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2 Ways Our Legal Blogs Have Changed in the Last 3 Years

In our last week’s post, we wrote a blog sample for corporate and employment lawyers to highlight how a professionally written legal blog article can look like. This was far from the first blog sample we’ve written: The first one was nearly three years ago, now, and covered the DUI-defense topic of SR-22 insurance.

As we constantly reiterate, though, best practices in search engine optimization (SEO) and online legal marketing change rapidly. Some of those changes impact how to write a legal blog post so it scores as many points as possible with search engines.

Here are two important changes that we’ve made to our writing style to keep ahead of the legal marketing curve.

2 Changes in 3 Years of Legal Blogging at Myers Freelance
Photo credit: Johanna Pung

Branded Keywords

Of course, we only write sample blog posts for hypothetical attorneys on the Myers Freelance blog, so the name of the “law firm” that we’re “writing” for doesn’t matter. With that said, though, our old post about DUI law did not include the hypothetical firm’s name, while our new one made a point of adding it to the final paragraph and in the final header.

With search engine marketing becoming more and more competitive, we’re seeing more companies and law firms going on the offensive and targeting the branded keywords of other local firms. That’s right—we’re seeing a lot of marketing money from Dewey & Howe pursuing people who get on Google and search for their competitor Smith & Jones.

This is competitive keyword marketing, and aims to poach unsuspecting clients who are looking for a competing firm, often through pay-per-click ads (PPCs). While the rules of legal ethics in some states prohibit the practice, it is perfectly permissible in others.

We aim to combat this through legal blogging by making a point of dropping the name of your law firm into the article, and then linking to your home page. Pursuing branded keywords like this—and then utilizing anchor text for an internal link to your home page—can solidify your rank at the top of these navigational searches that produce the hottest leads.

Organic Approach to Long Tail Keywords

In our 2015 blog sample on SR-22 insurance, we made much of the fact that the text of the post targeted specific long tail keywords.

In the past three years, though, Google and other search engines have become much more adept at determining the intent behind a search, rather than matching a long tail search, word for word, with an article online. Before, a search for “Los Angeles does a domestic violence accusation automatically lead to an arrest” would likely put a poorly-written, 150-word article that used that exact phrase in the top spot of the results page.

Now, though, the top spot for a long tail search like that would more likely be reserved for a longer piece that includes more information about domestic violence arrests, even if the article doesn’t use the precise language of the search.

It might seem strange to hear professional legal bloggers saying that they pay less attention to precisely matching keywords to targeted searches than they did, before. The reality is, though, that matching language to targeted search queries and then forcing that language into an article just doesn’t matter very much, anymore. After years moving away from traditional search signals and towards user intent, professional legal blogging means shifting the focus away from what search engines want, and catering more to readers, instead.

Myers Freelance: The Professional Legal Bloggers

We keep our ears to the ground to detect how the online marketing world has changed, and to predict where it will go, in the future. As we’ll discuss in detail in our next post, minor changes to search engine algorithms can make a huge difference in how to best write and post content to your law firm’s webpage.