Tackling web copywriting on your own can feel daunting. As an attorney, you likely recognize your strengths – and most attorneys do not identify as marketers or copywriters.
As daunting as it may feel, and as much as you may want to outsource copywriting to a professional, you’re likely to find yourself tackling copywriting for your practice’s website sooner or later. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind.
Find Your Voice
Like any professional, attorneys use a variety of legal terms and lingo amongst themselves. But it’s important to avoid the temptation to speak legalese in your web copy. Keep your audience in mind as you write.
- What’s the language that THEY would use to write about or talk about this topic?
- What are the common pain points you hear from them?
- What is their previous background knowledge on this topic – if any?
With your audience in mind, you may realize you need to simplify your language. Make it easy for your audience to digest it and then internalize it. After a long day, they don’t want to feel like they’re sitting down to read a term paper or sign a contract. Speak to them, at their level, with clarity and with simplicity. You may find you need to take a second, third, or even fourth pass to get it right. It’s worth the effort.
If you’ve spent any time researching web copy, or if you’ve worked with a professional marketing organization, you may have heard some discussion of word count in your blog posts, or keyword saturation.
But honestly? None of that should be the focus when you’re writing web copy. Your primary goal here is to write what will deliver value to your audience.
- Know the purpose of your post
- Incorporate a call to action – what would you like the reader to do after reading this post. Read another one? Schedule a consultation? Leave a comment? Make the CTA clear and easy to execute.
- Keep in mind any important keywords – While this isn’t your purpose for writing it, if you’ve done your research (or someone on your team has), you may have the goal of incorporating the repetition of relevant keywords here. Consider going back and adding additional keywords once your first draft is complete.
Begin With An Outline
There’s a place for stream-of-consciousness writing, and honestly, if you’re in the zone and have something to say, you may find certain posts will write themselves! But often you’ll begin writing with a common question you’d like to answer or a topic you’ve decided to address, and you may not be sure where to begin.
Creating an outline will help you to keep focused. It will also make the project feel less overwhelming. Instead of tackling a blank page, you can begin with a brain dump on the topic, then trim that brain dump into an outline, and THEN, with those steps completed, begin the task of writing.
An outline can help you avoid tangents. It can also keep you from missing important points or incorporating a particular item you’d hoped to include.
Keep It Easy To Read
The best web copy is easy to scan: think short paragraphs, headings where appropriate, bulleted lists, as well as graphics, like a checklist or infographic, to break up longer blocks of text.
This works well for shorter attention spans. It also means that folks in a hurry can tell at a glance what the article covers and if they want to learn more, and it even helps any neurodivergent folks or folks with lower vision to discern what matters without overwhelm too.
If your writing experience is in a law or academic setting, this can feel simplistic. But if you’ve done the work already to speak in your audience’s language, you’re already halfway there.
Experiment with paragraphs of 2-3 sentences. Cut anything superfluous. And add whatever graphics may be helpful.
Make the Most of Existing Content
Our final tip in crafting your own web copy is to make the most of your existing content. If you’ve got relevant blogs or pages on your website, link to them where appropriate to help the reader get clarity on a topic they may be less familiar with.
Consider offering additional resources they may find helpful at the end of the article, or in the middle of the text if that’s a better fit.
These internal links aren’t just helpful for SEO – they’re helpful for your audience too.