Law Firm Website Content Strategy and Guidelines
Law Firm Website Content Strategy
Most law firm websites contain three primary types of content:
1. Practice Area (landing page) Content
These are individual pages for each type of law that the firm practices. With these pages, you should be looking to provide the user with the high-level information that they need in order to take a conversion action.
While visitors who land on the home page of your website often click through to these pages, they are also heavily optimized for high-volume search queries such as “San Diego Car Accident Lawyers” and “San Diego Bicycle Accident Lawyers”:
Examples of practice area pages include:
2. “About the Firm” Content
These are the pages that convey to users what your firm is, what you’ve accomplished, and what you stand for. The purpose of these pages is to reinforce your value propositions, and make visitors comfortable with the firm. Examples of this type of content include:
3. Informational Content
The purpose of this content is to answer website visitor’s specific questions. People search online to find answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. These pages are optimized for search queries in order to draw in organic search traffic. However, because this content is not normally location specific (and most legal services are), traffic gained from these pages is typically less qualified traffic than traffic to the practice area content pages.
*Your practice area pages, as well as your home page, also frequently contain informational content, but these pages address a variety of questions, broadly, as opposed to addressing specific questions, in depth.
Law Firm Web Content Guidelines
When it comes to determining guidelines for website content creation, we must start by defining the purpose of a given piece of content.
1. Define Purpose
Every piece of content that we you publish on your site should serve a purpose. Defining the purpose of every piece of content will inform where on the site that content should live (page, blog post, etc.), as well as what information specifically should be included.
If there is nothing to be gained by publishing a piece of content, it should not be published, as it will simply eat up crawl budget and add to the time it takes to manage your site’s content. Here are a few examples of the purpose of a few different types of content:
Example 1: California Car Accident Lawyers (practice area landing page)
The purpose of this page is to give visitors basic information about car accident injury cases, and how this law firm can help. We want this page to rank highly in search engines for queries like “Car accident lawyer in ca”.
Whether visitors land on the page directly, or click through to it after landing on another page on the site, we want them to be satisfied with the information they get, and if they are a qualified lead, take a conversion action like calling the office, emailing, or engaging in a live chat.
Example 2: How We Use Focus Groups to Prepare for and Win Trials (blog post)
The purpose of this page is to reinforce the law firm’s expertise, and make visitors feel impressed.
A page like this does not have significant search (SEO) value, as the search volume around a topic like this is minimal. Rather, this page will be found by potential leads who are exploring the site. Content like this helps promote conversions among visitors who found the site by some other means.
Other “Purposes” for Web Content:
Social media fodder: In order to build communities of engaged brand loyalists for your firm on social media, it is critical to produce unique content that sparks discussion and engagement. Here is an example of content that is meant to serve as social media fodder: http://www.esteybomberger.com/blog/seven-types-flowers-avoid-giving-sweetheart-valentines-day/
Linkbait: A site that gets linked to from other websites generally performs better in search results for keywords relevant to that site’s content. “Linkbait” is content that other web content publishers want to link to because of the high-quality and interesting nature of a given piece of content. Here is an example of linkbait content: http://www.esteybomberger.com/blog/car-vs-cyclists-accidents/
2. Optimize for Concepts
Google wants to return search results that are most relevant to the intent of the user who entered the query.
This is a critical concept.
As an example, if a user were to search the query “how much do injury lawyers charge?” Google understands that that user is asking for the same information as a user who searches “personal injury lawyer fees” or “cost of personal injury lawyers”.
For proof, just search those queries and look at the top 5 results. They are all the same pages .
The lesson here is that the specific words that we use in the key optimization elements (page titles, meta descriptions, etc.) does not matter nearly as much as the concepts that we are targeting.
3. Ensure Adequate Word Count
For purely SEO purposes, no published content should contain less than 250 words. That being said, the best practice for determining word count for a given piece of content is to refer to step 1: defining the purpose.
If the content can achieve its purpose with 250 words, then it should be 250 words. If the 1,000 words are required to achieve the purpose, it should be 1,000 words.
4. Add Images
You should never be publish content without at least one image. Images improve engagement, which in turn improves conversion.
Defining the purpose of each piece of content will guide the rest of the content creation process, the web content that you produce will be of far greater value than if you fail to do so.
While, from an SEO perspective, the fundamentals still matter (ie. adequate word count, including keywords in the title tag, H1, and meta-description, etc.), the fact that they are the fundamentals means that all of your competitors are doing those things. The way to gain a leg up on the competition is to define the purpose of each piece of content and let that purpose guide the rest of the process.
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