If you want your law firm website to be found by potential clients when they conduct searches, you’ll need to provide content on your site that addresses search queries used by those potential clients.
Search engines and search engine users want the same thing when it comes to web content. Search engine users want to find the best answers available for the questions they enter into search engines, and search engines want to be able to provide the best possible information to users for those queries.
But, since many of your potential clients are likely to begin searching for information about their legal problems before they are ever aware that they could benefit from hiring an attorney to represent them, it’s hard to know exactly what path a potential client’s search for information might take.
However, it’s easier to attract potential clients to your firm through your law firm website when you have a solid content plan, easy-to-use website navigation, and strategic internal links. In this blog post, we discuss how to build a law firm website that provides an optimal user experience for your potential clients.
Anticipate and Answer Your Potential Clients’ Specific Questions
If someone is considering filing for divorce, for example, and they know that the process is likely to be contentious, they may be prepared to look for an attorney from the start and they might enter the general (and highly competitive) search phrase “divorce attorney [your city or state]” into Google right off the bat.
If, however, they are considering going through the legal process without the help of an attorney, or are simply looking for information about divorce proceedings where they live before making a decision about whether or not to hire a lawyer, your potential clients are going to be more likely to enter specific search phrases that read more like “How do I file for divorce in [your city or state]?” or “How is custody determined in divorce cases in [your city or state]?”
By publishing law firm website content that addresses and answers these types of questions, your law firm has the chance to rank well organically for those kinds of search phrases. If your content appears on SERPs for certain specific queries, that content will have the opportunity to capture the attention of potential clients early in their quest for legal information.
The more questions you can answer for your potential clients with the content on your site, and the longer you can keep those clients on your site (rather than returning to a search engine to enter subsequent queries) the more likely you will be to convert those website visitors to actual clients for your law firm.
Come Up With a Law Firm Content Plan
There is an almost limitless number of topics you can address on your law firm website (for some topic ideas relevant to your practice area, check out our blog series on the subject). Since law firm content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy and not a quick-fix campaign, the sheer number of topic possibilities can seem overwhelming.
For this reason, it is a good idea to have a solid content plan in place before you begin adding content to your site. Content plans also help you keep to a regular writing schedule in the long term, and they ensure that content ideas and topics aren’t overlooked or forgotten as you continue to add content to your site. They also help you to organize your site’s navigation in order to make it as easy as possible for your potential clients to find the information that interests them most on your site.
Generally speaking, it is probably in your best interest to begin your content marketing efforts by writing high-level overviews about each topic you want to address on your site, and then drilling down into increasingly specific information on each of those topics as time goes on.
Use a spreadsheet to keep up with your content ideas, and group your ideas into relevant chunks that you can nest under more general topics in your site’s navigation structure.
You may also want to create one or more client personas before you begin adding content to your law firm website to make sure that you are targeting the right audience with your site’s content, and that you are optimizing that content for consumption by your target audience (i.e., your potential clients).
Law Firm Website Navigation Structure: Make It Easy for Website Visitors to Find What Interests Them
Attracting a potential client to your website from a SERP is only the first part of the content marketing battle. In order to convert those website visitors into potential clients, you’ll want to keep them on your site as long as possible by answering as many of their questions as you can.
To keep your potential clients on your site rather than navigating back to a search engine in order to perform additional searches for further information, make your law firm website easy to navigate.
Providing a comprehensive and intuitive navigation structure for your site will enable visitors to find the information that interests them.
The best way to structure your site’s navigation in order to provide an optimal user experience is to nest increasingly specific subtopics under more general headings. For instance, a DUI attorney’s law firm website is likely to have several pages dedicated to outlining various DUI laws and processes.
Where the main heading for that section might read “DUI Defense,” subtopics under that heading could include “First Offense,” “Second Offense,” etc., as well as other sections for subjects such as “DUI Penalties” and “DUI Tests.” Each of those proposed subsections can have subsections of their own, including sections for “Breath Tests,” “Field Sobriety Tests,” and “Blood Tests” under the heading “DUI Tests,” and even those subtopics can include subtopics under them.
Organizing your content in this way not only makes it easy for your potential clients to locate and navigate to specific topics that are of interest to them, but it also allows you to more efficiently keep up with a content marketing plan that starts with general topics and increases in terms of the specificity of the topics addressed.
Create an Internal Linking Structure For Your Law Firm’s Website
Creating a content plan that is built around writing about general topics on your law firm website first and then getting increasingly specific over time also makes it easier to develop your website’s internal linking structure.
An internal linking structure refers to links placed within your law firm website content that point to other content pages on your site, whereas external links point to content that exists on sites other than your own.
By providing an internal linking structure, you invite readers to explore other pages on your site and to look into other topics that are of interest to them without the need to navigate away from your law firm website to perform additional web searches.
Since web crawlers (the automated bits of software that scour the web in search of content to index) navigate the web by following links, a deliberate internal linking structure can also provide a boost to your site’s SEO.
Now, Start Planning Your Law Firm Website Content
Creating a good content plan for your site can help you stay on track with your content marketing efforts for many months, or even years, into the future.
That plan, once created, will also help you to develop an intuitive navigation structure for your site. It can help you ensure that you’re not overlooking information that can benefit your site’s SEO as well as your potential clients, and it will facilitate the production and development of your site’s internal linking structure.
Each of these items — on their own, but especially when working in tandem — can help boost your law firm website’s online visibility, as well as its ability to turn website visitors into potential clients for your firm.