...a winning strategy from five years ago is lacking now
Has your law firm's website been around for a while? Then, you likely have posts from years ago that aren't optimized to today's SEO standards. There are many things you can do to improve the ranking strength of these pages. Take in each of the tips below for a solid starting point:
Make Content Longer
The most basic ranking factor that matters now, more than ever before, is content depth. You want to hit 1,600 words or more on average for any page you wish to have rank well in search engines. To make it as in-depth as possible, go a step further by developing a hierarchy of sub-sections to cover. This is effectively a "skyscraper post," which will be a fundamental ranking piece for your website -- so make sure it's evergreen content.
Here's an example:
Filing a Patent Troll Lawsuit (H1 header tag)
How You Can Sue a Patent Troll (H2 subhead tag)
Preparing for a Patent Troll Lawsuit(H2 subhead tag)
How Most Patent Lawsuits End (H2 subhead tag)
Patent Lawsuits FAQs (H2 subhead tag)
Question #1: How Patent Lawsuits Work (H3 subhead tag)
Question #2: What a Patent Lawsuit Costs (H3 subhead tag)
Question #3: How to Find a Patent Attorney (H3 subhead tag)
Why this hierarchy?
Google reads the H1 header tag, your page title, as the main keyword and sees it as the premise of the content. Your H2 header tags are verification for that fact, and therefore they need to be relevant -- so you include your main keyword again, as well as variations of it. The H3 header tags add diversity and serve as the perfect place to stuff your long-tail keywords so that Google's crawlbot picks them up; the result is a clean-to-read page that's "topically optimized."
Want to learn more? Read about how to structure your header tags -- this guide contains actual examples for law firm websites.
Use Google Analytics
You aren't just in control of your content, you have power over your visitors. Check your Google Analytics page to gain insights on your law firm prospects. Here you will discover which pages bring visitors to your site, where their attention flows next and how your pages flow users around your site. More importantly, through Google Analytics you can identify old pages worth improving by finding the most out-of-date pages that still score organic traffic.
You aren't just in control of your content, you have power over your visitors.
Learn more about how Google Analytics can help with your law firm's content marketing campaign... and make your website organically rank better!
Choose the Best Long-tail Keywords
You will grab a lot of traffic through your long-tail keywords within these longer pages. As long as these visitors contribute to a lower bounce rate and higher time-on-page, your overall rankings will continue to go up. But you must appeal to the long-tail searches first; there's one easy way to do just that...
Imagine you're building a FAQ section about bankruptcy. Now, go to your URL bar and type "bankruptcy how." It will reveal search engine suggestions like "how to file yourself," "how long does it last?" and "how to keep your house."
Guess what? Those are your FAQs figured out for you. Some cases involve the variable in the middle of the sentence and that's okay, because you can type an asterisk symbol (*) to reveal suggestions from within your sentence instead.
*Pro Tips for Reshaping Old Content
This tactic sounds straightforward and in many ways it is, but there are still some things to keep in mind such as:
Always go evergreen. You don't want to be stuck returning to these pages every few years. Learn exactly what evergreen content is and plan your content creation strategy accordingly.
Insert internal links. You can create a "web of context," proving to Google that you are an expert in everything related to your primary keyword(s). To accomplish this, link to and from your most valuable pages whenever possible. Also read up on how to structure your internal links before you begin.
Links from other sites. You might run a guest posting campaign or you could just promote the page through social media. It doesn't matter so much how you get the backlinks, but there's no doubt you need to prove to Google that your content is trusted now. Beginners: learn more about link building.
Table of Contents, please. Get a good plugin or code the table yourself. Either way, make sure there's one -- it makes all the difference. Google will cleanly grab information from it to coordinate featured snippets. You might be at the bottom of the second page of SERPs, but still ahead of first place because you scored a snippet spot. Plus, this opens the door to "Jump to," metadata within your SERPs.
Tell Google what's up. To fast-track the ranking process, submit your sitemap to Google after placing new content or links in your old pages. Use social media to get word out about your fresh page; getting social signals will further influence the page to start ranking well once again.
Most old law firm websites have the bare bones in place already. There's no need to recreate every single page, especially when the optimal keywords are already used in page slugs elsewhere. You want to capitalize on your rankable posts by modifying them to fit today's ranking algorithm. There's no doubt that a winning strategy from five years ago is lacking now. So, if you haven't already, sift through your website for dated pages worth targeting for renewed SEO success.
[Brian Haas is a digital marketing consultant to a range of B2B and B2C clients across the U.S., including law firms.]
Got content, need readers? Learn how JD Supra supercharges your audience:
"JD Supra builds a readership I wouldn't normally reach..."