How to Determine the Content Your Site Will Need

ID-10097440Developing a content strategy for your legal website is much like building a home. The process can be exciting, but it also requires plenty of hard work and foresight. The quest for building and maintaining a “perfect home” – in this case, your legal practice’s website – never truly ends.

Like a home, you may encounter unaccounted-for expenses and other surprises along the way. Once you’ve put on the finishing touches and are ready to move in (or launch the site), it’s important to conduct those final inspections. The end result is well worth the efforts – a well-constructed website can foster continued success.

Prepare the site and pour the foundation: In this home-building analogy, site preparation means doing your market research. Take a close look at your primary competitors and assess what they are doing right, what you think could be done better, and where there is opportunity for growth.

Carefully consider the following about your primary competitors:

  • areas of special focus;
  • unique “voices” and branding;
  • any existing gaps in services or geographic coverage;
  • free materials; and
  • more.

You want to walk away from the preparation with a detailed list of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses, and ideas on what you can do to carve out your own niche. For instance, maybe you noticed that despite the Miami area enjoying a healthy biking community, none of your local competitors are focused on bicycle accident law in Miami Beach. You can use information like this to inform the construction of your site’s foundation.

Complete the rough framing: This stage is all about identifying your site’s core pages. This step is crucial for establishing a clean and user-friendly navigation. Just as a home’s blueprint wouldn’t have the bathroom open directly onto the front porch, your navigation should comfortably guide a user from one “room” (page) to another.

Begin with the home page, as this is the most important for your site. It packs the most punch in terms of search engine ranking. It also establishes the tone and focus of your site (such as: Divorce Law). Ensure it addresses your key practice areas, geographic coverage and qualities unique to your firm.

Supportive pages will detail your primary practice areas (such as Child Custody, Spousal Support and Child Support). Sub-practice areas (such as child support modification and legal name change) should be nested under the applicable umbrella term. Other crucial pages:

  • About Us;
  • Attorney Bios;
  • Client Testimonials (video testimonials especially add value to your “home” – the equivalent of installing marble countertops versus laminate); and
  • Contact Us.

All of these pages should be easily located within your main navigation bar.

Complete the rough plumbing and electrical: Now is the time to begin installing the internal linking strategy. A responsible linking strategy helps clients easily locate useful information and also serves to benefit SEO efforts. Use internal links only when appropriate and where useful. For instance, a blog post about common causes of head injury may link to your motorcycle accident landing page.

Install insulation: Just as a homebuilder seeks to insulate the home against lost energy, you should take steps to make wise use of your site’s resources to convert visitors into leads. Specifically address your potential clients’ fears and anxieties. Offer free resources, such as eBooks, checklists, white papers and smartphone apps.

Compelling calls to action are another component of providing “insulation.” Cater each call-to-action to the nature of the content in which it appears. For instance, a blog post that discusses car accident statistics may be best served with a free offer of a monthly car safety newsletter. An article about “what to do when you’ve been injured in a crash” may call for a free download of an eBook tailored to car accident victims.

Finishing touches: You are almost ready to move in – just a few final touches to prep the site for launch. Install your on-site blog and create an editorial calendar to ensure it stays well stocked. It should include a list of topics relevant to your ideal clients and desired search terms. Remember, just as with a home, your site requires routine care. Ensure your blog is updated at least once a week.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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Yvette Valencia

About Yvette Valencia

Yvette Valencia is the COO of We Do Web Content, Inc. - a web content marketing firm providing top-quality SEO content to attorneys, law firms and other professionals. Visit her website to learn more about law firm marketing and how the right web content strategy can bring in the clients you want with the cases you need! Call 1-888-521-3880.


Website: http://www.wedowebcontent.com
Email: yvette@wedowebcontent.com
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