16 Dec 2017

What is Thin Content and How Does it Harm Attorney Websites?

It is a proven fact that an exceptional, content-based approach to law firm digital marketing works.

Marketing high-quality, relevant content works better than any other type of search engine optimization- with both potential clients, and search engines. When done correctly, it is efficient, sustainable, and cost-effective. Creating the proper digital marketing strategy for your firm will prevent you from wasting valuable time and money on tactics that do not generate revenue nor attract qualified potential new clients.

The question is: What is “quality law firm content?” — that is, content that attracts potential clients, drives your business, and keeps search engines happy. The success of your digital marketing efforts is directly related to the value and quality of your law firm’s website content.

Occasionally we get asked about “thin content,” since many attorneys have heard the term, and they want to know how it can affect their law firm’s website, and what the term actually means.

What is “Thin Content?”

“Thin” content is of substandard quality — it provides little or no value to the person who finds it, and may seem superficial. In the case of your law firm’s website, perhaps the content isn’t robust enough to thoroughly describe a particular aspect of the law or to address a potential client’s concern. It may not be unique enough to demarcate your law firm’s content from another firm’s content on similar subjects. (And, if you’ve copied content from another firm’s site, there’s a good chance that content will be considered “thin.”)

Doorway Pages are one type of thin content.

Doorway pages  are multiple, different pages for phrases or keywords that are slightly different. An example of this might be one page devoted to each city in a state that you practice in, where the content is the identical for each page.

As Matt Cutts of Google states,

“If you were to land on that page, it might look relatively reasonable. But if you were to look at four or five or those pages, you’d quickly see the only difference between them is the city, and that’s something we’d consider a doorway, and not as useful.”

Thin syndication is another type of “thin” content

This is what happens when someone culls content from somewhere–usually a poor-quality site–and then places that exact content to their own website. Low-quality, thin article-bank pieces do not provide any real insight or appeal to potential clients.

How Can Thin Content Impact Law Firm Websites?

Generic sites or sites that publish content that you didn’t write yourself can cause your site or pages within your site to rank poorly in search engine results, and may potentially violate Google’s guidelines.

Cutts even references law firm websites in this video on thin content:

If you’re a lawyer and you have part of a directory on your site that’s nothing but low-quality article marketing — articles that you pulled down and you’re pasting — so that it’s a keyword net to attract users, we might take action on just that directory.

Above all, we always encourage attorneys to familiarize themselves with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and make sure they understand what tactics and practices Google considers unsafe. It is commonly said that being included in a search engine’s results is a privilege, not a right.

How to Improve Law Firm Website Content

What to Do if You Have Thin Content

The simplest way to avoid thin content is to develop a detailed plan for attorney website content with a distinctive, content-based approach that thoroughly answers the questions they have about their case or matter, and exhibits increased value to your potential clients.

If you suspect you have thin content on your site that does not offer much insight, think about how you can improve the content on your site to be meaningful, informative, and unique for your potential clients. Start by eliminating any content that you’ve harvested from other sites. Unique, original content is a huge part of how Google judges quality. Provide original insights and research. Contemplate creating a frequently asked questions page that answers common questions that your staff or firm hear from clients.

We Help Law Firms with Content Marketing

At AdInfusion, we know that a successful digital marketing campaign for a law firm requires great content. We can show attorneys how to reliably grow their law firm’s reach and business through content-based marketing while saving them from the unnecessary expense of wasted resources- including time and money- on tactics that don’t garner results for their firms.

There is no “top” of Google, but there are many potential clients with concerns your law firm can help them with. When you connect with those people, you will be providing them with useful information to increase the chances of them hiring your law firm.

There are no gimmicks or quick tricks that will reliably boost your rankings in a search engine’s results. “Overnight success” is a myth. If you’re not sure about what’s real — and what really works for marketing law firms — let’s talk about improving your law firm’s marketing with high quality content. Contact us today! 916-798-5707

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