How to Write Great Legal Content
Writing Great Legal Content That Drives Prime Leads
Lawyers are constantly writing documents, briefs, and memos, so they’re familiar with writing great content for the legal sphere. Yet, while you might be a skilled legal writer, marketing content requires a different set of skills. Keep reading to learn how you can improve your website content and generate and convert more client leads below.
Don’t Use Overly Technical Language
Hopefully, you’re not using legalese in your marketing materials, but if you want to create great content for your firm, simply eliminating “herewith” and statutory citations from your website isn’t enough. Most Americans read at a seventh or eighth-grade level or below. And according to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 21 to 23% of participants could only read the simplest words and phrases, while only 13% of adult Americans read at the highest literacy levels. If you fill your blog, site, or advertising materials with longwinded collegiate-level discussions, your readers won’t retain or even understand the information and will move on.
If your website’s bounce rate is especially high, the first step to optimize your content is to assess the complexity of your writing. Utilize online tools that can determine your writing’s readability score and ask non-lawyers to review your website content to assess its clarity and readability. Look for areas where you can substitute complex and esoteric phrasing for more common monosyllabic verbiage.
Understand Your Audience
You’re likely in the market for attractive referrals from other law firms, but in the digital landscape, you should be targeting clients and not soliciting potential business from other lawyers. Lawyers usually enjoy reading a detailed analysis of a Supreme Court decision or discussing the legislative intent of a statute, but your clients don’t. What they do want to read is an explanation in plain English about how certain laws impact their claims, their financial welfare, and their future.
Word choice is important. While a lawyer might be fascinated with how tort reform legislation will impact non-economic damage awards, your clients are not using those terms. Instead, they want to how much they might receive in an insurance claim. Both subjects are on the same topic, but very few prospective leads are going to find or click on the tort reform article.
You also don’t want boring, cookie-cutter content on your blog or website. Get into your clients’ heads. Why are they looking for legal information? What kind of terms or questions might they search? They have serious questions and want accurate answers; answers you and your team are qualified to answer.
Research Your Keywords
When in doubt, conduct thorough research using proven tools. Keywords can help you identify interesting topics and create useful content. They can also help you leverage your firm’s strengths to dominate search engines.
Unfortunately, lawyers rarely take time to determine whether their law firms are using the right words for SEO purposes. Over 96 percent of people searching for legal services use a search engine, so if your firm doesn’t optimize its site for the keywords your leads are using to search, they might never find you. You can use your website’s analytics and tools like Google Trends to identify which keywords your prospective clients are most likely to type when looking for your services.
At LaFleur Marketing, we consider keyword research a vital part of our client’s marketing and website development process. If you need help understanding how keyword research could improve your website content, contact us for a helpful, no-pressure assessment.
Use Video and Infographics
Don’t limit your website to long-form blogs and practice area pages. Increasingly, readers want short, digestible, and informative content in the form of video and infographics. According to YouTube data, 25% of people searching for online legal information visit their site as part of their research. And videos featuring a lawyer explaining a legal issue or offering client education have the highest open rate.
Unfortunately, many attorneys are afraid to implement video marketing. There are thousands of poor-quality videos with even worse scripts. When well done, however, video can convert shaky leads into steadfast clients. Click here to read more about our approach to creating and promoting crisp videos with compelling messaging.
Infographics represent another way to transform complicated legal issues into easily digestible and actionable information. While they might seem difficult to create, they can become a valuable part of your marketing strategy — especially if you attach it to a social or paid search campaign. Keep the copy short and the design sharp. Think bullet points and animation rather than lengthy copy blocks and stock images. If you don’t feel like you’re capable of combining text and graphic design elements together for a compelling infographic, contact your marketing partners for assistance.
Focus on Your Clients, Not Yourself
Many of your readers might not be ready to hire a lawyer and are simply searching for information regarding their legal situation. A hard sell can push them away (and into the hands of your competitors). Instead, blog posts should be focused on education and trust-building instead of pushy sales copy.
When we track our legal clients’ blog data, articles about a partner’s appointment to a bar association board or other professional accomplishments are rarely top performers. If you want to talk about your law firm’s success, frame it around your clients, not your firm’s perceived prestige. For example, have your clients share stories about how you helped them in a time of need or create an infographic with easy-to-read graphs and metrics highlighting the success you’ve achieved on behalf of your clients.
Collaborate with Your Marketing Partners
We know that lawyers are exceedingly busy and your marketing efforts likely aren’t your top priority. While some services churn out cheap, generic, useless blogs for legal websites, their material is rarely well-written or compelling. If you don’t have time to commit to a strict editorial calendar consisting of topic ideation, outlining, drafting, editing, writing, posting, and promoting, maybe it’s time to partner with a high-quality legal marketing partner capable of pushing your firm to the top of search engines for attractive keywords.
At LaFleur Marketing, our team of skilled marketing professionals, designers, and writers can improve your content, strategy, and client roster. If you’re interested in our comprehensive approach, complete this brief form or call us at (888) 222-1512 for more information and a complimentary assessment of your firm’s legal marketing.
Fairley, S. (2015, October 1). Legal marketing stats lawyers need to know. The National Law Review. Retrieved from https://www.natlawreview.com/article/legal-marketing-stats-lawyers-need-to-know
Forbes Agency Council (2017, August 24). Is anyone watching those videos on your law firm’s website? Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2017/08/24/is-anyone-watching-those-videos-on-your-law-firms-website/#506640014f53
Kirsch, I., Jungleblut, A., Jenkins, A., Kolstad, A. (2002, April). Adult literacy in America: a first look at the findings of the national adult literacy survey. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs93/93275.pdf