How Does Content for Lawyer Websites Work?
Every page on a lawyer’s website should fulfill a specific purpose.
- ❌ DO NOT treat your website as your personal news outlet. That’s what social media is for. More people will see it there anyway.
- ✅ DO create content that brings new cases to your firm by ranking at the top when people needing legal advice turn to Google.
The best law firms create content designed to do two things:
- Capture demand from organic search
- Get visitors to convert into leads
Google has an easier time understanding what topics you should rank for when you create content relevant to your industry.
High-quality content plus relevance leads to more traffic from Search and more settlements for your firm.
Search Intent: The Sine Qua Non of SEO
Every visitor has a goal in mind when they search for something.
The content you create should aim to help people get what they want when they want it. We call this satisfying the searcher’s intent.
Your content should also guide visitors toward the next action they should take on the page once they get there. This is how you effectively use the marketing funnel to get qualified visitors to hire you.
For example, someone who was just in a car wreck may only want some information on how to handle their legal situation and is probably looking for an informative blog post.
You can give them the information they need by having a page on your site that addresses common questions they might have.
You then can take this top-of-funnel visitor and show them why hiring a lawyer is a necessity. From there, you’ll want to add a hyperlink to take them to one of your service or practice area pages for more information.
The next goal is to get qualified leads to convert when they get to that service page.
You educated the visitor using the blog post. Now the service page can do its job by teaching them about how you can help them. It should also provide clear calls to action so they have multiple opportunities to contact you when they’re ready.
Content on your site works when every piece has a job, and each piece helps the others accomplish it.
Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trust
Google wants you to create content that meets the recommendations they lay forth in their Quality Rater Guidelines (Learn about E-E-A-T: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness).
Google wants content from credible sources and emphasizes those three elements as being fundamental to credible content.
Here are best practices to make your website content adheres to EEAT guidelines:
- Always include an author byline on all pages.
- Ensure author bios highlight expertise.
- Demonstrate your experience by using stories and anecdotes.
- Create the kind of content other reputable websites would link to.
Google wants searchers to get what they want, when they want it, from credible sources of information.
If Google fails to do that, people will lose trust in Google as a trustworthy search engine. And if that happens, fewer people will use it, and their ad revenue (read stock value) will decline.
It’s your job to demonstrate your content is the best resource on the web.
Learn more about EEAT and how it applies to law firms.
Law Firm Website Content Types
Almost every law firm website consists primarily of two page types:
- Practice area pages
- Resource and long-form content (e.g., blogs, guides, case results, and tools)
Each type serves a different purpose.
Practice Area Pages
Practice area pages are your sales pages.
They will typically target a specific service or area of the law you practice. You’ll use these page types to get potential clients to contact you for help with their legal problems.
People may come to your service pages directly from Search with the intention to reach out to you, or they may end up on the page after reading one of your blog posts.
Practice area pages are the sales pages for a law firm’s website.
These are what we call bottom-of-the-funnel pages—where your goal is to get prospective clients to contact you or schedule a consultation.
Practice area pages are your opportunity to talk about the problems your clients face, how an attorney can solve them, and why the attorney they choose should be you.
The Purpose of Practice Area Pages
Cover only one practice area at a time and be as specific as possible.
Personal injury lawyers should have separate pages for each of their practice areas. For example, you may end up with the following pages on your site, assuming that you practice each type of case:
- Car Accident Lawyer
- Truck Accidents Lawyer
- Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
- Slip and Fall Lawyer
- Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
One personal injury page that tries to cover all of those sub-topics in detail would be confusing to visitors.
You’re far better off with individual pages that visitors can access with ease from your site navigation menu (see below) or from a central practice areas hub page.
How to Get the Most Value from Practice Area Pages
USE YOUR TARGET KEYWORD IN THE TITLE TAG
Use the word “Attorney” or “Lawyer” somewhere in the title tag of the page.
In most cases, the keywords that you want to target for each page will be something like <span class="inline-code">car accident lawyer</span>.
Placing that keyword in your page’s title tag makes it clear to Google what keyword it should rank you for. It also makes it clear to searchers what kind of content they’d see if they click on your page in the search results.
INCLUDE COMPELLING & USEFUL CONTENT
One of the biggest goals for every page you create is to provide value to your audience.
People won’t stay on your page if it doesn’t match what they were searching for. They’ll go back to Google and find one of your competitors who will give them the answers they need.
Know your audience.
Understand what they want to know about their problem and your service.
Then give it to them.
Interactive elements like explainer videos or client testimonials will give you a better shot at capturing their attention and making a connection.
I know it’s easier to just put words on a page. And you can do that too. Just don’t expect to beat competitors who take winning more seriously.
MAKE IT EASY FOR VISITORS TO CONTACT YOU
Each service page should have a single primary action you want people to take. You can present it in multiple places—but there should be one clear goal. If there’s not, visitors will get confused, and confused buyers don’t buy.
It should be immediately clear to a visitor what they can do if they’re ready to contact you.
<div class="callout callout-success"><p><strong>Tip:</strong> Simple page designs convert better than flashy ones.</p></div>
You have plenty of options here, including contact forms in the sidebar, chat windows, and clickable telephone numbers in your navigation.
Our advice is to set up multiple options for visitors.
Some people will never fill out a form but are happy to give your office a call. Others won’t call but will chat any day. Giving people options can lead to more case leads.
Making it easy for people to contact you is not the same as having them take over the screen, though.
One of the biggest mistakes we see lawyers make is having chat popups obscure the page’s content.
Also, make sure your contact numbers are easy to see. Notice how difficult it is to see the phone numbers in the navigation of the page below?
CREATE PAGES TARGETING SPECIFIC LOCATIONS
If you serve multiple cities, you can have practice pages (we call these local landers) for each of those services in each of those cities. For example, a law firm in southern California might have pages on their site targeting topics like:
- <span class="inline-code">car accident lawyer</span>
- <span class="inline-code">car accident lawyer los angeles</span>
- <span class="inline-code">car accident lawyer san diego</span>
Creating pages targeting specific geographic areas can give you more opportunities to rank when Google localizes the traditional organic search results for people based on their location or when they include a location in their query.
Resources & Blog Content
Resource pages and long-form content like blog posts are the other primary content archetype.
These types of pages can have a diverse set of goals.
First Tier Goals
The first goal is to get people to consume them by targeting keywords related to your practice with high-quality, informational content.
The secondary goal is to educate them well enough that they’re ready to take a conversion action. Either directly or by leading them to a more conversion-focused page like a service page or a settlement calculator.
Second Tier Goals
Content can also help you get backlinks. For example, you might create a unique piece of content that presents original data or statistics that are easier to get people to reference in their content and link back to your site.
Learn more about the impact links have on law firm rankings.
You can also create thought-leadership content or tools that will are designed to start conversations on social. A lot of firms just post links to their blog posts on social thinking people will care.
People use social to be on social. Not to click links and visit your blog.
If you want to create content to share on social, validate with your audience that it’s a good idea first. Otherwise, you’ll waste your time.
There will be other pages on your site besides these content archetypes. For instance, you’ll need a home page, an about page, and a blog category page, to name a few. But these one-off pages will almost always be outnumbered by blog posts and service pages.
How to Get the Most Value from Resource & Blog Content
You can get the most value from blog content by using it to attract potential clients earlier in their customer journey before your competitors have a chance to make an impression on them.
Think of all the questions that an accident victim might ask you about a lawsuit.
Then create content that answers all those questions.
Here are some tips for running an effective law blog.
USE KEYWORD RESEARCH TO VALIDATE CONTENT IDEAS
Be strategic about generating content by writing posts from queries people are actually using in search (e.g., <span class="inline-code">what to do after a car accident</span>, <span class="inline-code">how much does a car accident lawyer cost</span>, etc.).
Learn more about how to do keyword research for the legal industry.
MAKE THE BEST RESOURCE FOR INFORMATION ON THE INTERNET
Create informative content that is helpful to readers. Your goal should be the website that has the best source of information on the internet about that topic.
CREATE LINKABLE CONTENT
Avoid talking about a specific geographic area if you want to use content to attract backlinks.
A piece of content about “Steps to Take After a Hit and Run in Philadelphia” will only appeal to websites that have something to do with Philadelphia.
You can still create this kind of content, just make sure you’re also creating more general content as well so you can get links.
Topic Clusters & Content Hubs for the Legal Industry
Hubspot introduced led the charge on the shift Google was making from targeting specific keywords to topic clusters.
Topic clusters are groups of related content around a central topic. Topic clusters enhance SEO by creating a structured site architecture, aiding search engines to understand content relevance.
We call this approach the hub and spoke model.
In the legal vertical, practice area pages are ideal targets to act as hub pages.
As webmasters continue to add thousands upon thousands of new pages to the web each hour, it’s essential that Google have a way to assess and categorize relevant topics.
The cluster model assists in this from an architectural standpoint, treating all of those smaller pages as arrows pointing back to the hub.
Attorneys can benefit from using a similar methodology with their content.
A lot of folks just guess when they plan all of this out. We use our proprietary AI-driven topic clustering and prioritization algorithm to group things together and show us where the most important (and easiest) opportunities for your specific business are.
Here’s an example of the hub and spoke model for the topic <span class="inline-code">car accidents</span>.
Your content website plays a pivotal role in attracting and converting potential clients for your law firm.
It’s not just about sharing firm news or accolades. It’s about creating a strategic, interconnected content ecosystem that guides visitors toward hiring the law firm.
This involves creating high-quality, relevant content that aligns with Google’s EEAT guidelines and understanding the visitor’s search intent to provide them with the information they need.
Your website should primarily consist of Practice Area Pages, Resource Pages, & Blog Content.
Practice area pages act as sales pages, targeting specific services or areas of law, while resource and blog content aim to educate potential clients and attract backlinks.
Content hubs help search engines understand relevance and develop your topical authority. Plan and structure your content into content hubs to optimize them for users and for search engines.
Your number one goal is to create a website that is the best source of information on the internet about its respective legal topics, providing value to the audience and converting visitors into clients.
If you adhere to these principles, your law firm will get the most value out of its content and grow your practice more sustainably than you could ever hope to through traditional advertising.