What is wrong with the following statements? In my day, we used to listen to good music like the Temptations instead of garbage like “The Thong Song.” They say that Stanley Kubrick’s next movie will be about Napoleon. I followed The Rules, but he still acts like he doesn’t notice me; maybe I will try getting the Rachel haircut. The Internet is unanimous that Baby Sussex will be a girl; I wonder what Harry and Meghan will name her.
Despite the elegant use of semicolons in the latter two examples, all of the above statements are dated. Your content does not have to overflow with 90s pop culture references to be out of date; the predictions about the name and gender of Baby Sussex (now known as Archie) were trending as recently as last month. No matter where you click on the Internet, it is full of reminders that the world changes quickly, and your law firm’s website is no exception. Your choices are to follow the trends, which requires constant research, to rise above them by writing evergreen content, or to chart a middle course between the two.
Examples of Evergreen Content
Like its name suggests, evergreen content is blog content about subject matter that does not change quickly. When you write an evergreen blog post, statements you make in the present tense will still be accurate in a year or more. These are some examples of evergreen blog posts for a law firm blog:
· An explanation of basic concepts or terms in your practice area (for example, the types of alimony in your state, the Constitutional rights of defendants, or the concepts of negligence and duty of care in a personal injury lawsuit)
· Frequently asked questions about a sub-topic of your practice area
· Posts about Supreme Court cases that set important precedents in your practice area (such as the Daubert standard, based on a 1993 ruling)
Readers search for evergreen content the way they used to consult reference books in the pre-Internet age.
In Praise of Deciduous Content
Not all interesting and useful information is unchanging; in the old days, people got as much information from newspapers as from reference books. Publishing posts about current news related to your practice area is a sound blogging strategy. Crimes and criminal trials, celebrity divorce, and product liability frequently make the news headlines, so if your law firm deals with one of those practice areas (even if it is just regular people divorce, not celebrities), you might as well write about those news stories. If your blog posts contain insightful, readable analysis of the legal issues in the cases, people will still want to read them even when the news stories you reference are no longer current.
Legal Blog Writing
Whether or not your content is evergreen, readers will appreciate it if it is truthful and well-written. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, understandable content that will keep readers coming back for more.
When you boast, or when your relatives flatter you, that your skills as a lawyer are valuable, a big part of what they mean is that your writing skills are valuable. If you do not believe this, read a legal memorandum, letter, or other document you have recent written in your professional capacity, and then read dirt cheap web content on a similar subject.
Think about how much you got paid per hour or per word to write it, and then think about how much the authors of dirt-cheap web content get paid. The way you get paid may not simply be per hour of writing, and it almost certainly is not per word, but do some calculations. You will see that writing with the expertise of a lawyer is a specialized skill, and is rewarded as such. Therefore, if you put the effort into writing a blog, you will want to make sure that it is protected from copyright infringement. An article on Social Media Examiner discusses ways to protect your intellectual property on your blog.
Registering the Copyright for Blog Posts
Technically, one does not copyright a blog, since a blog is a place online, namely a page on your website, rather than a literary work. The posts do, however, fit the legal definition of literary works. The Library of Congress has new rules about registering the copyright for groups of creative works, including blog posts; you can now register up to ten posts with a single copyright application. Registering the copyright to your posts will give you more leverage if someone tries to republish your blog content without your permission.
If You Write It and Post It, You Own the Rights to It
According to U.S. copyright law, the rights to written works automatically belong to their authors; it begins as soon as you save the Word document with your post, before you even post the content online. If you plan to file a copyright infringement lawsuit, you must register the copyright to your work before filing the lawsuit. The copyright application form includes a question about when the work was created.
You or Your Law Firm Can Still Own the Rights to Your Blog Content, Even If You Hire a Content Firm to Write It
“Works made for hire” are an exception to the “you write it, you own it” rule. Your agreement with the content marketing firm you hire to write your blog content contains a provision that the content it provides for you constitutes a work made for hire. Likewise, if employees of your law firm write the content in the context of your professional duties, the copyright can belong to your law firm.
Legal Content Writing
Whether you write your own blog content or hire a content marketing firm to write it, copyright law is on your side. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create original, well-written, and well-researched content for which you will be proud to own the rights.
Even if you are a complete beginner in SEO, even if this blog is the result of your first ever Google search for how to optimize your law firm’s website for Google searches, you have probably already heard that links are an important part of SEO. This article by Benj Arriola on Search Engine Journal does an excellent job of describing the various types of links found on a website and why each one is important for SEO.
You are not just writing a blog for search engines, though, and you are also not adding links to your blog simply for the benefit of Google’s bots. Links are an important part of a law firm’s website, just as they are for any business website. Some links, however, really add value to your blog from a prospective client’s perspective. Here are some categories of sites to which you should link from your law firm’s blog. Readers will want to follow them, and the SEO boost you will get from Google is just a fringe benefit.
Applications and Other Official Forms
In some practice areas, help preparing and filing official forms is a major part of why clients hire a lawyer. If you link to these forms, then prospective clients might find your blog when looking for advice about how to file them that is more straightforward than the fine print on the instructions page to the forms. It’s best if you include the links in a post full of helpful advice about the forms. You will not lose clients by doing this; rather, they will feel empowered and appreciate that you respect their intelligence.
The ones who decide to contact you will do so knowing that they have already tried to navigate the process and realized that their situation is complex enough to require professional legal advice. For example, if you are a patent lawyer, you can link to the official patent application form. If you are a family lawyer, you can link to your state’s parenting plan form for couples with shared custody of minor children.
Primary Sources, Within Reason
While it may help you generate good link vibes with your colleagues, linking to other law firms’ sites or to for-profit sites with general information about the law is counterproductive from a reader’s perspective. You should be the authority, and that means only linking to sources more authoritative than you. Explain the subject in understandable language, and then link to the real thing.
The real thing can include statutes, bills in the legislature, and court decisions. These texts are not easy reading, and perhaps not all readers will click on them, but they are the most authoritative sources you can get. The readers who do click on them will appreciate that you are not leading them on a wild goose chase through the over-commercialized Internet.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
Does linking to other sites sound more tedious than reading through volumes of legal texts? You can count on Law Blog Writers to create user-friendly, original content with high quality links.
It is as easy for business owners to find decontextualized, outdated, and misleading advice about search engine optimization (SEO) as it is for to find decontextualized, outdated, and misleading advice about dating and relationships. Lawyers are used to reading between the lines, so a fun parlor game to play with your buddies from law school after a night of drinking would be to read articles of dating advice and speculate on who the target audience for such advice is, as well as what would happen if someone were to apply said advice literally. Similarly, in this post, we deconstruct a post from the Elle and Company Design website, in which the author, Lauren Hooker, purports to reveal the “secret formula” for writing a successful blog post.
How to Write Blog Post Titles for Humans (and for Search Engines)
Hooker’s first piece of advice is to write a catchy title for your blog post, perhaps even before you write the post. This piece of advice is aimed at making your post appeal to humans. Google doesn’t care whether your post title is catchy. For purposes of attracting search engine, the most important criterion for a successful blog post title is that it should contain keywords, preferably the main keyword for which you are trying to optimize. For Google, a boring title that includes your main keyword is just as good.
Where Writers See Outlines, Google Sees Subheadings
Hooker’s second piece of advice is to write an outline before you write your blog post. While this piece of advice seems to be aimed primarily at making it easier for writers to write high quality blog posts quickly, it has fringe benefits for both readers and search engines. If you outline before you write, the resulting post will be well organized, so readers will be able to find the information they need easily. Meanwhile, Google will see the remnants of your outline in subheadings, which are an ideal place to include keywords.
Are Short Paragraphs an SEO Gimmick?
Hooker, like other purveyors of content creation advice, recommends writing short paragraphs. The main purpose of this advice is to make the text easier for readers to follow, and not because they have short attention spans. The real purpose of this advice is that it is easy to lose your place when reading long blocks of text on a screen, especially the small screen of a mobile phone. Google likes small paragraphs, but readers, especially those reading blog posts on their phones, as many people do when doing research to help them choose a lawyer, appreciate them even more.
Professional Legal Content Writers
Many lawyers are great writers and enjoy writing, but most of them have grueling work schedules that leave no time for blogging. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, original content that appeals to Google and to the human beings who search it when they need legal advice.
Old generation geeks remember a time when you had to type in website addresses exactly in order to reach a website. No one found this tedious, because in those days, it was also necessary to memorize phone numbers and enter them one digit at a time in order to make a phone call. The only way people could reach the website of Walter Bloggins, Esq. was to type in its URL as it appeared on the business card. If the website was www.walterblogginsesq.com, and you types www.walterbloggins.com, you would get an error message. Gimmicky web addresses like www.getoutofjailfreewithwalterb.com did little to solve this problem, because they still depended on prospective clients having reasonably accurate keyboarding skills.
Enter the search engine. Over time, these wondrous inventions have gotten better and better at guessing what information you are looking for, even based on vague and misspelled search terms. As search engines get better at helping consumers find what they want, businesses with an online presence compete for the attention of the search engines. The process of getting Google to consider your business the most appropriate, reliable, or important response to a user’s search term is called search engine optimization (SEO), and keywords are an essential part of SEO. Just how many keywords is enough, though, to convince Google that your website is a genuine article?
What Is a Keyword?
SEO keywords are words and phrases that you think that users will type into Google when trying to find your site or other sites like it. For example, “Florida DUI defense,” “Modify alimony agreement,” and “establish an LLC” are all search terms that users who need the services of a lawyer might enter. The keywords relevant to your law firm include your practice area and your geographic area, as well as other phrases related to the types of cases you accept. Some law firms try to include keywords on their sites that will respond to search terms by users who have not yet decided to hire a lawyer. These search terms include things like “Michigan alimony laws” and “how to write a will.”
What Is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is how frequently a keyword appears on a page. For example, if the keyword “alimony” occurs ten times in a 500-word blog post, that is a keyword density of two percent. The formula is a little more complicated for “keywords” that are more than one word long. How often should you use keywords in a blog post, though? Too infrequently, and Google will not give your site enough importance. Too frequently, and Google will determine that your post smacks of charlatanism. The conventional wisdom is that the ideal keyword density is 3-5 percent. That means using the word “alimony” five times in a 500-word post or the phrase “estate planning” three times in a 600-word post, for example.
Let Law Blog Writers Do the Writing
You didn’t go to law school just to obsess about keyword density. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create informative, original content with just the right number of keywords.