How Bad is the Writing on Your Website? – Part 1

When we’re developing new websites for law firm clients, or revamping old sites, we always look to see what their competitors are doing. As we said in our article on Content Marketing for Law Firms,

If your firm’s website is just like all the other law firm websites in your area, then what’s the point of having it? The goal of marketing is to make you stand out from the pack – to make potential clients call YOU rather than some other firm.

Often we’re astonished to see just how bad the writing on some of these other sites is.  It makes us wonder whether the lawyers actually read the content they paid someone to write. Bad writing comes in many different varieties, which are often seen together on the same site:

  • Word soup
  • Functionally illiterate
  • Fluff
  • Buggy-whip SEO
  • Legalese
  • Duh

The following examples are all real.  Some of them are taken from websites created by companies that charge over $10,000 per month for content like this.  Only the locations have been changed to protect the guilty.

Word soup

“Word soup” is a special form of content-free content (see below) in which the writing is incoherent, convoluted, baroquely ornate, or just plain weird. For example:

Did you go all out for the holidays getting everything on your love one’s wish lists only days later in your holiday hangover to now recognize the negative impact it has since placed on your finances? In order to avoid financial ruin and potential bankruptcy in Podunk you will need to take some proactive steps to regain your ground on your finances.

Here’s another example:

Our attorneys have diverse backgrounds and wide-ranging experiences which are drawn upon as appropriate to best advocate or resolve our client’s matters.

And one of our favorites:

Or think about this, you are walking down a flight of stairs in your office building, when a loose stair caused you to lose your balance and fall down ten feet onto the landing, you ended up in the ER with a concussion and a broken ankle, you should make the building owner pay for your medical bills and time off of work right?

And another:

We’ve achieved major success in helping individual with the plethora of legal ramifications and disputes, like being denied on valid health and liability insurance claims the nexus of which, arose from the amputation itself (This could mean being denied a prosthesis, or even pain medicine)

That last example is so bad it apparently got the firm de-listed from Google.  We collected that prime specimen back in 2012 but the site isn’t there anymore.

Functionally illiterate

Writing is functionally illiterate when the writer makes multiple mistakes in almost every paragraph.

Our clients’ success stories are what set us apart, we have collected over a Million Dollars for our clients in East Podunk. Our team of dedicated East Podunk Personal Injury lawyers is ready to take your case to the next level. Don’t know what your case is worth? Check out some of our case summaries then give us a call, we have answers.

Here we have comma splices, misuses of capitalization, and punctuation errors.  Properly revised, this would read:

Our clients’ success stories are what set us apart. We have collected over a million dollars for our clients in East Podunk. Our team of dedicated East Podunk personal injury lawyers is ready to take your case to the next level. Don’t know what your case is worth? Check out some of our case summaries, then give us a call — we have answers.

Fluff

Modern SEO is all about USEFUL content – things visitors will read and share via social media.  But too many sites still say absolutely nothing. Content-free content is also known as “fluff.”  It’s filler.  It just takes up space on the page below the stock photos of courthouses in other states and pretty people who don’t actually work for the law firm.  It provides zero information to a client who’s come to a site to learn something about the lawyers or the law. Fluff sites often repeat the same nothing over… and over… and over. Here’s an example:

Look for a Podunk personal injury lawyer when experience is needed concerning injuries that have occurred from a dangerous or defective product. Products that are dangerous or defective can potentially cause serious injury to you or a loved one. Consumers purchase products with the expectations that they will be free from harm, but products do occasionally break, fail, or function improperly resulting in serious injury. If the unfortunate should occur, and you or a loved one is injured by a product, it is important to seek out an experienced Podunk personal injury lawyer.

Extra points for overuse of the passive voice!

Now available: Part Two:  Bad Writing Gets Even Badder!  If you have bad writing on your site and would like some help, check out our article on Content Marketing for Law Firms and then contact us.

2018-08-30T00:56:40+00:00