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Search engine optimization (SEO) is integral to making sure online content is seen, and that it reaches the right people. One of the toughest challenges that copy writers face is writing content that is optimized for search engines yet will also appeal to people. Focusing exclusively on the technical aspects of SEO means neglecting the crucial role that SEO writing ultimately plays in driving user engagement.

SEO copy writing refers to the creation of content that is valuable to both website visitors and search engines. For law firms, it is a way of writing quality content that ranks well among Google search results and also attracts potential clients. Copy writers must think of ways to engage people rather than focusing solely on appeasing Google with the technical aspects of a blog post, such as keyword usage. In fact, the search engine’s standards champion useful, engaging copy over website design, optimized images or any other SEO factor.

While search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, the goals of a copy writer remain the same: increase readership and thereby conversions. Strike the perfect balance of informative content that is both SEO-friendly and useful to prospective clients, and you are on your way to driving more conversions, which is one of the main goals of SEO.

Here are some simple copy writing practices for achieving high-quality, user-oriented content:

Choose Your Words Wisely

There is no alternative to writing great content. Words have the power to drive engagement and give website visitors a reason to stay on the page. Copy that is stuffed with keywords or consists of low-quality writing will not help your target audience nor will it improve your organic search engine rankings.

One of the keys to effective copy writing is self-editing, and that means ensuring your words pack a punch. Replace mediocre vocabulary with strong adjectives and action verbs that lend a dynamic quality to your writing, making it more appealing to readers. For example, if a law firm is describing the consequences of serious personal injuries, instead of saying “very bad,” they can use words like “life-altering” or “devastating.”

Pay Attention to Format and Structure

In the current era of short attention spans, people love articles that are easy to read and that get straight to the point. One of the simplest ways to make your content more SEO and user-friendly is to break it up into easily digestible chunks. Focus on shorter paragraphs with more line breaks between them. Headers, sub-headers, bulleted lists and bold text are some effective techniques that can help give your readers’ eyes a break and allow them to scan content instead of having to plow through a wall of text.

The backbone of copy writing is the way content is structured. Copy writers should spend some time crafting a compelling introduction that grabs the reader’s attention. Without wasting any time, tell the person why they should care about the content, whether it is a web page about why someone should hire your law firm or a blog post about what to do after a car accident. If your introduction convinces the reader that the content is useful, it is more likely to convert.

As you move through each section of the piece to the conclusion, the points should build on each other in a coherent way. Use transition phrases to link your ideas together with phrases like “furthermore,” “in addition” and “as well as.” End with a powerful conclusion that reiterates your main point and leaves the reader with a memorable idea or image.

Include Solid CTAs

Integral to good copy writing is a strong call-to-action (CTA) that provides the reader with direction and encouragement to take a desired step. Actionable copy takes the website visitor by the hand and guides them through a piece of content. It tells the person what to do after reading the article or blog post, whether it is to contact your law firm or sign up for a newsletter.

An effective CTA is straightforward and crafted using action verbs. Consider using a different font or color to ensure the CTA stands out to the reader. Ultimately, your copy needs to be persuasive enough to compel people to take action. If your blog posts and articles conclude in a lackluster manner, your content will never stay in the reader’s mind long enough to make an impact or convert them to your side.

Write Compelling Headlines

An essential part of good SEO copy writing is optimized headlines that capture the website visitor’s interest and get them to click through. Copy writers can turn to a number of online resources, such as BuzzSumo or CoSchedule, to stay abreast of the latest headline best practices. Even if your content is valuable, your click-through rate will remain low without a headline that entices readers. Remember though that it must be relevant to the content and not simply written to grab eyeballs.

Copy writers understand that including the target keyword in the headline is a must. Along with telling website visitors what the piece is about, the headline should combine creativity with an SEO punch. There are many different ways to write a unique headline, such as by including numbers. For example, a blog post could be titled “5 Estate Planning Tips for Married Couples.”

While there are plenty of other aspects that contribute to good SEO copy writing, paying attention to the above elements will help law firms meet the requirements of both search engines and website visitors. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve a perfect marriage between technical SEO and copy writing SEO in order to engage readers and convert them into clients.

About Author

Dipal Parmar is a staff contributor to Bigger Law Firm Magazine and legal content developer for mid-sized to large law firms.

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