Onsite SEO for Lawyers: In-Depth Content & Why It's Important

Long Form Content & Why It’s Important

What is long form content?

Long form content (as it relates to SEO) is all about text-based articles, blog posts or page copy that is more than just topical.  It is content written to cover a topic in great detail.

Because of its comprehensive nature, content like this tends to be lengthy (in excess of 600 words).  Long form content covers a topic extensively, offers external resources for further reading, is helpful to the reader and could be considered an authoritative source on the topic it references.

Typically content like this links out to many other authoritative references and may provide imagery or graphics to help enhance it along with video or other types of media.

Substantial pieces of content tend to rank better1 in search than less in-depth pieces.  Content was also recently named on of Google’s top three ranking factors2.

Best Practices for Writing Long Form Content

Despite the benefits of having well-written and in-depth content, not all pages of an attorney website need to be formatted this way.

Virtually all websites have pages that just aren’t practical for full-blown research papers.  For example, pages like contact us, about us, terms of service or privacy policy pages of a site may not need in-depth content (although some may already be substantial in most cases).

Here are best practices for those pages that are meant to rank for keyword phrases.

  • A JD should write all content
  • Blog posts, articles or body copy should be greater than 500 words in length
  • There should be links to supporting external sources
  • The piece should be a leading source of information compared to competitor sources of information
  • There should be no spelling or grammatical errors
  • Pages that target a specific keyword phrase should only be about that phrase
  • There should be supporting imagery, graphs, video or other content that helps support the argument the piece is making
  • There should be little or no ‘fluff’ language (in other words, if a sentence or block of content does not add value to the piece it should be cut out)

Implementation of Long Form Content

When it comes to producing good content, there is not a set template.  Like a work of art there could be many ways to craft a masterpiece.  There are, however, somewhat predictable places that carefully crafted content should reside:

  • Practice area pages
  • Service pages
  • Bio-pages
  • Blog pages

The idea is to produce content that is more than just topical in nature3.  For example 300 words on how personal injury lawyers can help car accident victims is obviously not that in-depth.

A piece like that cannot physically contain more than a handful of fluff sentences that talks about a practice area.

Conversely, a 900+ word piece of content on that subject that goes into detail about the process car accident victims can expect to go through when contacting a personal injury lawyer, the types of documentation they may have to provide, the other organizations they may have to contact and the journey they can be expected to prepare themselves for is a far more useful write up.

Here’s a good example of a practice-area specific page with comprehensive content about the topic:

example-in-depth

 

Ultimately if you’re unsure as to whether a piece of content is as good as it possibly could be, have an SEO consultant check it out.  They should be able to give you advice on how Google would view your proposed content.

Lawyers should approach their content marketing4 activities with the mind set of helping their audience.  A huge part of search engine optimization is about user experience.

Search engines that can deliver relevant and useful content to their customers are much more likely to do so when it’s available.

References
http://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking
https://www.seroundtable.com/google-top-three-ranking-factors-21827.html
http://buzzsumo.com/blog/4-ways-content-quality-improves-seo-rankings/
https://rankings.io/content-marketing-tips-for-lawyers-interview-with-shawn-manaher/

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