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Your law firm’s website is the center of your law firm’s online presence. Your website should make it easy for clients to find you, like you, and — after they are prequalified by your website — to contact and hire you.

The most effective way to achieve all of these goals is through content marketing — leveraging free search engine traffic when potential clients are conducting internet research, and building trust with them through educational content. 

By taking the right approach with your law firm’s website, you can develop your website into an appreciating asset for your law firm. Here are three important elements of law firm websites that attorneys tend to overlook.

Are you overlooking a user-friendly law firm website design?

Your law firm’s website is the center of your law firm’s web presence — a user-friendly design is critical to the success of your law firm’s website.

Knowing what’s user-friendly on a law firm website comes down to understanding what your potential clients need from you. Often times, what you want in a website — and what your potential client needs in a website — are different things. And while a flashy or complex design may appeal to you, it may turn away viable potential clients because they feel confused or intimidated.

User-friendly designs respect the intelligence, dignity, and time of your potential clients. That’s why it’s important to stick to simple but effective designs, as well as adhering to traditional conventions in places like your navigation.

To learn about user-friendly site designs, see “3 Ways to Make Your Law Firm’s Website Design User Friendly.”

Are you overlooking factors that can affect your law firm website’s content marketing success?

Content marketing is an effective way to drive more free traffic to your law firm’s website. However, even the best content marketing strategy doesn’t produce immediate results. 

For content marketing to work well, your site needs a substantial amount of content, and new content should be published on a regular basis. If you plan to use content marketing for your law firm and you don’t add new, quality content to your site on a regular basis, it’s unlikely that you’ll see an impact from your content marketing. The amount of competition in your market can also affect how long it takes to see results from content marketing.

This is among many reasons that developing a content plan is important — it can help you commit to writing new content often and plan for things like addressing your competition.

Both the quantity and the quality of your site’s content are important factors in whether or not content marketing is likely to work for your firm. Your potential clients are looking for educational information that helps them learn more about their problem, and they’re likely going to use search engines to look for that information. In a blog post from August 1 of this year, Google’s Search Liaison Danny Sullivan noted that webmasters should be “[…] focusing on ensuring you’re offering the best content that you can. That’s what our algorithms seek to reward.”

In the same blog, Sullivan proposes some potential questions to ask yourself as a self-assessment to see if your content is reader-worthy:

  • Does the content provide original information, reporting, research or analysis?
  • Does the content provide a substantial, complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • If the content draws on other sources, does it avoid simply copying or rewriting those sources and instead provide substantial additional value and originality?
  • Does the headline and/or page title provide a descriptive, helpful summary of the content?
  • Does the headline and/or page title avoid being exaggerating or shocking in nature?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Would you expect to see this content in or referenced by a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?

To learn more about developing a library of high-quality content, see: “Google’s Latest Advice on Improving Your Law Firm Website’s Ranking: Focus on High-Quality Content.”

Are you overlooking the importance of law firm website content with a local focus? 

One thing that we often note is that potential clients have a tendency to think locally, not legally. What we mean by that is this: Because the vast majority of potential clients don’t come from a legal background, they tend to add in a local focus when they’re searching about their case or matter, even if the problem that they’re dealing with isn’t handled at a local level.

Not only does taking a local focus make your content much more unique, but it also helps potential clients find your content when they’re conducting local searches. 

There are lots of opportunities for you to develop local content. Sometimes, attorneys ask us questions like “There are a million pages on car accidents out there. How do I write something different than what already exists on the internet?” One of the best ways to do that is by developing local content.

You could have a variety of different local considerations; a criminal attorney could have a page on local DUI information for each court, each police department, and so on. A personal injury attorney could have a page for each city, for various hospitals, or maybe even pages for local tow truck companies. There are all kinds of different entry points into the relationship with your potential client and there’s essentially an infinite number of pages like this that you can create.

For more on developing locally focused content, see “Thinking Locally, Not Legally: How Potential Clients Find Law Firm Websites.”

Learn how to start or improve your law firm’s website

If you’re looking to create a new law firm website, if you have a website that isn’t working, or if you a website that isn’t keeping pace with your goals, see our on-demand webinar “How to Start or Improve Your Law Firm’s Website” to learn how to start — or stay — on the right track.