There is little doubt that 2020 changed the world. Many jobs will never be the same and marketing has changed to better reflect our “new normal.” Online advertising and marketing is becoming more and more critical as face-to-face encounters are still limited. With that in mind, law firms can extend their reach to potential and existing clients by adhering to three important SEO content goals for 2021.
Humanize Your Content
This is perhaps the most important SEO goal as it impacts your site as a whole. Humanizing your content involves a slew of content criteria including:
- Keep your reading level to an 8th grade reading level. Your potential client should be able to quickly read your site and legalese will only slow them down. A difficult readability can also lower your SEO score.
- Include personal content about your law firm in addition to your awards and accolades. Though you are clearly a legal professional, there’s no reason not to put a bit of personality behind your law firm. Announce if someone had a baby. Create a holiday photo. Include a “getting to know you” blog post for each attorney. With so much distrust for the legal world, providing information for your clients to relate to you can help win them over.
- Add images, infographics and bulleted lists. All of these help break up wordy text blocks that can deter a potential client. When done properly, these items can also help your page increase its rankings.
- Remember you are writing to potential clients — not other attorneys. Don’t assume clients know the jargon you are using or baseline criteria for their case. You won’t lose a client by being informative if it helps them understand their case. Thus, a bit more explanatory content is probably not a bad thing.
It’s important to remember that lawyers are often consulted in a time of stress and sadness: Accidents, arrests, divorce, illnesses, etc. When the content on your site isn’t relatable or understandable, it’s not likely to appeal to a person with heightened emotions.
This criteria may not seem to be directly connected to SEO goals, but we assure you it is. When people visit your site but choose not to contact you, Google can detect that. If your potential client quickly leaves a page on your site, search engines know that, too. These are connected to the SEO concepts of conversions and bounce rate. By creating appealing content, your potential clients may be more inclined to hire you and Google will take into consideration the success of your site.
Include More FAQs and Long-Tail Search Content
Though it is later than its initial planned release, Google is planning to create a new Google algorithm update for passage-indexing in 2021. Passage-indexing, or passage-ranking as many SEO experts call it, will examine individual sections of content when determining page ranking.
What does this mean for law firm content? For one, your content needs to be more streamlined and topical. Thus, each individual passage needs to be directly connected to your keyword phrase and the page topic. Generic content for the sake of content just won’t cut it anymore.
The easiest way to tackle this new ranking criteria is to include more frequently asked questions on your core content pages. A great way to generate the questions is to rely on the “People Also Ask” Section of Google (PAA).
When you search for a common phrase on Google, it’s not unusual to see a PAA box. These are questions potential clients want answered, so it’s only natural to add these to your site.
Strive for Content Hubs as Opposed to Single Pages
For years, SEO marketers followed 2 key rules of thumb for law firm content: 500 words as a content minimum and a goal of 2,000 words for the most competitive phrases (i.e. personal injury, car accidents, divorce, etc.)
Now, however, one page is simply not enough. High search volume phrases now require content hubs that are internally linked to one another. For example, have a main car accident page and then pages devoted to individual accidents such as DUI, distracted driving, rideshare accidents, etc. Make sure these pages are all interconnected with internal links containing helpful and relevant anchor text.
Keyword research will guide the content you add to these hubs as you need to create a page of content for each phrase you are targeting. Also be sure to have a page for each type of lawsuit you are pursuing. For example, a personal injury overview page isn’t enough to attract a large number of traumatic brain injury pages. Thus, you’d need to create a separate, unique page.
Lawyers may have trouble thinking of topics for these hubs that are not attached to a keyword, but it’s not that complex. Simply think of the issues your clients face. A client facing divorce will likely ask about alimony and child custody. Include those topics as subpages. A client looking to create an estate plan may ask about individual trust options. Create subpages for each.
Remember: The Main Goal is to Connect
Your website is like a window to your law firm. Present your personality and services within your SEO content to not only to increase your rankings but also appeal to potential clients. All it takes is a well written page of content to convince a client to call or submit a contact form, so don’t underestimate the value of your SEO content in 2021.