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.
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:
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:
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:
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
Sometimes, complacency is an accident. Nobody wakes up and says, “I think I’m fine with not improving.”
No. Complacency sneaks up on you.
At Blue Seven Content, we’ve tried very hard to be intentional about what we do and how we do it. We’re a company that only provides written content for websites (mostly law firms and, more recently, construction companies). If we’re going to only do one thing, we better be good at it.
And we have been good at it. However, I’m willing to admit that we may have gotten a little complacent.
2022 and the Release of the Beast
2022 was a good year for us. We had a ton of growth, and thankfully, we’ve had amazing clients to work with. We even let a few clients go for various reasons (usually, it’s clients who expect work that’s three times beyond what they want to pay).
Do you remember what happened at the end of November 2022?
It’s all anyone in the industry has talked about since.
“It’s the end of content writing.”
“It’ll save companies tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
“Look, I just tell it what I want, and it spits it out.”
Okay, I’ll admit. I was impressed with ChatGPT at first. Hell, it’s still impressive. But as time has gone on, the flaws have come out to play. Not only is ChatGPT super dull, but it is a notorious plagiarizer, and it makes things up. Seriously, sometimes it just invents things, including court cases. The writing is predictable, and it’s clear there’s no human behind it. Currently, it can’t connect to updated information.
Will these issues get resolved?
Of course. It would be foolish of me to say, “Ha! See, humans are better.”
ChatGPT was released less than a year ago, and we know OpenAI and other companies are rapidly working to advance the technologies involved in large language models. ChatGPT will gain access to the internet at some point, and these AI programs will learn how to sound more human.
The issue that many have pointed out is that AI will begin to take information from the content that it’s created. Does anyone want to guess how many millions of ChatGPT pages have been published since November of 2023? I don’t know the exact number, but imagine what happens when it gains access to the internet.
This will be a machine that feeds itself, with each iteration slightly degraded from the last. But that’s for a later post. For now, I want to send out thanks to AI and ChatGPT.
Thank you for snapping Blue Seven Content and me out of complacency.
Why I’m Thankful (Begrudgingly) for ChatGPT
Even though I think ChatGPT is currently inferior to human writing (I think it will remain that way for quite a while), I do fully understand that AI has completely devastated the freelance writing community, as well as many agencies that create content.
We built Blue Seven slowly, working only with writers that we hand-pick and continually work with on a daily basis. We train, have manuals, and constantly adapt to industry changes. We respond quickly to client requests and concerns, and our writers really are good at what they do. Not every company does it this way. In fact, many of our writers have written for other agencies, and we have an idea of what their shortcomings are.
The problem is that ChatGPT has become the go-to complaint for clients who have any issues with our writing. What does this look like:
“ChatGPT could have written this.”
“Why should I use you when AI can do the same thing?”
One thing I always try to get from clients when they throw the “ChatGPT” lines at me is more detailed feedback. I want to know, specifically, what the client doesn’t like about the piece. You see, since the birth of website content writing, clients have always struggled when it comes to providing feedback. It can be like pulling teeth.
That’s not necessarily the point, and I don’t fault the client. When you don’t like a piece of writing, you don’t like it. That’s honestly enough for me to get it redone. But feedback would help.
Now, though, clients have ammo when they want to skip detailed feedback. They just say, “This is like ChatGPT.” They’ve got the trump card, so to speak.
We’ve heard it. I’m not sure there’s a seasoned writer or company that hasn’t gotten some kind of feedback like that over the last six months. Even worse is when clients use completely unreliable “AI detectors” to say something was written by AI. Any “AI detector” on the market now is about as effective as a red shirt on a Star Trek away mission – useless and dead in the water.
At Blue Seven, we’ve really pushed to improve quality even more. We’ve taken a hard look at Google’s algorithm updates to see how they’ve responded to AI so far. We stress to our writers that we are a company that prides itself on human content curation, and we’ll remain that way. Our internal content team keeps a closer eye on anything that could be considered “fluff” and have taken the steps necessary to provide consistent feedback. We’ve adjusted to the needs of each client we have.
Our 2022 was great, and our 2023 has been good, too. We’ve actually gained clients in the face of ChatGPT, though I know for certain we’d have more if ChatGPT hadn’t hit when it did. Add that to a shaky economy, and I’m thankful we’re still around. So many companies and firms have hit a pause on additional content and marketing overall.
ChatGPT has snapped us out of complacency. We’re not ignoring it. Why would we? AI is here, and it will improve – but so will we. I’m certain that law firm website content will remain YMYL, which positions Blue Seven to be in the right place when companies and law firms realize that human writers are necessary.
Our goal is to stand out as the content providers to turn to for content that’s not only “Original, Researched, and Optimized” but also “Attorney Driven, Human Curated.”
There will never be a time when we aren’t looking to improve on what we do. Both myself and my business partner Victoria Lozano are dedicated to standing as a company, with every single writer, five years from now (and onward). We know this takes dedication. We know it takes continual improvement. There’s a place for technological advancements. There’s certainly a place for LLMs and AI. We can’t ignore it.
But humans want to read content written by other humans when they need real help. As humans, we all have shared experiences. We can empathize. We can connect.
Blue Seven won’t be complacent. We’re not going to simply assume we have a chokehold on what “good writing” is. We’ll take the steps needed to create writing that meets clients’ expectations. We’ll create writing that meets Google’s expectations.
Most of all, we’ll foster the best environment possible for our clients AND our writers to succeed.
Written By Allen Watson – Cofounder and CEO of Blue Seven Content
Anecdotally, ChatGPT is a non-starter for law firms and legal marketing agencies. That’s based on the discussions I had with lawyers and marketers at the Legal Marketing Association 2023 conference in Hollywood, FL.
The moment ChatGPT 3 was released in late November, I knew it would be a big deal in the industry. I immediately started playing around with it and, honestly, was a little scared. This is absolutely the best large language model that’s ever been released to the public. I wrote a piece about ChatGPT that’s been updated a few times. Conrad Saam, John Reid, and I had a discussion about what we thought we knew about ChatGPT in December. Much of what we said then wasn’t correct, but I think we were pretty spot on in some cases. Check out the video if you have some time.
Our Conversations at LMA 2023
This is the first year that Blue Seven Content has attended a major industry conference. Going in, we fully expected that there would be conversations about ChatGPT. We honestly thought the questions would revolve around why companies or law firms should use our team as opposed to plopping their request into a system that’s inexpensive and can work non-stop.
Let’s face it – human writers are going to cost more, especially if you want original, researched, and optimized content. We know that, and we have to be able to talk to people about why we (or any legal content writer) are better than AI. If we can’t properly explain it, much less actually do it, the business is doomed to fail.
But we were ready – the questions came, usually in some variation of:
“How have you responded to ChatGPT?”
“Have you lost any clients due to ChatGPT?”
“Do you use ChatGPT?”
“How do you know writers aren’t using ChatGPT?”
“Do you fact-check all of your work?”
I won’t delve into in-depth answers for all of this other than to say we’ve responded as a company, we certainly encourage the use of any tools that can help generate (not write) ideas, and yes, we fact-check our work.
We’ve recently updated our slogan to include “Attorney driven, human-curated.” Our goal is to stress that this business is partially owned by a practicing attorney (with many other JDs on staff) and written and then edited by qualified writing professionals. Our process is pretty extensive, beginning with writer training and continuing through the writing and editing phases. Yes, we still make mistakes, but we always guarantee that we’ll fix our mistakes promptly and for free.
Anecdotal Conversations With Legal Professionals at LMA
As I describe the conversations we had with lawyers and legal marketing professionals at the LMA convention, just know that anything written here is anecdotal. I didn’t record the conversations, and I don’t have the name of everyone that I talked to. But what I’m going to relay here is what all five of our team members heard throughout the three-day conference – not a single person at this event was enthusiastic about the use of ChatGPT for their website content.
The first conversation I (Allen) had about ChatGPT was on day one. It was with a legal marketing agency content director, and he asked me how we’ve handled ChatGPT. I went into my semi-prepared statement, but he stopped me halfway through. He said, “Yeah, that’s what we think as well, and I can tell we’re on the same wavelength.”
One attorney approached us and said that their firm had seriously played around with crafting blogs for their website using ChatGPT. By the end of December 2022, they realized that wasn’t a good idea. Their pain points revolved around accuracy and plagiarism. To erase those pain points, either an attorney or skilled paralegal had to spend an extreme amount of time fixing the pages. Overall, this firm found that ChatGPT wasn’t up to the level it needed to be to replace even the most basic blog writer.
There was a session held at LMA23 pertaining to ChatGPT, and I was able to catch some of the conversations coming out of the session (wasn’t able to attend). There was curiosity, likely due to the fact that nobody has stopped talking about AI since November. However, the general consensus was “approach with caution,” particularly when using ChatGPT to help with case work. Nobody quite knows who owns the inputs into the LLM system, and if legal staff are putting client information into the prompt, that could be a major privacy issue.
One person commented something that I’ve been saying, and something that makes relying on ChatGPT dangerous – it has excellent spelling and grammar. It “looks” right, so many people just assume it is right. It’s not always right.
We Were Prepared for the ChatGPT Conversation
Blue Seven Content has tried to stay ahead of the ChatGPT and overall AI curve. Our business is built solely around providing written content for law firms (and other industries), so this was a potential negative game-changer. But we’ve also built a company that’s focused on quality, human-written content. We have a team of writers with serious professional backgrounds. Some are lawyers, and all of them are professional writers.
Even so, we tested ourselves against ChatGPT outputs. The thing about ChatGPT, and I’ve said it before, is that ChatGPT presents incorrect information as if it’s a fact, and it does it confidently. That’s a problem, especially if you don’t have someone who 100% knows the law/information OR have someone who can fact-check every single line.
Writing a quality page for a law firm using ChatGPT would involve so much fact-checking that it almost makes no sense to use AI in the first place. It takes just as much time.
Since ChatGPT 3 (and later ChatGPT 4) have been released, there’s been an upheaval in the writing industry. Take a quick trip to the freelance writer forum on Reddit, and you’ll see post after post about work drying up for many writers. But the writers losing work are the ones who probably shouldn’t be writing website content in the first place. AI can most certainly do a better job with low-level SEO content that requires little fact-checking than a human.
But that’s not what we do at Blue Seven.
Are there times when we’re asked to craft a page that only takes minimal brain power? Sure. But even then, we try to make sure the page is of a quality that makes people say, “I bet Blue Seven wrote that.”
Our company has doubled in size since ChatGPT came out, and that’s not due to luck. We’ve found what works, and we’re always taking steps to improve. We have a tight-knit group of writers who all get to communicate directly with one another whenever they want. This creates an environment that encourages everyone’s success, not just the success of a CEO or owner.
What’s Next for ChatGPT, AI, and the Legal Writing Industry?
The biggest issue is that law firms and various other industries can’t betray the trust of clients, and they certainly can’t broadcast false or plagiarized content. Until AI can spit out content that is 100% correct 100% of the time, there needs to be human involvement.
Now, do I think ChatGPT or another AI will always be off-limits for law firms and legal marketing agencies?
No. In fact, use it as a tool. It’s fine as a tool.
I also think that the level of human involvement may decrease as these large language models improve. But that’s questionable, and the timeline for AI improvement is unknown. The release of such an advanced LLM scared folks, and it seems that a pause in further development is happening while the aftermath is examined. Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, has said that they do not plan to train their systems for ChatGPT 5 for a while.
In my opinion, we’re on the tail end of the initial “AI hype,” and we’re figuring out what comes next. We’re all processing what this means for marketing, academia, and the professional realm.
Blue Seven Content is going to stay on top of AI trends, particularly as they relate to writing content for law firms. We WILL NOT be using ChatGPT to craft our pages. ChatGPT and law firms don’t mix well right now. Clients deserve to know that we have a human writer and editor behind every page.
I invite you to check back on our website for future updates!
Written by Allen Watson – Blue Seven Content CEO & Founder
(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.
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.
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.
How Could ChatGPT Disrupt Legal Marketing?
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.
What I Found When Using ChatGPT (Legal Content Writer Explorations)
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.
The Issues With ChatGPT for Legal Content Writing
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 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.
Possible legal or legislative issues
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?
None of the ChatGPT legal marketing issues are insurmountable
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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-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.
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)
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:
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.
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?
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.
Legal SEO Do’s
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
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.
Keep Legal Information General
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.
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 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.
Why Lawyers May Not Be the Best Legal Content Writers
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.’
5. Inbound Links
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How a Legal Content Firm Can Take Your Webpage to the Next Level
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.
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.
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