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Tips for Optimizing Your Blog: A 10-step Checklist to Ensure Great Content

Blog posts are an easy and efficient way to post engaging content and encourage readers to learn more about your firm. However, not all blog posts are created equal. If your content is boring, irrelevant, or riddled with mistakes, readers will not take an interest in it. What’s more, no one will read your content if it is difficult to find. Using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques will help mitigate these issues. Here are ten steps that will make your post easy to find and fun to read. If you can answer yes to these questions, you’re off to a great start.

  1. Is the title a reasonable length and easy to understand?

The title of your blog should catch the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading. That means the title should be easy to understand and an appropriate length. Between 40 and 69 characters is the best length for a title, according to the SEO specialists at Moz.

  1. Are my keywords included in the first paragraph of my post?

Your keywords can range from “car accident” to “California criminal defense lawyer” to “trial tips.” Whatever you pick, be sure to include the keywords in your content, preferably within the first paragraph or the first 100 words of your post.

  1. Have I broken up the content into sections that are easy to read?

Our eyes naturally jump to big ideas in articles. If your readers are unable to identify the main points and interesting highlights of your blog post, they are more likely to quit reading. Think of it like this: would you rather read a legal document written in paragraphs with very few headings or a brief that contained a lot of bullet points?

  1. Is my firm mentioned at least once in my post?

The primary reason for writing blog posts is to draw visitors to your site and get them interested in your firm. That goal is less achievable when you fail to mention your firm. Be sure not to boast about your accolades too much, but include links to your firm overview and make sure readers know you are reputable and ready to work for them.

  1. Is my content relevant?

What you choose to write about is one of the largest factors that will determine readership. To keep people interested, consider who will be reading your posts. If it is mostly people from Chicago and you are a personal injury lawyer, write about recent car accidents or slip and fall cases in the area. On the other hand, if it is immigrants in need of visa renewals, write about the process or how an attorney can help them.

  1. Did I include links?

Including links to external sources is a surefire way to get Google and other search engines to notice your site. Links to sources that are credible indicate to readers that you are reputable, knowledgeable, and connected to the subject you choose. In addition, make sure all of your links actually work and travel to other websites before posting your blog.

  1. Does my post have a description?

A meta description allows internet browsers to see what your article is about before they click the link leading to your page. Although meta descriptions do not factor into the algorithm that dictates where your page is ranked, they can spark interest in your post from the results page. Meta descriptions are typically cut off after 160 characters, so try to keep yours under that length.

  1. Is my content engaging and long?

More and more often, search engines are choosing to boost content that is engaging and substantive. One indicator of these qualities is the length. Not every article you write needs to top 1,000 words, but creating longer posts can optimize your position in page rankings and bring you more traffic.

  1. Are my word and tone choice appropriate for my readership?

Again, it is important to focus on the people reading your blog. If you practice intellectual property or business law, your firm may attract highly educated clients to whom you can cater your posts. On the other hand, the average American adult reads at about a 7th-grade level. That fact is extremely important to remember when you are writing a blog post. If people cannot understand the words you use or they are overwhelmed by the material, they will not keep reading.

  1. Can readers easily share my content?

With the popularity of social media, it is more important than ever to make sure your blog posts are easy to share across platforms. Consider adding a share button to your post, which can allow readers to easily spread your content through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even Instagram. Not only does having your site in more places help your credibility, but more shares and likes on social media mean more immediate views for your post.

Implementing SEO techniques can be frustrating and overwhelming at first, especially if you are not accustomed to running your own website. It is common for law firms and other business professionals to outsource their content needs to a company that specializes in SEO and legal marketing. If the thought of putting the ideas in the above checklist to work is stressful for you, don’t worry. Start with a short post and see if it brings any leads. Over time, optimizing your blog will become more natural. If you never get the hang of it, look to professionals. Happy posting!

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