Your law firm’s online presence can be a determining factor in clients choosing to do business with you. Thankfully, the quality of your site is also completely within your control. The only question is how to find the time and resources to develop a thoughtful website and content marketing plan — without breaking the bank.
This article will cover the basics of good content generation and website optimization, integration, and design. We’ll discuss how to think about your target audience and capitalize on new website visitors. These considerations are key in developing the best legal website and ensuring that your law firm puts its best foot forward.
What is “good content” for your firm depends on what you’re trying to achieve by producing new content and who you’re producing it for. Is your law firm trying to catch the eye of new clients? Building a reputation as the go-to authority for a certain practice area? Trying to grow your presence on search engines?
Before your law firm begins to invest in building or recreating a legal website, it’s important to understand the purpose of the content being produced.
The same goes for defining the target audience for your website content. Without first identifying the folks who might need your law firm’s services, it’s difficult to tailor your content production. What’s good content differs for a law firm focused on elder law and a law firm of transactional lawyers focused on intellectual property law.
Important factors to consider regarding your target audience include geographical location, age, gender, income, and occupation. If businesses are your law firm’s bread and butter, consider your typical client’s size, geographical location, and industry. You can use these details to create a persona for each segment of your audience. You can then personalize your content for each persona.
We highly recommend working with an expert who can help you craft and implement content to best serve your target audience and purpose for content creation.
Every law firm website needs to communicate who you are, what services you offer, and why you’re the best choice for prospective clients. To accomplish these goals, attorney websites typically need the following content elements:
· Homepage: A homepage announces who you are and why clients should hire you. You should include easy-to-read, SEO-optimized headings that establish your credibility and set forth a clear organization for your site. Be sure to use attractive images that encourage visitors to stay on the page. Additionally, your homepage should prominently announce the best ways to contact your firm, preferably at the top of your site.
· A firm overview: This page should explain more about what your firm does. What’s your firm’s story? How long have you been around, and how have you evolved? What is important for clients to know about how you operate and what clients you help?
· Practice area descriptions: Every practice area should have a page describing your experience. Explain the types of matters you handle and give a list of representative cases so clients understand that you have been there and done that.
· Lawyer and staff bios: Help prospects get to know who is behind the words on the page with enticing stories about who works for the firm. Each bio should tell the lawyer’s story in terms that would resonate with a client — not with another lawyer. So while it’s impressive that you were on law review, what may be more meaningful to a client is work you’ve done that’s similar to what they are searching for. Depending on your audience and your type of practice, consider whether to highlight your approach to cases or something in your background that will make you stand out to a prospect. If your firm is smaller and staff will be interacting with clients and prospects, it makes sense to include a bio for them as well.
· Resources: This is the area that clients can visit to have their questions answered. You may include blogs, news about your firm, white papers, or ebooks and other downloadable content that will convince visitors that you are an authority in your practice area. Another popular item to include is frequently asked questions (FAQs). Not only will FAQs help you land higher in the search engines when clients type legal questions in the search bar, but they also give you a chance to show off your knowledge in your field.
· Contact page: Take the friction out of client contact by putting all the information that clients need to reach you in one place, including your phone number and email address. You should also include a fillable contact form that makes it easy for clients to reach out to you. Don’t forget to include links to your social media accounts.
· Testimonials and case studies: If your practice has online reviews, you can highlight the best ones here. This can help you build credibility with prospects. You might also share case studies that show what results you’ve achieved for clients. To personalize case studies and testimonials, ask clients to share a photo or record a short video about how you helped them. (You can repurpose these photos and videos on your social media channels too.)
As with the rest of your law firm’s website, the user experience is critical: you want visitors to stay put and engage with your content. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of how content is displayed on your law firm website. The design should be functional, accessible, and interesting. Continue to ask yourself the following question as you make web design decisions: will this content design help potential clients find and then choose my law firm?
Picking the right font for your legal content is an art and requires balancing readability, messaging, and authority. Creating compelling visual content also involves other important decisions. Consider how content, like lawyer bios and white papers, will appear when laying out your lawyer website. The best legal website allows content to be interacted with on all devices — think cell phones, tablets, and computers — and on all browser types. A piece of content should also be laid out intuitively. Friendliness and ease of use are also important and will increase the user experience by making navigation easier.
When creating content, we recommend keeping the rules of thumb below in mind. Without them, all the great content you’ve created may go to waste.
· Keep it readable. The written content featured on your law firm website should be easy to understand. Avoid legal jargon, and try to keep sentences under 25 words and paragraphs no longer than four or five sentences.
· Keep it scannable. Content should be broken up with meaningful headings and subheadings. Adding white space gives readers a mental break and improves comprehension.
· Keep it visual. When possible, reinforce key concepts with interesting graphics. By using images to convey information, your law firm content will better engage users. Think about how much faster and easier it is to review a chart or infographic than to read dense paragraphs.
Good legal content can put your law firm on the map. At a minimum, good content will get your firm’s name out there. When you optimize that content, you can raise your firms ranking in the search engines, build its reputation, and establish it as an authority in the legal space.
Awareness is a top priority here. We don’t need to tell you how competitive the legal industry is. Creating high-quality content and doing it regularly is the best way to build prospective clients’ brand awareness of your law firm and get potential clients talking.
Your firm’s legal expertise is truly what it all comes down to for potential clients. So, the content on your website should showcase your law firm’s knowledge and provide examples and evidence of your firm’s expertise and successes.
Start creating law firm website content by asking what questions your target audience might have. Address those questions as you create content. Also write about current developments in the law and how your firm can help clients handle them. These pieces show that your firm can both talk the talk and walk the walk. Creating high-quality content is how you’ll build your law firm’s credibility and expand its market reach.
Keep in mind that building authority doesn’t necessarily mean having a domineering tone. The best way to build authority for your law firm is to know your target audience and address them specifically. By knowing your audience and putting them first in your content creation plan, your law firm will prove both its authority and competency. The tone and presentation of the content created should also be in-depth and expertly written. The goal is to establish your law firm as both client-centric and approachable.
To build a successful online presence, your law firm needs to have a robust content creation plan. Without it, your firm won’t reach its growth potential. Below are some common website content strategies your law firm can use to get started.
Search engine optimization (SEO) improves your law firm’s website to boost its online visibility in search engines. For example, Google search results rank the responses to a user’s inquiry based on the content of webpages. Thus, the more relevant your content is to the search terms entered, the more likely that your content will appear at the top of a search page. You’ll need to do some keyword research to figure out what words your prospective audience is searching for.
Importantly, SEO is also measured by the quality of your law firm’s website. That means metrics such as your website’s layout, accessibility, keywords, quantity of web traffic, and backlinks matter. Yes, this means the internet is judging your readability, grammar, and syntax. Improving these important SEO metrics will increase your law firm’s overall SEO, leading to increased searchability and visibility and therefore increasing your market reach.
Local SEO is also something to keep in mind when creating a piece of content. Your firm likely works in a specific geographical region, and that’s your sweet spot for prospecting. By optimizing your firm’s content creation to target these areas, you can establish your firm as the go-to in your community.
To start optimizing your content for local prospects, we recommend creating content with a local angle. For example, you might write a blog post on who’s at fault in connection with a slip and fall under South Carolina law or an article on how the state of New York handles worker’s compensation claims.
Good legal web content and a well-thought-out digital marketing strategy will help your firm boost its search engine rankings, thus increasing its market reach and landing new clients.
In tandem with optimizing your law firm website is creating ways to capitalize on new traffic. New website visitors are great, but what your firm is really looking for is to turn those visitors into paying clients.
We recommend dynamic and relevant call to action (CTA) buttons on your website to make it simple for prospective clients to become paying ones. CTAs are intended to make it easy for website visitors to get more information or get in touch with your firm through a contact form. Essentially, they entice folks to take the next step by providing their contact information. CTAs typically come in the form of phrases that encourage website readers to “contact us now” or “click here for more information.”
Your law firm should also build landing pages on its website for certain content. Landing pages are web pages created for specific law firm marketing campaigns and have a single goal: converting visitors into prospects.
A visitor arrives at a landing page most often after they click on a link in an email or in an ad from a search engine or social media. To be most effective, the content on your landing page has to be both persuasive and centered around getting your visitor to take that next step. For example, your firm could advertise your lawyers’ family law expertise by offering a downloadable guide explaining the steps that should be taken in connection with a custody dispute on your child custody practice page.
Many law firms choose to work with outside experts to build their brand with web designers and legal marketing agencies that know the ins and outs of web and template design and can help you build an impactful law firm website.
We discussed content design briefly above, but it is so important that it deserves another mention. The best law firm website is design-forward, features usable content, and provides a positive user experience by anticipating needs. Accessibility is key — it’s critical to ensuring that online visitors stay on your website long enough to engage with your content and learn about the excellent legal services your firm has to offer.
We recommend a streamlined and clean website. No one likes a cluttered homepage filled with moving banners, animations, blindingly bright graphics, and endless pop-ups. To keep visitors on your firm’s homepage, it should feature a concise statement about what you do, your firm’s logo, a contact page, and clear navigation to additional pages that explain your firm’s expertise and knowledge. The typography, color scheme, and symbols of your website and law firm logo can convey a lot about your firm by saying a little. A smart choice of font can convey seriousness or help build casual rapport.
Whether you’re a small personal injury law firm or a litigation boutique, we highly recommend outsourcing the legwork to the website and content creation experts to help build your firm a new website or revamp your current one.
Creating content is a critical strategy for building awareness and establishing your law firm as knowledgeable and reputable. Key takeaways to maximize include improving your law firm’s search rankings through search engine optimization and developing an interesting and user-friendly website design. By boosting the ways that your firm can be discovered through quality content generation, you’ll reap the benefits in both the short and long term.