4 Reasons Why Attorneys Don’t Plan Their Law Firm Website Content (And Why They Should)
Content marketing is an effective way to drive business to your law firm without wasting time or money.
But taking a haphazard approach to your content can be much less effective than a planned and organized strategy. When you don’t plan your content, you may fail to address your target audience. If you’re writing your own content, it can be difficult to stick to a publication schedule without a plan. If you’re outsourcing your content, lacking a content plan can make it hard to delegate responsibilities to others.
Without a content plan, you may waste time trying to determine what topics you have or haven’t covered yet.
Yet, some attorneys think that they don’t need a content plan. Here are four common reasons attorneys don’t plan their content — and why attorneys benefit from planning their website content in advance.
Reason #1: “I don’t need content to do sustainable online marketing for my law firm.”
Some attorneys don’t plan their content because they don’t believe they need website content in the first place.
If you fall into this category, you may be unfamiliar with the online marketing ecosystem. Or, you may have heard that all you need to drive business to your firm is pay-per-click marketing, or “SEO”, or directory listings, just as a few examples.
Search engines and potential clients need content
Content marketing is highly effective because it sits at the intersection of what search engines and your potential clients want.
You might be focused on rankings and search engine results pages. But when you look at the first page of results for a query, do you wonder what many of the first page results might have in common? How do these pages end up in a favorable position for a certain search?
For example, if you conduct a search for something such as:
“What happens if I get arrested for a DUI in California and I’m under 21?”
What kinds of results might you expect to see on the first page?
Try conducting a Google search for a question you think your potential clients might ask and see what comes up. There’s a good chance that the top results for that query will direct you to informative, detailed, relevant information.
(To take it one step further, try looking at the fourteenth or fifteenth page of results for that query. What you’ll see there is probably much less relevant to the question or doesn’t contain enough content to be useful to a user.)
Why does Google care about content?
From Google’s perspective, the arrangement described above not only makes sense, it’s critical to the success of its business.
If Google can’t provide its users with relevant, detailed web pages in search results, they don’t have much of a business. People have come to rely on Google to provide them with useful information related to the questions that they ask of it. If Google failed at providing useful results to its users, or if users had to search through fourteen pages of results to find a good answer, most people would stop using Google and find another way to answer their questions.
Yet, Google is generally very good at giving people the answers that they need for the searches they conduct, and it will likely improve and refine its methods even further as time goes on. Google is focused on the needs of its users. It’s why one of Google’s basic principles is:
Make pages primarily for users, not search engines.
Think about what your potential clients need
Google has its users in mind and so should you. Your potential clients need information about their case or problem, and it’s likely they’ll turn to Google to try and find it.
Google will try to give that user the best results for the questions they have. Will your website provide those answers? If you don’t have a large volume of content that answers the questions your potential clients have, Google will likely return another webpage that does provide those answers. That’s a missed business opportunity for your firm.
Creating and publishing content that educates, inspires, and builds trust with your potential clients is the best way to improve your visibility in search engine results pages, and, as a result, build your business.
Website content drives business to law firms
Content creation allows you to do sustainable, cost-effective online marketing over the long term. It keeps attorneys from wasting time or money.
Trying to do sustainable online marketing without content can lead you to spend money on ineffective web services from law firm marketing companies or SEO providers. It can cause you to spend your time on strategies that have a poor return on investment and/or that damage your existing web presence.
To learn more about why content should be the foundation of your law firm’s online marketing, listen to our podcast on the value of content.
Reason #2: “I don’t need a content plan to keep up with my law firm’s web content.”
Attorneys who understand that quality website content is key to online marketing success are in the best position to save time and money on their marketing as they use their website to drive new business to their law firms.
However, some of these attorneys may decide they don’t need a content plan to help them create website content.
They may feel that they have a rough idea about what they want to write. Or they feel that they can come up with a new idea for an evergreen page or blog post in a moment’s notice.
Content is key to successful online law firm marketing. Content marketing works better than any other form of search engine optimization with both search engines and your potential clients. But to do content marketing efficiently and effectively, planning and strategy is required.
Trying to approach your content creation without a plan generally isn’t the best way to use your time and effort.
Why you should have a content plan for your online law firm marketing
Even for attorneys who are enthusiastic about writing content, it can be difficult to keep up the momentum of content creation without a roadmap. Publishing new, quality content on a regular basis is the foundation for successful online law firm marketing. A content plan is the roadmap that ensures that you know what you’ll write and when you’ll write it. It helps you stay focused on your strategy and it can help to keep you accountable for what gets published.
The best law firm websites are a useful resource for your potential clients. These sites help potential clients learn more about their case or problem and demonstrate your expertise in your practice area(s). The content that gets published to your site should encourage potential clients to trust you and contact your firm when they’re ready.
Content plans provide accountability, deadlines and more
For that reason, the content you create and publish should be organized. A content plan ensures that you know what content has been published, what content will be published in the future, what topics have been covered, and where that content will live on your site.
Note: Depending on the platform that you’re using, you may need to know the structure of your pages well in advance — another reason that planning your content ahead of time is important.
The LawLytics platform allows you to move the order of pages at any time with a simple drag-and-drop function. You can reorder menus, pages, case results, slideshows, offices, attorneys and recommendations with just a few clicks.
The best law firm websites also generally contain a large volume of content. Without a content plan that details the pages and topics that have been created, it can be difficult to know what topics have or haven’t been addressed. That kind of disorganization can cause you to waste time and miss opportunities to publish new content and reach new potential clients.
Reason #3: “I don’t have time to create a content plan for my law firm’s website.”
If you’re busy, you may be concerned that you don’t have time to create a content plan. But in the long run, it likely takes less time to create (and stick to) your content plan than it does trying to execute a successful content strategy without one. If you’re struggling to find a large block of time to create a content plan, you may want to work on it incrementally over a period of time until it’s complete.
To learn more about creating a content plan, listen to our podcast on content planning for law firms.
Law firm content plans keep attorneys from wasting time
It might seem like creating a detailed content plan is an unnecessary hassle. But, it’s often a far larger hassle to try to do successful content marketing without a documented content strategy.
It’s more likely that your content marketing efforts might fail without one.
Without a content plan, you’ll likely waste time trying to figure out what you have or haven’t written. You may waste time staring at a blank page if you have writer’s block. It can be difficult to stick to your publishing schedule without documentation that encourages you to hold yourself accountable to the due dates you assign.
Reason #4: “I’m outsourcing my content, so I don’t need a content plan.”
Just because someone else is writing your content or sharing content responsibilities doesn’t mean you don’t need a content plan. Even if you’re not the person writing your law firm’s website and/or blog content, having a content plan can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your strategy.
Content plans provide a high degree of structure, meaning that you’ll know when you should expect deliverables from your content writers, who is accountable for the creation of certain evergreen pages or blog posts, what length those pieces should be, and more.
Without a content plan to keep you organized, you may waste time trying to figure out how to assign projects on the fly or trying to keep track of who has written what.
To learn more about things you should consider when outsourcing your content, see our webinar on hiring ghostwriters for your law firm’s website.
More on content planning and your online law firm marketing
Content planning is an important part of a successful content marketing strategy for law firms. To learn more about content planning and content marketing, see the following resources:
- 6 Tips For Developing An Effective Law Firm Content Plan
- 5 Questions To Ask When Creating A Law Firm Content Plan
- How Long Does It Take For Content Marketing To Work For Law Firms?
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- Law Firm Website Growth Strategies: Podcast Episode 10