How to Find and Write Great Content Topics
The common recommendations for most firms is at least 4 pieces of content per month. It feels like content has turned into this monotonous, arbitrary, unexciting thing that you have to do to get into the good graces of Google. Researching content is important – not only what’s trending and what has volume, but what is going to get you people that want to retain you for legal services. We do use Google News quite a bit to see what is trending, but we want to couple that with what people are searching for and where they have intent. People ask questions on Avvo all the time – those are great topics and those are trending topics as well. We have actually used forms and message boards and even social media to find trends. People like to ask their community legal questions and sometimes they are very interesting and very unique.
There are multiple reasons why blogs are bad – it could be because the writers are trying to write for search engines and the keywords or call to actions are not helpful. Back in the day, that used to work but unfortunately, it does not work as much these days. You want to verify your traffic by using a tool – we like using SEMRush as a way to verify the potential traffic. Related keyword searches are also helpful. It can help to push some ideas in different directions just by typing into Google and see what specific searches are auto populating. Another thing that works is competitor research. If you know your competition, which most lawyers will know in their respective markets, then you can determine who is doing an outstanding job. There really aren’t too many situations where someone ranks high for keywords and they aren’t taking their blogging seriously. Those that are having success online typically do a good, thorough job with their content as well. If there are any opportunities where maybe they have written about a topic but might have fallen short and you think that you can write it better or elaborate on it, things like that definitely work.
Other forms of content that do well on a legal website besides blogs are granular service pages, case overviews and results, FAQ pages, geo-specific pages, transcribed content, long-form articles, testimonials and reviews, other types of blogs, checklists and tutorials, and ebooks. All of these things are ways to create great new content, be consistent, and diversify and switch it up so that you are able to continue to be consistent with your content strategy.
Understanding What People Are Searching For
Google Search Console is a great way to determine what your content is ranking for and understand what people are seeing it for. Google Search Console, previously called Google Webmaster Tools, is a place to get additional information, diagnose your website from a technical standpoint, and to get more insight on how Google perceives your website from a search engine optimization standpoint. One thing that Google Search Console does is it has good transparency with what keywords, specifically search terms, people are searching to get impressions and potentially clicks to parts of your website. One part that we love using is a part that involves performance and from there it can break down to landing pages and then further break down from there what keywords you are showing up for on a landing page basis. This is a great way to do additional optimization to get additional visibility for all of the content that you already created.
Revitalizing and Re-Optimizing Previous Content
There are several reasons why your content might not be working for you. The first reason is that your content strategy is writing about things that do not have any volume. A lot of people have content strategies in place that do not have search volume. You have to verify the search volume, the intent, and have some sort of confirmation that the content you are producing is going to get eyes on it. Posting content for the sake of posting content is one of the biggest ways that a content plan does not even get off the ground. Other reasons include not observing basic on-page optimization, some people just don’t take the time to do some kind of keyword density, h tags, meta information is weak, no internal or external links, not meeting a word count, refreshing existing pages, etc. There has to be a basic checklist of SEO for every page you are doing because you want to maximize it’s visibility. Another big reason your content may not be working is that you are not fitting new pages into the site architecture or placement in a sitemap. A lot of people now have a content management system but when you write a page and publish it, you can’t navigate towards it. All of these people have all of these pages that are published on their website and they just sit there on an island. Some other things are being observant of core web vitals, don’t cannibalize your own content (just make sure you are not rewriting over and over on the same topics), making sure that your content is not plagiarized, if your website is not secure that will not help, if your website is not mobile friendly then people can’t interact with your website or your content and trying to set up your content to rank for too many keywords.