Earlier this year, I did an interview with Karin Conroy of Conroy Creative Solutions about why lawyers should be doing content marketing. We talked about content marketing and its importance to lawyers from a 20,000-foot perspective. So I’ve asked Karin to come back on the blog to get a little more granular and specific about how good content writing makes your website more effective. We both believe that a good website is client-oriented and causes the reader to burn as few mental calories as possible.
Good Content Writing Makes Your Website More Effective
Does the content on your website keep people reading or does it make them run and never come back?
As a lawyer, you want to give your customers a good first impression. You want your content to be meaningful and helpful, but also readable.
Avoid using long walls of text
People are scanners. Which means, they scan through your blog post to find anything that would help them, and if it’s just a wall of words, they gloss over it and leave.
Write your content for scanners.
You have to break it up with white space, subheads, bullet points, numbered lists and images.
People are lazy and want reading to be easy for them. If they find it too hard to read, they can do a google search for the same topic or services you provide and move on. You’ve lost a potential customer because your copy wasn’t easy to read.
Use short sentences. Avoid run-on sentences, bad grammar and check for spelling mistakes. If you follow those suggestions, you will avoid having a wall of text in your content writing.
Make sure you address your target audience
Understand who your readers are and pinpoint what they want. You want your potential clients to feel like they’ve come to the right place.
When people go to a lawyer site, they are looking for a lawyer to solve their specific problem. If you address that problem in your content writing, you will gain a customer. Develop a buyer persona and study their needs and desires. Then write your content with them in mind.
Include a solution to your potential client’s problem
Make sure your potential clients know what your firm can do for them.
Your firm has features and benefits for your ideal customer. If you don’t show the benefits and only list the features, they won’t know what’s in it for them or why they should choose you.
Your features let your audience know the facts and the descriptive side of what you offer. People don’t respond emotionally to a list of facts.
When you show your audience what they will receive when they use your service, this is results based. Showing the benefits helps your audience make a decision as to why they should choose you and your service and not someone else’s. Your audience has several concerns, fears and desires. When you speak to those concerns your audience will respond emotionally. People always buy with emotion first.
Be sure to put clear benefits in your content writing, and not just the features.
Include a Call to Action
Write a compelling call-to-action.
Your audience wants to know what to do next. Give them something of value for free that speaks to a specific problem you can solve. You can highlight your most important benefit and give them a special discount. Or give them an ebook that solves a particular problem.
Always include a call-to-action at the end of your blog post. This will insure that those who are interested in your legal services, will take action and engage with you.
Ask yourself, “Why would they want to buy from me?” Use their language when you talk. You may want to find out where they hang out online and write down what they are saying. Then use those words in your content writing.
Here’s an example of what you want to avoid
At The XX Law Firm, we provide sophisticated legal representation to individuals, businesses, and organizations in a wide range of civil litigation matters, including labor and employment, civil rights, government litigation, business litigation, personal injury, and whistleblowers. We represent clients in the X metropolitan area, the State of X, and X. Our practice focuses primarily on federal court litigation, but we also handle cases in state courts, before government agencies, and at arbitration proceedings.
The first thing you notice about the above paragraph is that it is a wall of text.
It lists all the features and doesn’t appeal to a specific target audience.
Here’s an example of how it could be written with an audience in mind and showing what results or benefits are in it for them.
Quality comes first at The XX Law Firm. Your legal case is important to us whether it’s personal or business related.
If your case involves a domestic assault, and your future looks bleak, let us handle all the legal matters and put everything back into perspective for you.
Or you’re facing an embezzlement case in your business, don’t be afraid to reach out to us to help and stand between the offender and you so that your company can get back to being a business people can trust.
We offer legal services in several areas. No need to feel your case is either too big or too small.
We represent clients in the X metropolitan area, the State of X, and X.
Reach out and call us to help you through some of the toughest times of your life. We provide sound advice and a clear direction for your specific legal matter.
Content writing can keep your readers on your page longer if you learn and practice these techniques. Focus on solutions and directly appeal to your audience’s feelings. Remember to ask yourself, “What does the reader want?”
Does your website tell your clients how you can help them and specifically point them to ways to contact you?
Karin Conroy helps lawyers have better websites that more effectively reach clients. If you don’t have the time or inclination to optimize your website to reach potential clients, she can help you do that.
Photo by Jeff Eaton.