Blogging for Immigration Lawyers: Get Green

Blogging for immigration lawyer is a must. This post is dedicated to my fellow immigration lawyers and immigration practitioners who are increasingly relying on the internet to find prospective clients. These days most of us in one way or the other need to be online to maintain, grow and expand our reach. So I just wanted to share some wisdom I obtained about what I consider to be the “best practices” these days for blogging. Some of you already blog so you are familiar with how it works generally.

Google Has Changed and So Should You

Since Google has updated their search algorithms or search criteria over the last year and a half (for the techies these updates are known as “Penguin” and “Panda”), the game has really changed. In the past, you could write a blog, stuff it with keywords like “immigration lawyer”,  “Canada visas“, “US visas” and be savvy about what headings you used so that the search engines can find it and rank it .The formula would be:  you would write about stuff you sell, people would find it and call or email you. Worked brilliantly and worked for me for many years. Well those days are over folks.

Yes it’s still important to write blogs, keeping keywords in mind but unless your site already has domain authority, that is, is trusted by Google, you will have a hard time attracting visitors. And even if you write posts with what is called “long tail” topics which are designed to attract searchers who enter longer search phases, Google won’t just rank your blog. In other words, just because your post is unique and doesn’t compete with more popular search terms, does not mean that it will get found.

How to Attract Visitors to Your Immigration Blogs: Get Green

If you really want to attract visitors these days, you will have to write what is known as “evergreen content“. Like Evergreen trees which stay green even in the harshest of climates, evergreen content has online staying power. And in the world of search engines what that means is that such content attracts others who read your stuff, love it and link to it. Having an evergreen blog means that even when Google updates its search algorithms or criteria, your blog should “keep its leaves” and still get found.

What About Links?

You have undoubtably heard about linking and getting links. In the “old days” there were effective techniques for getting links to your content which I won’t go into here. But these days, the idea of “link building” really is a thing of the past–at least in the old way of doing it. Google never wanted Search Engine Marketers (SEM) to manually build links in the first place. They wanted your content to be linked to “naturally” by people who genuinely liked your stuff. A link is like a vote-a vote for your content, and Google wanted a fair election where sites and blogs got links because people liked them and not because people paid SEMrs to get links. Well, now Google more or less has got its way. Their search criteria is so sophisticated now that SEMrs really have to re-think how to get their clients content found on the search engines.

Here Are the Take-Aways

So what I have learned is that in the world of post-Google updates, the best practices for getting your content found is as follows:

1. It’s about quality not quantity: I used to post a blog a day. That worked for me as Google saw that I had an active site. My site had authority and therefore my posts got ranked. But now things have changed. It really is not necessary to post that often. 2X or 3X a week is fine. But what about quality? This is where the BIG difference lies. In the past, I could post a 400 to 500 word blog about anything, throw in some keywords and headings and voila! But now, that won’t cut it.  Now you have to write what are called “Epic Posts”

2. Epic Posts are posts that are authoritative: very high quality pieces which attract others, even your competitors. These posts are often around 800 plus words in length, they include things like infographics, embedded videos, charts, cool stats and even outbound links to other helpful related sites. These are what are considered evergreen blogs. These blogs take a LOT more time to write but if you do it correctly, they will pay off.

Here Are Some Examples of Evergreen Blogs

This one is from a Search Engine Marketer and friend, Matthew Hunt who runs Small Business Online Coach. I have been working with Matthew for years now and he has taught me so much about the internet (including evergreen blog posts)

Here is another one from a SEMer who is well known (These guys are a great marketing resource for any business) Note the multi-media aspect to these blogs. This is good because it allows different forms of engagement beyond just text.

3. The final tip I will share is: get social and share. For effective “link bate” blogs,  you should not just syndicate your stuff on your Facebook or Linked In pages, but reach out and invite and network with people and businesses who you think will benefit from your content. Example: In the immigration field I can reach out to companies that are involved in relocation and write about them, interview them, share with them. This is an awesome way to expand your network and get your post shared by others and their clients who may become your clients.

The point of all this is that I think that taking the “assembly line” approach to blogging is a thing of the past. Rather, now it’s about writing really creative, high quality content that makes you stand out, that attracts people to you and who will be inspired to naturally link to you. This is what Google wants.

Here is another helpful site that that talks about epic blogging.

I hope this has been helpful. A lot to digest but I think if you evergreen your blogs, you will get the search traffic you deserve. And of course, I hope this post makes it to “evergreen status”. Only you reading this will decide.

Good luck!

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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