Elevating Your Law Firm’s Brand with Strategic Website Content
Date: May 11, 2023
Previously published on JD Supra.
In the modern world, it’s virtually impossible to run a successful business without a strong online footprint. Whether or not you like to think of it as one, your law firm is a business, and it’s vital to its success to market and brand it as one. Developing a marketing strategy that focuses on strategic, high-quality, accessible content can make all the difference in taking your law firm to the next level.
Realizing the Impact of Content on Brand Perception
Brand perception is, as the name suggests, how prospective clients perceive your law firm through media, use and experience, marketing, reviews, and word of mouth. This derives not from what your law firm says it does, but rather how your brand makes a potential client feel, leading to judgments they make about whether or not they want to engage with your brand. This involves knowing both who you are as a law firm and what your target audience is most likely to want to see from you. By taking care to produce a brand personality that fully conveys your law firm’s vision, mission, culture, and expertise, you can create a brand perception for your law firm that potential clients can believe in and, most importantly, trust.
Content creation can play an impactful role in crafting your law firm’s brand perception. Once you have successfully identified how you want your law firm to be perceived, channel that energy into the content you produce. Allow the content you create to leave room for what the client needs from you. For example, if you’re a family or elder law attorney, be sure to convey a company culture of empathy and understanding, while making your content accessible and consumable to a layperson who may not be familiar with all the associated terminology. On the other end of the spectrum, if your goal is to build brand perception for your high-end business law firm, your focus should be on creating an air of professionalism and competence, with little fluff. Your target audience is less likely to want to wade through explanations of topics they already understand, and getting straight to the point leaves room for them to perceive your law firm as understanding their needs. When you bear your desired brand perception in mind when creating content, you give your potential clientele a sense of who you are.
Defining Your Law Firm’s Unique Value Proposition and Expertise
Every law firm has a value proposition, or a set of promises that the firm makes to prospective clients on what they intend to deliver. While your brand perception is derived from interpretation, your value proposition comes from what your firm explicitly claims are the best reasons to choose to work with you.
A key factor in your law firm’s value proposition is demonstrating your expertise and experience, and this is where your content comes in. As a major facet of your content strategy, the content on your website, from blog posts to practice area pages, should convey beyond a shadow of a doubt that your attorneys are the best at what they do, and are the right choice to help prospective clients. Conveying your expertise is multifaceted – it’s important to share just what it is that your attorneys can do and how they specifically help people in their legal niche, and it’s also deeply beneficial to create articles where they provide in-depth and accessible explorations of relevant topics, demonstrating an inherent understanding of what they do and how it can be used to help. This also gives you an opportunity to utilize keywords, or important search phrases, that your target audience uses when researching your practice area. Keywords are vital because search engines will use keyword usage as one of their metrics for whether or not they show your content to a greater audience.
Ultimately, this portion of your content strategy lends itself to converting potential clients when they understand exactly who you are and what you can offer them.
Crafting Compelling, Informative Practice Area Pages
As previously mentioned, a major goal of creating legal content is, of course, to demonstrate your attorneys’ in-depth, hands-on knowledge of their practice area(s). This should be considered when creating your service pages that will live permanently on your law firm’s website. These are the pages that clients will visit when looking for specific services from you and, importantly, these are the pages that are most likely to rank for your law firm’s relevant keywords. Building your content around these terms and utilizing them throughout your content in a strategic way is a key tactic in moving your law firm’s website higher in search rankings. The end result should be a practice area page that demonstrates experience and depth of knowledge while incorporating these terms naturally into the flow of the text.
Showcasing Your Firm’s Case Studies and Client Success Stories
In addition to showcasing your experience, content creation provides your law firm with a ready-made platform to, for lack of a better term, brag a little. Case studies and client success stories are a perfect way to create long-form content that emphasizes your skill and knowledge while catering to the search engines’ need for expanded articles. For example, a case study allows you to delve deeper into the nuances of your legal niche while demonstrating your tangible, proven successes. Similarly, a client success story provides you with the opportunity to explore a notable achievement through long-form content that still satisfies what the search engines crave. Demonstrable success stories will give your prospective clients a vote of confidence when it comes to pursuing a professional relationship with your law firm.
Creating Valuable Blog Content and Legal Analysis
A key term used in conjunction with content marketing is “thought leadership.” This refers to content that provides value through the writer’s insight, experience, and knowledge of the field in question. In order to establish digital dominance for your law firm in your practice area, it’s vital to create blog content that sets your firm apart as a thought leader. Use your keywords to strategically choose blog topics that your target audience will want to see, then dig deeply into those topics in a way that only you can. Anyone can explain the definition of a legal term; what will set your legal content apart is your experience and insight based on your years in the field. This gives you the opportunity to still provide information but frame it in a totally unique way, and even make it more accessible – your lived experiences can provide a lens that clarifies complicated topics and shows what your assistance brings to the table.
Utilizing Engaging Visuals and Multimedia Elements
It’s not shocking that, given a variety of factors, the average attention span is much shorter than it used to be. Because of this, balancing the dynamism of law firm content can feel like a tightrope act. It’s important for your Google ranking to create thorough, in-depth, long-form content; this does not always coincide with what is best for user experience. It’s easy to get lost in a wall of text, even with headers guiding the way. It’s becoming more common practice to utilize visuals and other multimedia elements when developing your content strategy. Visuals and graphics break up the page and present your most pertinent data in a way that will still be seen even if a user is only skimming through the pages on your website.
On a related note, there are many different learning styles and ways of processing information. Because of this, many law firms have started leaning into content like videos and podcasts to disseminate information and gain traction in markets they hadn’t previously tapped. In fact, reports show that 58% of law firms utilize videos and animations on their websites, and 73% use podcasts and other audio channels. As videos and podcasts as mediums continue to grow, it’s prudent for law firms to adapt their content strategies and grow with them.
Consistently Publish New Content
A core facet of a healthy, effective digital content marketing strategy is the frequency at which you post new, fresh, engaging content. Posting regularly gives the search engines’ crawlers more opportunities to find, analyze, and promote your website. The higher the volume of high-quality content packed with relevant keywords, the more likely it is that someone will organically discover your law firm, read your content, and convert into a qualified lead.
It’s important to note, however, that consistency and quality are more important than frequency when it comes to content creation. In order to ensure that your content strategy stays on track, we recommend having an editorial calendar in place in order to plan ahead. This calendar can be as simple or in-depth as needed, but should include the topic, the member of the team writing the content, and any relevant due dates. Knowing what will be written, when, and by whom will keep your law firm’s digital content strategy organized and moving forward, elevating your presence on the search engine results pages and ensuring an influx of new leads.