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Thread: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

  1. #21
    katandmouse is offline Member
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post
    This is a great thread. Glad I posted it!

    @Darren - do you mean you've actually seen businesses rank for stuff like "personal injury lawyer + city" organically using a city page? I see this work well in tons of industries but not Personal Injury Law because the directories are so dang competitive and good that it's almost impossible to beat them. FindLaw, Avvo, Lawyers.com, Yelp, and a few others just dominate the top organic for almost every city. Is your strategy just to go after long tail? Then there is the question of "what" long tail to go after that other PI lawyers have not already done.
    @Darren if you can do that for PI attorneys in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, you're my hero.

    I agree with you Joy. I work with quite a few PI attorneys and in competitive cities I wouldn't even try a simple city page because I know it would not work. Most of the competition have SEOs working for them, so you're essentially getting into a long distance race in which everyone else had a 10 year head start -- besides the fact that they are much more relevant than someone who is not really in that city. It would take much more than that. But if Darren can do it, then I stand corrected and will probably pass him some work.

    The problem with going after the long tail is you're generally talking about top of the funnel informational queries that are not geo-specific and so your article is competing in the SERPS with similar ones throughout the nation. If you're talking about phrases like "boat accident attorney San Diego," those usually have been gobbled up by the real locals, and so those are hard to rank for as well.

    My good buddy and great SEO, Ted Ives, likens rank to an oil shortage - there just isn't enough to go around, and there is no other industry than PI attorneys for which that is more true. I'm with PMmborgelt's recommendation that making them really strong in one area is better than limping by in 50 others.
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    Kathy Long, Conversion Specialist, SEO, and Web Developer at Kat & Mouse Co.
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  3. #22
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    A few things, basically echoing what everyone else has already said.

    This guy has high expectations. Nothing wrong with that but it could lead to unrealistic expectations. If you do take him on, I would set hardline, realistic expectations and if he walks then you just saved yourself a huge headache. As he is walking, I would also mention that if anyone else tells him differently, they're after his wallet. Help him out a bit.

    I think Adwords is an awesome idea.

    I loved Phil's question about, "When you wake up one morning and all your GMB pages are gone from results, what will you want me to do?" Very real possibility and a conversation that protects you down the road .

    Finally, city pages are awesome, especially because of the reduction of the 7 pack to the 3 pack. Website results obviously show up much higher now and there's more attention for those city pages. It doesn't sound like every market this guy wants to jump into is super competitive, so that strategy should work for a good amount of them. Just know that you will have to go super heavy on the linkbuilding for it to work of course.

    Personally, I would try to work with the guy, mostly for the challenge. I probably would tell him no on the Regus offices (just because it could end up being a huge headache). I would go after city pages, depending on competition. And definitely propose Adwords.
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    Ahh the locations conversation - one we have all the time with clients.

    We have clients do this all the time, wanting to rank for every city around them, or rank for a city they have no business going after (too far away).

    I have always started the conversation by saying we're not smarter than Google, and something like the city pages targeting 10 places isn't going to get us converting traffic. Like others have said, I'm very willing to point out that if anyone tells you they can get you to rank for 10 different places is selling a damaged bill of goods.

    I've worked a lot to perfect the "what to target" conversations, and the best way I've come to explain it is an analogy to paid search - while there's no bidding, we only have a finite space Google is going to give is to work in, so we need to go after the best kind of traffic possible.
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaMackens View Post
    Personally, I would try to work with the guy
    This ^^

    I realize I'm in the minority here, being willing to wear both white and black hats. I don't thing google is all that great. They have a massive market share. They want to protect their own business interests. So of course they will try to get everyone to abide by their terms of service. Thats all it is.

    Anyway.

    If your speech doesn't work on the prospect and they're going to go find someone else, feel free to send them my way, I'll see if we can work with them.

    And while I do not take all black hat clients, I do take some if they are the right kind of person.

    For me it is mostly a matter of 2 things:

    1. Client ROI

    2. Does the client understand the risks and are they willing to assume those risks which factor into #1.

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    katandmouse is offline Member
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by katandmouse View Post
    I say put your money where it's going to work for you. SEO in cities where you do not have an office, especially for PI attorneys in competitive areas, is likely a waste of money.
    Now that I reread this, it really needs a clarification as it can be read wrong. The discussion here is about PI attorneys and so this comment is about them only. And it is "especially" true for competitive areas.

    I want to add that I have yet to work with a PI attorney that doesn't have competition that is not actively marketing and/or doing SEO. And if the city they are in isn't that competitive, a neighboring city is.
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    "I have yet to work with a PI attorney that doesn't have competition that is not actively marketing and/or doing SEO"

    @Kathy - yep, that's been my experience as well. Almost every one has an SEO company. There are no "random" ones just ranking b/c they're naturally awesome.
    katandmouse and CodyBaird like this.
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    Quote Originally Posted by JoyHawkins View Post
    There are no "random" ones just ranking b/c they're naturally awesome.
    So true. Google thinks its possible to rank by being naturally awesome. Unfortunately rankings must be intentionally obtained.
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  9. #28
    katandmouse is offline Member
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    If you check your webmaster tools though, you may find that your client is ranking quite a bit of the time and getting clicks on phrases you never dreamed possible with phrases you never see them rank for. So Google apparently thinks they're "awesome" some of the time for some of the people. Personalized search is a PI attorney's best friend.
    Kathy Long, Conversion Specialist, SEO, and Web Developer at Kat & Mouse Co.
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    I recently had a client (different industry) say something similar. They wanted to rank in specific cities and zip codes when they only have one true location. I asked what they did in those given communities (e.g. sponsorships, events, etc.) that would make them relevant. I then suggested AdWords. :P
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    Scott ClientClicks is offline Member + GMB
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    Re: Personal Injury Lawyer Wants to Rank in Tons of Cities

    I was formerly the in-house marketing guy at a criminal defense law firm called Summit Defense. Criminal defense is almost as competitive as personal injury and the lawyers at that firm also wanted to rank all over Northern California.

    Their situation was a little different in that they did have more than one "real location". They used a combination of full time and virtual offices. Over a 9 year period, I was pretty successful in getting the firm to rank in multiple local packs for different cities all around the San Francisco area such as San Jose, San Francisco, Pleasanton and Burlingame.

    This firm has one-attorney full-time offices at most of their locations and also has a few virtual locations. I think determining whether an office is virtual or full time is a fuzzy area for Google because both type of tenants share the same address and suite number.

    One key that helped us rank was using individual office pages as the GMB landing pages for each location. Another change that helped was appending the location name to the end of each office's business title. That naming convention was allowed by G's guidelines when we made that change.

    If I was helping your client and they had a sufficient budget, I'd recommend that they look into inexpensive full-time office space in their outlying markets.

    By the way, I'm not encouraging anyone to append city names to their listings or pretend that part time offices are full time. I just wanted to share that ranking in multiple city local packs can be done.

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