A good law firm website should help answer your potential clients’ questions, establish your law firm as a trusted resource, and bring in new business.
Yet, many law firms struggle with how to turn their websites into an effective business generator.
There are many reasons that a law firm’s website may not be driving business. In some cases, attorneys may not understand how search engines work or the details about how potential clients use search engines to find attorneys, and it’s keeping their site from being found. That particular discussion is outside the scope of this blog post, but you can learn more about by reading Law Firm SEO – The Simple Truth That Will Save You Money.
In other cases, the attorney may understand that content is an important component of their online legal marketing — but they may not know what to publish, or the content they are publishing isn’t relevant to potential clients.
What are your potential clients thinking about?
One of the best ways to develop the right content on your law firm website is by considering the mindset of your potential clients.
Think about the questions that clients often ask you (Hint: The questions they ask you are similar to those they ask Google when they do research about their case or problem). Those questions will be an important part of writing highly relevant blog and website content for your readers.
This strategy we’ll describe below can help you identify, organize, and write about the information that your potential clients value most, and that Google is likely to return in search results for relevant queries.
Here’s how to get started.
Brainstorm topics and questions related to your law firm’s practice area(s)
If you’re just starting to publish content on your website, you may wonder what topics you should write about. It helps to start by thinking broadly about relevant topics related to your law firm’s practice area(s).
For example, a divorce attorney in California might start by making a list of relevant topics such as:
- California Divorce Laws
- California Divorce Frequently Asked Questions
- California Child Custody
Once you’ve brainstormed broad topics, think about related keywords and phrases that a potential client might use when searching for information about those topics.
As you do this, remember that potential clients will often ask complex questions rather than searching for basic keywords.
They also might not be looking for an attorney (yet). For example, a potential client may search for “how do I get a divorce without a lawyer?” or “how to file for divorce in California without an attorney,” rather than “California divorce attorney.”
A potential client may also be looking for answers to a specific question, such as:
- Is there a waiting period to get a divorce in California?
- Can a stepfather get custody of children in Los Angeles?
- How long does it take to get a divorce in San Francisco?
- Can a same-sex couple get a divorce in California?
If you’re still struggling to come up with a list, check out “3 Steps for Better Law Firm Keyword Research.”
Think about related terms your potential clients may use.
Your list at this point probably includes a combination of keywords, short phrases, and questions a potential client may ask.
Next, you can expand the list by thinking about related terms your potential clients may use in their online searches. Your potential clients might not use legalese to describe their problem. Identifying related terms and synonyms can help you use the kind of language your potential clients may use to describe their case or matter.
Google has two handy features that can help you identify related terms: “People also ask” and “searches related to….”
Let’s use a California family law attorney as an example again. Here’s what you might see if you searched for “California divorce laws.”
Example:“People also ask” section in Google search results
Example: “Searches related to” section in Google search results
California divorce community property, alimony, adultery, and waiting periods are just a few of the potential topics that a California family law firm could add to their growing list of client questions.
A quick Google search for each of these more specific topics will yield even more keywords and potential questions to add to your list.
Check out your law firm’s competition.
Now that you have your list of topics and questions, take a look at which law firms appear in search results for those words and phrases.
If your competitors’ websites appear in search engine results for particular queries, spend a little time poking around their websites to see what kind of content they have published on those topics. Odds are, they have created relevant, informative content that addresses potential client’s specific questions.
Attorneys certainly shouldn’t copy their competitors’ content, but seeing what else is out there can inform the decisions you make about how you’ll address that particular topic or question.
Keep in mind that while a competitor may have covered a particular question or topic in great detail themselves, there is a way to frame or re-frame the issues that you talk about in a way that is unique to your particular firm, that captures your personality, and resonates with a potential client or referral source.
Publish quality content that addresses your potential clients’ questions.
Knowing what topics your potential clients are interested in is just the first step. The next step is actually creating and publishing high-quality content that addresses those topics and questions.
Think about the list you developed and begin planning the publication of substantive pages and blog posts that address those questions. Don’t focus on stuffing keywords into your content. If you’re developing content that addresses potential clients’ questions, relevant keywords will naturally appear in your content.
Be sure to check out our Law Firm Website Content Planning Clinic for invaluable tips on developing an effective content strategy that will help engage potential clients.
If you simply don’t have the time to blog yourself, LawLytics has a team of professional legal content developers that can develop engaging content that brings new visitors to your law firm website and converts them into clients.