In the most simplistic form, content planning includes identifying topics for upcoming articles. However, a comprehensive content plan should be strategic, detailed, and actionable.
If you’re not clear on your value proposition and who you’re serving, your content won’t be valuable. If your content isn’t valuable, your online marketing efforts will flop.
Here’s what you need to know about the key elements of a meticulous content plan, including keywords, search volume, word count, and meta descriptions.
Key components of a comprehensive content plan
A content plan includes a lot of moving pieces. Here are some key components that your content plan should include:
Topic: The topic is the broad focus of your content. Remember, your content is similar—but not exactly the same—as your service. Topics should be relevant to your clients and relevant to the services your firm provides. You can build a ton of content around a single topic.
Ex. Help for personal injury car accident survivors
Description/Details of Topic(s): Pick a format and a perspective. You could publish an anecdote or a how-to guide for people who were recently in an accident, for example. What is the key takeaway for the reader and how can you best deliver it?
Ex. How-to guide for documenting an accident
Ex. Anecdotes for Charlie vs. Omar, and what can happen when you hire or don’t hire a lawyer
Funnel Stage/Intended Persona: A “persona” is a generic characterization of your ideal client that includes their pains, goals, and search intent. A funnel is a set of stages that you can lead a client through to take them from potential client to client. Once you understand who the person is and what stage they’re at, you can write better content.
Ex. “Nora Neck Problems” was recently in a car accident. She’s experiencing some neck pain and is unsure whether or not to retain an attorney.
Ex. “Imani Ready” is looking for the best car accident lawyer in Houston. She knows she has a case and is ready to read reviews and hire someone.
Primary Keywords: Once you know your topic and persona, you can focus on finding the right keywords to reach that persona. The primary keywords help search engines understand what your content is about so that people searching for that content can find it.
Ex. Car accident attorney Houston, car crash lawyer Texas
Secondary Keywords: These add more context to your primary keywords to help search engines further refine their understanding of your content—and connect you with the right people.
Ex. Neck injuries, rear-ended, hit and run
Related Keywords: These are alternative ways to describe your topic and expand your reach.
Ex. Houston car accident lawyers, Texas car accident lawyers
Search Volume: This is how often people are searching for your phrase. You can use a tool like SEMRush to find the search volume for different phrases. You don’t necessarily want to pick a phrase with a high search volume, because competition is high for that phrase. Instead, look for a phrase with a lower search volume and try to capture all that traffic for better ROI.
Ex. Houston car accident lawyer = 8,100 monthly searches
Ex. Car accident attorney Houston = 1,900 monthly searches
Word Count: The length of your content depends on your goals. Search engines (and people!) enjoy content of varying lengths. Sometimes, a long comprehensive article is appropriate. Other times, a short quick tips article is better. Long-form content is usually anything over 1,200 words.
Ex. How-to guide for documenting an accident = 2,000 words
Ex. Anecdotes for Charlie vs. Omar = 750 words
Call to Action (CTA): This is the action you want the reader to take after consuming your content. It’s critical to know your CTA before creating a piece of content. The CTA should be a natural next step for the reader, and it should be clear how to proceed.
Ex. Download a free template to thoroughly document your accident.
Ex. Schedule a free consultation with a Houston car accident lawyer today.
Additional items to include
These elements can be especially helpful if you work with a marketing agency or website host that is posting or optimizing your content for you.
H1: This is the main heading on a webpage. It helps readers and search engines understand what’s on the page. The H1 should clearly explain the hierarchy of the page. It’s similar to a title except the title is about the entire webpage and the H1 is about the text-based portion. The H1 is shown on the page itself.
Ex. <h1>How to Document an Accident: A Step-by-Step Guide for After a Car Accident</h1>
Title Tag: Whereas the H1 tag is displayed on the webpage itself, the title tag is displayed in the browser window on the tab and in the search engine results. A great title tag will grab the attention of readers and entice them to click on your blog post. It should be descriptive and engaging, with relevant keywords to improve search engine visibility and encourage higher click-through rates.
Ex. <title>Houston Car Accident Lawyer</title>
Ex. <h1>Neil Petrov, Car Accident Attorney</h1>
Meta Description: This is a short snippet that summarizes the content of a webpage. It’s that 1-2 sentence description of the site that appears under the title on the SERP. The meta description can help you attract readers by telling them what to expect. Use relevant keywords and a call to action to encourage visitors to read more.
Ex. Neil Petrov has more than 20 years of experience helping Houstonians after a serious accident. Claim what you’re owed, starting with a free consultation.
One final note: If you’re working with an experienced legal SEO agency, consider leaning on them for guidance with the above elements. After all, it’s what they specialize in!
Review and next steps
You need a comprehensive content plan before you start cranking out content. Make sure you’re clear on your topic, keywords, persona, and call to action before you start writing—or before you hire anyone else.
Content is key to your online success. But the Internet is highly competitive, and not all firms have the time or staff power to devote to managing SEO effectively.
If you need a team of legal SEO and marketing experts on your side, Omnizant is here. We’ve been helping law firms grow since 2006 and we’ve got the track record to prove it. Let us help you achieve your digital goals this year—get a quote to start the conversation.