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5 Lessons For Niche Content

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5 Lessons For Niche Content

In the grand spectrum of exciting industries, real estate portals are somewhere in the middle between packaging materials and lion-taming.

While most people enjoy browsing properties on them, it would be fair to say that not everyone gets a kick out of reading about their financial results or who their new head of marketing is.

The stories I write about real estate portal companies for OnlineMarketplaces.com are certainly esoteric then, or at least they would be considered niche – there is a limited but high-value audience for this stuff.

Just because the subject matter isn’t for everyone doesn’t mean the writing needs to be.

And just because you already have a loyal readership doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be trying to expand the audience you get from search engines.

These are a few lessons I’ve learned to make things more interesting in two and a half years of creating content for a niche industry.

Expertise Comes From Data, Not Big Words

Image by author, September 2022

The squinting was worth it for all the lovely data.

I know or have interacted personally with a high percentage of my audience at one time or another, so why would my tone be impersonal and stiff when writing for them?

Too often, I come across industry press that reads like an undergraduate’s dissertation.

On the other hand, I am writing about an industry where some companies are described as “500-pound gorillas” and where a market downturn can lead me to use the word “trillion” next to the word “dollars.”

The numbers and quotes your content needs will be out there somewhere.

Your readership and the search engines will appreciate you taking the time to dig around the internet to find and present them without the needlessly big words.

At the start of this year, I spent two hours at the end of every day finding the financial and operational metrics for all publicly traded real estate portal companies worldwide for the last four years.

Incredibly tedious work, no doubt, but it’s a unique set of data that allowed me to show expertise as someone who is still relatively new to a high-value industry.

SEO benefits of combining “need to know, hard to find” data with a less formal tone:

  • It allows you to show expertise, especially if you are new to the niche.
  • Addressing your readers informally can help build community and repeat engagement, especially if combined with a personalized newsletter.
  • Collecting stats is the first step toward building graphs and visuals.

Avoid Numbers In A Paragraph. It’s All About Visuals

If you’ve taken the time to get the “need to know, hard to find” data, don’t waste it by just writing numbers in a paragraph.

When I had to read industry news in a previous job, I ignored numbers in a paragraph.

One of the biggest (and, on reflection, most apparent) lessons from my last two-and-a-half years of telling people about property portal performance is: Neither does anyone else.

It’s not just the subconscious, lizard-brain stuff about humans preferring to look at images than text – graphs help readers contextualize numbers instantly and boost engagement rate.

Top Property portals of The Eastern Europe 2022Image from OnlineMarketplaces.com, September 2022

If you can’t be bothered making a graphic, maybe the numbers aren’t worth including.

We found that our articles with at least one graph have a 34% better session duration than those that are just plain text.

It might take longer and mean learning to use Photoshop, but using data in some good quality images with proper alt attribution will go a long way with search engines. It can be the difference between the #2 blue link and the featured snippet.

SEO benefits of taking the time to build graphs and visual resources:

  • Users will stay on your page if they have some eye candy.
  • If you give them relevant titles and Alt attribution, Google will index your graphs and images, and you’ll see a traffic boost from Google Image search.

Word of warning here. We used a plugin that rendered all our graphs using Javascript. That meant Google wasn’t indexing them as images, and they were slowing our pages down.

There are a lot of plugins out there that make nice-looking graphs. You might want to use one to build graphs in the back end and then use a screenshot image on the front end.

Opinions Make For Lively Content And Can Lead To Links

Good creators read a lot, and they replicate what engages them.

I try to read a lot outside of my industry and have a board where I keep any niche content I particularly enjoy. Most of the articles on that board take a side and advocate for something.

Invariably, a writer’s subtle expression of their opinion makes for more engaging copy.

My boss, for example, has a lot of opinions about our niche.

I recorded one of our conversations and put it on YouTube – it generated a lot of feedback and led to a counter-argument interview with another industry notable.

If your opinion is contrived, aimed at selling something, and not sustained throughout your work, you might as well not bother.

I have another board named “How not to write.”

Five out of the first ten entries have been put in there to express the incredibly bland opinion that “PropTech is the future of the property industry” – an opinion that is probably aimed at selling something.

Maybe you want to see more equality in your niche. Perhaps you want to see faster adoption of technology, or, like some people in my niche, you are strongly anti-monopoly.

Whatever your position, express it consistently, carefully, and preferably with some humor, and you’ll have people asking you to repeat it on their blog, podcast, or social media.

SEO benefits of lacing your niche content with some subtle opinions:

  • When expressed consistently and appropriately, opinions can lead to content collaboration opportunities.
  • Opinions make your content lively, build community, and increase engagement.

Pro tip: The trick here is to know the time and place for a sprinkling of opinion. Don’t let your opinions define your publication!

Keep Detailed Records Of Your Output, Analyze It, Adjust It, and Repeat

The data I’ve collected from our site over the last two-and-a-half years shows that when it comes to the types of news articles we cover, there is an almost inverse relationship between Google traffic and how much companies want you to write them up.

Stories about M&A do well, as do any stories about redundancies or controversy. Stories based on straight-laced company press releases about a new product or partnership do poorly.

OnlineMarketplaces News Article Metrics showing M&A articles performing wellImage by author, September 2022

Not all news is created equal. Word count, category, day of the week, number of visuals, companies mentioned, where you shared it, who amplified – it’s all data you should be recording and analyzing.

I might get a few groans from freelancers I work with when I ask them to fill in all the information, but that data tells me what works and what doesn’t.

SEO benefits of keeping detailed records of your content output:

  • GA (Google Analytics) is great, but there’s plenty it can’t tell you.
  • The more data you have on your content, the quicker you can create a feedback loop that tells you exactly what Google sees your site as an authority on.

Longer, More In-depth Content Is Worth The Effort

Over 90% of content receives zero traffic from Google. That is to say, for most people, a tiny percentage of their content does a huge portion of the heavy lifting.

The stats bear out! Almost 75% of our pageviews over the last two-and-a-half years have come from the top 25 articles, meaning that I initially wasted a lot of time writing up news stories that very few people read.

many article URLs - diminishing returnsImage by author, September 2022

The lesson here is that if you cover a niche industry, you are automatically well within the top 1% of people who most care about this stuff. If you, as a one-percenter, find something boring, it is almost certainly boring and not worth your time writing up.

Two years ago, I was grateful when PR people came to me with press releases, which meant I didn’t have to search for news. I’m now much pickier about what I will and won’t bother spending time writing up.

Go and do some research on something interesting instead.

Spend time making something the best resource on the internet rather than being the first to press about something very few people will care about.

SEO benefits of leaning into industry-specific long-form content:

  • Longer form content is more likely to be considered ‘helpful’ by Google.
  • Fewer short articles mean less content you have to maintain and an optimized crawl budget.
  • Longer form content lends itself to being updated periodically – a great, low-effort tactic.

Have fun creating great content for that niche of yours!

More resources: 


Featured Image: pikselstock/Shutterstock

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How to Achieve 7-Figures with Your Law Firm Website

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How to Achieve 7-Figures with Your Law Firm Website

Many law firms are simply leasing space when it comes to their online marketing.

Whether it’s Google pay-per-click (PPC) ads, Facebook Ads, or social media, these channels often yield only temporary wins. Once you pull the investment, your results go away entirely.

Your website, on the other hand, can be a 24/7 selling tool for your law firm practice. It can effectively become your greatest asset, getting leads and cases while you sleep.

In this guide, we’ll talk about how to turn your website into the ultimate marketing tool for your law firm practice and generate seven figures in revenue for your business.

A Well-Optimized Law Firm Website Can Yield Huge Results

With your law firm’s website, you can use content marketing to your advantage to generate lucrative results for your business. Content and SEO allow you to attract users organically and convert traffic passively into new cases for your law firm.

As an example, a high-ranking webpage in a competitive market getting 1,000 users per month can get huge results:

  • Convert visitors at 2-5% = 20-50 leads.
  • Convert even 10-20% of leads = 2-10 cases.
  • Average $8000 revenue per case = $16,000-$80,000 monthly revenue from one page.

Over the course of a year, this could lead to high six-figures to seven-figures in revenue!

The Foundations Of A Revenue-Generating Law Firm Website

At its core, your law firm website should serve to speak to the needs, struggles, and interests of your target audience. It should be laser-focused on your practice area, who you serve, and what you have to offer.

With this in mind, a well-crafted website content strategy should define:

  • Your business goals (the cases you want).
  • What competitors are doing.
  • What pages to write and keywords to target.
  • How to use your content budget.
  • Your editorial calendar.
  • The purpose/intent of each page.
  • PR and backlink strategy.

Below, we’ll dive deeper into how to develop this strategy, build out amazing content, and achieve your seven-figure revenue goals.

1. Define The Cases You Want

The first step to developing a successful website marketing strategy is to define the types of legal cases you want.

This activity will help you determine the types of people you want to reach, the type of content you should create, and the types of SEO keywords you need to target.

That way, you end up marketing to a more specific subset of potential clients, rather than a broad range of users.

Not sure where to set your focus? Here are a few questions that might help:

  • Which of your cases are the most profitable?
  • What types of cases are you not getting enough of?
  • In what markets are you strongest?
  • In which markets do you want to improve?
  • Are there any practice areas you want to explore?

At the end of this activity, you might decide that you want to attract more family law cases, foreclosure law cases, or DUI cases – whatever it is, getting hyper-focused on the types of cases you want to attract will only make your website marketing even stronger.

2. Identify Your Top Competitors

One of the best ways to “hack” your website marketing strategy is to figure out what’s working for your competitors.

By “competitors” we mean law firms that are working to attract the types of cases you’re trying to attract, at the same level at which your law firm is currently operating.

I say this because I see many law firms trying to out beat and outrank the “big” fish and this can feel like a losing battle. You want to set your sights on your closest competitors, rise above them, and then get more competitive with your strategy.

Here are a few ways to identify your closest competitors:

  • Conduct a Google search of your legal practice area + your service area (e.g., “family law Kirkland”, “DUI lawyer LA”, “Denver probate attorney” etc.). Take note of the top-ranking domains (i.e., websites).
  • Use SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to search your domain name. These tools will often surface close competitors to your domain.
  • Using the same tools above, conduct organic research on your domain to see what keywords you are already ranking for. Search these keywords in Google and see what other domains come up.
  • Use these tools to determine the domain authority (DA) of your domain. Compare this to the other top-ranking domains to see which domains have an authority score that’s similar to your own.

Be sure to look at your known business competitors as well.

These may or may not be ranking well in Google Search, but it’s still worth a peek to see if they are targeting any high-priority keywords that your website should be targeting.

3. Conduct A Content Audit Of Your Website

Your next step is to conduct an audit of your current website. This will allow you to take stock of what content is performing well, and what content requires improvement.

First, start with your main service pages.

Use SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs again to review the rank (position), performance, and keywords of each page. Identify any pages that are ranking low, or not at all.

Then, find “low-hanging fruit” pages. These are the pages that are ranking around position 5-10. They require less effort to optimize to reach those higher rank positions – compared to pages ranking at, say, position 59.

Next, use the same tools to conduct a “gap analysis” (most SEO tools have this feature).

This compares your website’s performance to that of your closest competitors. It will show you a list of keywords that your competitors are ranking for that your website is not ranking for at all.

Finally, create an inventory of what pages you already have, which need to be revised, and which you need to create. Doing so will help you stay organized and stay on task when developing your content strategy.

4. Plan Your Content Silos

By this step, you will have a pretty good idea of what pages you already have, and which pages are “missing” from your strategy (based on the list of keywords you are not yet targeting).

From here, you will plan what’s called “content silos”.

Here is the basic process:

  • Review an existing service page (if you have one) and optimize it as best you can. Ideally, this is a page that’s already performing well and is otherwise a “low-hanging fruit” page.
  • If you don’t have any existing service pages, create one based on one of your high-priority keywords. Again, these should be a keyword that is meant to attract your preferred type of cases.
  • Next, build a “silo” of content around your main page. In other words, create new pages that are topically related to your main service page, but that target slightly different keywords (ideally, “long-tail”, lower competition keywords).
  • Add internal links between these pages and your primary service page.
  • Over time, build backlinks to these pages (through guest posting, PR, content marketing, etc.)

Below is an example of a content silo approach for “personal injury:”

Image from author, November 2022

5. Identify Supporting Topics

As part of your website content strategy, you’ll then want to create other supporting content pieces. This should be content that provides value to your potential clients.

FAQs, blogs, and other service pages can support your main pages.

For example, if you are a DUI lawyer, you might want to publish an FAQ page that addresses the main questions clients have about DUI law, or a blog post titled “What to Do When You Get a DUI.”

There are a few tools you can use to research supporting topics:

  • Semrush – Use this tool to identify untapped keywords, content topics, and more.
  • AlsoAsked – Identify other questions people have searched for relevant to your primary topic.
  • Answer the Public – Use this search listening tool to identify topics and questions related to your practice area.

Below is an example of how the full content silo can come together for “Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer:”

Accident lawyer content siloImage from author, November 2022

6. Build An Editorial Calendar

Once you have all of your content ideas down on paper, it’s time to develop your editorial calendar.

This is essentially a plan of what content you need to create when you want to publish it, and what keywords you plan to target.

This can be as simple as a Google Sheet or as fancy as a project management tool (like Monday.com or Asana).

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Always prioritize main pages. These should be the first content pieces you create on your website.
  • Create or revise your main pages and monitor their performance. Use Google Analytics and other SEO tools to keep your eye on how your content is performing.
  • Depending on budget and urgency, you might start with all main pages, or go silo by silo. Determine which service pages are most important to you. You can create all of your main pages at once, or develop the entire silo as you go.
  • Keep a record of your target keywords. Just because you “optimize” for them doesn’t mean your content will automatically rank for your target keywords. In your editorial calendar, keep track of the keywords you wish to target – by page – so you have a record of your original SEO strategy.

What Makes A Winning Law Firm Website Strategy?

The key to achieving seven figures with your law firm website is content.

Content allows you to target your ideal clients, attract your preferred cases, engage your audience, and so much more.

A well-thought-out content strategy will empower your website to achieve more for your business than any other marketing channel could!

Above, I outline a few steps to developing this type of winning strategy. But, achieving excellence takes time.

I recommend keeping your eye on the prize, monitoring performance, and making updates as you go along.

This will help you reach your desired result.

More resources: 


Featured Image: PanuShot/Shutterstock



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