A good law firm website enables you to advertise your services like never before. Depending on the website package that you purchase, there really is no limit to the amount of information that you can publish about your services, skills, and areas of interest. You can continuously update and add new copy but, you have to focus on the quality and organization of your published material because website content is the heart of a law firm’s online presence.
3 Ways to Create Content
There are three ways to add content to your website: (1) pay a professional to add copy, (2) do it yourself, or (3) do both. This post is intended for lawyers who would like to write their own website content.
Pros and Cons of Writing Your Own Content
• You have total creative control
• You will save money
• It’s exciting
• You get to build something from the ground up
• It’s time consuming
• You must research the subject matter
• Finding your writing style can be challenging
• Using rich keywords is important
• Organizing text can be tedious
• Content must be edited
Allot Necessary Time to Write Your Text
A very thin, but to-the-point webpage can be written, edited, and published in 1.5 hours. If you want a really nice webpage with quality content that effectively communicates your message to your intended audience, plan on spending at least three to five hours to complete the task. This includes brainstorming, researching, writing a rough draft, and editing.
What do you want from your Reader?
Decide early on how you want your message to be received by the reader. Do you want them to learn something valuable about their legal rights? Do you want them to know how you can help them get what they need? Do you want them to know why you are a better fit for their legal needs than your competition? Maybe all of the above… If so, write with these objectives in mind.
Structure Your Content for Success
You can use the following tips to structure your text in a way that is reader-friendly and does well to promote your services. (These tips are merely this writer’s suggestions for organizing web content; there are many other methods you may wish to incorporate.)
- Title. Select a title to represent your page (e.g., “Lawyernomics Contributors’ Thoughts on Writing Good Web Content”).
- Tagline. Write a catchphrase that highlights an important aspect of your services and that is consistent with the page’s content.
- Introduction. You want your viewer to want to read what you have to say. Express empathy, authority on the subject matter, and communicate your intended message.
- Statistics. Relevant statistics portray credibility and also add quality content.
- Bold headings. When you bold headings, it’s easier to scan the page and highlight the substance of each paragraph.
- Paragraphs. Limit paragraphs to nine lines.
- Transitional sentences. Use them to help paragraphs flow.
- Bold/Italicize. Use these formatting tools to emphasize important words and phrases in the text body, but use this technique sparingly for greater effect. You can employ this technique when the words themselves are marketing points and need to be seen by readers.
- Linear organization. For example, for personal injury lawyers writing about negligence, you could follow the elements for that claim. But, this strategy can also mean addressing the points you believe are most important for the page first, and arranging each successive point in descending order.
- Call to action. Make a compact and direct statement that tells the reader how and why they should contact you for representation. You can insert your call to action in more than one place in the text body, especially when your text is lengthy.
Given the understandable focus on achieving good page rank in search engine results, you should know that responsible and strategic use of rich keywords can help you enhance on-sight optimization and grow online visibility. There are many considerations that should be studied to fully optimize your website pages, and without question, this job should be left to the professionals. However, you can at least help your cause by writing quality content and including certain keywords.
You can use the Google Keyword Tool for keyword ideas. You can also analyze the competitiveness of each keyword. Remember, the more competitive the keyword, the more difficult it will be to rank well for that term.
Here are two basic tips for using keywords:
- Don’t use too many for each page. If in doubt, which you probably will be – like me you are not a search engine optimizer – use one or two per page.
- Use them naturally. For example, if you focus your practice in Encino, CA and you are a personal injury attorney, you can tell your readers that you are an Encino personal injury attorney.
If your budget permits, consult a search engine optimizer for their services. Nothing can replace a professional’s abilities. Also, incorporating strategic keywords so that your content gets picked up by search engines is a major goal for any website owner.
If you must wait to hire a professional optimizer until you can afford their services, start reading—a lot! There are many great blogs and instructional articles online. Practice patience; there is a lot of available information on this subject, and various opinions on what works best. But if you’re going to be writing your own content, you need to learn about this topic.
Promote What Makes You Unique
Anyone can write their contact information, years of experience, and describe their commitment to excellence. And anyone can list the elements of a cause of action. Does that information alone grab a reader? Does it give them reason to read further to learn about how and why you are a good fit for their legal needs?
If you commit to writing quality content for your website and you have the requisite patience, in time you can create a very resourceful website. Share interesting facts about your profession, as well as anecdotal information that changes the tone of a plain webpage from that of a billboard to a dynamic essay. The more effort you put into a webpage, the more it’s going to show that you care about what you do. With some practice, writing good web content can become a very effective part of your marketing campaign.