Does your firm’s website content provide unique value?
If you are trying to improve the rankings of your site’s content (ie. you are investing in SEO), one of the most important questions you can ask yourself is “does my content provide any unique value?”
I often hear law firm marketers complain that there is nothing truly unique left to say about the areas of law they are marketing. So they pay a writer to write the same boring practice area pages that all of their competitors already have, and then they wonder why they are unable to attract the types of signals necessary to move up in Google’s search results.
While it may be the case that there are few legal topics that have not been addressed somewhere on the web (the web is really big), there are countless ways to make your website content uniquely valuable.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite ways to make law content uniquely valuable:
Answer the core question quickly and obviously
Imagine you search Google for “are non competes enforceable in texas?.” You click on two (2) different results:
Both of these sites likely contain the same exact information, and thus, the same value. However, site 2 creates unique value by addressing the core question as directly and obviously as possible.
I would be willing to bet, from the user’s perspective, all other things being equal, site 2 is the better result, and if the user thinks so, so will Google.
Focus on the words
BREAKING NEWS: Good writing is fundamental to good web content.
Good writing means getting your point across to the reader as quickly and accurately as possible. When you are creating new content on old topics, ask yourself:
- How can we use words to communicate in a way that is more effective than the competition?
- What are other sites doing to make their content confusing, and how can we optimize it?
- Can this be shorter? Are we using 500 words when 100 will do?
Deliver your content using the optimal medium
Using a variety of digital content mediums is a great way to make your site’s content uniquely valuable. Because search engines have traditionally had problems indexing content in any form other than text, SEOs often fail to consider content mediums beyond text on a webpage. The reality is that Web content can – and often should – be delivered in a variety of forms:
- Images (meme’s, infographics, data visualizations etc.)
- Downloadable PDFs
- Tools (forms, calculators, etc.)
When you’re crafting your site’s content, ask yourself what content medium will most effectively address the user’s needs? If you understand the real value of a given piece of content, this determination will be simple.
For example, if someone googles “how child support payments are calculated”, she is likely facing the prospect of paying child support, and she wants to know how much money she should expect to have to pay based on her situation.
She doesn’t care about the history of child support, or why the percentages are structured how they are; she just wants to know how much money she is going to have to pay based on her unique situation.
Which of these two pages would be the most valuable for this person?
I would venture to guess that 90% of people would go with the latter. Why? Because it is the optimal content medium for providing the information that the user wants. It’s not just valuable, it is uniquely valuable.
Note: I am not saying that you should ONLY present your content with one medium. Ideally, you site’s content should be diversified. A truly unique content asset should contain a variety of content mediums, so that the user can consume the information however she prefers. The important point is to do your best to ensure that the content for any given topic exists in the most optimal medium.
- Google loves unique content. In a saturated market, more unique content = higher rankings
- While it may be difficult to create content that has truly unique information, it is relatively easy to convey that information in a uniquely valuable way
- If your content is more valuable to your audience than your competition’s, rankings and traffic will follow