Rule of Law: 7 Tips for writing Effective Content for Law Firms

When it comes to digital identity, law firms get the short straw. Think stuffy corporate offices, men in suits and polished desks straight out of stock photos. In reality, most law firms are much more interesting. There is such a broad range of topics, skills and points of interest to be discussed. However, even with this, a lot of content is staid and stale. In some cases, this is because law firms get bogged down by extensive detail. So why is it so hard to create effective content for law firms?

Firstly, the legal industry is highly specialised. It’s hard to break down complex topics into bite-size chunks. Secondly, you’ve got to balance that with being clear and concise. No one wants to read an essay on a web page, even if they need legal services urgently. Thirdly, and probably the hardest part of all, you have to make it accessible. Whether it’s being read by a recent graduate looking for advice on mis-sold student loans, a 30-something couple on the hunt for legal property advice, a business director managing a merger or acquisition or a retired pensioner managing their will, your audience needs to feel assured that you know what you are doing.

So what is the best way to achieve this?

1) Know your writing purpose

It sounds obvious, but too often, law firms will churn out frivolous content. Stepping back and taking time to plan can actually be extremely beneficial. Firstly, you need to think about the purpose of the content. Are you educating or informing your audience about a specific topic? Trying to drive traffic to a key landing page? Telling a client case study or story? Whatever objective you have, it always needs to be at the very front of your mind when you write. Through this approach, you can work backwards from this core objective meaning that you never have to worry about your content straying off-course.

2) Define your audience

Having buyer personas might sound like marketing jargon for a box-ticking exercise. However, when it comes to planning effective content for law firms, it can actually be extremely beneficial. There might be a small number of followers that are extremely interested in your day-to-day activities. Equally, prospective employees will want to know about company culture. However, in general, people will be reading your content for legal advice and guidance. Legal procedures can become extremely complicated and drawn-out, so clear, concise detail will be appreciated.

Having a clear vision is the first step to creating effective content for law firms.

One of the best ways to do this is by mapping out what interests your audience has and thinking of relevant topics that relate to this. Young graduates might have an interest in a legal career, or need advice on student property rights. Older professionals might want patent law advice or contract guidance. Families could need help with power-of-attorney. Making these lists will not only inspire you to make future content; they will also serve as helpful guidelines to what level you should pitch the content at.

3) Keep search engines in mind

For your law firm’s content to really be visible, it will need to conform to standard search engine requirements. From a technical perspective, there is a lot of possible optimisation that can be done. However, because law firms are often short on time and resources, it is better to focus on nailing the basics when writing effective content for law firms.

For starters, make your content pithy and engaging. Don’t use long walls of text – short sharp paragraphs will help keep a reader’s attention much better. Craft an informative and interesting meta description and meta-title that tells the crawler robots exactly what they can expect to find on-page. In addition, make sure that your target search keywords and phrases feature prominently in your content. Be careful not to overstuff them though – for example, a blog post about a particular piece of legislation doesn’t need to mention it by name in every single line!

4) Write about your interests and support them with evidence

Positioning yourself as a thought leader is an extremely effective way to develop credibility for your content. As a legal professional, you will have a topic that you are particularly interested in. It could be anything ranging from the more typical criminal law & corporate law all the way to maritime law, sports law or media law! Use your unique passion and interest to drive your content, and you’ll instantly find it becomes ten times easier to write, and 100 times more engaging to read. The most effective content for law firms often blends significant personal experience with case studies which helps bring the narrative to life.

Moreover, it’s critical that you remain reputable and credible through your content creation process. Lawyers will know the devil comes in the detail! The best content will be backed up by relevant, up-to-date sources which are correctly credited within your post, and you might even want to link them internally so people can read further into the matter.  The more time you spend researching your chosen topic, the better the bank of information you are going to build up, and the more informed you’ll appear when writing about this content.

5) Provide a fresh perspective

Your law firm will not be unique in providing digital content. Every single law firm, from the local high-street ‘Mum and Pop’ law firm up to the sprawling global conglomerates, will be doing the same. What they won’t necessarily be doing, however, is taking your viewpoint on matters. If you are in tune with the current trends, it can be really beneficial to write about them, however, avoid falling into the herd community trap. Effective content for law firms always has something that marks it out as unique.

Being clear and concise is a great way to write effective content for law firms.

6) Quality not quantity is sometimes key

There’s often a tendency that bigger is better when it comes to effective content for law firms. In reality, it’s not always the case. Statistically, content that is longer does have a better chance of ranking well. There is no denying this. However, when it comes to content actually being effective, it’s all about how well you convey your message. If it is a complex topic, it might take several thousand words to do it justice. That’s okay. Equally, if it is a less specialised topic, it’s important to not just fill space with unnecessary details or information.

7) Effective Content for Law Firms Offers Solutions

Although this might sound like common sense, it’s important to remember you are trying to be helpful. When people are searching for your blog, they usually will have a specific question, problem or case in mind. Even if they don’t have this, they will know the sort of legal help they are looking for. As a result, you should review your content at the end with these questions in mind. Have you helped answer them in a clear and cogent manner? Have you avoided using jargon or complex legal terminology that laypersons may not understand? Above all, are you providing a solution with your content?

If you are a law firm and you are looking for help with your content creation, or any aspects of your digital marketing, get in touch with Boss Digital today.