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How to Write Content that Captures Your Readers’ Attention, Part 3: Compelling Copy

questionmarkThis is part 3 in a series of posts about how to write content that people actually want to read and share. Part 1, which you can read here, focused on legal marketing article titles. Part 2 focused on email subject lines and can be found here.

Capturing readers' attention and delivering content that ranks well in search results are quickly becoming the same thing. Search engines can see through old tricks like keyword stuffing, and the web is a better place for it. Because search algorithms are able to learn and discern quality from context, creating valuable content that people actually want to read and to which other websites willingly link is good for your conversion and your rankings.

How do you know you are delivering the message that people want to hear?

Writing compelling page copy and blog posts

When you are writing website copy, forget about keywords. Do not leave them out entirely, just don't make them the focus of your writing. You will find that the more you practice, the more you will naturally work a few good keywords into your articles without effort. What is more important than keywords is authenticity and relevance. Your content should address problems that are specific to your audience and sound like it is coming from a real person (not a bot churning out keyword-filled prose).

In marketing terms, focus on benefits rather than features. The features of your firm are things like experience and length of practice – items every lawyer will tout. The benefits are the unique ways you can help your clients. This is what they really want to know. Your perspective and honesty is important in your writing. As an attorney, you have experiences that are different from those of your peers, and you should use that context and voice to add authenticity to your content.

Formatting is also fundamental to keeping people focused on your content. Online readers scan pages, looking for the pieces of content that are most relevant to them. It is likely they will only read parts of any given article, and they may not read them in order. Because of this, posts that contain one long paragraph of text after another are difficult to digest. Break up your content with subheadings and lists and keep your paragraphs short. Giving people bits of information to absorb will keep them engaged.

Building an organic link profile

Since search engines are savvy to link buying schemes and low-quality links, you must work to build a web of natural links to your site. Writing quality content is the best way to accomplish this. The advantage is twofold: your site will receive more exposure, establishing you as an authority, and search engines will recognize that you are providing helpful content and reward your site accordingly. Try to write content that:

  • Is useful
  • Is timely
  • Is relevant
  • Answers a question
  • Solves a problem

Increasingly, search engines are looking for the same quality visitors are hoping for when they visit a site. Firms that are able to provide genuinely helpful resources will be rewarded by both search engines and the people using them.