Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Legal Content Writing & Google's Panda 4.0 Update

Anyone who follows SEO news on a daily basis was likely swamped with one topic over the last week-- Panda 4.0.

The Update
On May 20th, Google's Matt Cutts revealed that the latest algorithm changes targeting spammy content was rolled out--likely affecting search rankings for a variety of sites. As a Search Engine Watch story explained, "The Panda algorithm, which was designed to help boost great quality content sites while pushing down thin or low-quality content sites in the search results, has always targeted scraper sites and low-quality content sites in order to provide searchers with the best search results possible."

The Panda updates first started over three years ago and were mainly targeting "content farms." These "farms" including low-quality nonsense pages that provided readers with little information but included a high percentage of keywords. These sites are on the way out. Instead, Google is pushing natural, useful copy. Google wants to reward websites that add text to their website and blogs that is well written, well organized, and answers actual questions or provides genuinely useful information.

The Lesson for Law Firm Web Copy
The ultimate take-away from this update (like all others) is simple: high quality content is critically important.

It is best to view these updates as akin to changes in the enforcement of criminal laws. If you follow the law, then there is no reason to worry about an increase in enforcement efforts. If the speed limit is 70, then go the speed limit. If you do, there is no reason to fear a dragnet to catch all speeders.

The same is true for best practices in legal SEO. Create high-quality original legal content that is actually useful to readers. If you do, then not only won't you worry about these Google actions--you will welcome them. If you have high quality legal content, Panda 4.0 is a net-positive, resulting in  an increase in rankings.

Whether you are an SEO company working with law firms or managing you own firm's online presence, the time to invest in legal content is now.

 Photo Credit: Chi King via Compfight cc

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Legal SEO Professionals - Keep Control of Content

SEO professionals and legal marketing companies, we feel your pain.

No two law firm clients are the same. Every attorney has their own idea of how their site should look and what it should say. Some clients prefer a hands-off approach, allowing you and your team to do what you think needs to be done. Others are the exact opposite, micro-managing every aspect of the process.

Of course, as a business, you do your best to accommodate every individual client's needs. But when it comes to online marketing, this can present a conundrum. What if the client is pressuring you to take steps that you genuinely believe are not in their best interest? What is the balance between meeting their preferences and providing them the best service possible?

This issue frequently pops up with regard to content. After all, lawyers usually leave the more technical details alone, appreciating that they are less familiar with the topic. But the content seems much more in their wheelhouse. Law firm clients may be tempted to write items themselves or otherwise be very hands-on with the process.

A recent GatherContent post touched on this very issue, coming to the clear conclusion: "Don't Let Your Client Write the Content."

We won't repeat all the reasons why you should keep control of the content. But you should. Particularly as Google moves more and more toward maximizing the value of high-quality content, it is essential to ensure copy is well-written, properly tailored, and available on time. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Our Legal Content Writing Prices are Ridiculously Lower than Anyone Else. Heres's 3 Reasons Why...

I am not sure if this is a compliment or an insult. But we get asked it all the time..."I don't understand your price structure at all." This is always offered by way of explaining that other providers offer writing services at 200% to 500% higher rates. How can we offer a blog post at $45 when other leading legal marketing companies charge $200?

I'm sure we lose business because folks think our writers are outsourced from foreign companies or that we have random college grads cranking out ambiguous content. Neither is true. And we consistently reiterate one simple fact: we are better than anyone else at this.

In the spirit of being forthcoming we figured we'd share a bit more about why our prices are far lower than others. It's a simple matter of old schoool business fundamentals...

1) We specialize - Our secret is so obvious that it shouldn't be a secret...this is all we do. Not only do we focus on content writing, but we focus specifically on legal content writing by actual lawyers. Virtually every other operation you come across will be segmented in one of two ways: Either they will offer you some "full legal marketing package" or they will offer "any writing you need" regardless of whether lawyers are actually writing it. Either way it is scatter-shot and less efficient.

2) We offer one service - You can find 1,000 firms offering you a complete online marketing package, with SEO, directory service, the MOON, and more. We do not do that. We are lawyers first, online writers second. Yes, we believe in the importance of online marketing for attorneys. But we are not going to sell you anything. Ever. We will write content that works for a set price without rambling about the latest trend that will magically change your business world.

3) We are good at this - Here's a secret only for those who stumble upon these blog posts -- people fail at this business every year. Content creation is hard. There is no machine that you can place orders in to crank out perfect results every time. This is the #1 reason why the largest legal marketing firms do not mess with content--it's very difficult. Anyone can write one intersting, useful blog post. But what about 100 posts a week? It takes real efficiency and expertise to do that. We won't reveal all our secrets, but that is our entire focus.  Which is how we thrive.

Here's  a secret: Those three fundamentals are synonyms for the same thing. The bottom line is we focus exclusively on doing this one very specific thing as well and as efficiently as possible. That's it. We don't try to sell you anything else. We do not spend resources training anyone to to anything else. This is all we do. Period.

If you need legal content for your own firm or that of a client, please contact us today. I guarantee you cannot find better work for a better price.