Foster Web Marketing’s Guide to Writing Online Content in DSS

If you use DSS (Dynamic Self-Syndication) 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 home page—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. Each type of content plays its own role in your overall marketing strategy, and it’s important that you understand the “how and why” of everything you post on behalf of your business. Otherwise, you’re just blindly rolling the dice!

If you’re feeling confused about what to write or how to get started, here’s a little direction that will help you understand the purpose of the different kinds of pages you can post through DSS and the best practices for writing them.

Home Page

To enter content for the home page on your website, navigate to the “Content” menu in DSS and then to “Pages.”

Home page link in DSS

Choose “Home,” which will open the editor page.

Editing the home page

Your 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 to your business and services, it should focus on the client instead of on you.

The main purpose of your home page is really to highlight the resources you offer and get your audience to dig deeper. It should give a taste of your brand and personality in simple language, provide the most important information front and center, and make it easy to get to relevant pages on your site. To that end, the content on 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 articles and pages.
  • Headers that are direct and address common concerns.
  • 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 specific pages they’re really looking for.

Practice Area Pages

To enter content for a practice area page, navigate to the “Content” menu in DSS, then to “Content Items.” Choose “Service Areas,” which will take you to a searchable list of existing practice area pages on your site.

Finding the link to practice area pages

You can either select a page to edit or choose “Add New” from the sidebar.

Adding a new practice area

Practice area pages—also called service area pages—help 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.”

To determine your practice areas, think about the “themes” of the cases or clients you take, as well as the kinds of clients 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 a basic 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 needs. It should help both search engines and searchers understand exactly what you offer, as well as how to take action.

Keep in mind that, to avoid confusion, it’s generally a good idea to stick with broader groupings and limit how many practice areas you create. If you don’t have enough interest in a particular service area or enough content to support it, you might want to consider how it can fit under another “theme.”

For example, rather than creating a new practice area page for bike accidents, a personal injury attorney might put that content under an existing “Traffic Accidents” practice area because he or she rarely takes those kinds of cases.

As far as content goes, practice area pages can be as in-depth or concise as you like, but they 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 that encourages readers to reach out.
  • Information about your free book, complimentary initial consultation, or other relevant offers.

Above all, you should always write practice area pages 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. Avoid jargon, and be sure to offer explanations for difficult concepts and terms. By putting your potential clients’ 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

To enter content for a library article, navigate to the “Content” menu in DSS, then to “Content Items.” Choose “Article Library,” which will take you to a searchable list of existing library articles. You can select an existing article to edit or choose “Add New” from the sidebar.

Navigating to the library articles section of your site

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 of 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 questions 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 relevant and important 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”
  • “Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis and What to Expect From Treatment”
  • “How the Car Accident Claims Process Works”

Still stumped for ideas? Take a look at our guide to finding great topics for online content.

Blogs

To enter content for a blog post, navigate to the “Content” menu in DSS, then to “Content Items.” Choose “Blog Posts,” which takes you to a searchable list of existing blog posts on your website. You can choose to edit an existing post or “Add New” from the sidebar.

Navigating to the DSS editor for your blog posts

Blogs cover almost any topic related to your business, from news to tips to changing laws and policies. You can create a quick list-format piece, recount a news story, or offer personal 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 of 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.

Ultimately, the idea is to create “snackable” pieces of content that are a little more casual and keep people engaged and coming back for more. Blog posts can also support your more comprehensive library articles by expanding on certain details or offering your personal thoughts and experiences related to the topic.

You have a lot of 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. Need help? 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”
  • “The First Questions You Should Ask Your Podiatrist”

Frequently Asked Questions

To enter content for a Frequently Asked Question, navigate to the “Content” menu in DSS, then to “Content Items.” Choose “FAQs,” which will open a searchable list of existing FAQs on your website. You can choose to edit an existing FAQ or “Add New” from the sidebar.

Connecting to the FAQ article editor in DSS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) provide readers with answers to the most common questions about your industry, business, 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 during intake because clients can immediately get what they need online.

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 may have. You should focus on questions that you frequently hear from your clients or that have a general appeal to the kinds of clients you’re trying to attract. If a question is too specific or unusual to apply to more than a handful of potential clients, then it might be better used as starting point for a blog post or an aside in a more comprehensive piece of content.

Here are some examples of FAQ topic ideas:

  • What should I expect from my first visit with a podiatrist?
  • 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?

Case Results

To enter content for a case result, navigate to the “Content” menu in DSS, then to “Content Items.” Choose “Results,” which will open a searchable list of case results on your website. You can choose to edit an existing case result or “Add New” from the sidebar.

How to find the case results editor in DSS

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 and his or her family were 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 client 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 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”

Want to create case stories that make an emotional connection with your readers and show you at your best?

Learn more about how to write effective case stories.

Still Not Sure How to Use Your Online Content Effectively? We Can Help!

Filling your website with the kinds of informative, engaging content that your 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 to talk to one of our marketing experts directly.

Or, if you’re not familiar with our powerful marketing automation software for attorneys and doctors, you can also sign up for a free demonstration of DSS. Just let us know that you’d like to see its incredible content capabilities in action!

Lindsey Daher
Manager of Content Operations at Foster Web Marketing

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