Benefits of Publishing Legal Articles Online

Benefits of Publishing Legal Articles Online

Benefits of Publishing Legal Articles Online: In this “Law Firm Entrepreneur” article we explore the many benefits that can come from publishing legal articles online. In particular how publishing legal articles online can be a very potent form of online marketing for your law firm’s website.
Benefits of Publishing Legal Articles Online

Benefits of Legal Article Submissions Online

One thing that you NEED to know when it comes to successfully marketing your law firms website online is that “Content is still KING”. What this means specifically is that the search engines online such as Google, Yahoo and Bing are very interested in seeing what new and fresh quality content you have to publish on various issues and topics. Search engines are in the game of being able to provide its users with the best information out their to address the search queries that they have. Thus, it is critical that your law firm is able to create and present quality content of the legal issues and areas that you practice in order to obtain a certain level of kudos from these search engines. Then what you will find is that if your law firms website is publishing great content or alternatively if there is great content on the internet which directs a link back to your law firms website then the search engines will use their super mathematical algorithms to recognize your law firm’s website and provide you with a certain level of authority in the particular area of information or content which you have published.

Ultimately what this means is that your search engine rankings will increase!

This is a good thing because it will make it easier for people searching for a lawyer in your particular field to find you and it will also hold you out to be an authority in that particular area of law.

By creating written content and publishing it either on your law firm’s website or on quality article submission directories you will eventually obtain benefits within the search engine rankings.

So in a nutshell there are 2 main benefits in creating written content and publishing that content in the form of legal articles, they include:

  1. Having your legal articles picked up and recognized by the search engines as new, unique, fresh and quality written content will help increase your law firm’s website rankings within the large search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, as well as the quality legal article submission directories which they are published on.
  2. By publishing quality written articles online you increase the chances of having other people share the articles around the internet on other websites. This will generally only occur if the article is extremely well written and contains enough informative content that people will want to share it with other people. This will then increase the number of links pointing back to your law firm’s website and ultimately increase your law firm’s authority.

Fortunately, the Internet provides services that make publishing much easier than in the days when print media was the only option.

There are many sites that exist solely to publish articles. While many of these sites are general purpose and do not focus on a single topic, if you want to reach your target audience, it’s best to go where your readers and peers will be most likely to gather information.

Legal Article Submission Directories

One form of publishing legal articles online is by preparing an informative written article and submitting it to either a legal article directory or a more general article directory.

HG.org is an established article directory that focuses only on articles with legal content. If you want to reach a relevant audience, it’s best to submit your articles here.

The other advantage that publishing articles provides is increased web traffic. Article directories appear on search engines, and will be included in search results. If someone performs a search for you or your firm, chances are that your articles may come up as well. Your article may also catch the eye of anybody browsing one of those same directories, or searching for information on a topic related to your field of expertise. Though rules on this vary from site to site, if your directory allows you to link to your web page, you have just found another effective way to boost traffic for your site.

IMPORTANT POINT – Don’t Re-Publish Unique Content

It is extremely important to note that the large search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo hate it when people rip off other peoples articles or content and republish it on their own website passing it off as their own works. By now it is pretty well known that the top search engines just love unique and well put together content.

So it is critical that you only ever publish original and unique content on your law firm’s website. Furthermore it is important that you only include a link back to your website within content that is is fresh and unique.

In effect what this means is:

  1. Do not publish articles or blog posts on your own law firms website which has already been published elsewhere on the Internet. If you really want to publish a piece of wonderful content on your website then you should consider just quoting from the original article or rewording the original article in your own words (and of course appropriately referencing where required).
  2. Do not republish content that you have taken from another web page and simply add your own website link into the content. This can be viewed negatively by the search engines and could even penalize your website by being dropped in the search engine rankings.

Whenever you publish an article on your law firm’s website or even publish an article on another website (such as an article directory) where it contains a clickable link to your firms website, you should always ensure that the content is uniquely written and not exactly the same as other articles out there on the internet.

After experiencing all the highs and lows of online marketing and search engine optimization over the past 5 or 6 years I strongly believe that well written, fresh and unique content is the ONLY way to go if you want to climb the search engine rankings.

Top Tips for Writing Legal Articles

Writing a legal article which will be used as a part of an online marketing strategy for your law firm’s website will mean that it should be written and presented in a specific way. Some top tips to keep in mind when writing legal articles for online marketing should include the following:

  • Well written and presented legal articles – make sure that all the basics are covered such as correct spelling and grammar. It is also a good idea to go into some detail about the specific legal topic or issues that you are writing about. There is plenty of legal information on the internet which does not delve deep enough into the issues that people are searching for. So if you write an article that goes the extra mile in explaining the issues at hand then it is much more likely that people will be more willing to share your article with other website around the internet. A well written article will simply reflect on your authority and professionalism in that area of law.
  • Write in a friendly conversation tone – despite the fact that you are more than likely a lawyer writing a legal article, you need to write for your anticipated reader or potential client. Remember the client does not have a law degree and as such you need to strike a mix between writing in layman’s terms whilst still going into enough detail to provide the reader with a better understanding of the issues being discussed.
  • Presentation of the article – a lot of article directories will have specific presentation requirements when submitting an article. However, if you are publishing an article or blog post on your firm’s website or some other website where you maintain some control over the presentation then it is always a good idea to use lots of headings and sub-headings. Add pictures, diagrams or flow charts wherever they are helpful. Also present the material in a free flowing and cohesive manner so each issue leads on and flows onto the next. Have a strong introduction and summary.
  • Use an author box – at the end of each article is is generally a good idea to provide an author box which explains who you are as the author and as a lawyer. Generally a one line description explaining who you are will suffice. But you also want to include contact links so that readers can easier get in contact with you either via email, telephone or even social media. You should also include a clickable link back to your website. If you are submitting an article to an article directory then you should include a link back to your firm’s website, generally the main homepage of your law firm’s website.
  • Back link within the body of the article – you may wish to insert an additional link within the body text of the article. But do not insert 2 back links within the same article directing people back to the same web page at your law firms website. If you are going to insert 2 back links in the article then one link should direct people to the main homepage of your firm’s website and the other link should direct people back to a more specific area of your firm’s website that is conducive to the material in the article. For example if the article discusses issues surrounding particular DUI issues then the link embedded with the article should direct people back to the most important DUI related page within your law firm’s website.

For more information on how to insert links into articles or blog posts the you should check out our post on link building – Article Back Links for Law Firms.

Aren’t Articles Directories Dead these Days

In recent times the big search engines such as Google have attempted to weed out the spammy types of internet marketers who would upload really crappy articles filled with nonsensical or poorly written information where they would include a large number of embedded back links to their main website seeking to build large numbers of links. Google through their Panda and Penguin algorithm updates really put an end to this by taking away the amount of authority that links coming from various article directories would provide. Almost overnight we saw website with lots of spammy links from terrible articles in article directories simply disappear of the search engine rankings. Many of these spammy articles were badly written and even contained large amounts of content that was taken from other already published articles.

Some article directories fell by the wayside and never recovered but some of the bigger article directories changed their ways and incorporated strict guidelines for users to follow before they could submit and publish an article in their directory. Whilst some of the large article directories have not fully recovered to the rank and authority that they carried in the good old days we have seen many recover quite well and for this reason article marketing is still alive and well.

It just comes down to how authentic you are with your article drafting, presentation and submissions.

Google and the like will always welcome well written and informative content that is interesting and helpful to its readers.

Article Directories

But all this begs the question as to which article directories are safe to submit articles to in this day and age. The below websites are considered to still maintain a strong level of authority and rank by Google and as long as you can follow their strict guidelines and submit fresh content then you can still obtain strong kudos back to your law firm’s website, these websites and article directories include:

At the end of the day there are many different types of article directories or other websites that allow for article submissions. It is a good idea to do your research on each website prior to submitting any articles or content and decide whether they are right for the type of law that you practice and the information prepared in your articles.

Many article directories or submission websites are usually United States based so it may be worth finding out whether there are any more localized article submission websites that publish information more specific to your legal practice jurisdiction.

Legal Article Guidelines

When deciding what to write about, keep in mind that this method is not conducive to lengthy essays or serial articles. The majority of directories will not allow subject matter beyond 1000 words (roughly 2 pages). You also want to keep the content easily readable. Article directories are not a place for fostering dialogue between yourself and your colleagues. They are a place for the layman to gain an understanding about your field of expertise. Keep your language simple, and your arguments concise.

How to Publish Legal Articles Online

Once you have an article topic in mind, publishing to third-party directory sites is easy. First, find out what their guidelines are in terms of length and content. Many article directories will have a word count limit. Some of them will not allow for adding links within the body of your article. Once your article is written and proofread, follow the submission guidelines on the site. Usually, the site in question will have an online form to fill out, although they may request an email attachment instead.

Once your article has been submitted, a copy-editor will review your work to make sure that it fits with their submission standards. If there are any changes that need to be made, they will email you with these before your article goes live on their site. No changes will be made to your text without your permission. The editor will not post your work until you reach an agreement as to the content.

Though your article will be posted on their site, you are the one who holds the copyright. The editor will send you a copy of your copyright agreement before posting the article. You are the one who holds the distribution rights to your article, and it cannot be hosted elsewhere without your permission, although people may link to it (a practice which should be encouraged in order to maximize web traffic).

Once your article has been published, it’s good practice to provide links to your published articles on your site. This will ensure that regular visitors to your site are exposed to your work. It also is a great way to present yourself to your clients as an expert in your field. It’s also a way for your clients and potential clients to gain a clear understanding of how your services would be beneficial for them.

It is important to note that these directory services are free to publish on, and most do not impose a limit on how many articles you can submit. However, as they are a free service, they also will not be paying you for your articles. In short, publishing articles on third-party sites is an easy, free way to increase visibility, solidify your reputation, boost your web traffic, and help educate your clientele.

Publishing Legal Articles on HG.org

HG.org knows that publishing legal articles on law directories is one of the best ways any attorney or law firm can market their services. Law Articles is one of HG.org’s most popular sections, which shows that potential clients use publications to help narrow their search to those firms they feel can best meet their current need. Publishing articles on HG.org is one of the many benefits available to law firms registered with the site and there is no limit to the number of articles you choose to submit for publication.

LFE Quick Tips

Article marketing can be time consuming but it can be a very effective form of online marketing for your primary digital asset, that being your law firm’s website. If you do decide to embark on an article marketing campaign then please keep the following tips in mind:

  • Keep all of your best content & information for your law firm’s primary website. You should focus all of your best written content for your own law firm’s blog or articles, then concentrate on submitting your second tier material for article directories or gust blog/articles posts on other websites.
  • Never republish articles or blog posts on your law firm’s website or on another website where a link has been embedded to your law firm’s website. When preparing an article you should not be over optimizing the article for search engines instead you should be writing the articles for the ease of reading. Search engines are so sophisticated these days that they can tell the difference between well written articles and articles which are trying to cheat the system through over optimization and keyword stuffing etc. Include a subtle call to action to get potential client to your primary law firm website.
  • Do NOT get sucked into automated spinning software. In or around 2011 spammy website marketer were using automated software in which they would cut and paste an article from one persons website and then use the software to manipulate and change around words and sentences to try and create new and unique content. The problem these days is that search engines can detect when articles have been spun or where they do not read properly. You can actually be penalized in the search engine rankings if you incorporate this type of black hat marketing procedure.
  • Strong author profiles. Article directories and other types of article or blog submission websites will generally allow you to have an Author Biography page where people can see more information about you and find out how to contact you. The Author Bio page should be fully completed with photos and links to your law firm’s website. Also include your email, fax, phone number and other links to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ etc.
  • Claim your Google Authorship. This can be a tricky and somewhat technical procedure to undertake but the benefits from claiming your Google Authorship can be massive. Google Authorship is where a small little head shot picture will appear in the search engine results right next to you link. We will look more at Claiming Google Authorship for Law Firms in a future blog post.
  • Write Evergreen Content. You should be aiming to write articles, blog posts and other types of content which are evergreen and what we mean by “evergreen” is that the content and information that you publish will be relevant for a long time into the future. There is no point in publishing articles which are quickly outdated as it will look poorly on your law firm’s authority.

 


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For more information on the Benefits of Publishing Legal Articles Online or how to startup a new law firm or build & marketing an existing law practice into thriving profitable legal business.


Benefits of Publishing Legal Articles Online by
Josh

Josh

Founder & Editor in Chief at Law Firm Entrepreneur
The Law Firm Entrepreneur aims to help solo lawyers and small law firms build successful businesses through a thriving online presence.
Josh
About The Author

Josh

The Law Firm Entrepreneur aims to help solo lawyers and small law firms build successful businesses through a thriving online presence.