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Escaping the Terrible Cycle of Web Traffic and Rankings

In our last blog post, we summarized three important reader metrics that search engines monitor and use to determine if your law firm’s webpage is relevant and important to a search query. One of the most important of these reader metrics is simply the number of viewers who flock to your post: Search engines see high web traffic as a strong indication that your post is worth promoting in the search engine results page (SERP).

Internet savvy lawyers might notice the devilish circle that results: Web traffic begets high rankings, and high rankings beget web traffic… Which then leads to high rankings, which then…

If your site is ranking well, this phenomenon works in your favor—the traffic created by your place at the top of the SERP will help to solidify its position there.

If your site is not at or near the top, though, escaping this loop without altering the content on your website can take a bit of creativity in utilizing other pieces of a search engine’s algorithm, or finding new avenues for attracting traffic to your site.

Escaping the circle of web traffic and rankings in SEO

Score Some Backlinks for Targeted Pages

While your page’s web traffic is an important piece of a search engine’s algorithmic puzzle, it is far from the only one. Backlinks to your page—links to your page from places on the internet that are not your own domain—are also considered by search engines to be very strong signals of the page’s value.

Scoring some new backlinks from other websites can improve your page’s performance—and therefore its rank—without adding any new web traffic, escaping the circular system that’s keeping you off the top of the SERP.

Build Traffic on Social Media, Instead

Search engines monitor how many people visit a particular page, and use that information to determine where that page should go in the SERP. More visitors? Must be a good page that should get promoted and plugged in towards the top. Fewer visitors? Not as good of a page, so it goes further down.

Overcoming a low ranking and still attracting lots of visitors is difficult, but can be done. You just need to reconsider where you’re getting those visitors from.

This is where a healthy social media presence can be a life-saver. By plugging targeted pages on your firm’s social media channels and engaging with other users on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or other outlets, you can bring in more viewers than your low rankings would otherwise allow.

Metrics, Prep-Work, and Targeting Your Assets

Of course, these are all methods of execution. Preparation is just as essential, or else your efforts will be minimized or be proven irrelevant.

A good start is often finding highly-competitive queries where your website’s leading asset in the rankings is performing relatively poorly—somewhere in the range of 5th to 15th. Then check the competition above your page. If the content is comparable or even worse than what you have on your site, then your page could very well be held back by the “traffic, rankings, traffic” loop. Your page’s metrics can provide a hint: If it’s attracting lots of visitors, already, then it might be something else, like a penalty or other problem. If it isn’t bringing in lots of traffic, then it could be a prime candidate for some extra help to break the web traffic loop and improve in the rankings.

Targeting your site’s assets like this is essential because choosing the wrong page to promote will end up wasting your time—time that could be better spent elsewhere.