If you would like to receive leads from your website, creating high-quality content is an essential part of the mix. Whilst this sounds like hard work, the good news is that if you already have a website for your firm then at least you have a starting point.
It is whether or not this content is any good is the real issue...
Having identified who your target audience is in the previous section, you need to make sure you develop regular content to interest them. By doing this and creating content to address their pains (i.e. the challenges they face), you will:
Establish authority over time
When your audience starts to look on search engines for solutions to their pains they will begin to find your content addressing these topics.
Attract visitors who are open to engaging with you
You should now be aiming to drive the right type of traffic to your website - the sort of traffic you can subsequently convert
Content Marketing has become very popular in recent years, although simply producing unfocused content with no substance is as big a problem as producing no content at all. It needs to mean something to your target audience to have any hope of converting them into a lead.
Get your messaging right
- Does your content have a clear message and will visitors know what to do within a few seconds of arriving at your website or blog?
- Are you answering the questions your audience is looking for answers for, or are you just writing content to say how good you think you are?
- Will visitors understand your content, or will it be too ‘lawyerly’ and read more like a contract than a magazine article?
- Will there be a theme to your content which will flow from section to section, or blog to blog?
- Have you broken the text up enough with clear headlines and sub-headings to make it more accessible and easier to read?
Are you hitting the right tone?
It can be difficult enough to get visitors to a website never mind create compelling content to interest and engage them.
So how do you hit the right tone and not switch them off?
A lot of law firm websites, in fact a lot of websites in general, tend to talk to their audience about how great they are. Ego marketing is alive and well, although unfortunately in reality, it does more to switch your audience off than it does to engage with them.
Generally speaking, if a law firm has any content on their website (bar a few bullet points on each page), it tends to be focused on letting the world know how wonderful a particular lawyer is or how great their firm is at x, y and z.
If you are purchasing legal services from a firm of course you want to know that the people dealing with your affairs know what they are doing, however, if you dial this down a bit and make it a bit less ‘I am’ and ‘We are’, and a bit more about your audience and the issues they are facing, you will find it much easier for your content to engage with them.
Even from a ‘let’s stand out from the crowd for doing something different’ point of view, why not try to be different to the other 99% of law firms who just talk about themselves?
Talk about your audience and the issues they face in order to demonstrate that you know what you are talking about.
Tailor your content to their needs
Not everyone is ready to purchase the very first time they come to your website so you need to have a variety of information to match the different stages they are on. To do this you need to understand the journey your buyers take on their way to becoming a client of your firm and the different types of content they will need at each stage. This will bring a real focus to your content and help you to stand out from the crowd who are just interested in letting people know about which award they have just won, the qualifications they have or associations they are members of.
If you can tailor your content to where your audience is in their buyer’s journey you will be providing content which is directly relevant to their requirements. This will not only let your visitors see that you know what you are talking about, they will also relate to your content and find it much more useful. This should make them want to engage with you and come back for more.
Educate and offer value
As well as providing content on your website which is related to your services, i.e. we do this and we do that, provide content to educate your audience. You obviously aren’t going to teach them the law but we all know that an informed client is a much better client to work with than one who just asks question after question or is simply suspicious that everything you do is just a cynical ploy to add hours on the job.
Try to develop a theme for your content and build out from there. Make it educational and offer value. The concept of ‘paying it forward’ is very relevant in inbound marketing as you will want to provide value to prospective clients by giving them educational content which addresses whatever stage of the buyer’s journey they are at.
Build a content engine
As you have probably figured out by now, having lots and lots of high-quality content on your website is essential for generating leads, unfortunately however this isn’t just a one-off exercise to add a few blogs to your website and you’re done. If it was only that easy! Unfortunately to make your content work you will need to commit to producing content on a regular basis.
So how busy is your content engine going to be?
Will you blog:
- once a month
- twice a month
- once a week
- twice a week
- or more?
The table below would indicate that the more regularly you blog the faster the results will come.
Developing content for your website is one of the most important areas to help drive leads for your law firm, it also takes a lot of time. Yes, we know lawyers are born to draft, however, if you decide this is the route you will follow, please keep thinking back to the checklist below.
If you can’t get your lawyers to agree that the best approach to content production is to let them set the themes and then outsource the production, then at least ensure you have a challenge function to make sure you have a consistent quality, tone and message.
The next time you sit down to write a piece of content, or better still when you sit down to map out your firm’s content plan for the next 6 to 12 months, consider this Content Checklist to make sure your content is on point and delivering the best possible outcome for your firm.