96. Brian Dean, Backlinko Becoming a Linkable Source

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When Brian Dean was searching for SEO advice back in 2012, he found a lot of generic to-do lists, with no real direction about how to execute. Deciding that a change was needed, he created a platform to provide others with the information he wished had been available to him. Nine years later, Backlinko is providing next level SEO training and link building strategies to some of the biggest companies in the world.On top of that, Brians latest venture, Exploding Topics, allows marketers to add yet another string to their bow by providing insights into upcoming trending topics.

In this episode, Brian and I cover a ton of ground, discussing everything from the role of SEO in an ever changing digital market, down to the minutiae of keeping your articles updated.

Whats In This Episode?

  • Who is Brian Dean?
  • Is the importance of long form content changing?
  • To what extent can podcast show notes and transcripts improve your blog ranking?
  • Why is data particularly effective for generating links?
  • How important is SEO compared to other digital marketing channels?
  • Why should attorneys incorporate trending topics into their legal blogs?

Transcript

Alex Valencia

There’s always opportunity with a company that’s already got tons of content to go in and revamp it. Add images, add video, change some of the headings.

Chris Dreyer

If you’re looking to revitalize your content marketing strategy, you don’t necessarily need to start back at square one.

Alex Valencia

Google’s already index’ed that content. There’s no point in you having to start from scratch when you already have a page that Google ranked. Maybe it’s no longer on page one, but Google already liked it. The user already liked it. So what do I have to do to go in there and change that page?

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind, the show where elite personal injury attorneys and leading edge marketers give you exclusive access to grow strategies for your firm. When it comes to content marketing, it’s crucial that you have a plan, but knowing what that plan should be is easier said than done. Luckily, Alex Valencia is here to guide you through all the key areas. His Inc 5,000 company We Do Web has been tailoring specialized strategies for law firms and small businesses for over 12 years. Alex and I sat down to discuss all things content, from updating and enhancing previous pages to spotting the gaps and opportunities available to you. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of rankings.io. We help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first page rankings with search engine optimization. An important first step for any lawyer is to really understand the people around them, so let’s get to know our guest. Here’s Alex Valencia, co-founder and president of We Do Web.

Alex Valencia

I was an industry leader in a totally different industry. I was in the banking industry. I quit college to just go make money. Made it really big into the banking industry, so much where I was an executive at Citibank. And shortly before that, I was with a company out of the Netherlands called ABN AMRO. And then the market crashed, late 2007, 2008. Fortunately for me, I had some amazing bosses that fought really hard for an awesome package once we got let go, where I think they continued paying my salary and all my commissions for a year, so I was in a good spot. I had two little babies at home, so I was like, you know what, I’ve been working my butt off. Let me just spend some time at home and be with them. And, even to go back further, the way we started We Do Web Content is we had a lawyer friend that we traveled the country with teaching people how to use the internet way back in 1999. So my wife and I met this man named Ken Liban and we, we hit it off. We did some video commercials with him in both English and Spanish on using the internet safety. So we started on a bus tour and went all around the country, teaching low income schools on how to use the internet. Years later we worked together, hung out. And then he finally started practicing law separate of being an entrepreneur. And he’s like, Hey man, I got to get a website going. What’s Yvette got going on? And I’m like, you know what? She’s at home with me with the kids. She’s not really doing anything. She too got fortunately laid off right after the babies were born. So she was happy. So she could be a stay at home mom, but you know, she’d be happy to help you out part time. And he’s like, yeah, I know she’s six Sigma. So I want to build out a whole cost is for this whole website and content. And so she just started working with Ken and interviewing him, working directly in the law firm, learning everything legal that she had to learn and launch this first site with him and. All of a sudden it’s just starts getting all this crazy traffic, within the first month there was 3000 organic visits coming to the site. By month three, there was 10,000 by I think like a year in, we were 150,000 visits per month. Organically, no specific SEO. No, pay-per-click. Nothing. And they were just getting told so many cases where the company that helped them launch the site actually said how did you guys do this? What did you guys do? Can you duplicate it? I have an attorney in Boston that I’m about to lose. You guys want to try your strategies there. So Yvette did the same thing. Hired a couple of writers, did the same strategy for him in Boston. Then a guy in Virginia Beach, and it just blew up. And then she’s like, I think we’ve got a business here and now they’re inviting us to a conference to speak. You’re not doing anything at home. Why don’t we get going? So we worked out different names. At first it was like, Articles, Blogs and Vlogs. We eventually came up with We Do Web Content and I think honestly we were the pioneers definitely in the legal space when it came to writing content, we were one of the first companies to actually do content in 2008. Cause a lot of people in 2011 is when content is king, the phrase came out. So we were already ahead of the game. But at that time, that’s where saturation of content began.

Chris Dreyer

That’s such a great story. And I love the story about how you did great work and you got the referrals, like that’s the best, that true expert. That technician turned business owner. Ands so you saw a lot of success from the content marketing side, so you just fully embraced it and thank God you didn’t go with that other name that you did go with the We Do Web way.

Alex Valencia

Exactly. Yeah. We asked around to some of our old friends like, what do you think of this name? They’re like, I don’t even know what those are. Like, what is that? So you know, this was a good one. I’m sure my wife who’s much smarter than I am was the one that. Yeah.

Chris Dreyer

So on your wife so six sigmas. I don’t know too much about it other than like Jack Welch and like a lean methodology. Is that like a project management type skillset.

Alex Valencia

She learned it in our old industry. She was trained on it too, to change the efficiencies and processes within both operations and sales. So she knows how to map out and create everything. So you have to go around. Interviewing every single employee interviewing management, interviewing everything and find out exactly what their job is, how long it takes, what the inefficiencies, what is working, what’s not working. And you build a plan to reduce costs, reduce inefficiencies, and just create a plan to do it. So for us, that worked because we’re such a volume-based content creator, that was the bulk and the heart of everything we did was we had a process and we built a. Everything else came after that. So once, once we had an idea of what we needed to do a formula that worked, we had to create a factory setting, not only for training people, but also for producing, managing, and publishing.

Chris Dreyer

That’s great. So you had like that yin and yang type situation. You could be the visionary, the front end, biz dev and you had your wife that could do like the operations and scalability because content is such a volume game. It’s just. It’s just insane. Now, the amount of content you’ve got to produce, and we’re going to talk more about that later. That’s amazing. And that’s how you scale. It’s go so many companies, so they’ll do the opposite, right? They rule by abdication. Does this go hire someone and go, here you go. But now you’ve got these processes, so you can have someone follow the process for consistently.

Alex Valencia

Yeah. And it makes it easier, because we know what works, we know what our partners like. It makes it a lot simpler and we’ll dive in deeper as the questions go further, but so much so that now we’ve built a software to help even evolve and grow more and then get more customized within our clients. Because we’re both in the legal space. So we know. So many different innuendos words that can and cannot be used. So it’s very verbal and everybody’s got their own language that they want spoken and that can and cannot be said by the bar. So that’s all implemented in that software.

Chris Dreyer

So true. So let’s dive in kind of the tactical is SOC content. So let’s go right to the very beginning let’s talk ideation and selecting topics. One of the common issues that law firms have is, what do I write about. There are a lot of people that just, they’re looking at the news, they’re trying to write articles about maybe a car wreck that happened, or I know a lot of personal injury attorneys. They know they need to have a car accident, truck accident page, but what are some of the strategies involved to selecting topics and kind of that that starting point for.

Alex Valencia

So for us, it’s really now learning who the client is, who the client’s content base is. So the demographic, right? So you have so many different types of lawyers. You have that volume based lawyer who loves the quick car accidents, big billboard guy that says send. A thousand of these car accident cases that tend to $20,000 a month. For those, you know exactly who you’re writing to, then you have the lawyer who super-specific, where I’m only going after catastrophic cases or anything over 150,000, it’s a very difficult to do. But you know, if you’re working in partnering directly with the firm and writing a certain way, as far as the different practice areas, you can eliminate some of that. And also how they’re doing their external marketing helps too. It doesn’t, we talked about this before, you don’t just put all your eggs into the SEO content basket. It’s what you’re doing externally, too. That drives it. So depending on how that client or law firm is advertising, how they’re speaking to people on radio, television billboards, or any other internal or network marketing that they’re doing. All really comes in and ties all that together for them to be able to get that perfect client.

Chris Dreyer

Building a site from scratch is always hard, but incorporating old content into new strategy poses even its own challenges. I asked Alex what his method is for helping clients with past SEO and content marketing experience, and how they analyze the wealth of preexisting.

Alex Valencia

So we built a tool as well. And alongside with other partners in the tools that are already out there to do a gap analysis. So when we have someone that already has been generating content, there’s always an upfront opportunity to fix what they have. That’s currently not working for them. Had some people come to us and they’re performing really well, but there’s always some low hanging fruit that you can go after and revamped, redo, go out and see. What their competitors are doing, right? Because it’s such a competitive market that we’re in. Someone might’ve been ranking for three years, four years kicking butt, but all of a sudden you get this young law firm close, a couple of cases. They’re like, Hey, I’m putting all my marketing money back in putting all my profits back into marketing and going after an SEO strategy and get really aggressive. With a newer SEO agency, and they start developing content. Now you’re competing right now. I was third, second position. Now move to five by this brand new law firm that just came in because their SEO strategy was just a little newer. Their content strategy was just a little fresher. So when you’re developing. A hundred pages a month, 50 pages a month. It’s important to always go back and see how the performance of that is. You’re keeping track of the performance as opposed to let me create new content. Let me fix the content that’s already there because Google has already index that content. There’s no point in you having to start from scratch when you already have a page that Google ranked. Maybe it’s no longer on page one, but Google already liked it. The user already liked it. So what do I have to do to go in there and change that page? So there’s always opportunity with a company that’s already got tons of content to go in and revamp it. Add images, add video, change. Some of the headings, the meta-description is huge. Like I’m a big meta-description guy. That’s how I choose. When I look for something, I look at meta descriptions because there’s. W not badly written, but uninformative meta descriptions, right? Why am I going to click on this page? If the meta-description does it almost answered what I want? So it’s important to tell Google and the user, what your pages are out about and your meta-description and you’d be surprised how much that changes the page.

Chris Dreyer

The meta-description is not strong and you don’t entice the consumer to the website. They don’t even have the opportunity to see how good the content. And if it doesn’t have that signal, then it doesn’t matter about the quality of the content. I think you bring up a good point on the content refreshes because so many of our audiences is as focused on new, more and more. But at the end of the day and the legal vertical, when it comes to like volume and impressions and searches, like when you’ve hit some of those core topics, you’re really looking at low hanging fruit when maybe it would be better just to go update and. Make your higher volume opportunities better.

Alex Valencia

Exactly. And what we’ve seen like with researching other SEO companies, even for our own work is, that’s usually what they do in the beginning is they’ve analyzed the site and itemized 20 opportunities in the beginning. Like the first month we’re going to go in and optimize 20 pages that you already have we could make perform. So it’s important to always have a custom look at the client, as opposed to, I think the factory setting, the way we have it is great. And it works. And there’s a formula. If you take the first 30 to 90 days to really fix what’s there, you might have a really good opportunity to rank and get the person moving much quicker than if you were to create brand new content for them.

Chris Dreyer

Moving from kind of topics, ideation, and we touched on some of it, some of these points, but you know, what are the different content areas of law firms should be covering? Should I just focus on the practice area pages? W what types of contents should they be producing?

Alex Valencia

I’m a big believer in your money pages, and those are your practice area pages. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of SEOs and all their strategies pretty much align within the same idea of developing those pages that are specific. Well, I think it’s your primary, secondary and tertiary pages. Your primary is your personal injury page. Secondary, the car accident, Uber all car accident, rear end car accident. I bought right. DUI accident during DUI. So you start secondary and then tertiary, and then also supporting that content with frequently asked questions. And eventually getting into a blogging strategy. Like I’m, we’re getting back into it. When we first started this we would do a package. It was a page and FAQ and a blog post and talk about saturation, but it was easy because the writer. I already had the topic. So they would write a long form page. They would do a good FAQ size page to help support it. And then they would do a blog posts that would hopefully drive traffic to both of those in, in, in a similar topic. But it just was so much content around the same topic that there was a fear of cannibalism. So we stopped that and then went more towards the and I think strategically done today. You could do it, but we would need the right direction.

Chris Dreyer

I think that’s so first of all, HubSpot, one of the biggest CRMs, that’s basically their strategy today. They write those pillar pages and they have the cluster pages, the support pages, people talk about it in different nomenclature, whether it’s Bruce Clay, talking about silos and writing thematically similar content. I think that the real fear is avoiding, is the duplicating topics, the keyword cannibalism situation. And that’s why to why I asked, like, Hey, if you take on a client, that’s already had been working with an SEO agency or been working with a content marketing agency, what do you do to avoid that when they have so many pages of content, and I guess your tool is fantastic for that. They do it manually would be a very tedious process.

Alex Valencia

Right. Yeah. The tool is going to be great because it’s going to pull the site maps of our current clients and their competitors. So it immediately show us a gap analysis that we can use. And it’s going to pull in a headings as well. So we can see whoever’s ranking at the top, who has the best headings that we could use and say, okay, they’re either using the keyword in the front, the back and all those things are, you never know exactly what the answer is. Are they using sales copy, within those headings, that’s helping that push? What’s really Google liking? So it’s a lot of really great information that, that it pulls to, to guide you in the right direction.

Chris Dreyer

That’s excellent. So it makes it more objective and instead of like an opinion based, and another big challenge that I want to hear your opinion on this, because I’m sure you face this, do the volume of content you produce is how do you make content truly unique? If you’re working with 20 PI attorneys, they all want a car accident, lawyer page. So what do you do? I mean, do you do those semantic, phrases, the LSI keywords that are all, what do I do after car accident? How long, like how do you make them unique so that they have the opportunity to rank?

Alex Valencia

Location vernacular of the law firms. So like I said, we go through a conversation with them and we create a client profile. So every client has a client profile that also helps with a specific, for an Achler that they like and the tone. So that helps with that. But again, it’s hard. To really pull out right. What you’ve written one personal injury page you’ve written or read them. All right. So it’s all the same information. We have a certain style format that we’ve always used which is the pyramid that we like using, which was taking from journalism. Style that, what you find from a lot of other non-content focus agencies is they don’t really know how to format a page for the reader. So that helps eliminate a lot of things. But the content is unique for us is because we have teams of writers and then we also have teams of editors and then also software tools to make sure. That none of it’s been duplicated, but I mean, there’s really no way out of it. And you’ve written a car accident page. It’s all the same content. It’s just a different market.

Chris Dreyer

And I guess a follow-up question to that in terms of. Just how SEO’s evolved. And Brian Dean’s done studies, I’ve read studies all over the place about content links and there is some something to that back in the day, there wasn’t all, every subject area wasn’t covered. You could write a 500 word article and you could rank because that topic, or maybe that phrase wasn’t covered, you could hit a long tail. But now like most Google has most topics covered unless it’s like original. So what’s like the balancing act in terms of long form content versus maybe long tail what’s just your general opinion on approaching that, that topic.

Alex Valencia

I would say it’s kinda like when you’re at the and I’m not a gambler, so it’s a table where you put a bet on black and white. So you break even, I think you got to do both, Google doesn’t really say, Hey, we’d rather long form. They really say, if you can answer the question in 500 words, then go for it. You can overwrite as well. If a page is, you could get a page to rank for 500 words and someone has a 3000 word page that’s also ranking, but it really comes down to. What’s the technical aspect of the website. What’s the usability of the website. How many links are coming to it? Where are they coming from? So many variables really tie into it now with SEO, which is why, your job is SEO is so important to make sure you’re backing up a lot of the work that we do. Google doesn’t see anything, but the content, but it’s all the backend work that’s being done to make sure they can actually get to it, technically that the websites, crawlable that it’s fast enough to get crawled. That there’s schema right? There wasn’t schema when we first started. So now you have all these other variables that you can add to pages and sites that on the SEO and the technical end are so important that you can get different pages to rank. I love long tail keywords. But are they always. Your money pages, they can be, but am I going to generate 20 cases a month from it? No, I can. I generate 20 cases a month for my cards accident page, probably a 200. Yeah. But a long tail, like, we had a client not who got a really big case from a parachuting accident, right? You don’t have a lot of people writing about parachutes accidents. So having that page on their site being long-tail afforded that client to be able to not only pay for us for years. Have a nice settlement for their client. And that goes into, really having a little bit of everything, not putting all your eggs in one content basket, but doing different things on your site. And that’s why strategy is so important. Don’t just look at it where I got to build a hundred pages. Of this, unless they’re just foundational. And that goes back to your original question. When you get clients that have tons of content, they might just have foundational pages, but they don’t have supporting or tail pages. So then there’s opportunities there. So that’s, that goes into my argument all the time with these law firms and everybody. Do you even have a strategy, right? Like you, you just have your lawyers blogging, you’re wasting everybody’s time. You could have your lawyers doing something else instead of hiring an agency and actually doing this correctly, like starting a workout plan without a workout plan. Hey, I’m going to try to do it. Like today. I was listening to podcasts and the guy was making fun of the comment that people say, or the quote that people say you do, you boom. I’m like, what have you been doing you all along incorrectly? Like it’s time to pick up a book and figure out a strategy. Like, don’t go. And do you, do what some of the other people are doing or find out how to do things. Yeah.

Chris Dreyer

Hey let’s not reinvent the wheel. Let’s follow them.

Alex Valencia

I’m guilty of it too. Like for years, I’ve been following people and, I just joined a mastermind and stuff like that I should have been doing this years ago. I’m one of those people where it’s like, oh, I’m just gonna keep doing it my way.,

Chris Dreyer

so I’m not going to say it’s throwing paint against the wall and like seeing what sticks but because there is strategy to choose in the topics and the ideation, the keyword research and all that. But I do like the approach, a little bit of volume. Then you can see what takes off and maybe double down in that area. And then you have additional resources that you can use for editorial outreach, no matter what you call it. Edits or outrage, guest blogging, digital PR, whatever you want to call it, but you have those pieces of content that you could link.

Alex Valencia

And that’s true, right? Because people do double down, there’s been cases where we’ve written on a certain topic and the person starts ranking. They’re like, all right, let’s start doing it in another market freight. Let’s double down and hit truck accidents. Heavier let’s hit lung cancer heavy because it starts to work. But all of it comes down to strategy and on your SEL end. W what data are we getting back? What phone calls are we getting from this? So all that’s really great. You gotta have it all working together.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And I think, I think that’s good on the measuring success sides. Like so many attorneys, like, I don’t care, like I just wanna, I want the cases, but when you’re looking at an SEO campaign and you’re trying to measure success, the success of a top of the funnel piece of content might be. To acquire a link or to support that main practice area page. What are the things that you look at when you’re measuring the success of your current?

Alex Valencia

I don’t really look at bounce rate. I know it’s important, but on law firm sites, we don’t look at that because the idea is for them to pick up the phone and call or fill out the contact form. So you’ll see a lot of that happening. Call tracking metrics is a big thing that our partners use phone calls. You can’t go wrong with search console and Google analytics. And have. The pages and certain goals set right. For form or for a phone call or anything that happens within that page is how to track it. Like I love, I think call tracking metrics is my favorite because you can actually see a phone call from a page and that’s super cool. It’s like, all right, this is working right. Didn’t they came in organically. They didn’t go through the home page. It wasn’t a referral. It wasn’t direct. They landed on this page and something within that page, drove them to pick up the phone and call and talk about their case. That’s I think the best measurement that you can get and, I think that’s the biggest treasure is seeing that someone’s advancing and phone calls from content that we’ve created.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. Fantastic. If there’s an attorney listening now that just doesn’t have a content marketing strategy for their firm, w what’s one of the things they should do straight away. And then what’s some things they should avoid at all costs when it comes to content marketing.

Alex Valencia

So I would say check out what your competitors are doing. Go down on the bottom and see what their site map looks. See if he can pull it, open it up, see what pages they currently have. If it’s something you want to take on yourself, then I would start with whatever content they have on their site that you don’t. I would start recreating it in your own words, in your own vernacular. Pay attention to the page, title, page, attention to the meta descriptions. Definitely the first heading and all the following headings. How paragraphs of starting. And started developing a strategy for that. First thing to avoid is blogging. Do not start a blogging strategy unless you’ve built foundational content. It’s like building a house. You’re not going to put up carpet and furniture without putting up the walls or flooring or anything like that, though. Your foundational content is everything. Go into Bruce Clay. I’m a big believer in the silo. You got to create a silo. Think of your website. As a personal injury theme, everything that falls under personal injury that you want to take on should be on that website. And even the things you don’t want to take on, because once you’ve built authority, that site, you can slap a good page on a website and refer that business out. I happens to me all the time, which is why I started two years ago telling all my personal injury attorneys start putting mass tort content on your website. Even if you don’t do mass torts, I’ll figure out a place for you to. And it’s happening, man. I got Roundup. Zantec 3m, now so much so that I partnered with a couple of people to just start building organic mass towards.

Chris Dreyer

And that’s fantastic. And so in mass torts, we’re so heavy right now and they’re competitive. So if you’ve had authority, you can rank early. I think that’s also key too, if you’re like one of those first in, and you’re the original source versus playing catch up later where there’s already 50 Zantac pages and you’re like one of the last people in, so it’s like an early nod to. I get that content in there because Google’s trying to filter out duplicate content. They want to show consumers, original content.

Alex Valencia

Exactly.

Chris Dreyer

We all want to maximize our output. And Alex is even overseeing a campaign that has produced 400,000 words a month, but I wanted to know how much content is too much. And at what point does it become unsustained?

Alex Valencia

So the reason we did 400,000 words with our partner is they were in a totally different space in one, at a start, a new space, and they had none of the content. So for them. How hard can we go? How quick can we move? And how long will it take? And like, our partner was like, well, this is what it’ll take. This is what it’ll cost. And this is how much time so what happens for, with them is you just scale back. Once you get it once the cases, the traffic, the rankings are where you want them to be, then you scale back to maintaining revamping right now. Now. It’s kinda like taking your car for an oil change or, every three months now you’re just checking out, make sure what you have is working. Now blogging is good, continued, frequently asked questions are good, but most of the foundational content has been built. Anything new that’s going on there is maybe they’re starting a new practice area or something, but you can do it. It can be done. It’s not super cheap, but a. It can be done. Most people don’t really go that hard, but you can’t write if you’re super competitive, we know this market, right? I know you guys got egos. You want to be the best. You want to go quick, go hard. Hey, you can do it, but it’s going to take time and obviously an investment, but you can make it work.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And one of the things I like about what you mentioned is like, when it starts to build that authority, it starts to acquire links naturally, which is what every SEO agency loves when the content starts to bring in those links naturally. And one of the things I see different is like so many attorneys, when they’re looking to expand their markets into a different geography, they always lean first into the traditional, like what’s my billboard TV, radio strategy going to be in that market. But a simple thing that they could do is they could create a whole geography siloed for that area. Get some traction there, then go open the office and boom, you have a better opportunity to rank in the map pack and start automatically generating some leads.

Alex Valencia

You had a conversation with my friend and client the other day, a great podcast, by the way, he’s an amazing marketer. Mark Anidjar one of those persons that did the exact same thing. I mean, talk about super smart, amazing marketer, the guy, I don’t know anyone that reinvest that money. Back into their business like he does. And that was one of our strategy. It wasn’t even our strategy was we built such a good friendship early on that when he wanted to just go after certain markets, the site had so much authority that he wanted to start going into other areas. So we were like, alright, why don’t we just start building out pages in those markets and see what happens? Some of them perform better. Some of them, they’re still taking longer. Depends on how competitive they are, but it wasn’t just the continent. Like this guy invests in radio. He invests in television. He invests, he doesn’t do billboards, but he goes hard with it. He invests in pay-per-click. So all of it working together, right? Like, you also spoke to Gary’s radio ads are so super specific to driving traffic to the site for those. If a new market goes out, that radio station knows exactly to get started on here, help support this content, help support everything that we did. So it’s working everything together. Like if you want to take over a market and you have the funds for it, like you said, exactly. Pick a geographic area, go after it, see how it works. Put in a small office. I mean, he’s, did he tell you he’s buying a building in a field of now he went so well in some of those markets that he just bought two buildings in two different markets. .

Chris Dreyer

Set the LLC up for the real estate company, rent to the firm. Yeah. I love it. On that strategy, one thing that’s really overlooked and I see. Even tons of SEO agencies do this. And I’m sure you see this too, is you’ll get that Google analytics report and you go to source and you look at organic traffic. You’re like, cool, I’m up 10, 20%, whatever, but they don’t drill down into the cities. And I always find that really interesting because you may have, let’s say a Florida client or a Philly client, and you look at the source traffic and you’ll see, oh, 25% is from this city in California. Or X amount from this other city. And it’s like, well, those can be really good opportunities too. You can use that data to expand, to like, oh, I’m already getting a thousand organic visitors from, X city. Maybe I should go there.

Alex Valencia

And that’s great because I’ve seen it happen quite a bit, like you said, most people don’t go into the CDs and since we’re writing so many city pages for me, it’s important to look at that. And surprisingly enough, there were cities, like you said, that we weren’t devoting that much content to that. We’re generating more organic traffic, which is funny. So we did start investing in those, but I think it had a lot to do with some of the other media that they were doing that was driving it.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And on the other end of that, in terms of the city pages, are you using breadcrumb silent those out? Are you a flat permalink kind of guy or is it, Hey, both work. You just have to have the strategy executed.

Alex Valencia

So it all comes down to really the partner SEL that we’re working with because they do the architecture, but we’re using the breadcrumbs and also the internal linking to it and sidebar for everything. I mean, not much different than what you’re doing with a lot of your work.

Chris Dreyer

Nice. Okay. And then what’s the biggest surprise on the, on, kinda coming to the end for a last few questions on content. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve had in the last few months in regards to content?

Alex Valencia

So we’ve had this conversation personally, I think 2021 was the year of the revamp. And, we had a couple of algorithm updates in July, so it was surprising that, in efforts to get ready for it, and in full transparency, the original content at lower workouts that was already ranking, I’ve seen in some instances, still working better than some of the long form. Which was weird. That was super surprising for me. And this is just looking at about five of my favorite client sites that I look at, but I’m like, Hm, that’s surprising. Like we revamped these pages. They’re performing well, but they were already performing. I wonder if we didn’t do anything to them, if they still would have been affected or not. And it’s hard to tell, right? It’s like, damn.

Chris Dreyer

When you have a page that’s really performing well. And it’s like an old page and maybe it’s. Jeez, should I touch this up or should I just let it roll? You know what I mean? Just let it keep on doing its thing. And it’s a hard.

Alex Valencia

It’s still surprising because you can still, we talk about this, all that 10 X page. And they perform amazing, like. You can still be competing with someone with a shitty ass site. That’s still from 2003 with, a thousand pages. And because they have so much authority, it’s still ranking better. It’s just hard to understand it, but it’s better to be safe when you play it safe and do the best you can for your client. And you can always just go back and redo it. Yeah. But, you don’t, you definitely don’t want to take any drastic drops. Yeah.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And so Alex, I’m really trying to cover the gauntlet in terms of content for our audience. What, is there anything that we didn’t cover in regards to their content marketing strategy that we really need to talk about? Or you think we hit it on the head? Kind of what’s on your mind?

Alex Valencia

I just think there’s so many other forms of content that, that you can be doing. First of all, understand that Google is still only reads texts, right? So if you’re creating video, it’s important that you’re getting it transcribed, but I love video. I think it, it adds to the page so many, I mean, you got to get ready for that next month. My kids don’t even watch TV. They watch YouTube. So they’re not dry. They’re almost they’re driving. So YouTube video for that market and, they’re smart lawyers and people and marketers that have been doing this for years is definitely through video, but don’t ever lose the sight of doing text along with it. I know it’s a double call and you got to do it, but at least do 30 seconds, 45 seconds of your practice area or your FAQ’s and stuff. In video, alongside with your long form content, anything from a thousand words to 3000, 4,000 words. If it allows for it, don’t go out and try to just find words to say, because you want to hit a word count. Don’t worry about that. Just answer the question as best as you can and pay attention to how Google is changing their pages, right? They secretly do things when you do a search now, pay attention to, what, they’re, what they’re picking up. What the questions that they’re asking, like the featured snippets are now, they have that whole nother according where if you’re there, you’re fake. Think about all these questions and jot them down and add those to any strategies. Just always be paying attention to what Google is switching around without you knowing it. I think they’re even doing more organic stuff in. And the three-pack, or is it going to be the two pack soon, right? So they’re testing different things out, so don’t lose sight of texts. It’s going to be important, but definitely implement your other videos, other areas of content that you want to do, make sure you’re writing for other publications externally to show your expertise. LinkedIn is still one of those things that I don’t love being on, but I think it’s a great market. I’ve been researching more. This when you do a search, if it’s a really good article on LinkedIn, LinkedIn is already an authority site, right? It’s ranking. Well, so you can post some really good content on LinkedIn and it’ll rank above your site. So don’t lose sight of using LinkedIn for some of your really good content.

Chris Dreyer

That’s fantastic. And yeah, Google’s always changing things around. I feel like recently they’ve throttled back a lot of the rich snippets where they’re driving users to the website more than they did in the past. They went through that whole phase where it was like, great. I write, wrote this amazing thought leadership piece of content, and now. You’re just going to show a featured snippet and they don’t even get to go to my website, like, come on right now. Fair you’re monopolizing my content. I, yeah. And I can echo what you’re saying on LinkedIn ever since they started indexing posts and the, just the authority. I just wish they would optimize their titles and their permalinks a little bit better, but geez, you can really rank incredibly well there. Yeah, this is fantastic, Alex. I can just really echo. And first of all, content is. You had one from doing 400,000 words of content per month and keeping an editorial calendar for that and making sure you have the silos built out there internally, linking there, you’re not duplicating topics. So I just have to echo and I’ve seen the back end of your software and how it works and how you utilize site maps. And I think it’s just an incredible unique advantage that you have in terms of the legal content marketing strategies versus other content marketing.

Alex Valencia

Thank you. Thank you. Appreciate that. Yeah, and I, I gotta give credit to our partners too. They do a great job with if we’re not developing the strategy, someone else’s WMS strategy. So a lot of work goes into that. It better than anyone, right? It’s tough staying on track with the strategies and growing that, but it’s definitely one of the heart and souls of making things happen is your confidence strategy. You’ve said it before content is the backbone of any marketing strategy. You need it. You got to have it. If you’re going to start anywhere, you at least start with your content.

Chris Dreyer

Completely agree. And Alex has been fantastic. So where can our listeners connect with you online?

Alex Valencia

I’m at, wedoweb.com. We actually haven’t fully externally done our launch, but that’s our new URL or Alex@wedowebcontent.com soon to be wedoweb.com. And you can always try my cell 9 5 4 6 8 0 5 6 5. Happy to consult with you, guide you, help you with your content strategy, your content. We work closely with other SEO agencies. So if you’re working with someone already, we’re happy to jump on a call and work directly with them to make sure we can implement any of our strategies and help you guys out.

Chris Dreyer

Fantastic, Alex. Thanks for coming on.

Alex Valencia

I appreciate you, man. Thanks so much. I appreciate you as a friend and as a colleague and look forward to checking this out.

Chris Dreyer

So many great pointers from Alex in this conversation, and each one reinforces the central fact that having a strategy is key. If you’re constantly researching and analyzing your target audience, your competitors, and your existing content, you can then map out the necessary route from where you are, to where you want to be. I’d like to thank Alex Valencia for sharing a story with us, and I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conference. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you liked this episode, leave us a review. We’d love to hear from our listeners. I’ll catch you on next. Week’s PIMM with another incredible guest and all the strategies you need to take your personal injury practice to the next level.

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