118. Law Firm SEO: How to Dominate Google

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Comprehensive SEO tactics and tested methods are necessary to consistently bring in qualified clients. Each week we bring you insights from marketers, thought leaders, and lawyers to offer insight on explosive growth for personal injury attorneys. Today, I shine a light on the bedrock of growth for every ambitious law firm: SEO.

Hear some of my favorite insights and surprising takeaways on purposeful content, onsite SEO and site architecture, creating an intuitive user experience, and building great links. We also dive into local SEO and what the future of content creation may hold. Get expert advice from marketing powerhouses like Rand Fishkin and Neil Patel. Discover data-driven methods with Maria Monroy and Gabriel Levin. And dig in to the technical side with Steven Willi and more.

What’s in This Episode

  • How does building a preferred brand help your firm rank above the fold?
  • What are the three highest value actions that will help SEO?
  • What types of content have the biggest impact?
  • How can you rethink indexing to optimize onsite SEO?
  • What makes a great backlink?
  • How does Google determine relevance when it comes to local SEO?
  • How will content teams of the future need to be restructured?
  • How important is site speed, really?

Transcript

Brian Dean

SEO still brings in way more traffic than any other source by a mile because those other sources also aren’t necessarily getting more organic reach either.

Chris Dreyer

SEO is one of the strongest assets your firm can invest in.

Brian Dean

If you look at YouTube, there’s more ads, it’s more competitive. It’s harder to get your video seen on Twitter, organic reach is down. It’s more busy. It’s more loud. It’s hard to get your message seen. If you just check off every other possible channel, it comes back to SEO and email, and those are the two channels that just work really well.

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind, where we give you the tools you need to take your personal injury practice to the next level. 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. Today we take a look back at some of our biggest and most accomplished guests in SEO and share with you our favorite insights.

Chris Dreyer

In one of our first episodes, I caught up with Rand Fishkin, founder of Spark Toro, and author of Lost and Founder and expose on what really happens in the startup world and the harsh realities that can come with it. But you may recognize him as the former co-founder of Moz, a multi-million dollar, a year marketing software business, here’s Rand the 80/20 principles for SEO and what actions will have the biggest impact.

Rand Fishkin

I think if you are someone who’s trying to figure out, how do I rank number one for a keyword or a set of keywords in Google today? My sense is that the classic rankings factors of, I get more links with better anchor texts than my competition. And I’m on a higher authority domain, and I am putting out more content and the content as well, optimized with sort of keywords and related phrases, all that kind of stuff, much of it. but you will often find that you can get all of those factors, and still be beaten by someone who does three things that many SEOs who focus on the tactical technical details don’t do. And that is number one, build a brand that people prefer, right? If I see your brand versus five other brands in the search results, Which one do I trust the most? Which one am I most likely to think? Oh, I’ve heard of them. I know them. I like them. I trust them. I’m going to click them even if they’re the fifth result instead of the first one. So I think that’s one of the huge things, right? It sucks that to be a great SEO, you need to be a great brand builder, but that’s the reality we’re living in. Second, I think that solving the searcher’s query in the way that gets the fewest number of people who do visit your page, unsatisfied with their search result in any way is a huge win. And so historically, you can think of a simple example like this, Chris, I’m sure you’ve seen these all the time. Remember five years ago, six years ago, seven years ago. When a lot of times in the search results, you’d see like a landing page that promised you the thing you wanted. If you filled out some information, right? Think of like webinar landing pages or white papers, a white page landing page. And they’re like, great. Especially in B2B, this was common, right? Okay, you want to get this. Unique data or our PDF, download, fit, fill out this stuff. And they tend with a few exceptions. They tend not to rank so well anymore because they don’t immediately instantly answer the searchers issue. And that is a cheat code, like being able to solve the searcher’s problem faster, better, more consistently, more comprehensively than anyone else. Such that no one ever clicks the back button and chooses a different Google result. Huge. Third one. And this is the secret tip. This is my if you want to rank number one in Google, you don’t have to do anything else, but this I’m serious be owned by the alphabet corporation. It doesn’t matter how crappy your results are. If you’re owned by alphabet, Google will rank you. Number one. It’s like the old Wikipedia ranks. Number one for everything. Google ranks, number one in front of everything.

Dreyer

We could talk a long time about just intent in general. I think even the placement of your information on the page is important. If you answer the intent. First I think one of the reasons, and this is just the theory guys where, we’re just talking here that longer content ranks better is because it answers multiple versions of intent. So if the query is shorter, then it could potentially have multiple versions of intent.

Rand Fishkin

I think it’s just correlation that oftentimes long form content or content that answers many questions means that people don’t go back and look for something else because they didn’t get their problems solved. So if you can do that in a short form way, you’ll probably do even better. But the thing is people struggle with that. I also think it’s true that user experience and UI, right? Visual, UI, and UX, they create a trust sort of signal with your users. You land on something that looks like it’s from 1998. Yeah, that looks a little sketchy. I’m going to you click the back button pretty quick here, my friends . It’s got a bunch of ad overlays and like nasty pop-ups and stuff. I’m going to click that back button. Oh, this looks clean. This looks trustworthy. It looks like something I’ve visited before. It has that sense of authority to it. I’m going to trust it. I’m going to stay on it. I’m going to be more likely to share it more likely to link to it, more likely to cite it. All those things.

Chris Dreyer

Nathan Gotch founder of Gotch SEO has helped over 3000 clients, double traffic and rank higher using his tried and true tactics. He shared with us the three highest value activities anyone could do to help their SEO.

Nathan Gotch

Content, UX, and links. If you can get those three things, you’re going to be good. There are a lot of other things, especially, like sub categories of each of those that need to be focused on. But when you look at it very high level, it always starts at content because. If you don’t have good content or you don’t have good pages. And I refer to content as many different things. Like when people hear content, they think of blog posts. When I say content, I’m referring to informational content on the blog, I’m referring to transactional pages, referring to a comparison page. That’s all contents. And even even an image is content to me. So yeah, that’s the foundation of everything. And like when we start a new SEO campaign, that’s my focus. And my team’s focus is 100% on getting that part right first. And once we get that foundation strong, which is, optimizing existing assets, deleting a lot of content redirecting content, which we talked about recently. Going through that process to build that strong foundation is so critical.

Chris Dreyer

Courtroom veteran and lifetime member of the million dollar and multi-million dollar advocates forum Matt Dolman uses SEO as the cornerstone of marketing for his firm dolman Law Group. Matthew explains the importance of high-impact and siloed content.

Matthew Dolman

Look at what everyone else, looking at the top pages that are ranking and how can I do it better? That’s the first thing I look at. There’s so many fluff pieces on the internet, fluff practice pages, fluff blogs. If you really do a diligent job, And do a deep dive into specific practice areas and build out what we call content silos. Your practice page and then have a lot of subtopics under that practice page. So for instance, you have a core acts and practice page. Then you have pages about Uber and Lyft. So rideshare cases and then texting and driving and the dangers of so on and so forth. What is uninsured motorist coverage wasn’t need to have full insurance coverage who was paying for any medical bills after a car accident. If I don’t have health insurance, what do I do? What is the ladder of protection, which is not every state, but as germane to Florida and several others. What is personal injury protection? I These are all subtopics that link back to your practice page. And if you’re willing to put the time into the blogs and make sure they’re, they have to be in depth. I They have to be over a thousand words. To be over 1500 words for the most part. Now we don’t always follow that role, but we do as much as possible. And if you really put the time into the content and instead of just putting out a fluff piece and really work hard and make sure you’re externally linking out to all the really good pages google will start to look at you. They use artificial intelligence and see you that you are a resource page that you have really good information. And then you’ll start to rank. And the content all helps. One another. It’s very, again, symbiotic aid. They keep using that word, but the common word today, Sesame Street’s word of the day is symbiotic. It’s all symbiotic. You start developing natural links, the pages all support. One another. Your practice pages will start to rank, but also your individual blog pages will rank. I We have one blog page of went to hire a car accident, lawyer that ranks right. In the top five for at least a hundred keywords nationally. Car accident or a car accident, attorney action, lawyer acts, attorney mean different permutations of that word. So that can be done through your blogs itself. Plus you blog often. I It’s a freshness factor. That’s also Google looks at websites as to how often, and we go over this every day. This is my life and I’ll expect most lawyers to care this much, but hopefully you will care a lot because this is your marketing. It’s the more often you’re updating your website, the more often it’s going to get crawled by Google, you’re actually training Google to pull your site more often. And that works favorably for so many different reasons. I can’t stress you enough, how often you should be putting content out there and educating the clients and the content piece should not be about you. It should not be about, my qualifications, how long I’ve been practicing law, recent verdicts. I That’s nice to add to your site and that’s great, but how do I help you as a consumer? How do I help answer the questions that you have? How do I help solve the problems? You’re probably worried about. And who’s going to pay my medical bills. What do I walk away with? What does it mean to have a contingency fee contract? How’s that level? The playing field. So I can hire the best lawyers, not to worry about coming out of pocket for that. I mean you to answer these questions and that’s a really good website when you’re answering the consumer’s questions. Before we hired you, we were running a lot of fluff pieces. It’s a lot of crap. I You got also, and another thing Chris’s team worked on is trimming out the fat. We got a lot got rid of when I’m speaking fast, we got rid of a lot of pages that were low-performing. That really weren’t doing much for us.  So there’s a portfolio of key terms and then we go back and how do we make that page much better? So then now we can also, it’s a lot easier to take a page that already works, but now doesn’t work right. Or working, it’s not a lead and make it to a lead page. It’s already working. You already have links, built it out page. It’s clearly getting eyeballs. There’s visitors to it. It has onsite metrics, but it’s not in the top five for a specific search term or portfolio terms. Now improve that page. Add more content to it. Now goes into crawl again, outs the freshness factor. It’s getting updated regularly. You want to take your top pages and update them regularly. If you have a crush on somebody else, you’re going to have them help you with content. That’s important to keep putting out content. I can’t stress that enough, but at the same point, you want to go back to the content that’s already working, where everyone misses. If you’re putting out more content, go back to the ones that already working or shown up anywhere and make them better because it’s hard enough to get them to rank. They’re already ranking you. The proof’s in the pudding. I can show you what I rank for. It’s there at least a hundred pages on my site that have at least a value of $5,000 in ahrefs. And they are ranking for key terms. I have four pages right now that are, that exceed $150,000 in value. I That’s, it’s an, it is incredible. Yeah, it definitely is. And that’s on the SEM Rush. We have four pages exceed a million dollars it’s crazy.

Chris Dreyer

Founder of the Philadelphia firm, the Levin firm, Gabe Levin has over a decade of experience and has obtained millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. He has this to say about onsite SEO:

Gabriel Levin

Onsite SEO is fundamental. you’re not even getting out of the gate if your onsite is not optimized. Then when I say optimize, I’m talking. Your title tags, your medic meta descriptions, all of the backend stuff that the consumer on the page might not actually see, but that you’re feeding the Google to help them consume your content and understand what it is and where it should rank. And that to me is the beginning point. And if you don’t understand a on-site SEO. You need to read about it and you need to figure it out because that, that is, that’s that’s you’re not your car. Isn’t going to start if you don’t have the key. But how well it runs after that is who knows, but you’re not getting out of the garage without the key. And the on-site SEO is something that you just have to audit and you have to know how to audit it. You have to know how to look at the code and see if it’s in there, or if it’s not in there. And And make sure you cross all your T’s and dot all your audience. It has to be done, or your you’re not going to be successful.

Chris Dreyer

With a decade of custom link building under his belt. David Farkas CEO of The Upper Ranks helps businesses attract more customers and become more profitable. He dives deep into what makes a great backlink.

David Farkas

I’d say that there are a number of different factors. When you’re trying to evaluate the quality of a link. Number one is that like the website that’s linking to you? So that website is that a credible website does that website have traffic? That’s something which is pretty basic, you want to make sure that the website has a pulse. And then I’d also look around that website. Does that website have any sort of editorial standards? And of course you want high editorial standards. Or did they just slide what led any sort of content on their site, even low quality. And then of course, relevance is a major factor as well. So that’s the first thing that I’d say is looking at the linking website that’s linking to you. But I feel like these days, Google has gotten more advanced than that, and that’s not enough. And they are looking at other things as well. So besides for the website that’s linking to, what are they linking to on your website? Are they linking to a great piece of content or are they just linking to like your services page or your money page or things of that nature? Because I feel that Google has. come a long way and they’re much more advanced and a lot better at recognizing what sort of content is actually late, worthy and merits having someone linked to it from their site and that’s why, when you think about link building these days, you also really have to take into account like your onsite strategy and how you’re going to provide for your users, meaningful content. So basically what I’m trying to say that it’s not just good enough to just look at it from an external point of view. You also have to look where the links are pointing on your site. So when the site that’s linking to you is linking to a quality piece of content. then those two things like compliment each other and then that link has a lot more effectiveness and. The third thing that I’d probably look at when I’m thinking about what makes a link good is also looking at it from the perspective of the user. So if they’re on the site and they’re linking on that link, that links to your site. are they going to be pleased when they end up on the other end of that link? And on the other side, on your site, are you actually. Again, are you providing something valuable or you just trying to have some sort of sales pitch and you were able to crank in a link and stuff went into this site. So it was more or less the three things that I’d look at the most obvious is the linking website. Then perhaps maybe less obvious, is where are they linking to on your site?And then also, from the user standpoint, you definitely. Don’t want to let them down. You want to come through if you’re, if they trusted you and they’re clicking on the link, you, you don’t want to fail them and send them to someone’s money page where you’re trying to sell them a service.

Chris Dreyer

We did a study recently where. We looked at 113,000 personal injury sites. And we looked at the top director he’s like Fine Law. And what was interesting is it aligns completely with what you’re saying? Fine Law itself has a whole bunch of links to the root domain and to their law pages and pages that have been sourced by the media. But the actual directories themselves, those sales pages don’t have hardly any links at all, but yet they still rank really well. So it aligns with what you’re saying in terms of relevancy. and Google is able to look at that website and they’re able to categorize the site itself and they understand site structure much better, and they own the understand what money pages are and what sort of content you’re creating as a means to provide meaningful and helpful and educational information. So they could take care of that on their own. You have to focus it on having a solid site and then building links to the pieces of content that actually merit having links, as opposed to just trying to shoehorn your links. And get them to pages that really don’t make any sense that someone would really want to link to. So definitely I see that Google is taking sort of the external SEO and the internal SEO, and they’re bridging the gap and They’re trying to see how these two things could connect even in a more essential way and where these two pieces of content are actually talking to each other and complimenting each other, as opposed to, it’s just the one-sided thing. And the external link is just pointing a few, but really it doesn’t add up.

Chris Dreyer

Maria Monroy is an authority when it comes to SEO in the legal space, as co-founder of the legal marketing agency LawRank, she helps lawyers reach the front page of Google. I caught up with Maria to discuss local SEO and the impact of relevance, distance and prominence. Let’s dive into the key factors Google looks at to determine relevance.

Maria Monroy

So if somebody’s searching for a personal injury lawyer, you’re going to need to have content and the keywords on the site to show Google that you are what they’re looking for.

Chris Dreyer

Do you think that law firms should consider, a DBA change in their business, entity name, their legal name to incorporate a keyword? Do you think it’s that important?

Maria Monroy

I do we do when we definitely encourage our clients to do that. I’m going to be honest as well. But there is a right and a wrong way of doing it. And obviously it really depends on the firm. So there are firms that do other practice areas besides PI and we could talk. A whole bunch of issues of that cost is digitally, but we don’t have to do that today. But yes, absolutely getting the DBA, getting the signage, even having some business cards, I think that’s crucial to doing it the right way because otherwise you risk Google suspending the listing.

Chris Dreyer

One of the buzz words, when you talk about local SEO is proximity. How far the person searching Google is from the physical location. In fact, Law Rank conducted a study to figure out how proximity affects your search rankings. I asked Maria about the results of that study and how that affects their approach.

Maria Monroy

So after a one mile radius, which is 6.2, eight miles, the rankings drop off significantly. And there’s not much that we can do about that. There are some exceptions in certain markets and this applies to PI more than any other industry, because it’s so competitive. And there are so many PI firms. But after a one mile radius, it’s really hard to be in the local pack. And this just has to do with the algorithms. Oftentimes we’ve had firms that are like but my office is so far from, the center of the city. It’s not the best location. That’s not where I want my clients to come out of it. But there’s not much we can do after that one mile radius. So if any of you are listening and you’re starting a new law firm, your lease is up, you’re adding a location really think about where you want your clients to come out of. Right? Where does your ideal client live? Because you’re really looking at a one mile radius from your office to be able to rank in the local pack. I’m not saying that just by going and getting an office there, you’re going to rank. But if you have an agency that knows what they’re doing and they can get you into the local pack, that’s extremely lucrative.

Chris Dreyer

Let’s talk about prominence that third piece, what does Google mean by prominence? What does, what impacts prominence?

Maria Monroy

That’s where we come in. I would argue relevance and prominence as well. We come in, right? A lot of what we do, and I’m sure it’s the same for you when it comes to Google. My business and organic as well is proprietary. But obviously when we talk about being prominent, links, media mentions, all that good stuff.

Chris Dreyer

Alex Valencia, and his wife, Yvette founders of We Do Web knopw a thing or two about legal marketing. The duo and their team has spent over 100,000 hours honing their craft- content marketing. Alex shares his insight on the kind of content that will get results.

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. Pages that are specific, right? 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 hit by buck, DUI accident during DUI, right? 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 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 post that would hopefully drive traffic to both of those in, in, in a similar topic.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. And, one of the issues though, that I see you probably run into is you’ll take on a client that is experienced, that has been doing SEO or content marketing What do you do then? Do you look at the site map and try to deconstruct 2000 pages? Are you using, competitive analysis tools, in a situation where someone’s not starting from scratch, where you’re building out that whole editorial calendar, from the foundation what do you do when you take on someone that’s been working with an SEO agency

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. 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. 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, but his 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. And that’s why, SEO is so important because you’re keeping track of that. 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 at 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 so many. Not badly written, but uninformative meta descriptions. Right? Why am I going to click on this page if the meta-description does it almost answer 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.

Chris Dreyer

The next bit of wisdom comes from a man who needs no introduction dubbed one of the top 10 marketers in the country by Forbes. Neil Patel has helped grow already massive companies from Amazon to Zappos. Neil gives us a forward look at the future of content teams.

Neil Patel

I think content teams are gonna have to be restructured. The big reason for that is. Content teams right now almost have them just create new content. Okay. And the crank out content, tons of it. And they go on to the next, what we have is we have a formula that we use for content that works really well. 40% of the time you write basic beginner content. If you think about what’s being searched on Google and stuff, like how to tie a tie. How to install a toilet, how to get more traffic to your website, how to get Google, to index your site, how to get into Google people type in a lot of those types of terms all day long, but that’s the type of content that no one really wants to share on social media, because it’s not that amazing or unique. And no one really wants to link to because it’s already been published a thousand times, if not a million times already. But you need to publish that content to get the search traffic, because that’s what people are searching for 10% of the time, we recommend posting advanced content stuff that makes you seem or not even seen, but makes you shows people, you are experts stuff with stats, stuff with data. So for example, I may publish an article with my new blogging formula. And how I blog and what percent of time I’m spending on each and using stats and data to back it up and show results on what’s happening in different industries and show why the other way doesn’t generate links or back links and traffic and how this way generates better results in a shorter period of time. I’m making it up, but you get the point. And by doing that’s the kind of content that. Generates more backlinks and social shares, but not too many people are typing in, blogging formula, right? Like you’re not going after a keyword word or anything, but it boosts the overall authority of the site. 20% of the time you need to update your old content. And this is the big one. Most people in how they structure their content teams do wrong. If you look at your Google search console traffic, and you compare year over year, so the last 28 days, which is what they default to. Typically last 28 days, I believe or is that YouTube? It’s one of the last 30 days or 28 days over the previous year. And when you do that, what ends up happening is you can see which pages are actually declining and traffic. The ones that are declining and traffic, you need to click on and see what keywords they rank for. Search them. See who’s ranking at the top or above you, or is ranking for those terms. And you need to adjust what you’re creating content on to be better than them. What are they doing that you’re not including? What do they cover that you skimmed the surface on, but didn’t really go in depth on what did it, what are you covering that they’re not, that makes you better? Are you covering anything? That’s outdated. All these will give you ideas on what you need to update with your content. So then that way it’s still fresh and relevant to people because there’s over a billion blogs on the internet with over a billion blogs. That’s roughly one for every seven people. Do we really need more content blogs? No, but people still create them cause it drives traffic. But why would you go and create something that is me too, when you can go and. Or I’m me too, but why would you go and have some that’s outdated and rank when you could bring them something that’s more up-to-date and relevant and then 30% of the time. I would go and market your content. You can’t forget the marketing and content marketing. Are you emailing people you link out to asking for share? Are you emailing people that linked to your competition to ask the link to you? Are you hitting up people on Twitter who share your competitor content, ask them to share your content when you follow that formula, you’re going to do much better than that. So I think content, it teams need to be structured around those percents roughly. It varies. If you’re a brand new website, you’re not going to spend 20% of your time updating old content, but you get the point. That’s what I would do if I was a structuring, a brand new content team.

Chris Dreyer

Brian Dean founder of Backlinko and Exploding Topics has nearly a decade providing SEO training and link building education. He shares with us his information he wishes would have been available to him when he was first starting out. We discuss his unique take on indexing and on-site SEO. We also get into what tactics he would recommend to an attorney looking for ways to encourage others, to link back to their legal blogs and websites.

Brian Dean

Yeah. I have I’ve experienced ice or an agency myself and I had tons of attorney clients and you’re right. It’s tough because no one wants to link to a DUI lawyer website. The content that is usually around those topics are usually pretty uninteresting. What to do. If you get pulled over drunk, drinking and driving, like they’re just not content that people generally link to. So what I’ve seen a lot of people have success with. Is creating data around these topics and having that be the link magnet. And from there you boost your domain authority and your service pages will rank because like you said, Chris, those service pages, you, it would be amazing if you could get people to link to them, but they’re not the same way with an e-commerce site. If you have a product page, it’s those toaster. No, one’s going to link to that page ever. So just forget it. Build your domain authority create pages that people will happily link to they want to link to, and that’ll boost all the pages on your site. So I think in the case of the attorneys, it’s in that whole space, I don’t see it as being done. And it’s a huge untapped opportunity in this space because you got, they have tons of data. They have tons of smart people working in all these firms. And they just, what they usually do is just hire some random freelance writer to write 10 things to know about hiring it yet, DUI, Laura, it’s not going to do anything. You got to create something that people link to. And there’s tons of interesting data around your actual niche, but also just in general. So if you’re a patent attorney, how about writing? I would love to know this. How many patents are getting filed now versus 10 years ago and tracking over time, that’s the type of thing that people will link to happily. Yeah, I’d focus really on data. So instead of being a resource, be a source for other blogs journalists. So they linked to you when they referenced, the number of patents have increased by such and such, or the number of DUIs has decreased by, 83% since the pandemics or whatever. These, this data sitting out there already, it just a matter of collecting it and organizing it in an attractive way

Chris Dreyer

Do you think that, ranking a very good resource page that maybe doesn’t have intent, maybe it’s top of the funnel, middle of the funnel article can then pass authority to your sales pages. You think that is a really effective tactic? Or do you think that they really need just those direct links right. To the sales?

Brian Dean

Oh, no, that’s a super effective Tatic. You definitely don’t need links to the sales pages. Like I’d say in a perfect world, the links to the sales pages are better to be clear if you can get those, get them all day long, but the problem is practically no one will link to them. So you just have to do something else. That’s where I’m coming from. Like I think, and the good news is Google is focusing more on the trust and authority of the site than a page. You’re trending in the right direction. If you’re focused on getting a domain authority, plus whenever you say you just, you launch a new department, you’re gonna, we’re going to start doing M and A’s. For example, whatever. You’re you have this domain authority and that page already has a good chance to rank on day one versus, oh, we only have a bunch of spammy links toward individual sales pages and we don’t have anything to the site. So yeah I’m a big fan of seeing it happen in the, in, in the legal niche, in all their niches. E-commerce also building a domain authority. That the rising tide lifts all boats. It works really well. And that’s actually my focus for even Backlinko like most of the pages that have the most links at Backlinko aren’t guides on how to do something. People do link to those. Occasionally it’s mostly. It’s industry studies. We’ve done it’s that page is like you had mentioned when we pulled data from different places. That’s where we get our links from. And that’s where I’m even tripling down on. Now I’m getting more links using that strategy just because it’s working so well. And people happily linked to that versus creating a guide or a blog post it’s like pulling teeth to get someone to link to that now. So the stat pages and data, it just works so well that, yeah, I would make that the focus, if I was in that position.

Chris Dreyer

And your blog, in some ways is anti to what SEO experts would recommend. you don’t have breadcrumbs, you don’t have these Bruce Clay type sidebars that were just all themed around this, a certain location or category, most of the navigation is internal links. Why do you take this approach to internal linking and navigation? Is it more about controlling Google’s narrative or is it, because SEO is search more like a library where you accessing a phrase versus a show. I just wanted to hear some thoughts on, in general about why you take the approach of more, just contextual versus the traditional menu or sidebars or categories, things like.

Brian Dean

There’s two reasons. The first is just conversions. The more links you have on your site, the more stuff you have going on your conversions go down. Like the best landing pages are just a page. So if you’re an attorney and you want to get more leads, the first thing you should do is look at your landing pages. Just strip out a bunch of crap and have a button that says contact us or contact us form, and you’ll see your conversions double that’s doing anything else. That’s number that’s the main reason actually is that I’ve done plenty of tests and the more widgets and sidebars and stuff. We add the fewer conversions. There are people don’t spend any longer on the site either because they don’t click on that stuff. And I think that, yeah, there’s a place for the sort of like categorizing your content and. But I think it just, Google is getting smarter and they need their hand held a little bit less. Like not to say there’s no, this isn’t a place for that. Now. Like I have hubs on my. On my site that are exactly what we’re describing here, but those are independent because that’s really just for rankings. But I think in general, I don’t think you need that to rank, although if you can swing it great, but it’s mostly for conversions, but also just before I even created the hubs, I’ll add tons of competitive keywords pages ranking for competitive keywords without any of this stuff. And it I think, yeah, it probably helps a little bit, but you can do fine without it. So that’s why I never really went into it. But now that I have. They ranked super well. And I think part of it is they have this interlinking thing. I just haven’t figured out a way to get marry the two to have that working and also have the site convert really well, which is my number one priority.

Chris Dreyer

We close out this recap of incredible insights today with SEO, savant and president here at rankings, my boy, Stephen Willie, he gets into why site speed matters. The importance of site architecture, linking from multiple locations and base slugs.

Steven Willi

Core web vitals was developed via lighthouse and a few years ago to establish we’ve all heard fast site, make sure you got a fast site. Now there was page speed insights, which kind of torque things down a muzzle things. It was a good indication of a fast quote unquote fast site, but didn’t actually tell you what you were doing long term. So we’re core vitals established as a hard or static metric that can Google connection will measure against, oh, the take this takes too long to load X there’s too much JavaScript here, the preload here, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so we actually can see what Google is taking a look at now. Arguably. If I were to look in at Los Angeles right now, a lot of those guys for car accident, lawyer, which is for the keyword car accident lawyer, a lot of those guys don’t have the fastest sites. So there’s ways to overpower that FIA, what we’ll get into later. But I would say core vitals is make sure. You’ve have a make sure you’re not loading junk, slim down your site and make it lasers. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So anything that loads like that in the background that maybe the user isn’t impacted by that even if it’s like a one second load, if it’s not caustic to the user Google’s still going to look at that. And so those metrics that they’re displaying is not, you shouldn’t ignore them hop into your Google search com. They have a page experience. They list all of their core vitals there. That’s what we look at. If something slows down, something gets a little red, something gets a little yellow, we immediately turn it green. So in, and by doing that, there’s all different types of plugins that you can use. If you’ve stripped your website down to the bare minimum and ripped out all the junk, but you can’t get it any faster. There are plugins, Kopech, nitrate. Pegasus is a good one that you can install, do some configuration, and then it pops you up into what Google sees is a fast site. Ancillary building off of that. If your site is actually slow specifically on mobile, those users are dropping. If you’re looking something up and at least I have a bias, right? If I’m looking something up and something’s taken four or five seconds to load I’m out, because that tells me they don’t care. You know what I mean? They don’t, they, that they’re not actively trying to improve. They’re not actively trying to do anything. And if I’m thinking that how much more is Google thinking. And then, so if you have your average user, they’re not waiting that long and they’re stressed out. If they’d been just been in an accident, do they want to wait six seconds for a phone number to load? No, they’re going to the number two spot at that point. In regards to. And that’s core vitals it’s built into a onsite, encompasses a very large aspect of things. We can talk about schema. We can talk about permalink structure. We can talk about equity flow specifically for more links it I think let’s talk about that next. Is internal linking is cause that’s a, yeah, that is a. Yes. And so internal linking is if you’re not familiar with an internal link, it is like a, I look at links as like doors. So if I’m walking down a hallway and I’m reading your article, and this is going to be a weird analogy. If I’m walking down a hallway and I see a door with a name on a car somewhere, I’m going to assume that behind that door, there’s something about car accident lawyers, right? And so this, what is what a link is to me. So the link is a way for Google to walk down that hallway and see these doors that are labeled nice and clean for them. So they can contextually say, oh, you know what, there’s car accident, lawyer content behind here. And they can crawl into that. So what links is, or what internal links is also a way to spread link equity or kind of capture or cultivate, how or sorry, curate how Google will crawl a site. So if I have a blog page and the blog page is in a T-bone accident, right? It’s decent content. And I have a few links on inter incoming links to that particular page. You use this example that links are like pipes as well. And I love that. I love that example. So through that page and I have a T-bone accident, and if I don’t have any internal links on that page, all of that equity from those links, all of the power or the link juice is holed up in that page. There’s nowhere to go. That has header, navs and things like that, but it doesn’t have any contextual links. So within that T-bone accident, I’m now going to put, drop an internal link that says a car. Or Philadelphia car similar or Atlanta car accident, lawyer. And behind that’s a door with a label on it. And yeah, keep going up in there.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And this is a major issue and I, we’re getting in the weeds here, but this is a major issue when you have multiple cities and multiple states. And you try to internally link car accident, lawyer Google’s ranking the wrong page. Say in new Orleans, when it should be ranking maybe a different page, maybe baton Rouge it’s because you don’t have your architecture and internally links sculpted properly. Don’t have those doors go into the correct locations. So New Orleans PI should link any of you talk about cars should link to new Orleans car. It’s, everything should be contextual, relevant, categorized. I don’t want to beat it with we hit, we’re hitting us over the head with a mallet, but this is what influences UX. It helps consumers answers. We got to hit title tags really quick before we move on the links. So a title tag, best practices. Let’s talk about that

Steven Willi

yeah. So tell tech breasts best practices. I would do put your base slug in there, what you want to rank for. So we’ll use Philadelphia car accident, lawyer, and then I’ll let, you’ll see the pipe or Philadelphia car accident attorney, and you’ll see the pipe. And then nine times out of 10, there’s going to be a branded X from Philadelphia car example. Pipe firm name. Don’t do that. You’re going to rank for your name anyway. So what we’ve been doing lately is putting empathy pulls. And what I mean by empathy pulls is Philadelphia. Car accident. Lawyer will get you through this Philadelphia car accident, lawyer. were on your side. Philadelphia car accident lawyer -we’ll take care of you we’ll treat you like family. And so by dating those sympathy bulls, no, you’re not going to rank for keywords. Like we’ll treat you like family. But what that does it w what that impacts is assume you were in the third position, and you’re ranking a Philadelphia car or somewhere, and then you have that title tag of we’ll get you through this. And that’s displaying in. If I’m a car accident, but you have this spit to, to be clear that you have this character amount that you can put within a title tag. Why take it up with your firm name, if your firm name is going to rent board in, and so by using it for your firm name, unless it’s for sure. For sure. And I think, and so by the, by using these empathy pulls, It doesn’t necessarily have an impact on organic rankings per se. But what it does do is if I’m super stressed out, I was just in a car accident or one of my family was just in a car accident and I see blank car accident, lawyer, firm name blank, car scent, lawyer firm name. Blank car accident, lawyer. We’ll treat you like family. We’ll get you through this. What am I clicking on? I’m clicking on that third result. If I can see it, what that does is it impacts CTR. It’s called the click-through rate. It is the amount of impressions. Compared to the amount of clicks. So if you’re getting a thousand impressions or I’m viewing your listing or your result within Google, a thousand times, it is the ratio of how many times a user clicks on you compared to everyone else. And CTR. It’s an indicator for Google for to increase you and to increase your disability. And so by you had the ancillary benefit of more CTR, but that CTR feeds into that ranking factor, which is going to kick you up the pipe. And that’s something that we’ve been doing a lot of lately and we’ve had crazy results. Another thing that I’d be remiss is within the legal field dependent on your bar, stay away from superlatives . You can’t say best, you can’t say dependent on what your bar regulation state. So some bars are totally. Experts is another big one. And so be very careful when you’re talking about modify or when you get into modifiers within keywords, because it can be a slippery slope depending on what you tag on it.

Chris Dreyer

I’d like to say a huge thank you to all my guests who’ve came on and shared their wisdom with us. I hope you gained some valuable insights from today’s special episodes. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you like 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 master personal injury marketing.

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