When it comes to legal content writing providers, phone calls or video chats with clients usually go one of two ways:
- Everyone gets along and is on the same page. Maybe a few laughs are shared.
- Attorneys or legal marketers at a law firm do not understand SEO. Things can get uncomfortable.
When I was a baby law firm content writer, I just assumed everyone understood why there were certain things worded the way they were. What I’ve learned is that lawyers have other things on their minds. They’re understandably busy, and most have very little time to focus on what goes onto their website. This can be a problem when they read the content and get frustrated by what’s there.
Here, I want to look at a few of the main areas of contention I’ve encountered when producing content for attorneys over the last few years.
(I’ve made slight changes to details here to obscure who I may or may not be talking about)
Geographic Focus For The Law Firm Practice Area Pages
I had a conversation with a personal injury attorney out of Myrtle Beach the other day. It got heated at first because they couldn’t understand why I was creating pages for the cities surrounding Myrtle Beach. In particular, this set of pages was for Conway, a crowded city very close to Myrtle (and the seat of the county).
Aside from the fact that we’d already agreed on a strategy to target the cities around Myrtle, I had to explain again why we were doing so. Let me give you a brief rundown of how the conversation started:
- Attorney: “My office is in Myrtle Beach. My pages should focus on Myrtle.”
- Me: “We have already made your main “pillar” pages focused on Myrtle. Now, we’re working to target other areas where clients could come from.”
- Attorney: “The Myrtle Beach pages should be good enough.”
- Me: “But you said you wanted to draw clients from all of the other major cities around Myrtle.”
- Attorney: “Yes, I did say that. But why are you turning me into a ‘Conway personal injury lawyer.’”
You see what’s happening here. My plan, which I had discussed with this attorney, was to create satellite pages that closely mirrored the pillar pages but focused on the other major cities around Myrtle Beach. On some pages, it would be “Conway personal injury lawyer” or “Conway car accident attorney.” On other pages, it would be “North Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer” or “North Myrtle Beach car accident attorney.”
I took some time to explain the search behavior of the people we were targeting – the prospective clients in these individual cities who are typing into Google or another search engine for help.
Yes, the algorithms are pretty smart, and individuals in those other cities may very well have landed on his page without these satellite pages, but that’s no guarantee. By having a multi-location strategy implemented, his bases would be covered.
We got past the issues, and I carried on with my strategy.
Problems With The Way Service Areas Are Labeled
“I didn’t go to law school to be an ‘Uber accident attorney,’” an attorney said to me condescendingly. “I handle personal injury law cases, and that’s all people need to know.”
Right, no kidding. I also didn’t just decide to make that your keyword for no reason. I understand that you handle “only personal injury law.” As an experienced legal content writer, I also know that is not how your clients are finding you. People are very specific when it comes to what they lookup on Google and other search engines. Instead of popping onto the internet to look up a personal injury lawyer near them, they’ll type in what actually happened:
- San Francisco dog bite lawyer
- San Francisco SFMTA attorney
- San Francisco Uber accident lawyer
I’ve had more than one conversation with attorneys about this type of keyword usage. Another conversation I had was an attorney practically yelling, “There is no such thing as a New York City child custody attorney.”
My colleagues and I asked the attorney, “Do you want to take cases revolving around child custody out of New York City?”
When the attorney answered “yes,” we had to spend 20 minutes explaining that a “New York City family law attorney” keyword phrase just isn’t going to work for every single page.
Every overreaching practice area has smaller areas that need to be targeted. In the case mentioned above, we knew that Uber accidents were fairly prevalent and that not many other firms in the area had pages specifically geared towards Uber accidents. An “Uber accident attorney” page for this attorney would have been fantastic.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. This attorney wanted to remain only a “personal injury lawyer.” We were allowed to mention causes of injuries within the personal injury page, but we couldn’t get specific with his keywords on individual pages.
Will it work? Probably not, but we tried.
Working Through The Issues To Craft The Best Legal Content Writing
There has to be a good working relationship between legal content writers and the attorney or the law firm marketing coordinator. As creators of law firm content, the team at Blue Seven has a responsibility to make sure the attorney understands what we’re doing and why. We have to clearly communicate our goals as well as give a basic lesson on SEO and how the search algorithms work.
Our team can help law firms handle a range of content issues, including providing the best legal content writing for:
- Law firm practice area pages
- Law firm blog posts
- Law firm landing pages
- Law firm frequently asked questions (FAQs)
- Press releases
- Attorney bio pages
- Law firm “about us” pages
- Law firm homepages
You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 843-580-3158. When you contact Blue Seven, you will be connected directly with the company’s founders.
Written by Allen Watson – CEO and Co-Founder of Blue Seven Content
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