Ryan Klein from Market My Market joins us back for a conversation about taking a trip back to the dark places on your website where uninspiring content resided, and no visitor has ever set eyes.
In our conversation, we explore why it is equally important to optimize your existing content as much as creating new. But what does good content mean, and how does it stand out from your competitors and signals Google that it is worthy of higher rankings?
In this episode, you will learn everything about content optimization; From selecting the content that needs to be optimized to the tools, you should use to be sure that your law firm website is taking the right steps to attract the right traffic.
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Liel: [00:00:00] To get the traffic that you desire, your content can’t just be good, it has to be excellent. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and this is In Camera podcast, where we care a lot about content optimization.
Liel: [00:00:42] Welcome to In Camera podcast, Private Legal Marketing Conversations, great. Welcome back. How are you today?
Grace: [00:00:48] Good. How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:00:50] I’m doing good this week.
Liel: [00:00:52] You know, I told you, we’re participating at the great legal marketing, which is taking place right now as we speak somewhere in, I think, D.C. or Arlington, Virginia. We were there present actually last year, and it was a lot of fun. And so I’m really glad that we got a chance to participate, even if it’s just virtually right. Just like you’ve been doing also in some other conferences. Sometimes that’s the way to go.
Grace: [00:01:19] It’s the way we have to go right now, at least in the near future.
Liel: [00:01:23] It is, Grace. But, you know, we’ve talked about it before, and it’s always great to be able to support these organizations and lawyers who actually still take the time and make an effort to continue keeping themselves up to date on marketing trends and opportunities. All right. But with that aside, Grace, let’s introduce our guest for today. Right, because we’re welcoming back a friend on our podcast. So why don’t you do the honors?
Grace: [00:01:49] So I was lucky enough to get him back on here. And I am extremely thrilled to welcome back Ryan Kline for a conversation on legal content marketing. As you may recall, Ryan is one of the managing partners at Market Market, which is an agency that helps law firms build and implement effective digital marketing strategies. Ryan is known for his technical expertise in SEO and consistently being up to speed with programming and automation, and particularly on websites. You can learn more about Ryan and market by market by visiting market my market dotcom. And he also has a podcast to listen in. Guys, that’s legal mastermind podcast Dot com. Again, that’s legal mastermind podcast Dot com. Ryan, thank you so much for joining us today.
Ryan: [00:02:35] Thanks, Grace. Thanks for the fantastic intro. I do appreciate that. And it’s good to see you again, Liel.
Liel: [00:02:40] It’s always a pleasure to welcome you back, Ryan. So tell us a little bit what you’ve been up to these past few months where these focus finds you this time?
Ryan: [00:02:48] Well, it’s been an interesting past few months. Last time we spoke, I think it might have been just before COVID got rolling. So we didn’t know much.
Liel: [00:02:56] We were already into it, but. Yeah, but it was still we hadn’t yet seen the summer spike, if you may. So we were still at very early stages.
Ryan: [00:03:06] Yeah. And so, yeah, it hadn’t really you know, we’re starting to think about it. And of course, it kind of got us thinking about, you know, this is going to start affecting other industries and all that. And it wasn’t really to the point where it’s like changing the way we do our marketing, our content and helping out clients. So are the law firms. But, man, that happened quick. But the past few months, I was out in Seattle and we last spoke New Jersey, collecting my thoughts the past couple months. And I’m actually in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina, to see what’s going on. So a lot of big changes.
Liel: [00:03:35] You’ve been moving around quite a bit.
Ryan: [00:03:37] I have been a nomad lifestyle, really what I signed up for, so.
Liel: [00:03:43] Well, that’s great. And thank you very much again for being back and joining us for this conversation. So, Ryan, I know we’re going to be talking about content marketing. Right? And, you know, why don’t we start by just setting the scene a little bit here? What is the most common errors and mistakes or missed opportunities that you see law firms make about content marketing in their websites?
Ryan: [00:04:11] Sure. I think that the biggest thing and this is comes up when we’re auditing current clients and just kind of seeing what the lay of the land is as far as legal websites and different markets is that there’s kind of just this general idea of just writing content for the sake of writing content. So it’s just like, well, I’m going to look at my competition. They haven’t about us and content. So I need that. They have general practice area pages. I need those. And then the blogs kind of answer kind of generic things. So I think that the biggest gap I see a lot of times with content strategy with law firms is kind of just not really just thinking beyond what’s really generic when it comes to really what the, what the content plans should be. You know, people have been writing the same blogs for decades at this point, you know, you can look at the PI space, what do I do after a car accident? And it’s like, why is this blog going to be any different from other twenty thousand of these blogs out there? Criminal defense. What do I do after I am arrested? So it’s just so just generic and just really uninspired. And I think that just more effort has to be put into it. And there’s just a lot of ways to do that because people’s you know, the way that people search and the way people frame their questions evolves constantly. So why shouldn’t content strategies?
Liel: [00:05:25] Yeah, I actually like the words you use. They’re uninspiring because it’s really a good description of what the content feels. It feels generic, it feels impersonal, and it feels that it exists just for the sake of ticking a box out of a checklist kind of scenario. So I totally see where you’re coming from.
Grace: [00:05:50] To add to that, Liel, and Ryan, you’re 100 percent right. Uninspired is is a perfect word because we are constantly on our podcast before now telling people to tell their story. Right. Because it’s about you and I and what am I going to do, go online and read another car accident blog post, or am I going to go online and actually read about your story and what you talk about and why you are the best attorney for me, for my car accident, not necessarily about the car accidents and how to deal with a car accident. Right. I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s kind of how I’ve always viewed it as a user.
Ryan: [00:06:25] Yeah. And then, you know, we’re all always all about answering questions. And I think that I don’t want to contradict anything I’ll say later, like answering questions is one of the best opportunities you also have on your website, especially in the form of your blog or maybe like a long form article. So I’m not going to dissuade anyone from answering the questions that people have. But if there’s just it’s been answered so many different ways, like what are other ways you can approach it? What are you, so maybe doing a little bit more research or finding other resources that will maybe have a variation or a different take or a different angle on some of these blogs that have been done so many times is worthwhile when creating new content.
Grace: [00:07:05] So that makes sense. So if you maybe it doesn’t, this part doesn’t. But if you had to create, I guess, a content marketing checklist for a law firm website, what would be the kind of the first three items on that list in your mind?
Ryan: [00:07:19] So as far as, like, setting up a new website or just kind of auditing your existing website.
Grace: [00:07:25] That could be included.
Liel: [00:07:25] Yeah, or why don’t we create two one for those who don’t have a website yet and one for those who already actually have it.
Ryan: [00:07:33] They may overlap. But there are a couple of things that I think has changed really like in the past year, especially with like during COVID, this is going to be another COVID podcast. But people’s behaviors have have changed and people are spending more time researching lawyers and doing their due diligence to see if the right professional is out there for them. But when it comes to like the home page, a lot of people have set up their homepage to kind of just talk about them. So it’s been a lot of your verdicts and settlements here, like our case results, like us, us, where the biggest were the best kind of deal. And it’s a lot more success. I’ve seen really in the past year be more like the storyboarding approach where it’s more like, well, let’s not focus, but the law firm, how great they are, let’s focus on on the person and let’s create the journey and then talk about how the law firm is actually just a part of the journey that’s going to help them get where they need to be if they were to retain them. So like the home page kind of angle that the checklists have taken a completely different approach to more storytelling. I’ve seen through behavior and people going how they navigate through a website about us and attorney bios get a lot more eyes than they used to.
Ryan: [00:08:44] So sometimes people kind of overlook like, let’s just do a paragraph and just talk about where they graduated, maybe a couple of publications, speaking engagements, and that’s it. It’s like, no, people want to life. They’re going to read about this lawyer. They want to know what makes you special, what’s what makes you stand out. So really spending more time on bio’s is important about us, maybe even including the firm philosophy. What are your values? What what do you take pride in? So, you know, definitely delivering more time and more effort on those types of pages. Of course, in the blog is a separate conversation there and then dedicating sometimes dedicating page to maybe like the testimonials and reviews, how do people speak about you. People tend to include a few on a website. But I think that if you really have a lot rolling, it’s good to kind of go out other places and bring them into one page kind of aggregate, you know, all the positivity that’s out there for you in one place so it can be seen. So those are probably a few things I would definitely include.
Grace: [00:09:44] So I don’t know if you would consider that new content or old content, but what would you say if we’re looking at new and old? Because content is. There’s so much, there are the older firms that have been around for a while, like you said, and they have had all these blog posts and have had these questionnaires answered forever. Right. So what would you say could be the advantages or disadvantages? Or are there of only posting new content and not potentially optimizing existing content?
Ryan: [00:10:13] I mean, the benefit of posting new content, there’s always going to be the benefit of keeping the website fresh, being able to keep up on trending topics, mostly in the form of a blog. And the blog is really kind of your your foundation of really keeping up with what’s trending. If you’re talking about your typical pages, you’ll you’ll probably find yourself in a situation where you’re like, I don’t really have to add more pages or practice areas or geographical pages or you might have kind of a limit there. But the blog is always a good opportunity to have something fresh. But as far as existing content, I mean, that’s a great way to kind of transition to just a huge opportunity from a content standpoint.
Ryan: [00:10:54] I think that a lot of law firm websites, completely neglect the fact that they’ve created content that might be five, eight to even 10 years old and it just hasn’t been touched, hasn’t been updated. It might be following the best practices and standards for content, which was a decade ago, which is like nothing compared to what it is nowadays. So I don’t know how long it is that most law firms that claim to be proactive with their marketing or content marketing, how often they think it’s appropriate to do kind of what are maybe considered content refreshes or kind of auditing their existing content. That’s probably something that should be done no less than annually. Some some people are more proactive as probably biannually. And the benefits is just like keeping up with what Google is looking for and consumers are looking for. And that can be a whole thing that we get into now or you guys want to do in that.
Ryan: [00:11:51] I think that’s exactly what’s coming next. But before we get into best practices for optimizing existing content, Ryan, you’ve mentioned something there that I, you know, I want to dig a little bit deeper into that. You said that people are researching more. Right. And you’ve also hinted to that as a way as you know, since COVID begun, we are seeing that surge may have retained its search volumes that it had before or people are searching more. Right, depending the practice area, maybe even to market. What makes you or what have you’ve seen in terms of data that leads you to believe that people are actually researching more before they actually convert? What are the signals that you are noticing in user behavior?
Ryan: [00:12:38] So I only have one core piece of evidence there, and it’s that I pretty consistently do surveying so like the public. So I’ll conduct surveys via what’s called Mechanical Turk. It’s an Amazon program. It’s kind of like it’s not survey monkey. There’s like other survey platforms out there, but it’s practically just getting a sample of probably like five hundred people and then kind of narrow it down by criteria such as have you been looking for professional service in the past six months and kind of asking a couple of criteria. The people that meet the criteria will participate in the survey and then I’ll ask them a series of questions. So, yeah, I try not to do anything that’s speculative because I know that it’s really easy for people to put out data that’s just like this makes sense. So this is what it is like. That is not what we’re trying to do, at least with my team. So it’s basically been doing surveys and asking questions such as, you know, if you needed a professional service in the past six months, what was the average amount of time that you spent? What websites to do go to? How long did you spend on each website? What were you looking for? So it’s like really trying to draw, like, actual data before going out and being like, well, this is what it is and let’s adjust accordingly. You don’t want to want to have that kind of data. So as far as maybe like behavior on a website, we can look at analytics and you can see maybe in some situations where the time on site or the pages visited might fluctuate depending on what the topic is. And then maybe you can get some interesting data from that. But yeah, as far as like surveying, especially in anticipation of something that’s kind of really starting to happen. So you don’t maybe have the data just yet. Know your website. That’s what I have to go off of, I guess, for this particular situation.
Liel: [00:14:23] Right. And I think that Grace is kind of like ties very well with some of the conversations that we’ve had here before where we’ve gone into deep dives of search volume, analysis of practice areas across different markets. Right. And what we are noticing is that many of these markets have actually had an increase in search volume compared to the previous year or previous two years. But we know, for instance, in the area of personal injury that they have been less motor vehicle accidents, at least until we have until the point that we have records of Twenty twenty this year than they have been in previous years, but how do we justify that there’s been more research on these particular kind of accidents in some markets, despite also seeing that there’s been less actual accidents themselves? Well, it can also be because people are researching more, right. They’re spending more time completing different kinds of search queries, trying to identify what are their options, looking different brands and trying to make up their decision. So that could be one of the reasons. And I appreciate Ryan sharing with us a little bit of the insights that you’ve seen through the surveys that you’ve conducted. That’s actually great. Right. So let’s go back now into optimizing content because it is one hundred percent possible, particularly for law firms that have been around for quite some time. Just like Grace said, you know, they have their website for ten years. They have had created content that’s been sitting there for years. And as it has been said now, it’s probably been untouched also for years. So what are the first steps that someone should take about deciding what content is worth optimizing, what content is not worth optimizing? And then when they’ve decided which needs to be optimized, what are some of the things that we need to look at keeping into consideration?
Ryan: [00:16:11] Yeah, that’s a great question. I mean, it’s what is worth, because it’s like if we had unlimited resources, we’d just be like, well, why not just do everything? But, you know, we don’t and like the time to go in it, into it and get content writers. It can it can add up. So, yeah, you want to be a little bit precise about which pages you’re focusing on instead of just being like, oh, I’ll just do everything because it might even discover when you go through it and the pages get buried over time when you have multiple people working on the website and posting random places and then maybe you don’t have an updated sitemap go through the website, they’re just like, oh, we haven’t even practiced that in five years. So this attorney hasn’t worked here in eight years. So, I mean, those things could happen. And so probably just doing some sort of, like, general audit of what your website is even at this time, because these websites turn into monsters, especially when you get like agency that worked from 2012-215 and then this consultant. So really knowing what’s worth.
Liel: [00:17:09] Can we stop there just for one. Yeah. One second. For some listeners that may have not yet had a general audit performed on their website over the past few years, you know they probably have a web developer that maintains the website. You know, just make sure that plug ins get updated and there are no major errors, like things are just running. What would be the difference between that? You know, just having someone who’s maintaining your website and then doing an actual audit, what are the kind of things that you would identify on a general audit that don’t come up on the monthly maintenance reports that you get from your web developer?
Ryan: [00:17:46] So the webmaster is responsible for the website being functional, operational, obviously having uptime on the other side, if someone is more adept with, like, different aspects of SEO, they’ll be looking a little bit more at how the websites get crawled. So if Google and other search engines are appropriately on the website and all its pages on an appropriate periodic basis if it’s indexed well, so if your website has a thousand pages and then you do a search like on Google search console, you know, great webmaster tool, but used by SEOs all the time, it’s like, yeah, you do have a thousand pages indexed, making sure that there aren’t missing pages, broken pages, you know, you’re coming 404 errors. So some of those things can overlap like a webmaster. They wouldn’t be doing the best job if they allowed you to have broken pages but at the same time an SEO is going to have possibly tools and be doing more work to kind of identify and expose these things on a regular basis.
Liel: [00:18:50] Perfect. Thank you so much. Excellent. So now that you’ve determined basically what are the kind of insights that you would get out of an audit, let’s go back to analyse when should you just prioritise a particular type of content and optimize that one?
Ryan: [00:19:06] Yeah, so I can probably think about that in steps. So we’re talking about the first steps, what’s worth actually looking into. So, you know, you do the first run, maybe you have a sitemap like these pages are outdated completely. And then it’s maybe another webmaster SEO just eliminated pages because they’re probably essentially worthless if you want to remove them. So and then at that point, I think that it’s kind of taking a look at the pages that you do have. And it’s like what we wrote about these these practice areas, you know, we wanted to get cases for this. Like I wrote this page for a reason. It would have been great for the law firm if we actually generating some qualified traffic from this and we really haven’t. So kind of like grouping together a bunch of pages that the law firm put effort into creating and maybe looking on analytics, Google Analytics, maybe using like a keyword tool to kind of see where it’s at. So it’s like we created these pages, we spent time on them and nothing’s happening. So we’re using a tool, whether it be analytics, to see if it gets traffic and it’s just not converting or if it’s not getting any traffic, maybe using a tool. We use search book now it’s keyword dotcom, whatever keyword tool you like using and just identifying where it’s at. You could use that or Google search console and then you start to get an idea of, OK, the reason that this doesn’t get any traffic and I haven’t gotten leads from this is because. It’s just not anywhere to be seen. It’s just like on the fifth page, that’s where it’s always been. So that’s when you start to get an idea of, you know, your pages. I don’t want that’s fine. Let’s remove them. But you’re the ones I did want to get leads from. I do want traffic here. And one of the reasons is held back and then you can start to kind of come up with an optimization plan.
Liel: [00:20:57] So I’m hearing here a lot of things. One of them is that having more pages on your website doesn’t necessarily mean having a better website. Right?
Ryan: [00:21:06] Absolutely.
Liel: [00:21:07] If they’re not bringing in traffic, then there might as well not exist. Or as you’ve said, if you didn’t, those are critical pages, whether they’re practice areas, whether they’re of particular areas of interest to you that you would hope or you want people to see because, you know, they have the potential of getting you business, then those are two pages that you want to optimize, right, and improve so that they can actually start generating traffic. Now, before we move out of this topic, one of the things that I’ve seen a lot in law firm websites is duplicate content. Right. And it’s surprising. But most of times when we bring this to the attention of law firms, they’re kind of like, I didn’t know, you know, I didn’t have no idea that there is such a thing as duplicate content, common content, unique content. And for those who are listening to this podcast and are hearing these terms for the first time. Can you explain a little bit duplicate content? Why is it a bad thing? What do you do when you have this kind of situation?
Ryan: [00:22:14] Yeah, I think it’s definitely worth mentioning because it happens on every single Web site one way or there’s going to be there like what is right at this moment. Like, no, not me. Yes, you probably probably 99 percent chance. And it’s not the whole website by any means, but definitely it just happens with several pages. So there’s two times that it happens. Well, that you can think of right now. There’s one where you you know. Proactively did lift content from another website and placed on their website with that being like, oh, that this website wrote it exactly how I would have wrote it. So, like, I’ll just take it. All right. So we’ll talk about why you don’t do that, I guess, after. But that’s one way it happens.
Ryan: [00:22:56] And the second is that you actually are writing a lot of great content and then another lawyer or website thinks the same thing and actually takes it from your website because you have duplicate content comes up the same way, regardless if you took it or someone took it from you. And as far as, like, the implications or, you know, the negative effects of doing it, duplicated content that didn’t originate from your website just has absolutely, absolutely no value. Like Google already knows who the original author is. It’s already been indexed. So once Google, like, sees it again, it’s just like, oh, this is already over there. So this page has no value as far as, like, the negative effects it could if it’s happening rampant on your website. I don’t see how there’s any way it’s not negatively impacting your website if your website is just continuously having duplicate content. As far as what to do in this situation, if you’re doing it yourself, then stop doing it. If you have a habit of kind of rewriting existing content, probably have to get better at writing. It had a degree of uniqueness. And then in other situations, I’m not a lawyer myself and I can advise on this part. But assist and desist seem to be the solution in a lot of situations.
Liel: [00:24:16] Thanks for giving us a little bit here of context and ideas about what duplicate content may represent and why it’s important, right, to have this awareness, I guess, particularly when you’re actually hiring someone to do content writing for you or your just commissioned a new website and it has been handed to you or you’re at the stage of reviewing the content that’s been written for the website. There are tools that can help you identify whether this content is unique or not. Right. So that’s a good and important exercise that can be done. And I guess it’s fair to say here that all the three of us here encourage it. Now, Ryan, let’s move on into another question that it’s also within this same kind of like idea and notion of optimizing content. How about updates, which is a little bit different. Updates is because maybe the article is a year old, but there has been some new developments, new laws, new information that it’s relevant and you want to put out there. Can you differentiate between you’re doing an actual optimization or when you’re actually just adding up an update to an existing piece of content?
Ryan: [00:25:28] Sure. A lot of times with the updates, it could be, you know, it’s a piece of legislation or like a law that’s like really like evolving. And it’s like it has like a lot of things that are going on. It’s been debated. You know, updates would be great. I think that updates are even like almost a form of optimization because you’re kind of indirectly adding more content, adding more keywords and kind of just like solidify find what you’re talking about. So it’s almost like a form of optimization, kind of passively. And it’s not too common that I find myself in the situation where we’re constantly updating content unless it’s really more from an optimization standpoint. So I think that’s one thing that we almost I don’t want to say avoid. But it’s not something we’re going to dive headfirst into is like something that’s, you want to do something that’s trending, which is great. And it’s and it’s like a situation where it can be updated, but not to the point where if you don’t update it, you’re legally inaccurate with what you’re kind of putting out there. So if there’s like a balance there not to kind of set yourself in a situation, you’re exposed to actually providing inaccurate information if that makes sense.
Liel: [00:26:44] Yeah, it does. And with that, Ryan, I guess I want to talk about, because a lot of what we’re focusing right here is written content, right, basically your articles, your blog post, your practice area pages, your about us and all that good stuff. Now, how does video add value to a content strategy on a website?
Ryan: [00:27:06] Yeah, I mean, I think video is great from an engagement standpoint. It’s outstanding. So if you have a great page situation that will typically present to a lawyer and I don’t want to, I have too many thoughts going on at once because now I’m thinking about how do you get a lawyer to even set aside the time to do the video? We all deal with that situation. But if they do, it’s definitely one of those situations where you have a great page of content. It’s gaining a lot of traffic and maybe engagement is like a little bit on the lower end. Video is fantastic for engagement. I think that people love having different media for absorbing information and some people or final text, some people hate it and they click right to the video and I love videos as much as the law fir’ms able to dedicate the time to providing them. So it’s it’s great for repurposing. That’s great for just being indexed in YouTube. It’s just a great useful form of content that can be used a lot of different ways and has a lot of different benefits. But it is contingent typically on the time of a lawyer being able to do it.
Liel: [00:28:13] Ok, so we’ve defined that having video on your website is a great asset. Right? And of course, you say that potentially the first challenge that needs to be overcome is creating the time and the effort and put the effort into creating the actual video content. So let’s suppose that that’s already in place. What are some best practices about integrating video to your website? What are some of the things that people should one hundred percent be keeping in mind and saying it’s not just about throwing in the video in there. You know, should you host it on your own website? Should you link to it from a different source? Let’s talk a little bit about that.
Ryan: [00:28:53] That’s interesting to say that I literally just had a conversation with a lawyer during the discovery call just an hour ago, about one of the biggest cons that he found with embedding that YouTube video and why the possibility of people really, truly trying to consider hosting it themselves and maybe not just embedding players.
Liel: [00:29:12] Let me guess, what was it that you will then suggest videos from other sources?
Ryan: [00:29:18] You have got it. That is exactly that. He was terrified of lawyers auto playing. A completely irrelevant competition. And then, you know, the average visiting website probably doesn’t look at it like, you know, it’s just a YouTube embed. They’re just like, why is this guy playing these weird videos all of a sudden? And that is going to turn the tide, in my opinion, away from potentially using third party embeds.
Liel: [00:29:44] So to use them or not?
Ryan: [00:29:45] I don’t know. I don’t think so anymore. The verdict still out for me. I mean, this is so new to me.
Grace: [00:29:52] You know, I have something to say about that. I actually and I think they took away this feature. However, YouTube used to let you if you knew the custom code for it and loop playback and not allow anything else to show up. So I have had a way around it and I haven’t updated the code since, but it would loop back and not play anybody else’s video except for what’s inside of my channel. So there’s a channel parameter that you can create in the script, just so you guys know.
Ryan: [00:30:28] If that’s the case, I’m on board. But if people aren’t going to use any of those features, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
Grace: [00:30:35] Do it on your own. Right, because I completely agree with you that that could be I mean, all of a sudden you have not just competition, but what about something completely off brand? I mean, realle bad.O.
Ryan: [00:30:47] Or it’s something just it’s technically opinionated or political. Who knows.
Grace: [00:30:52] Yeah, yeah.
Liel: [00:30:53] But, Ryan, so let’s suppose that someone is here on the fence, right. Says, you know, OK, so they may see some other content that may not necessarily be mine, but are there any specific SEO advantages to having the web, the video link from YouTube and not another source or hosted natively on the website?
Ryan: [00:31:16] I think that they since it’s an embed and it’s technically pulling in something that isn’t a part of the website, I can’t technically imagine that there’s an SEO benefit because it’s just not technically a part of your website. And if you were to find an arrangement where you did host a video, I think that you have a little bit more control over how you can kind of optimize some of the aspects of that kind of asset. Like, for one example, there is a site map that’s dedicated to videos. So if you were to do the site that to get too technical with all this, but it’s just easy for, you know, search engines to know what assets you have on their website. So it’s very common to have a site map just for pages and website and the site map just for posts. But a lot of people that I believe that are doing high level SEO, oftentimes do have a site map specifically for their videos. And I would imagine that there’s a reason for that. And I believe that Google search console also acknowledges specifically video site maps for submission.
Liel: [00:32:21] Great. Excellent. So let’s now, not to confuse too much listeners who do have videos on YouTube or not, right, it depends. There is no certain rule here that’s going to say, you know, you’re losing visitors because of your YouTube embedded video or because you’re actually hosting it natively. Right. So there’s not necessarily a direct impact to doing it either way.
Ryan: [00:32:46] The biggest thing I could think of is really low time. So sometimes with third party scripts, if it drags down the load time and it takes longer for a website to load because of these scripts, that could lead to not only a poor visitor experience, but potentially SEO. So if it came down to maybe load time, that would be something to consider.
Liel: [00:33:07] Before we move out of videos, let’s just talk a little bit about then, OK? You’ve decided that you don’t want to embed your videos from YouTube or Vimeo or you are doing Vimeo and not YouTube because of the same reason of what Grace said, because you can actually control more of the user experience and what they see, what they don’t see, which, by the way, I don’t we didn’t mention it, but you can actually do that with a paid membership to Vimeo. Right? All of those things just control, add call to actions to your video if you want as well. Define what happens at the end of the video and those things. Now is there value disregarding that to actually post your videos on YouTube and actually have links on the YouTube video information going back to your website?
Ryan: [00:33:52] Yeah, I always advise something like that. If you’re going to be spending the time on YouTube, you’d still want to do whatever options that they have for optimization on YouTube. I believe that YouTube would be so considered the second most used search engine in the world, if not the world, that would be the country. I’m not going to say that I know any law firms that get a ton of leads from those kinds of searches. I’m not sure if people are technically always searching for their questions on YouTube, but there’s plenty of opportunities to optimize for, you know, the title description tags are very easy and it gets a lot of use and it’s and it’s great for branding. And as far as linking back, sure. I mean, you can hyperlink to whatever you want. You can send them back to the dedicated page, a contact page, really anywhere that you want. And I’m not going to say that you can carry a whole backlinking strategy from a YouTube channel or anything. But, you know, referring domain is a referring domain and there’s nothing but I don’t see whether it be anything but just a positive impact.
Liel: [00:34:54] Good. I appreciate that. And I agree with you. I think video is a very, very powerful way of messaging. Right. And it’s not uncommon now for people to prefer watching a video, then reading over a thousand or a thousand five hundred words in an article. So I definitely think that’s great. I guess. Last question on that. What what do you think about creating a transcript of the video and actually having it there on the page as the article itself?
Ryan: [00:35:24] Yeah, all about it, absolutely, yeah. We do transcripts. It’s easy. Yeah. I mean, there’s a lot of platforms out there that make it. So you’re not going on to like the Facebook marketplace for a group and being like, can someone like listen to this audio and transcribe it? There’s so many platforms out there and it’s not very expensive. There are a lot of options so why not to?
Liel: [00:35:47] And I think because we’ve talked about content marketing before and we’ve set that right, just be efficient. Script out your video record it, put it on your video, on your website and whichever way you prefer, and to want to use more suitable for the setup that you have and then transcribe it. And there you go. You have your article and you have your video. And it was all done, you know.
Grace: [00:36:10] So, a small note. Zoom Pro has an automatic transcription feature built-in.
Ryan: [00:36:17] Is it accurate?
Grace: [00:36:19] It’s accurate if you are a person that can enunciate.
Ryan: [00:36:24] What if you mumble like I normally do?
Grace: [00:36:28] I wouldn’t call you a mumbler, but yes, you cannot mumble on Zoom Pro and you have to enunciate and be pretty clear. You know, have no background noise and obvious things of that nature. But yeah, it’s a pretty decent transcriber.
Liel: [00:36:41] Yeah, there is a lot of tools out there and you can actually also pay for this to be done actually by a person. I think it cost about a dollar a minute and you know what I mean. It’s a great investment if it’s going to save you time and it’s going to give you a good powerful piece of content to just hop on your website.
Ryan: [00:37:01] Yeah, I just I was just thinking now, I mean, can you strip your audio and then, like, run it through something that speeds it up like one point five times and then give it to them and be like that.
Grace: [00:37:15] But yes, you could probably do that because it does allow you to speed up the video and then have the transcript on.
Liel: [00:37:23] Yeah, that’s maybe. Yeah. You’re clever, right?
Grace: [00:37:29] That is a clever way to get around it. I like. But I got to say.
Ryan: [00:37:33] I’ll get banned from them.
Grace: [00:37:34] Yeah, that’s true.
Liel: [00:37:36] You just need to account then for the additional half an hour or an hour that you’re going to have to put into it, fixing out the mistakes, that either the person or the machine did in your transcript.
Grace: [00:37:50] Good point.
Liel: [00:37:50] So I think, Grace, what do you think?
Grace: [00:37:54] Yeah, so that brings us to the end of our very lovely session here. And as you know, Ryan, from the last time we ask you for three takeaways from this session, what do you feel are three things, three actionable items that our listeners can take from this conversation, and either take care of and do right now or implement potentially?
Ryan: [00:38:15] Sure. So the first thing I can think of is, you know, we’re talking a lot about how do we come up with better topics. So to find out what people are actually asking, I really like using a couple of tools. Answer the public is still a great tool for kind of aggregating the ways that people ask questions, and that’ll kind of inspire some people to look at how they can approach content a little bit differently. So it’s like the suggested search from Google, you know, start typing in something that starts to autofill it, some related searches.
Ryan: [00:38:46] It’ll kind of give you an idea of, OK, this is what people are asking for. I really still like Avvo as well, just for how they kind of source together a lot of questions. So you’ll go through and you’ll pretty much see a lot of things that people are obviously actually, you know, they’re asking and then probably like, oh, I never really thought about that. You can either write it as is or it can maybe inspire some other ideas. So kind of just other places to go out to get an idea of what people are actually asking. As far as optimization of content, there’s like SEOs have a million takes on different ways. You should do it. I tend to think if there’s one thing to be observant of with optimizing content or underperforming content, it’s a lot of times has to do with word count. People were used to writing blogs that were two hundred and fifty words, three hundred words and pages that were very similar.
Ryan: [00:39:41] If there’s any way that you want to begin to troubleshoot underperforming content, it’s typically going to be the first thing you look at is how much content is actually even there. And that’s a great way to refresh it too.
Ryan: [00:39:54] And then, you know…
Liel: [00:39:55] And what would be the target word count that people should be aiming for?
Ryan: [00:39:59] Yeah, I think that there’s probably too I mean, the average blog is typically nowadays a lot of people writing between like 750 words and a thousand words. And a lot of people hear that and be like, well, people’s attention spans are terrible. You know, how are they going to read the whole thing? Well, like, honestly, if it’s engaging and it’s like quality content, that’s not necessarily true.
Ryan: [00:40:23] You know, they will go through the whole content. So pages might be, as, you know, a thousand words as well. And it just depends on the market, too, and how much you’re being considerate of SEO in some markets. I’ve seen people do pages that are ten thousand words just because, like, that’s what the bar is set at just for being competitive. So, you know, that’s always going to be in mind as well. So it’s always going to have some sort of minimum in most situations. But sometimes you have to look at what’s relative to your competition or what kind of word count they’re putting in. And then really the last thing is I find Google search console to be like one of my best friends with really evaluating what my content is doing. Because if you go in there and you look under performance and you start looking at your pages, like on a specific page level, you’ll see all the keywords specifically that your content is getting impressions for, and you’ll see relatively how close you are to ranking where you want to be. And it’ll be just so helpful and seeing what keywords you can add and what additional questions you might even be able to include on that particular page. So it’s been a game changer for us to looking at that.
Liel: [00:41:38] Yeah, it’s basically the only way that you have access to some what some search terms, right? There’s not many ways that you can actually see what search queries users are using. First of all, to get your rank specifically. We’re not talking about keywords, right. Because keywords, there are ways to track that. But the specific search query, like the entire phrase that they search for, that’s the way to actually get some sort of feedback from Google as to, hey, you see, this is what people are searching. And here are the pages that you are actually showing up and the ones that are getting visited. So not to confuse people with analytics, because analytics doesn’t give you that information or you will be able to see there all of the pages that had visited the source, how much time they were there. Right. Your bounce rate, location, demo’s information, but not actual search terms. And so search terms are now one of the most valuable pieces of information that you can get. And the access to them is kind of getting narrowed to the point that who knows how much longer are we going to be able to track this kind of information.
Ryan: [00:42:51] That would be a real sad day if Google search console went into not provided.
Liel: [00:42:57] Well, but there’s you know, but what we’re seeing on the trend here is like Google ads, right? The the amount of search queries that are being actually searched specifically has been reduced already. Right. To the point that only reoccurring search queries are the ones that are being shown on the dashboard. So, you know, who knows? And that’s one of the frustrations that a lot of people have with their CRMs and such, is that they can track the organic visits, but they cannot not know what was the actual search term of the person. And I tell this to a lot of people as well. I mean, if you’re I mean, one of the most valuable things of running Google Ads is you actually get to see search queries. You actually get to understand. And like that data, it’s worth money. Right. Disregarding of the leads that you are actually going to generate from that. It’s going to help you. So much for your SEO strategy.
Ryan: [00:43:46] I completely agree. It’s actually a part of our protocol where if we start working with some of the organic capacity and they have a pay per click company, the first thing we ask is do you mind exporting your search queries? Because that is the data that you’ve essentially paid for and that is going to fast track the keyword research that we have to do by months. Maybe who knows how long that valuable.
Liel: [00:44:09] Totally. Very valuable information. Ryan, thank you so much for creating the time for having a conversation again with Grace and me and sharing so much valuable insights about how to optimize and create content that actually serves a purpose on your website.
Ryan: [00:44:28] Appreciate it. It was really fun, as always.
Liel: [00:44:30] And we hope to have you again sometime soon.
Ryan: [00:44:32] Excellent.
Liel: [00:44:33] Stay safe.
Ryan: [00:44:34] Will do.
Liel: [00:44:41] Grace, what a great conversation. And honestly, like talking to Ryan, it’s so easy, right? We start talking about content marketing and then we could easily end up the conversation, talking about other SEO aspects or even pay per click or who knows.
Liel: [00:44:55] Right. It’s always a treat to have him join us for a conversation. So Grace. But let’s focus on what we’ve just discussed. Right. And that’s content marketing. And the reality is that it’s complex. And there are so many things that, you know, I wouldn’t be surprised that by the end of this conversation, some of our listeners may be thinking, OK, so where do I start? What really the three things that I should take away out of these so round for already shared some really good ones. But let’s let’s take it home with our own Grace. What do you say?
Grace: [00:45:26] Yes, definitely. So I think for me, the first thing that I took away from the whole thing, and it’s partially was one of Ryan’s, as a matter of fact, and that is use Google search console, use it at your fingertips. You know what I mean? Right. Because as you very well put, it’s the only, one of the only places that you can see the full search queries that got them to your page.
Liel: [00:45:49] Grace, we’ve had in this podcast so many SEO experts. Right. And every single one of them agrees on the value that search console has. And it’s free. It’s available to you and you should definitely be using it. So I totally agree with you.
Liel: [00:46:09] Go and make sure that you have your search console set up. So that’s our take away number one Grace. Now, what about take away number two.
Grace: [00:46:20] So for me, I think takeaway number two would fall in the audit your website. Take a look at what you currently have, what you need to get to just do an audit, check it out.
Liel: [00:46:32] Yeah, absolutely. And so tying back to search console, now you have data, now you have information. Now you can see which page is good, which visitors watch, keywords are actually getting them to you and then, you know, compliment with your information from analytics. Right. There’s a lot of available data to you from the get go. And you don’t necessarily have to pay for special software to track and monitor for you if you can. Also, if you have somebody already doing it for you, just make sure that you’re actually acknowledging this information and using it so you can improve your website as a whole. One more. Grace, what would you say?
Grace: [00:47:13] And exactly like you said, improve your website as a whole. I think that maybe that should take a take away. Number three, don’t look at things in silos. You need to look at the whole big picture. And I think you and I have said this so many times. Right? Like, don’t look at anything individually unless it’s of benefit. But even then, it needs to be a part of the full strategy. And that includes content marketing. That includes looking at the pages that you need to revamp. That’s everything. You know, look at it as a whole, not all alone as content marketing doesn’t live by itself.
Liel: [00:47:45] Yeah, I think one of the things that Ryan also mentioned is that more is not more necessarily when it comes to a website. You want to make sure that if you have pages, they’re actually getting visits. If your pages are being visited where our users are actually using them as a gateway to initiate a conversation with you, are they completing calls to actions there? And so if that’s happening, great. Then if you have pages that you want and you hope for them to actually drive results, then optimize them so that they can actually fulfill their purpose, otherwise kill them. Right?
Grace: [00:48:23] Right. And there’s so much uninspiring content, as Ryan put, right?
Liel: [00:48:30] Yeah, and of course, content marketing, like actually getting down the task of writing content. It’s a conversation of its own, one that we’ve had here before. But we can always revisit Grace. But you know what? We’ll leave that for another time. Another episode, another conversation. Who knows? Maybe next week. We’ll see.
Grace: [00:48:47] That’s right.
Liel: [00:48:48] All right, Grace, thank you very much. Have a great rest of your week.
Grace: [00:48:51] You too Liel, thank you.
Liel: [00:48:54] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at email@example.com. We’ll see you next week.
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