Judging A Law Firm By Its Cover (And Its Content)

book-623163_1280You probably don’t think of yourself as a publisher (unless, that is, you’ve written some kind of book about the legal system), but that’s sort of what you have to become if you want to succeed in this brave new world of content marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

A new article in Econsultancy highlights the importance of bringing a publishing mindset to various facets of SEO.  All businesses, law firms included, should check it out, as it offers some key insights into the ways that one can go about reaching the top of the search engines and earning a place in the hearts and minds of customers and clients.

What we’d like to do is delve deeper into what this means for law firms.  If you approach content marketing as if you were trying to drum up interest for a book you’ve written, you should be able to achieve some notable degree of success.  Keep reading to find out how to put a publisher’s mindset to work for your firm.

books-484766_640Judging A Book By Its Cover

You’ve probably heard the phrase that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.  The thinking is that a single image doesn’t have the ability to prove a work of literature worthy or not.  You actually have to crack open the spine and read what’s inside, judging the book on the merits of its content rather than just relying on the coolest artwork to make your decision.

The thing is, we all judge books by their covers, and publishers know this.  Unless you’re dealing with a well-known author whose name alone is capable of selling books, effort must be expended on crafting an image that conveys the entire theme and story of the novel that a person is about to read.  That’s no easy feat.

Lawyers similarly have to think about what kind of face they show to the world at large.  If you don’t have a “cover” that makes a person want to engage further with your law firm, then you can’t hope to acquire many new clients.  You need something eye-catching in order to assure an individual that, were they to hire you as their legal representative, they’d be in the right hands.

Think of all the potential introductions to your practice that a person might encounter.  The first is a traditional ad format like a television commercial.  You probably know the standard call to action that works with this type of ad.  You briefly describe a legal conundrum, like a class action lawsuit, and then you urge a person to give you a call to receive the solutions to their problem.  You position your firm in the best light possible in the 30 seconds of ad time or 12 inches of page space that you’re given.

But this isn’t the only “cover” that you have to give consideration to, not in the modern world.  A person is just as likely to peruse a series of search results as they are to pay close attention to a traditional ad.

You therefore have to make sure that your appearance in the search results will cause a person to want to engage more deeply with your law firm.  For organic results, this will require you to strive for the best possible Meta description that you can come up with.  You know the stuff that appears after the headline of a search result?  That’s the meta description.  Think of it as the book jacket if that helps.

WordPress is great because it actually creates a field where you can insert this information.  You want to get in the keyword you’re going for and a little background on your practice, all within 160 characters.  So if you’re a “Missouri defense lawyer,” that phrase should be contained therein, as should a quick call to action and a few words about how you’re capable of helping people in need.

If you have a Pay Per Click campaign going, you can be a little less subtle with your call to action and a little more subtle with your keywords.  If you’re paying to be featured above the fold, you need to be as attention-grabbing as possible.  Don’t pull any punches.  A typical PPC ad might read “You’re in trouble, and we can help.  Contact a Missouri defense attorney to get justice for your case.”

People judge books by their covers, so make sure you’ll be judged appropriately.

book-610189_640Content Makes Perfect

Of course, a wonderful cover isn’t going to mean much if you don’t have great content awaiting the person who visits your website.  That would be like a book having a startlingly beautiful work of art on its cover but then the interior being akin to a poorly written piece of fan fiction.

If you don’t craft awesome content for the person who’s gone so far as to visit your website, then you undermine the entire point of having a great cover.  The hard part of anything you do online is getting people to your web domain, so if you’re able to do that, you really don’t want to drop the ball and cause them to hit the back button.

Instead, make sure everything contained on your website is directed toward bringing a person into deeper contact with your law firm.  You do this by giving a visitor the answers they need to whatever legal quandary they’ve come to you for.

You should be willing to explore every possible topic that you can think of.  If you’re a defense lawyer, look at every aspect of the defense process..  Explain how you’re going to help a client succeed in their quest and describe why you’re more suited to the task at hand than anyone else.

This awesome content should be contained within an intuitive website that easily takes a person to the page they want to go via the strategic usage of hyperlinks and menus.  You should then have a consultation form readily available for when a person decides they’d like to speak with you directly.  In this way, you ensure that the content within your book matches up with the great cover that brought a person to your doorstep in the first place.

Get Read-Y

There are a lot of law firms out there, so you need to do something that allows you to stand out from the crowd.  Follow the strategies depicted above and you might just be able to do that.

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Posted In: law firm marketing