Making great stuff for the web is becoming more and more central to business development. Effective content assets speak to an audience at varying stages of the business development process. In other words, they supply an audience’s demand for information whether it be researching a topic or preparing to hire.

I recently came across this tweet in my feed:

I don’t typically follow many of the BigLaw twitter handles. However, I’ve been impressed with Nixon Peabody’s (and more specifically, Lauren Iacono’s) twitter usage in the past.

And clicking-through to the page we find:

The page contains a brief explanation of the HIPAAA Omnibus Rule:

On January 17, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced significant modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which greatly expands the types of entities responsible for protecting patient privacy—as well as the penalties for noncompliance.

What it might mean to their audience:

The new Privacy, Security, and Enforcement regulations, known as the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, dramatically impact the compliance obligations of health care providers and their business associates, companies with self-insured health plans, broker-dealers, and any other organization with access to individuals’ protected health information (PHI). It makes compliance a new challenge for a broad spectrum of previously non-affected companies, including business associates of covered entities and their subcontractors, patient-safety organizations, health information exchange organizations, entities offering a personal health record, and e-prescribing gateways.

While the patient now benefits from enhanced privacy rights, the companies responsible for protecting that privacy must bear additional responsibilities for compliance. In addition to increased enforcement measures, there are also new breach notification standards and larger monetary penalties for HIPAA violations.

And how Nixon Peabody might be able to assist:

Nixon Peabody’s HIPAA Compliance team can provide individual counsel on the tremendous impact of the HIPAA Omnibus Rule and will continue to offer additional resources, seminars, and alerts to help navigate these new compliance requirements.

This is really quite well-done. And while many people might look at this and say “duh, that’s obvious”, many lawyers and law firms get this wrong. From solos, all the way up to The AM Law 100.

But Nixon Peabody doesn’t stop there. They also provide a variety of content assets for readers, including:

A downloadable Compliance Checklist:

Thought Leadership/Alerts including a webinar recording and relevant alerts:

Finally, the firm provides a list of relevant events including webinars and a roundtable discussion where they answer questions about the rule.

This is what developing content assets is all about. No matter the size of your firm or the type of practice you want to have, you would be well-served to take some notes on what Nixon Peabody is doing online. This is the kind of law firm internet marketing strategy that attracts new visitors, positions the firm and its lawyers as experts and will drive new business.

A few critiques

While I strongly recommend this an example of what to do, I’d like to offer a few constructive critiques that you should think about if you intend to implement a similar content strategy.

Search Engine Optimization

While this Nixon Peabody page has the basics down, there are a few technical SEO modifications they might consider. First, let’s take a look at what they’ve done right. An un-personalized Google search for: “hipaa omnibus rule” delivers the Nixon Peabody listing:

Both the title and meta description appear properly optimized. However, they might consider including some Nixon Peabody branding in the title (I would add it to the end of the title tag). The also might consider modifying both the title and meta descriptions to “speak” to their intended audience. While “HIPAA Omnibus Rule” is certainly descriptive of the content on the page, they might consider adjusting it to speak to the people who are dealing with compliance at covered entities. And if not on this page, then somewhere else with a link back to this page.

The page also lacks rel=”publisher” and rel=”author” mark-up. Perhaps they concluded that authorship mark-up was inappropriate for this static content page, however the page really ought to have publisher mark-up.

Unfortunately, at least on my search, it appeared fourth from the bottom of the first page of results. The page could certainly benefit from some off-page PR and marketing from a search engine perspective.

I would also suggest that the page allow for more visitor interactivity. While the page contains key contact information, it might be beneficial to users to be able to participate in a discussion of these issues right on this page. Whether it be threaded comments or a moderated question & answer forum, providing visitors a way to engage with the page would be beneficial to both users, as well as, the firm.

Further, I would recommend the addition of properly optimized video content. This would enhance the page with a video snippet in search results.

For the most part, this is an excellent example of how law firms should build online assets. I encourage you to explore additional areas of Nixon Peabody’s site for inspiration in marketing your own firm online.