Probably the most overlooked part when it comes to SEO (search engine optimization) for many businesses, including attorneys and law firms is blogging. Blogging regularly for your firm can be an incredible source of new traffic for your firm. When performed correctly, that traffic will translate into a steady source of new clients.
In this article, we’re going to look at 17 different ideas your law firm can use to start blogging about topics that actually matter to prospective clients and get traffic. By the end, you’ll be able to start generating ideas and topics for your firm’s areas of practice and write articles that will rank your firm in search engine results that you wouldn’t have even thought of otherwise.
1. Comprehensive Guides and Information on your Target Areas of Practice
If you’ve scanned your competitor’s website, you’ve probably come across several sites that don’t have blogs or articles, but rather an ‘information centre’ or ‘help centre’. If you’re new to creating content for your law firm and don’t think you’ll invest in writing articles long term, then this could be a suitable approach.
Instead of creating blog articles every week, you can instead pre-plan information on each of your primary areas of practice, then break them down into sub-categories. For instance, if you practice family law, then the subcategories you write about will include:
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Division of Property
- Grandparent’s Rights
- Marriage Contracts & Agreements
Each sub-category is bound to have its own article or informational topics. Taking the example of Division of Property, an example list of articles would include:
- Calculating Division of Property
- Common Law Relationships & Division of Property
- Division of Debt
- How Self-Employed and Businesses are Evaluated
- Division of Pensions
If you’re a family lawyer or familiar with the area of law, then you can probably think of even more topics to write about within this Division of Property. The list goes on. Remember that the best way to rank and get qualified traffic (both for the researcher’s best interest and your firm’s), you should be writing informational articles based on your state or province.
The purpose of this approach isn’t that it won’t be a lot of content to write about on your site, rather that it’s more evergreen. This means that the content (aside from changes in the law) will remain fresh for years, requiring little to no maintenance. After the articles are published and the ‘information centre’ is populated with content, you don’t have to commit to blogging on a regular basis.
2. Recent Changes in Laws
When laws change, the public needs to know about them. Especially if they’re researching using a search engine like Google or Bing and retrieve obsolete information regarding the law(s) in question. Being the first is good. Being the best to write about the changes is preferred. Being a first or early mover as well as writing the most comprehensive article about the changes is best.
There are 2 advantages to this:
- You’re more likely to be ranked in Google for the updated information
- Your firm could receive press attention for supplying the information
Press and media are always good for your practice. In some cases, you may even get press mentions or authoritative links from journalist sites back to your firm’s. This is highly coveted for SEO purposes.
3. Commentary or Recaps of Trending or High Profile Cases in the News
Keeping with the train of thought on press and media, writing articles about newsworthy and high profile cases is a great way to generate more attention for your firm. Commenting or giving your professional opinion about the events, situation or handling of the legal proceedings can draw the media’s eyes to your firm and lead to mentions. It’s unlikely to occur the first time, but eventually this method will position your firm as an authority on these types of topics.
After publishing your article, it’s essential to share it on yours and your firm’s social media channels to spread it as quickly as possible. Don’t expect:
- Your article to rank organically overnight for the subject and;
- Have journalists stumble across it without some effort on your part
4. Trial, Discovery & Conference Process Guides
It’s pretty common that the majority of people do not like going to court. Not even all litigators do! Unlike what the media has made general society believe, trial is usually the last part in handling a client’s matters. In many cases, going to trial isn’t even necessary.
But, how would they know until they see a lawyer or do their due diligence and research the subject?
This is where you can shed some light on the matter. For your jurisdiction and area of law, write guides that explain how the legal process (generally) works. Define what conferences, discoveries and trials are. Who is present and how they function. What role they play and how trial isn’t always necessary and in many areas of law and situations can be avoided altogether. Of course it depends case to case, but educating your prospective clients on these topics will make them more informed about their legal issues, more confident and prepared in hiring a lawyer to handle their case.
5. Expand FAQs into Full Articles
Many firms have FAQs on their website. For the most part, as a law firm marketer and SEO, I see unsatisfactory answers to these questions. Many times questions are answered in a paragraph or two. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to the law, the answer is usually ‘it depends’.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but what exactly does it depend on?
This is how simple FAQ questions can be expanded into more elaborate articles. Because the answer is usually it depends, one question could lead to answer many more. Based on your knowledge and experience with the most common circumstances, you’re better able to answer each of those dependencies. This can turn a 1-paragraph answer into a 1000 plus word article.
6. Provide Helpful Information for Potential Clients
This sounds vague, but it actually builds off of the FAQ expansion articles.
Think about how you may answer one of those frequently asked legal questions a client may have in a meeting or consultation with them. After you provide an answer, they’ll usually have more questions on the subject. These can be labeled as follow-up questions. Instead of just answering that single question, attempt to predict the following questions and answer those as well after answering the main question in the post. This way, instead of simply answering their question and them going back to google or bing to search for that follow-up question, your anticipation of that next question kept them on your site and learning from you.
Answering Follow-up Questions in Article vs Separate Article
One of the more technical aspects of blogging is determining whether the question belongs in the same article or deserves its own blog. The rule of thumb is simple. If the question can be deemed a follow-up question, then it belongs in the article. The only case where you’d split this is if it will take an entire article to answer that question. In that case, give a short answer and then link to the article with a more comprehensive article if the reader wishes to learn more.
If the next question is related, but more tangential to the primary question, then it should have a separate article with its own follow-up questions. Link to it in the article, where appropriate. That way, if your reader does want to learn more, there’s a better chance of them clicking through to it than leaving your site and searching for it elsewhere.
7. Compare Hiring a Lawyer to Handling DIY Cases
Many lawyers don’t like the idea of blogging as they don’t want to be mistaken for providing legal advice. One discussion I had recently with a law firm client was on the subject of their personal injury blog. The topic we had given them to write was “do’s and don’ts when talking with an insurance adjuster”. Their hesitation in writing the article was that they didn’t want to give any advice on the matter, because they usually handle this for their clients and its generally a terrible idea for people to talk to the insurance adjuster. There are simply too many situations for the individual talking with an adjuster to go wrong.
I completely understand this. Instead, the article was altered to “Why only a lawyer should speak to the Insurance Adjuster”. It was stated multiple times in the article why it’s never suggested for an individual to handle these situations and why a lawyer should handle it for them. The same points that would have been used in the “Do’s and Don’ts” version were ported to this content fairly easily and therefore the article still stands a good chance of ranking for the same keywords and search terms organically.
The advantage wasn’t actually in turning the article from something the lawyer didn’t want to publish into something they did. Instead, it was showing the reader that lawyers have experience in handling these types of situations and the prospective client has zilch. Demonstrating to the prospective client what can go wrong if they don’t at least consult with a lawyer and nudging them to pick up the phone and call the firm after reading their blog.
8. Preparing for Initial Consultations
Many prospective clients don’t know what it’s going to be like when they meet with a lawyer. A good portion of people are researching this subject online and want to be better prepared.
It also helps both parties (client and law firm) get the most out of the initial consultation by instructing the consultee on what they need to bring to the first meeting so that the lawyer can prepare a snapshot of their case.
9. Changes Coming to the Law
This is similar to discussing the recent changes to the law. However, instead of waiting for the law to change, writing about it and then waiting for your article to (hopefully) rank in search engines, you can get ahead of the curve using this tactic. Your odds of getting picked up by media and journalists also stands a better chance as you’re more likely to be the first-mover and one of the first sources of information on the subject.
Whether writing about recent changes or changes coming, an added tip is to discuss the impacts and effects of the changes. Discuss how this will affect society, individuals, plaintiffs or defendants going forward. The more information and insight you can provide, the better odds of ranking and press attention.
10. Answer Forum Questions on your Blog
When looking for topics and legal questions to answer on your blog, forums can be a great source for ideas. Search law and legal topics on popular forums like Reddit and Quora to find what questions people are asking about online. A unique advantage to this technique is that many forums, including these show ‘view’ or ‘hit’ counts. This indicates how many people viewed the question or topic. This can be a good indicator of the popularity of the question or topic when making a decision on whether to write about it or not.
Keep in mind that you’re not looking to generate hundreds or thousands of views for each of your articles per month. Ultimately, you’re objective is to generate qualified viewers. That means people who are likely facing legal issues that you can handle, who are also located in your region, jurisdiction or market. If a blog article generate 20 or 50 views per month, but the majority of them are visiting your article within or close to your state, then this is positive feedback of qualified traffic.
11. Notable Case Results the Firm has Won
Writing a blog post about a big case your firm tried and won is important. This is good for media attention, SEO and traffic as well as social proof. Featuring this article on the homepage of your website or landing page can emit a sense of credibility and may generate several more conversions alone.
However, more importantly is you should be taking credit or your competitors will. To illustrate this, a short story about a client of ours. Our client, a Canadian lawyer, has tried multiple cases at the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC). After doing our SEO due diligence, we found that multiple competitors were blogging about this on their practice’s websites. Large legal publications and online magazines ended up linking to them, even though they didn’t try the case. They merely wrote about it. Do your firm a favour and when you have a notable win, write about it. Why did it go to the Supreme court, the importance of the case, verdict and other details. That way, even if your competitors write about it and get media attention, you have a piece of content written about it, can reach out to the publications citing them and reclaim the credit you rightfully earned in the first place.
12. Create Vlogs and Transcribe into a Blog
Many lawyers claim they simply don’t have the time to blog. The alternative is that they can outsource the writing, whether to professional writing services or other legal professionals. Some lawyers like to keep tight grips on every piece of content published and rather simply do it themselves or not at all.
If this sounds like you or the attorney in-charge of the blog and publication decisions, then vlog instead. Create a short video, between 4 and 10 minutes long in the place of a blog post that could take longer. There’s no need for fancy production video and audio quality (at least not when starting out). When creating a vlog, simply outline the question or topic you’ll be discussing and create some short, ordered notes or bullets about the talking points.
Once finished and published, have it transcribed. It can then be edited and polished – deviating slightly from a mirror transcription – into a proper blog article. Now there are two media formats of content, appropriate for multiple publication channels (e.g. blog, YouTube, Facebook, etc.).
13. Tell Stories about Past Cases
Stories can be powerful for blogging. Both for topic inspiration as well as their impact within the article or post itself. Human beings love telling and listening to stories. Stories can make good article ideas and premises when attached to a moral or point you want to get across to others going through similar legal issues.
On the other hand, stories can be powerful for reinforcing the points that you’re trying to discuss within the article. Take the example of the excerpts of our law firm clients in this article. We mentioned specific story snippets where appropriate to demonstrate our points more clearly. We know first hand how many interesting stories lawyers have just from their line of work and going to battle over the years. Incorporate stories in your article are a great way to make your points as well as come off as personable.
14. Provide Info Outside their Case, but Related to Their Issues
The majority of the time, lawyers get held up on blogging about the law and exactly what they handle or provide services for. However, think about how your clients legal matters produce issues outside of the law too.
Example Topics Based on Areas of Practice
Injury lawyers can talk about life after an accident and how it impacts individuals and their families. What can people do after disability, to feel whole or reacquire a sense of place and purpose. Family lawyers, for instance, can discuss the impacts of divorce or separation on children, how to deal with their ex-spouse in civil manner and when people can start dating or seeing after a divorce or separation.
15. Seasonal Content Can Make Great Law Blog Content
I could probably think of at least one article for a lawyer to publish every month of the year. In many cases, several for just one area of law. Seasonal content works well to serve as reminders for people.
Personal Injury Seasonal Blog Topics
At the end of summer and back to school, a personal injury firm could write a post on keeping children safe on public roads, bicycling, taking the bus, using walkways and crosswalks. The same firm could write a snowmobile safety guide in winter or a car winter safety checklist or a bicycle safety guide at the start of summer.
Family Law Blog Seasonal Topic Examples
Family lawyers could release a post like the one mentioned in the earlier section about dating after separation or divorce before Valentine’s day. During the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), they could post about custody / access do’s and don’ts for the holidays.
Don’t expect a lot of organic traffic for these articles. Rather, these types of posts do particularly well when sharing and posting on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. This is a great way to create exposure, awareness and top of mind advertising for your practice.
16. Update Old Posts to Keep them Relevant
Certain articles and topics on your site will get stale or information will become outdated. This could be due to changes in the law, new precedence or annual updates. One example is for capped injury cases. In this example, the amount eligible for minor injuries increases with inflation on an annual basis. Therefore, when the new amount is available, simply update the article with that information.
There’s no need to re-write an article when only several components of the article need to be added or adjusted.
17. Use Google to Find Cracks in Search Results
Over 95% of all internet searches are performed with Google and Bing. This is a great way to come up with article ideas. After typing in a search query and retrieving a list of results, there are two places on the page to find blog topics.
First, there’s the “People also ask” feature. This is great to find specific legal questions to answer.
What’s really valuable about this is if you click on a question, it will append more questions to the end of this feature, as shown below here.
Now, you can see that not all of these are going to be relevant, but it’s a great way to generate new ideas quickly.
The other is at the very bottom of the search results page (SERP). This is known as the related searches. Each time you click on one of these related search links, it will produce a new list of search results for that query. For each click, you’ll get a new list of “People also ask” questions and related search terms.
This can quickly send you down a rabbit hole of new legal blog topics and questions to answer. Using this is probably the most powerful way to know for sure that you can get traffic for your blog posts and articles, since Google is showing you that people are actually searching for this information and these questions.
There you have it. 17 blog topics and ideas that will actually generate the right type of organic and social traffic to your law firm’s blog and website. Whether you find a way to implement all of these ideas in your content and blog strategy or a handful, these are the best ways to come up with legal topics to write about. While some of the ideas are centered around your law firm, take note that most of the ideas are centered around the reader and the target audience you want to attract (e.g. new clients).
The more you make the blogs and content about them, the more likely you are to be rewarded for your blogging efforts via new business.