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The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

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If one thing matters more than anything to Google, it’s your content’s relevance to the reader.

(Is it useful? Does it serve a purpose for them connected to their search intent?)

This fact came into focus once again in the first episode of Google’s YouTube series, SEO Myth Busters.

In particular, a Search Engine Journal post by Roger Montti outlines insights from this episode we can apply right now.

The #1 SEO factor mentioned: user-relevant content that serves a purpose.

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

We see this sentiment about the importance of user relevance echoed in other Google sources, too, like the Webmaster Guidelines:

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

And the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (for example, pages without a beneficial purpose get the lowest page quality rating):

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

Needless to say, concepts like relevancy and beneficial purpose in your content are vital to ranking well.

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The only question left is, how do you craft content that meets or exceeds these standards?

Let me answer that question by using one of my #1 ranking blog posts as an example.

Let’s break it down.

How to Infuse Your Content with Relevancy & Beneficial Purpose to Rank Well in Google

Here’s a good example of a blog post created with reader relevancy and beneficial purpose in mind, called “Learn to Write: The Ultimate Guide to Get You Started.”

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

To prove how well it’s working, take a look at the SERP for “learn to write” – the post is currently ranking in the #1 organic position.

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

How did I create this content with a purpose, and earn top rankings in Google?

By hyper-focusing on the reader, letting them inform every step of content creation.

First tip: Use the language your readers are using.

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1. Speak to Your Reader (Use Their Language)

To create content that’s useful, that serves a purpose for the reader, you need to use the language they’re using.

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This may seem simple, but it needs research backing it up to ensure you’re on the right track.

You can’t just guess at how your readers describe their problems, interests, and desires because you’ll probably guess wrong.

Instead, it’s important to do social listening, talk to actual customers, gather examples, and base the language you use in your content on what you discover.

We have a defined audience we speak to based on a persona we created – a fictional archetype of our ideal customer. This persona stems solely from audience research.

As you can see, our tone of voice and language are laid-back but professional, fun yet never sloppy, direct, engaging, and geared toward a younger, millennial audience.

We never would have pinpointed this tone without audience research!

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

2. Speak to Your Readers’ Problems

Luckily, audience research does a lot more than tell you who you’re writing for. It also pinpoints your readers’ problems – especially the ones you (and only you, with your unique expertise) can solve, improve, or alleviate.

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This is a big, big part of infusing your content with beneficial purpose and relevance.

The reader problem I address in our example blog is relatively straightforward: They may be afraid of writing, but they need to learn to do it better to achieve more in their day-to-day lives.

As an online writing expert with a content agency, I’m uniquely positioned to help them.

Note how I speak to Millennial-centered facets of this problem in our example.

For instance, most of our readers will be young professionals who need to use writing in at least one aspect of their job. I directly address this in the first section:

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The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

In particular, I’m reminding them why learning to write matters for them and their particular needs.

If you can answer the question “why should the reader care about this content?” inside the blog you’re writing, that’s a sign you’re on the right track to infusing your content with a purpose.

3. Use Keywords with Your Content’s Purpose & Reader Vocabulary in Mind

The purpose of your content is the problem you’re solving for the reader (and keep in mind that the problem can be as simple as making them laugh and lightening their day or as complex as teaching them how to code a website).

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Your keywords should connect to that problem, as well as use the reader’s vocabulary.

  • The problem you’re solving: You should be able to condense the reader problem you’re solving (“I need to learn to write more effectively”) into a simpler keyword phrase (e.g. “learn to write”).
  • Audience questions: Audience questions will form the keywords you use, too. For example, your readers might be asking Google “how to write well,” “learn to write,” “professional writing,” or “writing for the web.”
  • Related terms: If you scroll to the bottom of the SERP for your main keyword, you’ll find related terms users are actually searching as well.

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

Don’t forget to vet all the keywords you find. Research them with keyword tools and make sure they’re good fits for your brand to target (for instance, if the competition is too steep, small brands have a slim chance of ranking even if your content is amazing, user-relevant, and purposeful).

4. Avoid Industry Jargon & Insider-Speak

Repeat after me: The way you talk about your business/industry/products/services is not the way your customers talk about them.

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Undecipherable jargon in your content can be its downfall. It’s like talking about an inside joke with a friend in a room full of strangers – totally awkward for everyone outside that “in-the-know” bubble.

You never want your readers to feel awkward, confused, belittled, or stupid.

That’s why, in our example blog post, we don’t talk about nitty-gritty grammar details like Oxford commas or em-dashes. We don’t go over their heads with spiels about modifiers and determiners.

We definitely don’t include nerdy, writers-only references. (We save those for our team discussions.)

Instead, the focus is on being relatable, relevant, and easy to understand.

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When I make references, they’re to universally understood concepts, like salespeople and common sayings.

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

The #1 Factor That Will Help Your Content Rank in Google

Insider-speak is for conversations with your work colleagues, not for talking to your audience. Instead, aim to have empathy and put yourself in your readers’ shoes.

Try to understand their problems from their point-of-view and provide the answers in ways they’ll connect with – your content will be better for it.

Crafting User-Focused Content: Make It Priority #1 to Be #1

Content isn’t about you, your brand, or your business.

It’s about the user.

Added to that, Google loves content that serves a beneficial purpose for the user. If it doesn’t help the target reader in a quantifiable way, if it doesn’t answer the question they were asking in the Google search bar, it’s no good.

To make your content shoot to the top of the SERPs, you need to make it useful, purposeful, and relevant. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way.

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SEO

How To Get More Law Firm Leads By Refreshing Your Content

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How To Get More Law Firm Leads By Refreshing Your Content

Search Engine Journal often mentions the value of a “content refresh,” particularly regarding SEO.

The concept is that rather than let an old piece of content die out, you can breathe new life into it to generate more traffic and leads well into the future.

The same concept applies to law firm content marketing. Only the approach may be a bit different.

Creating, optimizing, and refreshing legal content comes with unique challenges, but a content refresh can be highly effective.

Here’s how to optimize your legal content the right way to attract more leads for your law firm.

When To Refresh Your Law Firm Content

People use Google to find valuable, up-to-date content to satisfy their search.

If the content on your website is out of date, they are likely to search for another source.

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In the legal field, the freshness and accuracy of your content is especially important.

Here are a few signs it’s time to refresh your legal content:

  • Few backlinks – Your content isn’t generating new backlinks from other websites, as indicated by SEO tools (like Ahrefs).
  • Broken links – Old articles or pages link out to pages (either on your website or elsewhere) that are no longer live and return a 404 error.
  • Decreased organic traffic – Your organic traffic to your page(s) or post(s) is decreasing, based on your Google Analytics data.
  • Poor social engagement – When shared on social media, your content is getting a low number of likes, comments, and shares.
  • Outdated sources – You are referencing laws, studies, or articles that are no longer valid or are at least five years old.
  • Not evergreen – Your articles aren’t “evergreen” and need to be updated regularly to stay relevant.
  • Change in approach – Your law firm has changed its approach, services, or philosophy, which is not yet reflected in your content.
  • Keyword ranking drop – Your existing web pages or articles are no longer ranking high (at position three or above) for your target keywords and need to be re-optimized.
  • Out of trend – You’ve posted about “trends” that are out of date and need to be updated with new content or removed completely.

Refresh Legal Content For More Leads

If you have encountered any of the issues above, it’s likely time to refresh your law firm’s marketing content.

Freshening your content is a great way to benefit from your existing content, improve your SEO, and attract more law firm leads.

Here are a few ways to refresh your legal content and earn more leads for your firm.

1. Audit Your Website Content

Your law firm’s website and blog play a significant role in communicating value to prospective clients, attracting online traffic, and converting visitors into leads.

With this in mind, auditing your law firm’s website’s content is the best place to start.

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First, set up and log into Google Search Console and open the Search results report.

Check the boxes for Total clicks, Total impressions, Average CTR, and Average position.

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Then, toggle to “Pages” to see a list of URLs on your website generating clicks, impressions, and keyword rankings.

From this report, you can see which pages are performing best and which are underperforming.

URLs at position six or below are likely good candidates for a refresh.

You can export this report and start keeping track of the pages or posts you update.

In terms of SEO, a few improvements could include:

  • Updating the page title (title tag) to include the focus keyword.
  • Including the focus keyword for the page in the meta description.
  • Adding your primary and secondary keywords throughout the body content.
  • Updating any outdated or broken links.
  • Adding new, fresh content to the page.
  • Adding images, videos, or other types of media.

These improvements might lead to an increase in SEO performance (rankings) for these pages or articles.

Just be sure to monitor impressions, clicks, rankings, and CTR in Google Search Console.

2. Conduct A Content Gap Analysis

A “content gap analysis” is a fancy phrase for seeing the content your competitors have that your website doesn’t have. It is a good way to find new content opportunities or improve upon existing content.

The legal field can be highly competitive, so taking stock of what your competitors are doing well and using that to inform your strategy can make all the difference.

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Log into Semrush.com or your chosen SEO tool to conduct a “Content gap” analysis.

Most tools will ask you to enter your domain plus the domains of your closest competitors (we recommend selecting your closest service area/geo-specific competitors).

Then, the report will reveal the shared or “untapped” keywords between your site and your competitors’ websites.

You will then see what your competitors are ranking for that your website is not.

With this report in hand, you can reveal the URLs from Google Search Console (see Step 1) and determine whether the keywords you have identified should be mapped to any of these pages.

If so, you can continue to make those SEO improvements.

If you don’t have any pages or posts that fit the “untapped” keywords, these could be good topics for new pages or posts.

If they are relevant to your business, consider adding them to your content calendar or blogging strategy.

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3. Crawl For External Links

The SEO tool Screaming Frog allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs for free on your website to identify existing on-page or technical SEO issues.

It can also help you find existing and broken external links.

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Broken links lead to a poor user experience because they direct users to pages that no longer exist.

By using Screaming Frog to examine the 404 errors, you can find opportunities to update these links and direct users to live pages.

Further, if you spot-check many of the external links on your site, you may find links to outdated sources, such as old legal journals, laws, case studies, etc.

These should all be updated to link to relevant and up-to-date information on reputable websites.

4. Build Links To Your Legal Blog

Backlinks are important for SEO because they direct authority (and, often, referral traffic) to your website.

Unfortunately, many law firms forget to up their link-building efforts once their content goes live.

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If you have great content on your website that has gone unnoticed, it may be time to give it a boost with backlinks.

This can be done through a variety of methods, including:

  • Reaching out via Help a Reporter Out to offer legal expertise and request links back to your website.
  • Contacting legal professionals in your network to ask them to link back to your articles or pages.
  • Adding “linkable assets” like ebooks and PDFs to your content to encourage other publishers to link back to you.
  • Submitting guest articles to reputable legal publications to feature your content and (ideally) earn a backlink.

Backlinks can work wonders in increasing the authority and reputation of your website.

Look into more law firm link-building methods to improve your firm’s SEO.

5. Turn Case Studies Into Articles

Many law firms have awesome case studies, either living deep in a folder or nestled in a page on their website.

But these case studies may be missing the chance to drive additional traffic.

You can refresh this existing content by turning your case studies into longer articles.

This gives you the chance to optimize for search terms (if applicable) and win over potential clients.

For example, if you are a class action lawsuit lawyer who recently helped clients win a crib recall case, you could write a longer article about the case, the danger of crib recalls, how to file a crib recall lawsuit, and more – as this topic (“crib recall”) has over 300,00 organic searches per month.

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This helps drive additional traffic and offers more context to potential clients about what you do and how you can help them.

Further, you can drop in real quotes from real clients to help build trust with your audience.

6. Repurpose Old Content Into Social Soundbites

Legal content can takes time to write and digest, especially longer articles.

And social media is a space for often short attention spans and a desire for quick, punchy content.

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Now, you can refresh your content for social media without putting much work into your content marketing at all.

Here’s an example:

  • You have a blog article titled “How to File for Divorce in California” that is the best performing article on your website.
  • You copy some valuable text from your article and paste it over a stock image (you can do this using tools like Canva.com).
  • You share this graphic on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • You’ve now taken a single piece of content and have turned it into four marketing assets.

Even better, you can anticipate repurposing your content every time you create a new piece of content.

For example, a Facebook Live video can become a YouTube video upload, which you can embed into a blog article and then share to your email list.

We all know how much work goes into marketing a law firm.

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Make content marketing easier by using existing content to your advantage, repurposing it, and using it to attract new leads.

How A Content Refresh Earns Law Firm Leads

Now, we have talked a lot about how to refresh old content, but how does this translate into new leads?

Well, each piece of content is a new opportunity to attract additional traffic.

And engaging, fresh content improves your conversion rate and, therefore, your chances of turning a passive reader into a potential client.

Improving the keyword rankings on old articles can help you drive more organic traffic, which can direct users to your contact forms.

More content on social media can direct users to your profile and then to your inbox or phone number.

Further, refreshing your content on a regular basis helps you get creative.

You can embed different content types, ebooks, contact forms, media, and more to entice users to take action and contact your business.

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Reap The Benefits Of A Content Refresh

Great content is critical for having an SEO-friendly law firm website.

Of course, trends change and old articles become outdated, so refresh regularly.

Whether it’s your website or social media content, there are nearly limitless opportunities to improve old content.

Optimizing for keywords, adding media, repurposing old into new, and reusing your case studies are all ways to make old or outdated content work for you.

Plus, this gives you more chances to turn users into law firm leads.

So, if you want new business in the door, a content refresh may be the next best step for your law firm.

More resources: 


More resources: Just dance/Shutterstock

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