Where do most law firms go wrong with SEO?
One of the hottest topics and biggest marketing trends is leveraging SEO for business growth.
In this episode, Eli Schwartz joins me to talk about SEO from a different angle than we typically speak about. He shares why most firms shouldn’t in fact be prioritizing SEO.
Eli is an SEO expert and consultant with more than a decade of experience working for leading B2B and B2C companies.
His ability to demystify and navigate the SEO process has generated billions of dollars in revenue for some of the internet’s top websites, including such clients as Shutterstock, WordPress, Blue Nile, Quora, and Zendesk.
As head of SurveyMonkey’s SEO team, Schwartz oversaw the company’s global operations, helped launch the first Asia-Pacific office, and grew the company’s organic search from just 1 percent of revenue to a key driver of global revenue. His work has been featured by TechCrunch, Entrepreneur.com, and Y Combinator, and he has given talks at business schools and keynote conferences around the world. His new book is ‘Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy‘.
Eli gives listeners actionable tips on:
- [1:50] What most firms are doing wrong with their SEO
- [3:50] Why certain firms shouldn’t be doing SEO
- [6:45] Why SEO isn’t the right kind of approach to managing your marketing
- [8:30] Which metrics you should be paying attention to
- [12:35] Content creation tips as it relates to SEO
- [18:40] Which firms should be doing SEO
- [21:45] Where firms go wrong with ‘links’
- [27:50] Eli’s book recommendation
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Eli here:
Connect with me
[00:00:27] Eli: Hi, I’m Eli Schwartz growth advisor, author of product led SEO. I work with companies to understand how they should understand SEO and how they should build efforts, strategies to achieve that goal. Really excited to be here and talk about whether people should be doing SEO and the kinds of SEO they should be.
[00:00:48] And we’re looking forward this discussion. So thank you
[00:00:50] Karin: so much for having card. Thank you, Eli. I’m I’m really looking forward to this too, because I know you’ve got a really unique approach to this. I feel like, um, there is kind of a mainstream, uh, strategy and thought process for SEO. And, uh, just in the little bit that we’ve been, uh, that I’ve kind of looked into your details and your book, um, and what we’ve been talking about, it’s a really different approach and it makes so much sense.
[00:01:15] So, uh, we’re gonna be talking about SEO, which is one of our most desired and popular topics, not just for our audience, but you know, in general, for some reason, it just seems like this sort of magic. Uh, I’m, I’m picturing a crystal ball, sort of one of those like mysterious crystal balls that a lot of people feel is their golden ticket.
[00:01:38] So I wanna talk about all of that and, um, why your approach is different in your thoughts and your strategy. But the big question that we’re gonna talk about today, Is where does most SEO go wrong? And so thank you for being here to begin with and, and I’m looking forward to this conversation as well, but Eli, tell us where do you think, uh, just kind of big picture.
[00:02:01] What is the first thing that most firms are doing wrong with their SEO?
[00:02:07] Eli: So it’s interesting that it’s an interesting question, which is, I don’t think people should be doing SEO because like, for example, if you would think of other marketing channels, SEO is a, it’s a marketing channel. Yes. You’re not going to tell someone who’s focused on the New York audience.
[00:02:22] Or a New York market that they need to take out a billboard in LA. Yes. Doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. So when it comes to SEO, it’s the same idea. If there isn’t a wide understanding of, I need to do this because this is going to generate business for me, there are people looking for me or for the services I have to offer.
[00:02:40] On a search engine and therefore they’re going to find me, and this is beneficial investment, then I wouldn’t do it. And I, I think the fi biggest misunderstanding about SEO is how does it work? What am I getting out of it? Yes. Now I know that there’re going to be some law firms that can really point to like, no, all of these clients came in the door because they were looking for us that this is a great channel.
[00:03:01] But a lot of firms are not going to know that and they’re paying either a full-time employee or an agency or some other sort of, uh, Extortionist company to do some SEO for them because they think they have to. Yeah. And you don’t have to the same way that pandemic taught us. You don’t have to be in the office to be successful.
[00:03:21] Yeah. You don’t actually have to do SEO, like stop SEO. See what happens.
[00:03:24] Karin: Yes. I think that is, uh, that is gonna be a very huge light bulb moment for, I think a lot of the audience where. And I feel like I saw some of this too, in the beginning of the internet when everyone was just getting a website or a presence, and everyone was copying everyone else, especially in the legal industry, there were like three websites out there and everybody just kept copying everybody else.
[00:03:50] And I still get clients to this day that their sole strategy is well, Bob down the street is doing this. So, uh, you know, shrug, you know, maybe I should be doing this too. So let’s dig into that more. Why, why should certain firms not be doing it? Why is it a mismatch for certain types of firms?
[00:04:11] Eli: It really depends on the audience.
[00:04:13] And what I would say is it depends on what you’re focusing on. So I I’ll use myself as an example. I was, I was looking into getting a trademark on, on something that I’d written. so I didn’t use the internet to find that because the internet it’s too big. Yeah. But if I look for information about trademarks, I’m gonna find official government resources.
[00:04:32] And if I would’ve found a law. That clarified the questions I had that law firm might have not been near me or in the area of practice I needed, so that wasn’t gonna generate any conversions. For me, the path I chose was referral. I went to my friends, asked them who they knew, and that’s how I got connected to the right lawyer when it comes to other things, let’s say, uh, it’s personal injury.
[00:04:55] I I know in the personal jury space, there’s a lot of advertising and that is what drives phone calls and emails and what, however else, these clients are generate people aren’t necessarily going onto Google and saying, I’ve just been injured. Let me see who comes up first. And then I’m going to call them again.
[00:05:14] It comes down to the path of acquisition for that client. And if SEO was not part of that path of acquisi. I wouldn’t invest any dollars in hardly any dollars you could do a little bit. You wanna make sure you found. The other thing that I think is really important is how you position yourself. So say it’s, um, it’s, it’s a patent, it’s something around patents and I’m Googling.
[00:05:34] And I land on a webpage and the webpage just has a picture of smiling lawyers. Is that something that’s going to make? Email them or call them probably not. Right. I’m looking for some level of expertise. I’m looking for past history. If they’re able to disclose that, that they’ve done something in my space.
[00:05:50] So again, I, web designers will be very focused on design that may be boring. That may be a website that looks like Craigslist, but just a list of past things that they’ve done. Yeah. Which informs me that they’re good at what they’re doing and I should talk to them. But then again, the website might be really well designed to have a picture of the office and the smiling lawyer at the desk.
[00:06:09] So it all comes down to the. And this is a path of acquisition. And if it’s not a path of acquisition, why bother?
[00:06:14] Karin: Right? I like, I like this idea, um, of focusing on SEO as one of your marketing channels. And we will get a lot of, uh, initial inquiry calls where that is 90% of the conversation. And that’s where they lead.
[00:06:33] That’s where they, you know, that’s all they really wanna talk about in terms of. The work that they think needs to be done. And for us, that’s a red flag. I mean, clearly it’s important, but it’s not the end all for an entire marketing strategy. So what, what would you say to those people who are overly focused on the SEO and they feel like those measurements.
[00:06:59] First of all, they’re watching those measurements every single month. And they’re looking at those reports and they’re looking at, you know, it it’s it’s to me, similar to watching your stocks, you know, and kind of watching the drops and the dips and the rises, like from 1 cent to the next. Um, why is that?
[00:07:15] Not the right kind of approach to managing your marketing campaign? So
[00:07:22] Eli: if my measurements are referring to rankings on search, that’s not something you should be watching at all, because that is not business. I I’ve worked with clients and I’ve had past jobs where they’re very focused on how they were visible on search.
[00:07:35] They want to be fo visible on one, on a certain word. Yeah. But if no one looks for that word and no one clicks on that word, and if they do click on that word, they don’t convert in this case to a phone call or. It doesn’t really matter. So I wouldn’t even put all that effort in, I would focus on this as a holistic channel.
[00:07:50] So I’m sure that many of the listeners do paid marketing, whether that’s on Facebook or whether that’s on Google using keywords. Yeah. No one will put as a goal. Oh, I spent a million dollars this month that I’m successful. I spent a million dollars this month on, on advertising who don’t put as a goal, no matter what you search, you’re going to find me.
[00:08:09] That doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. So when it comes to SEO, you should have similarly tight goals. I am visible for this work, because I know for sure it makes my phone ring and focus on those metrics. And if I a, a pushback people will, will give me, or maybe will give you is, well, I, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s working.
[00:08:27] That’s not an excuse. Yeah. Go find out, find out if this channel’s working. So just like that example I gave earlier of like, don’t take out a billboard in LA. If your market is New York. Don’t be doing SEO. If that’s not working, you need to understand this. This is money out of your pocket. Many cases, people are again, either have a full time employee who they’re paying anywhere from 30 to a hundred thousand dollars per year, or they have a firm which is costing them.
[00:08:50] If it’s cost less than $500, you’re definitely being ripped up. Yeah. But a couple thousand dollars to tens of thousand dollars per month. If this is not a channel. Breaking, even driving profit, don’t invest in it. There are other places to put that money.
[00:09:03] Karin: So what would you say they should be paying attention to measurement wise?
[00:09:07] Uh, you know, and I, I have my answer, but, um, what’s, what’s the number one kind of metric and, and measurement that they should, and, and they maybe don’t even necessarily have a report for it, but they just kind of know in.
[00:09:22] Eli: I wouldn’t know in your gut, I would really bring that to one extra level of knowing for sure.
[00:09:26] Okay. So for example, at my own business, I’m a consultant and I work by myself and I don’t have any employees, everything, every inbound email or phone call. Oh. Only no phone calls, inbound emails. Yeah. That I get. And I turned into a phone call. I always ask them how they found it. Yes. And they may say, Hey, I heard you on a podcast, right.
[00:09:44] Or I heard you, I saw a conference presentation date, or I, I bought your book that tells me where I should be investing. I think that for most firms, even if, unless they’re massive and they get so much inbound that no one’s having the conversation, they can go that extra step of like, well, Who can we think, right.
[00:10:01] For bringing you our way. Exactly. Was it an ad? Was it a search or was a referral like you like to know those things? Yeah. And I think in many cases, if someone’s going to say I searched. That may not be the best client because that’s the person I know, like when I do this, like I said, I was looking for a locksmith a couple weeks ago.
[00:10:18] I searched and I called all 10 people. Right. So they’re, they’re just price shopping, right. Is that so yes, you’re visit. Well, you do what you can to be visible, but how much effort are you gonna put in that?
[00:10:28] Karin: Be one of 10. Yeah. That’s a great point because, um, first of all, even if you are a massive firm, you should have an intake process.
[00:10:36] And part of that intake process needs to be knowing where these leads are coming from. If you’re gonna invest any amount of money in these marketing campaigns, you have to be able to measure them. So I, I don’t, I don’t feel like any size firm there’s any excuse for. Just asking that question, whether it’s the person who’s, you know, taking the call somewhere down the road or somewhere in that process, it’s as important as getting their name and email.
[00:11:03] So, you know, that’s just my 2 cents. I, I feel like you likely agree on that, but knowing also. Which of those avenues. So if they’re answering that, they just did the Google search and that, you know, for your firm is similar to what you’re describing. Those are gonna be the tire kickers and the price, you know, price conscious, like not the great clients, knowing where those red flags are.
[00:11:25] So there was a coaching program that I did a while ago and they actually created, um, and this was for agencies. So obviously slightly different for a law firm, but they created a scorecard and it took the emotion out of. Kind of analyzing each lead. So you just have a simple, it was like a, you know, three different questions does, uh, and I can’t remember even what the questions are now because I can do it so quickly in my head and just know in my gut, is this, is this a good lead or are there some red flags here?
[00:11:57] Are they too price conscious? Are they, um, do they seem eager to work? Are they ready to work? You know, things like that. So kind of come up with your own questions as you’re taking those leads. And then rank them. And so that as you go through that process, you know, whether it’s something that you really wanna invest a lot more marketing, uh, time and effort into.
[00:12:17] So, um, I kind of derailed that that, that point, but
[00:12:21] Eli: no, I, I would agree with that. And I I’d say, like, I have a lot of conversations with people about how they should be measuring the marketing. And I’d say in this case, it’s easier to do. Yeah. So when someone’s measuring their marketing by raw analytics data, it’s hard to know.
[00:12:33] Yeah. What made them, what was the last thing they touched on the. You need to really rely on your software and understand your website, understanding that in this case, if you’re actually having a conversation with a potential client, it’s so much easier to just say, where did you hear about it? Yeah. In an eCommerce case where you never have that conversation, they click, they fill out their information, they pay their credit card, you ship it.
[00:12:57] And the best you could do is like, Hey, however you found us, come find us again. Right. That’s different. In this case, you’re always having that conversation. And if you’ve decided not to have the convers. That may be the time when you try to figure out well analytics wise, who are those people I don’t even want to call back.
[00:13:11] Karin: Yes, exactly. So that’s a great point. Um, going to the next question that I had was to talk kind of about content strategy. And I know that you talk a lot about creating, um, questions and content around questions that really answers those answers, the questions that your clients are, are asking. And so how is that different?
[00:13:33] and, you know, what is the approach that you found that works in terms of, of content? And if you’re really, um, recognizing that some of those metrics are gonna be hard to track because maybe especially for lawyers and law firms, maybe that, that time from when they first hear about you to when they actually hire you is a while.
[00:13:52] You know, it may be a divorce attorney where initially. You know, it’s six, eight months. They’re thinking about a divorce and they don’t actually pull the trigger until later. And so they’re just slowly being dripped, some information coming to your website a few times versus a DUI attorney where they are pulling up your website from the back of the car when they’re leaving jail.
[00:14:13] you know, so like it could be so different, the kind of information each firm is getting. So let’s talk more about how that content can support that and, um, how questions.
[00:14:27] Eli: Yeah. So I love this question and I love how specific you are with the kinds of attorneys . So I’d say the big mistake, and this is all, so we first biggest mistake people will make.
[00:14:37] And I, I, I know we have to get to that. Some people should be doing SEO. So I want to, I don’t wanna just like, leave it out there, like don’t do SEO, bad idea. Yeah. Some people should we’ll get there, but biggest mistake will make is doing SEO when they shouldn’t be doing SEO. And the second thing, I would say the biggest mistake they.
[00:14:52] Is doing the wrong kind of SC. Okay. Which is if you are a divorce attorney and you serve a specific geographic area, and like you said earlier, people are very focused on their metrics. The metrics you want to focus on are only for geographic area. If you’re not going to take, if you’re in Florida and you’re not gonna take a divorce of Texas, ranking.
[00:15:11] Number one for divorce attorney in Texas does absolutely nothing for you, right? So the metric you should be looking at is like, what is my ranking for is not what is my ranking for divorce attorney? It should be divorce attorney, Miami divorce attorney in Florida versus St. Petersburg, right? Those are the things you wanna focus on content wise.
[00:15:29] That’s the exact same thing. So instead of. here’s a piece of content. And a lot of times when people are doing SEO, they’re focused, they’re using keyword research tools. Yeah. Which tell them generic keywords. So I’m a divorce attorney. I’m gonna go and put in divorce or maybe divorce law or divorce case.
[00:15:44] And then the, the, the tools spit out a bunch of ideas. Most of those ideas, if you write towards them are not specific to what you service, they’re English specific. They’re just specific to the English language. So focusing on those as your KPIs or what I’m gonna shoot towards, doesn’t make any sense to me.
[00:16:01] Yeah. So. You really want to tailor your content towards the buyer? So the buyer is, if you’re a divorce attorney in Miami, then you want to say, well, I am the best divorce attorney in Miami because I give free coffee in my you’re coming to speak to . I’m the best divorce attorney in Miami, because I’m well connected with all of these other.
[00:16:21] service providers. I’m the best divorce attorney because I service this specific community that you’re in. That’s the content you write. So instead of thinking of, I wanna write content because human research told me think of, I wanna write content because my audience needs to understand that I am the best person at this.
[00:16:37] And when they arrive at my website, that content sells. And I think that’s another thing. People make a mistake with on the internet in general, which. they think of websites as, uh, like a store, just a, a place people drop into. Yes, but really it, a website is this opportunity to sell them into do the next things send mean email or call me, you don’t walk into a best buy.
[00:16:59] And they, someone just starts screaming at you. Like. We, we have computers, we have TVs, they can help you find something, right? Like that’s the same idea. So
[00:17:11] Karin: I just imagining, like, you’re going into best buy and you want like a TV. And then there’s like, just this guy screaming at you, computers, computers, like, and, and you’re like, what are you talking about with these computers?
[00:17:22] That is not even what I’m here for. And it’s such a great visual because that is so. What so many websites are doing wrong. So what’s the right way of what’s the right way to, to do.
[00:17:36] Eli: So I, I, let me, I ask this question all the time, but I think it’s so perfect for your audience specifically because they have conversations with customer in this case clients.
[00:17:45] Right? So they understand, I, in many cases, like I have a client that are in the eCommerce space and luckily for them, they have physical stores. So they have salespeople that talk to actual customers and navigate them through a purchase. Except the people I talk to are not those people. They’re in the website.
[00:18:00] So I keep saying, go to the store. Yes. Go sit in the store, watch how the sales people explain the features. All the things you’re dumping on your website are probably useless. So in this case with lawyers, And paralegals, and whoever’s listening to this, that’s actually driving the content production on the website.
[00:18:16] They have the conversations, they know when the light bulb moment goes off. When they’re talking to a client physically in person or on the phone when says, oh, I, I like this. I would like to keep talking to you. Yeah. Or can you email me information? Or I’d like a contract. They know what makes them go there.
[00:18:31] Yeah. And that’s what you should be putting on your website. Not. I specialize in all this. And I went to this school and like, again, the kinds of smiling pictures of lawyers, right? Like that is not what helps convince them that they need to take that next step.
[00:18:42] Karin: Yes. Yeah. I think that’s so valuable to recognize that you have those answers.
[00:18:50] and if you have been doing this for more than a week, you’ve already had these conversations. You already know what your clients are asking. Hopefully, because, uh, we just had another conversation on an episode, a recent episode, where we were talking about consultation calls and where those go wrong. So hopefully you’re asking the right kinds of questions so that you’re letting those clients really, uh, give you the, the things that they care about and give.
[00:19:14] And you know, you’re not leading that conversation and, you know, taking. Making it about you. You’re making it about them because you ha that’s, what’s gonna sell and what’s gonna convert. And for the same thing, for the same reasons on your website, you have those same questions and just throw those questions that they are asking you, and it shows your expertise.
[00:19:35] It shows that you’ve done this work before it shows that you care about their problem. It does all the things that everybody says to do in your content. and you’re not screaming computers at them when they walk into best buy and trying to sell them on something that they not, not only are not interested in, but it shows that you just are not paying attention and you’re just not the right fit.
[00:19:58] So that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. So what else? So, so coming back to the big question about where they go wrong, and you were saying earlier, You want us to get to, you know, a lot of these firms should not be doing SEO at all because it’s not aligned with their goals, but some should. So who, which of those firms that should be doing it?
[00:20:18] Eli: So it, the, the firms that should be doing SEO are the ones that understand that their clients come from search. So it’s probably the kinds of things where people have a little bit more time to really think about who they want to contact. Yeah. The DUI case in the back of the, the police car. Yeah, probably not.
[00:20:37] Right. That’s gonna be like, who do my friends have at a DUI and who do I contact the same might be with. Actually the divorce attorney is probably a great example. Yeah. That’s where trickles of information are. It’s helpful. Yeah. And you’re building that sale. So if people are under time pressure, they’re just, they’re contacting friends.
[00:20:57] If they’re gathering information, you, they, you can be that resource, but they gather information. And again, I would be very focused and this is how you would do SEO, not retain a firm. That’s going to create a bunch of useless content or retain a firm. That’s gonna get you a bunch of links. We’ll talk about links in a.
[00:21:13] Or retain a firm is gonna give you fo reports on how well you’re doing on visibility on rankings. Rather retain a firm that can help you write the content that you should technically be writing yourself and take what’s in your head. So if you’re a divorce attorney and you understand a specific community, or you understand a specific use case, where there’s children or someone’s travel.
[00:21:34] There’s someone on a visa or, um, a partner wants to move overseas or, um, one partner is, is unemployed. Like those specific things where, you know, you specialize in and then when you have those conversations, you win. Yeah. And you know, again, because you are having all these conversations, you know, there are people out there that need your services.
[00:21:55] That’s the SEO you do. Yeah. So you say like, It’s divorce attorney for visa holders. That’s the content, that’s the keyword. There’s not gonna be thousands of people, millions of people searching for them. Right. But the people that are searching for that, especially in your geographic area, you wanna be number one of that because that’s what you do.
[00:22:12] That’s how you do SEO. So no going back to how you should be doing that. Get the firm that you want to do that for you. The SEO firm that couldn’t do that for you. Shouldn’t be well, we’re gonna. 80 pieces of content per month. You only want those pieces of content that really help you sell. Yes. You could either do yourself or they could help you with the website structure, but that’s what you do.
[00:22:30] Not just generic. Yeah. Lawyer content,
[00:22:33] Karin: generic legal content. Yeah. Yeah. Because what ends up happening with that generic content is, um, especially if it’s super generic and just talking lawyer in general is we’ve. Clients where all of a sudden they’re getting calls for a completely different, uh, practice area.
[00:22:50] So the DUI attorney is getting divorce calls and it’s a waste of time and money. And it literally, you could VA you know, put a value on how many they’re getting, you know, 60 extra calls that’s taking this person that much time and, you know, it’s, and they’re getting all these leads that some firm is calling them leads, but they really aren’t because it’s just poorly done SEO.
[00:23:13] That is. Narrowly targeted enough. So, uh, so you mentioned links. Why, where does, where do things go wrong with links?
[00:23:22] Eli: So 23 years ago or so when Google came out, so there were many, many other search engines and Google’s innovation was that they were going to instead of ranking the web by alphabet, which is the way the first search engine.
[00:23:37] And then ranking the web by how many keywords you stuffed into your page. Initially, it was just one tag and then the search, I just tried to understand it, which is how the, the internet became known for adult kinds of things, which is you were a lawyer, but you stuffed your keywords for little adult terms, cuz you were hoping that like someone would search those things and be like, oh, I totally was looking a random how’d you, that’s why this website is showing up for those terms.
[00:24:01] But what Google’s innovation was, was they wanted to really have more of a holistic understanding of the. And webpages and. Later on what people were actually searching for by taking into account how things were linked. So Google was started in Stanford, by PhD students who were using the academic method of the reason why Stanford is Stanford is because a lot of people say, wow, that study came from Stanford.
[00:24:23] It must be legitimate. You don’t very often hear. You know, the, um, the provost of university of Phoenix was saying, you don’t have that come up in conversation right. As often, and you don’t as often have people rec uh, referencing studies that come outta community college. Right. Which is why Stanford, Stanford, Harvard’s Harvard and all that.
[00:24:40] So what Google tried to do is say, well, something authoritative links to something else it’s lending that credibility. Yes. So that’s where links come in. This entire thing was useful. And then of course, marketers ruined it because they’re like, well, if you can lend credibility by linking to something, what if I gave you money?
[00:24:59] And then you link to it and I bought your credibility. Right? So that now, now we fast forward 23 years and probably more than 23 years. Where Google is like now understanding everything and, and what people always forget is how smart Google is. Like. We use Google all day and it’s so smart at Google. Like we rely on Gmail and we rely on all these things.
[00:25:16] And I used to live in the bay area where they have self-driving cars, which haven’t hit anybody. Like they’re really smart. They’re using AI. You can’t scam them with fake links. Right? So that’s where like, yes, 23 years ago you can buy a link from, I think even the New York times sold bank, because why not?
[00:25:33] Karin: It’s another revenue stream. Yeah, exactly.
[00:25:36] Eli: And, and now fast forward where like they’re using AI to make decisions and they have like, You know, they, they could do, they, I think they tools for diabetes to understand like all these things, the Fitbit now can tell you whether you’re about to have a heart attack, a Google owns Fitbit.
[00:25:48] Right. All of these things. And you’re like, oh, you think your scammy link on that website? You’re gonna get that pass. exactly. It links to your, your law firm as well as it links to pet insurance and like a crypto scam, like not a chance.
[00:26:03] Karin: Yeah, but yeah, you, you know, Google’s smart, but you are way smarter.
[00:26:07] You’re gonna just slide that one in under the door.
[00:26:11] Eli: right. So that’s why I wouldn’t focus on those links because a lot of the, the companies that are selling those links, they’re selling them on places that are willing to sell them. Yeah. I would instead focus on PR. So if you win a great case yes. I, I think lawyers from what I know about lawyers, they’re good at getting PR yes.
[00:26:27] Make sure that the right media talks about you. Yeah. It doesn’t need to be national media because you’re not focused on the national. Exactly. They want those national clients, local media talks about you and better yet they, they link to you. Yep. And if they’re not gonna link to you and I, and I know like when it comes to that, CO’s always like link to this exact page.
[00:26:44] The exact works. If a, if a newspaper, a local newspaper’s too smart to link to your website because it’s commercial, they’re not gonna link to your commercial website, recommend that people hire you, get them to link to your LinkedIn. Oh, because the same thing. Linking to you. Yes. As the lawyer, now someone finds you, LinkedIn says, I wonder what law firm that, that woman comes from it’s right there.
[00:27:03] And now they find, right. So don’t think of links as I need to link to directly to this page. Yeah. Which has the content around me being a divorce attorney or DUI attorney. Just, I need to get a link to me. Yes.
[00:27:15] Karin: And that’s all we need to accomplish. That’s a great point. And, and also that goes back to recognizing how smart Google is.
[00:27:22] So basically what people are trying to do with those fake links and the purchase links and like the, the whole link strategy is to kind of out maneuver Google, which is just not gonna happen. But the goal is to have some link authority, which you. Literally do correctly and validly by getting that PR.
[00:27:42] And so instead of putting all that money towards that kind of fake, um, strategy that is probably not gonna work and is, is also gonna just look kind of scammy and, um, you know, be a kind of a bad approach go and you get the mileage with the PR and you get those great links. Totally. And
[00:28:02] Eli: again, thinking of SEO holistically, which is people using search edges to find something.
[00:28:07] Yeah. It doesn’t matter what page shows up. So if someone’s looking for Jane DOE the DUI attorney, it doesn’t matter whether they look and they find your LinkedIn at the top 10 results, right. They find a YouTube video of your local, of your interview. They find your, your, uh, college that you went to, or your law school that you went to talking about you and talking about the great things you do.
[00:28:28] You have 10 opportunities to show up for. All that is SEO. SEO is not showing up for, I need to be number one for divorce attorney, which is almost impossible today. Yeah,
[00:28:38] Karin: that’s a, yeah, that’s so great. And, and really valuable. And honestly, I feel like it, it release a little bit of the pressure because you know, it’s not so narrow, super hyper focused on, like you’re saying, I need to show up for divorce attorney.
[00:28:51] It’s just show up for you. And then, you know, tho that, and then it will follow. Like if you build. Uh, kind of campaign around you and you’ve got all these different methods of them finding you, then everything will follow from that. I think that’s that? Yes. That’s a relief kind of to hear that.
[00:29:08] Eli: And you also want to think of like how all your pieces fit together.
[00:29:10] So I’m in Houston, there’s a specific lawyer in Houston, which he promotes himself as the personal injury attorney. He may be all across Texas and he’s got the works. He’s got radio ads, he’s got TV ads now, SEO shit fit in that like, oh, I heard this guy’s TV ad. Oh, I heard his radio ads. I saw the billboard.
[00:29:26] Now if I Google him, what do I find? Yes. Do I find a picture of smiling lawyers or do I find something that matches all of those other campaigns? That’s the way SEO fix it together? Yeah. He has created people, a reason for people to search because they’ve heard all those other messages now, SEO should not get all of.
[00:29:42] Credit that’s a lot of money spent in all those other media. It all ties together. It’s one
[00:29:46] Karin: big strategy. Yes. Yes. Okay, awesome. So it’s time for the book recommendation. Uh, I’m an avid reader. I read about a hundred books a year and so, you know, find me on good reads. But, um, and our audience is full of lawyers who spend a lot of time reading as well.
[00:30:00] So what’s a good book that is worth their time when they don’t necessarily have all the time in the world to, um, you know, sit down with a mediocre.
[00:30:11] Eli: So years ago, I read a book called million dollar consultants, and this is a book written by someone who’s been, I think he’s just turned 80. Oh wow. Since Alan Weiss.
[00:30:20] And he wrote a book, uh, 25 years ago, uh, called million dollar consultants about how you be a million dollar consultants and lawyers are, can also be million dollar consultants. Sure. Although he has a lot of negative things to say about lawyers because of. The way they charge. Yeah. He thinks that people need to charge based on value and lawyers charge based on the hours.
[00:30:37] Yes. So it doesn’t mean that you’re stuck on that. You can listen to his. So I read this book a bunch of years ago and I pivoted the way I started doing consulting and I was moonlighting first and now I do it full time. So wealth of wisdom about really how to think of a consulting practice, how to think of adding value as a, as a consultant.
[00:30:55] And how to charge for that value. Yeah. So totally recommend that book. He’s written a number of books. I even hired him to be my coach just very unique in the way he thinks about consulting as an industry.
[00:31:07] Karin: Yeah. And honestly, I think there, there is a movement among lawyers to switch towards the flat fee service instead of the hourly based service.
[00:31:15] And, um, you know, I’ve had some other people that we’ve talked about this and it really is the way to. First of all show value and kind of remove that trans trans make the whole, uh, interaction more transparent. And because it is very confusing for people who have never hired a lawyer before to have any sense of, you know, what things are gonna cost.
[00:31:38] But, um, but also it really is the way forward for, to, for most firms to show growth, too, because if you are. You, you have a limited number of hours. And so that’s always gonna be a constraining factor if you’re only ever billing for your hours. Um, so that sounds great. We will link to million dollar consultant on the show in the show notes and on the show page as well.
[00:32:01] Uh, also I wanna mention that you have your book. So tell us the name and, um, tell us about your book.
[00:32:08] Eli: So my book is called product led SEO. Okay. The why behind organic growth strategy. So it started. I had this, these kinds of conversations when I had a full-time job and I was room lighting on the side and I, I had this unique approach to SEO.
[00:32:20] Many times don’t do it. Yeah. Or if you’re gonna do it, really think about the user. And I was always asked, like, what do I learn more? What do I read more? And I didn’t have anyone to put it. Yeah. So I, I wrote the book. Nice. So really about how to think of SEO and why you should be thinking of SEO and how it all works rather than these are the 50 tactics to do.
[00:32:37] You must do this. Otherwise your SEO is bad and you’re not gonna ever do well so that that’s the focus on my book. Awesome. But the other part of my book is really, I think of SEO from a product-led standpoint, which is I’m creating. So. At a widget that somebody’s searching for, because it’s useful for that searcher.
[00:32:53] And this is something that some lawyers can think about. I would for local lawyers, I wouldn’t think about at all, but think about like a Zillow. Yeah. So Zillow created a surface specifically for someone that’s using Google to find something which is the value of their own home or the value of their neighbor.
[00:33:05] So there is no other way to acquire that user. No one they’re not gonna do paid advertising for the value of my home. Doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. How many people are. So that’s something valuable for people using Google that they’ll continue to use search. If someone is, if there was a lawyer out there that does service more of a, a national audience, and there’s something very specific that they do.
[00:33:25] that would be an opportunity to really take all of that and turn it into a product, a catalog, a glossary, a directory that people can access and learn from. And if you’re the expert, the follow on will be that they’ll contact you. Yes. When I think of product, it really has to be something scalable, which means you can’t hire someone to write one piece of content.
[00:33:45] And then another piece of content. Something more scalable, let’s say stock prices, that’s scalable. It’s all take all the stocks and you feed in the data. If there’s something like that, that you’re an expert in, that would be a product. And there might be a lot of search volume from there. But other than that, I would really only write content.
[00:34:01] If you’re investing in content, you’re investing in SEO that will drive users and. Potential
[00:34:06] Karin: clients to you. Nice. Awesome. Okay. That’s really bad. And we will obviously link to, to your book, um, and, and all of that on the show notes in the show page as well. So Eli, what it’s my book
[00:34:17] Eli: is like Amazon changes the price on it, but I think right now it’s $14.
[00:34:22] This, if you buy my book, it’ll be the, the only $14 you’ll ever have to spend on SEO. If I could give it to you not to do, yeah. This will save you
[00:34:30] Karin: thousands, thousands of dollars. It could be tens of thousands depending on, you know, what, where, where your geographic location is. Um, yeah, so that could be a great investment for a lot of these firms, uh, fire in
[00:34:42] Eli: your
[00:34:43] Karin: SEO firm.
[00:34:43] You don’t need that . Yeah, exactly. Um, okay, so Eli what’s, uh, one big takeaway that you’d like people to get from this.
[00:34:52] Eli: SEO is a marketing channel. Yeah. And you should just think of it as a way to acquire potential clients for you. And not as something you have to do this it’s this mysterious black box. No one understands it.
[00:35:04] The only bill understand it is the firm you’ve hired. And that’s why you have to pay them thousands of dollars a month. It’s a marketing channel, the same way you don’t take ads out on the radio. If you don’t think your listeners, the listeners of the radio are going to become. Don’t do SEO. If there’s not going to be potential clients
[00:35:19] Karin: from there.
[00:35:19] Oh, I love that. That is, uh, it seems such a fresh and rare perspective, but I have these conversations a lot with clients and it almost always results in a client where. For some reason, it’s just really not a good fit for them. And no one else has mentioned that it’s like, really, you know, I am not gonna, I’m not gonna be a snake oil salesman.
[00:35:42] I’m not gonna be the one who just comes in and tries to take your money. And then a year or two down the road, you’re just mad at me. Uh, because it, you know, it didn’t do what it, wasn’t this miraculous golden ticket where all of a sudden you had the keys to Willy Wonka’s factory. Um, you know, It is not right for, for every firm.
[00:36:02] And so, uh, but it is definitely right for some firms. So figuring that out and making that definition before you jump in is really a critical piece of strategy that a lot of firms kind of just bypass. So that’s great. That is such good information. And thank you so much for being here. This is, I think is gonna be a kind, like I said earlier, a light bulb moment for some firms where it’s like, okay, maybe I can set that aside and use that money for so.
[00:36:29] Like, you know, a vacation or something else, you know, $14 for your book.
[00:36:35] Eli: exactly. I, I think the big thing is if you have the wrong focus on metrics, so you may be mad at the SEO firm, but they can continuously point to, Hey, we, this is the rankings we got you. Right. And if you’re not clued into like, well that doesn’t pay the bills.
[00:36:48] It’s the clients that pay the bills, then you could be satisfied while I paid them. I don’t know why I’m paying them, but they’ve done what they’re supposed to do. Right. Do what you’re supposed to do, and then
[00:36:57] Karin: measure them on that. Yeah. And measure and make sure that that measurement matters. So you know that you’re not just ranking in the Ukraine for some, you know, thing like who cares.
[00:37:08] You don’t have your clients there. You need to make sure that that measurement is something that actually results in revenue for your. So, all right, I will leave it there. Thanks again so much for being here. This was such a great conversation.
[00:37:21] Eli: Really appreciate having me. Thank you, Karen.