Unleashing the Power of Content for Your Law Firm's Website
Tanner Jones discusses aspects of good content and bad content on law firm websites. Graphics, media, videos, communication, navigation, educational resources, blogs, press releases, news stories, Social Media and creative assets are among the topics in this episode.
Main factors of what makes law firm website content ‘good’ or ‘bad’
All search engine optimization campaigns include some form of content marketing. In this episode, we’re going to cover the three main contributors to bad content. But more importantly, let’s discuss the three components to making good content, so that you can unleash the power for your website.
What can make a law firm’s website content ‘bad’?
Before we jump in and talk about good content for your website, let’s discuss a few things to avoid when it comes to content marketing.
First and foremost, if you just have words on a page, and there’s no graphics or images to grab that visitor’s attention, then you’re likely offering boring content. And you can confirm that by going to your Google analytics, and seeing what your bounce rate is for your average visitor. If it’s over 70%, in the legal profession, that’s pretty high. And so it means that visitors are coming to the site, they’re not getting engaged, and they’re quickly leaving.
You can also look at the average time on site. If the average time on site is under a minute and a half, then again, you’re not retaining those visitors. One of the easiest ways to retain those visitors is to incorporate graphics and images; even video content or infographics. People are not reading from the top word all the way to the bottom. And so, they’re scrolling down the page, and those graphics and images grab the attention, and that’s exactly what you want for your content.
The next piece you want to avoid is unclear communication of information. And what I mean by that is, simply means if somebody is coming to the site, it means that they’re likely in the research stage. They’re reading about what the process is like of hiring a law firm, or specifically related to the practice area of the page that they’re on. Too often, lawyers are writing the content for their own sites, and they’re writing as if they’re talking to a colleague, or another attorney. And so they’re speaking over the heads of their average prospective client.
If you’re writing the content, try to write between the fifth and eighth grade reading level. Again, you want the content to be able to just quickly flow down that page. And if you’re incorporating the graphics and images, you’re again able to retain the visitors longer on the site. The longer you keep them on the site, the more chance you have of converting them into a prospective client.
The last piece to avoid is difficulty in navigating on the site. And what I mean by that is, if you’re investing in a search marketing campaign, you’ll likely have quite a bit of content on the site. You have practice area pages, supportive sub-practice area pages, blog content, other resources, and over time, if you’re just throwing that content on the site, it’s going to become difficult to navigate. At the end of the day, people want convenience. They want something easy to be able to navigate through. And you want to be able to conveniently place relevant content along other relevant content pages.
If you’re listing all of your sub-practice area pages, and irrelevant practice area pages on the same page, you’re going to offer too many options, you’re going to overwhelm the user, and they’re going to click the back button. You’re going to lose them. Make it easy to navigate through the site, and that’s how you’re going to get more calls through the site.
What can make a law firm’s website content ‘good’?
Let’s jump into what makes good content for your website. It can be broken down into three major contributors. Number one educational content, provide good information, provide good resources, and that’s what’s going to help support the campaign. Number two, blogs, press releases, news articles, keep the site active and relevant. Number three, videos, social, creative assets, these are all ways to break the monotony of the site, add more dynamics to the page.
Number one, educational content. Now, often times lawyers are a little concerned to provide so much information, so much value and resources, essentially putting all their 30 years of practice onto a site for the public to see. But the answer to that is simple, if prospective clients are online doing research, then you want to make sure that you have resources available to them so that you can grab them at the top of the funnel.
If you’re able to address their needs, and show them that you know what you’re talking about, you immediately establish trust and credibility, and you increase the chance of getting that phone call. If you’re not doing that, you can guarantee that your competitors are. Educational content is key to not only improving your rankings, but increasing the likelihood that a visitor is going to call you.
Number two, blogs, press releases, and news articles. Blogs are a great way to keep the site active with fresh relevant information. And so, you want to use these to be able to drive in traffic from the search results, but also once the visitor gets to the site, offer them valuable information that’s relevant to them, and that also helps address their questions.
Press releases and news articles are other great ways to really broadcast your message into a wider audience. But I would encourage you to keep press releases in your back pocket, use those for very timely information, but also worthwhile information. So if it’s legislative changes that affect your clients, or maybe large verdicts or settlements that you want to really push out, then you can use a press release.
Lastly, video content. Video content is one way to really show the human side, the personality, or the culture of the firm. People watch these videos not only to get the information, but to see how you interact, to see how you talk. So you leverage videos to support your main practice area pages, as well as your attorney bio pages.
Social media is an excellent way to really push out this good content we’re talking about to a much wider audience. There’s over a billion people on Facebook, there are millions of people on other social networks that you can get your message in front of. And so if you’re pushing out good content on your site, then you can get it out on these social channels for a much wider audience to see it.
The last piece, creative assets. Creative assets add just a new flare to the site. It’s something that’s unique to your site unlike any other competitor’s site out there.
I’ve told you what to avoid when it comes to content marketing, and we’ve also showed you how to unleash the power of content for your web campaign. But to turn these concepts into cases, you have to act.