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If you’re wondering whether blogging helps with your search engine results, it does. Here’s what happened when I started blogging about a new law.
A new law regarding internet and digital privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), goes into effect on May 25. It is a European Union law, but many companies in the U.S. must comply with it due to their contact with EU residents. As an internet lawyer, I read this law cover to cover, and am following the news surrounding it as companies work on bringing their policies and practices into compliance.
After reading this law, I created my own GDPR Q&A resource. Then I used my Q&A to create a set of six short videos explaining the GDPR’s highlights and answering common questions. I scheduled the videos to be released one per week, with each release on a Wednesday morning. And within 24 hours of each video’s release, I wrote a blog post on the same topic, embedded the video, added an image, and uploaded it to my website.
My goal was to break this law down into the elements that businesses need to know about and that relate to their operations.
I promoted the posts and videos on social media like I do my other content, though they didn’t get more views than other content I created. I’d hoped, since I expected GDPR to be a somewhat hot topic, that they would get more traction. But maybe I was wrong.
A few weeks after the last blog post was published, a prospective client contacted me because he needed help revising his company documents to comply with GDPR before the law goes into effect. During our get-to-know-you phone call, he told me that when he searched for “GDPR lawyer Phoenix,” four of my GDPR blog posts were on page one of the search results.
I didn’t go into this blog and video series project with any expectations or goals regarding search engine results. When I wrote each post, I added all the appropriate tags I could think of, but I didn’t do more research or pay to boost any of my posts on any platform. I hoped to create useful content that would be found if someone was looking for it.
I have a strip of paper taped to my desk that reads “Niche till it hurts.” Focusing your content on one narrow topic may seem counterintuitive, but it appears to be a way to stand out as a micro-expert. The tighter the niche, the easier it is to dominate the search results.
If you’re one of the only people writing about a new law, you can dominate a marketplace. It might be nearly impossible to be on page one in the results for “personal injury attorney” in your locale (unless you live in a small town), but you can carve out a lucrative niche in “backyard trampoline injury,” “car accident face scars” or something equally narrow. If you’re one of a few or the only one who focuses on that specific legal problem, dominating that sliver of the market may generate enough income to operate a practice.
This post is based on one experience. I won’t guarantee that every niche you select will be successful. There still needs to be a market for whatever it is. Looking back, I wonder if my content didn’t get as many hits as I would have liked because I came out with the series too early. I’m seeing a lot more interest in GDPR now that the law is closer to going into effect.
As lawyers, the success of a marketing strategy shouldn’t be just about how many views our website gets. People don’t need us every day. A successful strategy is one where a prospective client finds us when they need someone with our skill and expertise.
Please note: Algorithms on Google and other search engines can change at any time, and these companies don’t share the secrets for dominating search results. The tactic that made you successful in search results last week may not work this week. Always keep your focus on creating quality content, not applying gimmicks that you hope will boost your search engine results.
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