A long-term content plan is a strategic blueprint for using a law firm’s website to achieve company goals. Without it, a website full of well-written content will fade into the oblivion of double-digit Google search pages.
What is a Long-Term Content Plan?
Content planning doesn’t end once a site is launched. A long-term content strategy is as essential as bookkeeping. Just like a firm must stay on top of billable hours and invoicing, a website requires frequent maintenance.
For example, if the goal of a law firm website is to grow the practice, then a site must:
- Attract visitors to the site (i.e., increase traffic through SEO)
- Engage visitors, so they stay on the website (Most visitors leave web pages within 10-20 seconds)
- Turn visitors into prospects (i.e., traffic lead ratio, lead generation)
- Turn prospects into clients (i.e., lead conversion)
According to a study by NN/g, even when a website garners traffic, most visitors assess a website and either stay or leave within 20 seconds. However, if visitors are engaged enough to stay longer than 30 seconds, they are more likely to stay long enough to become potential clients.
A successful website must have a content plan that addresses all of the above elements.
What Will Increase Traffic to My Law Firm Website?
Increasing traffic to a law firm’s website is the first step to any good plan. Well-written content is useless if there is no one to read it. Some important ways to increase website traffic include:
- Regular posting on social media
- Use varying types of content, (e.g., video, blogs, infographics)
- Include internal links
- Email marketing
- Make sure the website remains responsive across multiple devices (i.e., 53% of mobile users will leave a site that takes longer than 3 seconds to load)
- Optimize content for search engines
Search engine optimization, i.e., SEO, is critical for a website. Whenever a prospect searches for a particular legal service, they are more likely to click on the sites found on the first page of Google.
Can High-quality Content Increase and Maintain SEO Rankings?
Gaining top SEO rankings is an elusive achievement. Once a website makes it to the top of Google, it can be even tougher to stay there. Competing law firm websites will continue battling for top rankings, creating more pressure to stay on top.
Effective SEO is derived from high-quality content. Some of the most important factors for quality content include:
- Keyword and keyword phrases
- Content readability
- Word count
- Consistently adding new content
- Refreshing old content
- Well-researched content
- Answer questions directly (i.e., consider Google snippet questions)
- Use various forms of media
Becoming a Google-approved authority is a tremendous advantage in the world of SEO. High-quality content drives higher SEO rankings and has the most significant potential for driving the “right” traffic to a website.
How Can My Law Firm Become an Authority in Google’s Eyes?
A website’s authority is a major factor in ranking high on Google’s search engine. While the search engine company never releases specifics, the prevailing theory is that website authority is determined by a site’s credibility and content quality.
Some positive influences on a website’s authority include:
- Varying internal and external links (i.e., the links should be different and not all from the same few sources)
- Quality external links (e.g., .edu, .gov links)
- Steady increasing traffic
- Well-written original content
Providing well-researched pages engages visitors long enough to stay on a site, increasing the likelihood of filling out a lead form or calling to set up a consultation.
How Do I Develop a Long-Term Content Plan for My Law Firm Website?
When developing a long-term content strategy, consider the big picture. Is the firm entering a new market? Does the practice aim to increase revenue by 50%?
Creating content on a campaign-to-campaign basis may help reach smaller goals in the short term, but a long-term plan is needed to achieve important business objectives.
Consider the following questions:
- What are the firm’s long-term SMART goals, i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely?
- Who are the law firm’s target potential clients, e.g., car accident, slip and fall, violent crime defense?
- Is there old content that needs refreshing, e.g., outdated statistics, broken links
- Are there upcoming opportunities for blog posts or press releases, e.g., recognition by Super Lawyers or news events?
- What makes this law firm unique?
- Who will manage the content?
- How often should content be published?
For example, suppose a small personal injury firm wants to take on more car accident cases and fewer medical malpractice claims.
A content plan focused on car accident claims may involve:
- Targeting local car accident victims
- Posting well-researched blogs about car accidents twice a week, including
- Recent car accidents
- What to do in a car accident
- What to expect from car insurance companies
- Types of car accidents
- Update the website’s homepage with an increased focus on car accident claims by:
- Adding images of car accidents
- Revising content to reduce the medical malpractice copy
- Adding statistics about local car accidents
- Add a “what to do after an automobile accident” page
- Posting and sharing the blogs across various social media platforms
Every long-term content strategy requires careful thought and planning. Once complete, there are several advantages a law firm can expect.
What Results Can a Long-Term Content Plan Do for a Law Firm Website?
Law firms depend heavily on website results to realize their goals. Creating a long-term content plan can help firms by:
- Building a larger audience
- Fostering trust
- Developing long-term momentum for the firm
- Consistently connecting to target audiences
- Becoming more engaging
- Encouraging a higher lead conversion rate
A long-term content strategy allows firms to plan out and allocate their resources more efficiently and effectively. At Cross Country Creative, we have over 30 years of legal marketing experience to help counsel your firm on the ways it can build a successful long-term content plan.