How do you manage your brand on Google? What is an SERP and why is it important?
Joining me for this conversation is Jason Barnard, the founder and CEO of Kalicube. He is also an author and digital marketer who specializes in Brand SERP optimization and Knowledge Panel management. Jason uses the pseudonym “The Brand SERP Guy” for his professional work!
Jason, aka The Brand SERP Guy, has over 2 decades of experience in digital marketing, starting in 1998 (the year Google was incorporated) with a website for kids based on the characters Boowa & Kwala that he built up to become one of the 10,000 most visited sites in the world.
In the 1990s he was a professional musician with the Punk-Folk group The Barking Dogs. He currently plays double bass with Barcoustic (Hugo Scott, from the Barking Dogs is the singer).
Jason gives listeners actionable tips on:
- [1:15] What SERP means
- [3:10] What lawyers are doing wrong when it comes to Google
- [6:00] What a ‘knowledge panel’ is
- [12:40] How to control what shows up on this panel
- [15:45] Keeping an open feedback loop on Google
- [17:20] Why reviews are so important
- [22:20] How to educate Google about who you and your audience are
- [32:05] Why you need to focus on SEO as part of your strategy
- [36:55] Jason’s book review
Resources mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Jason here:
Connect with me
[00:00:00] Karin: This is council cast part of the Legal Talk Network, and I’m your host, Karin Conroy. When you face a complex case outside your expertise, you bring in a co-counsel for next level results. When you want to engage, expand, and elevate your firm, you bring in a marketing co-counsel. In this podcast, I bring in marketing experts who each answer one big question to help your firm achieve more.
[00:00:23] Here’s today’s guest.
[00:00:27] Jason: Hi, I’m Jason Barnard. I call myself the brander guy. Brander is the search engine results page for your brand name or your personal name. That is my specialty and I, and am here to teach the entire world. , how to manage their brand narrative on Google. Well,
[00:00:50] Karin: Jason, thank you for being here. I am really excited for this conversation.
[00:00:53] And just in that intro, there were two questions or two things that came up already. Yeah. First of all, [00:01:00] um, I really feel like Americans do not get the word specialty. The pronunciation is just not as nice as how, how you guys say it. . Oh, uh, you kinda added a couple extra syllables in there, and so I love that.
[00:01:13] Um, but the, the first thing I was gonna ask you was to define Cerp because I see you, we see that everywhere, and I know it’s kind of part of the, your title and how you describe yourself. So, um, SIRP once again, search engine results page. So basically, you know, the stuff that comes up on Google. search for something , right,
[00:01:34] Jason: ex.
[00:01:34] Exactly. And if I may admit to something very shameful, is that Yes, please. I. started on the internet in 1998 with a website for children. Uh, and I was a blue dog in a cartoon Nice. On the web from 1998 , and we absolutely nailed Google. We were getting a million visits a month from children under 10 years old from [00:02:00] Google.
[00:02:00] Karin: my. In 1998. That is amazing.
[00:02:04] Jason: So it’s astonishing, isn’t it? Yeah. Who would’ve believed it? Sorry. But the, the shameful admission is not that, that’s a really good, is it the blue dog? No . That’s what we actually thought about making one, but we never got round to it. Okay. No. The shameful admission is, I didn’t know what SERP stood for until 2014.
[00:02:22] Oh my
[00:02:23] Karin: gosh. Well, it’s not, for some reason it doesn’t seem like it’s the, the, the phrase that you hear, you hear seo, you hear paper click or ppc. You hear all the, for some reason SERP is, it seems like it’s just like the technical guys that use that the. .
[00:02:38] Jason: Yeah. And I think 2014 was. When I became the technical guy, the
[00:02:43] Karin: technical guy, blue dog.
[00:02:44] Yeah. And it became a little more mainstream to hear crp. So, um, we’re not gonna use CRP in the title because we’re not talking to the technical guys, , but the title of this show is, and the question that we’re gonna answer and address and talk about is how to manage your brand. [00:03:00] On Google and I, this is, you know, the thing that you talk about a lot.
[00:03:03] You’ve got an amazing website with all these resources. You’ve written a book on this, this is your topic. So we’re gonna start first with, let’s start first with what, what mistakes are people making? What is everybody doing wrong, especially law firms and lawyers, and what are they doing wrong when it comes to their brand, their serp, and the, you know, what they’re doing on Google.
[00:03:25] Jason: Right. It’s a really good question from the perspective of the first thing I would say, and it’s not just lawyers, it’s everybody is doing wrong, is they’re looking at Google and saying, I want people to come to my website who are searching for, in this case, I need a lawyer. Yes, but. , what is incredibly important, what is missed?
[00:03:46] And it’s literally 99% of all companies in the world. And people is what do the people who already know who I am see when they Google my name? Yes.
[00:03:58] Karin: Especially for [00:04:00] lawyers. Especially for lawyers. And I, the next thing I was gonna ask you, Okay. I have another question that I wanna ask, but let’s, let’s finish that one first.
[00:04:08] Cuz there’s so many things to cover with, with this topic, . But, but let’s talk first about what people are doing wrong. They’re not thinking about, um, the difference between a random cold lead that is searching for a topic versus someone who already has your name, who is more likely a warm lead and so much more likely a potential.
[00:04:33] Jason: Yeah, that’s beautifully said. I’ll, I’ll steal that and use it with my . You’re welcome. Potential clients. Yeah. Thank you. is is we, we, it, it it’s that really exciting, uh, what would you call it? It’s the exciting thing that we, we think I need that, and I, and as an example would be as a lawyer, I would be saying, I need all the people who are searching.
[00:04:54] accident lawyer. Yeah. And those are people who have no idea who you are and how many people [00:05:00] are actually gonna come to your website and then start working with you with no idea who you are. Right.
[00:05:05] Karin: It’s a much
[00:05:05] Jason: hurter self. Yeah, exactly. Whereas if, if I’m in a situation where I’m looking for an accident lawyer, for example, and I’ve already seen your name out and about, or I’ve searched for accident lawyer, I’ve seen a list of five lawyers, and then I search each of their names before.
[00:05:21] Actually, uh, start working with them. Who am I gonna work with? It’s the one that Google recommends. And Google recommending you is not only you being at the top of the search results for accident lawyer, but that stamp of approval. Your Google business card is when somebody searches your name and when Google says, look at this, they’ve got a great knowledge panel.
[00:05:42] The information box you see on the right hand side, here’s their website, here’s some photos, here’s some video. , here are the social media channels. You say, that’s an impressive lawyer. That’s somebody I want to work with. Because Google recommends them. Yes. Google likes them. And I’m using Google [00:06:00] because I trust Google.
[00:06:01] Karin: Okay. So let’s, let’s talk about what a, a knowledge panel is. Yeah. Because this is another thing you talk about a lot. Um, so what, what is this thing called a knowledge? ,
[00:06:10] Jason: right. First thing is I talk about it too much. It’s okay. . If you ask anybody I talk to, they say Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’ve talked about that knowledge
[00:06:20] Karin: panel.
[00:06:20] Knowledge panel. Knowledge panel, yeah. .
[00:06:23] Jason: Well, the knowledge panel is an incredibly interesting, uh, aspect of Google search engine results pages because it’s a representation of Google’s understanding of the.
[00:06:34] Karin: Oh, oh, I love that. Okay, so I’m just gonna repeat it real quick. It’s a representation of Google’s understanding of the facts.
[00:06:42] So this is how Google is seeing
[00:06:44] Jason: you. Exactly. It’s how Google understands you. Yeah. And it’s also how Google represents you factually to your audience when they Google your name or your company name. Yeah. And so from that perspective, as users, we don’t [00:07:00] realize we’re doing it, but we see the right hand side on desktop.
[00:07:03] With that knowledge panel as fact, and the left hand side is recommendations. So if I have the knowledge panel, Google is saying, I know all of this about that person, and I vouch for that person and I vouch for the information I’m putting here. Awards cases, one books written photos, description, date of birth.
[00:07:25] Yeah, whatever it might be. Google is vouching for this information and it’s phenomenally difficult to get. Here we say to understand. , all of those facts about you, but it’s not just understanding the facts, it’s being sufficiently confident in those facts, that it’s willing to present it as fact. Yes. To its audience, to its users.
[00:07:46] Karin: a big difference between how I was thinking of it in the past. I basically was looking at that knowledge panel, um, and that knowledge panel is basically, The, the way I was looking at it is basically a, a [00:08:00] distillation, a distilled amount of, okay, here’s what we’ve kind of collected on you, which is similar to what you’re saying, but not quite the same.
[00:08:07] It’s, it’s, it is what Google’s collected, but it’s also what, what I’m hearing your description is it’s, this is what Google has collected on you, but this is also what Google is willing to present as valid and truthful, and that’s a big difference. .
[00:08:24] Jason: Yeah, exactly. And it’s a huge difference. And because we use Google, because we trust it, that information we take as red, and when it’s wrong, it’s a huge problem.
[00:08:35] And when it’s right, it’s a huge boost and a bonus. And once, as you said earlier on, it’s the warm leads. It’s the people who already know who we are, and we are just pushing them over the tipping point of saying, yes, I trust this person because Google trusts them. And the other interesting thing about knowledge panels, I used to say Google is your business card.
[00:08:55] Yeah. And I still say that. Yeah. And it’s really important to think about that people will search your name [00:09:00] before doing business with you. During Covid, we were all on Zoom meetings, Googling the other people in the meeting. Yep. To figure out who they were. Yep. Could we trust them? Are they talking sense?
[00:09:09] Yeah. Do they actually know what they’re talking about? Yes or no? . So we have that. And I actually had meetings at one point face to face three or four years ago where people were googling me under the table on their phones. .
[00:09:20] Karin: It’s like it’s a glass table. I can see you
[00:09:26] Jason: Exactly. . Um, and the thing about the knowledge panel is that it, it’s gone from being this thing on the right hand side to actually taking. most of what you see on a desktop above the fold and indeed on a mobile. Yes. For the first third of the scroll. Yeah. And that means that Google is representing you on its search engine results page for your name in a way that is similar to your site.
[00:09:52] It allows them, the person, the user, to research you entirely on Google with no need to visit your website. Yeah. So you [00:10:00] can build your website and that’s great. And you can pull people into that. Using social media articles, whatever it might be, advertising, but the moment they search your name on Google, it’s Google who controls the message, right?
[00:10:13] But what we’ve done at Cali Cube is figure out how we can influence and educate Google so that it pres represents you in the way that you want. , and that’s really important. You then control the message indirectly and controlling your brand narrative to your audience through Google’s eyes is phenomenally important.
[00:10:34] Karin: So I wanna get to that, but first, I just wanna reiterate this idea because I, I really think there’s uh, uh, Misunderstanding between that, the left and the right side of this Google search results. Right? So most attorneys and most, um, most reporting too is based on what’s happening on the left side of the screen.
[00:10:56] You are Yes. Ranked this. You know, this number on this page, we, [00:11:00] the ranking has moved this much over this many weeks. This is what we’re doing and all of the focus and energy and reporting and numbers are based on the left side of the page. And it’s not bad, you know, it’s not wrong. You still need to show up on the left side of the page.
[00:11:15] But, um, what you’re describing is a, a much larger emphasis on. knowledge panel on the right side of the page and controlling that as more important, or at least having more influence than the left side, is that.
[00:11:32] Jason: Yeah. I mean, I think, uh, I mean we’ve said it before, but reiterating never hurts anybody if you look at a desktop.
[00:11:39] Yeah. The right hand side is fact. The left hand side is recommendation. Exactly. And that idea of fact becomes even more important because Google is expanding that out, because what does Google want to do? It wants to solve its users’ problems as efficiently as possible. Right. When you search on Google, Expressing a problem or asking a [00:12:00] question implicitly or explicitly.
[00:12:02] Yep. If you search my name, you are, you are either saying, I want to learn more about Jason Barnard, or I want to specifically visit his site. Yes. But in both cases, you’re, you’re curious about me as a, a human being. Yeah. And what Google now has done, and this is huge, is that if you search my name in certain circumstances, the knowledge panel takes up the entire.
[00:12:24] Google result above the fold, i e the first thing you see as it loads on a desktop. That means that Google’s factual understanding of me becomes the representation that my audience sees. And if I have little to no control over that. I’ve got a huge problem.
[00:12:39] Karin: Right. Okay. So that moves nice and smoothly into the next section or the next topic, which is number one, how do you control that?
[00:12:48] And then how the, the second part of that question is that I regularly ha kind of coach my clients through this idea that the search engine results are not [00:13:00] the end of the story. So you will be influenced, your potential clients will be influenced by what they see there clearly. Uh, if they then click over to your website and it’s a disaster, then, you know, then that’s just get ranking on the search engine is not the end, end of the story.
[00:13:17] So, number one, how do you influence that knowledge panel and how do you, uh, improve and make that work in the best way for you, uh, as possible. But then second, then what? Then what do you do on your website to kind of pull them through and make the website kind of work together with that?
[00:13:36] Jason: That, that’s a great question because in fact, the answer is more or less the same for both questions, okay?
[00:13:42] In that your website needs to be incredibly well organized. It doesn’t need to be optimized in the traditional search engine optimization sense. It needs to be well organized, well presented, clear and helpful to your real audience, not the people you. [00:14:00] Might be interested, but the people who are actually interested.
[00:14:03] And if you can do that, then Google will create a knowledge panel for you more or less organically. Okay. So how do you figure that out? So what you need to look, sit down, and I think kind of one thing I talk about a great deal is you need to figure out who you are, what you do, and which audience you can best serve.
[00:14:22] Perfect. And if you can do that, you can present it on your website in a clear, organized manner. Yeah. that will make sense to people and will make sense to Google. What Google then does is it looks at your website, it says, okay, I think I’ve understood who this rep website represents. I will then go look at their social channels, I will look at their profile pages.
[00:14:45] In the case of lawyers, I will [email protected]. Yeah, and I will confirm that all these other sources say the same thing. Yeah, if they all say the same thing, and I’m sure that we’re talking about the same person, you get a [00:15:00] knowledge panel whether you are notable or not, it doesn’t matter. Google just wants to understand and represent you accurately, and so the real trick is a clear, concise, helpful, relevant site for your audience that’s well organized for.
[00:15:18] that points out I, you link out to all of these different profiles that talk about you, that confirm what you’re saying, that then link back to your website. Yeah. Google goes on this in eternal loop of self corroboration, and by pure repetition it, it ends up by understanding. Okay. And I like to say Google is a child, you’re educating it.
[00:15:39] And this child learns by repetition. honesty and consistency.
[00:15:46] Karin: I also kind of refer to all of those links and the information and that, that kind of feedback loop as it’s almost like votes, you know? So the more that you’re out there and you’ve got these links and the link is saying the same thing over here as it is over [00:16:00] here, and LinkedIn is saying this and that.
[00:16:02] Each time it’s kind of like a little vote for Google and, and Google’s looking at it and, oh, okay, this is, this is saying the same thing. And so this keeps right kind of repeating and reaffirming this idea that we’re building on this particular person. .
[00:16:15] Jason: Yeah, exactly. I I would use the word corroboration rather than vote.
[00:16:19] Okay. That makes more sense because it’s corroboration you were using, I’m, I’m not trying to correct you, but I’m gonna use vote in a moment. Yeah. Okay. . LinkedIn is corroboration. Crunchbase is corroboration. Justia is corroboration because Jia doesn’t have. a notability standard. It has a, do we understand, can we present this person?
[00:16:38] Do they do what they say? Yeah. Then the votes come from the Lawyer’s Association of Minneapolis. Minneapolis, okay. Yeah. Who then vouch for you. So the votes is this idea that you, once you’ve established the facts around these basic. social media just.com, uh, [00:17:00] Wikidata, let’s say those are all just factual representations of you.
[00:17:04] After that, you’re looking for the votes, which would be the specific, relevant organizations who are authoritative and expert and trusted within your industry. Okay, so then that’s where
[00:17:16] Karin: the votes are. Okay. Sorry. So then how is that different from the.
[00:17:21] Jason: Reviews are hugely important and if, if you, if, um, if you’ve ever heard of e a t, have you heard of E A T I can explain it really quickly.
[00:17:29] Yeah, please. Expertise authoritativeness and trustworthiness. Oh, that’s Google thing for credibility. So basically I say credibility, but they break it down into those three things. So Google wants to send its users. And remember, people searching on Google are not your users. They’re Google’s users. Yes.
[00:17:48] Google is sending to them to you as a favor. They’re recommending you. when they send a user to you. Yeah. So don’t ever think, these are my users. Google owes me them. Google doesn’t owe [00:18:00] you them. Google is sending them because it thinks
[00:18:01] Karin: you and Google owns it and Google has control of it. Yeah. And uh, we get these questions all the time, like, how fast can you change X, Y, Z on Google?
[00:18:09] I can’t. I don’t work for Google, I don’t have control over those things. We can ask them very nicely to, you know, do a certain thing, but it is, it’s Google’s website, you know, and everybody uses it so often. I think they feel familiar with it or something. Yeah. Like they should have control over it. But you don’t, and this is, this can be a sad reality in certain circumstances.
[00:18:30] Jason: Yeah, no, and that’s a huge point and it’s really well put, uh, that familiarity makes us think that we own or control it. But just to finish on that and I’d love to come back. It’s a great point. Expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness basically says trustworthiness reviews, which is what made me think of it.
[00:18:48] My audience appreciate me. That’s reviews, that’s forum comments, that’s feedback from you that Google, Google can see. Authoritativeness is that my peers appreciate. , [00:19:00] that’s justia.com. That’s the The Bar Association of Minneapolis. Yeah. Expertise is, I cover my topic on my website and on my social media platforms expertly and completely, and Google have recently added what we call experience.
[00:19:18] Okay. So they now call it double e a t to just to make it twice as good, eat . Uh, and that idea of experience is say, I actually have experience in this field. I’m done. So in the case of lawyers, yeah, it would be to make sure that Google understands that you’ve covered specific cases within a specific field.
[00:19:39] And so how do they verify that? By the court records, online court records, records online are all over the place. Google reads all of that. Sure. And if your name is cited in a court case, in a court paper on a official court website, you need to make sure that Google understands that it’s the same person.
[00:19:57] Because that That’s you with people. Yeah, exactly. With [00:20:00] people, there’s ambiguity. Sure. There’s lots of people called Jason Barnard. Sure. Is it the same one? Is it that guy? Yeah. And one of your huge roles is to use your. To confirm to Google that is indeed me, and that’s part of the reason you need to really make sure your website is great.
[00:20:16] And it’s not traditional sel, right? It’s not search engine optimization as most people understand it. It’s saying I need to educate Google and ensure that it sees the corroboration that makes sense and is truly helpful to its confidence in its understanding. Because if you look at a knowledge panel, you have understanding.
[00:20:36] Which is great. Confidence in that understanding is what makes the knowledge panel immensely big and very rich and full of your photos and your social profiles and information about you in a great description. That’s confidence. Understanding is one thing. Confidence is the key. Okay.
[00:20:52] Karin: So in order to validate that experience, you are, you are talking about how it’s not the same as traditional seo.
[00:20:58] So in my mind, [00:21:00] um, the validation would be something like an external link over to that. Um, you know, yeah. Reference or whatever. Is that what you’re, is that what you’re meaning by kind of validating that and telling Google to make that connection?
[00:21:12] Jason: It, it’s as, yes. It’s as simple as that. Okay. Really, truly is that you look at all these great court cases and you have a page that says, this court case I won, here’s the link and you link through to the court paper.
[00:21:25] Yeah. This case. , I won. Point the court paper. I, I don’t think losing your court case is bad in the sense that Google isn’t judging you on whether you win or lose, it’s judging you. On what cases have you represented within that? Specific sphere. Yeah. And uh, there’s a great SCL called , who’s a Turkish SCL who talks about topical authority.
[00:21:46] And in the case of lawyers, that would all about be about the types of cases you’re dealing with and the better you can communicate your specialties to Google, the, the, the more Google is going to be able to surface [00:22:00] you. Not only. , uh, for your own name in terms of representing you as this type of lawyer who can represent this kind of problem, but also within the generalist searches, the more Google understands that you specialize in criminal law or divorce law, right, the more likely it is to recommend you in those specific circumstances without traditional seo.
[00:22:21] So making sure Google understands who your audience is, and that’s topicality. Is absolutely key. So what we do at Kelly Cube is educate Google about who you are and what you do, and then we help you to communicate your topicality, what your speciality is. and who your audience is. And I just said specialty again,
[00:22:41] Karin: know I caught that one again. It’s so much better. It’s so much better. . Um, okay, so tell me what the difference between the way that you’re describing these external links and the focus on blog posts, because you know, you and I both know that it’s kind of just this ad nauseum. Idea that if you just [00:23:00] endlessly write blog posts on all of these topics, and I’ve seen a lot of clients have a reasonable amount of success if they do it really well and they’re pretty consistent.
[00:23:08] But it, it changes. And Google’s ideas about your blog posts change. It’s much different now than it was five or six years ago. So should we be focusing on blog posts or should we be really honing in on certain topics, or how do blog posts kind of come into play in this, in this whole topic? ,
[00:23:29] Jason: right? Oh, I like that question because blog posts for blog, blog post’s sake is in terms of Google a pointless exercise.
[00:23:38] Yes. Um, if, if you write a blog post that answers a specific question that you know your audience is searching for, it can potentially surface in Google. Sure. If you are writing a blog, blog post because you are interested in it, , and nobody ever asks that question in that way, you are writing for yourself and.
[00:23:56] From that perspective, I, I tend to ask my [00:24:00] clients to look at this from an FAQ point of view. Look at the questions your audience are asking and answer those questions. Be it 50 words, a hundred words, a thousand words, answer with the number of words that you need to answer the question efficiently. And I’ll give you a really good example is I was searching earlier on for.
[00:24:20] Um, information about domain names. Yeah. And the article that Google Surface started off with an explanation of what is a domain name, and that was totally pointless. I know what a domain name is, . I don’t need that explaining. And I was scrolling through and it’s hugely frustrating. Yeah. And Google doesn’t wanna do that.
[00:24:39] Google’s been tricked by some clever seo. . What Google would want to do is bring me to the solution, to my problem right at the top of the page, right? So if I’m looking for a simple answer like does.co.uk. , can I buy it using Hover for example? That would very silly question, but um, yeah, I would just want [00:25:00] that at the top.
[00:25:00] I don’t wanna have to scroll through an entire article to find that out. Right. But if I’m asking what is the history of domain name since 1998, I would expect a 2,005,000 word article. Right. And I would spend the time reading it. So you need to consider that when you are looking at it. But it’s also always a question of answering a question, providing a solution to an inquiry from a human being and.
[00:25:24] inquiry needs to be incredibly relevant to your topicality. And here here’s a really good way of looking at that. Google’s looking for depth, breadth, and velocity. Yeah. So it’s looking for you to cover the, the topic in depth, preferably breadth as well. And they want a regular. update. Yeah. So they want one article a week or one article a month.
[00:25:48] It doesn’t matter what your velocity is, but you need to maintain that velocity. Yep. So don’t start off with five articles a week and then drop it down, because Google will drop a lot of your site. Yep. It assumes you dead from, [00:26:00] yeah. You need that velocity. And if you want to f focus, if you want to prioritize, number one is depth.
[00:26:07] Number two is velocity. Number three is. . So you want to go deep into a specific topic with a consistent velocity and then broaden. .
[00:26:18] Karin: That’s so good because I get a lot of questions about how to make themselves, okay, these are lawyers to begin with, and how do we make ourselves, you know, have more personality and be more human.
[00:26:33] Mm-hmm. and shouldn’t we talk about our cats? You know, shouldn’t we talk about. , you know what, you know, what kinds of things we do on the weekends and no, it makes us people like us more and I see the logic in what they’re thinking and you know, that it makes them somehow connect to their audience better.
[00:26:53] But it’s such the wrong idea. and I’m, I’m sitting there oftentimes on the, on a call [00:27:00] or something thinking. No . I mean, how do I tell you that this is just wrong? Uh, but this, this explains it. You know that, that, first of all, think about what people are asking. Are, are your clients, when they come into your, your office, are they asking about your cats?
[00:27:14] I don’t think so. , I don’t think they care about your cats. That has nothing to do with their problem or why they’re coming into your office or, you know, picking up. .
[00:27:25] Jason: Yeah. And, and that, that brings me to a couple of interesting points that, uh, multiple, this is, this is,
[00:27:31] Karin: you wanna talk about your cats No ,
[00:27:36] Jason: uh, is is that we’re all the star of our own film.
[00:27:39] Yeah. And nobody else cares. And if you are talking to me, you are interested in what I can bring to you. So not, not particularly wishing to insult you, but the conversation from both our point of views is very much. What do I get out of it? Exactly, exactly. And it’s exactly the same for your clients. And one thing I find [00:28:00] is about pages.
[00:28:00] We, we, uh, ccu we focus hugely on about pages. Oh gosh. And we write masses of about pages. And they need to be clear. They need to be. , um, written in a way that makes sense for both Google and for human beings. Yes. They need to start with what you do today very clearly and work backwards in history rather than the other way around.
[00:28:23] It’s not, we were founded in 1997, bloody blah. You don’t start with when you were founded. You start with what we’re doing today and you move backwards and it’s the same for a person. Okay. And
[00:28:32] Karin: how far back do you say, because this is, this is a conversation. all the time as well. , and, you know, lawyers, jobs are to be very detail oriented and include all the facts and, and so, um, they oftentimes will wanna include every subsection of a club they were in, in college and law school, and every, every kind of work they’ve ever done, even things that have nothing to do with what they’re doing.
[00:28:59] Jason: [00:29:00] Could I make a point here, please? And it’s that please, people very rarely follow their own advice. and a lawyer will tell you in front of a judge, the judge doesn’t have the time to listen to your entire story. You have to give contacts, get straight to the point. Make sure that you’ve nailed it. They don’t care about the details, or they don’t have the time to listen for the details.
[00:29:18] It’s exactly the same for your clients that.
[00:29:20] Karin: That is. That is it in a nutshell right there. Let’s pretend that you are presenting your bio page or you’re about page to a judge. Does the judge care what you did in college? No, ? No, they do not. And it doesn’t have anything to do with why someone might hire you.
[00:29:36] Either they care that you’ve done this kind of work before, that you can prove it and that it was successful and that you can solve their. So, yeah. Yeah. That’s
[00:29:45] Jason: it. That’s it. No, it it, it’s exactly it. And um, what I do like or not like about it, depending on which perspective you take, is that, uh, the fact that you are saying to me, a lawyer will want to explain absolutely everything they’ve done is exactly the opposite [00:30:00] of what every lawyer I’ve ever worked with has told me to do for yourself with them.
[00:30:05] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And so from, from that perspective, that was the first point. The second point is to distinguish yourself from your. . Yes. And I think lawyers probably have a huge problem with that. Yes. Is that on your website? You need to say, I am a specialist in abc. Yep. This is why you can trust me.
[00:30:24] Yeah. And here’s the proof of all the cases that I’ve won. Yeah, that’s it. That’s it. Then you can have your own personal website that says, I am a lawyer. I also have cats. Cats. I got cats. Yeah. . And I go skiing. Yes, yes. And that’s fine. Exactly. So your cats and your skiing go on your personal website. And I think a lot of lawyers don’t have personal websites because I might be wrong, but they’re like me so much in their work that.
[00:30:49] fail to distinguish that, that moment when they go from professional to personal. Yes. Yes. And it, it’s a really good idea to sit down. That’s what we do at Cali Cube with all of our clients. We trigger [00:31:00] knowledge panels for lawyers all day long. Yep, yep. It’s easy for us. It’s really difficult for them because they don’t know what they’re doing, and we do know what we are doing and we sit down and we say, who are you and who’s your company?
[00:31:11] Yep. Let’s separate them. Exactly. That’s the the first thing. Your company is an entity, even if it carries your name. Exactly. It’s an entity. It’s a thing. You are another thing, and let’s separate them. Let’s create your personal website. Oh, but I don’t want a personal website. I don’t care. Yes, . You need a website that just represents you because Google’s looking for that.
[00:31:29] Yes. Yes. If Google doesn’t have your own personal website to look at for your cat and your skiing and your professional career, yes. It’s gonna look just at your website. Yes. And that isn’t a human being. It’s a human being working at a company and that company is something else. Yes. Once we get that straight, everything rolls right off the presses, as it were.
[00:31:50] Exactly. Um, and that’s the huge first. Writing, sorry. Separating the two entities, writing the description, deciding who we are, what we do, [00:32:00] which audience we serve. Off we go, and we can get your brand narrative on Google to a T. Okay,
[00:32:05] Karin: so last question before we talk about the book review is a lot of our, uh, kind of potential clients or initial conversations start with, um, a mention that we don’t care about seo.
[00:32:18] We, we get a lot of business, all of our business comes in through referrals. , so, so it doesn’t matter to us. We don’t care at all about that. So do people ever say that to you? Like, we, we, we haven’t really ever focused on seo, or maybe they say it in a different way, um, or their serp or however they might phrase it with you, but why, why is that a bad strategy?
[00:32:44] Jason: Right. Well, I mean, SEO in the traditional sense is ranking for accident lawyer, and that isn’t my business at Cali Cube. Right. My business, Cali Cube is saying, right, you are getting referrals, which is great, but just because Karen refers a lawyer to me, [00:33:00] doesn’t mean to say, I’m not gonna research them. I’m gonna search their name, I’m gonna Google their name.
[00:33:04] Yes. So even if you said they’re great, if Google says they’re rubb, . Yep. You’ve lost, they’re not gonna call you money on the table. Yes. You are leaving that money on the table. You’ve lost a sale. Yeah. And Google’s stamp of approval is phenomenally important. We all trust Google. Yep. Yeah. Or all the people who use Google, except the people who don’t like Google and never use it.
[00:33:27] But yeah, we’re still talking about 90% of your audience are gonna be Googling your name and not duck, duck going your name. Um, so from that perspective, Whoever’s sending a, a referral for me, the perfect example of yes, they know who you are, they’re a very warm lead. They’re gonna Google your name, make sure you’ve got that knowledge panel that puts you in the best possible light that’s gonna convert you
[00:33:50] Karin: Exactly.
[00:33:50] To clients. Exactly. I think the, the important thing there is to differentiate between this idea of seo, this traditional SEO idea where Yeah, you’re showing up on that left. and all [00:34:00] the stuff we haven’t been talking about. Brilliant. As well as, as compared to the right side and how that boosts and supports and, and kind of reinforces your referrals.
[00:34:11] So it’s really critical, especially if your business is coming mostly from referral that you’ve got it really nailed in.
[00:34:19] Jason: I, I really like the phrase reinforce your referral because it’s got that rah ra ra thing going on, but reinforce your referral. It’s absolutely brilliant. Yeah. And uh, a friend of mine, Deirdre told me, you are tightening up the bottom of your funnel.
[00:34:33] Karin: Oh, that’s good.
[00:34:36] Jason: And that, that’s what I thought when she said it. Yeah. ,
[00:34:39] Karin: that’s good because the bottom of your funnel is all. You’ve already like got rid of all the garbage and all the, the potential clients who are a waste of time and not the ideal and blah, blah, blah. And as you get to the bottom, wow, you’ve got the really good ones and you’re making
[00:34:54] Jason: it better.
[00:34:56] Yeah. Oh, brilliant point as well. I mean, tightening up the bottom of the funnel is a great phrase [00:35:00] from Deirdre, but also if you get people coming in for accident, lawyer, you are spending so much time talking to ’em on the phone, convincing them. But when they’re coming in through a search on your name, the sale is pretty much done.
[00:35:10] As long as Google’s recommending you. Yep. You’re away. I mean, I found that with myself is I talked about earlier on, is that I was, I was trying to get Google to represent me as a, a. , uh, what’s what? Authoritative expert digital marketer. Yeah. And as soon as I changed my brand search, what? Google shows when you search my name, Jason Barnard, I converted more clients.
[00:35:33] Nice. All of a sudden, these people I was meeting with would. Would would sign on the dotted line without even asking me about the price. They stopped negotiating the price. It was wonderful. All of a sudden changed my
[00:35:44] Karin: life. Exactly. It’s all of a sudden it’s like the light bulbs go off and you’re like, okay, this is the right path.
[00:35:50] I have done something right and all signs point to it. Have been having been the right answer or the right change, or the right refinement, or whatever it is that you did, [00:36:00] all of a sudden it’s not subtle. You don’t need a report to tell you these things. All of a sudden, you, you know, everything just starts to go more easily.
[00:36:07] Life just gets better. . Yeah,
[00:36:09] Jason: yeah. No, exactly. And, and people, people are, I was gonna say, people are human, which is a bit of a silly thing to say, but it is that I’ve seen you on social, I’ve come across you on an article that you wrote. I Respect You, I Google. and all of a sudden I think, yeah, this is the right decision.
[00:36:26] Yep. Google isn’t the thing that makes the decision in its entirety. It’s right. The last little point, the last drop that pushes that person over, it’s the tipping point. It’s the straw that. , I was gonna say, breaks the camel back. But that isn’t really very positive either. In a good way. You get the idea in a good way.
[00:36:44] Yeah, in a good way. . Yeah. Is there a good way to break a camel’s back?
[00:36:49] Karin: may, I don’t know. ?
[00:36:50] Jason: No, no,
[00:36:51] Karin: no, no. Okay. Probably not. Yeah. Um, okay. It’s time for the book review. So you know that our, uh, audience is full of lawyers that don’t have time to, to [00:37:00] waste on books that aren’t worth it. So what’s the book? Within this world of SERP and you know, kind of refining your brand in order to work better with Google that, that you have to recommend.
[00:37:15] Jason: Right. Great question. And it’s lucky because in fact, a client of ours is a person called Jason Hennessy. Oh, nice. He came to, he, he’s an seo, so he’s in search engine optimization. He’s super, super smart and he was smart enough, if I may say so, to come to us for his knowledge panel. Nice. He knew that he didn’t know enough about it.
[00:37:33] He came to us, he paid us the fee. We got him his knowledge panel, and we made it absolutely glorious. Nice. So search his name, Jason Hennessy. That’s our work. And what’s the book? He, however, Wrote a book called Law Firm. Oh, and his book, that’s perfect law. It is, yeah. and he is the super specialist in law firm, Jason Hennessy.
[00:37:54] Hennessy Digital. . He specializes in law firm seo. And he’s the guy who’s gonna [00:38:00] get you to the top for accident. Lawyer. Yeah. I’m the guy who’s gonna get you the conversion when somebody already knows who you are and they search your name. Yeah. So read his book then. Read my book. Yeah, exactly. The fundamentals of brand sets
[00:38:12] Karin: of business.
[00:38:13] Exactly. And we will, we’ll link to both obviously on, on the show notes and the.
[00:38:18] Jason: In seo, those are the only two books you need to read.
[00:38:21] Karin: There you go. That’s it. That’s all. You need to do. Two books. You can, you can get that done in, you know, in quickly, in a couple weeks.
[00:38:28] Jason: Um, from what I understand about lawyers is they read incredibly quickly.
[00:38:32] So they, they probably would read it in an evening, wouldn’t they? . Let’s, let’s
[00:38:36] Karin: hope. Well, it depends on how long the book is. Maybe it’s one of those little thin ones. so Sure may. Right. Maybe they can get that done. So what’s, what’s something that, you know, that works when it comes to what? Well, just when it comes to marketing in general, or cerp or what’s just one thing that, you know, that works.
[00:38:53] Jason: I mean, we, we’ll come right back to the beginning, which is delightful. Yeah, perfect. Your website beautifully organized. [00:39:00] That truly helps your audience is gonna make sure that Google. Will represent you in the way that you want. So if you are truly representing, representing yourself and the services and the solutions you can provide to your audience in a clear manner, Google will understand and it will, sorry, your audience will understand first and foremost.
[00:39:22] Sure, but also Google will understand, so you win on both. There you go. Um, what, what would they call sides? Yeah. . Exactly.
[00:39:29] Karin: That is awesome. I think that is, that does bring it full circle that, you know, there’s all this really important stuff to know about representing yourself on Google, but at the end of the day, if your website’s a disaster, uh mm-hmm.
[00:39:40] that’s, it’s, it’s not gonna work. So you put all this money and time into this Google profile and then your website. First of all, your, your website feeds into that, that yeah. Knowledge panel. And so it won’t, that won’t work as well either. So you have to kind of, uh, pay attention and keep both very [00:40:00] healthy and working well to work together and for the whole picture to work for you.
[00:40:05] Jason: Absolutely. I couldn’t have put it better. I was gonna add something, but I don’t think I can
[00:40:09] Karin: improve on that . That’s perfect. Well, Jason Barnard is the founder and c e o of Kelly Cube, and this has been such a great conversation to really take a different angle for how to do well on Google, uh, and consider.
[00:40:25] That whole side of referrals and the knowledge base and how that is very different from what’s happening on the left side of the page. So thank you so much for your time. Absolutely. And this conversation, it was really great.
[00:40:36] Jason: Yeah. And can I say one last thing, which please Is. . Google is a child. Yes. It wants to understand the world.
[00:40:42] We are educating it about our little corner of the world. Yep. That’s it. If you educate the child, that is Google, Google will understand and Google will present you to its audience. Its users when you will be useful to them, and it will represent your brand, your personal brand in the way that you want.
[00:40:59] Google [00:41:00] as a child, learn to educate it. Yeah.
[00:41:02] Karin: Perfect. Okay. Thanks.
[00:41:05] Jason: Brilliant. Thank you so much, Kevin.
[00:41:07] Karin: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Council Cast Podcast. Be sure to visit our [email protected] for the resources mentioned on the episode and to give us your feedback. If you enjoyed this episode, I would appreciate if you could rate and review the podcast on Apple and subscribe to your favorite podcast platform.
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