11 Nov How to Write a Legal Blog Rich With SEO Value!
Do you know how to write a legal blog? Most every successful law firm’s website has a legal blog. Online articles and reputable marketing companies have strongly recommended that you have a legal blog. Taking the time to question the wisdom of the recommendation is not an option when you’re a busy professional. Attempting to participate in your own online marketing to reduce costs is not an effective use of your time.
A typical legal blog can take anywhere from a few to eight hours to complete. If it is not done correctly, it is simply a waste of time and money. Being the co-author, editor and publisher of a successful legal blog, I have developed a keen understanding of how to write a legal blog that is rich with SEO and relative content. I am now sharing with you the knowledge it takes to on how to write a legal blog that engages readers and is beneficial to your marketing efforts.
Before you begin your legal blog, choose two targets:
What audience are you trying to reach? By focusing on your target audience, it will help you author appropriate content. If you are writing a blog aimed at your colleagues versus clients, you will be able to use more legal terms. However, if writing for clients, you may want to scale down the legalese and make your blog easy to understand.
What is the goal of your blog, i.e., what do you want your reader to gain from its content? Most legal topics are very broad. Most searches are very specific. In fact, most searches are now being asked in question form using apps on mobile devices. To keep up with this trend, Google released an update that actually allows it to answer these questions before they are even completed. Keep your topic specific. If you want to write about child custody, narrow it down. You could use a topic such as “What Fathers Should Know During Child Custody Fights.” This will help you focus on one audience and allow you to write a concise legal blog. It will also leave several other sub-topics of child custody open for future legal blogs.
Thoroughly research the topic of your legal blog. Print out articles to keep your mind fresh along the writing process. Make sure that your resources are current. Copy and paste site links of these resources onto a document as you do your research so that they are readily available to create outbound links. I will touch on creating outbound links later in this article.
HOW TO WRITE A LEGAL BLOG
An authoritative legal blog should include no less than 700 words. It is better to have one comprehensive blog done once a week than several abbreviated ones. Sentences should not be lengthy, but direct and to the point. Once you know how to write a legal blog, a more elaborate blog will not be as intimidating.
A good legal blog should include the following:
FOCUS KEYWORD PHRASE.
A focus keyword phrase should be 2-4 words in length. It should be the topic of your legal blog and should be used 8-10 times throughout the blog. This helps the search engines identify what your blog is about and direct search traffic to it accordingly. You should never use the same keyword phrase on more than one blog/website page of your site. You can, however, rearrange the words and use synonyms to recreate a keyword phrase.
CONCISE PAGE TITLE.
Your legal blog title should include the keyword phrase and clearly summarize the content of your legal blog. For example, the keyword phrase for this very blog is “legal blog”, but the title is “How to Write a SEO Abundant Legal Blog.”
KEYWORD PHRASE IN FIRST SENTENCE.
Search engines have milliseconds to find websites that match the keyword searches. Having your keyword in your title is not enough to convince them that your site is an authoritative resource. Having your keyword in the first sentence will solidify the topic of your blog.
An outbound link is a link on your legal blog that points to a web page on another website/domain. You should have at least two outbound links on your legal blog to reputable websites. This can be done easily by creating outbound links using legal words or terms. You can connect them to websites such as Merriam-Webster or Law.com. You should always create an outbound link to websites of any agencies or resources that you mention.
EDIT YOUR LEGAL BLOG
Part of learning how to write a legal blog is understanding the importance of editing.
It is never a good idea to go straight from writing your blog to editing it. Many studies suggest that our memory may believe we are reading what we intended to write rather than what we actually wrote. Take a break and come back later.
When it comes time to edit, you should do so on different levels, concentrating on one task at a time.
1. Read Your Content. Read your blog as if you are your target audience. Do not look for errors or try to correct content the first time through. Does your content achieve your target goal?
2. Edit only your content. Add, amend, or delete text to sharpen your content.
3. Spellcheck. Although spellcheck features pick up on all misspelled words, we sometimes do not catch the squiggly lines. We also pay less attention to words that we know will prompt spellcheck, such as proper names and certain legal terms. Go over your legal blog to make sure that all words flagged by spellcheck are indeed spelled correctly.
4. Run-on Sentences. According to the Flesch-Kincaid readability scores, run-on sentences make content harder to comprehend. Most lengthy sentences can be formed into two shorter sentences with a little creativity.
5. Citations. Have you appropriately cited quotes, paraphrases, and ideas you got from sources? Have you created backlinks where appropriate to these sources?
6. Backlinks. Have you created a backlink from any content that may need a definition? Linking to the definition of “felony” rather than explaining what a felony is will keep your blog full of relative content and remain focused on your goal.
7. Proofread your content. Reading and proofreading are different. Proofreading is a combination of all of the steps above. It is always helpful to have someone proofread your legal blog before you publish it.
PUBLISH YOUR BLOG
Your blog has been researched, authored and edited and you’re finally ready to publish it! One thing to remember before publishing your blog is that you should include an image. Images appear when you share your blog on social media sites. In a study performed by MGD Advertising, content featuring compelling images averages 94 percent more total views than those without. Images should reflect your topic and can be custom images or a free stock photo.
PROMOTE YOUR BLOG!
Another important aspect when you learn how to write a legal blog is to understand and utilize ways to promote your legal blog.
Search engine traffic will constitute a very small percentage of your legal blog’s overall view. You should take the time to promote your blog on your social media accounts. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the most successful places to share your blog. Remember to also post in groups and communities that focus on your professional affiliation and the topic of your legal blog. Oftentimes colleagues will read and share each other’s blogs. If you have email subscribers, be sure your blog has been sent to them.
There are also other creative ways to promote your blog. Robbie Richards wrote a great blog on How To Promote Your Blog Posts To Get 19,011 Social Shares (Without Spending A Penny).
Lastly, if you find your professional time is stretched thin, it is always resourceful to hire a reputable SEO company to assist you in authoring and/or publishing your blogs that knows exactly how to write a legal blog. PRIME Legal SEO is run by legal professionals for legal professionals. Contact us today to discuss your needs!