Topic clusters can be effective to present and organize the content your law firm website needs and to reach your potential clients. Without a good content plan, law firm website content can be disorganized. It may only cover parts of an important subject, or it may be missing the answers to specific questions your clients are likely to ask. Topic clusters allow you plan and cover a topic broadly and specifically. This lets your potential clients — who are busy and short on attention — decide how they want to engage with you. The pillar topic is designed to cover your core content topic broadly. Its accompanying clusters cover, in-depth, specific sub-topics of the broader pillar category.
Why attorneys benefit from using topic clusters
The topic cluster structure can help potential clients decide how they want to engage with your content. If you’re a family law attorney, does your potential client want to read a broad overview about the divorce process? Do they need highly specific information about division of assets? Do they need to know specifics about child support or custody in their state? Either way, topic clusters help potential clients find the information they need and explore additional information that you provide.
An example criminal defense website topic cluster
Here’s an example of topic clusters for a criminal defense attorney who’s ready to write evergreen content. You can start a topic cluster by thinking broadly about common crimes you’d like your potential clients to understand. Let’s narrow in on a possible pillar. Here’s a quick doodle: The content for a pillar like, “Domestic Abuse” can cover the subject broadly. The pillar is linked to cover specific subtopics: Domestic battery, child abuse, child neglect, restraining order violations, and so forth. From there, content can become increasingly specific. Look to the subtopic “Child Abuse.” That topic could be linked to posts that provide in-depth explanations of child abuse specifics. For example, penalties in your state, legal defenses, whether or not former acts of child abuse can be used against you, etc. If you’re faced with a question from a potential client that you haven’t yet covered, or that you think they’d be interested in, see if that question fits into one of the broad topics you’ve already written about. If it does, write the content and link it to your broad page to help readers find it. If it doesn’t, create the broader topic for the question. Then fill in the broad topic area with other questions/answers that may be valuable to your potential clients. For example, a DUI attorney who’s creating topic clusters may write down the question, “Is a DUI a felony or a misdemeanor in [your state/region/county/city]?” That question could exist under a broader category about DUI penalties. But that broader topic can have many subtopics aside from the above question. For example:
- What happens after a 1st/2nd/3rd DUI offense?
- When can a DUI become a felony?
- What is the penalty for a misdemeanor DUI?
- What is the penalty for a felony DUI?
- Do underage drivers receive harsher DUI penalties?
- What happens if I refuse a breath test?
- What happens if I refuse a blood test?
- What happens if I was charged with a DUI while I had a child in the car?
- What is DUI school? Do I have to enroll in DUI school?
- What is a wet reckless?
As you build the architecture of your site and create the content to occupy those spaces, be sure that your content uses natural language that your potential clients understand. Search engines may find the linking organization that’s a natural byproduct of topic clusters to be useful in understanding what content is available to index. However, there’s a difference between what a search engine can provide a search engine user and what that person is searching for. Keep in mind that you’re writing for your potential clients, rather than for the search engines. The result is content that your potential clients actually care about. It’s the content that answers the questions they have and that they’re likely to find in search engine results pages. Detailed and readable content helps build a bond of trust between you and your potential clients. That bond increases the likelihood that they’ll reach out to your firm when it’s time.