Content marketing is an effective and efficient way for solo practitioners and small law firms to drive new potential clients to their law practices. But for legal content marketing to be effective for attorneys, it has to be approached strategically.
Here are three quick tips on how to make content marketing work for your law firm.
Before you begin content marketing, develop a content plan for your law firm.
Many attorneys worry that they need a large volume of content from the get-go when they launch a new website, which can keep them from doing content marketing effectively.
While you don’t need tons of content to get started, it’s good to begin with basic pages and then strategically add more content over time.
Because a potential client should be able to visit your website and quickly determine what you do, who you are, and where you are, your law firm’s basic pages are likely to include:
- Your homepage
- Your attorney bio(s)/The “About Us” page
- Practice area pages
- Case results
Your plan should not only include what pages will be written, and in what order, but also when those pages will be produced (and by whom). For content marketing to work well for most law firms, new content must be produced on a regular basis, which means having accountabilities and a schedule in place will be important.
Be sure to be realistic about your timeline, and adjust it as necessary. To learn more about developing a plan, see “6 Tips For Developing an Effective Content Plan.”
Think about the needs of your law firm’s potential clients as you create content.
One of the best aspects of content marketing for law firms is that it’s basically the translation of your potential clients’ experience — and the questions that they ask — into the written content on your law firm’s website.
Each time you meet with a potential new client, they’re asking you questions about their case or matter. When you create content around the questions that your potential clients are asking you and that they’re likely searching for — and you answer those questions with rich, educational information — you make it much more likely that your firm will be found by potential clients when they conduct relevant searches. You also make it more likely that your potential clients will develop trust and confidence in you and your work before you’ve even met face-to-face.
Traditional advertising methods take an approach that often casts a wide net. But content marketing can be much more targeted by directly addressing the types of potential clients with the cases or matters that you’re looking for. The end result is that it can help the right potential clients find you, and help you attract the right kinds of cases to your firm. Best of all, once a piece of content is created, it remains useful and relevant to potential clients so long as that information remains current.
As you’re creating content for your law firm’s website, put yourself in the position of the potential client that you’re writing to. What are they thinking about? How are they feeling? What do they need to know about their case or problem? What do they need to know about you, your firm, and how you can help them?
Attorneys often wonder how long a particular piece of content should be. The best answer to that question is this: Write it to the length that it needs to be written to provide sufficient detail to someone who is trying to find a meaningful answer to their question. If a piece only warrants a 500-word explanation of something, don’t stretch it for the sake of stretching it. Similarly, if another topic warrants 1500 or 2000 words on a topic, give it the length that it needs to fully explain something.
Regardless of what you’re writing about, make sure that you have a focus on what your potential client needs and what they’re looking for.
Provide your potential clients with easy-to-use website navigation and links.
As you begin adding content to your law firm’s website, you’ll likely only have a handful of pages — and those need to be presented in an orderly fashion.
However, as your content and pages grow, you’ll need to make sure that they’re arranged in such a way that a potential client can easily find what they’re looking for and easily navigate from page to page in a way that makes sense.
Good content will mean little to potential clients if it’s not properly organized. Potential clients have little patience for websites that make them work to find something. And, if your website is making potential clients do work, they’ll simply press the “Back” button on their web browser and find another website that makes it easy for them to find what they need.
Here’s an example of how the navigational hierarchy of a law firm website might develop.
Let’s say a DUI attorney who is just beginning a law firm website has just a few practice area pages that serve as a broad overview, leaving room to add more content in the future. The navigation drop-down menu might look something like this:
These pages might provide a broad but useful overview to potential clients. For example, the “Arizona DUI Penalties” page might provide a broad overview of the potential penalties for a DUI in the geographic area where you practice.
Over time, each of these pages will likely have subpages. For this example law firm, the Arizona DUI Penalties section will likely have subpages that detail the penalties for a first, second, and third DUI.
Additional, the Arizona DUI Tests page will likely expand to detail the various DUI tests that a potential client may have been subjected to:
These kinds of efficient arrangements make it easy for potential clients to find detailed information about topics that are pertinent to the questions that they have and allows them to move seamlessly from one page of content to the next. A potential client for a DUI firm can quickly locate the “Arizona DUI Tests” header, and then navigate to an item of interest underneath it.
It’s important to use attorney-friendly technology that lets you change and move your navigation as you continue to develop content. The LawLytics platform lets you easily add and edit new pages and change their arrangement on your site with just a few clicks.
Not only is content planning valuable for knowing what will be published when — it’s also valuable for helping you see what pages you plan to add and where they’ll be featured on your site. That way, you can envision what your navigation will look like ahead of time. Content planning also helps you keep up with accountabilities and deadlines — even if you’re the only one writing your website content.
Adding links to your law firm’s website
Adding appropriate links to your content is another great way to make sure that your potential clients have access to all of the information that they need. Links let your potential clients travel from page to page without having to do extra work. For example, if you’re a DUI attorney who has written a FAQ page about DUIs, you may want to answer a question in brief on that page and then link to a more substantial page that answers the question in great detail.