3 Attributes Of Successful Substantive Law Firm Website Pages

by Jul 17, 2017

Potential clients want to know how you can address their needs and why you’re the right attorney to help them with their case or matter.

The practice area and detailed law pages (also known as substantive pages) on your law firm’s website, can provide potential clients with useful answers to those questions.

By answering those questions on your practice area and detailed law pages, you can help potential clients learn more about their case or problem and develop a connection with your law firm. This makes them more likely to trust you and more likely to contact you when they are ready to choose an attorney.

Here are three things that can help make law firm substantive pages more successful.

1. Successful substantive pages answer potential clients’ questions

To create successful substantive pages, it is helpful to try to get into the mindset of a potential client.

Your potential clients likely want to know several things:

  • Do you understand their problem? Substantive pages that provide in-depth,easy-to-understand answers demonstrate that you understand a potential client’s problem.
  • Do you have a solution? Substantive pages are an opportunity to demonstrate that you have the knowledge to address their problem effectively. For example, a criminal defense attorney’s detailed law pages could include information on potential defenses for each crime.
  • How much do you care? Your potential clients want to know that you will care about them and their problem. Providing substantive content that helps clients understand their problems can demonstrate that you care deeply about your practice area(s) and will also care about helping them with their case or matter.
  • How good are you?  Substantive pages that answer the first three questions can also send a subtle message about your skills and experience that can reinforce the positive messages included in other parts of your website, such as your attorney bio, case results and client testimonials).

2. Successful substantive pages are actually substantive

We frequently see substantive pages on law firm websites that don’t include much information. For example, a criminal defense law firm website might include an “Assault” page with little more than the exact statutory definition of the crime and a call to action to contact the firm.

These kinds of substantive pages are problematic because they’re not substantive.

They don’t assist web visitors who are looking for meaningful information about a particular topic, and they are unlikely to rank well in search engine results because they don’t contain what Google is likely to consider high-quality content.

Pages with this little information are likely to be considered “thin content” by Google and may result in having your law firm’s website relegated in search results.

Brief pages may be acceptable if you are just launching your law firm’s website, but for your firm to benefit from content marketing, those pages will need to expand to provide much greater detail. Highly detailed content is more likely to be returned in search engine results when potential clients make relevant queries and it provides potential clients with answers that help them trust, like, and eventually hire you.

Failing to develop your substantive pages can mean that you’re missing an opportunity to reach more potential clients and establish yourself as a thought leader and subject matter expert.

In-depth substantive pages can also show potential clients that you are passionate about your practice and will bring that level of enthusiasm to helping them with their case or matter.

For example, a criminal defense law firm’s detailed law pages could include a detailed and easy-to-understand explanation of the elements of the relevant statute, along with clear examples a potential client is likely to understand.

The pages can also include information about the potential penalties and potential defenses for each crime, which can help a potential client understand the seriousness of their problem, as well as how an attorney could help them.

Successful substantive pages provide useful information to potential clients, explained in a way they are likely to understand. Simultaneously, these pages reinforce that a potential client’s problem is complex and that they could benefit from an attorney’s assistance.

3. Successful substantive law firm website pages include local information

Substantive pages are also an opportunity to address the particular questions or challenges potential clients may have in your geographic area.

If a potential client’s case or problem is local in nature, your substantive pages can provide them with helpful information while also demonstrating the knowledge and experience your law firm can bring to addressing their case or matter.

For example, if the recently-elected DA of your county ran on a platform of being tough on domestic violence, might that result in harsher penalties for domestic violence cases in your area? By including that kind of local information in practice area and detailed law pages, you reflect your law firm’s unique knowledge and experience in your geographic area.

Learn to create successful substantive pages for your law firm website

Our on-demand webinar, Creating Effective Substantive Pages For Your Law Firm’s Website can help you get started.

The LawLytics blog also has tips for avoiding common mistakes on practice area pages.

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