The difference between blog posts and evergreen pages — and when to focus on them — is not always clear to attorneys.
Blogging for law firms has become a popular topic in recent years, and sometimes when attorneys approach the LawLytics Content Team, they’re convinced that blogging is what they need to do most, or first.
However, there is generally an order of operations to creating the law firm website content that will help you get the best return on your investment — whether you’re writing the content yourself or paying someone else to do it for you.
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach for every law firm, most firms can benefit from allocating their efforts in the following ways. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the purpose of blog posts and evergreen pages and when it makes sense to focus on building one or the other.
What is the purpose of a law firm website evergreen page?
Some attorneys understand why law firm content marketing is effective and a smart way to connect with potential clients. But even when attorneys understand the benefits of content marketing, it can seem overwhelming to get started. Attorneys worry that they need lots of pages at the time that they launch their website in order to succeed with content marketing.
But really, that’s not true. Content marketing is something that attorneys should build on over time, and the content shouldn’t be a roadblock to getting started. At a very minimum, a potential client should be able to look at your law firm website and know:
- Who you are
- Where you are
- What you do
From there, attorneys generally benefit by devoting their time to building up their evergreen pages. These pages include your practice area pages and detailed law pages.
The purpose of these pages are to outline your practice areas, the services you provide, and to provide detailed information about the law.
When practice area pages and detailed law pages are done well, they become places where potential clients are likely to find you (and form an impression about you) when they conduct searches related to their case or problem.
A practice area-specific example of using evergreen pages
LawLytics’ Director of Strategy, Danielle Rees, recently gave a practice area-specific example of how to build up evergreen pages for employment attorneys.
“You might start out with one page that lists the various types of employment law that you practice,” she says. “Next, you’ll want to make a page for each area: Discrimination, harassment, retaliation, workers compensation, and so on.”
She notes that, unfortunately, this is where a lot of attorneys stop. “They think they’ve added enough information so that someone searching for ‘San Francisco employment discrimination,’ is going to find them.”
That search does not necessarily reflect how many people are likely to search — in fact, they may not even know that the problem that they’re facing is discrimination, and they may not know that they could benefit from hiring an attorney.
Continuing with this employment law example, Rees explains why attorneys should keep creating new content.
“People are searching for the answers to their questions. If you don’t have the answer, someone else will. For example, your discrimination page can branch into subpages that describe different types of discrimination: age, gender, and religion,” she says.
“You can talk about discrimination at various points in a career — from hiring, to promotions, to firing. You can discuss what evidence must be shown; how a case progresses; what kinds of compensation are available. You can make FAQ pages, too.”
When should your law firm be creating evergreen pages?
Here are some guidelines about creating evergreen pages on your law firm’s website.
Create evergreen pages when your law firm website is new
When your site is new, you likely won’t have many evergreen pages yet. That’s a good time to put your focus on building these pages.
Be careful about creating your evergreen pages. If these pages are created carelessly or provide too little detail to be useful to potential clients, search engines are unlikely to give them preference in search results.
For more on creating evergreen pages carefully, see our blog post, “Strategies For Growing Your Law Firm’s Web Presence.”
Linking your law firm evergreen pages
After you have a dozen or more pages, Rees explains that one way to enhance the user experience is to provide links between your practice area pages. “For example, an age discrimination page might link to other pages about other types of discrimination, and to pages about retaliation. Linking relevant terms helps your readers find information and keeps them on your site longer.”
Your evergreen pages should be focused on providing useful information rather than promoting yourself. However, it’s often a good idea to end the page with a brief call-to-action that lets the reader know that they should contact your firm if they’re facing the issues that are detailed on the page.
What is the purpose of a law firm blog post?
Blog posts are a great way to capture a variety of search terms that might otherwise not be addressed in your evergreen pages. They help you capture more readers, develop your brand, and establish yourself as a thought-leader.
While the substantive evergreen pages you create likely contain information that will be relevant for a long time, blog posts tend to cover more immediate topics.
Covering timely news and events
You might choose to add blogs as timely news story related to your practice area(s) come up — and that can include blogging about other jurisdictions, as well.
For example, a DUI attorney might write a blog post about his or her thoughts on the relationship between ridesharing apps and the rate of DUIs or about a recent change in the law where they practice.
An employment attorney might write about their thoughts on sexual harassment and assault in the workplace, the #metoo movement, or any other timely topics related to their practice area.
Adding value and drawing potential clients to your site
You may also want to blog about questions or topics surrounding the evergreen pages you’ve created. For example, a DUI attorney might write a blog post about “How many points can I get on my license in Tucson before it gets suspended?” and link back to their relevant pages on topics such as aggressive driving, license suspension, etc.
Regardless of what you’re writing about in your blog posts, be sure that you’re adding something new to the conversation. Blogs don’t tend to move the needle unless you’re providing unique, value-added analysis.
Here’s how you can add value to your blog posts through analysis:
- How could [the topic you choose] affect readers in a similar situation?
- What legal actions could they take?
- What standards would they have to meet?
Writing about relevant news in other jurisdictions isn’t off limits. You can blog about current events in other jurisdictions so long as you’re able to tie them back to things that are relevant to your readers.
Rees offered an example in our webinar, “Creating Compelling Content For Your Employment Law Website.”
“Maybe another state recently passed ‘Ban the Box’ legislation,” she says. “You might write a story about that. If your state doesn’t have a ‘Ban the Box’ law, let your readers know this and explain what someone with a criminal history has to disclose in your state.”
When should your law firm be creating blog posts?
It’s usually best to focus on blogs once you’ve developed a sizable number of evergreen pages that you can link back to. A good rule of thumb is this:
If you’re blogging about a topic, it’s a good idea to have at least one relevant evergreen page that you can link back to that’s related to the blog post topic.
(For example, an employment attorney might write a blog post about a CEO booted out of his/her company by the #metoo movement. That page would likely link to the relevant evergreen page on sexual harassment.)
“If you don’t have a substantive page you can link to than it’s probably better to spend your energy on your practice area pages than your blog,” says Rees.
For more on creating content that drives new business to your firm, see our practice area-specific series, “Creating Compelling Content For Your Law Firm Website.”
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