Author archives: Jenna Kefauver

4 Pillars You Need to Know to Create a Successful Legal Content Strategy

Want a legal website that attracts clients who are ready to convert and earns great organic search rankings? Then you need a content strategy. Too many legal websites I see are simply blogging or creating content for the sake of it. However, there’s a lot more to a content strategy than just creating content. Let me say it again: you need a content strategy to be successful. Every piece of content you publish should have a purpose. You should build content based on: Your practice area. Keyword research and analysis. Competitor analysis. Local analysis. Demographics. Ready to up your legal content game? Here are four pillars you need to have for a successful legal content strategy. 1. Foundational Content Your legal content strategy starts with foundational content. For legal marketing, foundational content means increasing the visibility and organic search rankings of your practice area pages (and your homepage). Within foundational content there are actually three types of webpages you need to know and use: Primary Content Pages As you do your keyword research, you’re going to discover that certain keywords have more value than other keywords (typically because they have high search volume and they are incredibly relevant to your practice area). Read more…

Follow These 7 Tips to Write Fast and Write Well

Not everyone has hours to write, but when you have a website, you need to have a continuous flow of content. So how can you create the content you need quickly — without sacrificing quality? Tip 1: Get Rid of Distractions If you only have half an hour to write, get rid of distractions. Turn your phone on silent and consider downloading a website blocker. You can block yourself from accessing certain websites for a given amount of time. If you work from home, close yourself off in a room for 30 minutes. Pro-tip: Work in a loud office or can’t stand total silence? Buy some noise-cancelling headphones or play some classical music. Tip 2: Don’t Work on Another Task Until You Have Finished Writing Your Piece This goes along with distractions. Do not allow yourself to focus on another task until you’ve finished your content. Don’t check emails or answer phone calls if possible, as it might interrupt your flow. Pro-tip: If you must take a break in the middle to accomplish another task, be sure you stop at a good place. Don’t stop in the middle of a paragraph where you might lose your thought process. Tip 3: Read more…

6 Daily Exercises to Help You Become a More Effective Writer

While many people assume good writers have an innate way with words, this is rarely the case. Instead, good writing takes loads of practice. Here are six daily exercises that can help you become a more effective writer. 1) Get Organized This exercise is three-fold: organize your day, your mind, and your workspace. Make time to practice your writing. Check your calendar at the beginning of each week and carve out time to do a bit of writing during the day. If possible, try to do so at the same time each day. Maybe write during your lunch break. Or if you always get to the office at 8:45 every day but your day doesn’t start until 9, use that extra 15 minutes to write. Pro-tip: Don’t allow yourself to skip your daily writing time. Create a calendar event or a reminder on your phone. Don’t erase the event or reminder until you have finished it for the day. Create an outline to manage your thoughts. Collecting your thoughts and ideas can help you write a better, more organized piece. And it can help you do it quicker. Your outline can be as detailed as you’d like. Some people need Read more…

How to Self-Edit: 6 Tips You Need to Know

Proofreading your own content is difficult because you know what you meant to say. You might not notice that you missed a word, used the wrong homophone (e.g., they’re, there, their), or that it simply doesn’t make sense. The best way to avoid this: see if a coworker, employee, or a friend will look over it for you. Find somebody who knows the company, your brand, and the subject matter. Ask them to be totally honest with you, letting you know if something does not make sense or where the writing needs improvement. Unfortunately, there isn’t always someone available to read over your content. In this case, you have a few options to make it easier: Tip 1: Wait a Few Hours or Overnight Don’t read your content immediately after writing. If you do, the content will be too fresh in your mind. You might read what you intended to write, not what you actually wrote. This could cause you to miss mistakes. Wait a few hours or even overnight to edit your work so you can revisit your writing with a clear mind. If you do not have time to wait a few hours, take a walk around the Read more…

3 Ways to Create Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is something you can share (or something your readers will search for) year-round or season after season. It’s immensely shareable due to its ability to apply at (almost) any time. So, how do you write evergreen content? Here are three tips for identifying good topics, creating shareable content, and maintaining the page: Find Out What Your Readers Care About As you are writing this content for your readers, your first step should be finding topics they care about. To find topics, you can: Do Keyword Research Do keyword research to determine what people are searching for and create topics from that. Say you found a lot of searches for avoiding car accidents. Take a few minutes to expand those searches. See if people are searching for: How to avoid car accidents at night How to avoid crashes on icy roads How to avoid sliding on black ice How to avoid rush hour crashes Avoiding road rash crashes Driving safely on Thanksgiving Do Google-based Research Look up topics on Google. Are you a criminal defense firm? A Google search for what to do after an arrest, along with its “People Are Also Searching” section and competitor results, might inspire Read more…

Are You Creating Content Your Readers Want to Share? Ask Yourself These 3 Questions.

The purpose of shareable content in the legal field is to get links back to your website (which is great for SEO) and to generate traffic and brand awareness. While not always the case, shareable, or contagious, content can also generate leads, either directly or indirectly. For example, if you create a well-designed infographic detailing the criteria to qualify for Social Security disability, it might generate links and traffic as people share it. And consider the target audience of this content — people applying for or who may apply for Social Security disability. Thus, helpful content that helps them better understand the intricacies of Social Security disability demonstrates your law firm’s competency. This might ultimately help you generate leads. So, let’s look at what makes content shareable. A shareable post is interesting, unique, and usually something that helps your readers in some way. Here are some tips to create content your readers will want to share. Does Your Content Share Information Readers Want to Know? Your readers likely aren’t going share something that doesn’t interest them. You might want to interview clients or followers to determine what exactly they might be wondering about. You can also do keyword research to Read more…

Could Your Content Be Better? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

We should always strive to make our content better than anything out there. So, I ask you: is your content good? Could you make it even better? Not sure? Ask yourself these questions: 1) Are You Offering Valuable Information? For example, if you’re using statistics, is it making your content stronger or is it just fluff? If the latter, choose statistics that support a point you’re making, further your discussion, or demonstrate the magnitude of something. For example, say you’re writing a page about liability for a left-turn car accident. Which of the following fictional statistics do you think are more helpful to the page? Per the Traffic Association of America, two million car accidents occur each year. They cause 700,000 injuries and 50,000 deaths. According to statistics from XYZ Traffic Association, drivers turning left are at-fault in 75 percent of left-turn accidents. Drivers heading straight were at-fault 15 percent of the time, and both drivers shared fault 10 percent of the time. While the first statistic discusses accidents, the second statistic is specific to left-turn accidents and goes a step further by sharing information about liability for left-turn accidents. Does your information stick to the topic and make it Read more…

Plagiarism: The Quickest Way to Kill Your Website

Plagiarism is immoral and illegal. Most people know that. But did you know it can kill your website? Google might show the wrong page in its search results or might rank your site lower. How Can Plagiarism Kill My Website? Some people might think they can take a section or two from another site to support a point they’re trying to make. After all, they had the same thought and were going to say the exact same thing, but this site just explains it better. They think can use it on their site and they won’t get caught…right? Wrong. While taking another person’s words or ideas without giving credit is illegal, it will also likely not work out very well for your website, even if you aren’t caught. You Might Out Yourself by Stealing the Other Site’s Rel=Canonical Tags When you steal content from another site, you also steal its rel=canonical tags (i.e., tags sites use to avoid duplicate content; they designate a specific URL the site wants Google to see), letting Google know that the other site, not yours, created the content. Google will likely rank the creator of the content higher than a site that stole it, according Read more…

What Is Self-Plagiarism and Is it a Problem for SEO?

Most people know what plagiarism is and that it is morally and legally wrong. However, most people wouldn’t consider self-plagiarism a problem. But before we get into why self-plagiarism can harm your website, let’s define what it is. What Is Self-Plagiarism? Self-plagiarism is exactly what it sounds like: taking content you’ve written and using it for another page that you’re writing. For example, if I took part of my 2016 post about plagiarism and pasted it into this blog, that would be self-plagiarism. You might be thinking that you can’t possibly plagiarize yourself. After all, plagiarism is “taking credit for someone else’s words…ideas, style of writing, and sentence structure,” as I wrote in my previous post on plagiarism. So how you can steal your own ideas? Rather, self-plagiarism of your content on your website is called internal duplicate content. That is, the same content appears on at least two pages within the same website. How Does Self-Plagiarism Hurt My Website? And How Can I Avoid It? When you write 20 pages on the same topic, it’s easy to end up with some internal duplicate content (i.e., using the same phrases and sentences). For example, say you operate a personal injury Read more…

Does Your Content Need a Facelift? How & Why to Update Your Website Copy

Content and how we interact with it is always changing. The content you produced for your website four years ago might not live up to current standards and reader expectations. Ensuring your content is updated will give your readers what they want and keep them coming back for more. So how do you keep your site and its content up-to-date? Update Statistics and Laws Nothing screams outdated like statistics from 10 years ago or an old version of a law that has since changed. If a new law passes or an old one receives an update, change that information on any pages that mention it. Pro-tips: Set up Google alerts for news related to the area of law your firm practices. This way you’ll never miss any updates. Sign up for emails from websites that issue statistical reports that you use in your content. You will receive an email with the following year’s statistics. Ensure Your Content Works on Any Medium If you haven’t updated a page since 2013, chances are that page isn’t optimized for viewing on modern phones or tablets. In addition to making reading your content a more enjoyable experience for readers, ensuring your content works on Read more…