How Long Should Attorney Blog Posts Be?

by Mar 11, 2016

Statistically, potential clients read between 20 and 50 percent of what attorneys write in a law firm blog post.

Skimming is a natural habit on the web — we quickly scan everything from Google search result pages to PDFs of restaurant menus to blog posts. This is a natural adaptation to the abundance of information. There’s too much to consume, so we skim for and then consume the information that we predict will be the most relevant.

Given these facts, how long should your blog posts should be?

A law firm blog post can be considered effective if it accomplishes one of many possible goals regardless of whether every word is read or not. Some of these goals include:

  • Attracting the attention of a potential client or referral source who visits your blog.
  • Attracting the attention of an influencer who spreads the word about your firm or your post.
  • Converting a visitor into a lead.
  • Causing an ambivalent potential client to choose your firm.
  • Causing a current client to feel better about you and your firm.
  • Causing a current client to ask fewer questions or have expectations that are more in line with reality and the services or results that you deliver.
  • Causing a former client to remember you.
  • Causing another attorney to refer a matter to you.
  • Many other possible goals.

So how long should a legal blog post be to meet these and other goals for your law firm?

Is there an ideal length for legal blog posts?

The length of a law firm blog post should be determined on a post-by-post basis, with each post being as long as it needs to be to accomplish its objectives while realistically fitting into the schedule of the post’s author (if you don’t have time to write a lengthy post, then it’s not going to happen).

You should aim to write material for your blog that is substantive, informative, useful and trustworthy. Use as many words as you need, but no more. A blog post that’s 300 words and says everything your potential client needs to know shouldn’t be stuffed with more words just to fill up space. But if you have a topic which requires a lot of details, don’t try to cram everything into 300 words.

Regardless of length, good law firm blog posts always give readers new information that’s useful. Be sure you’re adding something new and interesting to the internet, not just regurgitating or restating information that is already readily found on other websites.

Should length of law firm blogs be tied to publication frequency?

The time you spend blogging could be spread a greater or lesser number of individual blog posts based on the length of the posts. Given that time is finite, is it better to write fewer, but longer posts, or a greater number of shorter posts?

While we address the question of law firm blog post frequency elsewhere, in general the more often you can publish meaningful, high quality blog posts, the better you’ll do. That said, both length of post and frequency of posting should only accelerate IF the quality of the content can simultaneously remain high.

Attorneys, know your purpose (and your potential clients).

Before you start writing your next post, ask yourself:

  • Why am I writing this piece?
  • What are my goals in writing it?
  • Who am I writing it for?
  • What are the most important aspects of the topic I’m writing about?

These sorts of considerations will help you be sure that you’re meeting your objectives, not just writing for the sake of writing. That level of focus will help you make sure that you’re writing what you need to write to the person who needs to see it most: your next client.

Are longer law firm blog posts good for law firm SEO?

There are benefits to longer blog posts. Those benefits increase when law firm blog posts are formatted correctly and provide useful, relevant content. These are features of a blog post that will make your potential clients, referral sources and search engines happy. They’re also likely to increase your traffic and rankings.

You don’t want to fall into SEO traps like keyword stuffing. But longer law firm blog posts give you more opportunities to write about topics and keywords that people naturally search for.

Long-tail keywords can benefit law firms. Learn more about law firm long-tail keywords and common small law firm marketing mistakes.

The more you write to your law firm client persona, the more that happens on its own (no calculations required). There are hundreds of different factors that Google uses to rank web pages. Many of these have not been revealed publicly.

However, by writing useful, substantive content, you avoid the risks of blackhat SEO, give your potential clients and search engines what they want, and actively contribute to the success of your law practice.

The more law firm website content you have, the more Google has to index. That gives Google more to offer your potential clients when they get scan relevant search results.

The bottom line is not to get hung up on the length of what you’re writing. Single metric focus can be a disaster for law firm SEO. The best thing you can do is remember that your potential clients want useful information. Focus on providing them with what they need: substantive answers that are easy to read and published often.

Want to learn more about blogging, content and how it can benefit your law firm? Check out these great blog posts below.

On Blogging, Content & Marketing For Your Law Firm:

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