If your law firm website has been around for awhile, you probably have a lot of old content. This is content that has been posted, viewed and now forgotten. Some of it may be outdated and obsolete, but some of it may still be valuable and relevant to potential clients. Since everyone likes what is shiny and new (including Google) the old content does not get a lot of traffic, but maybe it is time to dust it off and think about using it. After all, somebody invested time and money to produce it, and it would likely be useful to new readers that visit your website. If you are wondering how to update old blog posts, here are some steps to take.
Start With a Content Audit
It seems more fulfilling just to create new content, while the old content keeps getting buried. However, you may have some great material lurking under the stack that needs to be discovered again, and perhaps tweaked and refreshed. Conducting a content audit is the first step in deciding what to do with older content. So, grab the best organizer on your team, or hire a professional to conduct a thorough content audit of your website. A content audit exposes which articles bring in the most traffic, and which articles have not engaged consumers. Steps in a content audit include: taking inventory of your website’s content, gathering and analyzing data, and taking action steps to manage current and upcoming content. There are online tools that can help with a content audit, and they include: Google Analytics, Ahrefs, Screaming Frog, Shared Count, Marketing Grader, MySiteAuditor, and DYNO Mapper.
After examining your content and its metrics, it is time to decide what to do about the material and update old blog posts. You can leave it, improve it, or remove it. Asking these questions may help you direct your content to the improvement pile, or to the trash heap:
- URL: Does it contain SEO?
- Title: Is it relevant and compelling?
- Author: Does the author have EAT?
- Date: Is the content fresh or obsolete?
- Traffic: How many reads has this piece accumulated?
- Word Count: Is it short? Too long? Could it be combined with another piece?
- Link: How many internal and external links does it have?
Leave Content Alone
If content is still attracting traffic, and nothing is wrong with it, you can leave it alone. You do not need to change or remove content if the following is true:
- It gets consistent traffic.
- It ranks in the top three positions of consumer engagement.
- All information is accurate.
- It generates conversions.
- It has been linked to and shared.
Update Old Blog Posts
Some articles contain useful content, but just need an update. There are different ways to update old blog posts, such as adding or deleting statistics and improving readability. Insert optimized meta data and consider a new, engaging headline. Refresh your older content if it:
- Has engaged readers in the past, but traffic has dwindled
- Gets few conversions
- Needs updated information to be accurate
- Has earned valuable shares and links in the past
Rewrite Older Content
Rewriting your content is smart when the topic is useful, but engagement is low, or it was poorly written. If the content has the potential to be informative, inspiring or entertaining, you can rewrite it. For ranking, it is always better to update older posts than to start from scratch. Rewrite older content that:
- Attracts little or no traffic.
- Gathers no shares or links.
- Does not rank on page one of search results.
- Gains no conversions.
Consolidate Old Blog Posts
When deciding what to do with older content, another strategy is to consolidate. If you have more than one article that focuses on the same topic, you may want to combine them. Consolidating your content together is like combining a refresh and a rewrite. Go through the content and weave the pieces together in a way that ends up seamless and smooth. (Do not just cut and paste parts together.) Be sure to add fresh images to your content, and redirect one post to the fresh new one. (Keep the page that got the most traffic originally.)
Delete and De-index Old Blog Posts
After looking through your website, you may need to get rid of some content if the topic is obsolete, or if the content is no longer consistent with your brand. Although it may be tempting to discard old articles haphazardly, it is wiser to tackle the project in an organized way. If you delete old articles without a plan, you may be creating dead end links for your readers, or allowing its title to stay visible on Google for weeks. Before removing old content, make sure the URL gets no traffic; if it does, you could still use it. When you unpublish it, be sure to remove it from your sitemap. Finally, remove the URL from Google by using Google Search Console’s URL removal tool.
Consider a Content Gap Analysis
Once your website’s content has been examined, refreshed and purged, consider the new content you will inevitably create. The goal of any new content is to reach the needs of your clients and to draw traffic to your website and business, and you are now in a better position to see what topic areas you are missing after you have made the decision to update old blog posts. Conducting a content gap analysis can give you additional information about your ideal audience, and help you discover which keywords are working for you. The steps of a content gap analysis include:
- Identify your goals.
- Understand your target audience.
- Map your client journey.
- Match your content to each stage of the client journey.
- View competitor content.
- Fill any topic gaps.
- Measure results.
Create New Content
Now that you have decided what to do with older content, it is time to create new content for your law firm website, and here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Let your content focus on your unique services, niche and brand
- Write to your ideal client
- Keep in mind what stage of the client journey your content addresses
- Use conversational, jargon-free language
- Schedule your content to make it consistent
- Track content performance
How Law Quill Can Help
Cleaning up your law firm website is a smart move, and should be done consistently. Examining your website content can give you a better picture of how your audience is engaging with your website, and what you could do to boost your traffic level. If you are deciding what to do with older content, you have a variety of options, including refreshing, rewriting, consolidating or deleting. Once you clean your website’s content, you may find gaps of information that you need to fill, to better serve any potential clients that visit your website.
We are here to help and would welcome the opportunity to visit with you for free regarding your law firm website’s content, and how we can take these tasks off your plate! Schedule a free visit with us by scheduling a quick phone or zoom call at your convenience on our calendar today. You can also email us at [email protected]