Monday, November 26, 2012

Law Firm Practice Area Content Pages - Why You Need a Lot of Them

We harp endlessly that the key to search engine optimization is "content."  Content means unique articles/stories/blogs/web pages written for your firm exclusively based on solid SEO practices.  Blogs are natural SEO kings, because they are focused on new content added on a weekly (or even daily) basis. 

However, it is a mistake to focus only on blogs and not on new material that is added permanently to the website itself.

In terms of law firm websites, this usually includes static pages focusing on individual practice areas.  Beyond that, these website pages might include breaking down various aspects of the litigation process, having a frequently asked questions page, locality pages based on specific cities in your area and more.  If you work with an SEO firm or receive counseling from the company that created your website, you have likely been told of the importance of adding content to the website itself--this is in addition to keeping your blog running smoothly. 

Law Firm Practice Area Pages
One mistake that many firms make is assuming that they do not need many practice area pages.  For example, a personal injury firm might have a page for medical malpractice, product liability, premise liability, and a few others.  They may not imagine that they need to break that down much further.  After all, why would you need a birth injury page when those cases clearly fall within medical malpractice.  Isn't a mention of birth injuries on the medical malpractice page sufficient?  Why clutter up the website?

Two main reasons:

First, for SEO purposes you need the detailed keywords for birth injury issues that a stand-alone page can provide.  It is important to include terms like cerebral palsy, erbs palsy, brachial plexus injuries, and other details on your own page.  It is impossible to do that properly without individual pages dedicated to sub-sections.

Second, prospective clients are not versed into the hierarchy of legal terms.  In most cases, all they will understand is the issue facing them: they were in a car accident, slipped on the stairs, were diagnosed with the wrong thing, suspect that their drug caused cancer, or any number of other situations.  In many cases they may not know what their issue translates into in terms of practice area.  That is why, for example, it is important to have pages that use plain language to discuss the problem.  "Dangerous drugs" or "Hip implant recall" is more likely to trigger something with a prospective client that "product liability."  While it is important for the firm website project legal precision, that should not result in individual website pages that are devoid of common language terms and phrases that prospective clients might use.

View Your Website As A Comprehensive Resource
The best approach is to view your online presence as one that involves steadily building up more and more interesting material for consumers.  That includes a two-pronged approach: (1) Permanent pages on your website about timeless issues (i.e. explanations of the most common birth injuries attributable to negligence); and (2) Blog posts that touch on timely topics, helping to connect issues in the news with basic principles of law.  When both of these are done well, the firm is best positioned to do well online for the long-term.

However, it is important to reiterate that while this sounds easy, it is actually a good deal of work.  That is because each of these pages and posts must be uniquely written for your firm.  There are no shortcuts.  You cannot copy and past interesting material or summaries found elsewhere.  Even if you owned the rights to that alternative material, the search engines will not give you benefit for copying material available elsewhere online.  In fact, you are penalized for copying things found elsewhere.  Instead, the material has to be original. 

Legal blog writers and legal content writers are available to help with the task.  Those at our firm, for example, are all attorneys themselves, trained in SEO and able to create unique content on the subject matter you need.  If you need assistance boosting your firm's online presence, there is no other way that via new content.  Take a moment to reach out to our legal writers for help on that front.

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