Aaron Hall, a Minnesota small business attorney, speaks with Travis Van Slooten, a local SEO consultant for attorneys and law firms. Topics include common challenges faced when optimizing for attorneys, the importance of content marketing, how to leverage content, how lawyers can utilize press releases and more.
Aaron Hall | Minnesota Attorney
Phone: (612) 466-0010
Aaron Hall: I love the fact that lawyers are generally resistant to technology. They’re generally not as interested in marketing, and that has given our law firm a real competitive edge as far as combining online marketing with our legal practice. Now, you actually serve lawyers and law firms, and you do their SEO for them. What are some of the challenges that you face when serving law firm clients?
Travis Van Slooten: Well, you know, the challenge is exactly what you pointed out is that they’re a little bit behind. Part of the…the biggest challenge is getting the attorney’s attention and then getting them to realize the importance of the content marketing. With SEO today, it requires quality content. Now unfortunately in the legal industry, you have to be very careful what you’re distributing whether it’s your blog or on somebody else’s blog. So the biggest challenge there is getting the attorney or attorneys if I’m working with a big law firm is to commit to either producing the content themselves or getting them comfortable to go up the content that I might be able to write via my legal writers. That’s the biggest challenge, the whole content part of the equation.
Aaron Hall: I imagine it’s a hard sell to an attorney who bills hundreds of dollars an hour to try to get them to do a video or write a blog article especially to if they’re going to write, they may feel the tendency to submit that to some publication where it’ll get printed as opposed to just being lost on a blog somewhere. You have seen where the Yellow Pages is kind of going away. Attorneys put thousands and thousands of dollars into that for marketing for years, and more and more people are searching online, so it really gives an opportunity for law firms to market themselves and be found by people who need their legal services.
Travis Van Slooten: Yeah, no doubt. That’s a great point and just getting back on your point on attorneys probably wanting to write and spend the time to write to send it to a specific publication, that’s one of the things that I’m a huge proponent of leveraging your content. Let’s take that one piece that you do write and let’s not just put it on your blog. Let’s submit it to the publication that you want to submit it to. Let’s turn it into a video. Let’s do some other things with it. Let’s chop it up or do this or that. It’s leveraging the content that you do create, and that’s probably one of the unique things that I do offer is that I’m not just, “Hey, write up an article for your blog.” I’m more of, “Let’s write something for me and then, we’re going to leverage it and do as much as we can with it so we can get as much mileage from it as we can.
Aaron Hall: So if attorneys has already written something and it’s still relevant today and the law often changes slowly so it would be relevant, you can take that content. Repurpose it. Utilize it in many different ways so rather than the attorney spending a ton of time in the marketing, you and the other marketing folks can expand the impact of that original written word.
Travis Van Slooten: Definitely. I’ll give you another example. Press releases. Awesome for SEO and great for law firms in terms of press, you know, the traditional press. A lot of times especially when you’re working for a big law firm, a lot of attorneys get a lot of awards and recognitions, and they meet various milestones, if you’re working for a big law firm, let’s say 30 attorneys. That’s 30 opportunities I have to get that law firm additional press because if you, for example, are recognized for something in the legal industry, I can take that. We can create a press release around it. Submit it. Now, you get some press. Your law firm gets press and now, you multiply that by how many attorneys there are. That’s huge.
Aaron Hall: It’s a great point. Any other tips for law firms that are evaluating whether to market themselves online?
Travis Van Slooten: The biggest thing is…first of all, definitely do it. The least thing I can recommend is start with a blog. Get a blog going and get some content moving. I would shoot for, at least, one or two unique pieces of content every couple of weeks as a bare minimum. That would be a great start in getting started with a blog.
Aaron Hall: You’re located in Minnesota but it sounds you got clients throughout the nation.
Travis Van Slooten: That is correct. Throughout the country.
Aaron Hall: Great.