Writing the copy for their website is the number one task that blocks attorneys from creating new websites, or redoing their existing website. It’s understandable; well-written copy is difficult to produce, and just the thought of the process can be intimidating. This is where a good digital marketing company with experience in the legal field can help.
What kind of content is needed?
Typically, the writing for attorney websites falls into two categories:
- General, overall copy for the bulk of the website. This can include a description of your firm, bios for your attorneys and supplementary legal staff, descriptions of the practice areas in which you specialize, case studies and explanations of results you have achieved, and other descriptive text such as blurbs summarizing sections, headlines and subheads, etc.
- Ongoing articles and/or blog posts. These involve content which is added gradually to the site over time, and is usually more generic, covering a variety of subjects rather than specifics of your firm.
A good website company should be able to help you with both. Some items will be too specialized for your website firm to write from scratch (such as really niche areas of the law, or personal information about you and your staff). In those cases, your website producer can either edit (cleanup) copy that you provide, or via a process of interviews, can gather enough information to write it for you.
In the case of the ongoing articles, any company well-versed in writing website content for lawyers should be competent to handle this.
Can non-lawyers write the copy?
Absolutely. In fact, as hard as it is to believe, in many ways skilled writers who are not lawyers will write more effective copy than you could. The reason is that as an attorney, you naturally tend to write copy of, by, and for other attorneys! It’s inevitable.
But the fact is that the people you need to attract as clients are most definitely not attorneys. For them, it is important that the text be written in such a way that it is easily understandable by the “lay person.” Moreover, it should be crafted in such a way so as to reach them emotionally, not just factually. This is what good writers excel at.
How will they know what to write about?
Excellent question. But to refer again to the point made just above, a good legal writing team will write about subjects that interest the audience you want to reach: potential clients. To do this, they use SEO-based research to determine exactly what potential clients are searching for.
This is complicated, because a good writing team will understand how to define the intent of what people are searching for, and use that information to craft articles on a variety of subjects designed to invoke interest and action.
The writing team is also guided by the organizational spreadsheet that has been created prior to starting the writing process. Based on this, they have a good roadmap of what to cover.
What will my staff and I need to do?
Besides offering some of the raw copy and information your website writing team will require in order to create the text for your site, you should always review all written materials. Not to check for “typos” or change the writing style, but simply to make sure that no incorrect or inappropriate legal information is included. Other than that, pick a good team and trust their instincts!