Six Blogging Tips for Attorneys: How to Write Client-Focused Content

There is wide agreement among online experts that blogging is one of the core strategies that should be integrated into an effective digital marketing plan. This is true for virtually every industry, but it is especially the case for law firms. People encounter all types of legal trouble, and these days, one of the first places they go to try to make sense of their legal issues and solve them is the internet.

Before a typical legal consumer contacts an attorney, they will want to read as much as they can about the issue that they are dealing with so they at least have a basic understanding of it, and so they will know what questions to ask a lawyer when they finally contact one.

Attorneys and law firms that take the time to produce content that answers consumers’ questions stand out from their competitors by sharing free information with the public and demonstrating their knowledge of the law. Done correctly, blogging will drive targeted prospects to your web properties, a certain percentage of which should become clients. Dollar for dollar, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow a legal practice.

Developing an effective blogging strategy is not really all that complicated. It does, however, require a time commitment and consistency. A small to medium-sized law firm should be willing to produce at least one to three blogs per month. This could take three to 10 hours or so of your time to write the articles, edit them, and post them to your website.

If you or someone in your office is willing to put in the time, then you can turn blogging into a winning strategy that will grow your clientele. The traffic will trickle in at first, but if you stick to it, your website visits will begin to multiply, and you will produce successful long-term results.

To help ensure that you write a good blog post every time, here are six steps to follow:

Understand your Audience

It is very important to understand who you are writing the blog for and what its purpose is going to be. Primarily, a law firm blog is written for legal consumers (as opposed to other attorneys, etc.) because they are the ones who may eventually become your clients. So, when you prepare to write a blog article, put yourself in their shoes and think about what they are going through. What are their pain points? What kind of resolution are they hoping to obtain by reading your post?

The best kind of content for a blog post is content that connects with your audience and speaks to their concerns. For example, someone who was injured in a car accident is likely to be under a great deal of stress about the medical bills they have to pay, being out of work, and how long it will take to resolve their legal claim. Someone who was arrested for drunk driving is probably worried about the heavy fines they will have to pay, losing their driving privileges, the possibility of jail time, and maybe even losing their job.

By identifying your audience and understanding what they are concerned about, you will be better able to produce content that is compelling and engaging. This will help you establish an emotional connection with them, which will keep them interested in what you have to say.

Write for Topics over Keywords

You have probably heard a lot about search engine optimization (SEO) and the role it plays in getting your content found on the Web. Ranking for keywords that your target audience is searching for is one of the major goals with blogging, but you should never allow the quality of your content to be compromised for this purpose.

“Keyword stuffing” is a practice from a bygone era, and thankfully, it is no longer an effective SEO strategy. Google’s algorithms are far more sophisticated these days, and they are better able to interpret the context of an article and its relevance to various keyword queries.

The best approach for writing legal blog posts is to choose topics that your target audience cares about. One way to do this would be to make a big list of the most frequently asked questions you get from your clients and write blog articles that answer these questions. You could also look in places like Yahoo! Answers and Quora to find some common questions that are being asked.

Create blog posts about topics that are relevant to your target audience, and do not worry as much about keyword phrases. If your content addresses their most important issues, the search engines will reward you for that and your posts will be found.

Make your Content Coherent and Understandable

As a lawyer, you need to project a professional image for you and your firm. As such, you need to make sure that the content you write flows smoothly and is grammatically correct. At the same time, however, make sure it is not overly technical. Remember, much of your audience is not familiar with a lot of the legal terms that are part of your everyday vernacular. When you write a legal blog that is geared toward average consumers, your job is to make complex legal concepts understandable to your target audience.

Make your Content Informative and Useful

Your readers should be able to understand your content, and further, they should find it interesting, informative, and useful. Sure, your ultimate goal is for them to contact you and become a client, but you should not be continually trying to sell that within your post. Instead, give your readers practical information that they can take away from the article and put directly to use, so they believe that it was worth their time to read it.

Show Yourself as an Authority

Avoid talking too much about yourself within the article and instead show your expertise by discussing the legal topic and providing helpful information to the reader. The place to talk in more detail about your credentials is on the area of practice (AOP) pages of your website. Blogs can direct readers to AOP pages when appropriate, and you should do this from time to time. But within the blog post itself, show readers your in-depth knowledge about the subject. This will help establish you as an authority in your area of practice, which builds trust among your target audience and makes them more likely to become clients.

Include a Call to Action

You should end your blog with a paragraph or two that moves the reader toward a desired action. This is one place where you could discuss your credentials while inviting readers to contact your firm for more information and to schedule a consultation. If you are writing a fairly long post, you could also insert a brief call to action in the second or third paragraph for readers who know they need legal help and/or do not have the time to get through the entire article. This is optional and it is entirely up to you.

About Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing

Now here’s our call to action. We know that for a lot of attorneys, even fitting in an extra five to 10 hours a month for blogging and other types of digital marketing can seem like an impossible task. And this is where we come in. Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms by reviewing their current online footprint, developing a comprehensive internet marketing plan, and implementing every aspect of that plan.

We work with attorneys and legal practices in whatever capacity they need us. For some, we just build a professional lawyer website and host it for them while they do their own blogging and other web marketing activities. For others, we implement their entire marketing strategy – from website construction to SEO to content marketing to social media, paid advertising and beyond.

To find out how we can help your firm, call us today at (800) 864-1764 or message us online for a free website evaluation and internet marketing assessment. We look forward to serving you!

Creating Geo-Specific Practice Area Pages for Your Law Firm

Geo-Targeted Content – The Difference Between 1st Page Rankings And Irrelevancy

The most important online content for law firms is the area of practice (AOP) page. These pages help give your website a strong foundation that you can build on with consistent monthly content. Practice area pages serve two primary purposes; to explain in detail what areas of law you practice, and to let legal consumers know which geographic locations you serve.

An attorney or firm should produce AOP pages for each area of specialty, starting with the most general and drilling down from there. For example, if you are a personal injury lawyer who does mostly traffic-related accident cases, you would want to produce pages for:

  • Personal Injury
  • Car Accidents
  • Truck Accidents
  • Bus Accidents
  • Motorcycle Accidents
  • Bicycle Accidents
  • Pedestrian Accidents

This is just a starting list. Over time, you might want to add pages for more subtopics, like “serious/catastrophic injuries” for example. In addition, will want to add several specific types of injuries that fall into this category, such as “traumatic brain injuries” and “spinal cord injuries”.

Once you know which area of practice pages you need to produce, it is time to decide which geographic locations to target. Creating geo-specific practice area pages for your law firm is extremely important, because consumers tend to prefer locally focused content, and search engines reward geo-targeted AOP pages with better search results. Ultimately, this means more prospects landing on your page, which in turn means more clients from your website.

Building Geo-Specific Attorney Practice Area Pages

The keys to an effective geo-targeted practice area page are to create pages that will be highly relevant to a local consumer search along with text and design that shows authority and professionalism and optimizes client conversions. The headline should include the keyword phrase you are targeting along with the local area in which you are marketing.

Continuing with the personal injury firm example, let’s say you are in the Chicago area. In this case, you will want pages with titles like “Personal Injury Attorneys in Chicago” or “Chicago Motorcycle Accident Lawyers”.

As you might guess, in an area like Chicago, there is going to be heavy competition for keywords such as “Chicago personal injury lawyer”. This is why it is a good idea to drill down to areas of personal injury law that you specialize in, like “motorcycle accidents” or “nursing home abuse”. Create the personal injury page as the “parent” page and create the more specialized pages as the “child pages” in your linking structure.

If you are in a medium to large sized metro area, another thing you should strongly consider is creating geo-pages that are targeted toward nearby localities that you practice in. For example, let’s say your office is in the northwest side of Chicago near O’Hare International. In this case, you would want to target nearby suburbs like Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, and Elmhurst. Making geo-targeted pages for these suburbs creates more potential doorways through which prospective clients can find your website.

Best Practices for Geo-Specific Practice Area Pages

There are a lot of variables that go into creating geo-targeted area of practice pages that drive results. Here are some of the most important guidelines to follow:

  • Develop a Consistent Message: It is critical that your message remains consistent across all of your web properties with regards to the name of your firm, the focus of your practice, your location, and similar information. When you are building an online brand, there needs to be congruency with the design, the images you display, and the messages that you convey.
  • Distinguish Yourself and Your Firm: Your geo-specific practice area pages should highlight why you are different from the hundreds or perhaps thousands of other lawyers in your area with the same or similar areas of specialty. Is it your extensive trial experience? Your success with high-profile cases? Recognition by reputable legal organizations? Large verdicts and settlements you have secured for clients? Highlight the things that distinguish your practice and set you apart from your competition.
  • Write with Authority: One way you can show that you are a good choice for legal consumers is by creating authoritative content that showcases your expertise. So, if you are a DUI defense attorney, for example, tell readers the important points about the DUI laws in your state, when they Are likely to face jail time, what they have to do to keep their driver’s license, and some of the most effective defenses. Content like this helps establish you as a thought leader in your area of practice.
  • Make Your Content Readable and Useful: Along with authoritative content, your content should be readable and include useful information. Use short paragraphs with lots of subheadings and bullet points to make it easier for your readers to scan the content quickly if they want to. Also give them information that will be helpful to them and make them feel like it was worth their time to read your page. For example, you could include a section like “What to Say and What Not to Say When You Speak to an Insurance Adjuster.”
  • Be Careful About Overusing Keywords: Focus on creating quality content and don’t worry as much about integrating keywords. Keyword stuffing is a disgraced practice that Google no longer rewards, and in fact, the overuse of keywords could actually hurt your rankings in some cases. As a general rule, if you write authoritatively about your area of practice, your targeted keywords and related keywords will show up often enough for Google to recognize your page as a relevant search result.
  • Make it Easy for Your Prospects to Engage: Your geo-targeted area of practice pages should include a call to action and a chat box in case the reader would like to engage with your firm right away. With these features in place, you will convert more targeted visitors into clients.

Don’t Have Time to Create Geo-Specific Practice Area Pages? Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing is Here to Help

Maybe you are saying to yourself, “all of this makes sense, but who has time to create area of practice pages?” We get it. A lot of lawyers are simply too busy practicing law to worry about building their online presence, and that’s where we come in. At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we specialize in helping law firms by reviewing their current online footprint, developing a comprehensive internet marketing plan and implementing every aspect of that plan.

We work with attorneys and legal practices in whatever capacity they need us. For some, we just build a professional attorney website and host it for them while they do their own blogging and other online marketing activities. For others, we implement their entire marketing strategy – from website construction to SEO to content marketing to social media, paid advertising and beyond.

To find out how we can help your firm, call us today at (800) 864-1764 or message us online for a free website evaluation and internet marketing assessment. We look forward to serving you!

The Importance of Content Marketing for Law Firms

In recent years, law firms have begun to realize the importance of establishing their brand in the digital market. Historically, law firms received the bulk of their leads through networking events, referrals, and traditional ad space channels (billboards, Yellow Pages, etc.).

But the most successful lawyers are now dominating the search engines and social media with content and even establishing themselves as thought leaders in their field. This has only become possible through focused content marketing campaigns that deliver engaging content and follow a long list of legal content marketing best practices.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the practice of creating engaging and useful content that is aimed at a particular online audience. For law firms, content marketing involves the creation of original content, such as blogs, white papers, and web pages. The content is posted on your website and shared in a way that promotes your legal practice’s services.

The goals of content marketing will vary. But to be successful, your firm’s content should aim to fulfill at least one of these goals:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Establish expertise and thought leadership
  • Generate leads and new clients
  • Create an online community

The type of content you post will vary depending on your goals and the needs of your target audience. When done right, content marketing can be a valuable addition to your digital marketing strategy.

The Importance of Content Marketing for Law Firms

Content marketing is a big deal for any business, but it is particularly vital for law firms. The average consumer has become blind to traditional advertising methods like print, television, and even some online ads. This constant noise drastically reduces the chances that one of these tactics will sell your service to a prospect.

But content marketing can succeed where other methods fail. When a person has a legal issue that they need to solve (or any issue, such as needing last-minute dinner reservations), they are more likely than ever to turn to Google for their answer. This is where you have the greatest opportunity to connect with a prospect in the most meaningful way through your useful and targeted content.

Some of the ways content marketing can benefit your law firm include:

Content Marketing Improves Your Reach

Content marketing allows potential clients to find you who otherwise might not have. That person that is worried about the potential “DUI penalties in Alabama” or wants to know “How to appeal an SSDI rejection” might find your recent blog post and contact you.

If your content is useful and interesting, they might also share it with friends and social media followers. Someone that wasn’t searching for your law firm will see your name and remember it later when they do have a need.

Legal Content Can Improve Your SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vital to the success of your online marketing efforts, and content marketing can help improve your website’s organic rankings. When you have a lot of informative content on your website that begins to pull in traffic, Google will notice and reward you accordingly.

Local search is essential for law firms that serve a limited geographic area. By adding your city, county, or other location data to your content, you can improve your local search rankings. So, when a person looks for a “personal injury lawyer near me,” you are more likely to get one of those top spots.

Blogging Establishes You as an Authority

People want to hire a law firm that knows what it is doing, and you can establish your authority through content marketing. A frequently updated blog gives you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge on a topic while you are addressing some of your target audience’s most pressing concerns.

A blog is also an effective way to promote your practice among your peers. When you establish authority in your field, you are more likely to get referrals from other firms that are outside your area of practice or geographic region.

Getting Your Law Firm’s Content Marketing Strategy Right

Content marketing differs a bit from traditional advertising. When most people think of law firm advertising, they picture a lawyer’s face on a billboard or bus stop imploring them to call some version of 1-800-ACCIDENT. Content marketing for law firms is a bit more subtle and can be far more effective than traditional advertising when approached correctly.

It is simple enough to produce a few blog posts and send out some tweets and then label that as your law firm’s content marketing efforts. But, to build your brand and get the most out of content marketing, you need a focused strategy.

Some of the things your legal content marketing strategy should include are:

  • Defining Your Audience – Who are you trying to reach with your content, and for what purpose?
  • Optimizing Your Website – Is the content already on your website optimized for your target audience and the search engines? Can you repurpose any of your best-performing content to extend your reach?
  • Producing a Content Marketing Strategy – Your content marketing strategy should include keyword research and a content roadmap to plan your approach.
  • Creating Compelling Legal Content – The next step is to research, write, edit, and publish content that targets a specific practice area, audience, and set of keywords.
  • Marketing Your Content – Some content ranks quickly organically, but you can also “share” content on social media sites and promote it to get it in front of the right audience.
  • Assessing Your Results – Every content marketing campaign should carefully track progress and assess results to determine what is working and what might require some adjustments moving forward.

Quality Legal Content That Sets Your Law Firm Apart

At Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing, we create content that helps our clients express their brand’s voice. While you focus on running your firm, the content our team creates for you will drive traffic to your website and convert visitors into new clients.

Some examples of the results-driven content our copywriters create include:

  • Practice area pages
  • Blogs
  • White papers and resource articles
  • Press releases
  • Staff biographies
  • Newsletters

Every piece of content you receive is well-researched, SEO-optimized, and 100% unique to address your needs and the most pressing concerns of your target audience. Contact Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing today at (800) 649-1764 or online to connect with us for a free consultation.

Marketing After A Natural Disaster

News Headline – “There has been a terrible disaster – a wildfire, a flood, an oil spill, or a hurricane.” Sound familiar?

As the water recedes, the smoke clears and the winds die down, people begin assessing their situation. Neighbors help neighbors and strangers help strangers. There is nothing more resilient than the American spirit. Hard work is in our blood. In fact, asking for help is not something we are accustomed to doing. We will be ok, we have grit, and we have insurance!

So, imagine the surprise and disbelief when they hear that the insurance premiums they have been paying year after year are not going to help them get their life back?

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out across America every year. After every disaster, there are always disputes between insurers and the insured.

If you are a law firm that specializes in the representation of individuals who have been denied or underpaid for damages associated by these types of events, those effected by them need to know who you are.

In fact, most people don’t know they can hire an attorney to dispute their claims. But when do you let them know? You don’t want to be seen as insensitive or opportunistic. If you live in an area where hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, or flooding are not that much of a surprise, then the answer is easy; you should always be letting people know you represent homeowners in insurance disputes.

But what if you don’t live in those areas? When is the best time to let those people know you can help them? Well, from our experience, the best time is before they cash that ridiculously low check from their friendly neighborhood insurance agent. And those offers are made quickly, but rarely at the amount the insured thought it would be. So, what are they to do, not make repairs?  People tend to get desperate to get their lives back and that can often lead to hasty, ill-advised decisions. So, the sooner you let them know you are there to help, the better.

So now comes the question, as an attorney, how do I advertise my services?

Paid Advertising

There are a lot of options when it comes to advertising your law firm and pay per click (PPC) advertising is probably the fastest and most used. But be ready, PPC can get expensive very fast.

Pay per click advertising is based on setting a budget and bidding on keywords. So, you decide where you want to appear and when.  If the keywords are not very popular, say “hurricane claims attorney” for a firm in Idaho the bid price will be very inexpensive. At least until a hurricane barrels through the Midwest! That same search term will be much different if you are in Tampa in mid-August and the Gulf waters are churning out hurricanes like a Pez dispenser. That same bid will skyrocket as firms try and position themselves for the season. The keywords were the same, but the popularity of the location will drive the bid up and if an event happens, the sky’s the limit.

If you can beat the rush, you can get great placement on a modest budget. But, as more attorneys enter this space, it gets more competitive and more expensive. This means the earlier you begin, the better. As for hurricanes, think about advertising before hurricane season begins.

Social Media

Another way to get your name out is through social media. Both Facebook and LinkedIn are good places to let people know you are there to help. Business owners are a prime prospect in LinkedIn and Facebook is great for the general population. Facebook also allows you to target your message to only those areas effected, even if it is by neighborhoods.

Think of social media as an indirect way of advertising.  It is a good fit when you are trying to reach a person that isn’t aware of their options, kind of an educational tool. Like we mentioned before, a lot of people are not aware they can take legal action when the insurance companies aren’t playing fairly.  Business owners and individual homeowners will appreciate knowing there are people out there looking out for their best interest.

With social media you can “plant the seed” that legal action may be the best way to solve an insurance dispute in a way that is less intrusive and more understanding of their situation.  It becomes a “did you know” type of educational outreach that increases the odds of you earning their business.

Become a Resource

Updating your website and social media platforms with useful information is another way to become a resource for people. Create unique content and videos that explain their options and your expertise in these areas. Having information that can help them will be very well received. We tell our clients all the time, you aren’t trying to teach a class, but you do want to give enough basic information to be helpful. Once someone realizes they can’t manage the process on their own, they will turn to the original source of the information, your law firm.

Another option is to become a resource for a local news segment. Alert your local news organizations know that you are an expert on insurance issues and if they would like your opinion, you would be glad to give it. They will undoubtedly do pieces on the struggles of the local community and the underpayment or denial of insurance coverage will most likely be one of them.

Lastly – Contact your past clients. Let them know you are working with individuals who are having trouble with their insurance claims. Too often they will use another law firm because they were not aware you did this. They will usually think of you for what you did for them before.

For our clients, we do this in a newsletter. In fact, it is a good idea to put out a firm newsletter about once a quarter. We use blogs we write for their website as helpful information, but always remind them of the many areas of practice that your firm covers in case there is a future need.

Contact Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing Today

Does your law firm represent homeowners in natural disaster insurance disputes? If so, start targeting those prospective clients today.

Contact Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing for more information. Our phone number is (800) 649-1764.

Just How Long Should a Law Firm Blog Be?

One of the best ways to boost your law firm’s online presence is through consistent content marketing. Specifically, when you create a blog and post the right type of quality content regularly, you can increase the traffic to your website as well as your engagement and conversion rates.

Blogs have been known to boost traffic to websites by as much as six-fold. In fact, a firm that has a website with good, quality content can produce growth much higher than a firm that doesn’t.

Assuming you already have a blog or have decided to add one, you probably still have a lot of questions about the best way to approach legal blogging. A top question to consider is: Just how long should a law firm blog be?

Why the Word Count of Your Blog Posts Matters

Your word count refers to how many words are in your legal blog post. Most word processing programs, like MS Word and Google Docs, will provide you with this information.

You need to know how many words are in your blog because word count can impact the user experience as well as your likelihood of ranking well in the search engines. When your blog post is longer, Google gets a better idea of what it’s about. The longer your post is, the more your targeted keywords and related keywords will appear in it.

You might also be able to cover several sub-topics with a longer blog post, giving you the opportunity to rank for multiple keyword phrases in Google. In some cases, you can also pick up Google’s featured snippet, giving you another opportunity to drive traffic to your website.

Finally, a longer post gives you additional linking opportunities. You can add internal links to relevant pages within your website, keeping readers engaged even longer.

Now, to be clear, your shouldn’t simply “add words” to add them. Word count only genuinely matters when you are including impactful information. The quality of the content is equally as important as the length, or word count, of the blog.

How Long Should Your Legal Blog Post Be?

If you have a legal blog, you’re probably wondering about the optimal length for a post. If you have a random thought, can’t you just post a few lines and be done with it? Or, do you need a 10,000-word dissertation every time you answer a question or write about a topic? The real answer lies somewhere in the middle.

A few lines are not enough to tell the reader much, give the search engines enough information, or keep your website’s bounce rates low. Generally speaking, your law firm’s blog posts should be at least 750 words to answer relevant legal questions and provide an effective call-to-action (CTA).

Depending on the subject matter, you could write a longer post. But, anything beyond 1,500 words could tend to get lengthy or intimidating. When deciding how long to make your posts, consider these two factors:

  • How many words do you need to convey your ideas clearly?
  • How much length is necessary so that your content is SEO-friendly?

Tips for Creating High-Quality Legal Blog Posts

It can be challenging to write blog posts that have significant depth. Writing high-quality content is tough, particularly when you want to reach a goal of 750 words or more with each post. No matter what your word target is, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Write Original Content

It’s pretty important that your content be original. Sure, other attorneys have probably written on similar topics, but your explanations should not be verbatim to theirs. Check out the blog posts of your competitors. How can you create something that is more engaging and that more thoroughly covers the subject?

  1. Make Readability a Priority

One of the most important aspects of blogging is readability. In short, you must write for your audience instead of for yourself or the search engines. Think about the most pressing questions your potential clients have. Provide clear answers to those questions with as much detail as possible. This is not a legal brief, nor is it content written for other legal professionals. This is content written for your “typical” client. Everything you write should be with them in mind.

  1. Use Headings

When you structure your content, use plenty of headers so that people know what they’re reading. This not only helps with readers who like to scan articles but also makes your content easily accessible and readable by the search engines.

  1. Supplement With Images & Video

People are visual creatures by nature. A wall of words doesn’t work well for most. Make sure you include plenty of images, graphs, and/or videos with your blog content to break up the text and add an additional perspective to the topic.

How to Get the Most Fuel Out of Your Legal Blog Posts

Whether your posts are 750 words or 1,750 words, you’ll want to capitalize on what you’ve written. Instead of posting it and just waiting for the traffic to arrive, you can go after it in several ways:

  1. Share Blog Posts on Social Media

One of the best ways for your law firm to promote its content is through social media. Using your various social media platforms, lets followers know about your latest post or drop a link when the content contains the answer to a question you see posted.

  1. Send Blog Roundups in Law Firm Newsletters

Make sure you include your most recent blog posts in your law firm newsletters that you email to your client/former client list. This is an excellent way to get additional eyes on your content and increase your page views.

  1. Feature Guest Bloggers

Once your firm has its blog established, one of the ways you can expand your online audience is by featuring guest bloggers. Whether it’s a respected community member or another attorney, having a guest blogger can bring a fresh perspective to your blog. Another benefit is that they will often promote their work and drive traffic to your page.

Getting Started With Your Law Firm’s Blog Posts

Now that you have a better understanding of how long a blog post should be and what to include in your blog, it’s time to start writing! If you’re not sure how to get started or don’t have the time to devote to a legal blog, reach out to find out how we can help.

Too Darn Loud Legal Marketing helps law firms showcase their knowledge and experience through web design, SEO, social media management, and content marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how our firm can create an engaging legal blog that produces results.