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Content is King : Google’s New Update and Why Your Legal Content Should Be Written by a Lawyer

You’ve probably heard the saying;

“Content is King.” Bill Gates coined the phrase that copywriters and SEO people still use as a mantra, in an article that he wrote in March 1996. It sounds a bit obvious. If you read a blog, article or webpage online, you want it – nay expect it, to have great content. If it doesn’t, then it’s not going to hold your attention and you will quickly click to another page.

Keywords are important because they are the link between what people are searching for and what we, as content writers are writing, to meet that need. However, some years ago, in order to get a website or blog moving up the Google rankings, it was considered that stuffing the article full of keywords or phrases was not only acceptable, it was in fact a great way of getting your website moving up the rankings. So, it was possible to fill an article with lots and lots of keywords, even if in doing so the readability of the article was clunky and didn’t make sense. Your website, full of unreadable content, could conceivably get onto page 1 of Google!

That hasn’t been the case for a long time.

“Content is King.”

What does this actually mean. For us it has three main components;

  1. It must be well written. Grammar and spelling are a given. Sentences must be concise where possible. In our opinion, being well written also means that the writer has a writing voice that keeps you wanting more.
  2. Ok, so it’s nicely written. It still has to say something though. The content has to be interesting. Even a web page about, let’s say, ‘pressure sore compensation claims’ has to have high quality, totally authentic and unique content that is useful, entertaining and interesting, to truly count as ‘content that is king.’ (Pressure sores is a tough one, we’ll grant you that!)
  3. The content has to be well researched and written with authority, by someone who clearly has a grasp of the subject. It has to be obvious that they know what they are talking about. Yes, they need to have access to research tools. As legal content specialists, at Aware Marketing we subscribe to Lawtel, Westlaw and a number of other subscription sites that assist us with our research and to check our facts. They are tools of the trade. They don’t make the content great, just help us, as legal content writers, get our facts right. ‘Written with authority’ means more than that to us. It means that the writer’s gravitas and complete confidence in what he or she is writing about, shine through and create a lasting impression on the reader.

In our opinion, the three components above combine to make ‘Content that is King.’ Get that right and as our first blog suggested, you will soon see some very positive results in terms of search engine ranking and super importantly, you will get prospective new clients calling and e-mailing you.

Ok is that the end of the blog then?

No, as you will be pleased (or otherwise) to read.

On the 1st August 2018, Google published something that has been colloquially called ‘the Medic Update.’ Dale Davies from our good friends at Exposure Ninja has written a blindingly good article about the update. For the purpose of this blog, let’s just say that the updates at the moment particularly affect websites that Google calls, ‘Your Money or Your Life (YMYL)’ websites. These are defined as pages that “could potentially impact the future happiness, health, financial stability, or safety of users” and they include:

  • Shopping or financial transaction pages
  • Financial information pages
  • Medical information pages
  • Legal information pages
  • News articles or public/official information pages important for having an informed citizenry

For websites that have a beneficial purpose, such as those listed above, it has long been considered that the amount of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness the domain possesses, is very important. The recent change in the guidelines brought in a significant change in that it was indicated that medical advice content must be written or produced by people or organisations with the authority to back up any claims made in the written content. The qualifications and experience should be listed on the website or around the article, by way of a bio or some similar description of the writer’s expertise. The penalty for not doing so is likely to be a fall in your website rankings and indeed Dale Davies research undertaken just after the new medical advice guideline came into force on the 1st August suggests that that was indeed the case.

Davies suggests that ‘If you are hoping to gain a user’s and Google’s trust – you’ll have to use writers who are experts on your given subject matter”, and considers that this should be taken as a ‘standard across all industries.’ To add weight to that argument it’s worth adding, that although websites offering some form of medical advice were singled out for particular attention in the guidelines, eagle eyed readers will have noticed that listed under the YMYL heading above, comes the topic of ‘Legal Information pages.’ Are they the next in line?

In Summary

  1. We believe that it is an essential component of a good piece of copywriting, that the person undertaking it speaks (from the page) to you the reader, with a writing voice that oozes knowledge and authority.
  2. The recent Google guideline updates give the impression that content writers are more and more going to be required to outline their qualifications and experience and show that they are experts in the field that they are writing about. At Aware Marketing we are well placed to satisfy the ‘shown expertise’ requirements that Google are moving towards.
  3. If you haven’t yet used Aware Marketing to write great legal content for you, then now is the time to try us out.
  4. Carl Waring of Aware Marketing is a solicitor who still holds a practising certificate.  He now though, writes legal blogs, webpages and other legal copy for lawyers. He also practised for a very full 20 years and was a partner in two firms, before setting up and running his own national, multi office solicitors’ practice which he sold in 2004. Carl has been steeped in the law from a practising, business and academic sense, for over 30 years.
  5. At Aware Marketing we only write for lawyers – we are specialist legal content writers. Legal content written for lawyers, by a lawyer. Why not try us out?

Call Carl at any time on 07368 320165 or email carl@awaremarketing.co.uk It would be great to work with you.

 

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