Turn Client Stories Into Strong Practice Area Pages

If you’re like me you probably get tired of looking at business card websites for lawyers that are cookie cutter websites.  I’m talking about the ones with just the business name, about us page, practice area pages, and other pages that every lawyer has. While I’m not ragging on on the importance of having these things, I am harassing websites that all have the same practice area pages.

Ever since SEO became popular, the thought process has always been to create a practice area page for each type of case you handle. That’s fine and I encourage this, but I encourage you to be different.

Take the example below as an example. They created a practice area page that basically has the minimum number of words and it’s highly geared towards those who have been injured in a bicycle accident.

A website with just basic text

The problem with this particular example is not that it doesn’t serve the need for some, the problem is that it could be converting higher with more thought, more resources, and a story to guide the website visitor along.

What Are We Talking About Here?

It’s my job as a marketer to figure out what information actual clients might be looking for when making a hiring decision. This means I need to know things like the search terms they’re using, the on page factors, they’re looking at, and what emotions they’re feeling when they visit page on a website. This is a never ending process.

User behavior varies greatly depending on intent, age, the emotional situation they’re in, and many other factors.  Appealing to these audiences is not an easy task. Some will make the decision to contact you on the first visit to your website and others will do their due diligence before hiring you. No matter the path they take, it’s important to be prepared to guide them where they want you.

What’s The Problem?

One of the problems I commonly see with law firm websites is that they create practice area pages that are really no different than any other law firm’s. Whether you think about this from the Google Bot perspective or a User Perspective, how is this better? Honestly, how is your practice area page better than Bob’s Car Accident Lawyer page?

Visitors who find your website want to draw an emotional connection to you. A lot of this has to do with visuals which we know about already like:

  1. Trust Signals – Pictures from awards and accolades the attorney has earned.
  2. Client Reviews – Reviews from existing clients
  3. Case Results – Results from actual verifiable cases
  4. Human Pictures – Pictures of the actual attorneys instead of stock photos
  5. Videos – Maybe testimonial videos or firm overview videos
  6. Clear Calls To Action – This is the biggest problem I see

All of these features are important and can invoke human emotion on different levels. But what if we could take this a step further? What if we could rank for longer tail keywords related to specific incidents?

A Crazy Idea: Use Existing Case Studies for Unique Content

Depending on your practice are this idea may not work for you. Some items are sensitive and shouldn’t be publicly published. Other cases are sealed by courts and can’t be promoted. However if you’ve created client testimonial videos for your website you may already be sitting on a gold mine you can repurpose.

Let’s take these attorneys from The Reeves Law Group as an example to set this up. If you have time, watch the video below:

The video is professionally made, invokes emotion and has more gold in it than you might think. In this video we have a client testimonial, trust signals, human pictures, a case result and client reviews all in one video.  The client already consented to be on video which means they’re more likely to be OK to be listed elsewhere on the website. What if we we turned this into a new type of practice area page and converted it to text?

Relate To Clients With Amazing Landing Pages

Let’s say that I was in a car accident on the Freeway. Using San Diego as my area of search I might be expected to type in a variety of phrases like:

  1. San Diego Car Accident Attorney
  2. Rear ended on I-5 in San Diego, what should I do?
  3. My neck is hurting a few hours after a car accident, should I go to Urgent Care?
  4. Went to ER after car accident and can’t afford the bills

What if you could get long tail traffic from tons of queries like this by creating case study pages from actual cases.
Your overall goal with doing this is to create a unique, yet substantial page of content that covers many different personality types of potential clients. Those who want the front loaded information can still get it and the clients who want to learn about the whole process can read the experience.

 

Where Can You Put These Pages?

Depending on your overall strategic goals you have to figure out if these will be your main practice area pages or sub topics of your practice areas. Each will require a case by case analysis but it’s important to get consumers to the right information. As landing pages these can help rank for less searched long tail keywords like business names where accidents occurred, bar names near DUI checkpoints, reasons why someone won a child custody matter, or the process of an actual bankruptcy.

These are tough topics that your clients have questions about. If you can show them the process, how smooth it was, and back it up with client results you might find yourself signing more cases.

Make Sure to Test, Test, and Test Again

While Iv’e seen this work in cases I always encourage making decisions based on data. If your practice area pages are neither ranking or converting, what do you have to lose to test this? Don’t take my work for it though. Test it and make your final decision off of the data. If you don’t decide to use these as practice area pages you will still end up with great content that will set you apart from other law firms.

 

 

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Casey Meraz

Casey is the founder and president of Ethical SEO Consulting and Juris Digital based in Denver, CO. Casey's specialties are in organic and local SEO. He is a regular contributor to the Moz Blog and the author of How To Perform The Ultimate Local SEO Audit. If you have an SEO question or need advice please feel free to reach out by email: cmeraz@jurisdigital.com. Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyMeraz.