What makes good online content?

Typewriter typing the words "Content is King"

When it comes to the written word, what constitutes “good” is subjective. However, if you’re looking at what makes good online content, there are some definite rules. This is particularly true of legal marketing and the content that lives on law firms’ websites.

As an attorney, you pride yourself on having the ability to quickly understand complex legal concepts. However, the average legal consumer doesn’t share that aptitude and isn’t coming to your site to learn about the intricacies of the law. They have a legal problem that needs resolution. When they come to your site, they want to learn about you and are seeking confirmation that you are the best attorney to help them.

How can you engage and win over prospective clients? When marketing yourself and your law firm to potential clients online, keep the following three content best practices in mind:

SEO strategy

Before you start writing the actual content for your website, it’s wise to formulate an SEO strategy and plan. Taking the time up front helps increase the likelihood that search engines will look favorably upon and return your site when legal consumers search for a personal injury, divorce, or criminal defense attorney in your area.

Do your research. Know what keywords and phrases would be wise to incorporate throughout your site and devise a strategic approach for how to boost visibility for those terms. This includes using identified keywords in the bolded headers throughout your site as well as in your site’s metadata (title tags, meta descriptions, image alt tags, and URLs).

Additionally, to get search engines’ attention, it’s important to implement a strong linking strategy. As you begin writing the copy for your site, use anchor text wisely to link from main practice area pages to relevant internal pages within your site.

Branding and marketing messages

When a potential client lands on your website, your goal is to draw them in with your branding and messaging. Think about your firm’s attributes and key differentiators. If you were going to give a five-minute elevator speech about why someone should choose your law firm over your competitor down the block, what words come to mind? Use this exercise to come up with a meaningful and memorable tagline and banner message.

When it comes to key branding and marketing messages, repetition is your friend. Make sure to include these phrases throughout the pages on your website. Remember, aside from you, no one is going to read every page on your website. Therefore, in order to drive home your firm’s branding and marketing messages, it’s important to include them on every page.

Lastly, make sure you have direct and strong calls to action (CTAs) near the top of your site pages. When a prospective client decides they want to contact your firm, you want to make it as easy and fast as possible for them.

On-page content

Once you’ve solidified your SEO strategy and key branding and marketing messages, it’s time to start writing your on-page content. This is your opportunity to introduce your firm, discuss how you help clients resolve their legal issues, and convince prospective clients to call you.

Your challenge is to grab and keep a user’s attention. And you won’t accomplish this by talking solely about your firm, using a bunch of legalese, or citing case law. Put yourself in prospective clients’ shoes and speak in a relatable and human way to their questions and concerns. Don’t ramble on in long paragraphs, instead break up your content into shorter and easy-to-digest sentences and paragraphs and use headers and bulleted lists to draw users’ eyes to key information.

The content on your site shouldn’t be static. Regularly adding unique and relevant content that users find helpful is a great way to get search engines’ attention and more users to your site. This goal can be accomplished by contributing to an on-site blog one or two times per week.

Data is your friend

A key benefit of online content is that you can track performance and see how users are engaging with pages within your website. This helps you identify content that is resonating versus content that may benefit from updates. Review this data frequently and use it to inform decisions you make with regard to updating your site’s content, SEO strategy, and design.

There is both an art and science to legal website performance. Need help marrying the two? Contact the legal marketing experts at FindLaw.

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