If you've spent any time researching online marketing than you've heard the old adage "Content is King". You've also probably heard, "Just write great content and everything else will take care of itself." If only it were that easy.
I agree that writing great content is a core component of any online marketing strategy. As my colleague Gyi Tsakalakis says:
"When you boil it down, long-term search visibility comes down to writing great search-mindful content on a quality content management system and developing strategies to get your great content in front of people who are ready, willing, and able to link to it."
However, it's important that you think about how a reader might take further action once they are reading your content. Here are a few suggestions you can try to further engagement:
Put your calls to action right in the copy - Many law firm websites have calls to action in the sidebar, across the top banner, basically in all the spots where the potential client isn't looking directly. The problem is that people get "banner blindness". They see these calls to action and they tune them out. The brain processes the peripheral messages as advertising around the article and people just don't pay the same amount of attention to it. It's a good idea to insert a call to action directly in the copy.
Take for instance a lawyer that is attempting to increase the number of blog subscribers via RSS and email. A simple sentence at the end of the article that says:
"If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to our RSS feed or by email to receive future updates."
Make "RSS feed" and "email" links to signup for updates.
Incentivize - Try to offer something of real value. Mix it up a bit and get creative. Everyone offers a free consultation, so try something off the beaten path to be different. You want to create compelling calls to action and try different variations to see what people will respond to.
Use analytics to find out your most viewed content - We use Google Analytics which is free and robust. Use the analytics data to do some research and find out what your most viewed pages and articles are. Go back and add calls to action in the article. Again, be creative with it. Try offering a free guide or ebook for download. Make sure you are providing value to the reader. Always consider that they care about their problems and issues. Think about how your offer or call to action will help them...not just you.
Don't be afraid to share your knowledge - There is a premium placed on the knowledge that you have. Unfortunately, too many lawyers are fearful that if they give away too much, they will lose business or the competition will find out all their secrets. This simply isn't the case. Demonstrating your knowledge is a way to build your reputation. Writing informational, helpful articles builds your reputation as an expert in your field and puts this on public display.
Don't be afraid to hold a little back - A good strategy is to write content that puts your expertise on display but hold some things back. Offer additional tips or insights as an extended piece (ie: a guide download or ebook). Show readers the quality of your content and then offer even more in exchange for their contact information.