Your law firm’s website is your digital calling card. A website that is up to date, optimized, and regularly updated is a critical element in positioning your firm as a trustworthy, knowledgeable, and authoritative source. Well-written on-site content is therefore key. However, off-site content is just as important, as is finding the balance between both.
What is On-Site Content?
On-site content includes anything that lives on your law firm’s website, this includes practice pages, client resources, and your blog.
When utilized effectively, on-site content can help increase your search rankings and impact your authority, relevance, and trust.
Your website content should be written by someone who not only has significant marketing experience, but also a deep and thorough understanding of the law (and your practice areas specifically).
In addition to having high quality on-site content produced by a knowledgeable writer (or team of writers), all on-site content should also be optimized for search engines (SEO), including important elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, internal links, and keywords (at the appropriate/optimal density).
Moreover, content should be regularly updated. New content should appear on your blog at least once per week, and new practice pages should be added to your site at least once per year.
What is Off-Site Content?
Off-site content is any content you create, own, or control that is found on external websites rather than on your firm website. This can include content such as press releases, articles in industry publications (e.g. Lawyer’s Weekly, Advocate Daily, etc.), interviews with newspapers and other media outlets, white papers, and similar. It also includes your social media pages, and can also include other content such as client reviews.
Optimizing off-site content is not as easy to do as optimizing on-site content, but it is possible. Depending on what type of off-site content you are dealing with, you may not necessarily have control over it, or you may have limited opportunity to provide input.
Where you do have input (such as in an article you write for an industry publication), you can use similar strategies as you do for on-site content, including keyword research. Additional, source specific research should also be undertaken (including researching what hashtags may be trending or popular when a post goes up, for instance).
Backlinks (also known as inbound links), created when one website links to another, are the foundation of effective off-site SEO. While backlinks are not, in an of themselves, considered off-site content, off-site content does create backlinks. Ultimately, a law firm website with multiple high value backlinks will generally be better ranked than a similar site with less backlinks. Backlinks include natural links, manually built links, and self-created links. Stay tuned for an upcoming Umbrella Legal Marketing blog about backlinks.
Best Practices for Maximizing Your On-Site and Off-Site Content
- On-Site Content is Still King: at the outset of creating your online presence, your primary focus should be creating excellent on-site content. Your website is your digital calling card. A website that is up to date, optimized, and regularly updated will likely not garner much interest from external or off-site organizations.
- Be consistent: while on-site content is key, once you begin creating offsite content, it is critical to do so regularly.
- Focus on social media: increasingly, social media posts are showing up in search results. Optimizing them just as you would a blog post or content page on your site is key. Ensure you are using appropriate hashtags.
- Write across various channels and in different formats: think about where you may want your content to show up and tailor that content accordingly. By producing varying content across diverse platforms, you will be enticing potential clients from a variety of areas.
- Be patient:In the long-term, both on-site and off-site content are important, and neither is necessarily more important that the other. Both will be required if you would like to see the most results.
At Umbrella Legal Marketing, we help law firms define their on-site and off-site content strategies, create compelling content on a regular basis, and get that content out there across multiple platforms.
Our talented team works with firms at various levels, from doing all the heavy lifting and entirely creating content for them from scratch, to working in conjunction with them on creating content.
This is one of many comprehensive services that we offer our clients. If you would like to learn more about how we could assist you with your digital presence, please contact us online or at 416-356-4672.