[author: Joe Balestrino]
While growing your law firm’s blog or website traffic can be difficult and time-consuming, it’s worth investing those precious hours in search engine optimization (SEO). But, there is a right way and a wrong way, and it would be a shame to spend considerable time on wasted effort and mistakes. Here are 17 common legal blogging mistakes that can prevent you from achieving your SEO goals.
Legal Blogging Mistakes + How to Avoid Them
1. Start without a plan
Before starting a blog, you need to consider your goals and have a strategy. Who are you trying to reach and with what information? What is the best way to reach them? Set short and long term goals for your blog based on measurable and achievable results. Then create a roadmap of how to get there.
2. Not Posting Consistently
Search engines are constantly on the lookout for new, high-quality content. The more you post, the more likely you are to rank. Plus, your readers will visit more often if you consistently provide them with value. Skipping a blog once in a while is okay, but try to stick to a regular schedule.
Related: How to blog when you don’t have time.
3. Focus on quantity over quality
The quality of your law firm’s blog content is one of the most important SEO factors. Don’t make the common mistake of focusing only on the technical aspects of SEO and not the actual substance of the blog. In other words, you shouldn’t expect a blog post to rank well just because you followed the technical steps to make it SEO friendly.
4. Use inconsistent brand voice
Your legal blogging voice should be consistent with your overall brand voice. Establish key brand elements, including the type of voice you’ll use before you start writing. Document these elements so that multiple authors can write in the appropriate tone.
5. Forget your key audience
Your readers should be at the forefront of every blog post published by your law firm. What are they interested in? What answers do they need? This is the best place to start with any content. It is necessary that you fully understand your target audience. We recommend that you create an ideal customer profile for this.
Here’s a free guide you can use to do this: A Law Firm’s Guide to Creating an Ideal Client Profile.
6. Choose topics that don’t add value
If you’re blogging about topics that your audience finds boring or irrelevant, you’re wasting your time. Focus on creating value by considering frequently asked questions of your attorneys, new research or industry news being discussed, and client success stories.
7. Make poor keyword choices
If you are blogging for SEO, you need to do your keyword research. Keyword research allows lawyers to discover what topics or issues are important to their target audience. When you have identified your target keywords, use them in titles, subtitles, and multiple times in text and with image captions.
8. Lack of SEO understanding
If you’re going to take the time to blog, SEO should play an important role in your strategy. It is important to know SEO best practices in order to get the most out of your content. Frequency, length, keyword distribution, and format are all important for SEO. If you’re unsure of best practices, contact an expert for advice before you start blogging.
9. Use the first headline you write
The title of your blog is essential. It grabs the reader’s attention and convinces them to read your content over a competitor’s. Once you’ve written the whole post, go back and look at the title. Is there a more compelling way to write the title? Often revisiting the title the next day produces better results.
10. Create paragraphs that are too long
Most consumers simply browse online content. This means your articles should be skimmable, and creating short paragraphs with lots of white space and bulleted lists can help.
11. Ignore visuals
Include graphics, photos or videos in your posts. Articles with relevant images have a much higher readership and people tend to remember visuals more than what they read. Also, images help break up the text related to the point above.
12. Not promoting your blog
The interest of legal blogs for SEO is to increase online visibility. If you’re not promoting your blog, you’re not helping it do its job. Be sure to post your law firm’s blog on social media and in an email newsletter, and possibly even with a paid social campaign. Blogs that receive more traffic will rank higher on Google.
13. Never see older messages again
If you wrote an article a while ago and you think it’s still relevant (or the topic has returned), simply update it and then republish it. Update any details that may be outdated, then share them on your blog.
14. Not verifying analytics
Ideally, you already have Google Analytics installed on your site. Be sure to check these analytics regularly in regards to your blogging activities. Use the information to develop new content.
15. Spending too little time
When blogging for SEO, it’s essential to make sure the content is truly valuable and well-written. The only way to be sure is to take the necessary time. Take the time to not only write the post, but also edit it, find great visuals, publish it, and promote it.
16. Expect Instant Results
Most facets of digital marketing take time, and blogging is no different. Expect to wait at least 12-18 months to see positive results from your blog.
17. Neglecting SEO on the backend
Always check that any backend SEO is supported along with the best practices mentioned above. Things like a meta description, alt tags, and filenames with keywords make the difference. If technical SEO isn’t your forte, try using the Yoast SEO plugin. The plugin makes it easy for your site to meet the highest technical SEO standards.
If it seems like there’s a lot to think about when it comes to blogging for SEO, that’s because there is. Law firms should research these common mistakes for a better chance of blogging which helps your SEO efforts. If you need tips for creating content that people will read and react to – as well as content that helps your website rank in search engines, download our free eBook: SEO for Practice Websites. lawyers.
This post has been edited and reposted from March 3, 2021.