Creating an online presence is crucial for many business types today, including legal firms, consultants, and other professionals in the legal industry. However, unlike some business websites that make huge claims about their products and services, lawyers have to walk a fine line between compelling marketing content and legally-compliant content.
That’s why, when outsourcing your content online, you have to be careful about what type of content is produced and how it’s written. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of online content that lawyers should keep in mind before getting content published on their website.
When it comes to legal content, there’s a difference between “We’ve never lost a case” and “We will help you win your case.” If you’ve truly never lost a case, then it’s a fact that can help you create stronger content on your website. But if you go with the latter, you’re essentially saying that you’re going to accept their case and win – even if you don’t know all the details yet.
Be careful of the way your content sounds to your website visitors. In some cases, your content can come off as misleading or just downright dishonest, even if you don’t mean for it to be. When in doubt, double-check your content and try to imagine how users would understand your claims.
The legal field can be incredibly technical and use plenty of jargon that the everyday person might not understand or be aware of. So when used on your content, it can be difficult for them to comprehend. This can lead to users not really understanding what you can do for them, which could lead to them searching for your competitor’s website that has more accessible content.
Most adults’ reading levels range from 6th grade to 12th-grade reading levels. Ideally, you’ll want to keep your content somewhere along the 8th grade, but for technical topics like law, you should aim for no more than 11th-grade reading-level content. Keep your sentences below 20 words, use an active voice, and provide informational content that resonates with potential clients.
Create content that’s comprehensive but not overwhelming. No matter how informative your content is, most website visitors only end up reading a fifth of a page. They’re skimming your content for information that’s useful to them, so make sure your content is skimmable. This means doing the following:
Depending on your specialization, you don’t have to put everything you know on your website. Too much fluff and unnecessary information can overwhelm users. Instead, put enough information to establish your authority and experience in your field and then invite users to get in touch with you to learn more.
Regardless of their years of experience in a certain field, most lawyers aren’t allowed to call themselves experts under regular circumstances. But while you can’t explicitly say it, you can show it by establishing your knowledge and experience through a blog.
Having a blog section on your website provides informative content for users and establishes your authority in your field. Not all users that arrive on your website are looking to contact lawyers just yet, so having diverse types of content can provide them with the information they need at every stage of their buying process.
Many professionals can claim to be the best service provider in their area, but we don’t recommend you do the same. It’s a bold statement, and if your website claims you’re the best lawyer in your city, you’re advertising an unverifiable claim. Good content is either one that makes no unverified claims or one that has the facts to back it up.
If you’re outsourcing your content, you should be provided with an intake form to help writers learn more about your business and create content based on those facts. You can also work with your writers and provide facts and other resources you want to highlight.
Every client’s case is different, so don’t make blanket statements that you know you can’t deliver. For instance, avoid saying “We will help you win your case and get you the maximum payout,” going with content that’s more on the conservative side can help manage expectations.
Instead, your content can say something along the lines of “We will work towards your best interests to deliver the best possible outcome.” It’s not a guarantee that you will win a case or get the best outcome, but it sends the message that you provide dedicated services to your clients.
As mentioned earlier, lawyers aren’t allowed to call themselves experts as there’s a legal liability to misleading wording depending on your state. While you may only practice a certain field of law and have been working in that niche for years, some states don’t allow lawyers to call themselves “specialists” or “experts” in that field. According to the American Bar Association (ABA), you have to be officially certified by an organization accredited by the ABA or your state.
If you’re planning on outsourcing your content, your writers should be well aware of your industry’s do’s and don’ts. One mistake like this can leave you liable for violations, even if you weren’t the one who wrote your own content.
As a lawyer, you have the option of creating evergreen content on the law as it’s fairly straightforward and rarely ever changed. This ensures your content remains relevant even months or years after you’ve published content. From a traffic standpoint and from the perspective of a user looking for information, it makes more sense to keep your content relevant all the time.
The problem with using dated references like upcoming events, special occasions, and other one-time events is that they’ll soon be irrelevant. Talking about current events may get you some traffic, but these will be outdated pieces that no one will be looking for down the line. As much as possible, focus your website more on evergreen content that’s likely to be relevant down the line rather than short-term content.
The legal industry has plenty of rules to comply with when it comes to creating online content. To ensure your business website meets your industry’s standards while compelling potential clients to reach out to you, your website will need compelling content that gets users to take the next step in your favor.
Find a content team that understands the needs of independent lawyers, law firms, and other businesses within the legal sector. Our writers adhere to the strictest standards of quality and ensure your content is compliant with your industry needs. Together, let’s establish your website as a reliable source in your field.