“It’s your turn to write the blog post this week/month/year/decade.”
Result – sad face.
“Please write a blog post like this and it will generate lots of new money for you.”
Result – happy face.
Consider the above statements and the outcome of both. The same request is being asked – to write a blog post – and yet how well it’s received is dependent on whether there is an incentive to write. If there is no incentive, then where is the motivation?
In business, there is one simple motivation: money.
We all know cash is King in business, but when it comes to the Internet, content is King. If you do not have an ongoing content marketing strategy or commitment, traffic to your site is going to flatline, your site will become less authoritative to search engines and you will begin to slide into oblivion.
When you write content for your website, you want to ensure it performs as well as it can for you and your law firm. This article will talk you through:
- Crucial steps to take before writing your blog post
- Objections (and solutions) to writing content for your law firm’s website
- Our top 3 reasons to create online content
- A proven example that legal content can generate enquiries
As a digital marketing agency for law firms, one of the main reasons we hear content is not being written is because solicitors struggle to get round to it. Often, a lawyer is asked to simply write ‘a blog post for the website’ and then, once this vague request is answered (if it ever is), they have no idea what impact the article actually has had.
Before you read further, let us be clear here. Good content will make you money and, if it’s really good, it will make you money day after day, month after month, and year after year.
Crucial steps to take before writing your blog post
There are a few things that must be in place before you will get any value from the legal content you write for your website:
- Your site must have a conversion orientated design (visitors must be clearly encouraged to take specific actions – call us, fill out a form, download a guide, leave an email etc)
- Your site should be search engine friendly
What if your online ‘housekeeping’ is not up to scratch?
There’s a firm I know that produces a lot of good content. Their site is not conversion orientated and the way that it has been implemented means that the blog section is separate from their main domain. As a result, the posts will receive a fraction of the traffic they should receive. The fee earners’ time is being wasted. If they made a few quick fixes their traffic would be transformed, and the value generated by the content would increase considerably.
When I told the marketing director this, she looked like I’d just presented her with a glass of cold sick. It turns out she’d commissioned her husband’s agency to do the website work – oops.
Objections (and solutions) to writing content for your law firm’s website
Not knowing where to start, or spending hours on a piece of writing and receiving no enquiries from it, can leave you feeling deflated and unwilling to try again. That is why I’ve answered two of the most commonly asked questions when writing an online post:
Q: I’ve no idea what to write about?
A: Write about the type of business you want to attract. Simple. Don’t write about stress at work if you don’t want that kind of work. Think about an issue your ideal client will be currently facing and help them with thought leadership content – don’t be afraid of giving the game away or selling the crown jewels (you can read a real-life example of this below).
It’s one thing to write about how one might approach a problem, and another thing entirely to actually tackle the problem head on – particularly if the problem is a legal one. Write about something your ideal client would find useful and that you feel comfortable with.
It is very unlikely that your content will go ‘viral’. If legal content goes viral, it’s probably not a good thing. It is much more likely that your content will be practical, or should be, and based on experience – you are looking to empower your readers by making them more knowledgeable than they were before they read your content.
Q: I’ve written content before and I don’t know what use it was, so it must be a waste of time?
A: Being clear on your goals is critical and ‘just to keep the website up to date’ is not a strong enough objective. Your goal should be to make your law firm more successful and you must have both a strategy and metrics in place to ensure that the content’s role in achieving this strategy is clearly evidenced. Metrics such as page views, visits, time on page etc are okay but if you can’t ultimately track their impact on income, then how much attention will you actually pay them?
Our top 3 reasons to create content
At Moore Legal Technology, we create content for three main functions:
1. Awareness raising
We want people to know how great we are at generating business online for law firms and we do that through the expertise implied by our content. We want our target market to see our content on social channels, or on Google, and think ‘that looks interesting and may answer my question’. We want this to happen time and time again for one piece of content, repeated across a number of individual pieces of content, and as such become an authority on our subject to our market.
The benefit comes from the collection of content as a whole driving traffic, raising awareness and providing insight as to what resonates and what doesn’t.
Our key metrics for this aspect are more generic such as page views, time on site, bounce rate etc.
2. Lead generation
We don’t expect a visitor to become a customer after having read one piece of awareness raising/thought leadership content and neither should you. This is known as ‘top of the funnel’ content and is right at the beginning of the prospect conversion journey.
What we would like to happen is for the visitor to sign up to receive more content from us – we would like to be able to communicate with the visitor directly and move them into our content – conversion sales process.
The key metric here is database growth.
3. Outbound marketing
As mentioned in a previous post, we use a marketing automation platform to manage our marketing to sales conversion process. We have used this to great effect over the years and ongoing content is a critical aspect of it.
We market every new piece of content to our database and, as audience members interact with it, they score points. As their score increases, they move from the top of the funnel, to the middle and then to bottom where it is clear that they are interested in our services and could benefit from a more concerted sales effort. The content feeds this ongoing effort and returns many, many times the effort needed to create it.
The key metric here is money.
Proven example that legal content can generate enquiries
We’ve worked one of our London Law Firm customers for a number of years now and the team are great to work with. Everything is a collaborative effort and their website generates a huge amount of new enquiries every month. Content plays a critical role.
When researching this article, we could see that they had one particular blog post, in this case about Voluntary Interviews, first published in 2017, that had generated over 56,000 visits and 400 enquiries. So, the next time you are asked to write content for your website see it as opportunity, not a pain.
Why did this particular blog work?
- The title was really good and designed to attract clicks
- It was written by a knowledgeable professional and offered relevant insight
- The topic had associated search volume and linked to a potential distressed purchase
What did the author, have to say about it?
“I wrote the piece on Voluntary interviews once we noticed that the Police were using this approach, rather than arresting people as they usually did.
We recognised that this would have an immediate effect upon the rights of individuals and that people would want to Google information about this.
Having worked successfully with the team at Moore Legal Technology for 8 years, I had picked up a few tips from them along the way, especially after reading their carefully drafted blogs.
The blog had to have immediate impact, a title that would stand out amongst all the content on Google and would answer the questions that potential clients would want to know before agreeing to such an interview.
Thousands of people have viewed it and hundreds more instructed us as a result of reading the article.”
London based Law Firm
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Following recent requests from a number of law firms who are keen to keep things moving forward for their firms at this time, and based on the advice above, we have developed our quick set up Your Law Firm Success™ – 2020 Toolkit. This has been created to deliver business continuity and growth and to help you make your firm more efficient and more robust now and for the future.