Once you’ve installed WordPress and have a theme ready to go, the real work of building a website starts: adding content. Believe it or not, this is typically the most overlooked aspect of a lawyer’s website. Or it’s the most underdeveloped and difficult. Why? Because lawyers generally are not so great at being concise and interesting—at least in writing.
A basic law firm website does not need to be comprehensive. It certainly does not need to entertain. Focus on building pages and content that tell the viewer these core things:
- Who you are. Honestly, who you are as a person. Don’t list fifteen years of accomplishments. Tell people why they should trust you and contact you.
- What you do. Provide a very brief summary of your practice areas. People want to know quickly if you can handle their matters. Don’t create a laundry list of practice areas. Focus on the core areas in which you actually practice.
- How you practice. Sure, you are a lawyer. But what do you do? Day in and day out? How do you look out for clients and handle their matters? What words capture who you are? Passionate? Dedicated? Committed? Make sure you get your core values as a lawyer across to people. And concentrate specifically on how you can solve their legal problems.
- Where you are. People generally come to your website to learn two things: who you are and where you are. If you don’t have an easy and immediate way to contact you, either by email or phone, you will not pick up potential business. Make sure you have your phone number and address on nearly every page on your site.
Pages to Add
I typically add 2-3 initial pages to every new website. This includes:
- About. Basically, the “who you are” and possibly the “how you practice.”
- Practice Areas. The page containing a description of your practice areas.
- Contact. How to contact you, whether it’s by phone, email, online form, or some other method. Having a map of your office location is a real bonus.
You can certainly (and probably will) add more pages, but these are the basics to get you started.
Writing for the Ideal Client
When one of my clients is struggling to come up with written content for a new website, I tell them to do one thing: imagine your ideal client. Or your ideal two or three clients. What do they look like? Where do they live? Who are they and what do their families and businesses look like? If you can imagine them, then write for them. Write to attract them to your services. If you cannot imagine them, then it tells me that you do not yet have a good feeling for your practice—or it’s not yet specifically focused.
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