Law Quill | #028 - SEO Content Audit On Your Law Firm's Website

#028 – Conduct An SEO Content Audit On Your Law Firm’s Website

Learn how to conduct an SEO Content Audit on your website to gain amazing results. This may sound dry and boring, but if you have ever listened to any of my podcasts, you know that I promise to make this fun! This is one of the most important things you can do to get your website to the top of Google!

You won’t want to miss it! You can listen in on iTunes or on the Law Quill website (or anywhere else you find podcasts!) 

TRANSCRIPT

The Legal Marketing Lounge

Hi, I’m Annette Choti, an attorney of 20 years that created Law Quill, a marketing agency for small and solo law firms. Join me to learn how to grow your law firm through digital marketing strategies, SEO, social media, and more. Let’s get that law firm reviewers more online visibility, a larger digital footprint, tons of organic traffic, and more clients. I’m so excited, you’re here, click that subscribe button and join me in the legal marketing lounge. Hello, friends. Welcome back to The Legal Marketing lounge.

SEO Content Audit for Your Website

And today, we are going to talk about something that is really important. And that will have a lot of value for you in terms of SEO. And that is a SEO audit, for your website in specifically a content audit, what content is on your website that you don’t need, what content needs to be improved and what content needs to be added? But before we go any further, have you subscribed to the legal marketing lounge podcast? If you haven’t, I am just going to ask that you go ahead and click that little button and subscribe. And that way, you always get notified of the new podcast when it comes out every single week.

Okay, so that is out of the way. And we can talk about a content audit for your website. First, you have a website, right? And if you don’t just stop this podcast right now go get one. The trajectory that I always tell law firms to travel is website first, SEO optimized website, second, third content on your website that is optimized for SEO, then social media, and at some point backlinks for your website. So that’s the order. Now I’m assuming you already have a website if you’re listening to this. And if you do, then your law firm website needs a regular inventory and examination of the content that is on it. And frankly, it needs a refresh from time to time.

The procedure to do this is called an SEO content audit. And conducting a law firm website content audit involves evaluating each page on your website to decide what’s working, what could be improved, what needs to be reworked, deleted and what needs to be added. Courage dear heart, because while the process of scrutinizing all of your website’s material takes time, a content audit on your website can produce multiple benefits, including a healthier higher performing website and greater marketing success overall. So let’s talk specifically why a content audit does all of that for your website.

In the desire to improve your website, your first idea might be to write voluminous amounts of material and share it. However, once this material is seen, it eventually becomes old and buried under new material that often repeats what was already said and forgotten. If you have had a law firm website for any significant amount of time, there is a good chance that you have duplicative blog posts, blog posts that are talking about similar things. If you’re an estate planning attorney, maybe three or four years ago, you wrote a blog about wills versus trusts. And just recently, you wrote another article about the advantages and disadvantages of wills and trusts. And it’s almost the same article. You forgot that you wrote that other article. So conducting a regular content audit. It kind of works like a good spring cleaning or a cluttered closet overhaul. We all like to watch those shows right? Where they clean all the spaces up. Well, this is the same thing, but you’re just doing it digitally. And you’re going to be weeding out. You’re going to be Marie Kondo showing your website and clearing out any outdated, neglected duplicative content to make room for more effective material.

So throughout the entire process you’re going to discuss the content you no longer need. Maybe there was content that you wrote about regarding laws that are not even relevant anymore, or other types of obsolete material, you’re also going to discover what type of content is not attracting visitors. What types of posts do attract visitors, and then you’re going to double down on those. Let me give you a personal example. I wrote a blog post about Google My Business, which is now called Google business profile. And I couldn’t believe the amount of traffic to it. And then I wrote another blog post about how to get more five star reviews on Google. And it got way more traffic than I normally get. And then I realized that lawyers and law firms are very interested in how to capitalize on the free real estate of Google My Business. So I double down on it. And I have a lot of articles about Google Business Profile previously known as Google My Business on my website.

So I’m just asking you to do the same thing on your website, find out what works and find out what doesn’t and pruning those outdated and really untended content that are inhibiting your website’s performance is going to overall keep visitors more engaged and bump up your standing with the search engines. It’s like pruning those Japanese bonsai trees. Right. So how do you do it?

Completing SEO Content Audit for Your Law Firm’s Website

How do you complete an SEO content audit for your law firms website? So first things first, there are a number of key steps that you will need to take to complete an SEO content audit for your law firms website.

Examine Your Goals

First, you need to examine your goals. What is the purpose of you doing this? Is your website speed slow? Are you not attracting enough visitors to your website? Even though you seem to be publishing a lot of content? Do you have a lot of content on your website that was not optimized for SEO, and you’re not sure what to do with. So the very first step is to examine your goals. The next step and take a deep breath is to take a complete inventory of your website content. If you have WordPress, this is typically done very easily, you can download a list of all of your blog posts all of your pages on your website. So that does make it easy.

If you do have WordPress, then you are going to gather data that is important to you. What blog posts are succeeding? What are the ones that most people come to? What are the ones that have done historically? Well for you, what are ones that frankly, no one pays attention to. And don’t just look at blog posts, but also look at your about us page and your fact page, look at the kind of activity that is going on in those pages, and the keywording that has been done.

Ultimately, you really want to have sort of a listing of all of the blog posts you have and pages, and the keywords that you’re trying to rank for each one. And those keywords should be different. For every blog post. Every keyword should be different. After you gather all of this data, you’re going to want to analyze it and sort out what blog posts you want to get rid of which ones you want to skyscraper.

The Skyscraper Technique is used very often with marketing agencies. And what we do is we take older content that is very valuable, but was never optimized for SEO. And we make it longer and include key wording in it. We include external links to authoritative sources, we make sure that that content is relevant and informative and relevant to today’s laws. So we take that content, and then we just improve it. And if you are going to do this on your website, I just want to insert right here the fact that if you take the time to skyscraper, an article, you are going to want to then take the URL of that particular blog post or article and have Google re-index it. And you can do that on the Google site.

Re-index Your Blogs

So on your Google Analytics, you can go and have them re-index it and you want to do that because you want the Google bots to recrawl it and you get credit for the work that you’ve done. Then finally, after you’ve decided what you wanted to do regarding all of this data, create some action steps And then start planning your future content, as well as what you’re needing to get rid of. I know it sounds like a really intense task, but cue heroic music. Now, there are tools that will make this process easier for you. These tools can help you inspect what you already have, decide whether you need to get rid of it, improve it, add to it, all the things.

I’m going to go over these online tools with you now, because I feel like they really can help you in this process. The first and most important is Google Analytics. Your website should be connected to Google Analytics. And this is a free tool to use. That will help you discover how many visitors are interacting with your law firm. It provides several metrics and KPIs which is key performance indicators that allow you to examine and improve your content. I will say do not become discouraged when you get to the Google Analytics website. There’s a lot there. And it there is a bit of a learning curve, but you can do it. I’ve got a lot of blog posts on my website on LawQuill.com that can help walk you through Google Analytics and how to use that to help the performance of your law firms website.

Additionally, if you happen to have Jetpack, on your WordPress website, as a plugin, that will also help you see what blog posts are viewed by visitors the most your traffic and some other metrics.

There is another tool called my site auditor. And that allows you to scrutinize your web pages individually to determine their SEO results. And that can be very powerful as well. Shared count gathers social data that is linked with your content. And it displays the count of that particular URLs, views, likes and shares on social media.

One of the most important tools that you should consider is Screaming Frog. I’ll just let you go ahead and laugh about that for a minute. But Screaming Frog is a very powerful tool that can help you discover SEO issues on your website. It can help you understand results and target exactly what needs to be uncovered in a content audit. It is very novice friendly. If I were going to tell someone that they needed to use two different tools for an SEO content audit, I would tell them to look at their Google Analytics. And to consider getting Screaming Frog. Those would be my two recommendations.

You can also look at marketing greater, which uses a review grade to gauge the success of your marketing efforts. And it also compares your website to your competition, and offers tips for increased performance. And while you can go crazy getting all of these tools. My suggestion is to not get overwhelmed by all of this. Just take the data that you need regarding the sections of your website that are the most important and look at those first, and then do this slowly over some time. It doesn’t need to be it doesn’t need to all be in a day, it does take some time to do this and analyze it correctly.

After you have this information, you really do need to consider your goals because since it’s going to be a time consuming endeavor you want to make that time worthwhile that you put in. And a law firm website content audit offers very deep advantages for your website and your business. So let’s look at what those goals are.

Attract More Traffic

The first is to attract more traffic. If your goal is to attract more traffic, then you need to choose topics that are going to reach your audience. You can do that when you’re looking through your content audit at what blog posts are the most successful, and then double down and create more on those types of blog posts. You can identify content that will assist typical clients. One really great way to do this is type in something that you think your perfect potential client would type into Google. And then immediately look down and look at all of those questions that Google says people also ask. Those are titles of blog posts right there.

And here’s another tip at the very bottom of that Google page, you can look and see what people also search, when they’re searching for whatever that keyword or that key phrase is that you originally put in. So that will help you also identify content. And then you need to create content that does both of these things, and also encourages the ability to share this socially on social networks.

Enhance Your SEO

Another one of your goals should be to enhance SEO, look at the pages that you feel you have done very well with SEO, that you are getting rewarded for your SEO efforts, that the keywords that you tried to rank for, you are now on the first page of Google. So look at those successful pages, and then emulate those to enhance your SEO, across your entire website, diagnose your content for improvement.

Or sometimes we have to rip the band aid off and just remove it. If it is some blog post you wrote five years ago, that has 400 words, no call to action, no external links, nothing on it that is really particularly valuable, you can go ahead and remove it. Also, speaking of links, in order to enhance the SEO on your website, you need to look at all of the links that are on your website, make sure that the outgoing links from your practice area pages, your blog pages, actually go to live active links, and not broken links, not fluorophores, not dead ends, because that is really bad for your SEO as well.

Improve Conversion Rate

Another goal for you and your law firm should be to improve the conversion rate. So you want all of this to lead to clients. That is the point of all of it for them to convert from a potential client to an actual client. Again, you can look at the content that’s drawing the most leads in determining which pages are offering the best user experience, you might see that listed in places as you slash x. That’s the quick little way to write that in the digital marketing world. It’s user experience. If a page is heavily burdened with a lot of photographs or videos that have not been compressed correctly, it can really load those pages down, the user experience is not good, and they will click away.

So in order to improve your conversion rate, you will want to make sure that you’re offering a great user experience throughout your whole website and guide content for stages of conversion. I hate the dreaded word funnel. We don’t want to necessarily put people in a super salesy funnel. But if someone is interested in estate planning the example I used before, then perhaps they’re starting out at wills versus trusts, and then they’re interested in trusts. So they click on an article within that particular blog post that talks about the different types of trusts. And then they click in even further to find about the revocable versus irrevocable trusts, and then they dig even further and find out about special needs trusts.

So what you want to do is guide the content for stages of conversion for your potential client. At the end of the day, a good content audit for a website will always start by taking a complete inventory of that content. I briefly talked about that before, but I want to do a bit of a deeper dive. Once you have an overview of your website data, then you will have a better understanding of your website and how it is functioning is frankly a sales tool for you.

So the metrics that you need to be looking at are as follows. Total pageviews the click through rate, the bounce rate, that’s how fast someone leaves your website after coming to it. Your search position where you’re ranking on Google Article length. If you have blog posts that are less than 1000 words, you are not going to rank on Google. And the reason is because your competitors are writing blog posts that are over 1000 words. I’m going to just digress right here, because I can.

And I’m going to explain to you how important it is that you have blog articles that are long. I wanted to rank for the term, small law firm SEO, that was the long tail keyword I wanted to rank for. And frankly, my friend, I had a lot of competition for that keyword. And I looked at what all of them were doing. And then I did more, I wrote a 10,000 word article on small law firm SEO. And now, as of the recording of this, and actually, for the last several months, I am not only on the first page of Google, I’m in the number one slot, well under the ads, because you can never get above the ads, right.

But I’m in the number one position on the first page of Google. The reason is because for coveted keywords, your competitors are writing more. So there is just no way you’re going to beat your competition with 350 to 500 words. So part of these metrics really is Article length.

Keywords and Keyword Density

You also want to look at keyword density. How many times are your keywords in these articles? For 1000 words, it needs to be at least three or more about three or four times internal link totals, you want to make sure that every article is internally linking to other articles on your website, not too much, because then it’s spammy. But two or three is fine in 1000 word article, you want to look at the tags on these articles, the categories they’re in, if you’re working your blog posts like that in WordPress, if you allow comments on your blog posts, and that is up to you,

I typically tell law firms, it may not be a good idea to enable comments because then frankly, you need to respond to them. And you also may have to monitor them and review them. So my best suggestion for that the best practice is to not have them. But if you do have comments on your website, on articles, then you want to look at those totals and see which ones are bringing in more traffic. And then also your social share totals, which blog articles which posts which practice area pages, what on your website is getting shared on social media.

So you’ve grabbed all your data that is important, and you’ve analyzed it, you have all of this inventory in front of you. What do you do now? Well, you should have an Excel spreadsheet or some sort of document that will have all of this data together. And then you my friend need to make some decisions. Are you going to keep the content, if the content is still relevant and performing? Well keep it there’s no reason to reinvent the wheel, client stories, informative articles, fact pages, these may not require updating, your bio may not require updating, if not much new has happened, but it might and other areas that have been recently created, you can keep those but note on your spreadsheet, which type of content draws the most traffic and keep this in mind for one of the next steps.

Refresh Content

Your second option is to refresh. As we said before, perhaps material could be improved, to coordinate more fully with your brand, or updated to reflect laws that are current now. And getting rid of content or sections of content that relate to previous laws, or altered to include new and current statistics. So the article might just be fine if you’re writing about immigration law, but perhaps the statistics surrounding that article have changed and you can refresh and update those statistics.

Maybe an article could simply be lengthened to improve it or SEO keywording could be added or two articles that are very related could be combined. And if you do this, make sure to note which of those two articles was better for SEO? Which one had more traffic? Which one got more results? Which one was better? keyworded which one is older? All of those things are important and then keep that URL and and skyscraper that with the other related article and then remember You need to reindex that with Google as well.

So these are ways that you can refresh things in sorting more effective keywords. All of the things can increase traffic, you can actually also add images or a video or an infographic to existing content and that can boost visitor engagement. Your final choice is get rid of it, remove it. If you have content that is duplicative, that you’ve already written newer content that is more relevant, just get rid of it. If it’s obsolete, if it can’t really be effectively updated, frankly, deleting it is going to be the best option. If you remove material that refers to past events or information or laws, it is going to show that your law firm is more accurate and authoritative if you still have a lot of blog posts or articles about, frankly, things that are no longer relevant. That will be noticed by your potential visitors and the Google bots. Take care also, to reroute any links in the material you’re removed from your website. What does that mean?

That means that if you have other blog posts, linking to a blog post that you’re removing, then you will want to make sure to remove that hyperlink in those articles, because otherwise, they’re seen by Google as dead links. And you don’t want that. So just try to make sure that if you’re removing an article that you remove the links as well in other material on your website.

Now, here are some final tips for you. Regarding your SEO content audit. Once you make some of these hard decisions, I want to give you the best resources and tools and tips and tricks to ensure that you get your SEO value out of this content audit. So once you have done your content audit, look at all of the pages that you have and make sure that each one of them, every single one has some sort of call to action on that article, and not just to share it and not just to comment on the article on your website to call you to set up an appointment. Because remember, at the end of the day, this is to get clients. So make sure that every piece of content on your website has a solid call to action.

Add Compressed Images and Videos

Another trick is to add more images, make sure you compress them, so that they are not too bulky. And don’t slow down your website. But include more images, video clips, subtitles, make your pages more compelling, and give an improved user experience. People love video, and so does Google.

And now is the time for you to decide how you will continue to add regular content that is optimized for SEO in the future. You have two choices. You can either do this yourself, or you can hire out to a marketing agency. This is up to you to make this decision, you know your finances and you know your marketing budget. But at this point, if you have done all of this work with this content audit, you need to make sure that you have a trajectory that you have a system to ensure that regular content showing your expertise, your authority, your trustworthiness continues to go on your website.

Check the Meta Descriptions

Next, you want to make sure that you go in and check all of the meta descriptions on all of your pages and your posts. Make sure that they are all unique that none of them match. Another one make sure all your key wording is unique for every page and every post confirm that they reflect the actual material on the page. If not take a hot minute to change these six All spelling and grammatical errors. While you’re at it. This is a very small thing, but it can reflect negatively on a law firm if there are spelling and grammatical errors. After you have done your content audit after you have made these hard decisions after you have a plan in place to put new content on.

Track User Engagement

The next thing you need to do is make sure that you develop a system to consistently track user engagement and evaluate how your website is doing. This does not need to be every week, but it should be every month and certainly every quarter. You need to be finding out what’s working on your website. What is not otherwise? You’re wasting time or money or both with your efforts on your website? That was a lot, right? Listen, I know that it seems daunting, but a law firm website content audit. While it is it is a chore, it does carry serious advantages for your business for your business. As a law firm, you want more clients, and this is one very proven way as to how to get them is through your website.

Conclusion

So make sure that it is optimized to get those clients. In addition to all of these tools, don’t be reluctant to hire an expert to help you through the process, examine your results and plan for the future. The benefits of a law firm website really do include improved website performance, it’s going to include enhanced user experience, you’re going to be getting the content on your website that people are interested in. And it will get hardly any approval from the search engines, the most important search engine being Google. And this in turn leads to attaining the ultimate goal for you, which is increased website traffic, more leads more clients. I hope that you were taking notes unless you were driving a car, don’t take notes while you’re driving a car, but you can check our show notes out because a lot of the tools that I have in this particular podcast I have listed on the show notes the show notes can be found on the website.

You already know the podcast can kind of be found everywhere. But the show notes are actually on the LawQuill website in the podcast section. But we are everywhere that podcasts are found. And if you’re on iTunes, go ahead and click that little subscribe button and if you have a hot minute I would love it if you could leave me a review. And I’m off to go create even more content for you and find even more ways for you to grow your law firm online. Until next time, thank you for joining me in the legal marketing lounge.