10 Reasons Your On-Page Content Isn't Working

Part Three of Our Series: Coming Up With Content Ideas for Law Firms
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Besides link building, there are other significant factors to a top-notch SEO strategy By Alexander Supertramp; Shutterstock

Last summer, we wrote an article—“Why Websites are Failing to Build Rankings Even Though They’re Actively Link Building”—where we unearthed 10 potential explanations as to why you may not be getting the value you expected from link building. It can be tremendously unsatisfying to devote time, energy, and capital on link building only to produce minimal authority. Throughout our article, you might recognize at least 99% of your mistakes.

Besides link building, there are other significant factors to a top-notch SEO strategy. For instance, you should also be considering the content and on-page optimization you produce. These elements should be prioritized as you apply opposite SEO practices to your site.

In this blog, you’ll discover 10 reasons why your content and on-page efforts aren’t generating the outcomes you desire. In addition to our guide to proper link building techniques, you should have a useful manual that can help you diagnose and improve upon the mediocre organic results you may be seeing.

1. Posting content that doesn’t have search volume

This isn’t complicated, but it’s often ignored. Individuals tend to write content about what they know, which is fine! However, you can run into a roadblock when that content is too general. In other words, if you’re competing with thousands of other similar pages, you’ll have a hard time ranking in the upper tier. On the other hand, your content may be far too specific, which could result in little to no search volume. It’s important that you find that sweet spot. You can do so by using tools like Answer the Public and SEMRush.

Utilizing these resources will allow you to see if your targeted keywords have the appropriate amount of search volume. Likewise, you can discover extra keywords and topics that may earn you additional coverage.

2. Not observing basic on-page optimization

This is self-evident, though it’s difficult to remain consistent with on-page optimization for each page. Certain resources like Yoast and All-in-One SEO provide individuals with the direction needed to effectively optimize a page. However, these tools shouldn’t be a silver bullet for content optimization. You should also factor in keyword density, internal and external links, H-tags, E-A-T standards, and solid meta information.

To learn more about the correct way to approach on-page SEO for your website, I suggest the following podcast

3. Not meeting word count or refreshing existing pages appropriately

It’s not uncommon for a content writer to shoot for a certain word count when writing blogs and pages. However, I have some concerns about this approach. If having a word count restricts your content from reaching its full potential, you’re doing your company a disservice. Instead, produce your blogs and pages until they’ve fulfilled your goal rather than stopping at a stringent word count. In a similar vein, don’t write babbling content in the hopes that you reach the 800-word target.

When I began copywriting at a digital marketing agency nearly 10 years ago, the company constrained content to 350–400 words, which only allowed writers to reach the tip of the iceberg for most topics. It’s difficult to deliver valuable data to readers when limited to such a narrow word count.

Eventually, that number rose to 500, then 600, then ultimately 800 and beyond. This change was necessary because search engines weren’t considering short-form content to be an authority on the topics users were searching. Today, it’s customary to find niche content that’s 1,500 words or more.

I do understand that individuals have shorter attention spans. Still, I think that as long as your content is useful and informs the reader on a certain topic, it’s worthwhile to write lengthier pieces. This doesn’t just apply to new content. You may want to do an annual refresh of older blogs and pages so that they have the appropriate word count, correct data, and functional external links. Doing so will help you stay ahead of the competition.

4. Not fitting new pages into the site architecture/placement in sitemap

Creating a website can be complicated, and it’s not uncommon for pages to wind up on an incorrect part of the website. It’s important to analyze your site so that pages have their own sense of purpose and fit into the architecture of your website through parent pages and internal links. A new service page, for instance, may apply under an existing page, or it may be granular. Your geo-pages may be housed as links in the footer or they may be contained in an “Areas We Serve” dropdown menu. While blogs are often organized automatically on your site, pages can cause a logistical nightmare if not approached correctly. It’s important that you update and organize your pages often.

5. Core Web Vitals starting to have an impact (and other algorithm updates)

We’re now starting to consider the more technical aspects of on-page optimization, beginning with Core Web Vitals. This plays a big role in Google Search Console and Google PageSpeed Insights. There’s plenty of documentation out there about how to reoptimize your website for Core Web Vitals (unfortunately, not too many plugins at the moment), so it’ll likely be a handoff to your webmaster.

It’s important to consider all of the technical issues at play that could be getting you in trouble.

6. Inadvertently cannibalizing your own content

As you continue to add to your site, it’s important that you avoid content cannibalization, a form of self-sabotage that prevents pages on your site from ranking for their keywords. This is fairly common and can pose quite a threat to your overall ranking.

For instance, let’s say you have a page called “Second DUI” and you optimize it for “Second DUI Lawyer.” At another point, you may produce a blog entitled “How is Your Second DUI Different from Your First DUI?” If you fail to remember the optimization of the aforementioned page and enhance both pieces of content with the same keyword, you’re basically informing search engines that both pages apply to that keyword, which could result in neither page ranking at all.

7. Content not passing plagiarism checks

If you decide to delegate your content to an in-house team, freelancer, or agency, you’re always at risk of discovering plagiarized pages. When a writer attempts to take pieces from multiple websites and rewrite them, they sometimes don’t realize how little rewriting they’re actually doing. CopyScape is a useful tool to discover if each piece of content passes the plagiarism check. Likewise, you can discover if other websites are lifting your content without proper attribution.

8. HTTPS and Some Technical Reasons

A top-notch SEO on your team will likely handle HTTPs, canonicalization, and other technical issues. Each individual SEO facet may not have a massive influence on your site, but they can make a big difference when added together. It’s vital, in this case, that you participate in a technical SEO audit every once in a while. Utilizing tools like DeepCrawl allow you to confront some of the more technical aspects of your site. A technical analysis can significantly improve some of the lingering issues that have been affecting your site.

9. Mobile Friendly

In today’s day and age, it’s more important than ever to have a mobile-friendly site, especially considering that the Core Web Vitals update gave some great-looking websites a confounding 3 or 4 out of 100. I’m sure you’ve been beaten over the head with the importance of having a mobile-friendly website and have updated your site as such. The majority of Content Management Systems are now inherently mobile-friendly. Just in case, try running an analysis with Google right now.

You may be surprised by what you discover.

10. Attempting to rank pages for too many keywords

  • Make note of the following suggestions:Write enough content to be an authority, but not too much where you lose your reader before you make your point
  • Write about a specific topic to rank it competitively, but not too specific where there’s no search volume
  • Consider the factors that apply to on-page optimization and E-A-T standards, but don’t let that take away from the creativity you use to write engaging content
  • Write long-form, informative articles, but don’t attempt to optimize it for all of the topics you cover.

If you’re producing a geo-page for Baltimore, you wouldn’t try to optimize that same page for Cincinnati and Pittsburgh as well. The same goes for topics. If there’s enough data about a certain topic already, trying to rank for something else would only detract from what you’ve already written.

Improve Your Content’s Performance

At Market My Market, we specialize in producing high-quality content for our SEO clients. Implementing new blogs or pages on your website will help build authority in your industry, produce material to share on social media, and add pages that Google will index, which will draw in more traffic. Likewise, adding content to your site on a regular basis will also help with link building.

We provide quality, thoroughly researched, and unique content for clients across several industries, including legal. Contact us for a free consultation.

Further reading:

Six Ways Any Law Firm Can Have Endless, Quality Content Topics

Does Each Page of Content Potentially Rank for Hundreds of Keywords?

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