Have you ever visited a website and wondered who in the world wrote the articles? How would you feel if visitors to your firm’s website had the same reaction?
We all have an intuitive understanding of how important quality writing is. We know that it makes people seem more credible and more reliable. Putting it in the context (and budget) of your firm’s business development plan is another question entirely.
In a time where nearly all marketing copy is outsourced to agencies, it’s easy to feel like one alternative is just as good as another. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Some writing is just better — and it shows.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the reasons that quality writing is so important — for lawyers specifically. We’ll also talk about what goes into every blog post, website, or social media post that you buy from an online marketing agency. Here’s the topic overview:
FORWARD Lawyer Marketing uses a dedicated team of legal copywriters who understand both marketing and the law. We can provide anything from one-off articles to complete web publishing plans. Please contact us at (888) 590-9687 to talk about your writing needs.
How long did your attorneys spend, total, in school? How much continuing education and professional development have they invested in? With an average minimum of around 7 years of college, the educational requirements are certainly higher than most other professions.
People know that lawyers have to go to school for a long time. They also know that writing is a large part of being an attorney. Therefore, they expect a certain caliber of writing when they navigate to a lawyer’s website. In fact, they expect it from any communication — written or spoken — with someone whose profession is so deeply concerned with language.
For some attorneys, all that education turns out to be a double-edged sword when it comes to writing accessible, clear content for the internet. That’s why you need someone with practice communicating the technical details of your practice to a general audience.
Some SEO content writing is just that — filler to capture search engine traffic and increase a website’s search engine rank. For businesses with extremely high visitor revenue potential, SEO content needs to be more.
A single website visitor could easily mean tens of thousands of dollars for certain law firms. The catch is that the visitor has to feel confident enough to reach out and become a client. The way to do that is, of course, quality writing.
Fluffy filler writing is basically written to be ignored or, at best, skimmed. This is fine for some types of businesses, but not for law firms. People looking for lawyers for high-value cases are much more likely to be reading closely.
If your potential clients are looking for details, you don’t want them to find repetition and generalization. You need a clear, concise explanation of the subject — and often a prominent call to contact your firm for legal advice.
Fluffy writing is a style issue. It’s most obvious when it manifests as long, convoluted paragraphs that never seem to end.
Although fluff and lack of information are related, providing good information has more to do with research than with writing style. Just as much as your potential clients need clarity, they also need accuracy.
Writing accurate copy for a law firm is a unique challenge. Legal marketing ethics often restrict the types of statements you can make. Each case comes with its own unique set of facts and potential outcomes. How do you tie all of this together to provide the information your clients need?
Experienced legal content writers are able to provide factual details while working within ethical guidelines. There are many ways to go about this, including:
All of these strategies talk about the types of legal issues your potential clients might have. Instead of promising specific results, they use facts to set expectations.
Before going any further, let’s define “quality” in terms of SEO content. The word takes on a slightly different meaning when search engines get involved.
Your online marketing content is designed for two audiences: humans and robots. In a perfect world, the automatic search engine programs (the robots) would want the exact same type of writing as the humans do. Unfortunately, the two do not completely align.
The best SEO content is informative and easy to read for humans — but it still includes everything that search engine robots need to accurately index the page. This means incorporating important words and phrases in section headings, titles, and throughout the article in general.
These words and phrases are called keywords. They match what people type into a search engine (or, increasingly, speak into their devices when searching).
If you’ve ever read something online and wondered why it was repetitive, oddly specific, or strangely phrased, it’s likely that the writer was struggling to incorporate keywords. Weaving them unobtrusively into an article can be a challenge, but quality writing can make even the most cumbersome phrases sound natural.
If SEO quality comes mostly from incorporating keywords naturally, how do you assess the quality of the writing in general? In other words, how do you make writing sound natural in the first place?
There are many schools of thought on this subject, but it isn’t as subjective as you might think. It’s as much about clarity and expectations as it is about artistry. Here are three of the most important concepts:
Quality writing should be concise, organized, targeted, and complete. That’s easier said than done.
One last word about technical quality. Your content needs to be free of errors, especially ones that spellcheck doesn’t catch. More often than not, you need one of two things to get it: Time or a team. After the writing team of legal scholars completes content, FORWARD Lawyer Marketing’s SEO Director proofread and optimizes every piece personally.
It’s notoriously difficult for writers to catch mistakes in articles they’ve just written. That means they’ll need to wait a bit to re-read their content, or else pass it along to a dedicated editor and proofreader.
Nearly all content agencies (Forward Lawyer Marketing included) have editing, proofreading, and writing roles separated. This lets multiple writers produce lots of work, provides an extra set of eyes for minor corrections and gives clients the benefit of an experienced expert to polish content so it fits with the overall strategy.
Writing is crucial for the success of any online marketing plan. That said, it’s not everything.
Writing — and everything your visitors see, for that matter — is only one piece of the puzzle. You can have the best quality writing on the internet and still never rank high enough in the search results to make a difference on your bottom line.
Search position is about more than just quality. It’s about authority, reputation, and relevance. Yes, good quality writing helps you build or provide those things. However, to put everything together, you need more than just a great writer. You also need a cohesive strategy and a multi-disciplinary team of editors, coders, designers, researchers, and SEO professionals.
To learn more about how backlinks, site organization, and long-term strategy combine with quality content for lawyers, contact Forward Lawyer Marketing today at (888) 590-9687. We also provide single articles, blog writing, website rewrites, white-label content production for other marketing agencies, and any other content-related service you might need.