If you use DSS to update your website, you’ve probably already noticed that there are several different types of content you can post. These categories of content—ranging from “library articles” to the content on your homepage—are meant to help you both organize and focus the information you make available for your readers.
Unfortunately, having the ability to post so many different kinds of content isn’t helpful if you aren’t sure how to use them or what to write. If you’re feeling confused, here’s a little direction to help you understand the purpose of the different kinds of pages on your website and the best practices for writing them.
You home page is the very first page that many of your potential clients will see, which means it’s probably the most important page on your site. Although it should provide information and offer an introduction of your business and services, don’t make it all about you. The main purpose of your home page is really to highlight the resources you offer and get your audience to dig deeper. To that end, your home page should include:
- Your contact information
- A brief overview of who you are, what you do, and why it matters
- The types of problems you can help with
- Basic information with pointers to more in-depth information
- Headers that address common concerns and avoid using a bunch of jargon
- Calls to action that encourage readers to explore the site further or reach out to you
Don’t overwhelm your audience by telling potential clients everything you want to say at once. Keep your home page clean and concise, and focus on using it as a way to funnel readers to the more specific pages they’re really looking for and the information most relevant to them.
Practice Area Pages
Practice area pages—also called service area pages—help to break down your overall practice into easily digestible “chunks” that help clients find the information that best fits their needs. For example, a personal injury attorney might break down his or her work into practice areas like “car accidents,” “truck accidents,” and “premises liability.” Think about the “themes” of the majority of cases you take, as well as the types of cases you’d like to attract. Practice area pages should absolutely be the most authoritative pages on your website about each of your practice areas. They should provide an overview of the practice area, answer the most immediate questions potential clients might have, and explain why you might be a good fit for their cases. It should help both search engines and searchers understand exactly what you offer.
A practice area page should include…
- Well-written text that engages and resonates with the reader
- General information that is relevant to a potential client who is facing the kinds of problems the service area covers
- Instructions on how and where to get more information
- Subheadings and bulleted lists that make the page easy to read
- A call-to-action with your contact information to encourage readers to reach out
- Information about your free book, complimentary initial consultation, or other offers
Above all, you should always write with the potential clients in mind. Think about why they’re searching for your services, the kinds of questions they have, and what they’re really looking for when they click on a specific practice area. By putting their needs first in your content, you can start building trust and helping them get the answers they’re looking for before they ever walk in your door.
Library Articles provide readers with “evergreen” content—content that is relevant to your business, barely changes over time (so it is always relevant to your readers), or zeroes in on specific aspects of a practice area. Library articles should serve as foundational pieces that provide informed and well-developed facts, ideas, or opinions on subjects relevant to your practice areas. The tone for these pieces should be professional and educational, and they should provide your reader with detailed, well-researched information. When writing a library article, keep the following things in mind:
- Is this information useful to your reader?
- Is the information clear? Did you properly outline your thoughts?
- Is your tone friendly, approachable, and loaded with solid advice?
Of course, for most practice areas, there is a ton of information you can share. To help you get started, here are some examples of library article topic ideas:
- “How We Determine the Value of a Serious Car Accident Case”
- “Types of Surgical Errors and How to Protect Yourself”
- “Key Elements Necessary to Prove Liability in Product Liability Cases”
- “How the Car Accident Claims Process Works”
Blogs cover almost any topic related to your business, from news to tips to changing laws and policies. You can use a list format, recount a news story, or offer other quick thoughts on a topic—it’s all up to you.
The main purpose of writing a blog is to deliver high-level information without getting too detailed or being overly formal. The tone for these pieces should be helpful, educational, and intriguing. In some cases, you can even be laid-back and witty—it’s always good to let your personality shine through. It makes you more approachable to your reader and can be the starting point for relationship building.
You have a lot more room for creativity in blog posts, but it’s still a good idea to make sure what you’re writing is relevant to your readers. Here are some good examples of blog topic ideas:
- “Three Vital Questions to Ask After a Car Accident”
- “Four Tips for Preventing Texting and Driving Accidents”
- “The Debate in Texas Over Distracted Driving Laws”
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provide readers with answers to the most common questions surrounding your industry, firm, or practice areas. By answering the questions your clients are asking on a frequent basis, you can establish yourself as an authority on the subject and, in turn, gain the trust of your readers. Offering the answers to common questions on your website can also save you a lot of time.
In order to be effective, FAQs must be accurate, concise, easy to read, and relatable to your audience. FAQs are the perfect way to provide readers with an abundance of information in a meaningful way. They provide your readers with quick access to information relevant to a problem they may be facing or to general questions they have.
Here are some examples of FAQ topic ideas:
- Why should I hire an attorney to handle my case?
- How much does it cost to hire an attorney?
- How long do I have to file a car accident lawsuit in California?
- How much is my case worth?
A case result highlights your expertise by showing the types of real-life problems your clients face and how you solved those problems. When done right, case results can inspire confidence in your readers and give them a better idea of the kinds of results you could get for them. Your transparency will also increase the trust your potential client has in you—and trust is one of the most important factors in conversion rate optimization. Writing great case results attracts more qualified leads by drawing in prospects who identify with the story you tell.
Make sure that you choose the right cases to highlight. One of the best ways to do this is to think about the kinds of cases you already handle and the kinds of cases you’re trying to attract. Use that as a guide to choose a few cases where you obtained an excellent outcome for the client, and then tell those stories. Make sure you explain:
- What happened
- What injuries or issues were involved
- How the client was affected
- What prompted the client to reach out for help
- Why the client chose you
- How you were able to help
- The outcome of the case
When possible, add specific details that help tell the story—and make sure that you confirm the use of any personal information. You can always list the award amount as “confidential” if needed, and it’s fine to avoid the use of client names or other identifying information. If your clients are comfortable doing so, this can also be a great time to gather testimonials, which you might even consider linking to the applicable case result.
When writing case results, make sure that the title describes what the reader will see on the page. Some examples of effective case result titles include:
- “Lawyer Helps to Right an Appendectomy Surgery Gone Wrong”
- “Pedestrian Hit by Drunk Driver Compensated for Injuries”
- “Man Walks Without Pain After Hammertoe Surgery”
- “Hearing Aid Allows Woman to Enjoy Time With Family”
- “Woman Receives $1.2 Million for Head-On Collision”
Still Not Sure How to Use Your Content Effectively? We Can Help!
Filling your website with the kinds of informative, engaging content potential clients are looking for can be a big job, but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. If you would like more information about writing effective website content, or if you’d like to learn more about the writing services we offer, please call Foster Web Marketing at 888-886-0939 to talk to one of our marketing experts today.