Words, Words, Words vs. TL;DR – How Long Does Your Content Really Need to Be?

One of the most common, ah, discussions I have with my clients is about web page and blog length. How many words are too many words, and how short can you go without being ineffectual? The truth is, like so many other things about your content marketing, it depends. It depends on the topic, it depends on the goal for the content, it depends what kind of content it is. There’s no really good answer.

Except this: your content needs to be longer than you think it does. Right now, Google is in love with lots of original content, and the longer the better. A home page for a website should be around 1,200 words, and blogs should be a little more than half of that. But when we start to reach those word counts, we run into the biggest challenge there is for social media: keeping people involved and engaged.

So: is it words, words, words so Google loves you? Or do we worry that Too Long; Didn’t Read will become the slogan most closely associated with your site and your brand? And what can we do to find that balance?

When it comes to your site, more is more.

Let’s start with actual webpages. Gone are the days where you could have 200 or 300 words on a page and still reach consumers immediately. Like, long gone. You really need a lot of interesting and informational content on those pages if you want your SEO campaign to work. The two are symbiotic.

I hear some variation of “Well, I want SEO but this is too long” more often than I can tell you, and the best analogy I can give you for why that doesn’t work is this: you’re thinking of them like spaghetti and meatballs – great together but just as delicious separately.

SEO is not a meatball.

They’re really more like chocolate milk – a new, entirely separate entity when they come together. Yes, there are things that we do here at DLM on the back end of your site, like link building, but without strong and plentiful content, those efforts cannot work. SEO and content are two sides of the same coin, and you need one in order to make the most of the other.

But you’re giving away our secrets!

It feels like that, doesn’t it? Like we’re telling people in need of legal advice how to do it on their own so they won’t need you. I promise you, that’s never our goal.  When a writer goes into depth about a subject, it does a few different things:

  1. It shows that your firm is knowledgeable.
  2. It proves that your firm wants people to have the facts.
  3. It allows visitors to create better, more effective questions for your initial meeting.

And on top of all that, it helps you rank online. Pretty neat, right?

Do we really need so many blogs, though?

Yup! You do. I’ve talked about how we, as marketers, never know which blog might be the one a potential client stumbles upon for the first time, so we need to make some points over and over again. The reason you need so many blogs, even if they’re shorter in length than your webpages, is because we want to make sure the clients stumble upon them in the first place. We also want to make sure that if they read one blog, there are others that relate to those topics, so they can continue their research into your firm and the issue at hand.

I… I just can’t read any more.

I hear you. I’ve got a trick for that, too. Let’s say you are fully on board for posting something to your social media account every day, but you only have time to read, say, 2-3 blogs per week. As a quick fix, you can share other people’s content on your social media outlets, so long as it’s relevant to what you do. If you don’t have time to write a full piece on the latest changes to a law, for example, you can link to a newspaper article or to the piece of legislation itself on your blog, or on your Facebook or LinkedIn, and add your thoughts about it. It might not do much for you in terms of your SEO campaign, but it’s a good way to get people talking about (and ideally sharing) your posts.

When in doubt, lawyer jokes and cartoons are usually appreciated, too. Just make sure to use the same discretion in posting them that you would posting anything else online. You also want to make sure you attribute them to the sources where you found them.

Let Digital Law Marketing, Inc., handle your content marketing needs

Content marketing is a big job. Make sure that job is handled the right way by working with Digital Law Marketing, Inc. If you have questions about our services and what we can do for you, please call 877-916-0644 or fill out our contact form. We bet you’ll be glad you did.

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