2012 was a very tough year for law firms trying to market online. There were two substantial updates last year as to how Google values and evaluates content and you need to know this as you move forward because adding content /blogging for law firms is one of the best uses of your marketing dollars.
You must understand that Google, Yahoo and Bing have one main responsibility as search engines and that is to send people to the most relevant web pages based on each and every keyword. And while “relevance” continues to be a moving target, in the most recent “slaps” Google has actually dropped their guard and has “told” bloggers what they are now looking for and will continue to look for.
And two things they are looking for (in addition to inbound links from high quality sites, your main keywords used gracefully and social buzz) is on page optimization using synonyms and outbound law firm authority links/connections.
Google (which accounts for about 70% of all natural traffic) has made a bold statement that they want each and every blog post to fully reflect two things:
1.) They want to see far more emphasis on synonyms relating to the main keyword in the blog post
2) They want to see more of a connection to authority sites (which can start with outbound links)
So let’s go ahead and look at a real example of how your law firm blog needs to start operating after the most recent Google changes:
A. Choose Your Main Keyword
For this example, let’s assume that it is “Criminal Attorney Boston”.
B. Head To Google And Find Out What They Need You To “Say” In Relation To Your Keywords
Go to Google and type in your keyword for the blog post (“criminal attorney Boston”) then scroll to the bottom of the page. There you will find about 8 to 10 synonyms for that keyword.
In this exact case, here are the keywords that come up:
criminal law attorneys boston, criminal law firms boston, boston criminal lawyer blog, boston oui lawyer, stephen neyman lawyer, boston criminal lawyer, boston criminal defense attorney, boston personal injury attorney
Understand what you have just accomplished. You have just let Google tell you what keywords THEY want to see in your blog post. These are the LSI keywords that Google needs to see in your post as these are the keywords that support your main keyword and PROVE to the search engines that your post is deeply relevant.
Make sure that the main keyword you are after is surrounded by the kissing cousins to that keyword and your content will be more likely to rank well and bring you business.
C. Linking Out To Authority Sites
Whether this has an indirect or a direct effect it will often get the attention of the sites you are linking to and in some cases create a link back or a retweet etc. If your pages are more of a resource with useful links they will get linked to more as well. So share and be shared!
Writing great content that adds value to the web is step one. Step two is showing the search engines that you are serious about being an AUTHORITY site in your niche.
So how do you do that?
You do that not only by getting links in to your site and having lots of social buzz but by being willing to be a solutions provider.
Yes, of course, your law firm marketing strategy has to involve you giving out great content in your posts (leave the fluff writing at home) but if you want results long term, you must start to link out from your blog to sites that Google already trusts!
From Wikipedia to all of the major law associations in your niche, you want to be WILLING to have outgoing links to these sites to show Google that you will do everything you can to get your readers the best content they can ever get.
Does that mean being willing to lose a visitor? No. You create these links as “open in a new window” links and that keeps them on your law firm blog.
Embrace these new ways to get clients from your law firm blog and make sure that the people creating those posts are abiding by the new rules.
Or your competition will.