Monday, September 12, 2011

What All Law Firm Blog Posts Should Include

Once a law firm becomes aware of the importance of having a legal blog, many attorneys ask the obvious next question: how do I create worthwhile legal blog posts?  Of course, the mere existence of blog is insufficient if the manner by which it is updated is insufficient.  Understanding how to write the ideal law blog post is as important as realizing the necessity of having a blog at all.  Below is a brief discussion of the three most important aspects of the legal blog writing process:

1. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords.  The name of the game of search engine optimization through blogging is the basic understanding of keywords.  This may be deceiving to the uninitiated, because keywords are actually almost always a series of words or phrases.  These are the phrases that potential client will type into a search engine when seeking legal advice, i.e. “Texas accident lawyer” or “New York medical malpractice attorney.” 

To draw those clients to you, you must: (1) Have an awareness of what those keywords are, and (2) Use your blog to enhance your firm’s online profile with regard to those keywords.   This is done by using those keywords within the body of each post and then linking that keyword to designated landing spots on your firm’s main website.  The more links used, the more search engine benefit.  However, it is not as simple as piling in as many keywords as possible.  Search engine crawlers are much too smart to be caught by beginners trying to game the system.  Instead, keywords must be used at appropriate levels, in the correct location within the post, and in a natural way that avoids being flagged as “spammy.”  We will have more on the art of keyword usage in later posts.

2. Frequency.  To be effective blog posts must be frequent and consistent.  There is no magic number of posts that need to be added each week.  However, at the very least, there should be at least one post every week.  Three posts a week is a solid middle ground, and three is a virtual necessity for firms in more competitive practice areas/locations (i.e. all personal injury attorneys).  The firms who are seen at the top of the rankings in the most competitive search terms usually add new content of some form at least five and often seven days every week.  Yes, that means 365 days a year.  This is not always necessary, of course, but it can and does happen.

3. Good Content. Through it all you should never forget that the actual words that you are writing must make sense, flow naturally, and provide some useful information to the people who are reading it.  Blog posts cannot be about spam.  That is why it is helpful to also have other lawyers or those with legal training produce the content.  Each post does not need to be a treatise on some aspect of the law, but at the very least it should reflect an awareness of the legal system as it relates to a particular story.

If you know nothing else about how to write a legal blog post, knowing these three concepts will place you ahead of 97% of most other attorneys.  Of course, legal blog writing is an ancillary task that often gets pushed to the side while attorneys do actual work representing clients.  Outsourcing this task is not only feasible but cost-effective for many.  Some legal blog ghostwriting services are better than others, so be sure to compare cost and expertise when deciding who to hire.  At the least, remember the value of quality content.  It is important to chose legal blog writers who have actual legal knowledge combined with expert awareness of the SEO strategies used in legal blogs. 

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