6 Tips For Developing An Effective Law Firm Content Plan
Developing high-quality law firm website and blog content can increase traffic to your website, build potential clients’ trust, and make it more likely that they will choose your law firm over a competitor.
However, it can be challenging for attorneys to produce a steady stream of relevant, engaging content without first having a plan. A law firm content plan can help you identify your goals, better meet your potential clients’ needs and keep your content marketing efforts on-schedule and on-track.
These 6 tips can help you develop an effective and manageable content plan that contributes to your law firm’s growth and success.
1. Know your law firm’s audience
Law firm website content should help bring in the right kind of traffic: potential clients and referral sources.
The more you can tailor your law firm website and blog content to your particular audience’s needs and interests, the more likely it is that your content marketing strategy will be successful.
Google tends to reward high-quality content that answers search engine users’ questions with greater visibility in its search results. Conversely, “thin” content that doesn’t provide substantive information doesn’t tend to perform well in search results.
As you are developing your content plan, think about your ideal potential client:
- Who are they?
- What questions are they asking?
- Where are they located?
- When do they want information?
- Why should they engage with your law firm?
This process of developing client personas can help you plan and prioritize the kind of content that is likely to engage your potential clients. See our blog post, “5 Questions To Ask When Creating A Law Firm Content Plan” for tips on developing client personas to inform your law firm’s content planning.
2. Make your law firm content plan as specific as possible
A thorough content plan includes what will be published, when it will be published, and who is responsible for each step in the publication process. Ideally, this would include specific dates for each task associated with content publication.
This level of specificity is helpful whether you’re a solo practitioner, have people on staff that develop content or you outsource content development to a third party. Because it includes specific dates and deliverables, a content plan helps keep everyone involved in the process accountable and on-track.
3. Break down bigger projects into smaller tasks
Larger projects should be broken down into manageable chunks. This helps you avoid being overwhelmed when facing a large project. Instead, you can make steady progress towards completing bigger projects by completing individual, manageable tasks.
Your content plan could include a project for building out a major section of your website, such as practice area pages and detailed law pages. Each project would then be broken down into specific tasks with associated dates.
For example, a DUI attorney who is in the process of developing pages on their law firm website might cover a topic such as “Breath Tests.” That topic might be broken down into subtopics such as covering types of chemical tests, BAC limits, the difference between a field test and a test at a police station, potential penalties for refusing a test, and false positives.
4. Stick to your content plan, but be realistic about what you can accomplish
Developing content that drives business to your firm requires time and/or money if you’re outsourcing your content development. To do content marketing that helps you build your business, new content needs to be produced on a regular basis. Having a content plan can help you stick to the deadlines you’ve created for yourself.
At the same time, be realistic about what you can accomplish each week. If you can only devote three hours to content development, don’t schedule ten hours worth of writing each week.
If you have too much to do or set unrealistic deadlines, it can be discouraging when you don’t complete what you set out to do. This can prevent you from sticking to your law firm’s content plan.
5. Schedule your writing time
For many attorneys, it is helpful to schedule writing time on a calendar, just like a meeting or appointment.
There’s no “one size fits all” approach to scheduling writing time. Some attorneys may prefer to write more frequently in shorter chunks of time, while others may be more productive doing a week’s worth of writing done in a single three-hour block.
The key is to figure out a schedule that works for you and to schedule time in your calendar accordingly.
You may need to experiment a little bit to find a writing schedule that works for you. You may discover that you’re more productive and focused first thing in the morning or that evenings are your best writing time. Update your calendar accordingly.
6. Assess and adjust your law firm content plan as needed
Your law firm’s content plan isn’t a static document. It should be reviewed and revised over time when needed.
You may get a case that occupies you completely for a period of time. If you won’t have time to write for a few weeks, you may need to revise your content plan to reflect that. (Alternatively, you may choose to outsource your law firm’s content during that time. LawLytics provides ongoing content and à la carte content services to meet your law firm’s needs.)
Similarly, if it takes you more or less time to write than you originally expected, you can revise your content plan to reflect the amount of content produced. This can provide you with an accurate reflection of how much content is being created and allow you to stick to manageable deadlines.
You may want to evaluate the overall success of your law firm’s content plan periodically. Keep in mind that investing in content development isn’t a quick fix. It takes time to develop content, and it takes time to build up the rank and authority with search engines that can increase traffic to your website. You shouldn’t expect overnight success. But you should check in periodically to see if you’re making progress towards the goals you set out in your plan.
As you begin to see results from your content marketing efforts, you can refine your content plan to focus on what resonates with your potential clients. For example, there may be some pages on your law firm’s website that receive more traffic than others, and that may indicate that your potential clients are interested in those pages. This can help you understand which topics are more or less engaging to your potential clients.
You may also be able to tell which pages on your website are most successful at converting potential clients. For example, when someone submits a form through a LawLytics website, you can see which page they were on when they submitted that form.
If some pages are converting better than others, ask yourself what it is about those pages that encourage a higher level of engagement.
Get more law firm content planning tips
Our on-demand Advanced Content Planning Clinic walks you through the process of developing each part of your content plan, step by step.