Content marketing tactics are one of the best methods law firms can use to generate higher rankings online and the clients that come with them.
But here is a tactic that has generated one client over 200 percent in organic traffic and it can do the same for yours by using these tactics and free tools.
This 3-step process includes:
Now let’s see how each of these steps work.
In golf, a “gimme” is a shot that other players agree can count automatically — basically, a near-guaranteed victory. We can apply similar logic to keyword research by targeting keywords your organic competitors rank well for, but you could write about better.
Here is how to create a list of “gimme” keywords to influence your new content:
For instance you can use Ubersuggest to see our top competition as well as filtering and checking on the top pages they rank for and the keyword search volume.
You can also use the filters in tools like this to see what keywords you are missing out on – in other words the keywords you do not rank for and which you can focus your efforts upon to achieve great content ranking.
This information is pure gold in your hands.
Document keywords by adding them to your Keyword Manager, or exporting to Excel or CSV.
Complete this analysis with several of your close competitors until you have a list of keywords you feel confident in. This list is a great starting point, but there is one more crucial step in determining a true “gimme” keyword — looking at the search engine results pages (SERPs) manually.
Google’s algorithm prioritizes relevancy when it is determining rankings so you need to make sure your law firm website’s content and expertise will make sense for each keyword you use in the content.
Starting with your highest-priority keywords, do an incognito Google search on desktop (Ctrl or ⌘ + Shift + n) and mobile. You can also use Mobile Moxie’s awesome SERPerator tool to check mobile results from your desktop.
Analyze the first page of results by answering a few questions:
When looking at keywords, you need to also decide what the intent is behind the word.
When searchers are looking at a keyword they are doing so for different reasons. For instance, when handling a search for a ‘property lawyer’ they may be looking for information about property law, they may be looking for information about specific property lawyers in a particular location, or they may be looking to hire a property lawyer who has particular skills and experience.
In other words, the intent behind the search term is different, just as it is when someone is seeking either generic information about something or seeking to hire or enter a ‘buying’ or transactional intent behind the search.
Sometimes the actual search results can be mixed so that something like ‘property law’ will display informational content, law firms, legal cases, maps and other material.
If you were writing, for instance, about ‘bankruptcy law in California’, you will see that Google is favoring authoritative sites like Nolo.com and Courts.ca.gov.
But if you go for a more focused term with lower volume but nevertheless a targeted market, like ‘cost of a bankruptcy lawyer in California’ you will find more law firms and even their 3-pack listings as here –
Take a look at the law website’s ranking on the first page for your keyword. Would your website fit in alongside these results and can they improve upon them in some way that points to your specialties or particular experience or expertise?
You may search for ‘bankruptcy law’ and find authority sites ranking for that keyword term, such as Wikipedia, US Courts, HG.org and the like rather than law firms.
But when you enter a geographic location, such as ‘bankruptcy law San Diego you will find something different:
You find both the ‘3 pack’ listings plus organic law firm listings.
Similarly, if you shoot for a lower volume keyword you will also find it easier to dominate the listings, such as ‘business bankruptcy san diego’ you achieve the targeted audience and top results –
Finally, click into the top 3-5 search results to analyze each page. The key sign of a “gimme” keyword is when the top results show missed opportunities. You can usually tell this just by skimming:
Although all of this takes some work, it will have a major poayoff at the back end and will avoid wasted time focusing your efforts on keywords that are irrelevent or are difficult to rank for.
Once you have your keyword(s) targeted you are ready to hit the digital ground running and achieve far greater rankings.
This technique may involve a bit more leg work on the front end, but you will avoid wasting countless hours targeting irrelevant or high-difficulty keywords.
Making the most of the keywords you have located requires you to more closely examine the page 1 results to see what content needs to be included.
This takes time but there are some free tools that can help you resolve this process easily with powerful ‘assistants” who will let you spend your time writing terrici content that will rank for the keywords you h ave selected.
SEO guru Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest tool is consistently updated with powerful features that provide a raft of key ideas, including competitive (or uncompetitive) keywords.
For instance a search on ‘benefit of trust’ reveals the relative ease with which the term can be used to achieve rankings.
This free SERP analyzer tool provides a faster way to analyze top-ranking content without having to read through each page. This tool shows the metadata and headings from the top search results for a keyword. You can even choose between desktop and mobile results.
Take special notice of topics covered across several competing pages. If specific sections keep popping up, you can assume you should also cover those to write more thorough content.
This free TF-IDF tool shows the most frequently used terms in the top 10 results, which helps you analyze the language used to describe this topic. Note: do not attempt to mimic the exact weighting of terms shown in this analysis, as there is no ranking benefit in doing so.
For example, a search of law site www.law.com for ‘gender diversity’ shows the optimization for the term, along with title tags and other information that can indicate how optimized the term is on that site.
This free entity extraction tool provides semantic topics — people, places, brands, and events — referenced in a document. Simply insert a competing article’s URL to discover the concepts referenced on the page.
For instance, “green tea” is a top concept in the #1 ranking page about kombucha. You could consider including information about kombucha made from green tea in your own article.
Google’s own features — autosuggest and People Also Ask boxes — offer a great way to see what people are searching for related to your topic.
To use Google autosuggest, type the target keyword into Google, and see which searches pop up after the text. You should also click before the text for more searches.
In People Also Ask boxes, Google shares the most commonly asked questions around your keyword. This provides some excellent ideas for relevant content to cover in your article. And when you click on different queries, Google will add even more.
One thing to note: You do not need to include every piece of information you find in your topic research. As Google says:
The amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page. A high-quality page on a broad topic with a lot of available information will have more content than a high-quality page on a narrower topic.
Think about your users, and write with refinement. Balance the subtopics you find in your research with what is most important for your readers to know.
Finally, when it comes to competitive analysis, it is never a bad idea to reiterate that you should never plagiarize. Think of this research as inspiration, and use your brand’s writing style and authority to make it unique.
The term E-A-T (standing for Expertise, Authority, and Trust) is mentioned 135 times in the Quality Evaluator Guidelines.
If you think that makes it super important – you’re correct.
Google explains that high E-A-T information is written by a person or organization with appropriate expertise. The actual standard of expertise will vary, but for legal content having expertise in specific areas of practice is clearly paramount and something lawyers need to use to establish their EAT credentials – and rankings.
Here is a useful chart from PathInteractive to help you visualize how much E-A-T matters for different types of pages:
Source: Path Interactive
If you are not an expert on the topic you are writing about, here are some ideas to source this content:
Another aspect of demonstrating E-A-T is by clearly showing authorship. Add your SME as an author or reviewer on your page — this demonstrates to users and search engines that the content was approved by an authority on the topic.
To really grow your law firm’s traffic you need to regularly use the tools and tactics that are available – often completely free – combined with good content market tactics and value.