Updating the content on a law firm’s website can substantially help search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Search engines frequently change the formula they use to rank websites. In addition, search robots take note of fresh, new, and updated content.
If a web page or site is not consistently vying for higher rankings, it will continue to be pushed aside by the websites. Eventually, a webpage can be pushed so far down the SEO rankings it becomes obsolete.
While updating existing pages may not make it to the top of the to-do list daily, it should be a priority in any marketing strategy.
Why Does Google’s Search Engine Algorithm Matter Most?
Google, Bing, and Yahoo! are the search engine leaders of the world, but Google’s ranking system matters the most.
According to data collected over the last year, Google’s search engine market share in the United States could have its own gravitational pull compared to its competitors. Market share is divided up as follows:
- Yahoo!: 3.23%
- Bing: 6.31%
- Google: 87.61%
The most effective SEO strategy for any law firm will specifically adhere to Google’s ranking system. Google SEO is constantly changing. According to Google’s John Mueller, the most important element a website should consider is “awesomeness.”
Making a website awesome out of the hundreds of competing law firms in an area involves many factors. The top components of a high-ranking website involve:
- High-quality content
- Internal links
- External links
While consistently publishing new, evergreen content helps SEO considerably, old content can push your webpage down the list.
Is Your Old Content Jeopardizing Your Law Firm’s Search Results?
Google rewards fresh and authoritative content by ranking pages higher. However, pages with old and outdated content are deemed inaccurate and meaningless. Google’s algorithms punish websites when older content outweighs new content by pushing them down the overall ranking system.
Picture a law firm’s website floating like a hot air balloon in the Google-verse. When hot, new content is added, the balloon rises. However, when allowed to grow old and cool, the balloon sinks.
When practice pages and blogs are updated and republished with new content and images, website traffic can increase by 106%.
How Updating and Republishing Old Content Increases Traffic?
When content is updated, search robots take notice. A search robot is a tool used by search engines to build their databases. Search robots are referred to as web crawlers because they essentially “crawl” through websites, testing links, downloading content, and indexing the information from all over the Internet.
Consider a university library. Someone must go through each book, magazine, and newspaper to properly categorize and index them. Then, all the information must be uploaded onto the university’s online catalog so that students can easily find the information they need.
Whenever a page is updated with new content, a web crawler will download the information and add it to the index. Frequent updating leads to more indexes.
What is Search Engine Indexing and Why Should I Care?
When the web crawler indexes a page, Google will analyze the content. A web page that updates once a month will get more indexes, but rankings are still dependent on quality. Updating for the sake of making a change on a site is not going to improve a page’s search ranking.
After all, think about those built-in apps on cell phones that are never used. Updating them will not improve the overall quality or performance of a phone. Unnecessary updates are useless.
Changing the wording of a paragraph on a blog post may encourage Google indexing, but it will not boost search engine rankings. However, updating the statistics on a blog post will be indexed and noted as new and valuable and increase a page’s rank.
What Updates Can I Make to my Existing Pages?
Updates must add value and reliability to a page to be considered effective. The bulk of content on a law firm’s website comes from practice pages and blog posts.
How Often Should I Update My Practice Pages and Blogs?
Update legal practice pages and blogs as often as they need. Granted, updating frequency has been the subject of debate within the SEO marketing world. Most agree that changes to a site should be done once or twice a week as part of a website maintenance plan. However, those changes can include adding new content as easily as updating an old page.
Maintaining that a website is a reliable source of relevant information is the most important factor in SEO. Practice pages may need to be updated less frequently than blogs posts, depending on the information.
What Information Should be Updated?
Evaluating a website for relevant information can be challenging. It may be best to begin with the pages visited most frequently and are a priority. When examining practice pages and blogs, look for the following information to update:
- Spelling and grammar mistakes
- Outdated statistics
- Old news stories that can be replaced with recent headlines
- Check for broken links and replace them with links to better resources
- Add various types of media (e.g., images, audio, video)
- Checking for better target keyword phrases
Once a page has been updated, change the publishing date to reflect its newfound relevancy. Also, promote the new content by sharing it on social media sites.
How Much Time Away from My Practice Am I Willing to Spend on My Site to Keep It Fresh?
Law firm websites must be maintained to stay relevant on Google’s search engine. Continuing to add new content and refreshing old content can be time-consuming.
Regardless of the size of the firm, outsourcing website maintenance has become a valuable solution for the following benefits:
- Experience and expertise: Like clients who seek the legal guidance and counsel of an attorney, firms benefit significantly when using a team of experts.
- Cost-effective: Working with an outside team can save money by eliminating the need to hire internal staff.
- More secure: Using an outside agency prevents accidental security breaches by staff members with access to sensitive and private data.
- Latest technology and tools: Agencies specifically made to handle website maintenance will have access to the latest trends and tools used to increase SEO and other optimization necessities.
- Time-saving: Outsourcing website maintenance allows attorneys to focus on their clients and building their firm in the long run instead of splitting their time chasing Google’s first page.
Content creation and content strategy determine a website’s search engine ranking. Rightfully, producing fresh, valuable content and consistently evaluating all the pages of a site takes a considerable amount of time and know-how.
At Cross Country Creative, we specifically market law firms. Contact our marketing team today to learn about our agency and discuss what strategies will work best for your firm.