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The Blogging Basics

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The Blogging Basics

  1. 1. SETTING UP A BLOG
  2. 2. WITHIN AN EXISTING WEBSITE • Many existing websites have the potential to add blogging functionality • Using your existing website and domain has added benefits: – People are familiar the firm’s website already – The domain has established authority – Content remains all in one place, which boosts the organic search value of the website as a whole • Open source, user-friendly platforms like WordPress allow for blogging functionality to be easily integrated • Depending on how each website is built, however, adding a blog might require you to pay a designer and/or developer to code out page templates and integrate them into to the existing website
  3. 3. WITHIN A DIY WEBSITE PLATFORM • A variety of “do it yourself” website platforms make it very easy to build your own website, and many of them have blogging functionality available, including: – Wix – Squarespace – Weebly – Gator • However, these platforms often have limited functionality in order to make them user friendly • Generally, you have less control over style and formatting, and must figure out how to build and adjust everything yourself
  4. 4. A FREESTANDING BLOG • WordPress originally started as a straight-forward blogging platform • There are now a variety of platforms available to simply host blog posts: – Blogger, a free blogging service offered by Google – Ghost, a minimalist blogging platform – WordPress.com, a basic blogging platform that is easier to use than the powerhouse WordPress CMS • Freestanding blogs don’t have the same amount of content backing up the blog posts in the way a fully integrated website/blog double feature does, which can impact organic rankings
  5. 5. LET’S TAKE A POLL
  6. 6. SELECTING BLOG TOPICS
  7. 7. STEP ONE: TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC • Who are you trying to reach? – The public at large, to educate them – Potential clients – Referral sources – Other attorneys • What kind of content would these target audiences find interesting? • Remember to write for your audience… not for yourself
  8. 8. STEP TWO: BRAINSTORMING • Brainstorm topics that relate to your practice areas – Think about some of the most common questions you are asked by clients – Check news sources for ideas – Consider any recent changes in the law that will affect your practice areas • Make sure to come up with a good mix of topics across all of your practice areas • Keep in mind: just because you might find a topic interesting doesn’t mean anyone is actively searching for it
  9. 9. STEP THREE: KEYWORD RESEARCH • Figure out what people are searching for and craft your blogs around those topics • Utilize free tools like: – Keywords Everywhere – Google Trends – Moz (limited data with free version) • If a topic you brainstormed has little to no search volume, then try adjusting to an adjacent topic or a broader topic • Don’t be afraid of long-tail keyword phrases • Keep in mind that most searchers will not use legal terminology, so make sure you are researching how they would search as a client….not how you would search as a lawyer
  10. 10. STEP THREE: EXAMPLES
  11. 11. NOW YOUR TURN
  12. 12. BLOGGING BEST PRACTICES
  13. 13. WORD COUNT • Google has evolved to value quality over quantity • Long-form content performs exponentially better than content with a low word count • A recent study found the average Google first page organic search result contains 1,447 words • Multiple studies have shown writing comprehensive, in-depth content can help pages rank higher in Google • Blog posts should be a minimum of 800 words and ideally closer to 1,200 words
  14. 14. KEYWORD DENSITY • Keyword density refers to the number of times your target keyword phrase appears in a blog post as a percentage of the total number of words used • If you use the researched keyword phrase too few times, Google won’t know that’s what the blog post is about • If you use it too many times (referred to as “keyword stuffing”), Google will actually penalize your website in its ranking algorithm • Optimal keyword density is between 0.5% and 2.5%
  15. 15. INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL LINKS • An internal link connects one page of your website to another page of your website • An external link connects hyperlinked content on your website to another website on a different domain • Blog posts should include internal links and external links • Internal links should link back to the main practice area pages and older blog posts on related topics • External links should link to high-authority websites, such as news sources or any website ending in .gov or .edu
  16. 16. IMAGES • Images help a blog post in a variety of ways, including: – Breaking up the text – Providing visual stimulation – Conveying additional information to Google and other search engines • DO NOT RANDOMLY PULL IMAGES FROM THE INTERNET – Stock image websites actively search for and come after websites using unlicensed imagery – Purchase images on websites like Shutterstock or iStockphoto – Use good quality free images from websites like Unsplash, Pixabay, or Pexels • Make sure to fill in the “Alternative Text” (often referred to as alt-text) – The alt-text for an image is what Google can read when it crawls your website for images, and it adds additional SEO value to the website
  17. 17. METADATA • Metadata refers to the title tag and meta description for the blog post, which appears in organic search results • While these have little to no impact on rankings, they do impact click through rates • Make sure to craft metadata using your identified keyword phrase • Include a call-to-action, if applicable
  18. 18. CATEGORIZING • Most blogging platforms allow for categorizing of blog posts (and WordPress requires all posts to be filed under a category) • Categories are meant to encompass a large group of posts and organize them by subject matter • Categorizing your blog posts allows users to easily find related content • You only need between three and five categories to start
  19. 19. REAL WORD EXAMPLE • Blog posted December 2020
  20. 20. REAL WORD EXAMPLE: RESULTS • Gradual increase in impressions and clicks over six months • High click through rate indicates the metadata matched search queries • Long-form content of 1,145 words provided plenty for Google to “read” • Image contained keyword rich alt-text • The post utilized both external and internal links
  21. 21. HELPFUL RESOURCES • Keywords Everywhere: https://keywordseverywhere.com/ (available for Chrome or Firefox browers) • Moz: https://moz.com/ • Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/?geo=US • Best free tool for WordPress: Yoast plugin makes adding in metadata very easy and automatically tells you if your keyword density is right ->
  22. 22. CONNECT WITH STACEY • Facebook: @MarketingLawyers • Twitter: @staceyeburke • Instagram: @MarketingLawyers • LinkedIn: /in/StaceyEBurke/ • Website: www.staceyeburke.com • E-newsletter: http://bit.ly/StaceyMail
  23. 23. CONNECT WITH LISA • Facebook: @MarketingLawyers • Twitter: @LisasLexicon • Instagram: @MarketingLawyers • LinkedIn: /in/LisaHopkinsTX/ • Website: www.staceyeburke.com • E-newsletter: http://bit.ly/StaceyMail

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