Using Content As Part of Your Law Firm SEO Strategy

by | SEO

Which is more important? SEO or content? 

Among digital marketing professions, this is the real Infinity War. It’s a debate that spans marketing generations, specializations, and verticals. Marketing professionals duke it out on LinkedIn, Reddit, and at conferences, arguing which one delivers better ROI for clients. 

And as far as marketing arguments go, it’s an unnecessary conflict. 

SEO, content—they’re not opposing activities in digital marketing. Instead, they’re two intertwined, complementary endeavors that, when done well, help lead businesses toward their goals of being easily found online and turning that discoverability into profitability. 

The good news is that you don’t need to throw down the gauntlet (Infinity or otherwise) to get the two marketing divisions to work together. Like any good conflict resolution, it starts with understanding what each side is about. 

What is the relationship between content and SEO?

Consider a coin. You have a head side and a tail side. Both are part of the coin, but each is distinct. So it goes with the relationship between content marketing and SEO. Let’s look a little closer at what they each entail: 

  • Content marketing is the process of creating helpful tools such as guides, infographics, emails, and more to gain the trust of your target audience. It proves you are a reliable source and encourages the reader to contact you.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is the technical process of setting up your website so people can find it more easily. SEO is multifaceted but generally involves three areas of activity:
    • Technical SEO: website architecture, indexing, rendering, and other activities that ensure a site addresses the technical requirements of search engines.
    • On-page SEO: keyword research, content strategy, content creation, content optimization, and other content-related activities that help search engines understand what your website is about. 
    • Off-page SEO: guest blogging, digital PR, backlinks, social media, branded searches, and other strategies that drive traffic to your website.

Because it deals specifically with content, on-page SEO is closely tied to content marketing. That being said, it’s all connected. 

When you weave content into your SEO plans, your SEO efforts improve because you’ve focused on strategic, high-quality content that is tailored to your business goals, addresses your audience’s needs, and differentiates your law firm from competitors. This kind of content keeps readers on the page and builds trust with them. 

When you weave SEO into your content strategy, your content marketing efforts improve. Your content benefits from solid structure, relevant keywords, and data-driven decisions that help your content get seen by more eyes. 

How to create a content-informed SEO strategy for your law firm  

Whether your law firm has robust content marketing strategies or doesn’t even have a website yet, it can always be a good idea to consider what SEO strategies you’re using.

Follow our best tips on combining SEO and a content marketing strategy to land on the first page of Google.

Identifying your target audience

The key to writing good content is understanding your target audience, i.e., the people who need your services and (just as importantly) who you want to work with. 

This distinction is important because while many people might benefit from your services, you may be better positioned to work with particular subsections. For example, if you have a family law firm, you might provide general family law services but deeply specialize in complex litigation. If that’s the type of work you want, your content should lean in that direction. 

Defining your target audience also helps you better speak to their challenges and builds their confidence that you understand their concerns.

To identify your target audience, consider factors like:

  • Demographics: age, gender, race, and location
  • Lifestyle: hobbies, likes and dislikes
  • Pain points: explore the problems your law firm solves and who has those problems

Conducting keyword research for legal topics

The next step is determining what your potential clients search for online. You’ll need to conduct keyword research on legal topics to do this. 

Consider the search intent—the words your audience will use and why. Make a list of long and short keyword searches where your firm will be relevant. 

From these, create relevant topic clusters that align with the needs of your target audience. A (non-exhaustive) example of this for our previous example of a New Jersey family law firm might look like: 

  • New Jersey divorce law
  • New Jersey equitable distribution
  • New Jersey complex asset division
  • New Jersey divorce asset valuation
  • New Jersey debt division during divorce

These topics can be further developed to tie into specific blogs, practice area pages, and FAQs, but they can also be leveraged across your bigger content marketing strategy. 

Focus on structure

Structure is a central supporting element of SEO. Elements like headers, metadata, and URLs help search engines better interpret your website and its information. 

But structure doesn’t just help search engines understand—it also helps readers. These structures {{WHAT}}

Implementing your law firm’s SEO content strategy

When a law firm starts a content plan, it’s common to feel motivated, and staying on track is easier. However, as time goes on and the non-billable hours stack up, it can be tempting to abandon the project. 

However, seeing results from SEO work can take 3-6 months. If a law firm drops its content strategy too soon, it won’t benefit from the groundwork laid early on. 

Follow these tips and tricks to implement your law firm’s SEO content strategy for the long haul.

Creating a content calendar for consistency

The best way to post regularly is to plan posts out in advance. Create a content calendar to structure and focus your content work.

Content calendars should include:

  • Content pillar
  • Due dates
  • Keywords and headers
  • URL and metadata information
  • Related articles from competitors
  • Who is responsible for the work

A thorough content calendar eliminates communication guesswork and ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding your law firm’s content strategy.

Optimizing existing content for better performance

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you create content. Endlessly churning out new content doesn’t necessarily lead to success—it can even dampen your results if you create thin, irrelevant, or poorly optimized content. 

A better strategy is to focus on quality—and make your existing content as good as possible. 

To do this, complete a content audit to assess how your content is performing. Check for simple fixes, such as broken links and typos. Add meta descriptions if they’re missing, and then update the information.

For popular posts (e.g., those that receive a lot of traffic, conversions, or otherwise perform highly), consider strategic revamps. Add an FAQ section or update content to be more evergreen. If the topic has a high keyword volume but your post isn’t generating interest, assess why that might be the case. Do you need to increase the word count? Is the user experience on the page lacking? What needs to be adjusted to improve results? 

Investing in editorial oversight

Many lawyers are too busy to maintain an SEO content strategy. If your plate is full, hire a marketing agency to handle the editorial lifting. Content marketers have the skills and experience to help you create quality pieces that speak to the needs of your target audience minus the billable hours.

Hiring an agency doesn’t mean completely letting go of the reins. You can still share content ideas and strategies, but they bring their SEO and legal content writing expertise to ensure you get the most out of every piece published.

Measuring your law firm’s SEO and content success  

As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” We’d add that it also gets optimized and generates a better return on investment. 

Spend your marketing efforts (and budget) wisely and establish clear KPIs to identify whether your digital marketing is working, what improvements need to be made, and where to focus your energy. 

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to track  

KPIs are the finish line of your marketing strategies–they ensure your content is helping your law firm succeed. 

To hit your goals for a content-informed SEO strategy, consider the following KPIs:

  • Page ranking
  • Organic traffic
  • Keyword value and search volume
  • Website conversions
  • Referrals
  • Client engagement

These metrics will give you insight into your SERP rankings and how much interest and impact they are generating for your law firm. 

Tools and techniques for SEO monitoring and analysis

Monitor your SEO efforts to guarantee that your content gives the most value to your law firm and target audience. Some tools to get started include: 

  • Google Analytics: tracks traffic and conversions for free
  • Semrush: the free solution offers a pared-down version of the subscription service with keyword tools that allow for ten searches per day.
  • Woorank: SEO and website analysis tool is a Chrome extension that details how to improve your SEO.

Craft an SEO-driven law firm content strategy with FocusWorks Marketing

If your law firm wants a strong, SEO-driven marketing strategy but simply doesn’t have the time, FocusWorks Marketing can help. We’re a boutique agency that specializes in law firm marketing. With our deep understanding of copywriting rules for lawyers, the quality content we provide your firm will always be compliant.

Find out where you’re ranking—and what the value of investing in SEO might be for your law firm. Contact us for a free SEO audit today.