Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Law Blog Post Keyword Stuffing - Don't Do It

Many attorneys and marketing professionals working at law firms are often a few generations behind when it comes to tailoring blog posts for search engine optimization purposes.  The SEO landscape changes very rapidly as search engines (mostly Google) adapt, grow, and expand available services.  Many of the tried and true principles of SEO just a few years ago (even months ago) are simply no longer applicable.

Unsurprisingly though, it usually takes a long time for firms to recognize these changes and implement them effectively.  This lag time can be quite harmful, particularly if the practices in question are not only ineffective but harmful for SEO purposes.  Firms that are agile enough to make template changes quickly have a huge leg-up on competitors.

One of the more obvious examples of this is keywords.  In the "glory days" of basic SEO, keywords were everything.  Search engines looked for search terms, and so long as they were present in large numbers, a website could expect to perform well on those searches.  Naturally, this led to a surge of "keyword stuffing" -- placing these words everywhere, sacrificing readability, and even adding them in hidden places that were actually not seen by the surfers but caught by the search engine crawlers.

On the blog writing front, this keyword-obsession meant that blog posts were written wholly to jam in as many of these phrases as possible.  Unfortunately, this focus on keywords was prioritized over everything else--including readability and usefulness for readers.

Despite these problems, in the old days that exaggerated keyword approach might have worked to boost search performance.

Today...not so much.

As Google unrolls more and more changes and sophistication to its process, the times of shoving in as many long-tail keyword phrases as possible are not helpful.  In fact, keyword stuffing can come with significant penalties

Natural, Natural, Natural.

Instead, the best approach for legal content writing is simply to provide interesting, accurate, readable content that is not "forced" in any way.  A few keywords will naturally be included so long as the topics are relevant. But no longer do you need to fit in geographic area + practice area + attorney/lawyer a dozen times a post.

As we adapt to the changes in search engine performance, our legal copywriters and content creators urge everyone to shed the old misconceptions about the need to stray from natural, quality, useful content for SEO purposes.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I actually have been looking into attorney internet marketing as a way for my law firm to gain some more exposure online. But I hear it is extremely competitive, just how competitive is it?