You’ve Got Questions About Web Content. We’ve Got Answers!
Ask and ye shall receive! Here are the answers to the questions we get asked the most about content. Hopefully they answer some of the questions weighing on your mind! But if you’ve got a question that we didn’t answer here, please feel free to fill out the contact form on this page or call us at 888-886-0939.
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How can I get more people to read my attorney website content?
No matter how good your law firm’s website looks, it is almost useless if visitors aren’t sticking around to read and view what you have to say. So, it’s important to look beyond an attractive design and into something a little deeper.
The truth is that lots of lawyers have trouble getting people to read the articles, blogs, FAQs, and other posts on their websites. Even if they’re able to attract great traffic to a page, an analysis of their performance data will often show worrying signs, like:
- People quickly “bounce” away once they’ve landed on a content page.
- People don’t dig deeper or visit other pages on your website while they’re there.
- People don’t engage with, comment on, or respond to the content you post.
- People aren’t motivated to call you or request more information when they’re done.
If you want to attract more potential clients with your attorney website content and encourage them to read more, your content needs to go a little above and beyond. So, as you write and post new content, make sure you’re ticking all the boxes below.
1. Optimize Your Content
People can’t read your attorney website content if they can’t find it! So, if you want to attract more readers to the content you write, you have to optimize that content for search. This is basic stuff for digital marketing—and it’s something that you don’t necessarily have to write a lot of fresh content to accomplish.
For example, find out how to perform a content audit to get on top of old articles on your website.
The best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) change all the time. However, at its most basic, the idea is to seed relevant keywords in your content and give search engines all the other signals they need to match related queries to your content.
In the past, lawyers would “stuff” their content with keywords, often to the point that it was awkward to read or understand. Now, the focus is on incorporating keywords naturally in your content, headlines, page titles, and section headers—and, really, you should stick to one keyword (or a handful of very similar keywords) per page to avoid confusion.
Don’t sweat it too much, though. If you’re writing truly relevant content, then it’s likely that those keywords will almost put themselves into what you write!
Of course, SEO is about more than keywords. There are elements of your website’s code that have an impact. How your content pages link together has an impact. Once you start following the thread of content optimization, there can be a lot to unravel.
So much so that optimizing content often feels more like an art than a science!
While we could try to cover every single thing you need to know RIGHT NOW to optimize your content to attract, convert, and retain more readers, this is really an area where you want some advice from a current expert. The best blend of keywords and optimization strategies for your law firm is very unique, and it’s also very difficult to determine on your own.
There’s a lot of bad, outdated advice out there. So, don’t be afraid to get an expert opinion before you do it yourself. A bad optimization strategy can drive away readers and get you in trouble with search engines—exactly the opposite of what you want to accomplish.
Need a hand getting your on-page optimization just right? Learn more about our SEO services for lawyers.
However, it’s not necessarily all about keywords and SEO. There are lots of ways to optimize and promote your content to get it in front of more readers. Have we piqued your interest? Take a few minutes to find out how to promote your website content and drive more traffic.
2. Create Content Your Potential Clients WANT to Read
It’s not really about attracting just any reader—you want to attract readers that are also potential clients. So, it only makes sense that your content should be relevant and meaningful to the type of client you’d like to attract.
This sounds pretty simple, but hear us out before you rush on to the next section. This is where SO MUCH attorney website content goes wrong.
People use search engines because they want answers and information. When they type something into the search bar, they want the results they see to match their question and give them the substantive answers they need in that moment.
Google talks a lot about catering to the “micro-moment,” and we think that’s a great focus for your content strategy. What questions are people asking Google just before they hire a lawyer? What answers do people need to make a decision about their legal situations? What kinds of search terms do YOU use when you have a question? Those are the kinds of thoughts that should be guiding your content strategy.
After all, if you want readers, you have to produce content those readers want to read! And you can’t drown them with jargon—it has to be content they can understand!
If you’re only interested in seeding keywords to “game” readers into clicking onto your site, then you’re playing this game all wrong. You won’t fool anyone with thin content that doesn’t offer any value, and your potential readers will know it the second they visit your page.
3. Update the Content on Your Attorney Website Regularly
We wager that about half of what makes the internet so great is that it allows access to constantly fresh, constantly updated content. If nothing on the internet had been updated in all the time it’s been in our lives, very few people would have any reason at all to use it in 2020!
Of course, that’s an extreme example, but freshness does matter. If people visit your website and only see content from a few years ago, they’ll notice—and they’ll wonder if you’re still in business. If people are led astray by outdated answers in your content, they won’t come back the next time they have questions. Instead, they’ll turn to someone that can give them current information.
Even Google, when determining your rankings, looks at how often you add new stuff and update old stuff. So, if you think content can be a “one and done” deal, you’re dead wrong.
Fresh content gives people a reason to keep coming back to your attorney website and reading your content. It lets them know that you are engaged and care about giving them the answers and information they need. It shows search engines that your website is fresh, and it keeps your content working in harmony with your current campaigns, messages, and services.
In short, keeping your content fresh is all benefit, with no downsides!
Not sure what “regular” means here? Have questions about how much is really enough? Find out how often you should update your attorney website content.
4. Edit All Content Before You Post
No matter how informative or interesting your content is, it WILL drive away readers if it’s full of misspelled words and formatting errors.
Poor grammar and bad formatting are things that most users of your law firm’s website will associate with spam, scams, and scummy ads. As a result, readers will tend to trust you less, and they probably won’t put in the time to decipher what you were really trying to say.
So, don’t sow that seed of doubt with your visitors. Always edit and proofread all the content that’s posted on your website. Look at the live page after you’ve posted it to make sure that everything looks right, every time. If you notice a lot of people bouncing away from what should be a great page, pull it up to look for broken images, confusing grammar, or other little “oopsies” that drive people away.
If you have a lot of old content on your website that could use a once-over, don’t be afraid to go back and edit or correct it now. Just like we said in the section above, freshness matters—even if it’s just a fresh coat of paint. Find out how to make great content look even better.
5. Offer Suggestions for the Next Move
Have you ever run into a great article somewhere online—only to never visit that site again? There are a lot of choices out there, so your piece of great content needs to also be the “hook” that draws readers further into your website and brand.
As you write new content, think of ways that you can link to other content on your site. For example, you might link to a blog post that clarifies a term you’re using. You might suggest some articles for further reading. You might show other recent posts in a sidebar or panel. You might illustrate a topic by linking it to a related video or case result.
When you can connect each piece of content you write to other relevant content on your site, you keep readers engaged longer. They get more familiar with your brand and personality, and they start building a sense of trust in your authority on legal topics. And, when you make it easy for them, more people will take that step from one-time reader to brand follower.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to add a “call to action” to every page of content you post. People are often reading content on attorney websites because they have questions about their own legal issues. It’s helpful to the reader—and just good customer service—to let them know how to call you, contact you, or request more information if they liked the content they read.
This is important because, in the end, it’s not just readers you want—it’s readers that become new cases and clients.
Not sure what a call to action is or how to use it? Get some answers and find out how to avoid the 4 biggest mistakes lawyers make with calls to action.
Great Content Is the Foundation of an Effective Law Firm Marketing Strategy
Attracting tons of readers to your online content is tough, but it’s really just about giving them what they want and making sure they can find it. And, if you’re successful, you’ll be rewarded with more traffic, more leads, more interest in your brand, and—ideally—more cases and clients for your law firm.
Fresh, relevant content is the cornerstone of some of the most effective law firm marketing strategies out there. If you ignore it, or if you cut corners, it’s easy to get trampled by competitors that are on top of it.
Need a hand getting the upper hand over your attorney website content? Reach out to FWM at 888.886.0939 to talk about our law firm content services.
Can I cut and paste content from other sources to my attorney website?
No! This is a huge problem with attorney websites—and with the greater Internet at large!
There are several big reasons that you should never, ever put duplicate content on your website—either content you find on other websites or content you’re recycling from your own pages.
We’ll get into both issues below, but let’s start with why you should leave other sources’ content right where you found it.
NEVER Cut Content From Other Websites and Paste It Into Yours
Consistently producing engaging, original website content—for months and years on end—can be a little overwhelming at times. It’s tempting to find a shortcut, and there’s no lack of legal content on the Web. So, you might think that all that content out there is ripe for the picking.
However, before you click “cut” and paste someone else’s content to your law firm’s website, here are some reasons to stop RIGHT NOW before you mess up big time:
- You’re probably stealing. Taking content from other pages is not an ethical move—that content was researched and written by someone else. Plagiarizing isn’t good for business or, we would argue, in general. If you’re found out, you can get in trouble with the people you took it from. You can wreck your reputation with potential clients really fast. It looks TERRIBLE for a lawyer to use another lawyer’s content—or a doctor to use another doctor’s content. It’s just not worth the risk of doing that much damage to your brand and reputation!
- You are gravely harming your SEO. Google and other search engines can spot duplicate copy from a mile away—and they do not like finding it. Search engines want original content. If you steal someone else’s content to post on your own website, the search engine crawlers will notice that there is more than one copy of the same (or very similar) content out there. It’s usually not an official penalty because search engines can’t determine who owns the content. However, it can still severely impact your search rankings and water down the visibility for both your website and the website you swiped it from. It can also wreak havoc on your backlinks and other authority indicators, creating a “ripple effect” that drags the rest of your site down with it.
- You could be passing on bad information. Blindly using content means losing control over what you’re posting. If you create content yourself or hire others, you can be sure that you are providing accurate information to potential clients. You have control over the “voice” of your brand. You have control over what topics you cover. Ultimately, you wouldn’t let a stranger on the Internet run your business, so don’t let them write your content, either. You, your team, and your hired writers should be the only source of YOUR content.
- You want to give your readers unique content. The success of your website depends on your ability to stand out from the crowd. If you are using other people’s tired, generic material, then you’re not giving your visitors anything new. People come to your website because they’re looking for information they can trust—and, ultimately, for an attorney they can trust with their sensitive legal issues. Every time you try to pass off the same, boring stuff everyone else is doing, you’ve missed an opportunity to create a buzz and be the trusted authority.
Having trouble coming up with your own ideas for unique content? Check out these resources to brush up on your skills:
- How to write “viral” content
- How to choose topics for online content
- How to develop a digital content strategy
Of course, if you really run into something unique that you want to share with your visitors, there’s nothing wrong with quoting that content with appropriate attributions, or even sharing the link on social media. Just be sure you’re linking to the original site and author, not claiming it as your own!
NEVER Put Multiple Copies of Your Own Content on Your Website
The content on your website is yours, so you can do what you want with it! Right? This is the other issue we see with cut-and-paste content on websites.
Although you and your team created the original content, you still need to be careful about how you use and copy it. You can’t really “steal” from yourself, and hopefully, you’ve long ago checked the original content for accuracy. However, the other two issues we talked about above still apply in this case:
- Your SEO. Everything we said above about this applies here, only it’s even worse because you’ll be diluting the power of both the copy of the content and your own original. It’s even obvious that you did it to yourself. It’s kind of like shooting yourself in the foot—twice.
- Your readers. Your visitors will notice if all your blog posts seem to sound the same or cover the same information. It’s a waste of your time and theirs! A better alternative is to combine all that similar content into a big, comprehensive article—or maybe even a series of shorter articles that really hone in on different sub-topics and details. Remember, you always want to aim for content that is helpful to your “perfect clients” and original enough to hold their attention. Writing fewer, higher-quality pieces is always going to be better for your business than stealing content to keep up an unrealistic pace.
Keep in mind that the content doesn’t even have to be an “exact” match to trigger these issues! So, if you have multiple copies of the same or similar content on your website, it’s time to clean it up.
Are you feeling so overwhelmed by content production for your website that you’re thinking about stooping low? Don’t make that mistake. FWM’s incredible team of content writers and strategists has you covered. Learn more about our content writing services, or give us a call at 888.886.0939.
Can great calls to action motivate more conversions?
A lot of attorneys and doctors find it easy to attract traffic and visibility with their marketing. Conversion, though, is often a different story. Without a little prompting or direction, most people won’t reach out to your business on their own. They may enjoy your website. They may read your email and direct mail. They may even see your ads.
But, if they don’t know what to do next, they probably won’t do anything at all.
So, how do you get the people—especially the “perfect clients”—you’ve attracted to your website and marketing materials to convert into contacts and clients? The answer is simple: just ask them with a great call to action!
What Is a Call to Action (CTA)?
In marketing terms, a call to action (CTA) is what we call any kind of invitation for your visitor to take the next step. You might say it out loud in a video or write it into your content—if it asks your reader, viewer, or visitor to do something, then it’s a call to action.
The whole idea of the CTA is to encourage visitors, readers, or viewers to make a move toward building a relationship with your business. That can be as simple as “click here,” “let us hear from you,” or posting your office phone number. It can also be as direct as “schedule an appointment” or “fill out our contact form.”
Hard or soft, there are all kinds of CTAs out there. But, if you really want to push that conversion power, you’ll find that how you choose and handle your CTAs is a big part of it.
What Does an Effective CTA Look Like?
The best calls to action are tailored to the goal you want to accomplish and what will be most relevant to readers or viewers. For example, depending on your goals, an effective CTA might ask people to:
- Call your office
- Schedule a consultation
- Fill out a contact form on your website
- Subscribe to your newsletter
- Share a story or leave a comment
- Download your free book
- Follow you on social media
- Chat with an online representative
- Click through to a relevant landing page on your website
- Sign up for an event
- Take a quiz
- Enter a contest
- Rate or review your business
And the list goes on! Essentially, a good CTA matches your goals and message, while giving people a clear idea of what the next step is and how to get there.
Keep in mind that an effective CTA needs to make sense where and when people see it. For example, it probably doesn’t make sense to ask people to visit your estate planning page in a video about personal injury insurance. And it doesn’t make a lot of sense to ask people to download your book about child custody laws in a blog about work injuries. If you want people to contribute to your goals, you need to draw a clear connection between the content that attracted them to you and the step you’re asking them to take.
Where Should I Use Calls to Action in My Marketing Materials?
You should include a call to action in nearly all your marketing materials, including:
- Your homepage and landing pages. Your website design should include prominent contact information, contact forms, and other ways to skip straight to the action. However, you should reinforce your CTAs in the text on the page, too. Remember, this isn’t about shouting, “Buy, buy, buy!” You should naturally connect each CTA with the potential clients’ needs and concerns.
- Individual content pages on your website. For your blogs, FAQs, and other written content, you don’t have to always stick the CTA at the end. Try to incorporate CTAs where they make natural sense in the text, then reinforce the same CTA at the end.
- Videos. Videos are great because you can just ask out loud for viewers to contact you. This works even better with overlay text on the screen that can show your name, phone number, and web address.
- Emails and newsletters. Your contact list might love your emails and email newsletters. However, the work you put into them is going to waste if you don’t tell your readers how to learn more, what to do now, or how to contact your business.
- Books, guides, and other print materials. People often get around to reading print materials hours or days after they request or receive them. This is why it’s so important to include your contact information, remind readers of what you do, and invite them to take action, even in books and direct mail.
- Ads. This should be a no-brainer! You always want to get the very most out of your paid advertising, so calls to action are essential. CTAs in your ads need to be extra focused on your goals and highly compelling to your target audience, whether they see them online, on tv, or in print.
- Directories and profiles. Some directories and local profiles allow you to link back to your website or include text or video about your business. This is great for driving people back to your business and your brand, but you always want to make sure that you’re following the profile rules for each site.
- Contact forms and stylized buttons. Built-in elements, like customized contact forms and stylized buttons, can really catch the eye, so try to include customized text that makes it extra enticing to take action.
Don’t try to confuse people with too many CTAs in one place. Instead, focus on your goals for each page or campaign. For example, having several different CTAs on your homepage makes sense and can move people toward the information that is most relevant to them. On an AdWords landing page, though, you will want to drive visitors toward a single, clear CTA.
It’s also very important that you don’t use the exact same CTA all the time. It’s easy to just add your phone number in and ask people to call, but it’s much better to mix it up with invitations to download your book, use your contact form, subscribe to your newsletter, etc. You should never cut and paste CTAs from old content into your new content, either. Instead, try to phrase what you’re asking readers to do a little differently each time. CTAs work best when they’re fresh, not stale and repetitive.
While getting tons of web traffic is great, the real, final purpose of your website is to connect with great new clients. Does your lawyer website lack strong calls to action? Are you having trouble turning visitors and viewers into contacts and clients?
You can get more information about the performance of your current website—and how to improve it—by requesting an FWM website analysis with our team or calling us at 888.886.0939. Just let us know that you’re especially interested in improving your CTAs and conversions!
How do I properly optimize images for attorney websites?
Great images draw the eye and bring your website content to life for your potential clients. Using them effectively, though, is not as simple as choosing great images and adding those images to your website.
You also need to optimize your website’s images so that they are accessible to users, understood by search engines, and ready to be a part of an engaging online experience for your perfect clients.
Need help whipping your images into shape? Below, you’ll find our best tips for optimizing images for your law firm’s website.
Optimization Starts With the Names of Your Image Files
You should always optimize your images with descriptive files names, including little touches that make those file names play nicely with your website.
Image file names are typically NOT the place to target high-level, vanity keywords. Instead, you should stick to short, simple descriptions of what the images show.
That being said, though, the photographs on your bio pages can be the limited exception to this rule. For example, if you want to name your bio photo “des-moines-personal-injury-attorney-carmen-sandiego.jpg” instead of “carmen-sandiego.jpg,” that is acceptable because it still appropriately identifies the subject of the picture.
We also recommend that you always use dashes between the words in your image file names. Spaces in filenames aren’t always handled well when they’re uploaded, and you can sometimes see some crazy characters, like this:
Those “%20”s replace the spaces and make a mess of the filename in the URL. When you instead use dashes in your file names, there are no spaces to worry about.
It might seem like a lot of concern over something small, but you and your users get a lot out of the few extra steps it takes to name image files appropriately.
Need some concrete examples? Take a look at this picture:
Let’s say that we have three options for naming this image file:
Example A, “img-377863702.jpg,” is a terrible file name, from an optimization standpoint. It gives no information about the file and doesn’t help anyone understand what it contains.
Example B, “san-antonio-medical-malpractice-attorney.jpg,” is an unacceptable file name. Again, it does not help anyone understand what the image file contains, and it adds salt to the wound by rudely stuffing keywords where they do not belong.
Example C, “medical-patient-in-hospital-bed.jpg,” is a good file name and the best choice of the three. It describes exactly what is in the image, and it does not try to shove keywords in your face. Imagine, too, how much easier it is to find and use this image if you download it or want to use it again later! You know what to expect from the image before you even open the file or see a thumbnail.
Compress Large Images to Retain Quality and Protect Load Speeds
If your site loads quickly, that’s a good thing. Google likes fast sites, and so do your site’s visitors. That is why you may have to do a little balancing act with the images you use.
Few things slow down page load times like humongous image files, particularly huge image files that have to be shrunk to a small display size on the page.
You may think you’re doing the right thing by using the 4MB, 2080x4056 pixel version of your photo. However, that huge image is going to considerably hamper how quickly your page loads, and you might be shrinking it to a 200x300 pixel image anyway to fit the layout of the page.
Fortunately, you can quickly and easily compress an image (while retaining its original quality!) to reduce the file size of your image. I like to use TinyPNG, though JPEGmini (notice a trend?) is also a fine option for fast, free, in-browser image compression. Simply drag and drop your image. It will be compressed, and you can download your new, smaller file. This compressed file is the one you should upload to your site.
Keep in mind that, along with the size of the image file, the size of your image as displayed on your site matters. If it is too small, it lacks visual effect and can be hard to understand. If it is too big, it can mess up the text formatting on the page and become a distraction. For example, an image that is over 500 pixels wide is so big that it will cause problems with the way your website displays. As an example of an image that is too small, here is our image from above shrunk by half:
Are you squinting to figure out what is happening in this picture? Does the smaller picture have the same visual impact as the larger version of the image? An image’s display size can make a surprisingly big difference!
Use Alt Text to Help Search Engines and Screen Readers Understand Your Images
“Alt text” is a text description of an image that is added to your page code with the image file. Alt text helps users with visual impairments, users using screen readers, and search engine crawlers understand what the picture should show, even though they may not “see” the image directly.
Alt text can also help visitors understand what they should be seeing in the event of technical difficulties that prevent images from load properly on the page.
Like image file names, you want your alt tags to be short, simple, and descriptive of the image. Remember that the alt text you write is there to help people understand the picture on the page and make your website more accessible. While keywords can naturally fit into alt text, trying to over-optimize or stuff keywords here can get you in trouble with Google and disappoint your users.
If you are having trouble thinking of alt text to add to your images, imagine they are being described to you by a screen reading device. Screen readers already tell users that they are describing an image, so you don’t have to worry about prefacing your alt text with words like “picture of” or “photograph showing.”
You want your description of the image to be straightforward, but as descriptive as possible. For example, the alt text for a photo of the Statue of Liberty could just be “Statue of Liberty,” but you can provide a better user experience by being a little more specific. For example, you could use alt text to more accurately describe your image as an “aerial view of the Statue of Liberty” or a “stylized Statue of Liberty holding U.S. flag.”
Give Your Images Some Space to Look Neat and Professional on the Page
Sometimes, images speak for themselves. However, most of the time, you are using the images on your attorney website to help illustrate and bring interest to your text content. They need to look nice, but they can’t interfere with the text on the page.
DSS gives you a lot of flexibility for stylizing your images and formatting text. One of the best and most common ways to get started is to learn how to add margins to a website image and use wraparound text.
Wise use of margins and text formatting gives your images a professional-looking touch, and the extra “white space” between text and image improves the reading experience.
Get Help Making the Images on Your Law Firm’s Website Perform Better
Little optimizations and extra steps are what make the user experience on your website stand out to your perfect clients. However, it can be a challenge to keep up with every detail and follow through with every best practice on your own.
If you need help optimizing the images your law firm’s website, or if you have questions about how DSS can make it easier to do it yourself, reach out to our friendly team at 888.886.0939. Our goal is always to help you get your time and energy back with solutions that let you work smarter, not harder.
How often should you add new content to a law firm’s website?
Fresh content is good for your website’s visitors, and it also lets Google know that your website is alive and kicking. Adding and updating compelling content frequently means that you stimulate more keywords, attract search engine crawlers more often, increase your online authority, and give your visitors something of value. That’s hard to beat!
Google considers a lot of different ranking factors, but the “freshness” of a website is one of them. While updating your content won’t necessarily rocket you to page one, it’s a good practice that is truly the core of effective content marketing.
But how often is often enough to add new content?
Evergreen Content Stands the Test of Time
The quality of your content will always be more important than how frequently you update. If you are focusing on in-depth, “evergreen” content (content that doesn’t lose its relevance to your perfect clients over time), then you can worry less about quantity. “Evergreen” content should be content that your audience can really dig into. It should also help you set yourself up as an authority in your field—both in the minds of your readers and search engines. Even just a handful of informative and engaging posts or pages each month can be enough to do the job.
However, even the classics can get a little stale over time. Improving and updating your “evergreen” content once in a while can add freshness to your website. Search engines recognize page edits and user comments as a sign that you’re alive, so you don’t necessarily have to add brand new content all the time. Visitors also appreciate websites that offer the most current information in a seamless style that matches what they see on your other pages, so edits and updates to older content can improve the overall user experience.
The goal with evergreen content is high page views, low bounce rate, and longer session lengths. If you’re not seeing those kinds of numbers on your “evergreen” pieces, then you know they’re ready for some tweaking.
Regular Updates Keep Your Perfect Clients Engaged
Your law firm’s website isn’t just an information resource, though. It is also an important tool that helps you attract the right kinds of clients to your services and convince them to convert.
That means that more regular updates are important to you in a way that they aren’t for a purely informational site. Frequent content updates help keep you top of mind, and adding new pieces gives you a steady stream of fresh content to promote through social media, email campaigns, and more.
While you don’t want to wait so long between updates that your audience forgets who you are, you also don’t want to overwhelm them by pushing out so many updates that some get lost in the shuffle.
Start with a simple digital content schedule that you and your marketing partners can comfortably maintain. This may mean posting new content a few times a month or a few times a week, depending on your resources and the size of your audience. After that, you can adjust your frequency as you test and measure your performance. Your website’s content should grow and evolve with the success of your website, your business, and your target audiences.
Coaching and Guidance to Help You Do Online Content Right
There is no single answer about content frequency that will work for every law firm, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a schedule that will fit your and your perfect clients’ needs. If you need help, contact us at 888.886.0939 or sign up for a free FWM analysis with our team.
What topics should I write about for my personal injury website?
Personal injury attorneys typically work with a wide range of clients who have been hurt in very different kinds of circumstances. One of the biggest challenges on personal injury websites is to create content that can resonate with all the kinds of “perfect clients” you might be looking for. The next biggest challenge is organizing it all in a way that makes sense to readers and leads them toward the right goal.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, you can get started by looking at our general guide to finding topics for website content. However, personal injury law is a broad industry, and your content will benefit from ideas that are a little more focused on what you do best.
Breaking Down the Wide Scope of “Auto Accidents”
In DSS, you can organize your website’s content under different “service areas.” For most personal injury law firms, especially large firms, this is a deceptively simple way to organize big blocks of content into digestible topics for your readers. This can also help you focus your website on the types of clients you’re most interested in working with.
Auto accident cases are a great example of this function in action. If your law firm takes a lot of auto accident cases, you may get better engagement by breaking it down into more specific service areas, such as:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Bus and transit accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle and pedestrian accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
You can then write content that is focused on the subgroups of auto accidents that are most relevant to your firm, assign it to the appropriate service area in DSS, and give readers much better options for narrowing their search for content on your website. By writing content that speaks directly to the unique circumstances of each subgroup, you will also generate better and more natural “longtail” keywords that help bring more relevant people in from Google searches.
Breaking auto accidents into smaller categories can also help you come up with tons of highly focused ideas for great content. For example, think about what makes a commercial truck accident different from a wreck with a personal vehicle. What kinds of questions would someone have after they’ve been hit by a drunk driver? What kinds of injuries are more common in certain types of accidents? For the auto accident portion of your practice alone, the potential topics are nearly endless.
Talking About Other Kinds of Injuries
Auto accidents are often a major source of cases for personal injury firms, but that doesn’t mean that you should totally ignore other types of cases your firm is interested in. Think about the kinds of cases you would like to see more of or have taken in the past. You may benefit from creating content focused on other subcategories, such as:
- Medical and drug injuries. If medical and pharmaceutical injuries are a component of your practice, consider writing content that is focused on the major subgroups of cases you take. For example, you might write content that focuses on birth injuries, malpractice lawsuits, or mass drug recalls. You might even create a “cluster” of information-rich articles around a very narrow topic or case type to help launch a focused campaign, such as content about knee-implant litigation or mesothelioma lawsuits.
- Premises liability. Dog bites and slip-and-fall accidents may not be your main focus as a personal injury attorney, but you may want to have a few pieces of content that speak to premises liability clients. You don’t have to go crazy creating content for these cases if they aren’t a main focus, but having a few relevant pieces can help bring in potential clients and educate them about the kinds of cases you take.
- Maritime and workplace injury. If you work with clients who have been injured at work or at sea, your content can be the key to their understanding of the different laws and regulations that apply to their circumstances. This is your chance to explain complex information in an approachable way and really show off how you help. Think about what your potential clients need to know after they’re hurt working on the oilfield, with a railroad company, on a vessel at sea, or at an unsafe construction worksite.
- Wrongful death. Surviving family members often have a lot of questions, and you can provide a more comfortable user experience by writing content that is specifically focused on them and their needs after the loss of a loved one to negligence, regardless of the cause.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to generate so many subcategories of your practice that you confuse people, but you do want to break it down enough to funnel readers to the content that is most relevant to them. Just like Goldilocks, you should aim for just enough subcategories to be “just right.”
Curing Your Writers’ Block When You Run Out of Topic Ideas
Check out step two of our guide to estate planning topics to find out how to dig deeper for topic ideas with a quick Google search. This really is a quick and easy way to find out what else is out there, what kinds of competition your potential clients might see when they search, and what kinds of topics you might have overlooked.
If you’re producing a lot of content across a lot of different practice areas, we also strongly recommend that you plan out a content strategy. With a plan in place, you’ll already know what you need to write about and why, which means less time spent staring at a blank page without ideas. An organized strategy also gives you a better foundation for tracking and analyzing your success with the content you write.
Storytelling with case results can also be an awesome source of content that resonates with your readers. Case stories tend to be “evergreen” content that showcases you at your best and educates potential clients by example.
If you’re still having trouble finding engaging topics to write about online, talk to us about a free FWM marketing analysis, which will give you a better idea of how your content is going over with your readers and what you can do to increase engagement with the potential clients who matter most. We are dedicated to your success, and we love talking about how attorneys can create better content for the Web.
What's the best way to organize my law firm's website content?
Then, when people then look at the blog page on your website, they’ll have the option to narrow their browsing by the topic they’re most interested in: Because your “perfect clients” search the Internet for everything, it is wise to constantly improve and update the content you write for your website. While what you write for your potential clients is important, curating your website’s content may be even more important in a digital world. You can write exactly the kind of content that your perfect clients are looking for, but still see it fall flat because it’s hard to find and poorly organized on your website.
Are you ready to whip your website’s content into shape? You might want to get started by performing a complete content audit. This process will give you a better idea of what kinds of content you already have and how to categorize it in a way that makes sense for you and your readers. After that, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start organizing.
Step 1: Break Down Your Practice Into Its Component Parts
You may be a personal injury attorney, but your cases probably fall into a few specific categories. For example, you might primarily do car accident cases, wrongful death cases, and dog bite cases. If you want to improve your online content and make it work better for you, you may need to break down your practice into appropriate “service areas” based on the kinds of cases that best represent your practice or that you want to attract. After all, someone who is attracted to your website after a dog bite is unlikely to be interested in your guidance for car accident victims. Make it easy for them to see only the content they want to see.
In DSS, you can create “service areas” or “practice areas” for these niches and subsections of your practice, then organize your blogs, articles, FAQs, and more under those categories. For example, you can choose a category option when you enter or edit a blog in DSS:
Then, when people then look at the blog page on your website, they’ll have the option to narrow their browsing by the topic they’re most interested in:
Categorizing content under relevant practice areas also helps you lead readers to other relevant content, whether you’re manually adding links to your pages or using DSS’ capabilities to feature related content in sidebars or panels:
Step 2: Create Compelling Content That Fits
Organizing your content not only makes it easier for potential clients and search engines to find you, it also creates an excellent framework for your ongoing content creation. Writing content for these specific audiences will stimulate more relevant keywords and key phrases, giving you a better chance to beat out your competitors for highly specific searches. Rather than competing on a broad level with many other law firms in your area, you will get better results by focusing on creating content for the specific areas of your practice.
If you are a personal injury attorney, for example, try writing content focused on a specific niche of your personal injury cases rather than competing with everyone in the large pool of personal injury cases. You might create a “motorcycle accidents” category, then try writing content that focuses on what an injured motorcyclist would want to know after an accident. By writing about motorcycle accidents, you are targeting a more specific market with your attorney website content and helping to produce quicker, better results for your audience.
Are you itching to get started? Find out more about choosing topics and categories for:
- Personal injury attorney websites
- Estate planning attorney websites
Curate Your Online Content With Help From the Pros
If your goal is a quality, information-rich site that will be recognized by search engines and potential clients alike, you have to stay on top of your content. Does your content lack structure? Contact us today to learn more about organizing your online content and writing for the audiences you want to bring through your door or ask for a free demonstration of content management with DSS.
What topics should I write about for my estate planning website?
Content-packed websites are a great solution for estate planning attorneys because there is often so much information to communicate to your clients and potential clients. Featuring a mix of in-depth educational content, quick answers, and interesting guidance actually saves you time in the long run, while still helping engage and convert the people who visit your site.
At Foster Web Marketing, we are big believers in planning out content strategies ahead of time. When you have a content plan, you have a roadmap that will help you cover all the most important topics in ways that make sense for you and your website’s users. Whether you are building up all your content from scratch with a new website or just auditing an older site’s content, here are some suggestions for topics that will help you accomplish your goals.
Step One: Cover All the Basics
Your first priority is to provide basic top-level content targeted toward your perfect clients. This means providing answers to the most basic questions that they may have about who you are, what you can do for them, and what they can expect from you.
Think about this content as the “bones” of your site. What kinds of information do you expect to see on an estate planning website? What are the most common questions you hear from clients? What kinds of general information would be helpful to link back to when you need to talk about more complicated or specific issues?
Not sure what we mean? Here is an example of what a plan for top-level topics on an estate planning website might look like:
- Wills. What is a will? What are the types of wills? Can my spouse and I draft a joint will? What happens if you die without a will? How can I execute a will? How should I pick an executor? What does an executor do?
- Advance directives. What is a durable power of attorney and who should hold mine? What is a living will? What is a health care proxy? Do I need a DNR (do not resuscitate) order?
- Trusts. What is a trust? What are the types of trusts? What are the benefits of a trust? Do I need a trust if I have a will? What do I need to know before naming a trustee? Do trustees need attorneys?
- Special needs trusts. What is a special needs trust? What should I consider if my adult child needs a guardian? Can I use a special needs trust for a spouse with special needs?
- Gifts. What is the maximum gift I can give without being taxed? How does the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act work? What is the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act?
- Probate. What is probate? How long does probate take in your state?
- Litigation. How can I challenge a will? Who can challenge a will? What can I do if I have been unintentionally left out of a loved one’s will? How do courts decide on ambiguous wording in a will?
- Estate taxes. When is an estate taxed? What is the generation-skipping transfer tax? What is a step-up in basis?
- General. Why should I work with an estate planner? What is the fee arrangement? What documents do I need to bring to our meeting?
As you can see, we’ve first broken our ideas into major topic areas, then into questions that can be answered in individual articles under the major topic. To apply this method to your own website, sit down and determine your major topic areas, then write out the kinds of questions you need to answer. Plan articles that will answer each of those questions, and schedule them on your content calendar.
Don’t worry if it takes months to create and publish everything you need at this stage because the investment is worth the timeline. Ultimately, all of this is “evergreen” content that will be useful and relevant on your site for years to come.
Step Two: Give Them Something Extra
Once the basic topics are established, you can do a little research to further flesh out your content.
One great way to do this is to do a Google search for a generic term related to your practice, like “estate planning law.” This gives you several options for developing topics. First, you can look at competitors’ sites that rank highly and see what kinds of content they currently offer, as well as what more education-based sites (like Wikipedia) might have to offer when your potential clients perform a search. Google also gives you several options for digging deeper right on the search page.
First, you will see a “People Also Ask” box on the search page:
Second, you will see a “People Also Search For” box as you click through results:
Third, near the bottom of the results, you will see some suggested related searches:
What all of that means is that, with a single Google search, you get essentially four different springboards for content ideas.
Still Need Help Coming Up With Content Topics for Your Estate Planning Website?
Ultimately, there are lots of ways to come up with new topics and ideas for content, and lots of those methods will work for anyone in any industry. Learn more about how to find topics for online content.
Are you concerned about being able to do it all yourself? Do you need help planning a content strategy or writing online content to fit your perfect clients’ needs? You can always contact us today to talk about our coaching and content-writing services and how that might fit into your overall marketing plan.
How can I use my website's content to build trust with potential clients?
When potential clients search for an attorney or doctor online, they are usually confronted with a problem and confused about whom they can trust. That means that the content you choose to feature on your website—and how that content is presented—can have a big impact when someone needs your help.
Does your content make you seem trustworthy? Are you offering what your potential clients need? Here’s how to make sure the content on your website is ready to make a positive impression.
Trustworthy Online Content Brings Potential Clients Through Your Door
Trust converts. Even Google has urged businesses to pay attention to what motivates potential clients when they search for answers online. If you are looking to establish your credibility and build trust with your online visitors, here are some things your online content should offer:
- Helpful answers. Most of your potential clients will find you because they had a question and typed it into a search engine. Think about the most common questions you hear from new clients, and put yourself in your potential clients’ shoes. Create content that provides answers and points readers toward the next step. If you can provide helpful and relevant answers to their questions, then they will be more likely to trust you and turn to you for advice. You’ll also be more likely to show up in search results for people who need your help.
- Relevant video. Don’t underestimate the power of video content! This is your chance to let clients know that you are a real human being who is available to them if they need help. Videos can do a lot to show clients what your brand is all about, who you are, and how you can help them solve their problems. With videos, you can get a lot across to viewers in a short amount of time, which is especially great for mobile users.
- An idea of what to expect. Many potential clients who are facing legal or medical troubles are anxious about what to expect and how long it might be until they see some resolution. Offering this information up front can go a long way toward making your potential clients feel more comfortable and in control. Let them know what your first meeting might be like. Show photographs of your office and staff. Explain what they might need to bring with them or what they might be expected to do. Explain your payment policies. Let them know what kind of timeline to expect. Being straightforward and transparent with your potential clients from the start helps them feel at home and positions you as a trustworthy professional.
- Prompt responses. You need to be quick to respond online because people won’t wait around. Your content pages should load quickly, both on desktop and mobile. If a current event or change in the law is making waves in your community, providing more information and immediate responses to questions can establish you as the authority to turn to with legal problems. If someone reaches out to you after reading your online content, you should be there to answer him. Let people know that you are paying attention and that you are there for them exactly when they need you.
Finishing Touches That Keep Potential Clients Engaged and Coming Back for More
How you present your content matters, too. Make sure that you write with the reader in mind. Make your content easy to scan and understand. Break up “text walls” with headlines and relevant images, and make sure everything looks great on the page. Your most important content should be easy to navigate to from your homepage, and it should also be easy to get to related content on your website. Overall, aim to create a positive user experience on your website that lets your potential clients know that you care about them.
If you’re a DSS user, you’re probably already taking advantage of our sidebar modules that point readers toward relevant content. For example, if someone finds an article on your website about truck accidents, they’ll also see suggestions for related content:
There are also several ways to include in-text links that point readers toward other information on your website that helps clarify or expand on the ideas you’ve presented:
Connecting relevant content on your website helps establish your authority and lets readers know that you have much more to offer.
The more you allay fears, show your human side, and demonstrate your expertise in your online content, the more likely it is that your potential clients will feel at ease and trust in your legitimacy. If you need help writing attorney website content that establishes your credibility, contact our digital content experts for guidance or sign up for a free marketing analysis.
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