A Lawyer’s Guide to Developing High-Ranking Content
BY Dipal Parmar STAFF CONTRIBUTOR
Law firms operate in competitive environments, which means having high-ranking content is vital to gaining website traffic and leads that convert. Not only does having great content make for a better website, but it also boosts rankings as search engines are known to reward sites that have quality, original content.
There are several key components that make up the framework of high performing online content. Lawyers need to ensure it grabs the attention of the target audience, keeps them engaged and presents them with a compelling call to action.
By uniting all these elements into a cohesive piece, law firms can go from having decent content to great content that achieves high rankings on search engines.
Create strong headlines
The saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover.” However, the fact remains that covers are the first point of contact for readers, who often use them to decide whether to delve into a book’s pages. Similarly, headlines serve as attention-grabbers that invite a person to read the rest of the content. This makes it essential to craft strong, effective headlines that spark interest.
In a world of short attention spans, your target audience is likely to decide whether to spend time reading your content purely based on the headline. According to Copyblogger, 80 percent of people look at headlines but only 20 percent read the rest of the content. When writing them, lawyers should steer clear of hyperbole and clickbait that may mislead readers. Remember, a headline should be an accurate description of what the article or blog post is about.
Select keywords based on search intent
In order to produce high-ranking content, it is necessary to attract the right website traffic and understand what individuals are looking for when they consume your content. Lawyers should craft their content based on the search intent of their target audience and what keywords they are typing into search engines.
Prospective clients are likely to be searching for information that answers a question or provides a solution to a problem. They might enter keywords like “unpaid wages,” “personal injury attorneys in California” or “how to create an estate plan.” By choosing the right keywords, such as those with specific phrasing or that begin with “how to,” attorneys can boost the performance of their content.
One of the defining characteristics of high performing content is that it is useful to readers. Once a blog post or an article catches an individual’s attention, lawyers should ensure it provides them with valuable information that answers their questions. After all, the ultimate purpose of a search engine is to deliver answers to people’s search queries. If the content fails to meet their needs, they are likely to click away.
Developing content with the target audience in mind means refraining from filling pieces with legal jargon that is better suited to journals rather than websites. While the attorney-client relationship inherently puts the former in a position of authority, it is best to avoid talking down to readers. In addition, making sure content is well-written and factually correct is especially important for attorneys. It is difficult to convince potential clients you are a professional and trustworthy law firm when your website contains inaccurate information or grammatical errors.
Add images and video
A simple way to make content more reader-friendly is by boosting its visual appeal. Besides using subheadings, lawyers can include relevant images and graphics to illustrate their points. Along with making the content more attractive to readers, they serve to break up chunks of body text.
BuzzSumo found that among one million articles, those that incorporated images after around every 100 words got double the number of shares as content with fewer images. Attorneys can use infographics, photos, video and diagrams as long as they add value to the content.
Remember to include a compelling CTA
The hallmark of high-ranking online content is that it ultimately inspires action, whether it is downloading an ebook or contacting your law firm. When developing content, lawyers should identify the most important step they want a website visitor to take. Highlight it with a clear and compelling call to action — a button, link or text that guides them toward what they should do after consuming the content.
A call to action is crucial to high performing content. It is the final push to get readers to take a desired action, so make sure it counts.