In the legal world, communication has always leaned towards formal language in courtrooms and documentation. But when it comes to digital marketing—specifically Law Firm SEO (Search Engine Optimization)—there's a strong case for adopting a more conversational tone. This may even include—gasp!—using contractions.
This blog post will explore why law firms should embrace contractions and conversational language to improve their SEO efforts and connect more effectively with their audience.
Conversational SEO optimizes content to align with how people speak and type. With the advent of voice search and the increasing popularity of long-tail keywords, adopting a conversational tone is more crucial than ever.
The use of contractions—"you're" instead of "you are," "we'll" instead of "we will," etc.—makes the text feel more relaxed, making it more accessible and engaging to readers. This approach often results in higher engagement metrics, including time spent on the page, which can positively impact your SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are constantly evolving, but one thing remains consistent: the need to engage users effectively. Contractions—shortened forms of words or phrases—might not seem like a critical factor in SEO, but they play a surprisingly significant role. Here's why:
Contractions make text sound more conversational, making your content more relatable and easier to understand. This is particularly vital with the advent of voice search, where natural, everyday language dominates search queries. Websites that echo this conversational tone may find themselves better aligned with voice search algorithms.
Ease of reading is a factor that search engines consider. Using contractions can make your text less clunky, easier to scan, and generally more readable. Improved readability can reduce bounce rates and increase time spent on your site—both factors that can positively affect your site's SEO.
A better reading experience is likely to improve user engagement metrics like session duration and pages per session. High engagement can signal to search engines that your content is valuable, thus potentially boosting your rankings.
Search algorithms are increasingly becoming sophisticated at understanding the context and intent behind queries. Contractions can help your content closely mimic the natural language phrases people use when searching, making it more likely that your content will match these queries.
With advancements in Natural Language Processing (NLP), search engines are better at understanding the semantic meaning of content. Contractions, being a part of natural language, fit well within the frameworks that these algorithms use to gauge the context and relevance of a webpage.
Since most searches now occur on mobile devices where people prefer quick, easy-to-read information, contractions can help make content more digestible. This can benefit mobile SEO strategies, where screen real estate is limited and user patience is short.
Long-tail keywords—longer and more specific phrases—are on the rise. These often take the form of questions or statements that are conversational in nature. Using contractions can help your content naturally integrate these long-tail keywords, making it more likely to rank for them.
The legal sector has long been associated with formal, complex language often inaccessible to the layperson. However, as the digital landscape evolves, so too must law firms' approach to SEO. Incorporating contractions and conversational language into their online content can be strategic. Here's how they can adapt:
Before diving into changes, law firms should conduct a content SEO audit to identify where their current language might be too formal or difficult for the average reader to understand. With this audit, you can pinpoint areas for improvement and decide where contractions and more straightforward language could be beneficial.
Revise some of your existing articles, blog posts, or webpage text to include contractions and a more conversational tone. Start with high-traffic pages to see the most immediate impact on engagement and SEO metrics.
Lawyers and legal writers are trained to write in a formal tone. Hold training sessions or workshops to educate them on the importance of SEO and how a conversational tone, including contractions, can improve the firm's online visibility.
These changes are applied to a few key areas, and monitor the results carefully. Use tools like Google Analytics to track how changes in language style affect metrics such as time on page, bounce rate, and overall engagement.
To maintain consistency across all content, develop a style guide that encourages using contractions and conversational language where appropriate. This guide can serve as a reference for everyone involved in content creation.
Incorporate long-tail, conversational keywords into your SEO strategy. These should align with the more relaxed, conversational tone you're adopting. Use keyword tools to identify phrases that potential clients might use in a casual search query related to legal services.
People looking for legal services in their area often use conversational queries. Update your local SEO strategy to include conversational language and contractions that people are likely to use when searching for local services.
Social media platforms are places where conversational language thrives. Use these platforms to promote your newly-optimized content and engage with your audience using a more casual tone.
Continuously measure the impact of these changes on your SEO metrics and adjust your strategy accordingly. This will help you identify what's working and where further improvements could be made.
Adapting to new SEO strategies in a competitive digital landscape can give law firms an edge. Incorporating contractions and conversational language into your content could lead to higher engagement, better SEO rankings, and more clients. By adopting these strategies, law firms can align themselves more closely with current SEO best practices without compromising the professionalism and expertise that they want to convey.
So, if you're looking to modernize your law firm's SEO strategy, don't be afraid to contract—it might just expand your reach. Contact us today.
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