Questions to Ask When Reviewing Your Website Content
BY Kristen Friend STAFF CONTRIBUTOR
Your content is a key component in attracting visitors and gaining leads. As such, it must be kept fresh and relevant.
Your website likely contains a variety of content, which has been written at different times throughout its history. Some may even have been produced before your firm had a website, and has been repurposed for use online.
Having a rich content history is good for your search engine marketing efforts. To keep your site fresh, all content should be revisited periodically.
Content reviews are a necessary part of your SEO efforts, as outdated, irrelevant or erroneous content can be damaging to your website’s reputation in the eyes of Google and your visitors.
Here are five questions to ask yourself when reviewing your content to help determine whether it needs an update.
Why do people read your content?
To understand why people read your content, you must know your audience. You should have a good idea of what your ideal client base looks like in terms of gender, income level, profession, age and other demographic traits. From this outline, dig deeper and try to think of the characteristics your clients have in common. For example, do they share any of the same goals or values? Are they likely to have any of the same hobbies or interests?
Now you have a portrait of your audience from which to extrapolate the reasons people might be reading your content. Are they performing research or reading for leisure and entertainment? Are they likely reading your website at home or at work? Would they want to share it? Once you can answer these questions, you will be better able to predict whether your readers will be interested in any particular piece of content.
Does your content satisfy readers’ needs?
A law firm website should tell clients what the firm does and showcase the experience or its attorneys. These are the basics. Beyond that, sales related content must present a compelling reason clients will benefit from your services and differentiate your firm from others that do similar work.
Another component of the content on an attorney website is educational. More and more people are conducting their own research about legal matters and asking Google questions about the law during the course of their research. Can your content answer these questions? Great content will inform and persuade. It will answer the questions your potential clients might be asking.
Could your content be used on any other attorney website?
Lawyer website content often suffers from one of two challenges: 1) It is formulaic or, 2) It is so keyword stuffed that it contains very little actual information. When reviewing your content, ask yourself whether it is something you could see on the pages of any lawyer website, or whether the tone, presentation and facts distinguish you as different from other firms in your area. If you find your content repeats the same keyphrases over and over again, it will probably not pass this test.
Is your content grammatically and factually sound?
There is no excuse, especially on a professional services website, for poor grammar or spelling mistakes. Have an editor regularly review your content to look for errors.
Because attorneys operate within a regulatory and legal framework that changes over time, it is also important to review your content to be sure it is factually sound and provides the most updated information about the law.
Is your content thoughtfully designed?
Well-designed content will be aesthetically pleasing, and it will help the visitor scan the page. When people view content online, they tend not to read from paragraph to paragraph as they would when reading a book. Rather, they scan from top to bottom, left to right, looking for relevant or interesting information.
To help readers find what they are looking for, your content must contain the right balance of images, headlines, subheads and bulleted lists. Each of these items supports the text by calling out important features. These elements also help break up the copy into related sections that are easily seen and understood by visitors scanning your pages.
Content reviews can be cumbersome, especially if your website is content heavy. However, SEO best practices dictate they be done. Your content may be the only interaction someone has with your firm before deciding whether to call you. It should present your best face.