Making the decision to invest in your law firm’s online marketing is a big one. The truth of this statement will show itself once you start investigating what’s the best way to go about it. While there are a few general points of consensus, like that it’s important to maintain a blog, even these points quickly devolve into disagreements.
One of these points of contention is how long a blog post should be. We’ve already weighed in on how long a legal blog post should be. Spoiler alert: We think a range of 450 – 550 words is the best. However, there are alternative viewpoints out there. One of these viewpoints stresses that longer posts are far better. Here’s an example of this argument, and why we disagree with it.
10 Times Better Than the Best
One of the top online marketing groups out there is Moz. According to Moz, one of the most important things you need to do with your site to make it rank well is to host quality content. But for Moz, that’s only the beginning. The goal for them is host content that’s “10 times better than anything I can find the search results.”
Some legal marketers and attorneys think this applies to legal blogging. Using Moz’s technique means that, if you want a quality legal blog post, it should be 5,000 words. That’s 10 pages. Single-spaced.
If you ask us, that’s absurd.
Why 5,000 Word Blog Posts are Overrated
Here are five reasons why these massive legal blog posts are absurd:
- Do you really expect someone to sit down and read a blog post that’s 10 pages long? It would take an hour! Readers would quit halfway through, putting your bounce rate through the roof and signaling to search engines that they’re unsatisfied with your content.
- Time is money. Are you going to sit down and write 10 single-spaced pages? We’ve written pages of this length for clients at Myers Freelance. We’re pros, knew exactly how to go about it, sat down with an outline and a battle plan, and it still took 6 hours. You’re an attorney. Where are you going to find that kind of time, on a regular basis, to maintain your blog?
- It’s a massive investment. If you contract a 5,000 word blog post out to our professional legal bloggers, it would cost over $400. Remember, this is a single blog post. How many times a week are you updating your blog? Some firms in biglaw can make that investment. Can you?
- What are you going to write about? 5,000 is a lot of words, so it better be a wide topic, or you need to delve very deep. Once you write that first post, what will be your topic for the second? The third? You’ll find yourself stretching for new material very quickly.
- A 5,000 word post ranks well in search engines. The longer a post is, the harder it hits your targeted keywords. Posts in the 1,200 to 1,400 range are even shared on social media more often than others. But that’s not necessarily the point of a legal blog post. Blog posts are supposed to enhance your site’s ranking, not necessarily rank well on their own. This is why you should be skeptical of any legal blog strategy that relies on hefty word counts. You want your homepage or landing page to rise to the top of a targeted search, not one of your blog posts from a year ago.