Have you looked at the old pages on your website lately? No matter how great your website and content were when they launched, all it takes is a little time to start eroding their effectiveness for your law firm.
Old articles fade into irrelevance. Old pages no longer work as intended. Content starts to look and sound dated. And, worst of all, those outdated pages can drag your site down while you’re blissfully unaware.
The point is that website content management matters—and it matters a lot. It’s worth taking the time every year or two to do an in-depth review your old site content and maintain your main landing pages. It’s even better (and more effective) if it becomes part of your regular marketing routine!
Ready to root out the “bad” and get better performance from your website? Let’s get started.
What Makes a Page on Your Website “Bad?”
There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a page that’s been sitting around for a while. More often than not, poorly performing pages are suffering from a combination of issues. This might include issues like:
- It’s full of broken links, images, videos, etc.
- It features poor or thin content.
- It features irrelevant content.
- It’s plagued with slow loading times.
- It’s difficult to read.
- It’s stuffed full of outdated marketing.
To determine which pages need your attention the most, you can look at the analytics data for the page. In DSS, this information is available at the top of each content “edit” page:
Pay attention to how many people are viewing the page, how much time they spend on the page once they get there, and the bounce rate. If you don’t like the numbers you’re seeing, go ahead and pull up the live page on your website and take a look at what your online visitors see.
These two steps are crucial. If you don’t know how well the page is performing, you risk changing up a page that’s already working for you (and possibly making it worse). If you don’t lay eyes on the live page yourself, you won’t know what to fix or what issues might be driving people away.
Once you’ve confirmed a “bad” page with your eyes and your analytics, it’s time to move on to the next step: making those bad pages better.
When Should I Delete a “Bad” Page on My Website?
Before we talk about how to fix those “bad” pages, let’s talk about deleting pages. It’s tempting to just hit the “delete” button and make bad pages “go away.” While it might seem like the easy option, it isn’t always the best choice for your business or the performance of your website.
There really aren’t any hard and fast rules about when you should delete a page and when you shouldn’t. However, we can share a few basic guidelines to consider before you send your old content to the trash:
- Is the page bringing in a lot of traffic? If the page is bringing in a lot of new visitors, it’s already doing something right. With a few updates and changes, it could become a powerful page on your website.
- Is the information inaccurate or outdated? The best reason to delete old content is because it’s painfully outdated, inaccurate, misleading, or outright wrong. However, updating and correcting the page might be more useful than deleting it and leaving questions unanswered.
- Will deleting the content wreak havoc on your links? Some attorneys choose to start deleting old content and end up wrecking a good part of the work they’ve put into link building. If you do choose to delete, make sure you take care of any broken links caused by the deletion, including both links to the page from other websites and links from within your own site. In DSS, it’s easy to set up a simple “redirect” that seamlessly sends visitors to a relevant page when they try to access the deleted page. Learn more about redirects and their effect on your SEO.
- Have you covered the topic elsewhere on your site? If you have a more current or extensive discussion of the topic elsewhere on your site, then it might be reasonable to say goodbye to the older content. Don’t forget to redirect the deleted page to that other discussion!
In the end, deleting a page or not deleting a page is really about what makes the most sense for you. Fixing up a bad page lets you hang on to the performance and links you’ve already earned, and you potentially end up with an excellent page that contributes to your website and marketing. Deleting a page just makes it disappear, and you lose any “juice” it contributed to your success along with it.
How Can I Fix a Page That Isn’t Working for Me?
You’ve identified your worst pages and made your deletion decisions. Now you’re ready to start improving the pages that need a boost. Here are some tips for making a bad page better:
- Bring it in line with your current strategy. Get rid of old, outdated marketing tactics—“keyword stuffing,” for example—and make sure the old page looks like it’s a natural part of your current website and branding.
- Update outdated information. Update the page with more current information, if needed. For example, you might need to update old content to reflect the impact of a new law or regulation. As another example, you may need to update outdated contact information, calls to action, or information about your services and attorneys.
- Improve the content. Write a catchier headline if the old one is boring. Tighten up wandering thoughts and irrelevant tangents. Flesh out any areas of the content that seem thin or don’t offer valuable information to your readers. Break up big, intimidating blocks of text with reader-friendly headlines, lists, and images. The idea is to think about why readers visit the page and what they’re looking for, then update the content to meet their needs and provide a great user experience. Find out how to make great content look even better.
- Edit the content. Even valuable, relevant content can suffer from poor editing. Go through the content on the page and correct grammatical errors and typos. Fact-check statements when necessary, and check that in-text links work and take readers to functional, relevant pages. All these “finishing touches” make a big difference on the user’s end!
- Identify and update broken elements. Sometimes, the problem isn’t the content; it’s a problem with the page itself. Are there broken images and links? Does the formatting look weird? Does the page load really slowly? Is your website’s code outdated? Is there another element of the page or the site that isn’t working as intended? All these kinds of issues can drive away readers and potentially hurt your visibility in search.
You or your marketing team can fix many of these problems on your own, depending on the kind of marketing software you use. If you have a site through Foster Web Marketing, then you already have access to our DSS software, which makes it easy for you or anyone in your office to update, change, or even delete content on your website.
Beyond that, it depends on what the problem is. You may need to contact your web service provider to fix some technical issues, or you may need a more in-depth look into why a particular page isn’t performing as well as it should. For example, a great page can perform poorly if there are bigger issues with your SEO or overall marketing strategy.
Fixing Unpopular Pages Is Easy With DSS
We love DSS because it makes it so easy to see which pages on a website aren’t performing well. Each time you log in, you can quickly access the bounce rate, number of visits, time spent on-page, and more for each of your content pages. You can immediately determine which pages need attention, and you can keep tabs on the pages that are creating a positive buzz among your visitors. If you need to make changes, you can easily add videos, add pictures, create links, and use the built-in text editor to create something great.
And that’s not all that DSS has to offer. Want to see our next-level content management and marketing software in action? Contact us for a DSS demo, or give us a call at 888.886.0939 for more information.