How to Create Content for Your Website that Ranks High on Search Engines and Brings in New Clients
Law Firm Website Content in 2022
A Guide for Attorneys and Law Firms
In this post, we reveal why having good website content for your legal practice or law firm’s website is so important. We’ll discuss exactly what type of content you should have on your website, and how to create it. It contains actionable information that you can put into place immediately to start getting more of the clients you want for your legal practice or law firm.
Website Content for Lawyers and Law Firms
Your website should contain content that has been created for your ideal clients (and sometimes colleagues) in order to drive traffic to and engagement with your law firm’s website and brand.
Content can be created in many forms, from blog posts, to website pages, videos, infographics, and more. All of which should be created with a strategic purpose and specific goals in mind.
Creating and executing a content strategy is not as complicated as many marketing companies may lead you to believe. At its core, it’s a simple concept that involves just a few key steps. Much, or all, of this can be done “in house” or it can be contracted out for less than you may be thinking.
The focus is on creating client-centered content that helps your target audience solve their problems. It facilitates you being a client’s advocate, helping them navigate through tough moments, and becoming their trusted guide.
Importance of Having Good Website Content
They say “content is king” for a reason. The creation of a good content strategy is probably the single most important thing you can do for your online marketing efforts. It’s also the most overlooked piece by law firms in their marketing plans, which leaves a ton of opportunity for those who take advantage.
The creation of good content paired with a solid digital marketing strategy is the quickest and most effective way to increase traffic to your site, position yourself as an authority in your practice area, and most importantly, sign more clients.
A successful content marketing strategy gets on average three times the leads brought in by paid search. A study by HubSpot found that small businesses, including solo attorneys and small law firms with blogs get 126% more leads than those without.
Furthermore, law firm content marketing has been shown to increase conversion rates by nearly six times more than other methods while costing 62% less than traditional outbound marketing tactics.
Objectives of Your Website Content
The ultimate goal of any law firm marketing strategy is to generate new clients. Creating great content for your website is one of the most powerful and effective ways to do this. Think of content as the glue that holds all of your marketing efforts together, making them all more powerful and more cohesive.
Improve Search Engine Rankings and Exposure
If you want to rank well in search engines like Google, it’s never been more important to create quality content for your website than it is right now. Today, search engines like Google use a more integrated and diverse approach, focused on the objective of providing users with the best answers to their questions. Google’s algorithm has been refined to both reward websites with targeted, quality, and useful content and to devalue the ones that have none.
Google now takes a more holistic approach, taking into account search intent and using ranking signals such as trust and authority as indicators of relevance. This is great news for lawyers and law firms who take advantage of content creation and marketing.
By creating great content for your ideal clients, you’ll have a massive SEO advantage over your competition.
Increase Brand Awareness and Improve Brand Sentiment
Strong content allows you to showcase for your prospective clients who you are and what your law firm represents.
Brand awareness isn’t just whether your prospective clients know the name of your law firm or legal practice, but it’s how well they understand how you are uniquely qualified to help them solve their legal problem.
In order to create this distinction, your content needs to highlight the qualities that set your firm apart from your competitors.
When creating content, be sure to include details about your law firm which make it clear what it is that sets you apart from your competitors, showcasing to potential clients why they should choose you over other lawyers or law firms.
Your prospective clients are looking for authority and authenticity. They want to feel confident in their decision to contact your legal practice or law firm. This can only be accomplished by having great content to present to them once they arrive at your website.
Convert More Prospects into Clients (Conversion Rate Optimization)
An attorneys website can easily be their number one tool for lead generation and likely their number one client acquisition tool as well. An appealing site that catches your visitor’s eye is great, but what if that traffic is making zero impact on your bottom line?
The content on your law firm’s website absolutely has a direct impact on your new client acquisition rate.
Users visit websites for the content, so if the information displayed on your website is incorrect, uninteresting, or without purpose, potential clients will quickly move on to a competitor’s website.
But, if you can demonstrate to prospective clients that you have the expertise they seek, and the empathy and understanding to know what it’s like to walk in their shoes, they’ll contact your legal practice or law firm at a much higher rate. Ultimately, they’ll see you as the local expert who has the solution to the legal problems they are facing.
Steps to Creating Great Content for Your Law Firm’s Website
There are two simple steps to take when creating content for your legal practice’s website. But it’s the details contained within these two steps that will differentiate poor content (the kind that doesn’t rank well in search engines or help convert prospects into clients) from high quality content.
Step 1. Define Your Audience
Knowing who your ideal clients are, and understanding their needs and desires is one the most important elements of creating really great content for your website. Your law firm or legal practice isn’t for everyone, so specifically targeting your ideal clients with your content is crucial.
You want your content to speak the language of your ideal client. This requires that you understand them, and the problems, fears and questions they have inside and out.
There are two ways to get insight into this. First is to consider your past and current clients. What questions do they have when they first come into your office? What are some of the phrases they use to describe their legal problems? Make a list of these and then answer them. You can then use that to create a “frequently asked questions” page on your website.
The second way to learn about your ideal client and what useful content you can create for them is through keyword research.
Keyword research provides you with specific search data that will help you determine which specific terms your potential clients are searching on Google. It can help you identify what types of questions they’re wanting answers to, and how (specifically) they’re searching for your services. This will then help you to know what type of content you should be creating.
You likely have a few keywords in mind that you would like to rank for. These will be things like your area(s) of practice. You can then enter those keywords into a keyword research tool like Ubersuggest to discover the average monthly search volume of that specific keyword, along with other similar keywords for you to target. This will help you determine which variations of your keywords are most popular amongst your potential clients.
Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)
Another great source of your prospective client’s questions and concerns can be found in Google’s “People also ask” section, along with their “Searches related to” section.
Once you have a good idea of the keywords being used, and the type of content that is going to best serve your ideal clients, you can then move on to creating that content for your website.
Step 2. Creating Your Content
Now that you know what keywords you should be targeting, and the type of content that is going to best serve your ideal clients, it’s time to create content around those keywords, and answers to any questions you’ve discovered.
Content can be created in many forms; here we’ll discuss the main forms of content you should focus on for your website.
Types of Content Law Firms Should Have on Their Website
Practice Area Content Pages
It’s important to have pages of content (information) regarding each of your practice areas, and possibly sub-sections of those practice areas as well. These should not be “boilerplate” pages of generic content either. Doing this is a complete waste of time. It offers no SEO value, and more importantly, no value to your ideal client.
These pages should be written to be unique to your law firm or legal practice. Include details about your geographic area of practice, along with your own unique experience(s) within that area of law.
Always keep in mind that you are first and foremost writing these pages for your prospective clients, not search engines. Tactics like excessive keyword stuffing are antiquated and unnecessary. Write your content to best serve your potential clients. By doing so, you’ll avoid rankings penalties and convert more prospective clients into paying clients.
NOTE: Consider limiting the practice areas on your website to one or two main practice areas. This is because people tend to seek out a “specialist” when looking to solve a legal problem and Google knows this. When a website is completely branded for a specific practice area and all of the content matches that practice area it does two things.
First, it can give you an advantage in search engine rankings compared to other attorney websites with multiple practice areas. Second, it can give you an advantage in the mind of a potential client because you appear to be an “expert” or “specialist” without having to say so.
Geographic Service Area Pages
While most of your content will be focused on your prospective clients and how you can solve their legal problems, it’s also important to have some pages that focus on the communities you serve.
Your local content pages should contain information about and be optimized for any additional locations you serve.
For example, if you’re a DUI lawyer with an office in Portland, Oregon, but you also serve clients who live in Gresham (a town next to Portland), you’ll want to create a specific page for the keyword “DUI lawyer Gresham.”
These pages can simply be a version of your regular “DUI page,” but they’ll need to contain information about the specific city or town that you’re targeting. This can include images of the target city along with any specifics about your services provided in that area. Your URL structure would then look like this:
Your contact page should be straightforward and simple. It should quickly and simply reiterate your best unique selling proposition and provide your contact information. That is all, don’t make this page overly complicated.
It is important to note that some people won’t want to call right away, so it’s a good idea to include a “contact us” form on this page along with a phone number (and a click to call button on mobile devices).
About Us Page
You should consider your “About Us” page a sales page. This is where prospective clients are going to go to decide what makes you different (i.e. better) than their other choices (i.e. your competitors).
For that reason, your About Us page should contain information about your experience, along with accolades, education, and information about your law firm’s motto and what it is you stand for.
It’s a place for you to showcase your authority and authenticity, both of which your prospective clients will be looking for when trying to solve their legal problem(s).
Blog posts are a great way of keeping your law firm’s website updated with content that is important to both your current and prospective clients. You can create blog content simply by getting more specific about your practice area pages.
For instance, if you are an estate planning attorney, your website should have practice area pages that detail estate planning (wills, probate, etc.). Your blog posts would then delve deeper into these areas with more information that pertains to specific issues relevant to your current and potential clients.
These would include topics such as:
How do you cover your estate plan with a prenuptial agreement?
How much should you leave in your will for the care of your pet?
What’s the time frame for probate in your state?
The general idea is to simply write about questions your prospective clients would likely have. By creating content that speaks to these issues it creates more opportunity for your website to rank in search engines and for a potential client to land on your website.
Blogging should be a continual and ongoing part of your content and digital marketing strategy. It’s important to maintain and refresh blog posts as needed or remove them if time has made them irrelevant.
Does Your Law Firm Really Need a Blog?
Although not required, maintaining a blog can be massively advantageous to the SEO of attorneys and law firms. It’s a great way to increase your “long-tail” (keywords longer than three and four words) search engine rankings and get more prospective clients to your website.
A blog can also be quite effective in showcasing your authority, expertise, and experience to potential clients, drastically increasing your conversion rates.
A blog does not need to be an overwhelming chore that ends up as just one more thing on the “to-do” list. Even by blogging just once a month, or even once a quarter, over time this can add up to a significant advantage over your competitors who are ignoring this opportunity.
Format Your Content for Easy Reading
Another thing to keep in mind when creating content for your law firm’s website is the formatting. This is almost always overlooked, so it presents a huge opportunity for attorneys and law firms who do it correctly.
According to the Nielsen Norman Group, 79% of people do not actually read content online. Instead, they scan and pick up words and phrases as they go.
There is also a general consensus on how long you have to capture a person’s attention before they leave your website. Just 15 seconds.
If all of your content is presented in unending solid blocks of text, not only will your potential clients likely not read it, they’ll likely leave your website altogether and continue searching for an answer to their legal problem(s) elsewhere.
Be sure to format your website content so that it’s as easy as possible for prospective clients to scan and read, while also conveying the information you believe is most valuable.
You can do this by:
- Writing engaging headlines and subheads
- Using bulleted lists
- Highlighting keywords or phrases (using bold, different color text, hyperlinks)
- Writing in concise sentences and paragraphs
- Incorporating graphics to break up heavy blocks of text
- Visually supporting your written content through the use of images, infographics and video
The creation of good content paired with a solid digital marketing strategy for your law firm is the quickest and most effective way to increase traffic to your site, position yourself as an authority in your practice area, and most importantly, sign more clients.
By creating great content for your ideal clients, you’ll have a massive SEO advantage over your competition. It can also greatly increase your conversion rates (how many prospective clients become paying clients).
Chris is a digital marketing consultant and has been helping attorneys and law firms grow their revenue and scale their legal practices for the past 12 years. His areas of expertise are in content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), and conversion rate optimization (CRO).