Content Writing for Law Firms: A Best Practices Guide (Part 2: Strategies and Resources)

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In Part 1, we established the importance of content marketing for increased traffic, credibility, and relationships. The catch: content marketing isn’t easy. It actually takes concerted effort, time, and planning.

That’s why in this second part of our content writing guide, we look deeper into the strategies, resources, and considerations you need to ensure that the content you make succeeds and lasts. Below, we will discuss our top tips for strategizing competitive content, hiring writing support if you need it, and other considerations such as how to reach multilingual clients. (For part 1 of this guide, on the essentials of content writing, click here.)

How to Set-Up a Content Marketing Plan for Your Law Firm

Content that produces consistent and sustainable results for your firm requires a solid marketing plan. Below, we discuss five keys for a successful content plan.

Create a Content Strategy

You need evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that can be reused and does not expire. Your strategy should be to focus on your key practice area and become the resource on the topic.

You also need to establish the following key definitions:

  • Your Audience – Who do you want to target? Who is your current audience? What changes need to be made to get back on track?
  • Popular Issues and Topics – What do you want to write about? What is popular right now? Get on Google and find out.
  • How To Best Share Information – How does your audience want to receive the information (blog, forum, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Newsletters, Direct Contact . . . Print?).

Make a Publishing Plan

  • You need a set plan for a year, quarter, monthly and weekly articles. You need at least one yearly research project, four quarterly pieces to bolster your central topic, monthly articles that are planned out and weekly posts as needed.

Use the Right Technology

  • You need not just a blog. You need a LAW HUB (more on this below). A blog is simply a running list of ideas, whereas a LAW HUB guides the user into relevant articles and education materials.

Leverage Your Team

Once you have the data to begin your adventure into content marketing you should set-up a winning team. Your winning team should include:

  1. Content Champion (aka your publisher) – This person will set the tone, topics, and schedule for the team. They need to push your team to produce content. This person can also edit all of the copy, but you may need an editor, too.
  2. Writers – This is your core team. You need everyone involved. Get everyone excited and see the benefits (more clients, better success for the firm, higher salaries, etc.) (In many cases, especially for smaller firms, you may need to hire content writers to support your goals – more on this below.)
  3. Technology – You need a good content management system (CMS) that allows you to easily post content. You also need to be on social media channels to syndicate all your content.

How to Create Content

To create content that really stands out, everyone on your team should participate, as they are the subject matter experts and all bring unique and valuable perspectives on your practice area.

Some firms and teams have stored local files where they drop in ideas or use online pin boards, notes, or Google Docs. The method doesn’t matter – just make sure you have one central location to collect ideas and have regular meetings to evaluate their potential.

You can also try to gather content by:

  1. Reviewing competitors’ websites to see what is working for them (and ranking high).
  2. Holding bBrainstorming sessions whereby everyone comes up with topics for articles on the subject.
  3. Checking out Google Trends, which allows you to see what is popular and evaluate ideas.
  4. Refraining from hitting enter in Google search! Google Autosuggest allows you to see topic ideas. Test it out by simply typing in a few words to the Google search bar. Google will suggest searches that are really great topics to write on .

Creating a Law Hub for Outstanding Content

One of your main objectives when establishing your content plan should be to establish a Law Hub.

What is a Law Hub? Essentially, it is a way for lawyers to establish themselves as an authority on their practice area. It is a group of web content pages that exhaustively covers a specific topic or practice area.

There are three steps to creating a Law Hub: a strategy, plan, and platform for showcasing your knowledge. We explore these steps in detail below.

content records

Content Strategy

Your strategy should be simple: create the best resource online for your practice area. The best way to earn and retain clients online is to produce content that is worthwhile to read. Articles that answer questions, educate, and solve readers’ problems are the articles that are most widely read and shared. Firms that follow this strategy win clients by giving away their knowledge and setting themselves out as a thought leader. Their content is shared online and ranks high in search.

Tactics for Content

One of the most important aspects of developing your content strategy is knowing what types of content to prioritize. We’ve broken down this process into manageable chunks below:

1. Early Stage

  • Blog Posts
  • Webinars
  • Practice Area Content
  • Tools, Calculators
  • White Papers
  • Videos
  • Newsletters

2. Decision Stage

  • Case Studies
  • How-To
  • Demo Videos
  • Data Sheets
  • Product / Feature Descriptions

3. Conversion Stage

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews
  • Sales Process that is Trustworthy, Transparent and Easy

4. Retention

  • Support and Help Documents
  • Same-Hour Response Time
  • Email Newsletters
  • Offers and Improvements

Blogging Strategy

Of the types of content you will be creating, blogs are likely to be one of your most regular and successful creations. However, historically, law firm blogs have high bounce rates, short lifespan, and low engagement. For your content strategy to succeed, your blogs must be informative, useful, and engaging. Let’s discuss those three areas of concern and see how we can improve:

  1. High Bounce Rate – Your bounce rate is the percentage of people who land on your site and leave the site without visiting another page. Blog content usually has a high bounce rate because articles are singular in focus, without related materials, which means users simply move on after reading one post.
  2. Short Lifespan – Content with a short life expectancy results in posts being consumed and forgotten. This can risk your relationship with existing clients and make your firm look outdated.
  3. Low Engagement – Finally, even if a user likes the original post, they may not find related content. Engagement is limited to one-time posts. Only a select few blogs build a consistent following.

If you blog a few times a week, then you end up with 150 plus blog posts by year’s end. Great quantity, but most likely, if you review your analytics you will have a high bounce rate (75% or higher), short lifespan on posts, and overall low engagement from your audience.

In order to combat these issues, you need to rethink how law firm content is created, produced, and published. Your strategy should be to focus on your key practice area and become the resource on the topic. Consider the following ideas/tips:

  • Provide Direction – Create “how to” articles that are maintained and don’t grow old (ex: how to file/respond to patent claims).
  • Studies – Write studies on specific areas of law or changes in the law (ex: a timeline of changes to a specific law or case history).
  • Lists – Create resource lists for a particular practice area (ex: in-depth list of all product recalls).
  • Present Tools – Utilize tools or calculators for specific practice areas (ex: Child Support Calculator).
  • Use Artwork – Try creating graphs and timelines of events to help explain numerical information.

Publishing Plan

To organize your content and ensure that you are staying on track of a consistent schedule, a publishing plan is key. Below are our suggestions for how to structure your publishing plan:

  • Yearly – Outline your key ideas for the year. What topics do you want to touch on quarterly, monthly and weekly?
  • Quarterly – We recommend four major topics for the year. You can revisit them each year, but plan for four big ideas
  • Monthly – Now break down your quarterly topic into monthly segments. This monthly segment should have one major piece and a few supporting pieces that can be published weekly.
  • Weekly/Daily – Your weekly and daily posts should keep the blog fresh. Your main post of the month should draw in new visitors and convert them into followers. Use social media daily to keep everyone interested.

Technology

This part is easy.  WordPress is a great content platform but Drupal, Total Control, Wix, Squarespace, Weebly, and other platforms will work, too.  So long as the system is secure, easy-to-use, and updated by your web team, then you can use that platform.

You also want to present a strong image for the firm.  Hiring a designer to assist in developing your imagery and design, or using a good template that sets you apart can help your content get noticed and make an impact.

Considerations for Creating a Law Hub

A Law Hub does not have to be expensive or time consuming. You can build your content over time. You can even create it yourself if you are so inclined.

You just need a good website platform, a well-planned site structure (sitemap), and the willingness to write.

Alternatively, you can always hire writers and designers if you are short on time and ideas.  We discuss how to hire content writers more below.

Writing Engaging Law Firm Practice Area Pages

What information should you include on the practice area pages of your law firm’s website? While the answer to this question may initially seem straightforward, putting fingers to keyboard can tell a very different story.

Should you focus on your firm’s differentiating factors? If so, how much can – and should – you play them up without appearing too salesy or crossing the line with regard to ethics compliance? Should you just focus on what you do? If so, how can you do this and still make your firm stand out from its competition? Should you address your prospective clients’ most pressing questions? You have plenty of information to share, but how can you do this without turning prospects off with an endless scroll of black-and-white text? Below are five elements of an effective law firm practice area page.

1. An Introduction with a Personal Touch

The first paragraphs on your firm’s practice area pages should quickly hit home. They should be tailored to the relevant practice area and should speak specifically to the needs, concerns or questions of prospective clients. For example, a business-oriented practice area page will be very different from a page targeting individuals who have just been arrested, and you should consider your subject matter, tone and level of sophistication to craft a page tailored to your reader.

2. A List of Services that Grabs Prospects’ Attention

You only have a short amount of time to peak a website visitor’s interest, and a bulleted list will let prospects easily see that you practice in their area of need. Often, this list will consist of hyperlinks to sub-practice area pages. Alphabetical order is intuitive for most readers, and a list of seven to 10 items will usually be enough without engendering reader fatigue.

3. Options and Consequences

There are two primary reasons why most potential clients visit law firms’ websites: (1) they want to know what options they have available, or (2) they want to know what consequences they are facing given their present circumstances. Depending on the practice area, one approach or the other will generally be better-suited to creating the page content. Examples of practice page headings that you can use to lead into explanations of what potential clients want to know include:

  • Alternatives to Litigating Your Divorce in Court
  • Potential Defense Strategies in Federal Investigations
  • Common Claims in Breach-of-Contract Litigation
  • DUI Penalties in [Your State]
  • Types of Compensation Available for Personal Injury Claims

4. FAQs (that are Actually Frequently-Asked Questions)

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) are a good way to add useful content while also enhancing a practice area page’s search engine optimization (SEO). The key to writing effective FAQs is to provide answers to actual frequently-asked questions. What do potential clients ask when they call your office? What types of questions tend to come up during initial consultations? These are the answers prospects want when they are searching online, and providing these answers (without overstepping and providing legal advice) will demonstrate that you are knowledgeable in your potential clients’ areas of need.

5. A Compelling and Content-Relevant Call to Action

On many law firm websites, the call to action is clearly an afterthought – a bundle of words cobbled together to meet a minimum word count or a copy-and-paste job that is not specific to the content that precedes it. This approach is a mistake. The call to action is an integral part of the page, and it needs to be written with the same care and attention as the substantive practice area discussion.

3 Useful Online Tools for Creating Optimal Web Content

Creating content that is optimal in length, quality, and has all the bells and whistles for ranking high across search engines isn’t always the easiest thing to do – especially when you already have a multitude of firm-related matters to handle. So as you draft your strategy and start creating content, it’s helpful to know what resources will expedite the process and maximize the quality of your creations. Below are three useful online tools that can help you create optimal web content.

content chalkboard

Copyscape ()

When publishing content on the web, originality is key. Unfortunately, even though you may have created copy from scratch, there’s always the chance that your work may be plagiarized or even penalized by search engines if you inadvertently wrote content that has too many similarities with another site’s previously published copy – or even your own. Enter Copyscape.

Copyscape is one of the most important – not to mention popular and trusted – solutions for verifying content originality. The application scans and reviews your copy, searching for any signs of duplicate content across the web. Copyscape offers a convenient, free plagiarism checker that lets you see if anyone else on the web is publishing your content or if your own content bears too many resemblances to existing copy on the web. Simply input your copy, submit and Copyscape will handle the rest. For more extensive copy searches or for checking larger batches of content, you can opt for the premium, paid version.

EZlocal Pro – Title Tag and Meta Description Length Tool (/)

If you are running an SEO campaign, title tags and meta descriptions are a must. However, these SEO elements must remain within strict character count limits. Title tags should run no longer than 65 characters, while meta descriptions should be capped at 155 characters. If you exceed these limits, search engines will truncate your copy. Plus, capitalized words and symbols can add additional characters you may not even be aware of if you are using a basic word count tool or counting characters manually.

EZlocal Pro takes the guessing game out of character counting. Simply input your intended title tag and meta description on the site and the program will count the characters for you as well as let you know if you are within the appropriate limits – at no charge. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!

CapitalizeMyTitle.com ()

Figuring out what words to capitalize in a title can be cumbersome, but proper capitalization lets your readers know you mean business. Still, depending on the stylebook you follow – AP, Chicago Manual, MLA, etc. – it’s easy to get confused. Once you select a style, it’s important to remain consistent when creating new copy. This nifty site offers you a choice between the four main stylebooks: APA, Chicago, AP and MLA. Best of all, it’s free to use!

These three online tools can help you create awesome copy and save time in the process. Still, they are just three of countless other content tools available on the web.

How to Choose and Hire a Web Content Writer

Following the guidelines we’ve suggested will bring you content success. However, your firm may not have the time and/or manpower to accomplish all of these tasks given their existing responsibilities. If you are too busy to write your own content, don’t have the in-house writing ability or just don’t know where to begin, hiring a content writer can be a good strategy.  With a little due diligence, you can find a skilled writer who is right for your organization.

Referrals are often the best way to find a reliable writer. However, if you can’t tap into your professional network to find a writer, you can place a job ad on Craigslist or another online job board. Below are ten tips for creating a job ad for a web content writer.

10 Items to Include in a Web Content Writer Job Ad

  1. Job title – Choose a job title for your online job ad carefully. Consider what keywords potential applicants will be searching on the web. For example, the title “Web Content Writer” may yield more hits to your ad than “Internet Wordsmith” while the title “Writer” is too broad in scope. The words “freelance,” “remote” or “telecommute” in your title will open your ad to a global talent pool.  Adjectives in the title such as “Legal Blogger” or “Technical Writer” can help narrow the scope to your targeted applicant pool.
  2. Job description – Create a detailed job description that describes the job scope, daily tasks, and core competencies. If applicable, note whether the position is temporary, part-time, freelance, remote, or something other than a traditional full-time position.
  3. Job requirements – Include non-negotiable requirements as well as desired skills, background, education, and technical proficiencies. For example, for a law firm hiring a content writer, non-negotiable requirements might include 3+ years of legal web writing experience and a J.D. degree. Desired skills might include SEO and knowledge of content management systems.
  4. Writing samples – Ask candidates for two to three writing samples or links to samples or their portfolio on the web. The samples should be closely related to the work you are hiring the writer to perform. For example, if you are hiring a legal blog writer, samples of legal briefs and motions may not give you a clear indication of ability; blog posts written for other law firms would be ideal.
  5. Writing/editing testYou may want to require leading candidates to complete a writing and/or editing test. If so, you should clearly state that requirement in your job ad. The test should be short and easy to evaluate. To attract top candidates, you may want to compensate writers for completing the test since experienced, in-demand writers will often not write on spec.
  6. Availability If the position is part-time or freelance, ask candidates to indicate how many hours per week they are available to work on your project(s) and, if applicable, what days/times they are available.  Alternatively, outline the required work schedule in your ad.
  7. Application procedures – Outline what materials each applicant should submit (cover letter, resume, writing samples, etc.) and how those should be submitted. Require applicants to submit a cover letter along with their resume. A cover letter can help you evaluate the web writer’s writing and marketing skills. The more examples you have of a candidate’s writing, the more informed choices you can make.
  8. Company information – If you are not placing a blind ad, include information about your organization. Details such as benefits and perks may attract a wider pool of qualified candidates.
  9. Compensation – Including pay rates can weed out candidates who do not fit your salary criteria. Excluding pay rates can leave it open to negotiation, depending on experience and qualifications. Alternatively, you can ask writers to state their salary requirements or salary history.
  10. DeadlineIf you are in a rush to hire or you want to limit your applicant pool, you may want to include a deadline for applying.

Today’s market is filled with talented, experienced writers who are eager to join your organization. Crafting the proper job ad can help you find them.

Seven Factors to Consider in Hiring a Web Content Writer

Once you place your job ad, you will likely receive a flood of applicants. How do you choose the right candidate for your position? Here are seven criteria by which to evaluate web content writers. These factors can help guide the interview and decision-making process.

  1. Web writing experience – Web writing is a unique skill that is different from other types of writing. A writer who is experienced in other genres (for example, fiction writing, journalism, technical writing) will not necessarily have the skills to write effective, compelling web content. When evaluating web writing candidates, consider:
    1. How many years the writer has been writing for the web
    2. What type of web writing he or she has done in the past
    3. The writer’s knowledge of web writing best practices
  2. Industry experience – Industry experience and subject matter expertise are ideal in a web content writer. For example, if you are hiring a writer to develop content for an intellectual property law firm website, an attorney-writer is ideal. An attorney with experience working in and writing about intellectual property matters is even better. While any skilled writer can research a topic, a lack of subject matter expertise can result in generic content, factual inaccuracies or filler copy.
  3. Knowledge of SEO – Search engine optimization is key to driving traffic to a website. Look for a writer who understands how to gracefully and effectively weave keyword phrases into content and knows how to structure content for the web.
    1. Is the writer familiar with SEO best practices?
    2. Do they have experience writing optimized copy?
    3. Do they know how to structure content to draw traffic and increase conversion?
    4. Can they research keywords and weave them into copy in a natural way?
  4. Writing Samples – If the candidate’s writing samples are not related to the work you are hiring the writer to perform, request additional samples or ask the candidate to complete a short writing test. Once you have gathered all samples, review them to evaluate the quality of the writing. Keep in mind that the samples may have been heavily revised by an editor and may not fully represent the writer’s ability.
    1. Are the samples similar to the types of content the writer will be generating for your firm?
    2. Is the copy well-crafted, engaging and structured for the web?
    3. Do the samples contain any spelling or grammatical errors?
  5. Writing Test – Evaluate the results of any writing or editing tests you asked candidates to complete.
    1. Did the writer complete the test by or before your deadline?
    2. Did he or she follow all instructions?
    3. Is the writing of the style, tone and caliber you are seeking?
    4. Will the writing require a great deal of editing?
  6. Availability – If you inquired about availability in your job ad, evaluate whether the writer’s availability will match your needs. Several things to consider:
    1. How many hours per week are they available?
    2. What is the timeframe for turning around your project?
    3. Do they have other obligations (family, day-job, other freelance clients) that may significantly interfere with completing your work?
    4. If they will be interacting with clients or staff, are they available during business hours?
    5. If they will be working remotely, what time zone do they reside in and will the time difference affect work interactions?
  7. Reliability – A writer’s ability to meet deadlines, respond to client inquiries, and communicate in a timely manner is worth his weight in gold. Some early clues as to reliability:
    1. Did the writer follow your application process?
    2. Does their application include all elements requested in the job ad (such as salary requirements, availability, and the requisite number of writing samples)?
    3. Do they respond to questions and emails in a timely manner?
    4. Did they turn in writing tests or samples at the last minute or late?
    5. Do they appear eager and excited to join your team?

PaperStreet’s Web Content Writing Team

The writing team at PaperStreet is comprised of attorneys with knowledge of SEO and web writing best practices. We specialize in web-friendly, well-optimized content that is clean, compelling, and tailored to your audience. (If you are seeking a web content writer, contact us!)

5 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Your Content Interview

Once you have hired a content writer, the next step is to conduct a content interview.

The content interview gives you the opportunity to share specific information about your firm so that the writer can craft original copy tailored your specific content goals. One of the best things you can do to help ensure that the writing process gets off to a good start is to be prepared for your content interview. Following the steps below can go a long way in making certain that your interview is productive and provides your writer with the information he or she needs to produce great content for your site:

  1. Take a Quick Review of Your Current Website. If you are like most people, it has probably been quite some time since you looked at the content on your website. Take a few moments to review your site, making note of what you like/don’t like with respect to the substance, tone, and structure of your content.
  2. Look at Content on Other Websites. If you don’t have an existing website or just want to get some new ideas, look at law firm websites with practices similar to your own. In doing so you should be able to quickly come up with some content likes and dislikes.
  3. Coordinate the Right People for the Call. Make sure you have individuals on the call who can speak to the content on every page that will be covered and who will be responsible for reviewing drafts from the writer. For instance, if you are discussing practice area pages with the writer, the attorney(s) on the call should have a full understanding of the firm’s work in each practice area. You should also try to keep the number of attorneys on the call as low as possible, ideally one or two, otherwise the interview can become unmanageable. If necessary, you can split up the call with attorneys joining in at different times to cover their specific pages.
  4. Think About What You Want to Get Across on Each Page. Take some time to think about what is most important for you to get across to your users. Consider who your users are and what they want to learn when they visit your website. Keep in mind that if you want to establish yourself as a leader in your field(s) of practice you should have content on your site that educates, informs, and engages potential clients. Additionally, if SEO is an important goal you will need to aim for 500+ words of substantive content for each page.
  5. Keep Your Focus on the Content. While you may be tempted to talk about website layout, graphics, and design, you will have plenty of time to discuss these items with your web design team. Remember, the content interview is your opportunity to work with your writer to develop compelling and engaging content for your website that sets you apart from competition.

Reuse or Revamp? The Role of Content in a Website Redesign

Another key aspect of the content writing process is to take a look at the bigger picture of where most of your content resides – your website. In some cases, you may need to revise certain aspects of your website’s content. When a law firm decides to revamp its outdated website, the goal is usually a new “look and feel” for the site.

Occasionally, this isn’t a problem; the existing copy is likely of high quality, and it can just be copied into the new framework. But sometimes, this is like pouring soured milk into a nice, new container. Everything looks great – until the user tries to take a drink.

When To Revamp Your Law Firm Website Content

Cases where you should revamp your content include:

  • When the website redesign is part of a rebranding effort;
  • When your firm targets a new clientele or audience;
  • When your firm focuses or expands its practice areas significantly;
  • When your existing copy is dense, unoriginal, long-winde,d or disconnected from any of the site’s new design/usability elements;
  • When the content is so outdated it includes numerous factual errors or makes the firm seem “behind the times;” and
  • When your existing copy is not optimized for search engines.

Simple Ways To Improve Your Law Firm’s Website Content

Revamping need not entail starting from scratch. If you don’t have the budget to hire a professional, there are several fast and simple things you can do to improve your existing website content:

  • Focus on improving the elements visitors notice most (taglines, headlines, subheads, photos, video);
  • Break up long run-on sentences and lists into short sentences, bullet points, or numbered steps;
  • Include – within the limits of good taste — important search engine keyword phrases that people are likely to search for;
  • Edit existing copy to bring it up – or down – to the appropriate level of the intended audience;
  • Cut any outdated/factually incorrect info;
  • Give specific examples of cases and legal issues your firm has handled, outcomes/verdicts (so far as your Bar rules allow), testimonials, client lists;
  • Add a FAQ section; and
  • Share the burden of writing new practice area content by assigning each attorney/partner one practice area, versus overloading one person with the work. (The exception to this rule is if there is one motivated individual who wants to handle all the content, has the time to devote to it, and possesses the authority to make decisions without being second-guessed.)

How to Conduct a Content Audit of Your Law Firm Website

Whether you are launching a new website or updating an existing one, it is important to audit your law firm website content to make sure it meets user needs and business goals. Below is a checklist of items to help you evaluate whether you should keep, revise or eliminate a web page.

General Considerations

  • Is the content redundant, outdated or trivial (“ROT” content)?
  • Is the content consistent with your brand?
  • Is the content valuable to the readers you are targeting?
  • Does the site feature content that targets every market segment that you serve?
  • Does the site contain any duplicate content, including full pages or repeated sections within the content, such as repeated calls to action?
  • Does the overall site or any specific pages contain gaps in information?
  • Does the content convey your differentiating factors and outline what sets you apart from competitors?
  • Does the content violate any bar rules or attorney advertising regulations?
  • Does the site tell readers about your firm or show them through concrete examples?

checkmark on target

Readability

  • Is the content written at the appropriate readership level for your target audience?
  • Does each page contain a compelling title?
  • Does the content contain headings and subheadings to guide the reader down the page?
  • Does the content include bullets, numbered items, and other conventions to help break up dense text?
  • Is the page cluttered with too much text or other elements? Does it contain enough white space to allow the eye to rest?
  • Is the content 100% unique and not plagiarized from other sites?
  • Does the content contain “legalese” or jargon that may be unfamiliar to readers?
  • Are page elements structured in a “Z” or “F” pattern to promote readability?
  • Does the site include powerful images, infographics and/or videos to help deliver your message?

Usability

  • Does the site navigation make sense from a usability perspective?
    • Is it easy to move around the site?
    • Are pages grouped in an intuitive way with clear visual hierarchies?
    • Are there any orphan or hidden pages?
  • Do any pages feature too much content (thousands of words) that would be better broken up into separate pages?
  • Does the site feature content hubs for important practice areas, resource information, or other information crucial for the user?
  • Does the site contain a mix of content types such as articles, blog posts, infographics, FAQs and videos?
  • Is there effective cross-linking between pages?
  • Is the site ADA compliant?

Formatting

  • Is the content throughout the site consistent in style, tone and voice?
  • Does the content follow your style guide, if you have one?
  • Are pages formatted to promote readability (which will in turn drive traffic and keep users on the page longer)?
  • Do the pages incorporate headlines, subheads, bolded lists, and other conventions to guide the eye down the page?
  • Do the pages contain dense masses of text or contain formatting errors?
  • Do hyperlinks follow best practices for linking (not “click here” or a long url)?
  • Does each page contain the appropriate amount of content? (We recommend at least 500 words.)
  • Do the pages contain any typographic or grammatical errors? (Typos will increase bounce rates.)
  • In cases of a redesign, will the content and bios integrate with the new design? Will the content need to be reworked to fit the new design concepts?
  • Are the bios formatted consistently across all professionals?

Search Engine Optimization

  • If search rankings are important, does the content feature at least 500 words per page?
  • Does the home page feature a healthy amount of content (750 words or more)?
  • Is the content optimized with targeted keywords?
  • Is each page properly optimized for search?
    • Is the page under optimized (missing keywords and/or meta data)?
    • Is the page over-optimized or stuffed with keywords?
  • Is there at least one full page of content to support each keyword phrase you are targeting?
  • Are the website’s title tags and meta descriptions properly optimized and formatted correctly? Title tags should be 60 characters or less and meta descriptions should be 160 characters or less.
  • Does the site feature content and/or resource hubs that convey valuable, client-centric information?
  • Does the site include city/geography pages for each of the primary and secondary markets you are targeting?
  • Is the site updated on a regular basis with new blogs, resources, and other content? Updating daily is ideal, but we recommend adding new content at least once a week.
  • Does the site contain any blank pages or 404 errors?

Conversions

  • Is your copy written to address the benefits, needs, and pain points of your target market?
  • Is contact information easily visible on every page? Is there a separate Contact Us page?
  • Do the pages contain a strong call to action?
  • Does the content contain your value proposition and convey your unique selling points?
  • Is your copy clear, concise and relevant?

How to Reach Your Multilingual Clients

Keyboard with a word translate

One final consideration in the content writing process is how to engage clients who are non-native English speakers. If you or other members of your firm are concerned about reaching your multilingual clients, there are a few things you should keep in mind. We all know that the United States is a melting pot filled with individuals from practically every country around the world — all of whom bring their own skills, traditions, languages and dialects. There are almost 7,000 languages spoken around the world, and in the U.S., as many as 300 of those languages are spoken on a routine basis.

So, how do you choose which foreign language to include as part of your marketing strategy? Think of your target audience. For instance, if your firm is located in a highly-populated Hispanic community and you would like to market your family law services to them directly, you may want to consider incorporating Spanish into your online and print marketing campaigns.

Keep in mind, however, that making Spanish a part of your marketing plan takes a bit more than simply translating some of the content that is written in English into Spanish. There are a number of things to be taken into consideration.

Make Sure Your Translations Are Accurate

This is very important to keep in mind as you begin to market to individuals in a foreign language. This means that all slogans, ad copy, and even slang phrases or colloquialisms must be translated accurately. You may need to work directly with the service that is translating your content to ensure you obtain the best possible translation that will meet your needs and get your message across the way in which you intended.

Use the Right Language for Your Target Audience

In the example above, it may be appropriate to select Spanish as your language of choice. However, if you are focused on marketing to individuals in the community in which your firm is located and the majority of those people speak Mandarin while only a handful of community members speak Spanish, you may want to consider making the Mandarin translation instead to ensure you get the most for your marketing dollar.

Do Not Treat Your Potential Clients Like Outsiders

Your target audience actually lives in the U.S., so treat them as though they are familiar with our terminology and customs. For instance, when asking for payment for the services you offer, if you include an actual dollar amount, be sure to state it in U.S. dollars as you normally would. There’s no need to convert it to a different unit.

If You’re Claiming to Speak the Language, Make Sure You Can Actually Speak It!

While it may be tempting to get deeply engrossed in translating your content for your foreign audience, it is crucial for you to remember to maintain truth in advertising. If you are asking people to contact you after they’ve reviewed the info on your site, be sure they know the languages in which you are able to converse. If you cannot speak Mandarin or Spanish over the phone with a potential client, they need to know that up front.

Marketing is an ever-changing animal, so it is important for you to work with a company who will ensure that you are reaching your target audience as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Get Expert Support for Outstanding Content

Whether you need support in writing content that gets you new clients and maintains your existing ones, creating sustainable content strategy, or reworking your website for improved results, PaperStreet is here for you.

Our expert team knows just what law firm websites need to stand out among the rest. To learn more about how we can support your firm, contact us today.

 


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