Blogging is an essential part of marketing a law firm online. Regularly posting new content allows you to cast a wider net to connect with your potential clients through significant search engine optimization (SEO) benefits. For example, a blog post is a great way to answer very specific client queries, such as “Do I need a lawyer for a first-time DUI?” or “How much is my personal injury case worth?”
To illustrate how this works, at Lexicon Legal Content, we figured that a lot of people were wondering if you could use ChatGPT to write legal blogs earlier this year – so we blogged about it. As of today, that blog pops up in position zero for that query, giving us significant brand exposure for people who are considering using generative AI to create legal content.
Additionally, it’s widely accepted in the SEO industry that content “freshness” is a ranking factor, which means that it’s in your best interest to post new and engaging content as often as possible – or at least more than the firms you are trying to compete within the search engine results pages (SERPs)
It’s clear that law firms that want to be competitive in digital marketing should be blogging regularly. That said, legal blogging takes a lot of time, which is not something that a lot of busy legal professionals have. Fortunately, there is a way to put the process on autopilot – but first, let’s take a look at what goes into maintaining a quality legal blog.
Creating and Maintaining a Law Firm Blog
When people think about blogging, they often think about the writing part – but there’s much, much more. Such as:
Before you start typing away, you need to figure out what to write about. A well-formed content strategy will incorporate both figuring out what your potential clients want to know about and strategically targeting specific keywords. For example, a blog about “What to Do to Prepare for Divorce” will allow you to use family-law-related keywords in a natural way, which is what Google wants to see.
Once you determine what you want to write about, you need to actually write the material. While tools like ChatGPT can certainly make the process faster, humans are still an indispensable part of the content writing process – especially in a regulated profession like law.
How Long Does Writing and Posting a Blog Take?
According to various sources, writing and posting a 1000-word blog post (a reasonable length for a relatively in-depth blog) should take about 3-5 hours. In addition, it’s generally accepted as an SEO best practice that you post 2-4 times per week to get traction from your content marketing efforts. So, based on these numbers, you are looking at six to twenty hours per week in order to maintain your blog. If you are a busy practicing lawyer, it’s likely true that you simply don’t have the time to do it.
If You are Considering Using AI, Read This First
One only needs to consider what happened to two New York attorneys who relied on ChatGPT for legal research to see the perils of using generative AI in the legal industry. Steven Schwartz and Peter DoLuca were fined $5,000 after filing a brief that cited completely non-existent cases. Perhaps most troublingly, ChatGPT doubled down on the fake cases when the attorneys asked if they were real, saying that they were available in legal databases like Westlaw and LexisNexis.
While it’s certainly true that using AI to generate marketing materials is much different than using it to generate a legal pleading, the same perils exist. That said, you can absolutely use AI in the legal marketing materials process, provided there is significant expert oversight. At the time of this writing, Google has made it clear that it does not care whether the content is created by AI so long as it is helpful and demonstrates experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T).
While this policy may change at any time (Google has been known to be arbitrary and capricious, as they say), for the time being, content creators should feel comfortable integrating AI into their workflows. That being said, the last thing you should do is use AI to create a blog post and post it onto your website’s blog without significant updating and review.
At Lexicon Legal Content, we’re experimenting with a hybrid AI/human content creation model that uses AI to do the heavy lifting of content generation, followed by attorney review and expert optimization and branding at a fraction of the cost of our human-written content. You can learn more about that service here.
Write for Online Readers
Writing blog content is much different from the type of writing that lawyers often do. It’s important to remember that your readers are probably not lawyers or judges themselves, so you should avoid legalese and dense language. Additionally, research indicates that people read websites differently than they read print, so it’s important to make your blog posts scannable. This involves:
Using descriptive headers
Addressing one idea per paragraph
Using bulleted lists (see what I did there?)
Once your content is written, it’s time to actually post it on your site in a way that will get it picked up by search engines. First, you should copy and paste your content into the backend of your website. If you are running WordPress, that involves adding a new post to your site. Here’s what ours looks like:
After you paste your content into a new post, you should double-check that the formatting accurately transferred from wherever you were writing, as WordPress sites sometimes have issues like adding spaces or not recognizing formatted lists.
At this point, you should categorize and tag your post. On a WordPress site, this functionality is usually on the right side of the screen. Here’s a screenshot of ours:
Categorizing and tagging posts is crucial for an organized and user-friendly content platform. It enhances user experience, aids searchability, and enables targeted content delivery. This approach improves content management, analytics, and SEO. Ultimately, it ensures users find relevant content easily, boosting engagement and satisfaction.
According to marketing expert Jeff Bullas, posts with images get 94 percent more views than those without. As a result, you should always add an image or two to your blog before posting it. You can often find free images at sites like pixabay, but it’s not a bad idea to purchase a subscription to a premium image platform like Shutterstock or iStock to make it easy to find relevant and high-quality images that make your blog posts pop.
Submitting Your Post to Google
Once your blog is posted, you should submit it to Google through Google’s Search Console. While Google is likely to recrawl your site and index your new post regardless, submitting your new URL to Google can potentially speed up the process. Here’s how to do it:
First off, log into your Google Search Console account
Pick the website property or domain you’re working on
Look on the left menu for “URL Inspection
Drop in Your New URL: Copy and paste the URL of your new blog post into the provided spot
Click on the “Request Indexing” option
Sharing Your Blog on Social Media
Now that your blog is posted, it’s time to leverage your social media accounts to increase its reach. You should share your post on all of your social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Sounds Like a Lot? Outsource Your Content Creation to Professionals
If you are a lawyer or a legal marketer trying to figure out how to keep up with consistent content marketing in the form of blog posts, I have some good news. Companies like Lexicon Legal Content and others specialize in legal content marketing. You can outsource the entire process – from content ideation to posting to sharing your content on social media – to an attorney-led team that knows the law, advertising rules, and content optimization techniques. A good content marketing company will:
Take the time to get to know your practice and your market
Conduct a thorough onboarding process that includes understanding your firm’s voice
Collaboratively work with you to come up with content topics that address your potential clients’ pain points
Create content that is unique, compliant with the rules of professional conduct, optimized, and of interest to your readers
Post that content on your site and engage in on-site optimization
While the benefits of maintaining a law firm blog are undeniable, the process can be time-consuming and demanding, particularly for busy legal professionals. This is where partnering with a content marketing agency can make a significant difference. Here’s why working with a content marketing agency is a smart choice for putting your law firm’s blog on autopilot:
Expertise in Legal Content Marketing
A specialized content marketing agency, such as Lexicon Legal Content, understands the nuances of the legal industry. They are well-versed in crafting content that adheres to legal regulations and ethics while also resonating with your target audience. This expertise ensures that your blog content not only provides valuable information but also maintains the professional integrity expected from a law firm.
Efficient Content Creation
Outsourcing your content creation to professionals means you can rely on experienced writers who understand how to efficiently research, write, and edit high-quality blog posts. This frees up your time to focus on your legal practice while knowing that your blog is consistently updated with engaging content.
Consistent Publishing Schedule
Content marketing agencies are equipped to handle the consistent publishing schedule required for effective SEO. They have the resources to produce and publish content on a regular basis, meeting the demands of search engine algorithms and ensuring your website remains relevant and up-to-date.
Tailored Content Strategy
A reputable agency will collaborate with you to develop a content strategy that aligns with your law firm’s goals and target audience. This strategy can encompass keyword research, topic selection, and content promotion, ensuring your blog posts are both informative and optimized for search engines.
Content marketing agencies possess the technical know-how to optimize your blog posts for on-page SEO. From structuring your content with proper headings and keywords to optimizing meta descriptions and URLs, they ensure your content is well-positioned to rank higher in search engine results.
Time and Cost Savings
Time is a precious resource for legal professionals. By outsourcing your blog management to a content marketing agency, you save time that can be better utilized in your legal practice. Moreover, the costs associated with hiring and training in-house content creators are often higher than partnering with an established agency.
A Holistic Approach
A comprehensive content marketing agency doesn’t stop at content creation. They manage the entire content lifecycle, from ideation and creation to publication and promotion. This holistic approach ensures your blog posts are not only well-written but also strategically promoted to maximize their reach and impact.
Adaptation to Industry Changes
The digital landscape and SEO algorithms are constantly evolving. Content marketing agencies stay updated with these changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. This means your blog will continue to perform well in search engine rankings and attract relevant traffic.
Partnering with a content marketing agency like Lexicon Legal Content offers law firms a strategic advantage in maintaining an active and effective blog presence. With their expertise, efficiency, and commitment to producing high-quality content, content agencies ensure your law firm’s blog remains a powerful tool for attracting and engaging potential clients while you can focus on what you do best – practicing law.
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