Where’s the beef on your webpage?

Webpages are an important part of most law firms’ marketing strategy these days.  It used to be that webpage advertising was viewed as optional.  These days, very few law firms are effectively able to succeed today without an effective webpage.

When hiring somebody to put together a webpage, or developing a webpage on your own, there are lots of considerations that have to come into the equation from the design, to the message and the content.  But one overriding problem with many law firms is that too many effectively think of their law firm webpage as an online brochure.  This line of thinking is what holds most law firms back online.

Kicking and screaming many have finally have ensured that their law firm has some kind of  a webpage put together.  But for most law firms, the content is generally thin.  The webpage might have a pleasing design.  It might have a brief description of the firm and the services provided.  But most law firms do not have content that would bring most back to see it again because it is nothing more than an online brochure.

Instead of having in-depth and thorough information about the area of law in which they practice, most law firm webpages simply focus on the services they provide in a truncated manner.  The areas of law might even be listed as bullets on the webpage with very little description.  Of course, the webpage likely has attorney biographies, a logo, a catch-phrase and contact information, but that’s usually about it.

Some law firms might go a little bit deeper.  They might have a limited number of pages of content on the areas of law in which they practice.  But, for most, the content is still very thin — and not particularly enlightening or informative.  Put another way, it is certainly not a resource or figurative encyclopedia of information that makes the visitor any wiser about the area of law, nor does it give them a reason to come back.

The reality is webpages like this are not going to show up well in the search engines with thin content.  Search engines (and visitors) are looking for the beef on the webpage.  They want a webpage to literally be an encyclopedia of information for readers who access your webpage.  They are looking for webpages that are continually updated and refreshed with new and informative content.

In the search engine optimization (SEO) field, most individuals will tell lawyers and law firms that content is king as it relates to how a webpage performs.  The reality is the webpages with the most content generally rank the highest.  They also have visitors that stay on the webpage for a long period of time.  These visitors also come back when they want to learn more.

Yes, there are lots of other factors that go into how a law firm webpage performs.  Among others, the design has to be pleasing.  The webpage should certainly use latest coding.  The webpage needs links with good trust flow.  The webpage should also load quickly so that users should be able to move quickly.  Who hosts the webpage can also make a difference.

But first and foremost, you have to look at your webpage and objectively analyze whether your webpage is loaded with content on the area or areas of law in which you practice.  If it does not, having a webpage might be a nice thing.  It might be better than having no webpage at all.  But truth be told, your webpage is not going to generate much traffic or much business without good content.

So, think about ways you can regularly update and put content on your webpage.  Instead of making the content thin and a call for people to contact you like you would on a brochure, give them information about the area of law in which you practice and take cases.  Without giving legal advice, help teach and enlighten them about the law, the practice area, the court system, etc.  There should be countless pages on your webpage that accomplish this very goal.

When potential clients view your webpage as a resource, they will appreciate it.  As they need additional information, they will come back.  And, ultimately, if they need an attorney, they will likely contact you because your webpage was a lot more than just a brochure.  It was a resource tool for them.

If you have any thoughts, feel free to share them below.

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