Many of our clients at EverSpark Interactive are law firms. These firms come from many backgrounds, cities, and practice areas but they all share a common goal: to rank well on Google and get as many new clients as possible.
The problem is that many law firm websites are not written in a way that supports this. As one of our main content writers, the first step when I work with any law firm is research. I look at competitors’ websites and get a feel for what similar firms are saying. As a result I’ve read hundreds of law firm websites in all practice areas. And the one thing I notice over and over is that most of their web copy is terrible.
What Bad Copy Looks Like
Every law firm website has a section called “Practice Areas” which lists all the kinds of cases they take. Each of these pages should, in theory, tell you about that kind of case. The Auto Accidents page should tell you what to do if you were injured in a car accident, and the DUI Defense page should tell you what it takes to beat a drunk driving charge.
Instead, here’s what I see on most practice area landing pages:
Atlanta, GA Auto Accident Attorney
If you were injured in an Atlanta auto accident, you need a good Atlanta auto accident attorney. We are an Atlanta based law firm with 15 years of experience helping people injured in car accidents, truck accidents, and hit and run accidents…
If you read through those three sentences, you got farther than most clients. The problem is that this landing page is nothing but a bunch of Google keywords stuffed into some generic info text. Someone told this law firm that it was important to have their location-specific keyword in the title of their page. They also said it was important to repeat all their keywords (car accidents, truck accidents) as much as possible, especially in the first paragraph. The needs of the reader—someone who is likely in pain and wants to find a lawyer they can trust—have been completely ignored.
Two Mistakes No Lawyer Should Ever Make
There are two problems with this approach. The first is that it’s not 2008. Google no longer rewards keyword stuffing. In fact, this approach can send your page rank plummeting down faster than a runaway elevator. Google wants to connect users with the most helpful information relating to their search. If a page is padded with a bunch of keywords then it’s boring, not helpful, and Google will put other websites ahead of it.
Of course, no Google robot can tell how interesting or boring a web page is (that we know of). But users can. So Google simply follows the users. When someone sees your site in the search results, do they click on it? Does a snippet of content from your site increase the click through rate? These are factors Google can track and they influence your page rank. In other words, riveting copy and helpful information boost rank; boring copy hurts it. That’s true no matter how many keywords are in the text.
The other problem is image. A successful law firm is built on reputation. Lawyers are expected to have dignity, integrity, lots of knowledge and a cool head. Shouldn’t your website show that?
Even if it was 2008—even if bland keyword-centered copy still worked—I’m amazed when a law firm allows junk articles on their website. The site is the first impression most people will have of your firm; nothing but the highest quality, most helpful articles should appear there. These articles must show off your experience and your understanding of your client’s problem. In other words, they should be startlingly useful and confidence-inspiring to the people who read them.
You would never wear a Hawaiian shirt to a client meeting just to get attention. The first time an internet marketer suggests you do the online equivalent, they should be turned out of your office. Their services are no longer needed.
How to Write Better Copy
In the coming weeks I’m going to offer a detailed look at how to write legal copy that sells (and that makes your firm look good). But the essential idea is easy: write an article that has your client’s needs at heart. The headline shouldn’t be a keyword, it should address a problem they’re having. How about:
If You Were Injured in a Car Accident, Why Should You Have to Pay Your Own Medical Bills?
Now you have their attention. The person who is laid up at home, unable to work, dealing with pain, not sure if they need surgery or how to afford it—now this person is interested in what you have to say. The rest of the landing page follows in kind, addressing their major concerns, explaining how the process works, and telling them why you’re the best lawyer for the job.
When you write this kind of copy, more people call for a consultation, almost everyone stays on the page longer, and you get an SEO boost, too.
Want to overhaul your firm’s copy? We can help. Contact EverSpark Interactive for a free consultation today.