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How Long Does It Take For Content Marketing To Work For Law Firms?

by | Jul 27, 2017 | Marketing, SEO

One question that attorneys often ask us when they begin a content marketing strategy is how long it takes for that strategy to work.

Creating quality, targeted content that addresses the needs of your potential clients takes time, and law firm marketing strategies that produce a significant return on investment don’t produce results overnight.

Content marketing is a marathon and not a sprint. Whether you’re investing your time, your money, or both into your content marketing, a good content marketing strategy does not produce immediate results.

Success with content marketing takes time. However, to answer the question of how much time is required, attorneys have to look at a variety of factors that affect their firm in a unique way.

Here are several things that can affect the amount of time it takes to see your content marketing strategy pay off.

How much content do you have on your law firm website?

The amount of content on your site (or a lack of content) can affect your ability to succeed with content marketing.

For content marketing to work well, your site needs a substantial amount of content, and new content should be published on a regular basis. Attorneys shouldn’t let a lack of content get in the way of launching their website when they’re starting out, though they should have basic structural content on their site.

(We generally recommend basic structural content including a law firm website homepage, an attorney bio, an about the firm page, and practice area pages.)

But once you’ve launched your site, make a plan to expand your basic structural content, if you haven’t already. (A good law firm website content plan can be helpful.)

If you don’t continuously add new, quality content to your site, it’s unlikely that you’ll see an impact from your content marketing.

To learn more about growing the content on your site, see our blog post, “Strategies For Growing Your Law Firm’s Web Presence.”

What is the quality of the content on your law firm’s website?

The quantity of the content on your site won’t mean much if it’s not high quality. The quantity and quality of the content on your site both impact the success your law firm will have with content marketing.

High-quality content keeps both search engines and your potential clients happy. Google gives preference to high-quality content in results pages. If the quality of your content is lacking — either you don’t have a sufficient amount of it or it’s shallow and doesn’t provide value to your potential clients — it’s unlikely that your content will perform well in search results pages when potential clients make queries related to that content.

Google’s motivation is to provide search engine users with the best and highest quality results for their queries. Your potential clients need high-quality answers to the questions they have about their case or matter. The motivations of Google and your potential clients intersect with high-quality content.

To learn more about the dangers of shallow content, see our blog, “What Is Thin Content & How Does It Affect Law Firm Websites?

How unique is the content on your law firm website?

The quality and quantity of your law firm website content is critical to the success of your online marketing strategy. But also important is the unique angle that you take on the information that you provide.

The content you provide should be unique to your law firm and provide your unique expertise. This helps to differentiate your firm from the competition and gives potential clients reason to hire you over a competitor.

Copying your competitors content verbatim — or even creating something that’s very close to what your competitor has done — is dangerous from the perspective of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. But it’s also dangerous in that it doesn’t help a potential client see why your firm is uniquely suited to handle their case or problem.

You might feel like everything that’s ever going to be said about a topic already exists online. But you have the ability to frame the issues in an original way — one that’s unique to your firm and your practice area — that gives potential clients and referral sources much-needed information while giving them a sense of your personality and ability to help them.

If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, see our blog posts: “How Do I Decide What To Write About On My Law Firm’s Website?” and “Law Firm Blogging Burnout? 7 Ways To Find Blogging Inspiration Again.

How easy is it to use your law firm website?

If you’re creating high-quality content on a regular basis that showcases your unique ability to help your potential clients, you’re on the right track. But one thing attorneys may want to be mindful of is the structure of their law firm’s website.

If your law firm website is difficult to use or navigate, it won’t matter how good your content is. A natural response by web visitors when they encounter a site that’s hard to use is to go elsewhere.

Most people who use the internet instinctively know how to use websites. That’s because there are some common conventions that we’ve come to accept as normal in terms of what a website should look like or how it should function. When we run into a website that’s confusing or frustrating to use, we close the browser window and find another site that meets our needs.

Your law firm’s website may have excellent content that would benefit your potential clients, but if they can’t figure out how to access it, or your site is difficult to use, it’s unlikely they’ll get a chance to see it. That can mean lost business for your law firm.

How competitive is your market?

The competition in your market can affect your content marketing strategy, how you approach it, and how long it takes to succeed with it.

From the beginning of your content planning, think long term about your desired site size. You may recognize that you need to add new content on a consistent basis. But… just how big should your law firm’s website be?

Determining your desired site size can depend on several things including your practice area(s), the city and state where you practice law, and also what your competitors are doing.

Maybe you’re a criminal defense attorney who wants to create a dominant law firm website in a large, competitive market — somewhere like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. If so, there’s a good chance you’ll need upward of 1000 high-quality pages on your site to compete effectively.

However, an estate planning attorney in Wichita, Kansas, might need 50-100 pages to be a dominant attorney in their market.

The needs of your potential clients, your practice area, and your competition are all relevant things to consider in how you’ll develop your content strategy and how long it will take to see results.

How long does it take for content marketing to benefit my law firm?

The time that it takes for your content marketing strategy to benefit your firm depends on a number of things. But, one of the biggest factors is how much time or effort you put into your content. Being consistent and strategic in your approach is also important because it ensures that you’re writing content that meets the needs of your potential clients. A focus on high-quality content helps you avoid distractions, SEO “tricks” and other things that often derail attorneys in their efforts to succeed online.

Creating a sustainable web presence with content marketing requires time and effort, but it’s well worth it in the long run. Attorneys who are focused, patient and avoid distractions often see their patience pay off with sustainable, cost-effective marketing that drives quality clients to their law firm on a regular basis.

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