Host: Alex Valencia, WDW
Guest: Jason Hennessey, Hennessey Digital
In this episode of SEO Happy Hour, Alex Valencia of We Do Web and Jason Hennessey of Hennessey Digital take a deep dive into creating a content strategy to rank in the zero position on Google. Learn about rich snippets, content creation, link authority and more.
Alex and Jason hone in on how to keep up with Google’s demands. Other pearls of SEO wisdom include:
- Renewing your domain name
- Monitoring your page speed
- Checking your domain authority
- Seeing how people interact with your site
Welcome to the SEO Happy Hour Podcast with We Do Web Content. Listen up, marketers and small business owners, if you’re looking to get a better grasp on understanding how to use proven digital marketing techniques to grow your business, you’re in the right place.
On our SEO Happy Hour Podcast, our team will teach you the proven techniques we use with our clients and interview the industry experts on marketing, SEO, content, social and more.
Grab a drink and a seat. And here is your host, Alex Valencia.
Thanks so much for joining another episode of SEO Happy Hour. We are super stoked about today’s contact on this podcast. We’re going to be talking about Google’s position zero and how law firms can take advantage of that.
Basically featured snippets, and you’re going to learn about that. Jason’s going to do some case studies and show you how our clients are benefiting from the featured snippet position and the content that we’re creating, and how to build out that content strategy, because if you’re not doing that, you’re not doing anything that’s planned out.
First, let me thank everybody because we just got back from Mass Towards Me Perfect in Las Vegas last week, and we were super stoked to see all of our friends. Thank you so much to Mike Papantonio and the team at Mass Torts Made Perfect for putting another awesome show together and inviting us and our team. Mass Tort Nexus, our friends at Medline and Don Warley threw an awesome party, our friends at Amicus who had us over at the Hakkasan too, Steve Smith and Caseon Carter and that crew. So thank you so much to everyone there. Definitely our friends over at Ring Boost, and Randy Nordstrom with his awesome commercials and opportunities there. Make sure you check those guys out.
And for more conference information, feel free to email me and see what conferences we’re going throughout the year. And then it’s a good opportunity for law firms to continue growing, learning about mass torts, personal injury marketing, family law marketing, criminal marketing. It’s a conference you need to check out. It’s PILMMA coming up in September in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s going to be an awesome time. So check out Ken Hardison with PILMMA or our buddy, Ben Glass, that throws a conference every year in Virginia with Great Legal Marketing.
So with that said, we’re going to go ahead and get started on this podcast for SEO Happy Hour. Look for them monthly on our website, iTunes, Google Play, and the other areas. Thanks so much for following. Keep watching, keep listening. Thank you so much.
… Thursday afternoon for joining us. I know it’s been little while since we’ve been on our webinars, but we’re super stoked about the information that Jason’s going to share about the world of snippets and rich cards. We’re going to be talking about actual case studies, how to get rich snippets, develop and create the content strategies that’ll help you get that position zero on Google, which is super powerful, which you’ll see is going to be getting 22% more clicks than the organic position. We’ll show you not only to be zero, but how some of our clients are dominating the zero position, the Maps position, and the organic positions on page one. So make sure you’re taking notes.
Jason and I presented this in PILMMA several weeks ago and it was a complete success. We also have a offer for you at the end, so make sure you guys stay through the end. And then, I might be able to edit and record and send the video out, but there’s going to be tons of information.
First of all, I just want to make sure everybody can hear. So if you can see our video and then see the presentation and hear us, please either raise your hand or just make a quick comment that you can see us and hear us.
Okay, raising their hand. Cool. Cool.
Charles, thank you. Thanks so much for joining us. Jordan, what’s up homeboy? We’ve got a lot of new faces. Thanks everybody again for taking the time and joining.
With that said, if some of you do not know Jason Hennessy, Jason Hennessy is our SEO partner and SEO extraordinaire, speaking at different conferences, been on the Washington Post and several other publications, soon to be also back on Search Engine Journal pretty soon.
You’re going to get a ton of awesome information about SEO, even schema. So if you don’t know it, we’re going to be leaving about 10, 15 minutes maybe at the end if we go quickly for questions, but again, there’s going to be an email going out if you have any additional questions with the video and an opportunity for you guys to get a free audit valued at about $2,000. So make sure you guys stick through.
And with that said, Jason Hennessy, man, thanks so much for preparing this, and let’s knock these guys out with some awesome content.
Appreciate it. Appreciate it, Alex. Thanks again for joining. I just want to make sure, Alex, that you can see the screen okay. Is my presentation…
Everything looks good full screen?
Yeah, I think they raised their hand that they can, as well. Just want to make sure there’s no questions yet.
No, no chats. So everybody can hear. We’re good. I think we’re good to go.
All right, perfect.
So again, thank you for your time here. This is The World of Snippets and Rich Cards, Alex Valencia, Jason Hennessy, We Do Web Content. These are some of the things that we are going to cover today.
At first, we’re going to look at a case study, how we took a website from zero visits, meaning it was just a brand new domain name to over 35,000 visits per month. And when I say 35,000, that’s all coming in from organic search using the power of content rich snippets and SEO. Then we’re going to talk a little bit about rich snippets, what are they, why are they important, why should you pay attention to them. And then we’re going to talk about some of the strategies, techniques and tools that we used in order to get those 35,000 visits per month, and everything that you’ll need to do as well to be successful from a digital perspective. And then we’re going to lead with some FAQs at the end and go from there. So we’ll get started.
So the first case study that I wanted to share is this site. It’s a site that is a DUI law firm site. It’s based in Los Angeles. This site today has 1,100 pages that are indexed on the web. So if you’re watching today, and you want to see how many pages your site has that’s indexed today, all you do is you just do that site:LosAngeles, whatever. In this case, “LosAngelesDUIattorney.com.” But in your case, you just put your URL without any “WWW” or anything and it’ll show you how many pages you have indexed. And if you see that there’s 90,000 pages indexed, but you know that you only should have about a hundred, then that’s telling you that there might be some problems and you need to look into that. And that’s why at the end here, we’re going to be giving away a free SEO audit. So if you’d like us to audit your website, just reply to the email that you get at the end of this and we’ll be happy to take a personalized look at each of your individual sites and case studies.
So using the tool SEMRush, which I’m actually wearing their shirt today, this is a tool called SEMRush. And this is a very valuable tool because it allows you to have a high level look at not only your site but also some of your competitor sites. So this is a site, again, when we first launched this back in September of 2015, it wasn’t getting any traffic at all. And just by the power of SEO content, technical SEO, you can see the growth.
So it looks like right at around January of 2017, we are ranking for about 8,000 keywords. Now we’re up to about 16,000 keywords. And then below, it’ll show all of the keywords that you ranked for. So “Is a DUI a felony?” “How long does a DUI stay on your record?” So we ranked number one for a lot of those terms there and it shows the value. And so, if we were to build a paper click strategy to get that same organic traffic, we would have to pay about $257,000 per month. So really good insights. Again, the tool is called SEMRush, and you can check out your website and you can compare yourself to some of your competitors.
This is just showing the actual traffic growth. A lot of times, people won’t display this kind of data, but we will. So back here, February 2016, just a couple months after we get started. And there’s a lot of times people will say that, Google takes time. It takes about six months to see results. Well, this is really the truth because we got started right here September, and so fast-forward to February, we were only getting about a thousand people per month coming in from organic search. Fast-forward to January 2017, we’re getting about 18,000 people per month using organic search. And then fast-forward to January 2018, we’re now up to almost 36,000 people coming in from organic search. So this is a game changer if you start to take the digital marketing seriously here.
This just shows how well some of the pages actually perform on this website. So we created a whole bunch of FAQs. “How long does the DUI stay on your record in California?” Since we started, we’ve brought in 27,000 people to that one page. Will DUI show up in a criminal record? 15,000 people, 13,000 people. You can also see that there’s some AMP pages that are also performing very well. If you don’t know what AMP is, that’s called Accelerated Mobile Page project. And so, it’s creating a very fast experience from a mobile perspective. So creating separate technology that will display when people are doing mobile searches. So something that if you don’t have AMP set up, you might want to document AMP and maybe ask your digital marketing partner or hire somebody to help you develop that technology.
This right here is in Google Search Console. So a long time ago in Google Analytics, they used to display the keywords that you would rank for. And so, you can see, oh, I got three visits, and they would show you the keyword for each of the visits so you can actually see which keywords are performing better than others. And then one morning, it was like doomsday in the SEO community, everybody woke up and they took that information away, and it said, “Not provided.” And so, they took all that data away and then Vanessa Fox came along. She was a Google engineer and she developed this thing called Google Webmaster Tools, and she started to give webmaster and business owners a little bit more transparency to their website and allowed a way that you can now communicate with Google.
And so, that was called Google Webmaster Tools. They’ve since changed it to Google Search Console. And so now, you can actually log into Google Search Console and you can have more transparency to the actual keywords that you’re getting traffic from. And so, in this case, like 146010.1(a), that’s just a penal code. It’s just a code that would show up on a ticket if somebody got arrested. And they wouldn’t know what that means, so we basically developed a page that defines what that vehicle code is. And because we developed that page, we now rank in position zero. So this is position zero. And this is not by accident. We made sure that we added all of the right schema in order for our site to have the chance to rank in position zero for this.
And so, you can see here, just in the past 30 days, we got 345 clicks with a 9% click-through ratio. Of course, that’s going to be high because we’re the default answer there. If somebody actually asked Alexa or one of the Google voice searches, “What does 146010.1(a) mean?” Google would actually read off our answer or the Alexa or whoever would read off our answer as the default answer. So it’s a lot of power in this. And so, we’re going to talk a little bit about how you can also start to get these position zero results. And the cool thing is that when you’re in the position zero, they also and sometimes will put you in position one too, so you get double listings there.
This is what it looks like on mobile. So when I do the same search, look how much space we’re taking up there at the top of Google with that. So it’s pretty powerful stuff. It’s great real estate that you get on Google for quite correctly.
This is the actual page itself that people would land on. And so, you can see here that we’ve got it in the actual URL structure. We defined it, we’ve got it in the H1 tag. This is actually the definition. We put specific markup code behind the definition to tell Google that this is in fact a definition. So there’s a whole bunch of markup that we’ve done using structured data.
And so, this is one of the tools that you can use. This is a Google Structured Data Testing Tool. I would definitely write that one down, just Google it. And so, here when I run this specific page through the Structured Data Testing Tool, it shows me that we’re actually defining what that vehicle code means. And so, we’re using definition tags for that. And so, there is a whole website that you can look at. It’s called schema.org, S-C-H-E-M-A.org, if you really want to get in and start to study more about all of the different schemas that you can add. But in this case, we just thought since we’ve got some definitions here, why not mark up the code. And now Google is actually using it as a default answer.
All right. So how to check your schema and add structured data to your website? So to check it, again, this is the Structured Data Testing Tool. It’s very simple to use. You just put your URL in there, you press run test, and once you press run test, it’s going to show you whether or not you’re actually using schema. So in this case, it’s showing that it’s detected that we’ve got four different versions of schema that are being applied to this particular site. There’s no warnings, no errors. So that’s what good schema looks like. If you run schema and it shows nothing detected, then that means you’re not using schema. Or even worse, sometimes, you might see a bunch of warnings and a bunch of errors, that means you’re using schema, but it’s not being used or applied correctly. So again, very simple to use. Just put your URL in there and press run test and you’ll be able to check to see if schema is actually being utilized correctly.
This right here is this is a markup helper. I don’t really recommend this. This is a very antiquated manual approach to marking up content on a page level. Google gives you the opportunity to do that. So I’m just going to show you how to do it if you wanted to, but it might make more sense just to find somebody that knows code that can automate this process for you. So in this case, we just spoke at PILMMA, and so I used a PILMMA blog post as the example here. And so, I just put the URL in there and I press “start tagging.” And then from there, all that you do is you just go through and you highlight things and after you highlight it, you can actually apply it.
So in this case, I would put Beth Hendrix, that would be the name of the author. I’d put the date. And so, as you start to do that, the information starts to show up on the right-hand side. And then, once you’re all done marking it up, like date published, if this is an image, this is the article body, then from there, you can see the actual microdata markup that is being generated by you going through and marking this stuff up here. And so then, what you’ll then do is you’ll just download that and you can incorporate that code into the actual specific page.
But again, you would have to do this page by page and it’s not really the best use of time. There’s quicker ways to do it, but just showing you basically how it works and how it all comes together so you can actually physically see what’s happening when you start to mark things up.
Again, I mentioned this earlier, schema.org. If you go schema.org/attorney, you can see all of the different markup that they applied for attorneys that they provide for attorneys. So you can go through and read that. And so, this is just an example. So it shows that it’s an attorney type, that’s the URL, that’s the phone number. You can include your latitude and longitude, which helps you where it’s ranking in the Google Local map pack. I’d say probably 90% of the attorneys out there probably don’t use latitude and longitude on their schema markup. That was a good find by Jordan Castellar, who’s part of our team. He’s seen that they had added latitude and longitude, and so we started to leverage that for a lot of our clients. So that’s something else that’s important is this stuff is constantly changing. Just because you go through and you mark up your website, it doesn’t mean you’re done and you can just check that box. You need somebody that’s always staying current with this stuff and making sure that they’re constantly evolving as new technologies come out.
So, let’s talk now more about some of the other tools, strategies, and techniques that we used in order to get that great results for that one site, “Los Angeles DUI attorney,” because it wasn’t just us going through and marking up the code. That’s helpful. That’s making sure we satisfy one of the variables that Google’s looking at, but there’s so much more that we did. So I’m going to go through that now.
So the first thing that we did was we went through and we renewed the domain name for ten years, 20 years into the future. And so, I’d recommend that you go and do a “Who Is” search for your website and see when does your domain expire. And if you see that the domain expires in six months, that’s algorithmically telling Google that you’re not going to be around much longer. And so, it’s a small ranking signal, but it is a signal. So I would just go through and just kind of satisfy that and pay GoDaddy or Network Solutions $50 and renew the domain name for the next ten, 20 years.
Second thing that I would do is I would actually go through and also check the page speed of your website. This is a tool called PageSpeed Insights. When you go through, you’d basically put your URL in there, and you’re going to be able to see your desktop score, and you’re going to be able to see your mobile score. And so, if the desktop score is in the red and it’s 73 or 52 out of a hundred, then you’ve got problems. So I would hire somebody that’s technical to go in and fix that stuff for you because it’s important. Page speed is a very important variable to SEO and I highly recommend that you make sure that you pay close attention to that.
This is another tool right here. This is to make sure that your site actually validates. A lot of times this gets ignored. So, it’s just one of those things that if you’re going to go through and clean all the technical markup of your website, might as well just run a… it’s called validator.w3.org. Just again, put your URL in there, press check, and it’s going to show you if you have anything that’s wrong with the code that can be fixed in an attempt to make it validate. Sometimes, you might have conflicting issues where if you fix something here, it might break your chat or something. So obviously, if that happens, you have to use logic and say, “Well, I need my chat box, so I’m okay with this being an error on the W3, so if it doesn’t validate because of that, I’m okay because of it.” So you might have some conflicting issues as you go through this, but there’s probably a whole host of things that you can fix that’s not going to break anything.
I’m not really going to get too much into the whole technical element of going through and fixing 301 redirects and things like canonical tags and stuff. There’s a whole technical side of SEO that would take two weeks. We could do a bootcamp where we can get into all the specifics of things that you got to fix. I would just recommend you find an SEO nerd, somebody like us or somebody that you guys know of, that can help you out with that stuff. So just go through and say, “Hey, I need somebody to do a technical audit.” Sometimes people will charge you $2,000 or $3,000 to do that. We’re offering a free technical audit if you just reply to Alex’s email so we can go through and look at the stuff with you and show you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.
This right here is just a case study I just wanted to share. It’s the stuff that we see. This was a firm that called us up, base out of New York, and he’s like, “Yeah, I want to rank for New York personal injury lawyer.” And I said, “Whoa, that’s a pretty big challenge.” And so I said, “Do you have a website?” And he said, “Yep.” And so, he gave me the website. We looked at it together. And so, he was self-admittingly telling me that he designed this website himself. So I mean that’s pretty obvious there. But there is a reason he was reaching out for help.
And so, we started to go through this stuff together. And so, some of the things that we looked at was that he had only nine pages indexed on his website. And so, if you only have nine pages indexed on your website, it doesn’t really provide Google with a whole lot of relevance or pages that they can index. And so, that’s just a problem that he’s up against. He’s got sites that are competing for New York personal injury lawyer that might have 3,500 pages that are being indexed. And so, he’s got only nine pages.
So my point here is that content matters. You got to make sure that your site is constantly growing and evolving and you’re going after new keywords and targets by developing a whole strategy, a content strategy. This is how we go through and develop content strategies. This is another client of ours, they are a criminal defense firm out of Cincinnati, Ohio. So when we took over their website, you can see the old URL structure here on the left, and then we went through page by page and reoptimize all of the URL structures, the title tags, H1s, because nowhere here does it tell Google that he’s in Cincinnati. So we went through and we changed it so that it’s “Cincinnati, Ohio, white collar crimes lawyer,” right? “Cincinnati, Ohio theft lawyer.” So that’s what we do is we go through it and we call this a site plan. We create a site plan and we not only fix the technical issues, but we have to reoptimize every single page on the website. So there’s a lot that goes into the actual strategy.
So back to this site right here, again, he had nine pages that were being indexed. Well, if you look at the website that was ranking at the top there, Union Law Firm, we can see that, obviously a nicer site, probably a bigger firm, they have 993 pages that are indexed. And so, if we look a little bit closer at those pages and we put them into SEMRush, we can see here that they ranked for 1,500 keywords and the value is about $208,000 per month. But I can see here that they ranked number one for New York personal injury lawyer.
So this is who we’d be competing against. So we have somebody that has nine pages indexed, and then we have a firm that has 993 pages. And we’ll talk about the content and stuff here in just a second. But anyway, so this is how we go through and we’re able to determine how competitive a space is. It’s by who’s ranking at the top and what is it going to take.
So peeling the layer back from the onion a little bit further, I wanted to say, “Okay. Well, let me see, how many links do you have coming into your website?” So this is us using another tool called Ahrefs. And so, it shows me that he has two referring domains that are linking back to him. And so I said, “Okay, I’m going to call with him.” I’m like, “Well, do you recognize lawjls.com?” He said, “Oh, yeah, yeah. I own both of those sites.” I’m like, “Okay. So that’s the only link equity that you’re getting right now is from two websites that you own that don’t have any domain writing at all.” You’re not getting any link equity at all coming to your website. So therefore, there’s no way, even if you had the nicest website in the world that you would be able to rank above that one site for “New York personal injury lawyer.”
Because if we look at their links, we can see that right here in… it looks like December of 2018, they started to get a little bit more aggressive with their link building. And so, they have 294 referring domains that are linking back to them and a total of 10,000 back links. But I really pay a little bit more attention to these referring domains. And so, if I look here, I can see the dofollow links, nofollow if they got some EDU links. EDU links, it’s like getting internet gold if you can get EDU sites to link back to you. So there’s a whole strategy to get EDU links. And so, it looks like they started to do some of that. But this is exactly what they’re up against.
And so, this doesn’t really scare me though, because if I had a client come to us say, “Hey, I want to rank number one for New York personal injury lawyer.” I’m like, “Okay, we have to get more than 294 referring domains linking back to us and just make sure that those are quality links.” Try to get Huffington Post link to us and the Wall Street Journal and some of the high PR sites. This would scare me a lot more if there was 3,000 referring domains. At that point, I might even tell the client that, “You know what? Without the right budget, I don’t even think that’s attainable.” So that’s just how we work. We’re very transparent and if we really can’t pull something off, we’ll let them know and not even take the business just because we want to keep our reputation and not mismanage anybody’s expectations.
All right. So looking at their links here a little bit closer, we can see which links are really driving the results here. So PRweb.com, it looks like they’ve done a press release. It looks like they fell into the US News trap. I’m sure you guys get those emails where it’s $8,000 to be part of this US News. Well, in this case, it looks like it paid off for them because they’ve got a link coming back from US News. Another press release with PR Newswire. So it looks like press release has really been a lot of the part of their strategy. They’re synced up with Avvo. They call this Barnacle SEO. So when I see Avvo there, if I do a search for “New York personal injury lawyer,” below them, I see fine law, I see this New York Mag, I see Avvo, right?
So if these websites are ranking here on the first page of Google, then I recommend that our clients also advertise on these pages. And they call that “Barnacle SEO.” It’s where you’re just piggybacking off of a page that Google already deems very trustworthy and relevant to a search query. And so, if they’re already ranking for this term here, even if you don’t get any business from them, there’s an indirect SEO value that you get from being associated with this website because you’re going to get relevance and page rank that’s bled over to your website. Sometimes they know who follow their links, and if they do that, that’s okay because you’ll still get relevant signals from it too.
But anyway, I recommend that if you find sites that are ranking on the first page of Google for some of the terms that are important to you, you seriously consider advertising with them and being associated with those websites because it’s going to help your rankings. And although you might not do any business from being here all year long, the thousand dollars a month that you’re paying to be on fine law is helping your SEO so much that you’re going to get the direct results from your own website because it’s improving your rankings. Let me see something here.
And another thing that you can do, too, here is you can actually take the specific URL. So in this case, if I go to find one, I grab that URL from the page that’s ranking for “New York personal injury lawyer.” If I take that URL and if I put it into Moz, this is another tool, it’s called Moz Open Site Explorer. If I put it in there, I can see the domain authority of this website as 88 out of 100, has a very low spam score. So I know that that site’s valuable, but I could even take it one step further and put that specific URL into SEMRush and it’ll show me all of the keywords that this particular page ranks for.
So it not only ranks from “your personal injury lawyer,” it ranks from “your personal injury attorney” number one, “personal injury lawyer NYC” number one. This page gets about 4,000 visits per month to this page, and the value is about $300,000 per month in paper click. So in this case, not only would I recommend maybe advertising on this page, but I might even pay for a premium spot because I know that I’ll probably get business as a result of this.
So I just want to point that out and just say that again, this right here is what everybody should be doing when you get these random solicitations from people trying to call you to be advertised on websites, do your due diligence, and you can actually now really have the tools that you need to determine whether or not that it makes sense to actually spend $200 a month or $3,000 a month with some of these opportunities. In fact, we did did a whole webinar in this. Maybe Alex can send out an email with that old webinar that we did. It was a full webinar about this, particularly. And so, maybe Alex will send out an email about that.
And then from there, I mean basically what we then do here is after we start to study the competitor’s links here, then we put together a whole approach where we go through and we reverse engineer the link strategies that are being used by all of the top competitors, and then we just start chipping away. And so, if we see that some of the competitors have a link from Reddit, well, we figure out how can we also get our client on Reddit. If they have a link from Better Business Bureau and we don’t, okay, we need to contact Better Business Bureau. We need to become a member because that’s a very valuable link for all of the sites that are ranking in the top ten of Google for those terms that we’re trying to target.
And then here, it just shows. We’ll go through and we know, all right, we can build an Eventbrite link, we can build a Moz profile, we can do a press release with PR Newswire. And so then from there, what we then do is we actually go off and we start to build those links for our clients. And this is what’s really going to push your rankings is by building popularity going back to your website.
Quick question, Jason, we had a question come through from Theresa.
Back on SEMRush, are you checking the landing page for the directory in SEMRush?
So, yes. I’m pulling in the specific URL of the page that’s ranking. So not just the homepage, the specific URL. So in this case, it was “lawyers.finelaw/new-york/new-york, whatever.” And it’ll tell you the data that’s specific to that page.
Perfect. Did that answer your question, Theresa?
And we’re going to have probably more questions at the end, but please jump in here because we’re going over a lot of stuff and I’m trying to keep this… This is really gold, guys. I mean, what I’m sharing with you is 20 years of figuring this stuff out, reading endless books and keeping up with journals and blogs. So the stuff that we’re sharing is stuff that a lot of times you just don’t pick up at a lot of the webinars and stuff. This is our industry trade secrets, I guess, if you will. All right. Shall I continue?
Yeah, go ahead. We are good, thanks.
So we go through and we build out the links for our clients. This is just another cool tool. I can put in a competitor’s URL into Ahrefs and then I can click on top pages over here, and it’ll show me me the most valuable pages that they have. So I can see here they’ve got a page that’s valued at about $46,000 per month. It’s their “construction accident” page. And so, if I click on the keywords, it’ll actually show me the keywords that that page ranks for. And so, when I have that data, now I know that I want to build a page that’s going to be targeting “New York construction accident lawyer.” And so, I know all of the other internal links that I might want to use to try to boost our page for these different keywords because I can see the search line. So we can chip away at some of their market share by putting together a content strategy based on where they’re getting most of their traffic from here.
This is just another client. So what we do is we’ll develop content strategies. This is how our content strategies look. We’ll put together everything in an Excel spreadsheet first. And we’re very strategic about what are the keywords that we’re trying to go for. This is a client based out of Atlanta. When we first started working with them, they were ranking for 55 keywords. This was back here in September of 2015. The value of their website was about $24,000 per month. And so, doing everything that we talked about on this call, fast-forward now to January 2018, they ranked for 12,500 keywords and the value is about $851,000 per month. And so, this really shows how to grow a digital marketing presence. And not always is this number all that important, you know what I mean? If you’re in a small market in a suburb of Atlanta or something and you’re not really going after Atlanta, you’re going after Roswell, Georgia, or something like that, these numbers will never be high because it just doesn’t have a whole high search volume. But if you’re in a major metropolitan area, these numbers should be a lot higher.
Couple tools that everybody needs, Google Analytics, Search Console. And then the third one that I wanted to share was Lucky Orange. Lucky Orange, it’s a tool. It is having a DVR on your website so you can go back in and play videos and fast-forward and rewind and see how people are interacting with your website. This is something that we do for our clients. And then about three months into it, after it collects enough data, we go through and we do a conversion audit where we make recommendations on things you can do to fix the overall conversion of your site. And so, that concludes the presentation.
I’m just going to end it with this and then we’ll take some questions here. So basically, you’re a part of our list. Thank you for joining. You’ll continue to get invited to some of these private webinars and invitations and get continued education.
We’re also giving away two things here today. So if you reply to Alex’s email after we get off this call and just say, “Yes, I’d love to do this,” just include your URL, and then Alex will follow up and schedule a time that works for us where we will do a one-on-one technical audit, which we normally charge about $1,495 for. But we’ll also do a consultation. We’ll reverse engineer one of your competitors too. And so, we normally charge $500 for that. So on this call, we’re going to take a technical look at your website and tell you what’s broken and what you’re doing right and wrong, but we’re also going to look at one of your top competitors and we’re going to reverse engineer the strategy so you can see exactly what they’re doing that you’re not. And so again, total is about a $1,995 value if we were to do this. So, I highly encourage you to reply to Alex’s email. Even if you’re working with somebody and you just want this insight, we’re happy to hop on the call with you. Other than that-
Yeah, we always have consulting with other firms as well too, so we work nicely with other agencies. Sometimes, Jason and Jordan do training for other legal marketing agencies as well. So, it’s not like we’re trying to hone in on their expertise, but sometimes, having a second look helps that out.
So right now, we have a couple questions come in. Please bring all your other questions now and if not, answer them, send them over by email. But like Jason said, we have this audit offer that you can’t beat. You always want to go ahead, and it’s like having a second opinion from a doctor. Jason and Jordan have been reverse engineering in working with the Google algorithm for years. Definitely been the best service and opportunity for our clients since they’ve been working with them. So I definitely urge you to go ahead and take advantage of that.
First question that came from Emily, do you recommend building out links in-house or having a company you outsource do this? Go ahead, Jason.
Yeah. Well, I mean in-house link building is great. When I think of in-house link building, I think of a couple things, right? Somebody that’s going through and figuring out all of the obvious opportunities, making sure you’re part of the Chamber of Commerce and reaching out to your rep in your local area, reaching out to the Better Business Bureau, maybe looking into sponsoring little league teams and stuff where you give them a $100, and they include a little banner on their website that links back to you, that’s really good for local SEO. Making sure that your Avvo profile is updated and that you’re linking to your site correctly and you’re using the proper name, address, and phone number, just all of the legal directories.
Yeah, absolutely. I think that would be great if you had somebody in-house that knew this. It’s not easy to find. But if you had somebody that knew this, that’s great. Or just somebody that’s just creating really good content. I mean, if you have a really good attorney that has a great personality, is good in front of camera, sometimes just having videos is a great link building strategy. You have the attorney get on there and answer questions about things that are happening in the real world. And you create these videos and you get the videos transcribed and you post them on your website.
And so, those become linkable assets. So there’s so many different ways to go about link building that yeah, absolutely. If you can find somebody to do that in-house, whether it’s creating good content, good videos, or just the directories and stuff, yeah, absolutely. If you want somebody that’s a little bit more strategic about reverse engineering competitors’ link strategies and coming up with a game plan, then maybe it might make sense to bring somebody on as an external resource that can help you either develop the strategy or develop and implement the strategy for you.
Thank you Jason. And I hope that answered your question, Emily. And just to add to that, in case the question was also including buying links that you have opportunity to, I definitely recommend not doing that. I think, like Jason said just to echo, it all is based on a strategy. So it goes back to building those foundational links, which you can do internally, or any creative links that you can get from content or opportunities where you’re being quoted on, that have links or .edu links, but definitely stay away from buying anything that’s going to be quick and could hurt you in the long run. Second question-
One last thing to that point now, you brought up a good point, so you’ll see opportunities, emails all the time, link building, $100, or you can go on fiverr.com and pay for a thousand links, definitely want to avoid that. That’s going to do more harm to your website than good. Link building is not so much like a volume game. I look at it, like PR is really the modern day link building. If you can get a link from the Huffington Post or CNN, that one link alone will probably add more value than a hundred of these directories in some cases. So PR is a very good approach to link building if you think of it like that.
And while we’re on the link, before we get on your question, Tony, sorry about that, any suggestions, Jason, other than the foundational links on some external areas, like LinkedIn or some directories that a law firm or small business could get links from on their own?
Totally, yeah. Yeah, that’s a good question. So LinkedIn has a platform called LinkedIn Pulse where you can become a blogger for LinkedIn, and you can publish content and you can control the content that you published. On one of our calls today, we’ve seen that we published a piece on LinkedIn about a particular subject, and because we’d linked to one of the internal pages, that one link alone from LinkedIn, because it has such high domain authority, boosted the rankings for this one internal page. It went from number seven on Google to number two on Google. So it just shows how powerful those type of links are. So if you can become a regular contributor to certain sites, whether it be LinkedIn or if you can become a contributor to… Maybe Avvo has a section where you can blog on their site or Justia. I know HG.org, it’s another good directory. I think they allow people to become contributors. Any place that you can actually write content and control links that are going back to your site, that there’s a lot of value there.
So many other questions come up when we’re talking about links. We could have a whole nother webinar regarding it. But another one popped up in my head about the big question about follow and nofollow from authority site. So if you could just touch on that real quick, because sometimes, you might be afraid to get a link from somewhere that’s nofollow, but the authority of that site could be huge, and the trust factor could be great. So can you touch on that?
Yeah, I mean I think the whole follow, nofollow, when Danny Sullivan… I was on a call the other day and we were talking about this, but Danny Sullivan had came out and said, “All right, there’s this thing…” I think he had tweeted about the nofollow, dofollow when it first came out. And back then, I thought, “Wow, this is just propaganda. They just want the SEO community to be shaken up and to not buy links anymore.” That’s really why they did that is because people were selling links. There’s businesses that were just basically doing nothing but selling paid rank. And so.
When you talk about nofollow and dofollow links, there’s two things that come over with a link. There’s either page rank, which the whole Google algorithm was built upon, page rank. And then there’s also a trust score that’s being sent. Actually, there’s a relevance score too. So let’s just call it three things. There’s a relevance, trust, and then popularity with page rank.
So when you get rid of the actual follow, and a link becomes , the only thing that doesn’t come over is the page rank. You still have the trust score and you have the the relevance score that it’s coming from. And if you look at it, one of the best links that you can get on the web is a nofollow link. And that’s having a link from Wikipedia, that’s a nofollow link, but people literally pay thousands of dollars to people that to try to get them on Wikipedia. They wouldn’t be doing that if there wasn’t value in a no follow link. So I don’t look at it like that. If I can get a link that’s going to drive traffic to a website from a site that’s relevant, I could care less if the link is follow or dofollow. I know the value that it adds.
Awesome. Thank you. Sorry Tony, thanks for being patient and happy to have you on again, man. It’s been a while. I hope everything’s going well with you. So Tony says, “Great stuff. But I’m seeing in the 3-pack, things like practice pages with reviews to other people from the law firm. How can that be? Though I do not think it lasts.”
So you’re seeing reviews. I’m trying to understand the question. Say that again.
So On the 3-pack, things like practice pages with reviews to other people from the law firm.
Oh, so you mean other people in the firm are leaving reviews? Is that what you’re talking?
Is that what you’re asking, Tony?
Just trying to understand, making sure that I answered it because-
I’m going to unmute you, Tony. Maybe you could just ask the question if you’re on the phone. Hold on. Tony, can you hear us?
I can hear you, but I don’t know if you can hear me.
We can hear you. Yeah.
Oh, okay. Good to see, Alex. It’s been a while.
Right back at you. Wow, I’ve been seeing since we were together in Vegas, I think.
Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then I caught the last two-thirds of this, Jason. Really good stuff. Thank you. But what I’m seeing now in the 3-pack, and I guess it’s sometimes going down to the two-pack, is these practice pages where people are attorneys in a one firm are putting up their own practice page for local search.
Oh, I see what you’re saying. Yup.
And it picks up a couple reviews, not even to them. And they show up in the 3-pack, and it’s such a thin page. And their home website from their firm is probably halfway decent, but not anything that knocks you out of the box. I’ve just been seeing a lot of stuff that I don’t like in the 3-pack, especially because I’m not number one in personal injury in Cincinnati like I used to be. And part of it is I’m a little farther out of the central city and one of their things, they call me Hamilton County, and I can’t change that because Cincinnati is a course in handling… I saw you, do Not Guilty Adams.
He’s a character, huh?
I love his videos. But anyway, does that make it a little clearer?
No, I know exactly what you’re saying. So yeah, people will always leverage what works. Not what’s right, but what works, right? And in fact, actually as I’m sitting here right now, this was sent to me about a week ago, and literally, it’s about a 12-page document about how to spam Google Local so that you can get instant results with Google Local. And it works. Just because it works doesn’t mean that we’re always going to leverage it, because by us going in and just really spamming Google Local to try to get a quick win, if we’re going to do that to a client’s website that is the asset of the business, it would really be jeopardizing their long-term digital strategy. We would recommend building maybe a throwaway site so that we can leverage this until it stops working, and then there’s no harm, no foul. So we might make recommendations to go a little more gray hat with this if it’s working. And if they’re okay with that, we will experiment with this. But we wouldn’t apply this to the firm’s asset with their main website.
I see that stuff too. And sometimes people are spamming the actual naming of the actual firm so that it’s called Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyers, and that’s the name of the firm. And you can get away with that until somebody that’s a Google moderator sees it, and they flag it and then the whole results come down. So nothing really you can do about that. People are just going to continue to leverage what works. People are going to continue to spam. I wouldn’t sacrifice your values with your asset and do things like that that would jeopardize the long-term approach of your business. I would probably say, “Let’s build a side project and who cares what happens? Let’s just leverage it over there.” Does that make sense?
Yeah, that makes sense. Because like I say, I don’t think they stay up there in the 3-pack. I’ve just seen a lot of rotation with some weird little people that just have no links. And very bad stuff are in the organic right now. And I don’t know if it’s just that somehow they’re gaming the system or Google’s just, “Hey, we just want to shuffle people in and out of there now a little bit.”
Totally gaming the system. And they’re using offshore resources to spam the Google Map with spammy web 2.0 links, and then they’re building out a bunch of citations. And like I said, it’s just fooling the algorithm, and it’s a temporary fool. And then eventually Google sees that, now you have a website that has a bunch of spammy links to it. And so, yeah, it’s not the ideal strategy, but again, Google’s not the law. I mean, Google has their own own guidelines. And so, it’s not against the law. It’s not against the law for me to build spammy links to a competitor and get their site penalized. Maybe it is, I don’t know. But that’s just the Google law, right? And so, a lot of times people are just so scared about staying within the guidelines of Google that there’s other people that don’t care and they just will do what works.
All right. Great. Well, thanks. Thanks a lot.
Thank you. Appreciate the question.
Nice going, Tony.
Any other questions? Raise your hand or type it in. If not, can we knock this out and answer any questions by email or on the next webinar? But we’re here, happy to help. Make sure you guys register for the audit and check things out and see how healthy your website is and how your competitors are doing because we’re also doing one free competitor analysis. That’s pretty awesome.
Let’s see. We got any more? All right, cool. So I think we’re good. I think that was an awesome webinar, man. Awesome questions. I think it moved smoothly. Thank you so much, Jason. Thank you everyone for joining. Your consistency, any new people that are on here that came through LinkedIn or Facebook, I appreciate you. Make sure you sign on for the next webinar, and we look forward to seeing you, and I look forward to hearing back from you for scheduling your free SEO audit.
Have an awesome week. Thank you again.
Thank you for everybody’s time. Appreciate it.
Thanks so much for listening to SEO Happy Hour with We Do Web Content. For more great content and to stay up to date, go to WeDoWebContent.com and we’ll catch you next time.
Alex Valencia is an influential entrepreneur, marketer, speaker, podcaster, and CEO of We Do Web Content, one of Inc. 5000’s fastest-growing businesses in America. His agency implements game-changing content marketing strategies and produces top-ranking web content for law firms, medical professionals, and small businesses nationwide.