Law Firm Practice Area Pages
If you’ve looked at competitor law firm websites before, you may have noticed that they contain different types of content, including text, images, and audio-video components. However, have you ever paid attention to how the writing on those webpages varies in terms of tone, subject matter, scope, or length?
There are three primary types of text you’ll find on law firm websites. One is website content, which is what you see on the “About Us” or “Our Team” and testimonials and results pages. The other two content types you’ll often find on a well-structured law firm website are practice area pages and blogs.
Here at GAVL, we don’t just specialize in crafting memorable law firm website designs, but also content that is well-written, informative, and performs well in search engines. Our goal for the practice areas we write for your webpages is to address some of the most pressing concerns your target audience has.
We want the tone and breadth of the content to assure your prospects that you truly know your stuff and are the lawyer they can count on to competently represent them. In our experience as legal marketers, the combination of these factors is what converts.
Understanding the Practice “Pillar” Page Concept
As hinted at above, the ultimate goal of any type of law firm content is to convert readers into clients. Having a sound “pillar page,” which is how legal marketers refer to a practice area page, is key to accomplishing this. Practice area pages both define the areas of law you practice in as well as serve as the main driving force behind search engine optimization (SEO) efforts which convert organic search traffic into potential client leads.
When we create practice area pages, we cover multiple aspects of a broader topic on a single webpage, like, for example, the ins and outs of the following, depending on your law office specialty:
- Vehicle accidents
- Serious injuries caused by negligence
- Other incidents caused by negligence which may result in the filing of a personal injury lawsuit
- Workplace harassment
- Theft charges
Our industry refers to any law firm blog post or series of them as “clusters.” That type of content provides you with an opportunity to delve deeper into the subject matter and include internal links back to the practice area pages, thus establishing their relevancy and authority and, in turn, improving ranking.
What Are the Different Types of Practice Area Pages?
What type of practice area pages we end up creating for your firm primarily comes down to the potential clients and cases you’re looking to attract and covering the information that clients are looking for in a succinct way.
Practice area pages can take on many different forms. Some of the most common ones we craft here at GAVL include:
Overview Practice Area Pages
Oftentimes, newly established law firms or ones just starting to focus on building their web presence will focus their attention on creating practice area pages that have a broader scope and target clients facing certain dilemmas.
If you run a personal injury law firm and you’re open to taking on prospective clients who’ve had motor vehicle accidents but only car, truck, and motorcycle crashes, and not bicycle or pedestrian ones, then one strategy we might employ is creating standalone practice area pages for the types of collisions you desire while not covering the ones you don’t want.
For example, if you’re a criminal defense attorney and there are cases involving certain types of offenses that you prefer to handle over others, then those would be the ones that you’d want to create dedicated pages for.
So, you might have practice area pages for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies at the local or state level, for example. However, if you don’t want to attract clients charged with violent offenses, like robbery, murder or homicide, or defendants facing federal offenses, then we wouldn’t create this content since you’re not looking to get this audience’s attention.
Law Firm Sub-Practice Area Pages
Sub-pages will often be just as vital as an overview practice area page; however, they are unique in that these “child pages” drill down deeper into different nuances of the topic. A sub-page provides more granular details about aspects of a topic that a typical practice (“parent”) page may have just glossed over.
The goal of the practice area subpage is to reflect the plights of prospective clients and to give them something that they can relate to. These pages also answer lingering questions readers may have and serve as an opportunity for you to convince them that you understand what they’re going through and can help.
To give you a more tangible idea of how these posts work, let’s take the example of a family lawyer that specializes in divorce and see what the sub-pages may look like for the latter concern. There may be a page for the following subtopics and more:
- High Net-Worth Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
- Property Division in a Divorce
- Alimony in a Divorce (or Spousal Support in a Divorce or Divorce Maintenance, depending on the terminology used in your jurisdiction)
- Child Custody in a Divorce
As a secondary example, if you have a personal injury firm that aims to attract mostly medical malpractice clients, your sub-pages may include some of the following:
- Surgical Errors
- Childbirth Injuries
- Medication Errors
- Failure To Secure Informed Consent
- Diagnostic Errors
As you may have surmised, if your specialty is bankruptcy, you might use the individual pages created to talk about different types, including Chapter 7, 11, 13, 15, and so forth. Additionally, if you’re a criminal defense attorney specializing in federal crimes, you might have a page dedicated to the types of cases you feel most comfortable handling, like fraud, drug offenses, insider trading, and others.
Generally, the pages added to a law firm site wouldn’t merely list the topic as listed above but also be accompanied by a geo-location.
Law Firm Service Area Geo-Location Practice Pages
It’s common for law firms that practice in large cities like Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York City, and Los Angeles to target clients in a specific geo-territory or community near their practice’s physical location in an effort to grab the attention of an untapped market.
In terms of the latter, practices often do this because while there’s significant competition for keyword phrases featuring big city names like Atlanta, it’s generally not as much the case for some smaller “suburbs” like Alpharetta, Marietta, Decatur, Gainesville, Jonesboro, Fayetteville, Conyers, East Point, and others. Geo-focused practice area pages let us drive traffic towards areas your firm may wish to get more cases for or expand in.
Elements Successful Law Firms’ Practice Area Pages Have
There are certain must-haves that all law firm practice area pages must have to achieve the intended result, which is providing website visitors with valuable information and search engine domination. As for the former, moving prospects down the sales funnel is key to being able to convert visitors into paying clients.
Those elemental components a practice area page on a law firm website must have include:
The bolded wording at the top of an article that most people consider a title, as it prepares the reader for what comes below, is referred to by legal marketers as an H1 header tag. The other subtitles that follow, which are slightly smaller in size and break up content into more bite-sized pieces, are H2 headers. Some writers will also use H3 and H4 headers to further sub-divide content into more easily readable sections.
Google (and other search engines) do pay close attention to the structure of content posted on websites, and headers are part of that. Headers are associated with your content’s hierarchical structure. Search engines understand what the main points are that your piece is about or what you’d like to emphasize about the topic based on your use of header tags.
Search engine algorithms are written to assess website content to see if it’s user-friendly. While the use of headers, as described above, aids with improved readability, as it aligns with users’ tendencies to scan content instead of reading it, the use of a bulleted list also helps in this respect.
Bulleted lists are particularly effective when you have detailed information you need to share with potential clients of your law firm that can be overwhelming when crammed into a single paragraph, like:
- Model or lot numbers of dangerous or defective products
- Statistics to share about how divorce affects children belonging to different age groups
- Bankruptcy exemptions in your state
- Penalties a potential client facing certain criminal charges may face if convicted
- Examples of different employer actions that may constitute discrimination
As you might imagine, information relevant to your firm’s practice area includes details your client likely wants to know. However, web visitors not only tend to consider the right tools to be the ones that are chock full of the insight they’re looking for, but also present it in a visually appealing and easily digestible way too.
Speaking to the last point, while bullet points and headers can certainly do this, it’s also imperative that any content on your law firm website is devoid of any legal jargon that may make a potential client think that you or your law firm are unapproachable for “people like them.” It’s best to ensure what you draft has a bit of a personal touch instead.
Call To Action Statements
No main firm practice area pages or the subpages you may have are complete unless they contain call-to-action statements. These are the bold, catchy, or memorable phrases that get stuck in the head of a potential client.
The social proof that you provide, such as the following examples, that convince them to pick up the phone and call you or fill in your contact form for help are also representative of effective call-to-action statements:
- “Hundreds of others have entrusted their defective drug case to our law firm since the dangers associated with its use were exposed. We want to be your advocate too.”
- “The federal government has a 99.6% conviction rate. Our firm was founded by former U.S. Attorneys who have a profound understanding of the legal process and can provide sound guidance as to defense strategies you should pursue in your case.”
- “We’ve recovered over $10 million on behalf of mesothelioma patients, money that has allowed them to seek a higher tier of care for their condition. Meet with us for a free case evaluation so we can determine if we might be able to do the same for you.”
- “X state is notorious for awarding custody to moms over dads—even when both parents are equally competent and capable of caring for their kids. Our fathers’ rights firm aims to ensure dads get a fair shake in custody disputes. Let us be your steadfast advocate in the courtroom.”
Of course, these call-to-action statements can be written for attorneys in any practice area. The important part is that they’re persuasive enough to make prospective clients want to reach out to you for help.
Internal and External Links
Headers, bullet points, freedom from legal jargon, and call-to-action statements aside, one other detail that the best law firm websites’ content contains are links. These are the hyperlinks within text that point readers toward sources for statistics or additional reading about the topic, whether internal or external.
Linking to just any other webpage doesn’t work, though. Instead, those resources must be authoritative ones, like .gov, .edu, or .org, whenever possible. Internal pages you link to must additionally be the ones that are relevant to the topic at hand and generally only your pillar pages.
Carefully selecting external and internal links is critical to helping search engines understand the focus and informativeness of your content, and thus can impact ranking.
One last visual component of a practice area page that may affect prospective clients’ perceptions of your law firm’s website is what your title tag says. It’s the information that shows on the tab for your firm. Google looks at it when ranking your site. Users do too.
It’s critical that your title tag is optimized, in terms of length and keyword use, including your geo-location if you want to drive visitors to your firm’s site over others.
Practice Area Pages and Search Engine Performance
While not on the practice page itself, the best law firm websites have a sitemap. If you look at a well-written one, you’ll notice that there’s a hierarchy of the site’s webpages that the firm is trying to tell Google that they feel are their strength and are thus attempting to rank for.
If you don’t have a sitemap that outlines the areas your law firm specializes in, you’re missing out. This is critical for ranking and also aids potential clients in determining where your practice’s focus lies.
How Does Your Law Firm Website Stack Up to the Competition?
Search engine optimization certainly affects ranking, which determines whether prospective clients will even click on your website in the first place. One factor that the Google Helpful Content update spells out that affects how well your law practice’s site performs in their search engine is the quality of content you provide your users.
Practice area pages are where you want to place your emphasis if you want your law firm to rank above your competitors. If they’re not performing well in the search engines, then consider bringing in legal web marketing professionals like ours to help.
See, content creation isn’t a “fix it and forget it” type of activity. That approach is never good when it comes to making a main practice area page or its several subpages, as described above. New firms are constantly coming online. Your competitors are constantly updating their practice area pages, meaning you need to do the same. You either stack up to the competition in this online marketing era or you, unfortunately, get left behind.
How GAVL Is Committed To Helping Law Firms Grow
If you are looking to implement a sound strategy that allows you to appeal to potential clients, having compelling practice area pages is critical. It can encourage potential clients to reach out for help.
Our content strategists are eager to collaborate with you in selecting the right keywords for your target audience. And our writers are ready to craft content aligned with what’s going to best inform your audience and generate leads for your law office.
We look forward to discussing your legal website or content needs with you and how our services can amplify your reach. Reach out to us so we can discuss how we can best assist you in attracting clients by crafting strong law firm practice area pages.
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OAJ Annual Convention 2024
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Society of Women Trial Lawyers Annual Conference 2024
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