Now that people are coming to your site because of your impressive content, make sure to tell the stories of your best customers. Case studies are like testimonials on rocket fuel and can also increase your visibility, if you follow the steps outlined in this section. Your case studies can act as content marketing in the same way your blog posts do. In fact, case studies are an important element in your marketing arsenal that you can use to generate new leads for your business.
According to Nolo, it is possible to avoid compliance issues and find appropriate things to share in a case study format:
Avoid identifying details and stick to discussion of information that resides in the public record — for example, the summary of the case from the court’s opinion.
Not convinced that the case study approach works? Which of the following descriptions is more persuasive:
1. Our firm’s lawyers collectively have 50 years of appellate practice experience. We have a winning record before the XYZ Court of Appeals.
2. After our clients completed construction of their dream home, the County which had previously approved the plans claimed that the clients were in violation of zoning laws and directed them to move their entire house seven feet from the street curb. Our clients challenged the County’s ruling in court, and lost. They came to our firm to handle the appeal after several firms advised them to accept a settlement which would partly compensate them for the costs of new construction but leave them without a place to live for at least a year. Instead, we appealed and secured a reversal of the County’s decision as well as an award of attorneys’ fees, thus enabling our clients to remain in the house of their dreams.
In this section, we’ll look at what you should include in your legal case studies and explain how to present them on your website.
Start with a title
The title is what will entice your prospective clients to read your case study, so make sure it’s descriptive. Ideally include a city and state to help with local SEO rankings.
If you have documented client permission, include their name in the case study, a short, distinct description of what you did for them, and the end results.
Consider using a template like this so you can create multiple case studies:
- Client description
- Client challenge
If you don’t have permission to use your client’s name, use a phrase to describe the type of client you served.
In the example below from AzriaBruffettLaw.com, you can see this particular firm hasn’t used the client’s name but has included enough description so you know what the firm did for the client.
When it comes to your body copy (the text of the case study), there are a number of things you should include to make the most out of this content.
The first thing you need to state is the objective. Readers want to see:
> Your client had a problem,
>> You thought of a solution,
>>> You delivered the results they wanted.
At the beginning of the case study, state the client’s end goal. What did they want to accomplish, what results were they looking for, and what challenges did your firm face along the way?
You also want to highlight why this particular client chose to work with your firm. Was it something about the team that drew them in? Was it the fees? Was it the prior results? Highlighting these points helps others understand why they might want to make the same decision and engage your firm.
Next, discuss the process. If there’s sensitive information that must be kept confidential, you can still outline the general steps your firm took to help the client achieve their initial goal.
Finally, describe the outcomes. What results did your work achieve? Emphasize how your firm’s work played an important role in the client’s success.
Craft it as a story and don’t forget SEO
Every good story has a beginning, middle, and an end. Your case studies should be no different. Although a case study focuses on one specific client, you should use that client’s story as an example to guide others on the journey.
Even as you’re writing the case study, don’t forget about SEO. If you host your case studies on your website (which you should), this could help your website rank better on Google.
In the following example, Chapman Law’s case studies rank on Google, so if a client were looking for a health care attorney in Florida, this would be the perfect page to come to.
To improve your SEO, try the following tips:
- Fill your case study with keywords, including keywords with city and state, but do it organically. Try not to go overboard as keyword overload will ruin the experience for your readers and you could be penalized by Google.
- If you need to refer to other content on your website, like an FAQ page, blog post, or practice area page, you can use internal links. Internal linking helps Google understand how the content on your website is organized.
Case study analysis
Let’s look at this sample case study to understand exactly how a good law firm case study is put together.
You’ll see in the image above that they’ve created a descriptive title, explaining what the case study will be about, and providing the location.
They’ve gone even further, tagging the case study with “personal injury.”
The firm begins the case study by telling the story of how the client got into the situation that prompted the lawsuit. Adding this level of context helps frame the case study in the right way.
The case study goes on to explain the cost and the various arguments brought up during the case. This level of authenticity helps position this particular law firm as one that other prospective clients feel they could trust.
Finally, they end the case study by highlighting which attorney took the lead in the case and outlining the outcome. If they wanted to improve this case study, they could look at ways to expand the “outcome” section to provide readers with a more detailed view of the actual results (provided those details could be shared).
Where to promote your case studies
We’ve already mentioned that getting the SEO right in your case study helps it rank on search engines, but there are a number of ways to promote your case studies.
Case studies work well on social media
Case studies usually contain very specific and detailed content. Because of this, they usually last longer on social media and are more likely to be shared. What’s more, because the information can be relevant at any time of the year, you can reshare your case study content multiple times, across multiple social channels.
You can also post long text-format case studies on Facebook and LinkedIn and promote them with paid social posts and/or ads.
Press releases are another way to share great customer success stories, especially if there’s a current “news hook” or newsworthy trend to link them to.
Case studies can generate leads
If you spend enough time on your case studies, you’ll often find they end up being fairly long pieces of content. These work as excellent lead magnets. You can put collections of your case studies behind a “gated wall” where people have to provide you with their email address in exchange for access to read them.
The benefit of doing this is that you know the leads that come through this way are specifically targeted. A website visitor is prepared to give you their email address in exchange for reading about the results you’ve generated for past clients.
Case studies are a valuable part of any law firm’s content marketing strategy, even if you choose to use very short ones. They work to convert customers who are in the comparison stage of the sales funnel, those who understand they need lawyer and are now ready to evaluate their options before deciding who to hire.
Your case studies will help you build authority and trust with your audience because they get to see genuine results.
Again, make sure you’re fully compliant with ethics rules, such as getting a client’s consent before mentioning their case in any public .