Content is the foundation of any online legal marketing strategy. If your content is strong, your foundation is strong. And that’s exactly what you want to be building the rest of your strategy on top of. But “content for the sake of content” isn’t enough.
The content you write and create for your law firm’s website needs to have purpose, and it needs to meet some minimum requirements for quality and engagement.
So, what kinds of things really make your legal website content effective? Below, let’s talk about the 8 elements you’ll find in every piece of truly successful content.
1. Your Content Sticks to Ethical SEO Tactics.
Applying too much search engine optimization (SEO) to your content can seriously hurt your search engine rankings. Applying too little optimization to your content can, too. So, it’s important that you get the balance just right.
I think the initial impulse for every lawyer is to go a little overboard with optimization. But you have to think about your readers—not Google—if your goal is more clients and conversions. If every blog post, FAQ, or article is jammed full of clunky keywords, your potential clients will notice. It makes the content tough to read. It looks manipulative and spammy. And, ultimately, it doesn’t build trust or motivate readers to put their sensitive legal issues into your hands.
On the flipside, though, under-optimized content is hard to find in search. Google doesn’t understand what the page is about, and it can’t connect searchers with your content.
So, how do you strike the right balance? The trick is to stick to one keyword focus per piece of content you write, and then use a mix of short and long-tail variations that sound natural in context. The optimization should be nearly invisible to your readers, while still showing Google that your content clearly answers the questions its searchers are asking.
2. Your Content Answers Questions and Addresses Common Concerns.
And, speaking of answering questions, that’s really where you want your content shine. Most people are going to find you online because they have legal questions or concerns that they’ve typed into Google Search. So, you want the bulk of your content laser-focused on addressing those concerns. It should be relevant to your potential clients’ needs, and it should offer a kind of “mini education” on that topic.
You want people to see your content and think, “Wow…that really answered my questions and showed me what to do next.”
3. Your Content is Well Written and Easy to Understand.
All your content should be written in clear, easy-to-understand language. Leave your jargon at home. Forget about the things that only interest other lawyers. Get an editor to make sure everything is perfect before you post.
Most of your clients aren’t going to be impressed with complicated terms, glaring typos, confusing legalese, or rambling tangents!
So, you have to make sure you’re always writing as though you’re talking with a client. What basics are you trying to communicate? What’s the most important takeaway? What examples can you use that will help them understand complex or unfamiliar ideas? How do they talk about their problems in their own words?
If you’re the attorney that explains what they need to know in language they understand, you’re going to be at the top of their list when they’re ready to hire someone.
This is why I have all our clients work through the “perfect client exercise.” When you know exactly who you’re trying to attract to your firm, it gets really easy to create content and campaigns that really speak to them.
4. Your Content Reflects the Personality and Branding of Your Law Firm.
Generic content doesn’t work in the digital world! Your website content is your chance to give potential clients a taste of your firm’s personality. It’s an opportunity to show them what defines you and what makes you stand out from your competitors.
And it’s the best way to create a cohesive brand that people will remember when they need help.
So, if you’ve branded yourself as a hometown firm, your content will be most effective when it’s written in a more casual tone and focuses on local events and issues. If you’ve branded yourself as a bike accident attorney, your content will be most effective when it speaks in “insider” language that’s familiar to cyclists.
Ultimately, you want your content to be a natural extension of your brand. When people read it, they should know that they’re hearing it from you—not just from some random law firm on the internet. Don’t be afraid to “niche” yourself and let your personality shine through when you write!
People always prefer to work with people they like, so go ahead and give them an idea of who you are and what to expect when they meet with you. Building those kinds of bridges is exactly what effective legal content should do.
5. Your Content Funnels Readers Toward Conversion.
Your content shouldn’t just answer questions, entertain, or interest your potential clients. To be effective, it also needs to funnel readers toward conversion. There are a few ways to do this, but let’s focus on the two most obvious: internal linking and calls to action.
You don’t want to use too many links in your website content, but you do want to link it to the main practice area page it fits under, as well as relevant content that helps readers understand more about the topic. For example, you can see that this page links to a practice area right at the start, and it also includes links that help explain some terms you might not be familiar with. This kind of linking works to funnel readers toward more and more relevant content, including pages where they can take action on their concerns. It also helps Google understand how your content is organized so it can create better matches with searchers.
Along with a smart linking structure, you also want your content to feature calls to action. A call to action asks readers to reach out to you, download an offer, or take the next relevant step—and it shows them exactly how and where to do it. So, for example, each of your blog posts could include a little text somewhere in the body that encourages the reader to schedule a consultation with you or give your firm a call.
Remember, the whole reason you create content for your website is to get more cases and clients for your law firm. You don’t have to beg, plead, or harass people to take the next step—but you do need to ask them to reach out and show them how to get there!
6. Your Content Is Fresh and Updated Regularly.
Has it been months (or years) since you’ve added new content to your website? I hope not because this is where too many law firms end up wrecking their content marketing.
Google wants to connect searchers with information that is relevant, fresh, and up to date. Readers want to see something new when they visit, and they want to know that they’re getting the most current information available. So, for both Google and your readers, the real value is in content that is fresh and consistent.
We typically recommend that you release content on a regular schedule, whether that’s once a week or twice a month. And we also recommend that you look over your older content once or twice a year to update anything that’s gone stale or is no longer helpful.
The absolute best way to get on top of this is to plan ahead. So, find out how to create a content strategy and get yourself on track.
7. Your Content Offers Variety.
People visit your website at all kinds of different stages in their client journey. Some will be looking for a quick answer in a FAQ and a phone number to call. Others will be looking for long-form, deep-dive articles that help them clarify their needs and make sense of their situation. And some may just want to get to know you, your style, and your law firm a little better.
That’s why it’s so important to offer a variety of content. Each type of content is going to be the exact right match for someone visiting your website. For example, blogs and reports educate. Videos are great for mobile users. FAQs and infographics offer snackable facts, and case results offer assurance that you’ve been successful for other clients in the past. If you vary the types of content you produce, you give your potential clients the best opportunity to engage with you in the ways that work best for them and their needs.
As a lawyer, you should be ready to meet people at the start of their journey, at the end, and everywhere in between. It’s about being present in that individual’s “micro moment” and making the kind of connection that they remember.
If your content covers all the bases—from the short and sweet to the deeply educational—you’ll build their trust in your expertise and show them that you’re the right lawyer for their needs.
8. Your Content Engages Your Audience.
The very best legal website content reaches out to its audience and starts a conversation. So, along with content that answers questions, work on a few pieces of content that motivate people to get involved in the conversation.
Maintaining a blog on your website, sending a law firm newsletter, and posting regularly on social media are great ways to accomplish this. Post interesting or surprising content. Ask people what they think about an event or topic. Encourage them to comment or share your post with their friends and family.
Make sure you also respond to comments and keep the conversation going! While this kind of content might not always drive a lot of organic traffic from search, it does humanize you and build relationships with your audience. And it’s that sense of connection that turns readers into new clients for your firm.
Don’t Roll the Dice! Take Control of Your Legal Website Content
Any content you produce might attract traffic and leads to your law firm. And you could just “roll the dice” while you hope for the best. However, smart marketing is about taking control of your strategy and taking the guesswork out of your success. The more you create your online content with purpose, the better your results will be.
That’s a big part of the reason why so many law firm choose to hire professional writers to produce their website content. Our law firm content writers create impressive content for law firms all over the nation every day, and they’re only a click away if you’re ready to take the work off your plate (while still enjoying the results).
Are You A Lawyer Or podiatrist Who Wants To Learn How Solid Content Can Earn You More Clients?
If you are seeking a trusted, authoriative partner to help you write content that not only attracts but actually converts into clients, Foster Web Marketing is here to help. Contact us online or call our office directly at 866.497.6199 to schedule your free consultation. We have been helping clients throughout the United States and internationally since 1998 are confident we can help you not only reach, but exceed your goals.