hiring a designer to assist in design, or using a good template that sets you apart can help your content get noticed and make an impact.
The design does not have to be complicated. Often less is more with design. Include your logo, menu, headline, text, and a good call to action on each page. Sometimes you don’t even need photos, but they can help promote the sharing of articles online and setting the right tone when the user hits the page.
Time and Cost
A Law Hub does not have to be expensive or time consuming. You can build your content over time. You can even create it yourself if you are so inclined.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
You can create a law hub yourself. You just need a good website platform, a well-planned site structure (sitemap), and the willingness to write. I recommend starting with a minimum number of pages, such as 25, and writing weekly on that topic.
…Or Hire Someone
You can always hire writer and designers if you are short on time and ideas. A website can run anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 depending on the amount of design and technology needed. Some factors to consider are:
- Templates vs. custom design
- What content platform you need
- What tools/extra features you need
- Custom photography vs. stock photography
Content is key and I recommend starting with a minimum of 100 pages. This amount of content will make a sizeable site and can drown out a competitor in a set market. 100 pages can also help you become the resource in an area with a highly focused site on a specific topic. If you are writing the content, then budget about 200 hours of work (2 hours a page). If you want to hire a quality writer, then budget anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 for writing 100 pages (depending on writer quality and background).
The good news is you can spread content creation out over time. Although we recommend starting with 100 pages, if you can only start with 25 or 50, then do that. Add weekly content until you hit your target mark.
Often a single case or client will earn you back the marketing budget expended for your law hub. Think of law hubs as an investment in your career.