Making Your Law Firm Website’s Content Work
Law Firm Website Design
4 min read
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Your website’s content needs to be effective. Go back to the goals of your website. Why is someone visiting the page? Make sure that you are being thoughtful and matching the right messaging for each page type.
Write engaging headlines and subheadings
Use meaningful subheadings to break up and organize information
Use bulleted lists
Write one idea per paragraph
Incorporate graphics, infographics, video, and images to break up heavy blocks of text
Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman says that 95% of our purchasing comes from our subconscious mind. And, the biggest driver of unconscious urges is emotion.
Stories are an effective way to touch people emotionally and create an engaging experience for them on your site. The old saying holds true: stories sell.
Instead of telling someone you are responsive and really care about your clients, share a client’s story or testimonial that shows you care and are responsive. It’s not just more interesting, it’s more compelling.
Research by the Nielsen Norman Group — a leading user experience consulting group — found that 79% of people don’t read websites. They scan them.
Knowing this, you need to write content that is easy to scan and still conveys valuable information.
Here are some effective ways to do that:
Nielsen Norman’s research also discovered readers prefer to see the summary or conclusion first. Give your conclusion first. Then provide supporting information that encourages readers to read more. For those of you who learned IRAC (Issue, Rule, Application, Conclusion) in law school, your marketing writing requires a different structure.
You may remember the days when websites peppered their content with key phrases (personal injury lawyer near me) because that was the key to soar to the top of the search results. Google no longer rewards repetitive use of overly optimized phrases, and people don’t like to read it, either.
Instead, focus on your audience. What information do they want to know? Today’s advanced algorithms are focused on finding the best and most helpful sites. If you write thorough, smart content about the topic, the search engines will find it and reward it.
Your website is not a brief or court document. It is a series of interesting stories meant to convey who you help and how you help them. You must write in a way that everyone will understand.
Pretend you are writing to a friend. Create content that is conversational and engaging. Don’t assume people know what common legal words mean. The reality is that many people do not know what an estate plan is and they are too embarrassed to ask you.
Make sure you keep your consent at a more accessible grade level. Most marketing experts recommend your writing be at an 8th grade or below level. There are many tools you can use to check your readability level.
Website visitors trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That’s why it’s important to feature testimonials on your website. To earn client testimonials, simply ask for them. Make it a part of your process. You can then add a dedicated page to your website for testimonials, feature them throughout other pages, or both.
Remember your ethical obligations. Always check your state’s rules regarding advertising and make sure you’re in compliance. As a basic rule—don’t be misleading and don’t make promises about your representation or results.
Consider appropriate disclaimers. It’s advisable to state that you are not providing individual legal counsel. Also, state that any contacts from your website do not automatically create an attorney-client relationship.
Finally, write honestly. As one lawyer stated during a conversation about online marketing and lawyer ethics, “If you wouldn’t feel comfortable being questioned about your posts in a deposition, you shouldn’t put it there.”
Put these best practices to work when writing (or rewriting) your website content, and you can create better website copy that engages your audience and encourages prospective clients to act.