You remember how it was. They told you that you needed content to make your site visible and attract new clients. So, you listened and produced content. And kept producing content. You produced content diligently, every week, daily even. Time wore on, years passed by, and you have continued to create new content for your site.
Today, you may have hundreds of pages on your site, some of which have not had a single page visit in over a year. You may also notice that many of the pages overlap in relevance and are very similar. So similar, in fact, the content is competing against itself for views and engagement in the search engines. Unfortunately, if and when you have reached this point, your content marketing can work against you and dilute your most important bread and butter practice area pages, often leading to a drop in rankings and leads.
Now that you have all this content, how do you make sure it’s still working, and working to gain you clients instead of limiting your site’s ability to maintain top search rankings?
The obvious solution would seem to be taking down or merging the overlapping content. While this can be part of the process, it is not always that simple. There are technical factors that go into the process of reducing and consolidating content. Everything on your site is working in some fashion. If you begin taking pages down without using a formulaic process, you risk losing quality traffic that may be bringing in viable leads. You know you need to change the legacy content you have, but where do you start? To begin, some of the things to take stock of and implement are:
What story is your Google Analytics telling you?
You need to determine which of your pages contribute the most to your website. People should not just be clicking on your site without taking action. You need pages that convert people from visitors to clients. You may actually be surprised to see some of your older pages have the highest conversion rates. This is good to know, because it gives you a place to start. Understanding which pages are working well and which are dragging things down tells you what pages you need to focus on re-tooling.
Does the content on your site target the most appropriate keyphrases?
Are you using the correct keywords and keyphrases in your content? Using strategic keywords that focus on your ideal client can take a potential client through the whole decision cycle while they are on your site, helping them to make the choice to contact and hire you. When you have a keyword strategy outline, it can be fairly simple to update old content to make it convert better. Utilizing tools like Google’s Keyword Planner will provide invaluable insight toward proper keyword targeting.
Will you be able to implement proper 301-redirects?
Your legacy content may have external links pointing to it. You may also have internal pages cross-linking to and from those pages. When you delete this content, be aware of what linking impacts will occur. Reusing the content by making it more relevant, substantive and/or useful is your best option. However, this is not always possible. If you have to, you can cut and consolidate a few pages and implement the 301-redirect process to pass along the value of the old page(s) to a new page which may be more relevant for your audience. Disclaimer: You want to ensure this is handled by an expert who has proven experience with this process.
Is your content optimized to convert visitors into inquirers?
The purpose of your website it to connect with people who will become your new clients. You do not want the copy on your website to be boring or devoid of benefit. Your top pages should be those that have the purpose of convincing people to work with you. You can use your legacy content by consolidating some of it to make it more powerful, or by rewriting pages to tighten the sales copy and make those pages compel visitors to contact you. You can even create new content and link to your dated content (when applicable and relevant) as a way to encourage deeper clicks within your site and to encourage more diversified traffic/page visits.
Is the content you are providing substantive?
Going forward, one of the most important aspects to look for is not the amount of content, but rather creating substantive content. People who want to hire you as their lawyer want to be convinced that you are the expert and the person for whom they are looking. And they want to be convinced of that quickly when they are on your website. It is more important to create relevant content that people read and engage with than it is to stick to a fixed content schedule or consistently push out short, meaningless blog posts. Substantive, resourceful content brings people to your site and helps to establish you as an authority figure in your area of law. The more people read and engage with your content, typically, the better your search engine results will be.
The process to revitalize your legacy content may seem overwhelming. Although it is certainly not rocket science, it should be handled systematically, beginning with an in-depth content audit based on the above recommendations. Having an expert search marketing provider come in and take stock of your content can be a valuable investment in getting your site to the right place and back to converting and bringing more clients in. A content auditor can provide you with an action plan that will make the process of optimizing your website straightforward and manageable.
Once you have an action plan, you can take things one step at a time. Focus on your pages with the highest conversion rates first, make sure those are working for you at their best level before moving on. Monitor page rankings throughout the process to evaluate changes, i.e., how Google is responding to your content page adjustments. Then you can work with your content auditor to create an action plan to work through your website in small organized chunks instead of trying to do it all at once. Taking baby steps may seem tedious at times but it will help you get where you need to go without severe consequences. The legacy content that is overwhelming and out of date can be enhanced with a clear strategy. Ultimately, working through your dated content will help to ensure your website is working to increase – not kill – your caseload.
As Vice President of Business Development for Consultwebs, Tanner Jones oversees all business development opportunities for Consultwebs and its clients. He has the privilege of speaking with virtually every law firm that contacts Consultwebs and working with them to determine if and how they will be able to accomplish their goals from internet.
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