Tips on Writing Google-Worthy Content for Your Law Firm Web Site
Although maintaining an effective web site for your law firm that Google serves up to potential clients requires regular additions of content (feeding the beast), it should never be rushed. It shouldn’t be something that you dash off in 20 minutes on a yellow pad and then slap onto your site. A lot of thought and strategy should go into it if people are going to find it, and more importantly, convert into clients.
What you write should inform an educate your readers, convey your authority and expertise, and encourage them to become your clients. It should be on a wide variety of topics, be written in understandable language that is concise and engaging to the reader. Here are some ideas on how to do that.
Categories of Content
As I said, there should be a variety and the types of content that are on your website. These types tend to fall into these three categories.
- Evergreen. This type of content includes things like How-To Guides, FAQs (and SAQs), and Industry Definitions.
- Time Sensitive Content. This is content that needs to be posted timely to get traction and attention on your site. It often consists of articles on new (or revised) laws, news, firm news, or case results.
- Top Level. This is the content on your home page and practice area description pages, along with content that attracts vanity keywords like “bankruptcy attorneys near me.”
Your website content should be well balanced among these types.
How to write the content
As I said, when it comes to writing content for your website, there is a methodical process you should follow and steps you should take in a particular order.
First, do an initial draft; write the content first. Don’t worry about what the title is going to be or the headline or headers; just get your ideas on paper. You can always go back and edit them once you’re finished.
In doing so, be concise, using active rather than passive voice. Don’t be wordy. People are impatient when they read web content and often skim, so the sooner you get to the point the better.
You should also use what is called “Receptive Vocabulary.” In other words, don’t use your words, use theirs. Don’t write in legalese. You should be relatable and understandable to them.
Speaking of legalese, be sure to explain all the terminology. Your website visitor is not necessarily going to understand what you’re talking about unless you define your terms.
Again, people tend to skim web content, so you need to structure it for readability. Use descriptive headers, different fonts, or boldface to emphasize certain content. In this way, the reader will get the gist of the article through a scan without having to read every word.
Finally, consider adding video clips to your written content. This will help them to engage and can catch the attention of a visitor who learns more visually than from reading.
Titles, Tags, Meta Tags, and Headlines
Now that you have the content written, let’s dress it up for SEO. The title should use lots of keywords, be concise (no more than 60 characters), and be descriptive of the content. As to your headline, it should be a size that ranks just below that of the title and be significantly different in wording. It should be unique and useful to the reader in understanding the content, and create a sense of urgency.
A good meta tag (the descriptor that appears below the page title on the search results page) will help with your click through rates, so you need to consider the wording carefully. It should be the elevator pitch for your article, and as such, should be no more than 160 characters. This, along with the title of your landing page will help encourage visitors to click through from the search results page and actually read your post.
Questions to Ask Before You Publish
Finally, before you publish any content to your website, you should ask yourself the following questions about it. If you don’t get good answers, you need to go back and revise that page until you do. Those questions are:
- Does it look like an expert wrote it? Your content needs to convey authority to the reader, along with a sense of confidence. They need to get the impression that you know what you’re talking about, and as such are the lawyer they should hire.
- Does it have any insightful analysis? Are you just reciting facts or are you providing an analysis that helps the reader understand the issue? Does it demonstrate that you understand it as well?
- If you were the reader, would you bookmark the page? People are often online because they’re trying to research their legal problem. During that research, they are gathering resource materials. Do you want your content to be something they keep and come back to later or just bounce away from to go to a different site?
- Does it seem original? Your site visitor may have been to other law firm sites for legal information. Does your content look pretty much like everything else they’ve read or does it stand out? Is it different?
- Does it seem trustworthy? Your content should always convey authority, and the reader needs to know that they can trust you when you tell them something. You need to convince them that you are the lawyer to hire.
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