What Is Good Content for a Law Firm Website?
If you’re launching or updating your online marketing campaign, one of the questions you may be asking yourself is “what is good content for a law firm website?” Researching best practices before diving in and creating pages and pages of content is smart. When it comes to Google rankings and user experience, quality is more important than quantity.
Always keep in mind that the purpose of your website is to educate and inform users, keep them on your site longer, boost your SEO performance, and convert users into actionable leads. Your website needs to convey expertise, authority, and trustworthiness if it is to outperform your competitors’ sites.
6 Key Elements for Good Content for a Law Firm Website
Every piece of content placed on a law firm website – whether new or historically optimized – should meet the following standards. Content should:
- Be Informative
- Be Client Centered
- Be Easily Scannable
- Link to Outside Authoritative Sources
- Link Internally to Related Pages and Blogs
- Include Calls to Action/Contact Info
Let’s take a closer look at each of these:
There’s no substitute for well-researched, meaningful information when it comes to good content for a law firm website. Even though you’re trying to market your firm, don’t overdo it with sales pitches. Authoritative, compelling content that educates and informs readers as well as conveys your knowledge and trustworthiness is the best kind of content.
Be Client Centered
It’s important to understand your content from the client’s point of view. Always remember why potential clients are reading your law firm’s website in the first place. It’s usually because they are trying to find answers to legal questions, or they’ve got a significant problem that they need a lawyer to fix. They’re often stressed, confused, or frightened. So, content needs to speak to them directly and reassure them that you can help. Never underestimate the power of useful information and compassion in converting users into leads. That’s why client-centered content is so important.
Be Easily Scannable
Use h2 and h3 headings strategically throughout the text to make your web pages easily scannable. Sometimes, the headings are the only things a user will read when deciding whether to stay on your page or leave. Also, a great heading can entice a reader to delve into the text that follows.
Link To Outside Authoritative Sources
By linking your content to third-party sources – legal statutes, government agencies, medical organizations, research reports – you do two things. First, you provide additional background information to readers who want to drill down into specific data. And second, links to authoritative sites can help boost your website’s SEO performance. You don’t want to overdo it – linking to 2 or 3 outside sources is enough. Links to sites like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (truck accidents), Mayo Clinic (personal injury), or U.S. bankruptcy courts (bankruptcy) can provide valuable information and SEO authority.
Link Internally to Related Pages and Blogs
Inner linking is also an important part of creating good content for a law firm website. When writing a web page, you can link to another page on your own site – for example, a blog on a related topic, a client testimonials page, or an attorney bio. This allows a user to explore more than one page on your site, all of which are connected to the topic they’re researching.
Include Calls to Action & Contact Info
Include calls to action in your text such as “Contact a skilled car accident attorney now” followed by your phone number or a button a reader can click on that takes them to an online contact form. Be sure that your firm’s email address and phone number are easily located in a page’s header or footer.
Use h2 and h3 headings strategically to make your web pages easily scannable. In some cases, the headings are the only things a user will read. In other cases, a great heading will entice a reader to delve into the text that follows.
Anticipate Readers’ Questions
Q & A’s Make Good Content for a Law Firm Website.
Most visitors to law firm websites have questions and they’re trying to find answers. By anticipating readers’ questions and proactively answering them, you engender trust. You also set yourself up as an authority on these issues and prove your expertise.
A question-and-answer format for web content can be especially effective on practice area pages. Whether that means you ask a question in a headline and then answer it in the text below or you actually use a “Q” and “A” outline, that’s up to you. Either way, it helps a reader easily identify the information that’s most important to them.
Remember, a lot of site visitors scan a page before they read it. That means their eyes run quickly down a page as they scroll, making note of headlines, graphics, and callouts. After scanning a page, readers will then typically go back and read the sections that interest them. That’s why it’s critical that your web content passes the “scanability” test. Content needs to be easily digested at a glance, broken up into chunks that share a common theme, and not to copy dense. Very large sections of black and white text can be intimidating to readers.
Also, visitors will leave a page that they can’t figure out how to navigate, which means a lead lost. Keep UX in mind. Make sure your site navigation is intuitive. It’s a website’s job to do the heavy lifting so readers don’t have to. Anticipate the top-of-mind questions that a potential client might have, and then provide well-researched and concrete answers. Then offer to provide greater details via a phone conversation or chat bot.
Don’t Give Readers a Reason to Click “Back”
Of course, your content must contain SEO keywords and phrases so that search engines like Google and their users can find you. So, use SEO key words strategically in content. But after a user arrives at your website, the quality of your online content is paramount in determining whether — and for how long – a reader stays there. Minutes and seconds matter in the world of consumer engagement and Google rankings, so the longer a user stays on your page, the more likely it is he or she will become a lead.
Keeping a reader on your page longer helps your Google rankings. Don’t give users a reason to click the “back” button in search of better information on a competitor’s website. Knock the ball out of the park with the first paragraph.
More About the Reader’s Point of View
What Does the Reader Consider Good Content on a Law Firm Website?
When creating content, get inside the reader’s shoes and ask yourself what they might want to know. Then deliver it. Travis McAshan, founder and managing director at Glide Design in Austin, Texas, puts it this way:
“Not only does a customer-centered site do a better job of selling, but customer-centered content can make or break your site’s ability to create quality conversions. You should be doing more than just defining your services and puffing yourself up. You should be reaching out to the customer like you were standing right in front of them.”
McAshan, whose web design and marketing firm serves clients in multiple industries, offers five tips for writing customer centered content:
1. You can use “you.”
When you write, pretend that you’re speaking confidently to someone you know. You’re never lecturing. You’re engaging in a helpful conversation in which the other person’s voice isn’t heard but is anticipated and valued.
2. Write in a conversational style.
Strive to write in a conversational style. Just remember, the more friendly and approachable, the better. Use common words, not business jargon, which will draw the reader closer.
3. Tell the readers what’s in it for them.
Speak to the significant benefits for readers. Focus on their needs, not on yourself. They want to know, “what’s in it for me?” Of course, you have an agenda, but you can’t connect to your readers unless you write to their self-interests, not your own.
4. Speak in the reader’s language.
Your style and your choice of words should match your reader’s style. A letter to baseball fans should have the slang and punch of a sports column. [A more serious and compassionate tone works when your reader is looking for a lawyer to represent them in a divorce or car crash.]
5. Be a mirror.
Ultimately, the best content isn’t really about you, your business, or even its products and services. The best content is about your customers. Your content should be a mirror. When prospects read it, let them see themselves: their hopes and fears, their values and dreams, and their best idea of who they are or would like to be.
Your web content either helps or hurts you. There’s very little in-between where content is concerned. Your content either hooks readers and draws them in, or it causes their eyes to glaze over and leave your site.
Tips on What to Include
So, what kind of content helps your law firm where readers are concerned? Here are a few ideas to keep in mind:
Express compassion. Your reader is probably traumatized, worried or unhappy.
Be compassionate. Most visitors to law firm websites have a problem they’re trying to solve. They’re going through a difficult ordeal (bankruptcy, personal injury, death of a family member, divorce) and they need someone they can trust to help them through complicated legal issues.
Establish trust and credibility.
Law firm website readers are often dealing with highly personal and confidential information, and they want to know that you are professional, trustworthy, authoritative, and possess expertise. Demonstrate that you are highly regarded and trusted within the legal field. For more about this, read Gladiator’s recent blog about E.A.T. – Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness.
Define the “win.”
Website readers are looking for reasons to choose your law firm above all others. They want to know what you can do for them and how you can make their lives easier. Remember, they’re likely going through a very hard time and they’re trying to find a peaceful port in a turbulent sea. They want to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Client testimonials on your website can be particularly effective at helping to “define the win.” When other satisfied clients write a few sentences about why they like your firm and what you achieved on their behalf, this can be very persuasive to website readers. Customers listen to other customers. To learn more, read our blog about how to request and highlight client testimonials. Client reviews posted on Google, Avvo, SuperLawyer and other legal platforms can also be persuasive.
When we speak of content, we’re referring to both the written word and the visual design of your website. Make sure that your web design is user-friendly, intuitive, and not overly cluttered. Site visitors should not have to work hard to figure out where to find the information they need. Where design is concerned, clever never surpasses usability. Make navigating your site effortless. There’s a lot to know about effective web design and its impact on SEO.
Figure out what sets your firm apart and make that part of your brand.
Establishing your firm’s “differentiators” – those qualities that are specific, unique, concrete, and actionable – is important. Your brand should stand for something, and your firm’s performance should back it up over time. By determining what your firm does better than any other law firm in the region, you can begin to build a buzz in the market and generate word-of-mouth referrals. Stay away from “non-differentiators” that are broad and general promises to consumers, and instead focus on narrow and specific positive qualities and performance, especially if you’re a smaller or boutique law firm. Read more about building your brand with differentiators.
If you want to create good content for your law firm website, keep these things top of mind:
- Give readers what they want with client-centered content.
- It’s important to toot your own horn, but don’t overdo it with sales pitches.
- Create feelings of engagement and emotional satisfaction in the reader.
- Those first few seconds are critical in hooking a reader and keeping them on your page, so make sure you are giving them the best information first.
- Time on page boosts your Google rankings and increases the chance of converting a reader into a lead.
- Anticipate readers’ questions and answer them proactively, particularly on your site’s practice area pages.
- Establish right off the bat your firm’s authority and trustworthiness and reinforce these themes with persuasive client testimonials.
Gladiator Law Marketing Can Help with Law Firm Content
Remember that law firm web readers may be hurting, confused, or scared because they’re facing big, life-altering problems. Good law firm website content should be compassionate as well as authoritative. A little kindness goes a long way. Need help creating compelling content for a law firm website? The award-winning professionals at Gladiator Law Marketing can help. We have lots of satisfied clients. Give us a call at 888-683-3212 for a free consultation.
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