Law Firm Web Marketing

    

SEO Link Building Tips For Lawyers

Building back links (or links that point back to a specific website) is one of the best strategies to achieve better Google search engine rankings. The link building process is more labor-intensive than it is talent-intensive; however there are a few tricks of the trade that can make a big difference when it comes to SEO.

In the legal profession, building links can have a momentous impact on your organic search engine rankings. Especially when optimizing for local areas and specific practice areas, the advantages of link building are significant. Rankings are often based on link popularity. Google’s search engine algorithm ranks websites according to:

  • Count of incoming links
  • Quality of incoming links
  • Link name or anchor text of the incoming link

These are just the link building basics. Expand upon your strategy with these SEO link building tips for lawyers.

Mindful Tips for Building Links

  • Create only one way links to your website (non-reciprocating links or shared links). Search engines put higher value on these types of links.
  • Build valid inbound links from related sites. Google deems inbound links from a relevant websites more valuable and natural.
  • Always try to customize the link’s anchor text so it includes keywords or a domain name. Keyword-friendly anchor text will make your page more relevant on that particular phrase.
  • Build links from pages with similar content, such as parallel themes, headers, and titles.
  • Choose sites with a higher PageRank. This metric means more domain authority, and thus great link weight.

The best link pages are found on the home page of a related site. But how will you be able to achieve this?

Tactics for Building the Best Links

So you got the tips down, but know you might be wondering where to start on your link building endeavor. This can often be the most challenging part. Some websites that appear ideal for your links may not be willing or able to accept them. As a result, sometimes you have to be creative, build relationships, or perhaps invest a little capital.

Below are some sound techniques to build the best links:

  • Ask for the link. This is difficult since links are like promotions of other websites. Perhaps incentivize or offer a trade of links (but be sure that they point to different pages)
  • Pay for links. This method works, but be sure to do your research and homework before investing in a link popularity program.
  • Create them yourself. You can do this by writing and submitting articles to online databases (such as www.isnare.com.)
  • Join blogs and online forums related to your industry. Whether on your profile, signature, or posts, here you can create custom links directing back to your site.
  • Publishing press releases also work great in creating one-way, inbound links.


Perfectly formatted inbound links are essential to get high search engine rankings for your law firm website. It has become the core driver to search engine optimization, and should never be overlooked in any website optimization strategy.

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Significance of Google PageRank for Law Firms

Google is the Goliath of search engines, and when it comes to law firm web marketing, search engine optimization is the bee’s knees.

Along with relevant content, Google determines its search results based on the PageRank algorithm. Both of these factors are huge when it comes to search engine rankings, which implies a need to address both to achieve the best outcomes. 

The significance of search engine optimization to law firms is crystal clear. High rankings through organic search can be result in cost-efficient advertising. The answer to the question of how to achieve this goal lies in getting a good grasp of how the Google algorithm works. 

The Google Search Algorithm

Google's search algorithm is complex and difficult for marketers to gauge. However there is one major theme that supports any search engine marketing campaign – and that is relevance.

Relevance is simply a measure of how well your website’s content matches the search words or phrases used by the targeted searcher (or potential client.) Relevance is usually determined based on the website’s content which includes the Title of the page, the meta data, and the page copy.

The Google algorithm then ranks your page according to relevance, along with the many other law firms and legal practitioners. Google determines what your website is about by looking at its content as well as looking at other sites that are both linking from and to your site. Google uses this data to determine the relevance of your website to keywords and phrases entered by a user.  

Google PageRank

PageRank is an independent means of measurement which relies on Google's perception as to the authority, quality and credibility of a web page. It does not depend on any search words or phrases as these are taken cared of by relevance. If yours and a competing law firm have the same relevance, the one with the higher PageRank gets the higher ranking. Google scores PageRank from 0 to 10, with 10 as the highest

Generally, Google considers inbound links a confirmation of authority, quality, and credibility; however not all inbound links have the same value. Websites that are considered to have more credibility are valued higher than those that have less credibility. In turn, this credibility is measured by their PageRank which means that your inbound links should come from websites that are also ranked high.

For instance, if your law firm has inbound links from a website that has a PageRank of 3, it can still help you but you'll need a lot more of them to get a higher PageRank. On the other hand, if your inbound links are from websites with PageRanks of 5 and up, then, you'll have better chances of scoring a higher PageRank with just a handful.

As PageRank is calculated on a logarithmic scale, there are wide gaps with say, PageRanks of 4 and 5 and PageRanks of 3 and 4. The difference between PageRanks 4 and 5 will have 5 to 10 times the difference as compared to PageRanks 3 and 4. Expectedly, websites with lower PageRanks are more prevalent, and if your website is ranked 6 or higher, this means that you are among the elite. 

Determining Your PageRank

You can determine your PageRank using two methods:
• You can download the Google Toolbar and activate the PageRank feature upon installation.
• Use the Website Grader tool which, aside from determining PageRank, offers other relative information as well.

Find out where to download and enable the PageRank feature by visiting this page about Google PageRank Toolbar.

In summary, there are two essential steps your law firm website needs to accomplish to get high rankings particularly in Google. One is to work on the relevance of your content. The other is to aim for the highest PageRank possible by developing a SEO link building strategy from related websites with high domain authority (PagRank.)

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Partial Linking for Lawyer Web Marketing & SEO

There is no doubt that link building is now the powerhouse to stronger search engine rankings. For law firms with regional SEO focus, or those who are optimizing for locally-targeted practice areas (e.g. "Dallas business litigation lawyer,") the strategies for link building come in many forms. 

It is not only important to consider what sources for link building a law firm should use, but also how links are built. In this article we discuss a great linking strategy for lawyers who have a local SEO focus. To learn more about the general practice of link building, read this post about SEO link building tips for lawyers.

Partial Linking Defined & Described

Before we can define partial linking, we must first define "anchor text." Anchor text is used to define the visible words that are displayed in a link. Using customized (or optimized) anchor text substitutes the need to use the URL for the link. As a result, a search engine spider can better evaluate the keyword relevancy of the anchor text to that of the webpage’s content. This is a big factor in SEO, for it makes websites more popular on certain keyword phrases.

The practice of partial linking means using only a part of the link destination's keyword target in the anchor text. For example, a law firm web marketing blog wants to build an optimized backlink to a website for a corporate lawyer based out of Boston. The blog writer could script the link's anchor text to include all keyword in the targeted search phrase (e.g. "Boston corporate lawyer" or "corporate attorney in Boston.") However from a partial linking perspective, the blog could publish the anchor text to include only the city "Boston," or perhaps only the practice of "corporate" law, in the link.

Why Partial Link Building?

Some might ask, why script the anchor text of link to read only a portion of the true keyword target? For one, SEO is long-term endeavor. Google interprets websites based on single words and the density of those single words. Although keyword phrasing is important, becoming more relevant on single words is sound strategy for local Internet marketing and long-term link building.

The homepage in particular is the most important page of a website when it comes to SEO. The home domain supports a number of keywords, and may be relevant on several un-related terms. Partial link building is highly effective for backlinks pointing to the homepage. This helps to focus the keyword relevancy of site one word at a time. And although this might appear less efficient than linking with a full keyword phrase, the result can support greater, long-term rankings on both local and globally-targeted keyword phrases.

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Top 3 Tips for Law Firm Internet Marketing

Law firm web marketing is one of the greatest channels to gain a competitive advantage in the legal profession.

Internet marketing for law firms places significant focus on search engine optimization, which is essential to be found on Google, Bing, and other major search engines.

Implementing the best practices of law firm web marketing and SEO is one of the best ways capture prospective customers. A high ranking website that is visible on many relevant search phrases can provide incredible opportunities.

Below we've outline the top 3 tips for law firm Internet marketing, and how to get the most SEO benefit from a legal website.

Keyword-Focused Content

The content of a website is an essential element to SEO. By intricately weaving relevant keywords into the copy of your website, you help search engine spiders (or crawlers) index your site according to those keywords. As a result, your website will have more relevance to the targeted keyword phrases that drive you business.

In today's competitive SEO game, it is important to choose keywords that are very specific to your legal practice. Generic keywords, such as "business lawyer," can be too broad and too competitive.

Not only should you consider highly specific keyword targets, such as “business tax attorney,” but also consider local variations, like “Atlanta business lawyer.”

This leads us into our next point about geo-local SEO.

Localized Law Firm SEO

The local search results, such as Google Places, are becoming increasingly important for SEO. Because most law firms represent clients in specific regions, it is wise to reference geo-specific keywords in your SEO efforts.

Be sure to include the local information about your law firm on your website. A solid tip here is to include the firm’s address in the footer of the website. It also doesn't hurt to mention your city or local service areas within the content of the site, such as "contact your trusted family lawyers in Chicago, IL."

Additionally, you can really maximize your local SEO strategy by including geo-references in your link building efforts, which is described in more detail below.

Build Backlinks

Inbound links, or backlinks, are the powerhouse to higher organic search engine rankings. Link building has become very important to compete in SEO, and now there are a number of platforms available to build backlinks.

Some of the most effective resources to build links to you law firm's website are legal directories, forums, and blogs. Whether you want to start your own blog, or surf other related blogs to write comments (and add links to those comments,) the channels are almost endless. They just require a little creativity.

Legal directories are often times the easiest way to earn backlinks. This task demands finding the proper online directories that will allow you to place (or buy) a listing on their directory. Your listing will contain a link back to your law firm website, and thus deem it more credible and trustworthy in the search engines.

Where real strategy comes into play is the link's anchor text, or link name. If the anchor text of the link reads your specific keyword target (e.g. “Grand Rapids personal injury lawyers”) then the webpage being linked to will have greater relevancy to that particular phrase. You can even take this link building practice deeper by executing partial linking strategies.

We hope these 3 law firm Internet marketing & SEO tips will help you on your way to better success in the search engines. Thanks for visiting the Law Firm Web Marketing Blog!

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Lawyer Web Marketing: What the Future Holds...

Being a lawyer is already a task in itself. There is an obvious a wealth of time handling a hectic work schedules and competing with a significant number of contemporaries who work equally hard. Add to that the need to keep one's legal cerebrum receptive enough to understand behavioral patterns of all the individuals involving any particular legal matter, since that is often a the key to empathizing what clients are dealing with.

The focus, however, in the initial as well as subsequent stages, for most lawyers today is twofold - while on one front, they have to deal with the aforementioned aspects; on the other front, there is a need to portray their superiority over others, by explaining to the potential customers, how their services differ from those offered by competing attorneys. In other words, lawyer web marketing has gained a pivotal position in aiding an attorney to build an impressive client portfolio.

Marketing has always been a highly dynamic process - continuously changing consumer perspectives and off course, a vast category of products and services to choose from. Such an environment has ensured that conveying the right message to one's potential customers through healthy marketing practices is highly essential. Interestingly, marketing over the Internet, is an even more dynamic and volatile process, owing to the changes made by the world's leading search engine: Google. The practices of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), developed to steer Google and other search engines into recognizing a website as credible, need to be professionally executed.

One of the recent changes made by Google to its search results display was the inclusion of personalized results - which may include a local influence. Moreover, alterations were made by the search engine to its Google Places results, which has a most definite local impact on lawyer web marketing.

Website Content & Organization

The infamous Google Panda update in February 2011 further reinforced the priority that Google has always been known to place on quality written and well-structured content. Now, just a year later, in 2012, the news is that the company plans to place importance on a relatively technical measure in order to aid its spiders to reach to the various dimensions of content put up on a website - the search engine will now benchmark whether or not html tags which markup web pages (better known as schemas) have been included. Basically, these tags have always been in use by Google, Yahoo and Bing, while scanning web pages in response to user queries, in order to display the most accurate results.

Schemas are known to substantially aid DBMS (Database Management Systems.) When it comes to evaluating the current status of lawyer websites, data is meticulously structured in most cases, however, the process of retrieving the date from databases, in response to user search queries, and converting it to HTML, can be cumbersome. By aiding Google spiders in retrieving information more conveniently, through the usage of schemas, the benefits to an attorney's websites in terms of search engine rankings, will only be amplified. This being a technical dimension nonetheless, would be best if dealt with, by a webmaster or related technical specialist.

Food For Thought

Care should be still taken to ensure that the vast number of other parameters taken into consideration by Google in presenting search results, will continue to hold importance. Some of them being

  • Credibility and novelty of information on the website: Quality websites gain popularity when people link to those websites. Valuable copy is linked to naturally, although there are services that aid this effort.
  • Authenticity of the website creator: Always include NAP on your site. That is your firm's Name, Address, and Phone Number.
  • Differentiation from competitor websites: Create only unique content that separates you from the pack. In addition, keep the structure and organization of your pages unique to your liking, don't replicate what your neighbor is doing.

It is indeed true that such periodic small changes made by Google will alter the best practices of lawyer web marketing in the years to come. However, partnering with an authentic company, with a good track record, and one which offers a dedicated lawyer marketing program, will certainly ensure that an attorney reaps the benefits of uphill search engine rankings.

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Local SEO for Lawyers: Part II - (Off-site SEO)

In Part I of Local SEO for Lawyers we discussed the importance of well-optimized content on the website. In Part II, we move into the most significant contributor to higher search engine rankings: off-site link popularity.

Generating links to your website is ever critical for local SEO, especially if your geographic target and/or practice area is highly competitive. Links pointing to your site displays credibility and trust, which is something search engines highly value while determining rankings.

The process of link building must respect two important factors: how the links are build (such as the link name or anchor text is used) as well as where the link are built (on related, high authority websites or unrelated, low authority websites?)

The "How To" on Local SEO Link Building

When building links to your site, it is very important to understand the concept of link names or anchor text. The anchor text is the clickable words that represent a link. For example, read this Wikipedia page for more information on anchor text (note, the word "anchor text" is the anchor text of that link.)

Search engine spiders crawl and interpret the content and links of a webpage. Once a spider hits a link, it reads the anchor text of the link and then takes the link to its respective URL destination. In short, the spider knows whether or not the anchor text of the link (and the surrounding content of that link) is related to link's URL destination.

If a link has the anchor text "Chicago business lawyer," the page being linked to is most likely about (and most likely optimized for) a business lawyer in Chicago. Assuming that is the case, the spider will credit the page with not only greater search engine value, but also greater keyword relevancy to phrase "Chicago business lawyer."

In essence, the best practices of building links is using keyword targeted anchor text. It is also a good approach to mix up your anchor text by using partial linking strategies. An example of partial linking would be to use only select keyword targets as the anchor text, such as "Chicago lawyer" or "business law firm."

The "Where To" on Local SEO Link Building

Where a link is built determines how powerful the link is. Google offers a measure of "webpage authority" called PageRank (PR.) Webpages have a PageRanks ranging from PR0 to PR10, however even a PR5-6 is considered high for link building purposes.

Ideally, you want to build links from sources that have high PageRanks, although that is easier said than done. Find high PR linking sources has become a hot commodity for local SEO. So much so that the business of buying and selling high PR link placements has become major sub-industry to SEO.

There are a number of resources available to build links from a variety of sources. For local SEO, using a blend of locally-focused directories and information sites can be a simple source to establish a few links. In addition, we recommend:

  • Online Articles: Not only are article submission sites (such as Ezine, Amazines.com, or GoArticles.com) great ways to build links, but the content of the article itself is a great promotional tool and can help position yourself as an expert in your area of law.
  • Web 2.0 Properties: These carry a broad definition, but essentially they are external pages built to highlight a specific topic. Some of the most effective Web 2.0's for lawyer linking building are Squidoo, Hubpages, Weebly, and Wordpress.
  • Press Releases: These are by far one of the easiest ways to publish link-infused content for local SEO. Choose a credible press release submission site that offers the ability to customize anchor text. In addition, some press release sites can funnel PageRank to a quality press release, so choose a credible source such as PRWeb, PRNewswire, or i-Newswire.

You can also take advantage of other attorney websites in which you may be affiliated or friends with. In many cases, the most powerful PR links come from friends with a high PR websites who are willing to lend you an optimized link. Just be sure to let them know the specific anchor text and URL destination to get the greatest benefit.

That completes our series on Local SEO for Lawyers. We hope that these points of both on-site and off-site SEO have enlightened you, and that you can now hone in on your local SEO efforts independently. To learn more check out this very insightful 2013 local SEO guide created by one of our writers of the Law Firm Web Marketing blog.

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Web 2.0 Link Building Resources for Lawyer SEO

SEO experts are always debating about link building, such as which sources offer the greatest link weight and what link building strategies work best. For lawyers and legal professionals, ease and accessibility of the link build source is often key.

The matter of concern that often gets brought up is how to build quality, do-follow links (for no-follow links provide little SEO value.) For lawyers looking to do some link building of their own, there are a number of Web 2.0 link building resources that are free, and offer do-follow link building opportunities.

Link Building Using Web 2.0 Properties

Web 2.0 properties are simply new-age websites that allow you publish custom content. In essence, Web 2.0's are ideal for simple content marketing and link building practices.

Developing custom Web 2.0 properties is one of the most effective and natural methods to get your online brand exposed on the web. There are a wealth of benefits to using Web 2.0's, for most of these domains allow lawyers to publish custom content about their legal practice, as well as include keyword targeted backlinks to their websites.

Ideal Web 2.0's for Your Lawyer SEO Efforts

Squidoo.com is among the most powerful Web 2.0 domains for SEO link building. Squidoo lenses are fully custom webpages that pertain to a specific topic or interest. In addition to offering content flexibility, Squidoo enables users to build quality do-follow links in many forms, such as contextual (in body copy) links, image links, and links in a listed format.

Although WordPress.com is well known as blogging CMS (content management system), like Squidoo, WordPress is a convenient platform to build your own link-infused microsite. Lawyers can develop small websites that focus on specific legal practices areas, such as criminal defense law, business and commercial law, bankruptcy law, etc. By creating keyword focused microsites, users can build links to related inside pages of their websites. These links will offer exceptional keyword relevancy because the context of the link source closely matches the context of the link destination.

Weebly.com is another fabulous Web 2.0 property that offers similar link building and content marketing advantages as Wordpress.com. The nice thing about Weebly is that the platform is considered even easier to operate from a user standpoint. The same SEO link building strategy applies as the latter example: develop focused pages or microsites that can feed quality, relevant backlinks to your lawyer website.

The great thing about Web 2.0 sites such as Squidoo, Weebly, and Wordpress is that they are highly trusted platforms that offer do-follow link building. For lawyers and legal professionals looking to improve the local SEO performance of their websites, these resources are great starting points to increase your rank.

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Content Marketing Tips for Lawyers

Lawyer Content Marketing Blogging Articles Press Releases

Content marketing can be a very powerful tool for lawyers when executed correctly. Publishing your content in the right places can help you establish yourself as an expert in your area of practice. This can not only lead to opportunities in attracting quality cases, but can establish your brand reputation on the Internet.

Below we offer a few tips that will help make your content marketing efforts more effective.

Focus Your Content

Although you want to reach the masses, it is best to narrow down your niche when writing and publishing content. This means that your blog or article should have a specific focus. This will build you up as an expert in a given area while attracting a very specific audience.

It does not matter if you have clients outside this area of focus in the real world, what matters is building the image of an expert in a certain field. It is therefore important for you to select your niche.

If you can focus your content marketing on an untapped niche, or an area of practice that is less popular in your local market, this can offer even greater potential. This will give your content an enlightening edge and really distinguish your practice as unique.

If you have a blog, it is very important for you to remain on topic with your content. If you have a few different topics, such as various aspects of business law in which you want to cover, create different categories for you business blog that focus on each of these topics.

Create Compelling Titles

The title is huge when it comes to content marketing. Whether an article, blog post, or press release, the content's title must be compelling and highly relevant to specific group of readers.

The trick to writing a good title (without getting too lengthy) is to hint at an issue or problem that the target market may be faced with and present a solution. You can do this creatively, and in many cases, indirectly by just letting the topic or concern be present via the solution or remedy.

Some ideas for solid titles for online content is to use numbers, preferrably odd numbers, when offering several options or a list of solutions. For example, a catchy title that might grab a quality reader is "3 Things You Must Do If You Get a DUI." It is informative, action-oriented, and addresses a specific target audience.

Build Links, Strategically

A great SEO and web marketing technique to apply while publishing content is to make use of link building opportunities. Many article sites enable you to add links back to your webpages which is ideal for both content marketing call-to-action and quality, contextually relevant links.

Building your own blog is an effective way to have complete control over this. Just be sure to build links respectively and avoid any risks of over-optimization.

Content Marketing via Blogging

One of the easiest ways to generate and publish content is via your own blog. Whether it's an internal or an external blog, the inbound marketing opportunities are wealthy with solid blog content.

Although the content is the most vital factor in a blog, the appearance of a blog is also important. You should remember that first impressions do matter, especially online. The average internet user has a short attention span. Having a poor blog appearance is likely to put them off within the first few seconds.

It is important to capture their attention with the blog’s design to keep it long enough for them to start reading the content. You may have the best content on the Internet but no one will take the time to read it if the appearance of your blog is poor. In some cases, especially for large law firms, outsourcing your blog management services or utilizing your marketing team to manage your blog can be an effective SEO investment.

You should also strive to allow your personality to shine through your content marketing. Many readers of blogs and articles appreciate quality content because of its personal touch. Your content represents your brand and should honestly express who you are and what you can do as a legal professional.

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10 Techniques for Post-Penguin Backlink Building

After Google's Penguin update, the processes of building backlinks for SEO have become even more intricate. Expansive, membership-based blog networks and paid link programs are the primary target, and many of these resources are commonly used by legal professionals.

The Google Penguin Hates Overoptimized BacklinksSo if your law firm website has been over-optimized with too much exact phrase match link building (that is, too many backlinks with the anchor text 'Dallas business lawyers' or 'business lawyers in Dallas') and not enough natural links (links using your domain name), we have outlined a list of tips and techniques to help remedy your case.

In essence, if your site has too many over-optimized backlinks, then you need to balance the ratio of optimized and un-optimized backlinks. To help you do this, we have provided 10 techniques to overcome over-optimization with natural, post-penguin backlink building.

1. Do comprehensive research: Know just how bad your ratio of optimized and un-optimized backlinks really is. We suggest doing a backlink scan to get a lay of the land. These insights will tell you just how over-optimized your legal site really is, and how much natural backlink building you'll need to do to balance the ratio.

2. Do surveys: An industry-specific survey or research that is posted on your website will help you acquire long-term backlinks. Surveys are also important in that they help you in product development since you will know what your customers/clients want. You should also have a page dedicated to the survey's results. This can be a valuable content that people will want to naturally link to, and thus offers an effective technique for website optimization.

3. Target related websites: Do a simple Google search or use software like Open Site Explorer to determine the links your competitors are gaining backlinks from. This is particularly helpful if you target successful competitors. Next, reach out to the people linking with your competitor’s site and trying earning those links for your own legal site.

4. Generate video content: Come up with great video content that promotes your legal practice and your brand. Posting these videos on YouTube, Vimeo or other 3rd party sites can automatically earn you a backlink, in addition to the marketing value videos offer.

5. Try running a contest: Running a contest or competition always helps to gain links back to your site. People who like the competition will share backlinks with friends, colleagues or relatives. This is often most effective when combined with social media.

6. Implement social media badges: Adding social badges to your website is great way to establish a following on your website. These social cues can indirectly contribute to more links via credibility and promoting greater online awareness of your website.

7. Post on forums in your niche: Search for forums in your niche and make several posts. If people have questions, answer their questions and include links to your website, indicating that they can find the products/services they are looking for there. Be sure to do this responsibly and ethically.

8. Join the relevant trade associations: Consider attending trade shows and conferences to increase your sales. When you attend such trade shows and conferences, always ensure you take part as a member of a trade association. This will help to make sure that your company website gets listed on the website of the trade association.

9. Give freebies to bloggers: Guest blogging from renowned bloggers will help with your link building campaigns. However, note that well-established guest bloggers will not participate in your blog for nothing. Give the bloggers overstocked products or other freebies that will not hurt your profit margins.

10. Give interviews: You could find industry leaders and interview them. People who know such industry leaders will link back to the content of the interview.

Other important techniques are finding legal web directories to list your site and URL. Other powerful directories include the BBB (better business bureau), DMOZ directory, and Yahoo! local. These offer some of the most natural sources of backlinks. Link wisely.

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11 Tips for Writing Highly Informative How-To Blog Posts

A how-to blog post is a descriptive form of content where you give people a step-by-step guide on how to do something. For law firms and attorneys, such blog post could provide insights on how to handle a certain legal situation or incident. Sharing informative content of the like can help potential prospects and clients earn you trust as legal professional.

Blogging is one of the most effective content marketing techniques. Creating a quality, topic-specific blog is advantageous in that it may establish yourself or your practice as reliable and highly proficient in your niche. Blogs allow for commenting. This is important because you will not only often times receive valuable feedback on the content you publish, but more importantly you are building your brand online.

If your how-to blog is to be successful, it should be optimized for search engines and it should captivate readers. You could kill two birds with one stone by ensuring you have quality content that relevant readers will want to link to (thus making your blog more authoritative and more impactful on you own link building efforts.)

Writing How-To Blog PostsSo, how do you go about writing highly-effective how-to blog posts? Below we offer 11 tips to help you write compelling, highly informative how-to blog posts:

1. Type of content: Ensure that your content is leadership-based content, data-driven analysis, commentary on industry news, or a list-style post if you want to be taken seriously. These categories are advantageous over conventional how-to guides since you will most often have fresh content.

2. Choose the topic carefully: Your how-to topic has to be chosen carefully if the post is to have the desired effect. Generate several possibilities and brainstorm on the list over time with your customer team (the people who deal with customers every day such as sales representatives). Step into the shows of the target market and consider doing a survey. The title should strive to cover day-to-day concerns. A good title is one that tries to answer the questions that your customer team is asked every day. Go to a popular how-to blog for an overview of how a successful how-to blog post title is to be written. When deciding on your title, ensure that it speaks of exactly what readers will find on reading one. Once you have settled on a title, do not worry too much about the length at this stage – you will refine it later once you generate the content.

3. Brainstorm on the steps from the beginning to the end: Start the content generation by writing the outline of the steps your readers are to take. Your development team will come in handy at this. You could do this through your blogging tool whereby you make each step a header and fill in the blanks later. You can add subheadings to some steps if this will help you better explain the steps. Ensure that the steps are in the proper order and that they are comprehensive such that any reader who follows them exactly will get the desired result.

4. Introduction: Once you have the skeleton, write an introduction at the very top. This should indicate what you want readers to do and it should provide the context to eliminate the possibility of confusion. A good introduction is one that urges readers to read on. Include statistics and data here if possible to prove that the how-to topic is vital. It is important that you are specific in the introduction and that you do not overhype reader expectations.

5. Write instructions by filling in the steps: Once you are done with the introduction, write the actual instructions. Write in 2nd person (‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’) for the best results. The transition between different steps should flow smoothly.

6. Be detailed, specific, and descriptive in the content: Write as if you are writing content to a 6th grader who does not know how to do anything you are describing. Do not tell readers to do something – tell them how do actually do it.

7. Link to credible resources: Your readers will appreciate links to valuable resources. These resources could be to websites that explain something you do not want to dwell on in greater detail. Describing some concepts in detail will derail you and it could lead to extremely long posts. The resource has to be credible (such as a .gov and a .edu link). You will get bonus points if you are the writer of the resource you are linking to.

8. Mention the tools to be used: Do not gloss over the tools that readers will require to accomplish whatever you are describing. You could even suggest specific tools and even where to get them. If you are writing the how-to blog to promote tools you are selling, ensure you do not oversell. Just mention the tools.

9. Include detailed examples: Examples go a long way in passing your point across. The best examples are real-life examples, but do not shy away from hypothetical ones if they mean greater emphasis. The example should be something readers can relate to.

10. Use visual explanations: Human beings are visual creatures and using visual components will help you a great deal. The visual components could be pictures of the different steps (such as how to change a tire), graphs, charts, or concept/content visualization. It is recommended that visual aid is accompanied with supportive text. When using video content, have a transcript on the Web page. Do not overuse videos since not everybody likes them and they slow down your loading speed.

11. Finesse your title: You will now have enough information to know what a good title will be. It should be concise, actionable, keyword-conscious, definitive, intriguing, and clear. A good title is one that starts with ‘How to…’.

Bonus - the takeaway or conclusion: To end the blog post, conclude with 1 or 2 sentences or ask a question that will spark further discussion. Include a call-to-action at the very end. Have a colleague go through the blog post to ensure it is free of grammatical, spelling, and structural errors since such errors bring you out as being unprofessional.

If you're seeking help on writing how-to blog posts for your blog, visit www.WebPresenceGroup.com for resources and services on blog writing and blog management services. The experts at Web Presence Group can help you develop an effective blogging strategy to meet your law firm's content marketing objectives.

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