Toning Down Sophisticated Legal Content

Tarun Sridharan

May 13, 2019

Lawyers often find the prospect of producing a high-volume of online content quite overwhelming, in part because they assume that the content must be written in a manner akin to their day-to-day writing style (i.e., featuring extensive references, deep legal insights and comprehensive assessment of an issue and its exceptions).

In truth, however, quality legal content need not be excessively detailed or sophisticated in its presentation. Depending on the target audience, you might benefit substantially from simplifying challenging concepts and packaging the content into a more easily consumable form.

Understanding Why an Audience Visits Your Site

It’s essential to understand why readers are visiting your site. Though many readers are seeking information relating to their particular legal matter, they are not necessarily interested in learning about the law in-depth. Your reader may only be looking for basic information that is convincing enough to push them into contacting an attorney for additional details. Law firms can benefit a great deal by “drip-feeding” content and promising further clarification in consultation.

One Size Does Not Necessarily Fit All

When considering the development of online content, all law firms must identify their target audience, and evaluate what they are attempting to achieve with their content. These requirements can vary quite drastically depending on the industry, the complexity of the legal services offered by the firm and the stakeholders with which the law firm is intending to engage. Understanding one’s industry and target audience is the first step towards developing compelling content.

For example, a plaintiffs’-side personal injury law firm may be looking to optimize their visibility online and acquire clients through their web content. Given that their client-base is likely to include a broad cross-section of society, their content may need to be attuned to a general lay audience.

By contrast, a high-end business law firm (that handles transactional matters and commercial disputes for corporate entities, owners and shareholders) may have sufficient brand recognition in their industry — and other avenues for securing clients — that they are not concerned about creating consumable content for the general audience. In fact, they might instead be interested in developing content that positions them as thought-leaders in a particular field of business law.

Smart Simplification

Simplifying content does not require “dumbing down.” When simplifying content, you are doing the difficult job of identifying and isolating the essence of a complex concept. In many cases, simplification is done poorly and fails to capture the essence of an idea, leaving the audience confused or potentially uninformed.

Effective simplification, however, serves the audience by teaching them the basics of a concept in an easy-to-understand manner.  In conjunction with a well-written call-to-action, simplification can whet the appetite of a curious reader and encourage them to contact your firm for further clarification and assistance.

If you would like to learn more about Paperstreet and our comprehensive design, content and SEO services, please contact us today. We are committed to helping you craft a stunning website with content that genuinely understands your target audience.

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