The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds. But it gets worse—out of every 8 people who read a headline on your website, only 2 will continue to read—ouch, that’s only 1 out of 4. That’s right, it’s next to impossible to get a web visitor to take time to read the content on your website, and that’s a major problem.
There’s no doubt the average web visitor has a limited attention span—okay, almost no attention span. And making things worse—the average lawyer website is full of run-on sentences full of legalese that offers almost no useful information n for injury victims. By the time your web visitor gets to the second sentence of your web page—if they get that far at all—they are in snooze-land.
Rule #1: Attention-Grabbing Headline
The first rule of compelling website content is a killer headline that will almost force the web visitor to keep reading. An attention grabbing headline should be short and sweet (no more than 6 words and less than 65 characters) and hook the readers’ attention.
The master of great headlines is the tabloid, National Enquirer. Yes, it’s junk journalism, but the visual images and the unbelievable headlines almost shout out to you at the check-out lane, “READ ME!” And remember, great website content counts for nothing if you can’t get the visitor to read past the headline.
Rule #2: Write Conversationally
Don’t use fancy legal words. Legalese makes your readers feel inferior, as if you are speaking down to them.
Here’s a tip from Timothy Ferris (author of “The Four Hour Work Week”): before you begin writing, imagine sitting across from your best friend with information that you really want to tell her. Okay, now it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard). Your words will flow in a conversational tone because there’s no BS when chatting with your best friend and when you’re passionate about a topic, it’s easy to write. You just eliminated the legalese that plagues 98% of lawyer websites.
Rule #3: Keep Content Interesting
Website content should be short and right to the point. Each paragraph should be no more than two or three short sentences and you should not have more than three sentences without a healthy dose of:
- Bullet points,
- Quotations, and
- Info-graphics (a visual representation of a complex topic).
Just think, why did Pinterest become the world’s third largest social media site? Perhaps it’s because Pinterest is full of info-graphics and visual images that grab attention. And keep in mind, web pages with visual images and info-graphics are far more likely to be shared and linked by web visitors.
A great example of a lawyer website that is full of visual images and info-graphics is www.LawPracticeAdvisor.com. The copy is separated by visual images that are relevant to the text content, which makes for easy reading. Larry Bodine, the website’s owner, gets the images from Flickr, a photo-sharing website and a great resource for images that you can add to your website.
Rule #4: The Missing Ingredient: An Email List
Want to take your website to the next level? This is where all lawyers fail—you need to collect emails through an offer (i.e., a special report or eBook—add a dollar value to the free report to make it more enticing). You can build an email list with an opt-in box that appears on the web page; you can add the opt-in box through a free plug-in.
“Email subscribers are 3.9 times more likely to share your content than other blog visitors.”
Neil Patel, founder of Quicksprout.com
But you’re not just giving away a free eBook or special report—you’re collecting a list of emails that will drive traffic to your website. Every time you publish new content to your website, you send a blast out to your email subscribers.
With an email list, you’re not just praying that consumers find your website content interesting—you’ve got an established group of fans who will comment, share and link to your web pages. An email list is the best way to generate web traffic for any website.
Market Your Website like Your Life Depended on It
Just like anything else, you have to market a website for it to be successful–consumers won’t fall in love with a website that they don’t know exists. Start by using social media to drive traffic to your website and encouraging your readers to not only share your content across the social web, but also to follow you.
And if you want to take your website to the next level, check out the tutorials at www.Quicksprout.com, a website that has a ton of easy-to-understand tips from the guru of web traffic, Neil Patel.