Creating compelling content is important. Well crafted content has the ability to generate interest and bring in potential clients, as well as establish and maintain trust with your existing client base. But’s it’s not as simple as writing an article and posting it to your website.
When you create online content, there are two audiences that you need to keep in mind. The first audience and the one you are likely most familiar with is your website visitor. This is anyone who views your content, including current clients and potential clients, other lawyers, potential employees, and casual visitors. The second audience is the search engine (ie Google, Yahoo, etc.). These search engines use algorithms to rank the relevancy and validity of web pages. Both audiences have specific needs and ignoring either can be detrimental to your marketing efforts. So what’s the secret to creating content that will catch the attention of your visitors and search engines?
Create a compelling headline and use keywords
The headline is the first thing both your visitors and the search engines will see. So it’s critically important to create a headline that gets the attention of both. When it comes to search engines, the key is short and direct. Choose a headline that is between six and nine words and includes relevant keywords.
If you’re lucky, your reader will scroll through the first page or two of search results looking for the most relevant match (91% of readers won’t go beyond the first page). If your article is about prenuptial agreements, but your headline mentions nothing about prenuptial agreements or even marriage, the reader is going to keep scrolling. Your headline must clearly describe what your content will be about. In the same regard, your headline should get the reader’s attention. “10 Reasons You Need an Attorney for Your Rental Agreement” is much more likely to garner attention than “Landlords Should Hire Attorneys to Handle Their Contracts.”
Know what your reader is looking for
The average reader spends just 15 seconds on a webpage. That’s not a lot of time to gather someone’s attention. That’s why it’s important that your content is relevant to your reader. Think about the questions you get asked most as a lawyer, these are the questions your potential clients will be typing into Google. This is the content you want to create. Readers aren’t looking for general information. Don’t write a post titled “How to Create the Perfect Parenting Plan.” Instead, try “How to Develop a Holiday Schedule.”
Staying relevant is also helpful for the search engines. Take your location, for example. If someone searches the internet for “attorney near me,” the search engine will pull up all of the attorneys in the person’s locale. If someone searches “family law attorney near me,” the results change to include a more narrow focus. But if your content doesn’t say where you are located or what area of law you work in, you’re not going to show up in the top results.
Keep it brief
While you may be a pro at reading five-page legal briefs, your potential customer likely is not. Most readers search the web looking for quick, straight to the point answers. They don’t have time to read through hundreds (or thousands) of words to get the answer they are looking for. Though there is no perfect length for content, it’s important to be short and succinct. 500 words are usually enough. Remember, you don’t have to cover everything in one post. Hit the basics and summarize any key points.
Create a call to action
The goal of online content is to engage your customer. It doesn’t matter if you have optimized your article for the search engine and created informative, compelling content if your customer doesn’t reach out to you. This is where a call to action comes in. A call to action is just as it sounds, a call to get the customer to take some sort of action, whether it is call, email, or fill out a form. You don’t do this by hoping they scroll down the page to find your phone number or search the webpage for a contact link. Most people won’t take the time to do that. Instead, ask your reader to reach out. Ending an article with “If you have questions about the new Alimony Reform Act, call our office to speak with an attorney.” will engage your customer and compel them to initiate contact. Just be sure to include a link to your contact page within your call to action.
It’s time to take off your attorney hat and put on your marketing hat, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Bardorf Legal Marketing to get started.