How perfect content gets in the way of your SEO success

By Jason Bland, Co-Founder of Custom Legal Marketing, an SEO firm for law firms that helps law firms thrive in highly competitive markets.

We’ve all heard the mantra, “don’t let perfection be the enemy of good,” or some variation of it.

In a Harvard Business Review articlesaid author Kerry Goyette, “We should all strive to do our best, but people who are always striving for perfection often miss deadlines and opportunities.”

For many lawyers, perfect means never publishing

The pursuit of perfection is ingrained in every professional, but lawyers often come up with an extra dose of this character trait. And who can blame them?

As a lawyer, your mistakes can lead to an innocent client being sent to jail, a family being forced out of the country, a person being injured through no fault of their own, falling into poverty, children being placed with an abusive parent, or a multi-billion dollar merger. falls apart.

It’s serious work with serious consequences, and precision can make or break a case. Perfection is important in law enforcement.

But your law firm’s website is not a legal document, it is a marketing tool. This ship floats around an ocean of people looking for information. If you don’t publish information, other ships (your competitors) will.

When you have a team of writers helping you create content, it’s easy to be critical. No one will write exactly the same way you do, and there may be an occasional typo.

Even the Supreme Court publishes typos

Even the Supreme Court is not immune to grammatical errors. Last year, Judge Neil Gorsuch ruled that the government must provide immigrants with “a single” complaint document explaining what it plans to do and when.” The court later amended the advice say “cooperative‘ as originally intended.

Unsurprisingly, Gorsuch isn’t alone. In 2021, University of Florida Levin College of Law professor Michael Allan Wolf published a paper entitled: “A Reign of Errors: Property Rights and Stare Decision,” which talks about how a typo in a 1928 ruling affected property rights over many decades.

Content is the heartbeat of SEO

You can’t earn links without content. Without links, your site won’t be on the first page of Google. Without that first page ranking, you’re essentially invisible.

The web pages, blogs, Q&As and other types of content that your marketing company prepares are designed to cast a wide network on the web to attract the right customers to your business. That content you hold back or disapprove of is the equivalent of being on a fishing boat without casting your lines.

Prioritize progress over perfection?

I am certainly not advocating for publishing junk on your website. For content to work, it must be of quality. However, quality is not Steinbeck, Austen or Dickens – quality is meeting your future customers where they are. And more often than not, “where they are” isn’t fresh from law school.

To get quality content that can work for your business, ask your writing team to:

• Provide sources for declarative statements. Facts are more important than anything and if your content contains a fact, your writer should give you the source.

• At the very least, insist that they use an AI editing tool to spot basic typos and grammatical errors before delivering the content to you. While they aren’t perfect, they are good at spotting common typing and wording errors.

• Create a style guide with your writing team. At my agency, we have a style and preference guide for every law firm we work with. Before drafting any document, the writer will consult the guide and know what to do and what not to do when drafting a client’s content. This has drastically reduced the number of rewrite requests as we can get it right the first time.

Now that you’ve got your team on board with these simple rules, here are some things to keep in mind about the content you receive:

• Web content is promotional contentit is not a legal document.

• The American Marketing Association recommends writing marketing content at the 8th grade level. Unless you’re writing content to get referrals from other attorneys (in which case there should be a different level of sophistication), your writer will often follow the guidelines set out by the AMA.

• Content that is not published will not work for you.

• Web content is dynamic and can always be updated.

That last point is especially important. Nothing on your website is set in stone. It can be easily changed at any time.

“People who are always striving for perfection often miss opportunities,” and that’s especially true if you withhold web content until it’s “perfect.”