Law Firms and Search Generative Experience (SGE)

Law firms are beginning to explore what the search generative experience (SGE) means for them. Surely, most law firm marketing directors or partners have spoken to their marketing agencies, and there may be some internal panic. 

At Blue Seven Content, we only generate written content for law firm websites, so SGE has the potential to significantly affect our business. In fact, if SGE and ChatGPT play out how many in the industry think, we won’t have a business at all. 

But I don’t think it’s as bad as people think. So far, as I’ve delved into SGE responses for law firms and law-related queries, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how it’s working. 

Law firms and search generative experience, how will Google's search revolution change the legal marketing industry?

The Law Firm Short-Tail Keywords

When thinking about where to begin my search generative experience journey, I figured the best place to start would be where it all started for me – typical keywords for crafting a law firm practice area page

You know what I’m talking about:

  • Los Angeles personal injury lawyer
  • Car accident lawyer in Denver
  • Palmdale slip and fall attorney

When it comes to the SGE results, it doesn’t currently seem like Google is trying to make waves. I typed in “medical malpractice attorney Charleston SC,” after I geocoded my location to Charleston. First, I got the usual SERP results, but there was also a “generate AI response” option for me to press:

Typing medical malpractice attorney charleston sc gives me the option to click an SGE button.

When I clicked the AI button, it seemed like it pulled a list of medical malpractice attorneys in the area, and it appeared to reward reviews from various sources (uh oh, back come the directories?). However, what doesn’t seem to play a role in this generative response (yet) are the PPC or organic results you’d usually find on the SERP. They give these as 4- or 5-pack for each search:

The SGE gave me a directory of sorts.

At the bottom of the SGE response, there were a few prompts for related follow-up questions, presumably what people typically ask around the same time they are looking for a medical malpractice lawyer:

  • How long do you have to sue for medical malpractice in South Carolina?
  • What is the statute for medical malpractice in South Carolina?
  • What are the limits for malpractice in SC

These types of responses are the norm for SGE when you type in the usual keywords that would bring you to a law firm practice area page. It does not yet give you an automatic generative response – you have to choose to click it. 

We should really pay attention to the follow-up queries on the bottom of these responses. These are the type of long-tail keywords that lead to responses we already write answers for, but this gives us an idea of what Google (and readers) want to see. 

These types of queries are harder for SGE to even make a coherent response for. What are they going to do – describe what a car accident or family law attorney is? No, I think these queries will remain relevant to the traditional SERP results. 

However, the long-tail keyword queries are a different story. 

The Law Firm Long-Tail Keywords

I’ve predicted that Google would keep legal queries YMYL, but that may not actually be the case. Of course, this is all still experimental, so I may be proven right. I could just as easily be proven wrong. 

So, I decided to delve into general queries such as “steps to take after a slip and fall accident” or “when should I call a lawyer after a car accident.”

I’ve found that these types of searches generate an automatic SGE response. For these queries, we’re getting a response you could expect to find on ChatGPT, except Google can draw from, well, Google. This AI can access the internet.

When you type in these types of searches, the SGE does give you a response, and it does show a 3-pack (4-pack if you scroll right) of pages where it draws its answer from. Usually, these are law firms, but there are other sources, depending on your question. 

My immediate questions, and ones that people smarter and with more experience than me are tackling, are:

  • What makes a page “good” for SGE to draw from?
  • How do we best optimize for SGE?

I geocoded myself to Charleston, SC, again and typed “steps for a medical malpractice case in Charleston.” I got the SGE answer straight away, above the fold:

Ask a long-tail keyword geared towards a legal question, and you get an automatic SGE response.

You can see a small photo of, supposedly, where the information used to generate the response comes from. Again, I want to know what makes these the “best” pages to use for an SGE response. 

Again, we get the same follow-up prompts on the bottom that we got when we looked up the “medical malpractice attorney Charleston SC.” 

Below the SGE, we go right into what we’re used to seeing on the SERP, but not sponsored ads. It goes right into the organic search results (my content writer’s heart sings when ads aren’t first), but I also know that so many searchers won’t go beyond the SGE response. 

Something funny happened when I typed, “when should you call a lawyer after a construction accident.” I got the sponsored results first, and THEN I got the SGE response in the middle of the page, finally followed by the organic results:

I’m sure these results will be replicated the more I play with SGE queries. Again, Google is experimenting with all of this, and they will try to figure out what works best for the average user AND for them. Google is not going to throw away revenue, so having the sponsored results show up first shouldn’t surprise anyone. 

Do We Already Know How to do This?

As I think about law firms and search generative experience exploration, I was curious as to how this would work when I entered the keywords that Blue Seven Content usually ranks well for anyway. First, I typed in “law firm practice area pages”:

We already ranked second in organic for this keyword (on most days), and we show up in the SGE as well. Look what happens when I expand the SGE result:

When I expand it out, Blue Seven ranks number one in the SGE response. Now, the results don’t show the meta description that we have for that page, but that’s not surprising. Google has a way of looking at your meta and ignoring it anyway, so there’s that. 

I did the same with “law firm FAQ pages” because we’re frequently number one with that search. Here’s the result:

Here, we show up number one in organic SERP and number one and two in the SGE response:

We Still Have ChatGPT to Deal With

As I’ve noted multiple times before, ChatGPT is a “threat” to us legal content writers. Not legal marketing agencies, though. Legal marketing agencies that handle all of a law firm’s online marketing will always be around, and they’ll adapt. No, it’s the content writers who have to worry.

But do we?

Okay, maybe some legal content writers have to worry. The ones who can’t produce content better than ChatGPT are certainly on the chopping block. But that was always going to be the case. What I think will happen, as I’ve said before, is that ChatGPT has had its sugar rush. It’s given the industry a high (or a bad trip, depending on what your role is). 

But as I’ve toyed around with Google’s SGE, I’ve seen that good content matters. Google is meeting AI in a way that (1) provides simple answers that users are looking for and (2) seeks to maintain the main revenue driver for the platform – ads. 

For now, SGE results are generally pulling answers from well-ranking organic content that already answers, or closely answers, the search query. Could SGE end up pulling content that someone generated with ChatGPT and published? Yes, of course. But not if that content isn’t better than what’s already out there. 

Currently, ChatGPT has many flaws. Phantom court cases and rulings. Massive plagiarism. Predictable writing that reeks of AI. Zero human touch. 

And, of course, there’s the issue of what happens to content online when ChatGPT gains access to the internet (it’ll happen eventually) and begins learning new stuff based on content people have generated using ChatGPT. It’s a self-feeding loop with little new input from actual humans. 

Content degradation is waiting to happen.  

Was there content degradation with human legal content writers consistently regurgitating each other? Of course there was. This is why I’ve said I’m grateful to ChatGPT for snapping us (at least Blue Seven) out of any comfort zone we may have fallen into. 

We have to constantly improve. We have to be better content creators, thinkers, researchers, and writers. Writers have to be better than the silver bullet LLMs that many (lazy) marketers think will be their golden ticket. 

With my intro research into SGE responses to legal queries, I’m positive that quality, human-written content will reign supreme. Humans can and should use the tools available at their disposal, much like SEOs use Ahrefs, Semrush, and Clearscope. They should use tools like editors use, including Copyscape, Grammarly, or Hemingway. These technological advancements didn’t kill the SEO or the editor, and those who are good at their craft don’t completely rely on the tools. Because they are tools used to build the larger product – a good piece of writing. 

Law Firms and Search Generative Experience (SGE) – My Take for Now

I think SGE will seek to answer basic queries with assistance from results that already rank. Perhaps this will go to paid results eventually, but Google is drawing from organic results for now. Ranking in SGE will be more competitive because it’s taking from 3 or 4 organic sources now, then the rest of the SERP responses appear. 

Who knows what this will look like in six months or a year, but I don’t think it’s the death of the legal content writer. I think it’s the beginning of a new search experience, and we have to adapt. What we’re adapting to is still up in the air. How will law firms respond to search generative experience? Stand by, we’ll be back for more.

Written by Allen Watson – Founder and CEO of Blue Seven Content

ChatGPT and Legal Marketing – Where do We go From Here?

(UPDATED FEB 2023) WRITTEN BY ALLEN WATSON: FOUNDER & CEO OF BLUE SEVEN CONTENT

ChatGPT and legal marketing – AI is about to completely upend the legal marketing field.

Okay, not really. But that’s what a bunch of people are about to tell you. Perhaps you’ve already heard that your law firm practice area pages and blog posts no longer need to be written by a human. Maybe someone has raved about how much money you’ll be able to save by not having to pay for content anymore. Since November, all people can talk about is ChatGPT.

Let me be clear – ChatGPT is far more advanced than any other AI that’s come out, at least publicly. In fact, it can create content that’s better than some of the drivel I’ve seen on law firm websites. But I don’t think it’s a legal marketing killer, and I think law firms and legal marketing agencies need to do their research before declaring victory over human writers. 

  1. What is ChatGPT?
  2. Responses to ChatGPT
  3. How Could ChatGPT Disrupt Legal Marketing?
  4. What I Found When Using ChatGPT (Legal Content Writer Explorations)
  5. The Issues With ChatGPT for Legal Content Writing
    1. Plagiarism is a problem
    2. Incorrect information
    3. It cannot can cite sources
    4. Very surface-level content
    5. No current information to pull from
    6. Where does new information come from if everyone stops posting new content?
    7. Possible legal or legislative issues
    8. None of the ChatGPT legal marketing issues are insurmountable
  6. Microsoft and Google – The Battle Brewing
  7. Embrace Technological Advances Instead of Dismissing Them

What is ChatGPT?

If you’ve been anywhere on social media recently, you’ve seen people raving (or ranting) about ChatGPT. 

But what the hell is it?

ChatGPT was created by OpenAI, which is a research lab focused on advancing artificial intelligence technologies. The organization was founded in 2015 by various individuals, including Elon Musk. However, Musk resigned from the board of OpenAI in 2018.

ChatGPT was released in beta version to the public on November 30, 2022, and amassed more than a million users less than a week after its launch. ChatGPT uses a large artificial intelligence model created by OpenAI, called GPT-3.5 language technology. This system has been trained by using a massive amount of text data from various sources.

ChatGPT is revolutionary, but we're not sure it can handle good legal content writing.
You need to understand ChatGPT and how it affects your field.

The current way to use ChatGPT is sort of like a chatbot, where a user will input a question or prompt into a search bar and watch as ChatGPT responds with what it believes to be the appropriate information for the prompt or question. Perhaps the best part of ChatGPT is that you can get it to respond in pretty much any form you want. You can have it craft a five-paragraph essay, or you can command it to give the answer or response as a poem.

Want to dig further? Tell ChatGPT to craft a response to a question or prompt in iambic pentameter or in the speaking style of William Shatner. It can do it.

I asked it to write me a love story between Luke Skywalker and Yoda. It did it, and it convinced me that was the true story behind the whole saga.

This AI system responds really well to the prompts imputed. You can get very specific and creative. I do strongly suggest you go try it out. It’s honestly great for entertainment. You’ll also see the potential for this tech to disrupt everything.

Responses to ChatGPT

To say the response to ChatGPT has been resounding and immediate is an understatement. Educators have proclaimed that the essay is dead because there will be no way to know what’s student-written and what’s generated by ChatGPT. Teachers say there is no way they’ll be able to assign take-home tests.

Some have questioned whether ChatGPT will make lawyers obsolete, as it may be able to create arguments and draft legal documents. Imagine a courtroom where all you do is wait for AI to tell you the outcome of the case because it’s already read every possible law and court case.

The Washington Post has said that Google (and other search engines) face a major threat because of ChatGPT. The argument is that ChatGPT could spell disaster for Google by providing better answers to the queries that we typically ask Google.

Google crawls and indexes billions of web pages. It then ranks this content in order of the most relevant answers (most of the time). When you perform a search, you get a list of links to click through, typically beginning with ads related to your search and then moving on to the organic links related to your search. This, my friends, is where SEO wizards have made their bones.

When individuals type in a question on ChatGPT, they are presented with a single answer based on the AI search and synthesis of the information already online. The idea is that now, instead of you having to click through the most relevant links to find the information you need, ChatGPT will handle the hard part for you and give you THE answer. The definitive answer. 

Of course, there have been significant discussions about what comes next for the internet. Web 3.0 is typically seen as the next phase, even though there is little consensus about what this means or what it looks like. We’ve discussed the metaverse as being the key component in a Web 3.0 world, and ChatGPT and other AI technologies could aid that shift.

Legal marketing SEO agencies make a living off of helping law firms rank toward the top of search engines for specific queries. The industry, quite frankly, isn’t ready to handle a world where SEO isn’t a thing. 

All I can do is approach ChatGPT from the angle of a content writer that understands and uses SEO but focuses on providing content that readers need/want to see.

I’ve been creating legal marketing content for years. I’ve written thousands of law firm practice area pages and blog posts, and I’ve supervised writers who have written tens of thousands. So, it was only natural for me to begin by prompting ChatGPT with topics that frequently crop up when crafting a page.

I asked, “What types of compensation are available for a car accident in California?” and it gave me a solid answer, one that you’d typically see on a law firm’s website.

I asked, “Is there a cap on damages available for a successful personal injury claim in Michigan?” and ChatGPT gave me a convincing answer.

I asked, “What are the most common injuries caused by a moped accident?” and the AI provided an indisputable list of injuries.

Finally, I asked, “What are the four elements of negligence for a personal injury claim?” and the AI gave me exactly what you’d expect to see on a law firm’s website.

Each one of these responses came back with data organized in a way that we would typically see on a law firm web page. There was a brief explanation, a bullet list or a number list of some sort, and often a little conclusion to wrap it up. I could certainly envision a legal content writer crafting a law firm practice area page or blog post, inputting their H2s into the ChatGPT prompt, and then copy and pasting the answer to their page.

After these basic queries, which would essentially be sections of a longer page for a law firm, I decided to get more specific with the requests. I asked ChatGPT to write a 500-word law firm practice area page targeting those who need a Chicago car accident attorney.

You know what?

The page wasn’t bad. It was surface-level, but it certainly provided enough information to maybe convince someone that they’d need an attorney if they’ve been injured in a crash.

But it was certainly not the type of page that I would create. I do see the value of using ChatGPT and other types of AI tools for coming up with ideas for a page. This is a tool, not a replacement. At least not yet.

Blue Seven Content founder Allen Watson discusses ChatGPT with Conrad Saam and John Reed.

Just because I said the responses given by ChatGPT were convincing and organized does not mean that they were without issues. In fact, everything that I put into the prompt would never pass muster at Blue Seven Content, and it certainly wouldn’t fly on a law firm’s website.

Plagiarism is a problem

The most glaring issue that cropped up was plagiarism. This is the biggest sin when it comes to writing website content, no matter the industry. If a law firm content writer plagiarizes content from either themselves or from other sources, this is going to hurt the web page. Google’s algorithms know how to spot copied content, and they can penalize a page or even an entire website for it.

  • The prompt on car accident compensation in California came back as 33% plagiarized.
  • The query about moped injuries came back as 23% plagiarized.
  • My question about the four elements of negligence came back 19% plagiarized.
  • A prompt asking how burn injuries are classified was returned as 17% plagiarized.

Not once did I ask it a “typical” legal question and get a response that was less than 15% plagiarized. This challenge is not insurmountable if you have the ability to detect plagiarism and have a competent editor (even then, all you’re doing is wordplay without originality). Right now, ChatGPT is not capable of original thought. It has to provide answers using information already available.

Also, remember that 500-word practice area page I told ChatGPT to write? Well, it came back 34% plagiarized. Sources it drew from ranged from other law firm websites to the Daily Mail. If you’re a veteran legal content writer, you already know to avoid citing competitive law firms and sources that lack credibility. 

Jan 2023 Update – I wanted to know how ChatGPT has evolved, if at all, since it’s release. I asked it to craft a law firm page for fairly simple prompts. I received answers that were less than 10% plagiarized and was fairly impressed. However, I then asked the AI to write a page that required a slightly more technical response, but still fairly basic for a law firm website. There was more than 20% plagiarism.

Bottom line so far – ChatGPT simply cannot help but provide plagiarized answers for anything more than a VERY basic prompt.

Incorrect information

Incorrect information is the last thing a law firm needs on its website.  One of the biggest problems with ChatGPT is the lack of sourcing, and the fact that you have to 100% know the material in order to detect incorrect responses.

I asked ChatGPT, “Is there a cap on damages available for a successful personal injury claim in Michigan?”

If you know anything about these caps, then you know they typically apply to non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims, which is the case in Michigan. However, ChatGPT responded that there was a cap for ALL non-economic damages in Michigan.

ChatGPT presents incorrect information as if it’s fact and in a pretty convincing way. With this tech, you can’t see that there may be other answers the same way you can when you perform a Google search. Nor does it provide room for nuance of the law or the geographic area of the law you are searching. 

The AI tech behind ChatGPT isn’t at a level where it can detect incorrect information, or at least where it can analyze and synthesize information correctly. Somewhere, the AI read that Michigan had a non-economic damage cap, and it had no clue that the information was incorrect. We can look directly at a tweet from Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI:

I asked ChatGPT, “What are the exceptions to California’s medical malpractice statute of limitations?” The response I got was lacking in substance. 

The AI response failed to properly explain the exception for minors who sustain injuries due to a medical error. It didn’t highlight that there is a difference depending on the age of the minor when the injury occurred. ChatGPT failed to mention the exceptions to California’s medical malpractice statute of limitations for foreign objects left behind in a person’s body after a procedure. 

These are just a few of the mistakes I found during a cursory review. I can only imagine the issues that would arise for slightly more complex queries. 

It cannot can cite sources

I initially thought ChatGPT wasn’t able to cite sources, but it can. When you write your prompt, you can tell the AI to use and cite reputable sources and it will do so. However, I caution anyone doing this, because we don’t currently know how ChatGPT decides what is “reputable.” Conrad Saam, my friend and president of Mockingbird Marketing, has said that the program has given him Wikipedia as a “reputable” source. While Wikipedia is generally accurate, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell I’ll be citing it on a law firm practice area page, FAQ page, or blog post.

We also don’t want to pull information from John Doe’s hobby blog. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll use those sources as a starting point, but we have to verify the information and cite using trusted sources. 

I’m still of the opinion that, no matter what citations ChatGPT provides, there needs to be a human fact-checker. This is particularly true for those of us who write content that demands a certain degree of accuracy. This, in my opinion, would lead to the most time-consuming part of preparing a page for publishing. If you are going to cite data or statistics, then you need to be able to source the information through a hyperlink on the web page. Anyone relying on ChatGPT to craft legal content will have to have an editor go back and (1) go to the source provided by the AI (2) verify the information, and (3) hyperlink the external sources into the content.

All of this is beginning to sound like work writers already do when they create a new law firm website page from scratch, and it’s likely to take nearly as long. If not longer. Content writers often loathe having to go in and adjust or correct other people’s work. It’s typically easier to simply make a new page. 

Very surface-level content

The information returned through ChatGPT is fairly surface level, at least for the purposes of law firm website content. Even if we can get passed the plagiarism issue with good editing, the pages ChatGPT provides are equivalent to what I’d expect from someone who has never written this type of content before. It’s fluffy and lacks nuanced research.

No current information to pull from

Right now, ChatGPT relies on information only up to a certain point in 2021. The AI does not use current data or any real-time information. This will be a problem if you want to use current data and statistics or any new laws on your law firm’s website. Additionally, if you need to craft a blog post about current changes or updates to your particular field of law, ChatGPT will have no way to do this.

Ramping up ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence programs to allow for real-time updates will be a massive undertaking. This requires enormous computing power, something that will take some time to build. 

I recently read “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything” by Matthew Ball, and one possible solution to this problem could be on our tables and in our pockets – our devices. Almost everyone has a computing device (or four or five of them), and the reality is that they remain dormant much of the time. 

If a larger system had the ability to tap into these devices for their computing power, this could allow for the systems needed to control a real-time AI program (as well as potentially power a metaverse immersive environment). It’s essentially crowd-sourcing computer power. 

This comes with a whole slew of privacy and legal questions that many of us are certainly not ready to think about, which highlights some of the issues that AI developers will have to overcome. 

Where does new information come from if everyone stops posting new content?

Maybe this is just my limitations on what I am able to understand about ChatGPT’s capabilities and AI in general, but if this type of technology is used to create new content, where will the AI be able to draw from and learn from in the future?

I envision a future where, if this type of artificial intelligence becomes common, we see AI copying other AI responses. Somewhere, AI systems need to intake new information from human sources in order to stay relevant. 

There will inevitably be legal issues that arise. The courts and lawmakers will step in to address these issues, but that could take a while. For example, will anyone face liability if ChatGPT or another AI gives incorrect information that then causes harm to others? Imagine a WebMD controlled by AI. Will people listen to the advice given by the AI, or will they find a way to verify what they’ve been told?

What if it’s determined that anything written with AI must be labeled as being “machine-generated,” much like the requirement on most platforms that certain posts have to be labeled as ads? Will your legal clients trust you if they see your website is created by AI?

ChatGPT is currently in beta form, and we’re all the test subjects. The more prompts we put into the system, the more it will learn. Developers will continue to tweak the code to determine what works best, and the AI will learn as it goes. 

The system will get better at understanding why incorrect information is, in fact, incorrect. It will learn that it needs to take existing information and craft it in a way that doesn’t plagiarize others. Coders can help the AI recognize what an authoritative source looks like, and they can show it how to use anchor text to hyperlink. Hell, the AI can probably teach itself how to do that.

Using AI for content writing - embrace the change, but be wary of the outcomes.
Will AI be a tool to use when crafting legal content, or is this going take over?

Microsoft and Google – The Battle Brewing

Microsoft recently announced they were investing $10 billion into OpenAI, and there is strong speculation they’ll integrate ChatGPT into their Office tools. This is the third, but largest, round of investment the tech giant has made into the AI company. Microsoft has clearly seen the value of artificial intelligence, and they’re always working to reinvent the company and stay ahead of the curve.

As of February 2023, it seems that Microsoft is beginning to use ChatGPT through their search engine Bing and browser Edge. This is still in limited testing, but it seems that users will be able to conduct a search but that half of the results page will incorporate the chatbot. This could be a huge push for the search engine that’s so long been eating Google’s dust for breakfast in the search world. It could be a paradigm shift for the world of search.

Google is nervous. Google called in the big dogs, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, to help guide them through this credible threat to the company’s main source of revenue (search engine results and ads). Unfortunately for Google, their first foray into the competition with Bard AI was a flop. The search engine giant’s demo of the AI and their search engine resulted in an inaccurate response, and this response led to Google losing more than $100 billion in valuation in one day.

Until we see how the battles between Google, Microsoft, and other major companies end, we’ll have to keep adjusting strategies. As a legal content writer or SEO company for legal marketing, this is something you’ll need to keep an eye on over the next few months and into 2024.

Legal marketing companies and law firms may actually need to start focusing on Bing much more than they’ve done in the past. Let’s be honest – Google has driven SEO over the last two decades. That supremacy is threatened right now.

Embrace Technological Advances Instead of Dismissing Them

It may seem like I’m against AI. I’m not. In fact, I want to embrace it. ChatGPT and legal marketing aren’t avoidable.

There’s never been a time when rejecting new technologies has worked out for anyone in the long run. Horse and carriage operators vehemently hated the concept of a motorized vehicle, and many people doubted whether cars would actually become mainstream. For years, people doubted that computers could ever revolutionize the way individuals went about their daily lives. Even the benefits of the internet weren’t fully understood for quite a while. In fact, many scoffed at the idea of online shopping and “social media.”

Here we are, looking at what could represent another major shift in the way we approach “knowledge.” We have a choice – both as a society and as individuals. We can reject the technology and deny its ability to shape our lives, or we can embrace this type of AI and figure out how to make it work best for us.

No matter what choice we make, the end result will be the same. There is no putting a genie back in the box. ChatGPT is already far more advanced than any other type of AI chat we’ve seen, and it’s still in a rudimentary form. For those of us in the legal marketing sphere, the idea of ChatGPT can be terrifying if we don’t understand what it means for us. 

Maybe ChatGPT or another AI program will eventually address the shortcomings I mentioned above. Why would any legal marketer want to be behind on the trend because they wanted to “protect” their industry? Protectionism only delays the inevitable. 

We don’t need protection from tech – we need to work with it. We have to embrace the possibility inevitability of change. We can use this to be better.

Bad Law Firm Website Content – Have You Read Your Website Lately?

Bad law firm website content is a disease for your website. If you’re not reading the content on your website regularly, then you might be surprised by what others are finding there.

As legal content writers, we take pride in our craft. We know attorneys and law firms count on our creative ability to present legal information that is well-written and appeals to potential clients. Before publishing, our content goes through several edits because we want to make sure it fits well with the culture and practice of each client. 

But some content creation sources are not such conscious editors and it results in the publication of some really bad legal content.

We don’t mean bad because of legal inaccuracies – although it can happen. We mean bad, as in, the words being strung together literally do not make sense. We mean content so bad that law firms may well be sending business away as people attempt to make sense of what they are reading.

How We Know the Content is Bad

We read it. We read a lot of it. 

Before we write content, we research every topic. Our inquiries often retrieve articles from law firm websites. Naturally, we appreciate well-written material. Conversely, we are not very impressed with nonsensical, keyword-stuffed content that sounds like it’s coming from a robot. 

Legal content that leaves potential clients scratching their heads is not doing the job it needs to do and may actually be discrediting an otherwise very capable law practice. 

Just How Bad is Bad?

Well, bad is pretty bad. Lawyers want people to trust them with their lives and livelihoods. Competence is a big deal. First impressions are important. Poorly written content is one way to distinguish a law firm from its competitors – and not in a good way.

The following are actual samples of published content from law firm websites.

From the website of a South Carolina personal injury attorney:

  • “The classification of wrongful death cases as personal injury lawsuits means that wrongful death cases must have died by the personal injury statute of limitations.”

From the website of a Georgia personal injury attorney:

  • “During brake testing or mostly known as brake checking, you slam on your brakes sharply while driving along with another vehicle so that the unsuspecting car will slam on their brakes as well or swerve out of the way so that you will not cause an accident.”

From the website of a Montana criminal defense attorney:

  • “Criminal defense lawyer additionally offers personal sort of assistance by giving the respondent to realise the potential results and by assisting the litigant to manage the fears and frustration that might be coming forth because of being faced with the criminal justice framework.”

That’s some pretty bad content. 

We assume most law firms have professional standards higher than the content on their websites may lead people to believe. People are looking for lawyers because they have problems they cannot solve on their own. They need to feel comfortable with the professionals they are entrusting with their lives. Clear explanations are what they are looking for. 

Confused penguin is confused by your bad law firm website content.
Confused penguin is confused by your bad law firm website content.

How do People Pick an Attorney or Law Firm?

Prospective clients are often visiting a law firm’s website to further investigate a recommended attorney. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to clients selecting the right attorney or law firm to work with. However, studies that have been done on the subject all suggest a general two-step process involving some combination of the following:

  • Asking trusted advisors, family, or friends for referrals and recommendations
  • Using online information to compare and contrast the suggested options

Content matters. Great content might not win a law firm every potential client, but it keeps them in the fight. Comparatively bad content makes it easy to eliminate at least one option among so many offering similar services. 

The Pressure on Law Firms to Consistently Post Content

By now, most law firms understand the importance of having their content rank high in search results. And they know it requires doing what will achieve and maintain the highest rankings. Consistently posting informative, timely, fresh content is a must to persuade Google that a law firm is the best answer to a search query. 

So, where does all the content come from? Content creation is going to cost a law firm money whether the content is created in-house or outsourced to a content creation agency. And while it may seem like an expense to those who have to write the checks, paying for well-written and edited content is really more like an investment in the future of the law firm. 

Good content does not depreciate after it is posted. It can actually appreciate in ranking value over time as it is read, shared, and linked to. When Google detects positive connections to the content, it becomes more trusted and will rank higher as an authoritative source.

Why AI is Not the Easy Solution to Your Legal Content Writing Needs

In the digital advertising age, it’s all about the content. What wins is great content and lots of it. Writing great content can take time. And extra time is something many lawyers never seem to have enough of. One proffered time and money-saving solution for creating legal content is an artificial intelligence (AI) content creation tool. 

AI content creation tools are typically subscription services. The programs need human input and then are able to create articles of a specified length on specific topics. Many offer templates to help create certain types of content. Some even allow a user to select the tone for the communication.  

But AI content creation has some limitations making it better suited to assist human content creation rather than replace it. AI makes bad law firm website content – humans make readable content that you need.

Artificial intelligence is only a tool to be used by a HUMAN when crafting the best legal content.
Artificial intelligence is only a tool to be used by a HUMAN when crafting the best legal content.

The Pros and Cons of Using AI to Create Legal Content

For persons who need to write content and are lacking inspiration, AI can be very helpful because it can access all available information about a topic. However, AI cannot generate new ideas. AI cannot give opinions. AI cannot add anything original to content. For these reasons, Google considers AI-generated content to be spam.

AI content creation works best on established subjects that are not controversial and not very likely to change. The less well-established the data is on a particular topic, the more likely AI will generate inconsistencies and inaccuracies. It also cannot distinguish the appropriateness of a particular term within the context of how it’s being used, which may convey a different meaning than intended.

An overuse of AI-generated content also detracts from user experience by serving up generic data that does not satisfy a novel search query. There is no value added and no information gained by selecting one piece of content over another. ‘Information gain’ is a measure of the difference in quality between the information provided by two pieces of similar content.

What does Google think about information gain? Recently, Google was given the okay to use information gain as a ranking factor. Google wants to be able to distinguish content on the basis of the value of the information presented. A higher information gain score will go to content that has unique information about a subject because it will be deemed more valuable to the user.

So while AI may provide assistance to get content creation started, it cannot generate the kind of information gain that will make the content uniquely valuable in search results and may even violate Google Search Essentials spam policy by being ‘spammy automatically-generated content.’

Freelance Content Writers and Bad Content

Freelance platforms can be a place where law firms turn to find legal content writers. But it can take a lot of sifting and sorting to find a competent, reliable freelance writer who can produce quality content in publish-ready condition. 

The claimed skills and experience of freelance writers are not verified by the platforms, and reviews can be misleading. Legal content that needs heavy editing or may not even be used as written can require a renewed search for a qualified writer – costing a law firm more time and probably more money for uncertain results. If you don’t want bad law firm website content, you need to seek out writers who have years of experience producing legal content that converts readers into clients.

How to Make Sure Legal Content is Good

Hire a reputable legal content writing agency you can rely on to produce timely, accurate, unique content that is well-edited and publish-ready. 

Or if you choose to have content produced some other way, be sure to review it or have somebody review it before it gets published. It’s best if the person reviewing the content understands SEO, the legal concepts being discussed, and how to write for the potential clients a law firm wants to attract. 

Even if a law firm is paying someone to edit its content, it is still a good idea for a firm principal to periodically read some of the firm’s content to make sure it is representative of the image the firm wants to convey. 

How do You go From Bad Law Firm Website Content to Good?

Our motives are mostly pure. We write legal content. We think it should be good. We think law firms should want their content to be good too. We’re here to help law firms get more clients, which means getting rid of your bad law firm website content.

Content is a big part of law firm marketing. Your content may be the first introduction someone has to your law firm. You want that introduction to let the reader know you understand their problem and can provide the solution they need. You want them to feel comfort in knowing they can trust you to help them resolve their situation. 

At Blue Seven Content, we know bad content on law firm websites can mean the loss of potential clients. Our content is written to give attorneys and law firms the best chances of attracting the clients that need their services. Want good content? Call Blue 7.

Written by Mari Gaines – Legal Content Writer

Law Firm SEO: Legal Copywriter’s Guide

UPDATED MAY 2023

Law firm SEO is a highly competitive legal market, and reaching your target audience organically may not be enough. Writing the best law firm content will improve the quality of your website and help you obtain higher rankings on search engines.

Luckily, when you need the best legal content writers for attorney search engine optimization (SEO), Blue Seven Content can offer considerable insight. 

  1. Why is SEO Important for Law Firms?
  2. You Need Fresh, Well-Researched Content for SEO
  3. YMYL and Law Firms – What You Need to Know
  4. Google Search and AI-Generated Responses
  5. What You Should Know About Keywords and Keyword Phrases
  6. Why Style is Important When Writing the Best Law Firm Content
  7. How Important is a Blog to Your Law Firm SEO?
  8. What Are Some SEO Do’s and Don’ts for Law Firm Websites? 
  9. Law Firm SEO Considerations for State Bar Ethics and American Bar Association (ABA)
  10. Why Lawyers May Not Be the Best Legal Content Writers
  11. Why You Need a Law Firm SEO Copywriter

Why is SEO Important for Law Firms?

Having the best legal content means nothing if your target audience never sees it. A recent study analyzed billions of search results on Google:

  • 70.7% of users click one of the first five rankings
  • The 10th position on Google only gets a 2.5% click-through rate

Users rarely proceed to the second page of a search engine. If your website is stranded in Google’s “no man’s land,” it’s time to step up your SEO. 

Law firm SEO is something your firm must take seriously.
SEO for Law Firms can be confusing, but it’s not an enigma.

You Need Fresh, Well-Researched Content for SEO

Google’s search criteria change constantly. For 2022, SEO focused on fresh, quality content. According to Google Search Central, the search engine defines quality content as content containing expertise, content that is authoritative, and content that is trustworthy (E-A-T). What you previously knew as E-A-T, though, has transformed into E-E-A-T (but if you say it out loud as one word, people will think you’re having a medical emergency) in search and SEO.

What is (E)EAT? 

Under the Quality Rater Guidelines, Google released a 167-page document describing E-A-T and how the search engine is focused on the human experience, not bots. In December of 2022, Google updated E-A-T to E-E-A-T, and it was clearly a response to the late November 2022 release of ChatGPT from OpenAI. The guidelines emphasize the following:

  • Experience. Does the content you put on your website convey to the reader that you have some degree of experience related to the topic at hand? That’s what this new “E” is all about. Artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT don’t have their own experiences – they take information from others and create a conglomeration of, sometimes incorrect, responses. This “experience” factor works to build on the other three parts of EAT by establishing the author as someone who has “walked the walk.” Google is looking mainly for first-hand life experience.
  • Expertise: Expertise is difficult to attain in the legal field. New practices may need to publish a substantial amount of content over time to be considered an expert by Google standards. Keep in mind that SEO expertise is very different from claiming legal expertise, which can put a law firm on ethically shaky ground. The idea is to have enough well-researched content on your site to position yourself as highly knowledgeable on the subject. 
  • Authority: Authority represents the evidence of your expertise online. How many other sites link back to yours? Do visitors to your social media sites find their way to a blog or news article you have published on your site? The more recognition your legal pages receive, the stronger “authority” you’ll have in your niche. 
  • Trustworthy: Making your law firm website trustworthy in the eyes of SEO involves proving your site as a quality source of information. Using external links to government sites and unbiased studies are great sources of data. Conversely, using an external link to an unreliable source, or source whose information can be altered by anyone, may hurt your SEO standing. 

Reader-Friendly

Reader-friendliness is crucial to any site. A lack of readability can increase your bounce rate, impeding your website’s ability to convert visitors to clients. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your legal website after viewing only one page. 

According to research:

  • The average bounce rate is 41-55%
  • A high bounce rate is considered 70% or more
  • A bounce rate of 26-40% is excellent  

A good bounce rate tends to vary by type of business. For your law firm website, aim for a bounce rate of 50% or less. 

To reduce your bounce rate, consider the following reader-friendly factors: 

  • Avoid long, wordy blocks of text
  • Too many or too few images
  • Too much clutter (e.g., pop-ups, banners, pages without headers)
  • Reading level

Lawyers have years of education and experience to offer prospective clients. Still, no matter how educated you or your audience, keeping your readability at an 8th-grade level is important.  

Keep Content Fresh

Google loves fresh content for several reasons. Fresh and recently updated content tends to be more accurate, adding to the expertise and trustworthiness of your site. In addition, fresh content gets indexed more frequently, usually resulting in higher search engine rankings. 

To keep your website fresh, consider creating a schedule to add new content regularly. Your law firm website could benefit from adding:

  • Practice pages 
  • Sub-practice pages to focus your service areas
  • A weekly or bi-weekly blog
  • Firm news and community

Also, make sure to update old content. Refresh the statistics on your practice area pages each year. Update old blogs with recent news stories. Check external links and update the source information. If you have similar blogs, think about combining them into a new one. 

YMYL and Law Firms – What You Need to Know

“Your Money or Your Life.” Maybe you’ve heard that before, but you may not know why that matters for your law firm website content or law firm SEO strategy.

YMYL refers to how Google classifies certain content that could impact “a person’s future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety.” There is no hard and fast rule about what is for sure considered YMYL, but some topics are clear. For example, pages related to medical advice, evacuation routes for hurricanes, local news about an ongoing natural or manmade disaster, how to fill out tax forms, etc. Law firm content/legal queries should be YMYL, but that’s not a guarantee.

There are also topics that could be YMYL, like weather reports, information about how to use certain products or when to replace products, and repair advice.

There are many other YMYL topics, but Google clearly states that YMYL topics should demonstrate the highest E-E-A-T levels of any content on the web. Google has not said that law firm content is for sure YMYL, but a few things are true – law firms and attorneys certainly help people in ways that affect their happiness, health, financial stability, and even safety.

As an industry, we NEED law firm website content to be considered YMYL, because that’s the only way SEO and SERPs matter. Google is experimenting with Bard, and AI responses could potentially be the norm at the top of the search results when you type in a query.

Google Search and AI-Generated Responses

Of course, Google had to respond to the rapid changes in internet user behavior brought on by ChatGPT. Millions of people were using OpenAI’s program within a week of its release, and it’s no longer a mystery that ChatGPT has affected many industries, including content writing, academia, medicine, coding, and others.

You may have seen the rollout for certain users as Google experiments with its own Google Bard to provide answers to users based on their search. They’re calling this Search Generative Experience (SGE). These answers pop up before any of the search results, paid or organic. The answers are presented similarly to ChatGPT, except in your regular search instead of a separate website. It’s an experiment right now, but you can expect it to become a reality. Google can’t fall behind because they know what happens to big tech that falls behind new competitors (anyone still missing their adjustable Myspace backgrounds?).

Google has said that this new SGE experience won’t affect YMYL queries, including legal ones, but that’s not a guarantee. Regardless of whether or not law firms get sucked into the AI responses for Google (we think organic and paid search will still matter for law firms), the content produced and put onto your web pages MATTERS.

Law firms should put out quality content that the reader can use and trust. They should do this for their potential clients and for their website’s trustworthiness factor, but they should also do this to prepare for any AI upheaval. Once ChatGPT and other AI platforms connect to the internet, the game changes.

But law firm websites won’t be replaced. Other YMYL websites will still matter. But these websites will be incorporated into the AI landscape somehow. We just don’t know what that will look like yet. We’re still figuring this new tech out. One thing we know is that 90% of what people think new tech will do for the world isn’t what actually happens. AI platforms like ChatGPT will grow a life of their own and, as with other tech in the past, carve out their own future while we play catch up.

What You Should Know About Keywords and Keyword Phrases

SEO basics center around the common keywords people search for a given topic. For example, if your law firm offers personal injury services in New York, some common keywords may be:

  • Car accidents attorneys in New York
  • New York Truck crash lawyers
  • New York Slip and fall injuries attorney

Keywords and keyword phrases help Google better categorize your page. A skilled team with experience handling content for law firm websites can help incorporate these keywords seamlessly.

Keywords for Law Firm SEO

Think about your legal practice and what services you offer. Do some practice searches in your area or use a keyword tool. A few companies, including Google, offer a keyword planner to get the best phrases for your SEO goals. 

 Consider the following when doing your keyword research:

  • What is the user’s intent?
  • How competitive is the keyword phrase?
  • Should you use long keyword phrases or short ones?

User intent, i.e., query intent, is what the user wants to find when doing a search. Does the user want information about a subject, or are they looking to hire an attorney? Keywords are phrased to capture the motivation of the user.

In addition, finding a set of keywords that are too competitive may leave your site stuck on page 2 or 3 of a Google search. Ideally, your keywords should be unique enough to offer low competition. Longtail keywords may be a great solution to lowering your SEO competition.

An example of a longtail keyword phrase could be, “Best legal content writers in Chicago.” A short keyword phrase may be “legal content.” 

The latter offers a much more generalized term, making SEO more challenging. Long keyword phrases provide focused results to drive prospects to your site. 

Don’t Forget to Include LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords relate to the meaning of your overall content. Mixing short and longtail keywords is important, especially for headers. However, LSI keywords help Google recognize that your entire page relates to the topic. 

For instance, suppose you are a criminal defense law firm in New Orleans and would like to focus on DUI defense. Your short keywords may be “DUI defense,” and your longtail keywords may be “best DUI defense in New Orleans.” An example of some LSI keywords may include “defense for driving under the influence in Louisiana” and “New Orleans defense attorneys for a DUI arrest.”

Learn how your clients (or prospective clients) are searching for your service. The power falls to those who know what their clients’ needs are before they need them.

Make sure you produce quality content as opposed to quantity for law firm SEO.
Dedicate time to researching the content. Google wants quality over quantity now.

Why Style is Important When Writing the Best Law Firm Content

Writing style builds your online brand. For legal sites, the difference between using victim or survivor is can make a deep impact on the tone of your page. Consider the impression you want to make using your blog or practice area page. Which stylistic terms suit your target audience?

  • Crash/Accident
  • Plaintiff/Defendant
  • Claimant/Liable party
  • Victim/Survivor
  • Header capitalization and punctuation 
  • Descriptive bullet lists/H3 (heading size 3)

Whatever your choice, remember to stay consistent. Style fosters your developing voice and brand. Inconsistent styling can make your legal site seem poorly managed.  

How Important is a Blog to Your Law Firm SEO?

A blog is an excellent way to add continuously fresh, quality content to your law firm website and establish credibility in your niche. It’s also a great tactic to build trust with your prospective clients.  

Unfortunately, the legal profession has led to some unfair stereotypes. Users looking to hire an attorney may feel put off by in-your-face advertising, especially if their legal issues are of a sensitive nature. 

According to a consumer research study, 82% of prospects feel more positive about a company after reading the company’s blog. Having a blog that helps the average user answer some simple legal questions or highlights a local matter can help bridge the gap. 

What Are Some SEO Do’s and Don’ts for Law Firm Websites? 

SEO is complicated, especially for those just getting started. For law firms, there are a few do’s and don’ts for the best legal content. 

  • Break up text blocks with bullet lists and headers (H2’s and H3’s)
  • Keep your sentences and information short and simple for the average reader
  • Get to the point and avoid lots of unnecessary fluff
  • Use the FAQ format for your headings to improve your organic searches and the possibility of a Google Snippet feature
  • Remember to include a call to action (CTA) on every page
  • Make sure you include relevant internal links and well-researched external links
  • Pay attention to your keywords and phrases
  • Remember your location matters in your keyword longtail phrases
  • Use too much CTA. A sentence at the beginning and end is sufficient 
  • Use legal jargon
  • Offer guarantees or absolutes
  • Write strictly for SEO 

Remember, your audience is human. While much of SEO involves keyword phrases and other taglines, your content should appeal to humans. Don’t write for a Google bot. Write for your prospective clients. 

Law Firm SEO Considerations for State Bar Ethics and American Bar Association (ABA)

After years of schooling and experience in the field, you’re likely familiar with all the ethical considerations for your practice. However, writing ethically for a website practice page may prove challenging. 

Specialization or Expertise 

After years in a particular field of law, you may feel like a true expert. Unfortunately, stating that you are an expert or specialist in a field can violate state and ABA ethics codes. The American Bar Association has its own board certification and specialization programs. 

Some examples of bord certifications include:

  • Board Certification in Family Law Trial Law
  • Board Certification in Criminal Trial Law
  • Board Certification – Consumer Bankruptcy Law

State bars also have their own certifications and specialty programs. Unless you are certified through the ABA or state board, refrain from using the terms expert or specialist

While you have the experience and education to accurately answer legal questions for your clients, remember to avoid giving legal advice. Instead, keep your explanations of law generally. For complicated topics, giving a hypothetical can help sidestep giving direct legal advice while keeping things simple for the reader. 

Avoid Absolutes 

As a rule of thumb, it is best to avoid words and phrases that are definitive or absolute. For example, replace always with can be or may be. 

Criminal trials are always a lengthy process.

Criminal trials can be a lengthy process. 

Speaking in generalities is a great way to stay compliant with the ABA and the State Bar Ethics Advisory:

Careful with Results

Many law firms like to put verdicts and settlements on their webpage. Showcasing your past successes can add credibility to your practice and value to your services. However, state ethics bards may regulate how verdicts and settlements are presented. For instance, South Carolina requires all favorable verdicts and settlements to be displayed with a clear disclaimer.   

Contingency Fees

Contingency fee structures can be a touchy subject online. While offering contingency fees can help drive prospective clients to schedule a consultation, the wording can be tricky. To avoid any issues with the bar requirements, use general terminology when describing your fee structure.  

Advertising vs. Blogs

Advertising is another tricky area in the ethics department. The ABA regulates how attorneys advertise for their services. In addition, many state bars have created advertising rules and regulations. 

Blogs, however, may not fall under the same strict code of ethics. Check with your state bar to see if blogs are free from ethical review. 

Writing the best legal content requires continuous upkeep, researching new guidelines, and knowing content style guides. While you know the law best, professional legal content writers know your target audience’s online behavior and how to drive them to your site. 

Whether your firm has been in practice for decades or is just hitting the stage, consider the following reason to outsource your legal copywriting. 

You would rather spend your time lawyering.

Writing copy tailored for SEO takes knowledge and work. Every hour you spend writing a practice page, a blog, or updating old pages is time away from lawyering. Every twenty minutes here and there you spend researching how to improve your website’s rankings on a search engine is a minute not billable to a client. 

Spend your time doing what you love. Leave the rest to a legal SEO copywriter. 

Legal SEO content is an entire field in an do itself. You focus on being a lawyer.
Focus on lawyering. Let someone else focus on your law firm SEO content.

Why You Need a Law Firm SEO Copywriter

You are a professional. Shouldn’t your law firm website support that? Point your law firm SEO strategy in the right direction.

Your legal content is an extension of the hard work and dedication you’ve given your field. Just as clients come for your experience and skill, every attorney deserves to have their content handled professionally.  Contact the Blue 7 Content Founders Allen Watson and Victoria Lozano today by phone or email to learn more about our tailor-made legal content pages. You can reach us at (843) 580-3158.

Written by Morgan Sprinkle – Legal Content Writer

Updated by Allen Watson – Co-Founder of Blue Seven Content

How Law Firms Can Dominate For Local SEO 

Law firms need local SEO. When a search engine like Google receives a search query, it uses various indicators to determine the results that are most compatible with the search terms. Those indicators will influence how a search engine ranks and presents its search results.

Ranking in search engine results is extremely competitive. Focusing on local SEO gives Google the information it can use to identify a particular law firm as a high-ranking search result in response to a localized search query. 

  1. Organic (Local SEO) Search Results are More Credible
  2. Three Factors Most Important for Local Ranking
  3. Top 5 Marketing Practices for Local SEO
    1. 1. Google Business Profile 
    2. 2. Business Citations
    3. 3. Client Reviews 
    4. 5. Inbound Links
  4. Maintaining Consistent Local SEO Rankings

Why Law Firms Need to Optimize for Local SEO

Law firms that optimize for local SEO will greatly improve their chances of being found by persons looking for an attorney within a particular city or geographic area. Consider the following statistics compiled by HubSpot about searches for local information.

  • 97% of people learn more about a local business online than from any other source
  • 92% of people searching for local information will pick a business from page one of the search results
  • 88% of people who search for a local business on a mobile device call or visit the business within 24 hours
  • 72% of consumers who do a local search visit a business within 5 miles
  • 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information

Organic (Local SEO) Search Results are More Credible

When someone types a search query into Google, page one of the search results will feature a combination of paid advertisements and organic search results. The paid advertisements appear at the top and bottom of the page and the unpaid search results appear in between. 

Despite being positioned further down the page, more people are likely to scroll past the paid advertisements and choose to click on one of the top organic results. According to HigherVisibility:

  • Organic search results generate 53% of website traffic while paid advertising generates only 27% of website visits.

Why should non-paid results appeal more to searchers than paid results? First, people may feel more like services are being pushed on them with paid ads which can result in some initial distrust. Second, organic results (properly optimized) can be a more specific match to a searcher’s inquiry making an organic result the more relevant choice.

If your search console seems abysmal, it’s time for a change – perhaps a local focus?

Three Factors Most Important for Local Ranking

When determining how to rank results in response to a search for a local business, Google considers the following three factors:

  • Relevance – Relevance is how closely Google believes a law firm’s content matches a search query. Google determines relevancy from information in a law firm’s Google Business Profile. 
  • Distance – Distance is how far a search result is from either the location term used in the search or from the location generating the search (if no location term is used). 
  • Prominence – Prominence means brand authority. Google will access information about a law firm from sources all across the web to determine prominence. 

Top 5 Marketing Practices for Local SEO

Attorneys and law firms can greatly improve their visibility and credibility with local audiences by taking a few basic steps to optimize local SEO. 

1. Google Business Profile 

When a searcher is looking for a lawyer or law firm in a specific location Google uses information from the firm’s Business Profile to determine which local results most closely match what the searcher is looking for. The Business Profile provides an opportunity to do more than just list a few facts about a business. If optimized appropriately, it serves as a strategic resource to bolster consumer confidence and boost local rankings. 

Make sure your Google My Business profile is up-to-date.

Google offers some guidelines for completing a business profile that can help improve local rankings. After completing a business profile, it needs to be verified before it is authorized to be displayed in search results. 

  • Complete all parts of the profile. Be accurate, consistent, and as specific as possible. 
  • Under business description, use all 750 characters to provide the name of the law firm and lead attorney, the main location, primary practice areas, years of experience, and any notable peer or industry recognition.
  • Use as few categories as possible to describe what the core business is. For attorneys and law firms, the category will usually be law firm – though a few available categories describe particular types of attorneys. Once a category is selected, the various types of law that are practiced can be added as offered services.  
  • Add photos to provide a look inside the firm at the attorneys both at work and in the community. People are visual and will connect more easily with appealing pictures that give them an idea of what they can expect.
  • Create posts to share news about the law firm and the people in it. Announce community events local people might be interested in knowing about or that the law firm is participating in. 

2. Business Citations

Law firm listings on directory sites give search engines more information to learn from and can increase a law firm’s local ranking potential. BrightLocal has compiled a list of some of the top citation sites for lawyers. Many sites offer free as well as paid listing options.

The most important thing to remember with business citations is to be consistent with your NAP (name, address, and phone number) from listing to listing. Discrepancies in NAP information leave a search engine uncertain about the credibility of search results. Less certainty about a search result means lower rankings because a search engine cannot be sure the result is a good match for the search.

3. Client Reviews 

Positive reviews not only help law firms earn the trust of new clients, but some of Google’s most significant local ranking factors come from customer reviews. Law firms that want to get the most local SEO mileage from client reviews should have an active strategy for soliciting and responding to reviews. 

Popular platforms where law firms can collect reviews include:

  • Google
  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Avvo
  • Martindale Hubble
  • Findlaw
  • Lawyers
  • LegalMatch

While good reviews can be very beneficial to a law firm, negative reviews can quickly damage marketing efforts. Negative reviews should be responded to quickly and with genuine empathy for a client’s bad experience. A good response to a bad review can actually help potential clients understand more about working with a particular attorney or law firm.

4. Keywords

For content to perform well in local search results, it must be optimized with the keywords that searchers are using to find a local business. Try to incorporate geographic location information in as many forms as people generally use to refer to a particular area or region.

Make sure that all of the critical on-page SEO elements include keywords – URL, title tag, meta description, headings, and body. Using longer-tail keywords (5+ words) with more specific detail can produce more targeted results and will usually be easier to rank for.

For instance, instead of the rather generic ‘Portland personal injury attorney,’ a more targeted keyword might be to focus on a Portland suburb or nickname and a particular type of accident or injury – ‘Hillsboro car accident injury attorney’ or ‘Traumatic brain injury lawyer in Rose City.’

Inbound links or backlinks are links to your website from another website. Having other popular and authoritative websites link to your website is a positive sign to Google, and it increases the prominence ranking factor of your content.

Investigate options for getting some easy inbound links such as professional organizations, alumni associations, and the chamber of commerce. Other options for increasing inbound links might include:

  • Sponsoring a local event 
  • Donating to a local cause 
  • Writing an article for a local or industry publication 
  • Being a featured guest on a local podcast.

Remember, quality counts with backlinks. Try to obtain links from sources that are legitimate and relevant. 

Maintaining Consistent Local SEO Rankings

A good local SEO strategy is dynamic. After the initial pieces are put in place, regular updating is necessary so accuracy and consistency are maintained. Fresh content must be added on a regular basis so that Google continues to index variations of local search terms. 

At Blue Seven Content, we know it can be quite a challenge to consistently produce quality legal content that is well optimized because it’s all we do – and we’re not trying to practice law at the same time. We write about the laws to educate. We write about local news and events to inform. We create engaging legal content helping lawyers and law firms get noticed by the clients who need their services. 

To find out more about how Blue Seven Content can improve your local SEO with original, well-researched, strategically optimized content, call 843-580-3158 or visit Blue Seven Content.

Written by Mari Gaines – Legal Content Writer

Top 10 Pages You Need On Your Law Firm Website 

There are 10 types of pages that you need on your law firm website to remain effective and competitive in today’s legal services market. When the internet was young, having a few well-made pages was enough to prove your credibility as a firm. Now, having only a few pages puts doubt in a visitor’s mind if they manage to find your site at all. 

The top search engine in the world is Google. For your law firm’s website to position itself as a credible source of information and authority, there are certain pages you must have. 

  1. 1. Your Homepage: The Traffic Controller of Your Website
  2. 2. Practice Area Pages: A Detailed Menu of Your Services
  3. 3. Sub-Practice Area Pages: Increase Your SEO and Focus Your Pages 
  4. 4 and 5. About Us Pages: Why Choose Our Law Firm and Our Team
    1. Why Choose Us?
    2. Meet Our Team
  5. 6. Review Page: Testimonials from Clients
  6. 7. Results Page: Can You Win My Case? 
  7. 8. Blog and News Source: Why It’s Crucial to Have Continuously Fresh Content
  8. 9. FAQs Page: A Must Have for Google’s New Snippets Function
    1. What is Google Snippet?
    2. Why Are Questions Important for Google Snippets?
  9. 10. Contact Us Page: Request a Consultation with Us Today
  10. Blue Seven is the Best Law Firm Marketing Site for Better SEO and Your Content Needs 

1. Your Homepage: The Traffic Controller of Your Website

Your homepage serves as a directory of your firm, attorneys, and services. Just as traffic controllers direct motorists through intersections, your homepage directs visitors to the information they need.

A website is designed to convert visitors into clients. The average user is not sitting at their desk dutifully researching legal help. It is far more likely they are simultaneously scrolling on their mobile phones, watching Netflix, and browsing their social media pages. Your homepage must be able to provide enough easy-to-digest information that is relevant to the user to capture their attention. 

According to a recent study:

  • 71% multitask by watching television and using social media
  • 63% of employees use their mobile phones while working
  • 54% of adults simultaneously watch TV and online shop 

Since mobile phones became a part of every household, the adult attention span has decreased by 25%. Today, the average human has an attention span of only 8.25 seconds. To prevent visitors from jumping off your homepage, i.e., avoid a low bounce rate, it must load quickly and clearly show your page links. 

2. Practice Area Pages: A Detailed Menu of Your Services

Practice area pages tell visitors what services you offer. The average person knows very little about the legal world. Your practice area pages define how your firm can help potential clients. 

Picture trying a new restaurant. You may have an idea of the cuisine you are in the mood for but not the dish you’d like to try. You peruse the menu, read the descriptions, and see if an option jumps out. 

Your practice area pages do the same for potential clients. Users who visit your site have an idea of the services they want but need to scan your page for decision-making details.  

3. Sub-Practice Area Pages: Increase Your SEO and Focus Your Pages 

Sub-practice area pages give your site more opportunities to earn higher rankings on Google and focus on the services you offer. For example, suppose you are a personal injury lawyer. You create practice pages that best reflect the largest percentage of your business, including general personal injury, car accident claims, and slip and fall injuries.

Over time, you notice the firm’s case load has not increased. The phone isn’t ringing. A quick Google search later, and you find yourself in “no man’s land” on the fourth page. 

How can you get your phone to ring?

Create pages that focus on your services. In addition to “Car Accident Attorney,” produce “Truck Accident Lawyer” and “Motorcycle Accident Attorney.” Instead of having only a “Slip and Fall Lawyer” page, turn it into a sub-category of a premises liability page. Then add sub-practice area pages like “Negligent Security” for “Occupational Falls.” 

Whether you have a personal injury practice or a criminal defense law firm, sub-pages can expand on your services and increase your Google rankings. The latest search engine optimization (SEO) algorithm from Google depends on the following factors:

  • Keywords and keyword phrases that appear organically in the text
  • Strategic use of headers to make a page easier to scan for pertinent information
  • Relevant internal and external links that will increase your site’s authority in the field
  • Continuous fresh content that can be frequently indexed

Using sub-practice area pages to dive deeper into your legal services creates more opportunities to utilize the above SEO elements. 

4 and 5. “About Us” Law Firm Website Pages: Why Choose Us and Our Team

Who are you and why should we care? 

Today’s legal market is highly competitive. If you have successfully kept a visitor on your site long enough to see your list of services, they’ll likely want to get a feel of who you are as a firm before requesting a consultation. It’s okay to have law firm website pages that talk about you.

Why Choose Us?

While practice area pages are essential to connecting prospects with the services you provide, demonstrating how your firm differs from the competition is critical to converting visitors into clients. 

A “Why Choose Us” page can highlight your firm’s best attributes and showcases your awards and recognitions. Consider what makes your legal practice unique.

Do you offer boutique-style service? Are you family-owned? 

Think about the significant honors your firm has achieved.

Have members on your legal team been recognized by Super Lawyers or AV Preeminent? Does your firm have a long history in the area? Have you won cases that effectively helped create or change a law?

Meet Our Team

Potential clients want to know who will represent their case.

Will they advocate for my best interests? How long have they practiced? What is their education? What have they accomplished as attorneys?

Having a page dedicated to attorney biographies or profiles increases your legal team’s credibility and your law firm website’s authority. Prospects may be impressed with your firm and its achievements. However, seeing professional pictures of your team members and reading about their individual experiences can help visitors connect to your team. It is also critical to increasing your visitors-to-clients conversion rate. 

6. Review Page: Testimonials from Clients

What do your clients think of you? What do they think of your services? 

Potential clients are looking up your reviews on Google and LinkedIn. Help your firm’s credibility by putting testimonials from past clients on your site. Create a dedicated page that showcases how your firm has helped people and what prospective clients can expect from retaining your services.

According to data collected from Statista, website visitors expect a significant number of reviews when evaluating products and services:

  • Prospective clients expect an average of 112 reviews per product or service
  • 62% of visitors read reviews before choosing a service
  • The most important factor when evaluating a business is its overall star rating

Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for a review from past clients. Your firm has cultivated a valuable attorney-client relationship. Make writing a testimonial a great way to button up the end of your journey together. 

Reviews and testimonials give your law firm online validation and increase credibility in the eyes of prospective clients. 

7. Results Page: Can You Win My Case? 

Potential clients want to see what your firm has done for other people in similar circumstances. 

What kind of success have you had in your field? Do you have any high-dollar settlements? Have you defended any high-profile cases?

Confidentiality is essential in the legal world. When describing a case, use vague references and focus on the facts. If your settlement involves a high number, but your client is bound by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), it is ok to say as much on your page. 

Prospective clients want to know that they will be represented by a winning law firm. Seek out permission to disclose as many verdicts and settlements as possible. 

8. Blog and News Source: Why It’s Crucial to Have Continuously Fresh Content

Google’s search engines are constantly looking for new information. You can build an amazing law firm website with all the bells and whistles. However, if you do not update or add to your site on a continuous basis, it will be in danger of becoming obsolete. 

Consider a classroom full of students. A teacher will view students who frequently participate in class as smart and hard-working. The student who never raises their hand but shows up every day may be just as bright but will not receive the same recognition.

Your website works similarly. Having a blog or a page dedicated to news about the firm is an excellent vehicle for continuously adding fresh content. 

9. FAQs Page: A Must Have for Google’s New Snippets Function

Since 2014, Google Snippet has grown exponentially in the world of SEO. Today, a snippet is often the first content a visitor may read about your site. 

What is Google Snippet?

Google snippets are short pieces of information that appear at the top of a search query. When a user poses a question or topic on the search engine, Google will extract some data or text to show as a snippet underneath the link to a website. Creating a well-written or rich snippet is an excellent and often overlooked method of increasing your search engine rankings. 

Why Are Questions Important for Google Snippets?

Google never releases its exact algorithms to create higher search engine rankings. Instead, experts painstakingly study search results and theorize what works and what does not. 

Recently, it was noted by several SEO experts that featured Google snippets often lead with a question. The questions are featured as headers before the snippet. In many cases, the questions are featured as H2 and H3 tags. 

Having a dedicated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  • Presents multiple opportunities for a featured Google snippet
  • Quickly answers common questions to capture a visitor’s attention

By putting the questions in header form, they are more likely to increase your search engine rankings and serve as a rich snippet. FAQs are excellent ways to increase the amount of law firm website pages you have, thereby increasing your credibility (if the pages are well-written).

10. Contact Us Page: Request a Consultation with Us Today

Every page on your law firm’s website should have a call to action (CTA) that links to your Contact Us page. When a potential client has decided to reach out to your firm for a consultation, having a mobile-friendly link to call your firm or fill out a Consult Request Form is one of the most important features of any website. 

Without a clear CTA link, a prospect may move on to the next law firm’s website. Generally, visitors are media-multitasking when on your website, i.e., switching between apps on their mobile devices while on their tablet or watching TV. Telling a visitor what action to take next, e.g., click here, call now, substantially increases your visitor-to-client conversion rate. 

Your law firm content must be toned towards what your prospective clients need to see.

Blue Seven Content is Ready to Enhance Your Law Firm Website Pages

Content is king in the world of Google and other search engines. Carefully crafting well-researched, quality law firm website pages is as important, if not more so, than the format and design of your website. 

At Blue Seven Content, we have years of experience creating SEO-rich content specific for law firms. Our dedicated team of writers all have bachelor’s degrees or higher. Many have pursued careers in the legal field.  

After years of school and service to clients, you deserve time to focus on your law firm. Let our experts work for you. We’ll keep the phone ringing. 

Contact Founders Allen Watson and Victoria Lozano today by phone or email to learn more about our tailor-made legal content pages. 

Written by Morgan Sprinkle – Legal Content Writer

Law Firm Blog Topics: Five Steps to Success

You need law firm blog topics. Like it or not, blogs are an essential part of search engine optimization and rankings. The reasoning behind it is simple: more content shows Google, Yahoo, and Bing that your site is updated and relevant. 

Although the creation of blogs to improve search engine optimization is standard practice, it is far from simple. Each step that goes into blog creation is just as important as the next. Tone of writing, style, legibility, grammar, and so much more work in unison to improve rankings for millions of law firms across the country. 

Yet the component that hangs most people up is not the writing itself but the construction and formulation of law firm blog topics. This is difficult for many as there are many cogs working around a blog topic. It may be the targeted audience or even how relevant something is in the news today. Regardless, it is always important to consult the best legal content writers from a law firm SEO firm such as Blue Seven Content.

  1. 1. Define Your Goals
  2. 2. Determine Your Target Scope and Range
  3. 3. Conduct Research into the Timing of Your Blog Topic
  4. 4. Identify the Target Audience
  5. 5. Know the Facts
  6. How a Legal Content Firm Can Take Your Webpage to the Next Level

1. Define Your Goals

Setting proper goals is the very first step in formulating law firm blog topics. The best law firm content has a clear set of goals that have been used to formulate the topic in question. Doing so gives you a rough outline of the “why” and the “how.” Why are you writing about this topic? How do you execute your goals with this topic? A strong blog is one that successfully answers these questions in its writing.

Are you trying to:

  • Drive-up clicks to your website with your content?
  • Get new clients in cases for your legal team to take on?
  • Build a better reputation amongst law firms in your area?
  • Become one of the leading law firms in blog production?
  • Fill a niche that has yet to be filled?
  • Capitalize on a recent news event?

Setting specific yet attainable goals is the primary driving force behind quality legal SEO content. By setting these goals, the topic that you choose will have a greater chance of fulfilling your expectations.

Law firms should always keep a list of blog topic ideas.

2. Determine Your Target Scope and Range

Law firm SEO is a complex industry. You have a broad range of topics to choose from that must balance the needs of both the market and the capabilities of your law firm. While some firms may aim for automobile accidents in general, others may try to go for motorcycle accidents specifically. This can be for any reason but is usually done with a certain degree of intention.

If there have been an abnormal amount of motorcycle accidents in Phoenix, Arizona for example, A local law firm may find it useful to specifically aim for motorcycle accidents. This can be especially useful if other firms in the area have not yet identified this niche, making the chance of increasing rankings and driving up clicks all the more probable.

On the other hand, it may be the case that smaller cities and less populated geographical areas do not have a lot of firms tackling blogs to stay relevant. A firm in this scenario may find it more useful to cast a wide net and become one of the leading law firm content producers in the area. The reasoning behind the importance of the scope and range of your topics is that this strategy has led to many law firms becoming the most sought after in their respective communities. A healthy amount of market research is always the best path to understanding your market.

3. Conduct Research into the Timing of Your Blog Topic

It may seem easy to just write about whatever pops into your mind. However, this is rarely the best option. More and more firms are finding it worthwhile to target their topics according to events such as a certain season, holiday, or news event. The timing of a specific topic can be critical to the blog’s success.

Some firms failed to produce content during certain times of the year. Whether it be fatigue or overambition, there seems to be an ebb and flow in the production of content. You may be able to use this to your advantage. For example,  immediately after Memorial Day may be a good time to publish one about how your firm can help after a drunk driving accident. This is just one example of a technique that can be used by law firms to improve the probability of getting a service request from a customer.

4. Identify the Target Audience

Identifying the target audience that you would like to market to is essential when deciding which law blog topics you are going to utilize. Audiences are extremely important to law firm SEO producers as they completely determine which topic is most likely to be used. 

For example, communities that have a high number of blue-collar workers in industrial and manufacturing environments may benefit more from tackling worker’s compensation content head-on. A rural, Southern California firm may take it a step further and produce content aimed toward agricultural workers that are suffering from heat stroke during the summertime. A stellar firm will take this even further and translate its blog into Spanish to reach that critical population. Law firm websites and their content must be optimized to increase traffic by identifying the target audience.

5. Know the Facts

Before diving headfirst into law firm SEO content, a healthy amount of research and investigation into the facts of the matter should be conducted. Thorough fact-checking and a deep understanding of causation, correlation, and impact will make your communication of the topic reliable and educational. With this step, content can be more informative and less jam-packed with filler material. Knowing the ins and outs of the topic will give you the information you need to craft a proper blog.

These five steps for formulating law firm blog topics are applicable to every law firm in the country. The audience, fact-checking, timing, goals, scope, and range are all crucial pieces to the puzzle of creating a worthwhile blog topic. As more and more firms pick up on the importance of creating a living, breathing website through law firm SEO content, it becomes ever more critical to make sure yours is quality. 

Taking your content to the next level by translating it into Spanish for a Hispanic audience, discovering the abnormal amount of motorcycle accidents in your city, and deciding to produce over party-ridden holidays are all examples of high-quality content strategies that lead to further reach and revenue. To learn more about the very best law firm content strategies, please reach out to the best legal SEO copywriters in the business at Blue Seven Content or by calling (843) 580-3158.

Written by Ian Shotts – Legal Content Writer

Smaller Law Firms Must Continuously Update Their Website

If you aren’t continuously updating your law firm website content, you’re going to fall in the search engine rankings. That is, if you’re even ranking at all. Small law firms and solo practitioners – I’m talking to you.

At Blue Seven Content, we work with a range of client types – small law firms, big law firms, small legal marketing agencies, and massive legal marketing agencies. We get a front-row seat to some of the best and some of the worst legal marketing strategies. One of the biggest mistakes we see with smaller firms and solo practitioners is a misunderstanding of the importance of regular content on their websites.

Regular Content and the Search Engines

You would be surprised at how many law firm websites we go to that have not had any content updates for years. One of the first things that we do is click over to the blog section of a website, if the website even has a blog section. Sometimes, the last blog posts are from 2019 or 2020. This is unfortunate because blogs are one of the easiest ways to keep a website “fresh.” If your website content could all be certified “Pre-Covid,” you’ve got a problem.

Your law firm website can become stagnant. This matters when it comes to the search engines, particularly Google. Search engines are going to crawl your website on a regular basis, and these algorithms reward websites that continually refresh and update. There are various ways to add fresh content to your web pages. This can include going into existing pages and improving them, adding new practice area pages (maybe for different locations or by niching down), and having regular blog posts.

The longer your website sits stagnant, the harder it will be to regain any kind of control in the rankings. Your website will drop from page 1 to page 2, and then to pages 3 and 4, and then into oblivion. By the time many law firms and solo practitioners come to the realization that they need to add fresh content to their pages, they have put themselves in a position where it is going to take a significant amount of time to get back to where they want to pay.

Don’t let your website fall into search engine oblivion because you refuse to add new content.

The easiest way to stay on top of the content game is to never leave the game at all. Create some type of content plan that adds fresh material each month at least.

What Regular Content Tells Your Readers

All too often, we get caught up on what Google and the other search engines want to see. However, if you are not creating your website with the reader in mind, you are doing yourself a disservice. The entire goal of creating your law firm website is to get new clients. The last thing you want is for the reader to be turned off as soon as they hit your site. They will smash the back button and go on to the next law firm on the search engine list.

If your website it is written in complex legalese, poorly formatted, or is just slow and bulky, you are probably losing clients. Additionally, you may be surprised at how many prospective clients can tell if your site has not been updated. Remember when we mentioned that we go to the blog section of a website to see when it was last updated? Your readers may do this as well.

If you have an engaging website, including a blog that is updated weekly or monthly, this tells your readers that you, as a law firm or a solo practitioner, are on top of things. It sends a signal that you are engaged with your practice area and your community.

Be like Tom Hanks. Start typing your law firm website content.

The Start and Stop Method Doesn’t Work for Law Firm Website Content

Blue Seven Content has worked with a significant number of smaller law firms. However, one common theme that comes up over and over is starting a content plan and then the law firm or attorney deciding that it is not working within a month or two and hanging up the towel.

Good content strategies, and any type of SEO strategy, take time. There is no such thing as immediate results. In fact, if anyone ever tells you that you will rank number one for something within a week or two, they’re selling you snake oil and likely doing detriment to your long-term website rankings.

Starting a content plan and then stopping after a few months, and then starting again once you realize you messed up by stopping, is not the way to go about handling your website. We strongly encourage law firms to set aside a monthly budget for legal content and stick with it. Let the results happen over time organically.

At Blue Seven Content, we help come up with new law firm website content and refresh existing content every day. This includes examining and creating:

We are ready to have a conversation about your website. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 843-580-3158. You will immediately be put through to a real person, most likely the person writing this blog, Blue Seven CEO Allen Watson. Let’s have a chat.

Written by Allen Watson – CEO and Co-Founder of Blue Seven Content

5 Biggest Legal Content Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website

Legal content writing mistakes can kill a website. Writing content for a law firm’s website is uniquely challenging. Consumers typically visit legal sites to read reviews and get quick answers to their questions. 

However, the law is highly complex. There are rarely short and sweet answers to legal questions. On the other hand, if the content is too complicated for prospective clients, they may move on to the next site. 

Below are the 5 biggest legal content mistakes our writers have noticed and how to address them. At Blue Seven Content, we have years of experience adding, revising, and updating content. Our team of legal writers takes pride in creating high-quality, informative content optimized for search engines.

  1. 1. Writing Content for Lawyers, Not Prospective Clients
  2. 2. Failing to Write for Current Search Engine Optimization Standards
  3. 3. Including Weak or Poor Quality Content
  4. 4. Failing to State Why Prospects Should Hire Your Firm
  5. 5. Failing to Include Testimonials
  6. Why Work with Blue Seven Content to Prevent Legal Content Mistakes?
Law firms and content writers stay busy, and they can make mistakes. Let’s help each other avoid them.

1. Writing Content for Lawyers, Not Prospective Clients

After years of prepping and drafting documents, litigating in court, and negotiating with opposing counsel, legal jargon can become ingrained in your mind. Every industry has unique terminology that can sound foreign to those outside your field. When creating content for your law firm, it is important to remember your audience. 

Prospective clients are viewing your website on their mobile device, skimming through information, and usually engaging in another activity. According to a recent study on smartphone multitasking:

  • 76% of adults use their phones while watching television
  • 63% use their phones while doing another activity at work
  • 40% admit to reading the news on their phone while watching TV

Your content is competing with TV shows, work, and other distractions. If a prospective client has trouble finding the information they need or cannot understand the content, they will likely bounce off your site.

Depending on your target market, successful and engaging content is typically written at an 8th or 10th grade reading level. Keep the language simple. Metaphors and analogies are excellent tools to simplify and convey complex legal doctrines. 

2. Failing to Write for Current Search Engine Optimization Standards

Search engine optimization (SEO) is constantly evolving, and most attorneys aren’t SEO experts. In the early days of Google, pages could be packed with keywords and achieve commendable search engine rankings. However, through the years, SEO has become increasingly more sophisticated. 

Now, pages that are overstuffed with keywords are punished and drop significantly down Google’s ranking system. Conversely, informative and well-written content is rewarded with higher rankings.  

Keywords are still critical for search engines. However, key terms and phrases must blend seamlessly into a page that is brimming with valuable and relevant information.

Google’s latest algorithm favors content that is: 

  • Well-researched with reliable data and statistics
  • Informative with credible external links
  • Clearly composed with directly answered questions (e.g., consider Google snippet)
  • Well-written (i.e., no grammar or spelling mistakes)
  • Considers the user’s intent (i.e., what was the user’s search goal, and is your content relevant?)

High-quality pages that offer current and valuable information in an engaging way are valued most. If you are unsure if your content meets SEO standards, conduct a webpage audit. Check the number of visitors to each page and the traffic conversion rate. If your pages lack traffic, revising and updating your content can dramatically increase your SEO rankings. 

3. Including Weak or Poor Quality Content

When legal firms rush to launch a website or are unable to devote the time needed to produce quality pages, content can be over-generalized and lack value. Weak pages may be characterized by:

  • Thin content with duplicate or sparsely written information
  • Poorly structured pages that make it difficult for consumers to read
  • Failing to update existing pages that are outdated or irrelevant 
  • Publishing content with grammatical and spelling errors

One of the most overlooked legal content mistakes is poor quality writing. Quality content is written differently than a great novel. While a book seeks to engage the reader and provoke emotion, quality website content is informative and drives traffic and leads. Filling a website with weak or thin content will only push your website down in search engine rankings. 

4. Failing to State Why Prospects Should Hire Your Firm

The legal services market is highly competitive. Suppose your website is full of high-quality content and regularly reaches the first page of Google in local searches. Your firm still must compete against all the other legal practices at the top. 

Firms need to stand out from the legal services crowd. Failing to showcase your firm’s unique selling points (USPs) is a huge missed opportunity and detrimental to your traffic conversion rate.

Consider what makes your legal practice different from similar firms in your area:

  • Do you offer boutique-style service? 
  • Has your legal firm been in practice for decades?
  • Is your firm a family practice?
  • What awards and recognitions has your legal practice earned?
  • Are any of your attorneys certified in their respective fields?
  • Are members of your legal team permitted to practice in federal court?

Take the time to highlight your distinctive qualities. Ensure you have a strong call-to-action (CTA) that encourages prospective clients to call for a consultation. 

5. Failing to Include Testimonials

Testimonials are paramount to an effective marketing strategy. Once you have successfully crafted quality content, reached the top of Google search, and told prospects why they should hire your firm, you need to be able to back up your claims.

Consumers frequently look to google for service reviews. Unfortunately, happy people rarely feel motivated to write reviews. On the other hand, unhappy people tend to use reviews as an outlet for their frustration. 

Including genuine testimonials from clients can mean the difference between a prospect calling to set up a consultation or leaving your site in search of reviews. Once a visitor leaves your site, the opportunity to convert them into a client diminishes exponentially. 

Your website is an extension of your practice. While content should reflect your firm’s uniqueness, its purpose is to turn prospects into clients. The writers of Blue Seven Content excel at translating your firm’s vision into content that:

  • Is optimized for current SEO trends 
  • Captures and keeps the attention of the reader
  • Is well-researched and informative

We take the time to listen and understand your goals and needs. Contact our exceptional legal content team for a consultation today by clicking here or calling (843) 580-3158.

Written By Morgan Sprinkle – Legal Content Writer

Increase Your Rankings With New Law Firm Content – Refreshing Your Website

Websites need frequent maintenance to remain effective, especially concerning new law firm content. Continuously adding fresh, new information is essential for search engine optimization (SEO) and business credibility. However, old content can drag your website down the rankings.

At Blue Seven Content, we understand the importance of having the best law firm content. Marketing trends change, and search engines regularly adjust their algorithms. Outdated content can work against your new content, adversely affecting the quality of your website. 

Why You Need the Best Law Firm Content Possible

Competition is high in the legal world. Talent is increasingly difficult to find and retain. The legal services market is projected to grow 2.6% over the next six years, further driving competition. Law firms will need to differentiate themselves in new and innovative ways. 

While touting responsiveness has been a key stand-out factor for legal practices in the past, the global pandemic has pushed most firms into utilizing AI and other technologies to better communicate with clients. Responsiveness is no longer unique. 

Instead, law firms are seeing success when they can develop a reputation for efficient, trustworthy service. High-quality website content can help a company establish themselves as an authority in their field while garnering consumer trust. 

Prospective clients are turning more and more to online searches to find the legal services they need. According to a recent study:

  • 57% of people find legal representation through an internet search
  • 59% of consumers will ask for a referral

The 16% overlap involves consumers who ask for a referral and then turn to the internet to review the quality of the firm. 

The majority of people click on the first page of search results. The second page only sees half the number of clicks. Whether the client is searching for legal services online or in conjunction with a referral, it is essential your website rank high on the search bar. 

Get back to the drawing board – or never leave it – when it comes to new law firm content for your website.

How Outdated Content Hurts Your SEO

Understanding how outdated content hurts your search engine rankings begins with familiarizing yourself with the basics of SEO. Google is king among search engines, capturing nearly 88% of the market share. The best law firm content is geared towards Google’s algorithms.

Google rewards quality content, defined by the following elements:

  • Well-researched pages that provide meaningful information
  • Keywords and variations of keyword phrases
  • Content that considers the user’s search intent
  • Questions answered directly
  • Internal and external links
  • Longer, well-written pages

As content ages, it loses its accuracy and relevance. Perhaps the traffic accident statistics on a practice page are out-of-date or the external links on a blog no longer work. Whatever the reason, Google will punish websites with obsolete information.

Even if your site continues to add new content, Google’s algorithm will evaluate your website as a whole. If irrelevant data outweighs the new information, your site will suffer.

How Updating Existing Pages Will Increase Your Rankings

Think of your law firm’s site like a hot air balloon floating in the Google-verse. As content ages, the hot air cools and causes the balloon to sink. The more outdated and inaccurate the information becomes, the lower your balloon will sink. 

Adding fresh, quality content can act like a blast of hot air and push your balloon up in the search rankings. However, those older pages are still dragging your balloon down. You can solve this tug-of-war between new and old content by updating your pages. 

Search engines are designed to find the most accurate information for their users. Newer content will always have priority. When you frequently update older pages, Google’s search engine takes note that your website is continuing to offer relevant information and rewards it in higher search rankings. 

How to Decide What Content to Update or Delete

Deciding what content to update or delete begins with an audit. Analytics tools can help you decide what pages are seeing good traffic and conversion rates and which pages need more love. 

From here, you can prioritize your content. Review what pages used to get a significant amount of Google traffic but now have stopped performing. These pages can come alive again with updated links, data, and added content. 

For pages that never seemed to perform well, examine whether or not the content is still relevant and can be improved. If the page is short, could adding 1,000 words of well-researched, quality content provide value to prospective clients? Is the page written for an older Google search algorithm and can benefit from a rewrite? 

Deleting pages should always be a last resort. If your page or blog post can benefit from new information, keep and update the content. 

What Updates to Make to Existing Pages

As you manually go through our older pages, spelling and grammar mistakes are typically very obvious. However, sometimes deciding what updates to make is less apparent. Consider the following:

  • Can recent headlines replace old news stories?
  • How current are the statistics? 
  • Can external links be updated with more relevant sources?
  • Are the keyword phrases up-to-date?
  • Have the laws changed, or are there proposed bills that could affect the law? 

For example, some states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana while others have proposed legislation. A defense firm may need to update their practice pages and articles to reflect the new law or make a note of potential changes. Google loves frequent updates with valuable information. One change in the law could lead to numerous pages in need of updates. 

How Blue Seven Content Provides the Best New Law Firm Content

Blue Seven Content specializes in SEO-rich content for legal firms. With the expected growth of the legal services market continuing to drive competition, you need the best new law firm content to stand out against competitors and establish a trustworthy, successful reputation. 

Our writers provide high-quality, well-researched pages customized for each client. We can breathe new life into older, outdated pages by revising and adding content. Every time your site updates an existing page, Google indexes the new information. Frequent indexing will improve your website’s Google rankings. 

Schedule a consultation today and speak with one of our highly experienced SEO writers. You can call us at (843) 580-3158 or click here to send a message

Written By Morgan Sprinkle – Legal Content Writer