Content Marketing for Law Firms: The Ultimate Guide

content marketing for law firms guideBelieve it or not, the legal knowledge in your head can translate into very engaging content that pushes your law firm to the top of Google.

Yet did you know that only 37 percent of law firms currently say they have a blog?

The “pulling power” of your content is likely to be the single most significant factor in the success of your law firm’s digital marketing strategy — and blogging should be an important part of it.

Why? Because everybody loves original and compelling content.

That includes three critical audiences:

  • Google
  • Potential customers
  • Your peers

You don’t need to be a large firm to create consistently effective content that answers the central questions in your client’s minds and gets you ranking at the top of Google.

This article examines why your firm needs a content marketing strategy and how to create informative and engaging content that generates steady leads.



What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the cornerstone of a law firm’s lead generation and SEO campaigns.

Here’s how one search engine optimization specialist puts it.

Content Marketing for Lawyers - Content & SEO
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It’s a type of inbound marketing which pulls clients towards your firm by creating valuable content and experiences catered to them.

Anything you produce that people read, listen to, or watch is part of your content marketing.

This includes:

  • Blogs
  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • Infographics
  • Social media

Some law firms create a complete resource center or knowledge library that acts as the hub of their content marketing strategy, like this one from employment law firm Werman Salas P.C. in Chicago.

law firm resource center
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As you’ll see, there’s an important difference between creating ad hoc content and following a content marketing strategy.

A content marketing strategy is about consistently creating and sharing valuable and engaging content for your target audience.


Why do lawyers need a content marketing strategy?

High-quality, client-centered content helps you get found through organic search and get more clients for your law firm. Content drives traffic to your website, builds authority and trust with prospective clients, and ultimately provides quality leads to your firm.

Law firm blogs inbound leads

Authenticity and authority have always been essential qualities for lawyers. These are precious traits to have online, where it can be hard for clients to differentiate between real professionals and the fakes.

Before picking up the phone and contacting you, visitors to your website, blog, Facebook page, or YouTube channel check your credentials.

Your content can help potential clients:

  • Find you through search
  • Understand your legal capabilities
  • Experience your legal expertise first-hand
  • Feel a connection to your business
  • Feel more confident about contacting you

Other potential benefits of a comprehensive content marketing strategy for your law firm include:

  • Reaching more users through search engines and social media
  • Increasing the authority of your website/blog
  • Generating backlinks from other websites
  • Growing your email list using lead magnets for targeted marketing campaigns
  • Reaching more clients through video/webinars/podcasts

By experimenting with different mediums, content marketing strategies, lead magnets, and more, you can use content marketing to bring these benefits and more to your firm.

Let’s look at an example from Spectrum Family Law in Calgary.

Say you need an answer to the question, “Can a spouse in Calgary sue for adultery?” When you type it into Google, you’ll see something like this.

featured snippet law firm seo

Spectrum Family Law’s answer to this question is in the featured snippet at the very top of the page.

You’ll be taken to the FAQ page on this firm’s website by clicking the link.

law firm faq page
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While you’re on this page, you can check out the answers to a few more questions about divorce in Calgary:

  • How much does a divorce lawyer cost in Calgary?
  • How long does it take to get a divorce in Calgary?
  • Do fathers have the same parental rights as mothers following a divorce?

You now have the answer to your main questions and are ready to hire a family divorce lawyer.

At this point, Spectrum Family Law has demonstrated its expertise in an area you need help in. You’d likely go ahead and contact them.

law firm contact us page
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The case for content marketing is convincing and is strengthened by the fact that it’s essentially free advertising for your firm.

You often have to pay a handsome price for billboard advertising or pay-per-click advertising for lawyers. But Spectrum Family Law does not pay for its prime space in the featured snippet at the top of Google page one.

To sum it up, relevant, engaging, and compelling content can:

  • Get you seen at the top of Google — remember, 75 percent of people never go past the first page of Google
  • Demonstrate to potential clients (who may be reaching out to a lawyer for the first time in their lives) that you’re an authoritative professional who can be trusted to look after their needs and get results

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What you need to know before you start creating content

Before you sit down and start shaping all that legal knowledge into compelling blog posts, there are some fundamentals about law firm content marketing to bear in mind.

Remember, a successful content marketing plan focuses on client-centered content that answers your audience’s questions. When they need legal services, you’re top of mind, and they’ll give you a call.

Before you start creating content, you first need to understand.

Law Firm Content criteria


Know your sales funnel

There are three basic phases to a client engaging your law firm:

  • Awareness
  • Evaluation
  • Purchase

Content marketing for law firms mainly fits into the first phase — building awareness and creating more exposure for your business in the minds of potential clients.

You demonstrate trust and authority through the content you produce. When clients need legal assistance, they turn to you because you have the answers.

Here’s a good illustration of how content marketing might fit into your law firm’s sales funnel.

Law Firm Content Marketing Sales Funnel

Here’s a more detailed explanation:

  • TOFU: Top-of-the-funnel content sparks interest and awareness. It’s the starting point of the buyer’s journey. Most potential clients will never have heard of you, so your content needs to educate, inform, and raise awareness that you’re an authority on the topic.
  • MOFU: Middle-of-the-funnel content addresses people’s particular problems and concerns and requires direct interaction with prospects. You’ll reach fewer potential clients, but they’ll engage with you and request information on how your solution can help. This stage combines educational and promotional content as you start to nurture leads.
  • BOFU: Bottom-of-the-funnel content positions your firm as the best answer to your potential client’s problems. It builds on the trust already developed through previous engagement and readies the client to purchase your services. You can explain more about how your service works, what it achieves, what other clients have said, and so on.

Know your target clients

Understanding your target audience is fundamental to any marketing plan. If you’re going to invest time and resources into creating content, you want to know exactly who it’s for.

A good place to start is to understand your ideal client persona(s). Most firms will need more than one, especially multi-practice law firms. In fact, you may want to create a persona for each of your main practice areas.

Think about the following:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location)
  • Background (family, work)
  • Goals (personal and professional)
  • Main challenges and pain points

Write each persona down along with some bullets about how you address their main challenges and pain points.

This is a sample client persona for a criminal law firm that specializes in DUI/DWI.

Law Firm Content Marketing Client Persona

A great place to start with client personas is to think about your most successful cases and past clients. What were they like and what were they looking for when they came to you?


Know your keywords

Before developing legal marketing content, you want to prepare to optimize its ranking in search engines. That means keywords and keyword phrases.

The bad news is that legal keywords are some of the most competitive. In Google Ads, almost 20 percent of the top 5,000 most competitive keywords are from the legal category.

You want your content to be in the number one spot on Google’s organic rankings and occupy the featured snippet space for certain questions. That’s almost impossible with the most popular search terms.

Fortunately, there are other opportunities. But you’ll need to research keywords for all parts of the sales funnel and match them with user intent.

Once you know your target personas, you should know the main questions they need answers to. This is a great place to start when considering keyword phrases.

Most of your content will be top-of-funnel, but here are some ideas for both the top and bottom of the funnel.

law firm marketing keywords

SEO for law firms is a huge topic. You can read more about keywords in our deep-dive guide to SEO for lawyers.


Know your topics

Your keyword research should lead you to the types of topics you need to cover.

Understanding your funnel, target clients, and keywords should inform your content.

So, in the case of DUI Dave (the client persona we created above), you might consider developing content on the following topics:

  • DUI penalties in NY state
  • What is the DUI arrest and charge process in NY?
  • The most common DUI defenses
  • Can you go to jail for a second DUI?
  • Can a DUI record be expunged in NY?

Answering these questions will help you appear on Google.

Can-a-DUI-record-be-expunged-in-NY-Google-Search

As you can see, there are valuable featured snippet opportunities for these questions.

Such specific and targeted topics will be relevant and engaging to your target audience. They’re also likely to be less competitive for search rankings.

You can also check out the competition for content ideas — if you have the same target audience. What are they writing about or making videos on? Can you do it better?

You can establish a lot by “spying” on your competitors — here are a few good places to start:

  • Use SEO tools like Semrush to search your competitor’s domain and see what keywords and content pillars they’re targeting for. Then develop content around these keywords.
  • Scan your competitor’s blog for topic ideas.
  • Review competitor websites for new page ideas for your own site — services, resources, etc.

How to create lead-generating content

You’re ready to start creating compelling lead-generating content — but there’s more to that than getting the topic right. It’s a good idea to experiment with various content types and monitor what resonates best with your audience.

The following are some proven ways to develop content that will deliver value, engage your audience, and generate leads.


Blog articles

Blog posts will likely be the mainstay of your firm’s content marketing strategy. Articles can be developed and published relatively quickly and painlessly. But remember that longer content is more likely to rank well in search engines.

You can read more about blog writing in our article blogging for lawyers.

Meanwhile, take a look at how Vogel LLP in Calgary does it.

law firm blog
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The firm creates valuable blog posts answering some common questions that its target audience is asking.


Guest posts

As part of your content marketing strategy, you can create guest blog posts for legal industry publications or complementary (not competing) sites.

Generating quality inbound links to your website is great for SEO. If your post is published on Attorney at Work, for instance, you receive a blurb (with a link) at the foot of the article, like this.

guest post bio
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Your guest posts should cover areas you specialize in so you attract the right kind of traffic. For example, if you’re a criminal defense firm, write guest posts for publications in that area.


How-to guides

How-to guides are one of the best ways to attract attention and generate awareness at the top of the content marketing funnel. Here’s a good example of a guide for How to Get Divorced in Illinois from O’Flaherty Law in Chicago.

how to guide
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These can be published as your standard blog post. But they can also be separate landing pages or even “gated” content, which is downloadable content for anyone willing to leave their email address.


Checklists

Checklists are simple to follow, and they’re actionable. This accessible and easily digestible form of content can provide real value to people looking for quick legal advice — as in this example of a divorce checklist for California from Heather Baker Law.

checklist content
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eBooks

eBooks are long-form and often used as gated content. This can be a great strategy for building a list of prospective clients for email marketing campaigns.

Here’s a good example of gated eBook content from The Maine Divorce Group.

law firm gated content
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FAQs

Answering FAQs is another mainstay of a law firm’s content marketing strategy, as it is for Wyoming Legal Group.

law firm faq page
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A high-quality FAQ page is valuable for many reasons. As referred to before, if you compile a list of questions your audience asks, particularly those that they type into Google, you can show up in the Featured Snippets and People Also Ask sections of the relevant search engine results page (SERP).

Examining the People Also Ask sections on the Google SERP (as illustrated below) can help you target keywords: the questions that people ask surrounding your main keywords can inspire content that provides valuable answers, increasing the chance of your content appearing in that section.

Content Marketing for Lawyers People Also Ask Section

Another easy way to figure out what questions to answer in your FAQ is to look back at what questions your clients ask you regularly.


Long-form practice pages

Your web pages are an essential part of your content marketing strategy. Long-form, in-depth practice area “power” pages rank better in search and can drive traffic to your website.

For instance, this page from Vogel LLP on their probate services reads more like an in-depth blog post than a promotional service page.

law firm long form content
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Like your blog posts, your service pages should be comprehensive and informative. Find a balance between sharing valuable content without overwhelming visitors with unnecessary info.


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Infographics

The Keating Law Offices in Illinois represent victims of bicycle accidents. They use Infographics very well — creating sharable content that conveys important information to the target audience and demonstrates authority on the topic, as in this example.

law firm infographic
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High-quality infographics can help you get valuable backlinks to your website, which can enhance your SEO efforts and get you ranking higher.

Consider hiring a professional to plan and create your infographics. The costs are well worth it.


Videos

Law firms seriously underuse video, with the 2021 ABA report claiming that only 28 percent of firms surveyed use video as part of their marketing.

As you can see in the following example from personal injury law firm Park Chenaur & Associates, video can be used effectively for various purposes, like testimonials and to educate your audience.

videos law firm websites
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For more tips, check out our full guide on video marketing for lawyers.


Whitepapers

Whitepapers may be a little heavy, depending on your target audience. But some legal topics just can’t be covered in checklists and how-to articles.

Here’s an example from Fourscore Business Law in North Carolina.

whitepapers for law firms
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Consider publishing whitepapers on topics in your practice area that require more than a blog post. A well-targeted whitepaper can serve as a valuable piece of gated content, helping you get email subscribers.


Landing pages

Landing pages are bottom-of-the-funnel-content where you’re trying to convince a potential client to take a specific action, such as booking a consultation or calling you for a case evaluation.

Check out some of the best law firm landing pages here. Meanwhile, this is a good example of a high-quality page from technology lawyers Scott & Scott LLP.

law firm landing page
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Landing pages are often connected with a PPC campaign. A searcher will find your paid ad on Google, click the ad, and end up on a page that’s designed specifically to convert leads.


Case studies

Case studies are particularly helpful at the middle or bottom of the sales funnel.

For example, Ottawa-based accident and injury firm Auger Hollingsworth creates case studies that exemplify how they help clients with typical issues — such as slip and fall accidents.

law firm case study
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Success stories

Oykhman Criminal Defence in Canada has a webpage dedicated to success stories — which is also valuable content for the middle or bottom of the funnel.

success stories law firms
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Legal webinars

Webinars are online seminars covering a particular legal topic of interest to your audience. They are generally informational and for use at the top or middle of the sales funnel but can also be promotional at the end (call to action, etc.).

Littman Crooks LLP in New York uses webinars to educate its target audience about estate planning matters.

law firm webinar
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Podcasts

People can listen to podcasts on the way home from work. They are an informal way to digest content.

Not many U.S. law firms currently have podcasts, but they are surprisingly popular in the UK and elsewhere. They could be a differentiator for your firm.

The Ehline Law Firm in Los Angeles uses podcasts to inform its target audience about personal injury law.

law firm podcast
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Writing style tips for lawyers

Stylistically, think simplicity and clarity with the content you create. Be clear, not clever. You want people to engage with it, share it, and contact you.

For instance, clients may not know what an estate planning lawyer does, but they know they need a will. So, that means developing a checklist or how-to video covering how to write a will rather than a law degree essay.

Articles should be well-written, comprehensive (without fluff) and relevant to the target audience. Content should be as evergreen as possible so avoid using too many tell-tale dates that will quickly age it.

Consider the following to make it more digestible for your readers:

  • Use bullet points and numbered lists
  • Break up paragraphs with sub-headers (make it “skimmable”)
  • Keep sentences and paragraphs short
  • Use images to break up text
  • No legal jargon
  • Use links, quotes and statistics to back up your content
  • Use Grammarly to check for grammar before publishing

This is a good example of a complex topic made simple from the Taylor Janis LLP Workplace Law website.

law firm blog post
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Our law firm copywriting guide has many more tips to level up your writing.


Posting, promoting, and repurposing your content

A blog page that hasn’t seen a new post for two years isn’t going to do anything for your law firm.

Create a schedule for posting your content and stick to it. That way, you’ll consistently post content that tells your clients and Google that you’re active.

This is better for rankings and for generating leads. Use a third-party application like Hootsuite if that helps.

You want your content to reach your target audience through the search engines and the platforms on which they spend time. There are multiple platforms on which to publish and promote your content.


Your law firm blog

You already know the importance of having an updated blog. But it doesn’t hurt to see another example from Chadi & Company, a multi-practice law firm in Alberta.

law firm blog post example
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On LinkedIn

Sharing articles on LinkedIn is a great way to inform and engage your professional followers — like this post from employment lawyer Jennifer Spencer.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/can-you-get-fired-your-boss-doesnt-like-what-post-social-spencer/
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On Facebook

Facebook marketing isn’t for every law firm but shouldn’t be ignored.

Sharing new blog posts on your Facebook feed is a simple way to reach large numbers of users (Facebook has 4 billion users) and increase the potential exposure of your work. Add captions and engage with comments about your posts.

Here’s a great example from Oykhman Criminal Defence about a news item we can all remember.

law firm facebook post
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On Twitter

Add a link to your content on Twitter for exposure to millions of users on the platform… like this post from the Estate Planning Law Group of Georgia.

twitter law firm post
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On your YouTube channel

Upload video content to your YouTube channel and link to it through your social media channels.

Here’s the YouTube channel of Trey Porter Law, an active proponent of using video.

law firm youtube page
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In newsletters

A great way to expand your potential client list and reach out to existing clients is with newsletter content. For the basics of getting started, check out our post on email marketing for law firms.

Your latest blog posts can be included in your law firm newsletter — you just need to capture the email address of your target audience first.

Here’s an example from Carrier Law, a family law firm in Michigan.

law firm newsletter
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Revisiting and repurposing content

Great content just keeps on giving. It can be repurposed again and again across multiple platforms.

You don’t have to write a new article from scratch each time.

Here are a few tips for revisiting and repurposing your content:

  • Give old content a new lease on life by updating it, adding value for potential clients, and search rankings
  • When laws change, make sure that your content is updated changes to reflect these changes
  • The same piece of content may have different benefits for different audiences. Make sure that the content is “framed” and presented the right way for the target audience (don’t necessarily use the same caption for a Facebook post and LinkedIn post, even if the content is the same)
  • Rewrite the same article for different audiences
  • Make sure that your articles don’t contain old or broken links, as this will kill your rankings
  • Promote updated content as you would new content
  • Convert videos into articles or infographics (and vice versa)
  • If you run webinars, create articles afterwards that cover the main points

Who should develop your content?

70 percent of law firms say that content for their website is written primarily by one or more lawyers, and 59 percent of law firm websites include legal articles written in-house.

Leaving it to the lawyers may be fine for writing the odd blog post or attorney bio page (99 percent of law firm websites include partner profiles), but you’ve seen that other types of content go far beyond these basic requirements.

Success usually requires a consistent marketing strategy — rather than an ad hoc approach to content.

The reality is that most lawyers don’t have the time to write articles regularly and are constantly pushed for time even with the wealth of law firm automation tools available today.

If you don’t have an in-house marketer or professional writer, it’s generally best to outsource your content marketing to a law firm marketing service like JurisPage, which offers a 360-degree approach to marketing.

Content Marketing for Lawyers 360 Degree Approach


Converting leads and measuring success

We’ve covered the research, creation and promotion of your content. But the work doesn’t end there with content marketing,

You need to ensure that some of your content converts (calls to action should entice users to contact you, fill out a form, etc.). You also need to measure how the content marketing campaigns are going.

How do you measure the success/ROI of a content marketing campaign?

A recent survey found that over 40 percent of law firms do not track their leads at all. That’s criminal when we have all the tools we need to track every lead,

You should be looking out for the following content marketing metrics:

  • The increase in awareness from your target audience (website page views, social media clicks and shares, etc.?)
  • The number of conversions (goal completions, e.g., downloads)
  • The Google rankings of your content and traffic generated
  • The number of leads generated (forms filled, phone calls, etc.)
  • The quality of leads generated
  • The number of new paying clients

It can be difficult to measure awareness. It’s also tough to attribute leads to particular pieces of content, but you should get an idea of what’s working and what’s not by the nature of the leads coming to you.

Ask leads how they found you and use tools like Google Analytics to measure traffic, identify the most effective content and track conversions. Adjust your content marketing plan accordingly.

You probably don’t have a marketing problem if you’re generating leads but not converting them into paying clients. You may have a sales problem.


Content marketing for lawyers: A long but rewarding game

Lawyers are realizing the value of content marketing to increase awareness, establish authority, build relationships, and produce more leads for their law firms.

That means it’s more competitive than ever and tougher for your content to stand out.

And that means you need to do it better than the rest.

But it’s a long game. Most law firms need to hand the task to seasoned professionals.

At JurisPage, we develop law firm content marketing strategies that make your law firm more visible and generate a steady stream of quality leads.

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