There’s no way around it, prospective clients want to talk to a lawyer, so get into your intake! Then the guys go LARPing—a little role play to quickly up your SEO game. Also, the return or Dear State Bar Regulator.
As a lawyer, how involved should you be in the intake process? You’ve got people to handle that, right? After all, you’ve got better things to do. Gyi and Conrad discuss intake best practices and what really turns phone calls to clients.
In the return of a fan favorite segment, Dear State Bar Regulator, Gyi pens a letter to those weirdly nitpicky South Carolina regulators. Let’s be honest, how much can a potential client really infer from a 3rd-party’s URL?
And then, it’s time for some legal marketing LARPing! No, the guys aren’t donning wizard gowns and medieval attire; rather, they take on their respective roles as lawyer and marketer and dive deeper into the realm of SEO expectations. With a few quick tweaks, you can unlock the quick wins that will level up your magical powers, or at least your internet footprint.
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Conrad Saam: Before we get started today, we want to thank our sponsors: Clio, LawYaw and Posh Virtual Receptionists.
Hey Gyi, it was not that long ago that we were talking about the power of puppies as it pertains to improving your social media marketing, and I thought it was just a joke. But the other day, you sent me an image of one of our friends with a puppy.
Gyi Tsakalakis: You know, I was actually — we’re both being very presumptuous but very flattered that our good friend Seth Price watched at least the clip of you with your puppy because he’s copy dogged you.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. So we’ve got Seth Price puppy marketing. You know, I’m always flattered when — not only does he listen, but he’s clearly taking our advice. I always find it fun when my — have you ever given a talk where someone from Scorpion hasn’t been in the audience?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Oh, you know what, I don’t know the answer to that question.
Conrad Saam: No, all right.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Have you?
Conrad Saam: I cannot remember the last time I gave a webinar specifically. I don’t know, something about in-person but I always love seeing Scorpion there and I’m hoping the people over at Scorpion are learning a lot from the wisdom that we impart on some of our conversations.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, they’re doing better than we are because they’re much bigger company.
Conrad Saam: I don’t know that that means that they are doing better. Would you trade places?
Gyi Tsakalakis: With whom?
Conrad Saam: Scorpion.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Like the whole company?
Conrad Saam: Yeah. You are now the king of Scorpion. Yes or no?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Probably not because it’s VC money. I’m scared of the VC money.
Conrad Saam: Okay. I’ve played that game, it’s less fun than it sounds. Today, we’ve got some really big news with LawPay and in my case walking down the aisle.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Talk about VC money.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. Talk about VC money, yeah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: They’re not afraid of it.
Conrad Saam: (00:01:44) is getting married. We’re going to talk about “should lawyers be involved in intake?” This was a really, really good post that came up when we had conversation on “should lawyers be involved in intake?” I was surprised by the poll results on that. Dot dot dot. We’ll see what happens.
We’re opening up Gyi’s favorite segment “Dear State Bar Regulator” in which Gyi ingratiates himself as a member of the American Bar Association with State Bar regulators around the country. And finally, we’re going to get into Legal Marketing LARPing, SEO the return. We’re going to come back to the conversation that Gyi and I had the other day about how quickly can you see SEO improvements. With that, let’s make the world go round.
Male: Welcome to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing teaching you how to promote, market and make fat stacks for your legal practice here on Legal Talk Network.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Dear listeners, welcome once again to Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. So glad you can be with us today. And before we get to the meat of this burger, we’re going to do some news.
Breaking news! AffiniPay popularly known in the world as LawPay has acquired my case. So big news in the consolidation of tech world as Joe Patrice puts it over at Above the Law. Give a little love to him in his article. It’s peanut butter and jelly, right? Payments and practice management. Bob covered it at LawNext too actually. I had a really good interview with Jack Newton of Clio who is also in the foray of payments and practice management.
Good news for consumers. I think this creates another really strong competitor in the payments practice management space. Conrad, what do you think?
Conrad Saam: Yeah, I think especially — I mean we’ve touched on this slightly. I think there is a huge risk in the small legal tech vendor and I think there is value. I don’t always love the value but I think there’s absolutely value in the stability of size here. And so, we’ve been talking about this for a while. I do think this will be a boon for the legal community.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And more competition hopefully means better pricing for solos and smalls that are purchasing these products, right? Because that’s one of the places these behemoths compete on.
Conrad Saam: Yeah, price and scale. Like scale gives you efficiency. Efficiency makes it easier to provide good pricing. So this will be a good thing. I’m actually happy to see this happen.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Same.
Conrad Saam: And congrats to Nikki Black.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes. And we’ll put links to those, both Bob’s and Joe’s articles in the show notes if you want to learn more about this. Short news break today.
Conrad Saam: Short but big.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Big news, short news. Let’s take a break.
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Conrad Saam: All right Gyi, there was a really interesting post by Gary Falkowitz. There’s a new group in Facebook. I would actually encourage people to join. It is around law firm intake. It’s called Law Firm Intake Fundamentals. The initial post in there by Gary who’s running the group asked the question “Should lawyers be involved in intake?” And I was really, I was almost taken aback by the answers.
Gyi Tsakalakis: What were the answers?
Conrad Saam: The answer was it was a two to one in favor of lawyers being involved in intake which means one out of three of you thinks lawyers don’t need to be involved in intake. And I thought that was really, really off.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Why?
Conrad Saam: Well, I think it’s the right question but it’s the wrong audience. Asking a bunch of lawyers if they need to be involved in intake, it’s the wrong question. Sorry. It’s the right question, it’s the wrong audience. It doesn’t matter. And what happens when you read the comments, what you see here is like, “Hey, it takes a lot of time. I’m wasting my time. We’re going to sign them anyway. We’re really good at this.” But the question should be posed not to the attorneys because they’re viewing this. You are viewing this as an assessment of the value of your time as a lawyer as opposed to a salesperson. The question should be posed to prospects.
And to me, with a few noted exceptions, and there will always be exceptions, but for the vast majority of people, if you are calling a law firm, your desire is to speak to an attorney and not an intake specialist or not some smooth slick system but it really is to talk to an attorney. And as a purely craven marketer, I really want my lawyers to be invested in converting all of those prospects into clients and one of the most important ways to do that is give people what they want which is to talk to an attorney.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So I generally agree with just about everything you said. Definitely, the only feedback that’s really relevant here are the people that are calling in to the firms. I will say this, forgetting about the resource thing, right? Because that’s a valid consideration from a business standpoint: the value of your time and should you be doing that or whatever but also to the service and the client experience to your point like there’s certainly value in starting to establish that relationship.
But I think the other thing that’s going on in this poll is what’s getting clumped under the umbrella of intake? So someone calls the firm and they’re like, “I think I need a lawyer.” And someone takes their name, information, brief description of their situation or does some screening. “Oh, this happened 25 years ago. Unfortunately, we’re not going to help you.” That kind of stuff. Frankly, I think that it doesn’t really matter. I mean I think the efficiency side of things like — and again, I’m kind of apples for apples assuming that the lawyers are trained and good at intake because I’ll tell you this.
There’s a lot of situations where like the lawyer is a liability on the phone. In fact, we’re just reviewing some calls for this one firm because we were like, you’re driving crazy. (00:09:16) too but crazy amounts of calls and then we’re like, lawyers are like, “Well, they’re not turning their clients.” And so, we’re like, “Oh, are they not targeted?” And then you let go and you look at the keywords and look at all the stuff going on. And then you listen to the call and you’re like, “Ah, that’s why.”
Conrad Saam: Got it. Here’s the problem.
Gyi Tsakalakis: That’s why they’re not turning their client.
Conrad Saam: So let’s just apples for apples and say, we’re talking about expertise in intake whether it’s an intake specialist or a lawyer to your point. All that really matters is are you delivering a great experience to the potential client? I do think what your point about the expectation about talking to a lawyer, you can’t get around that at some point in the process. That’s why I got back to kind of segmenting intake.
If you’re talking about the initial screen, I think it’s good empathy, professionals. You can do some — from initial screening. But at some point, yeah, you got to talk to a lawyer so is that intake? I mean you can call it whatever you want. Intake part 2. That’s building the relationship with your client though, right? Well you say intake part 2, right? Where I would go being as aggressive as a marketer as I possibly can, the intake part 2 kind of suggests that it’s okay to set up that meeting, right? My best practice is the live transfer to a lawyer right now.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Of course. Yeah. When I say intake part 2, all I mean — I didn’t mean anything temporally. I would say after the initial screen, right?
Conrad Saam: I just don’t want to let our listeners get away with that, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.
Conrad Saam: Oh it’s okay. I can just get them on the calendar. Not best practice.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No. Ideally, it’s hot transferred. You want to get them describing their case and you want to qualify the consultation immediately and then shoot them a retainer to sign on their phone, right?
Conrad Saam: So before we move on, I want to leave with two points. One is the person on the phone does not need to be the lead attorney. The caller wants to talk to an attorney and that can be the worst lawyer in the world who is empathetic and listens really well to a client and this does not have to be the partner. Number two, and this was Gyi’s point, I wanted to hit this really hard. You said you were reviewing calls with a law firm, right? How many of you are reviewing your calls because there is so much insight to be gained by listening in to the calls that are coming into your firm. And I suspect most of you will be disappointed if you take a listen to those calls. But with that, it’s time to move on to the Legal Trends Report brought to you by our good friends at Clio.
Hey Gyi, what’s the difference between law firms that grow their revenue versus ones that don’t?
Gyi Tsakalakis: I bet you it has to do with technology.
Conrad Saam: And we’re done with the law firm minute brought to you by Clio. No. Law firms’ growing revenue are 37% more likely to use online payment software, right? And we just talked about online payment software at the beginning with the news. So it’s a big deal. The benefits of offering electronic payment options at your firm are plenty for both you and your clients. Billing and online payment software make it easier for you to access up-to-date information on outstanding bills and follow up with clients who haven’t paid. It also simplifies the payment process for in-person and remote clients offering several quick payment methods for them to complete the transaction.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, I’ll tell you a little experience share. We had a contractor do some painting and you know I’m like, “Hey, I’m ready to pay you.” And they’re like, “Can you write me a check?” And I’m like, “Can I like QuickPay you? Zelle or Venmo or literally anything? Cash App? I mean I’ll go download it. PayPal?” “No.” I’m like, “All right. Well, I’ll get back to you after I find my checkbook.” Right?
Conrad Saam: And now here’s the thing, the likelihood that a percentage of that “I will get back to you. Let me find my checkbook.” That a percentage of that becomes hard to collect or completely falls through the cracks is very, very real.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Totally. My hunch is now, they’ll be chasing me down over the next several days. Hopefully I find it today.
Conrad Saam: Yeah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: But why make it hard? Why are we making it so hard to get paid? It’s hard not to do the work.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. But you’re putting yourself in a bad relationship because you’re chasing money. That’s like the worst thing for a business owner to do is say, “Hey, you owe me a bunch of money.” With the exception of letting people go, that is and in fact that may be worse than letting people go. It’s just an awful, awful thing. You’re nicer than I am.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I guess.
Conrad Saam: All right, to learn more about what technology is being used by successful firms, download Clio’s Legal Trends Report for free at clio.com/trends. That’s Clio spelled C-L-I-O .com/trends.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And now for one of my favorite subjects, it’s so near and dear to my heart, Dear State Bar Regulator.
Dear State Bar Regulator. Dear South Carolina State Bar Regulators. I’d be happy to chat with a South Carolina State Bar regulator about ethics advisory opinion 22-02. Now, this came out looks like — I think believe this came out in February. So I think that these are titled based on their day. But they’re reviewing whether or not South Carolina attorneys can permissibly use the website Expertise.com. And you know, there are some valid issues raised in the opinion but I’m going to skip down to one of my favorite parts of the opinion which is lawyers cannot permissibly use Expertise.com because regardless of how they’re using it, Expertise.com is a variation of the word expert.
And therefore, if it’s an impermissible term to be used in lawyer communications about their services, you cannot use it. And it reminds me of the LinkedIn fields that’s an endorsement or specialty and I’m just like again, I mean I get it. We got to protect the consumers because we don’t want to be misled that this lawyer’s an expert at anything.
Conrad Saam: I mean talk about putting an anchor around your neck and jumping into the ocean.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And another thing about this is, it’s like show me. Just show me the example where someone was searching around the internet for a lawyer. They landed on Expertise.com. They looked at a profile there. They were like, “That lawyer seems like they know what they’re talking about.” They hired the lawyer. And the lawyer botched the case and the customer was like, “You know what? I was misled by Expertise.com’s domain because I thought they had expertise because Expertise.com.”
Conrad Saam: And I was so disappointed because they had no expertise. Yeah, this is bananas. If you took this to any other industry, they would think that it is satire.
Gyi Tsakalakis: I want to see them take it. Someone’s got to take it to the Supreme Court. Take these regulations to the Supreme Court and see what they think. Because it’s just, I don’t know. Again, we’re marketing people so what do we know? But it’s a disservice to legal services consumers to make it impossible for lawyers to distinguish themselves from each other. Part of the way, you distinguish yourself from one another is through highlighting your expertise, talking about what you do. And I don’t think that saying like, “Yeah, we’re specialists in this” or “We are experts in this” that’s it. Like once you say you’re experts, the poor public citizen is like, “I am totally bamboozled by you. You’ve totally misled me.”
Conrad Saam: Yeah, and then to make the next kind of ridiculous leap to suggest that even if that is a problem that the consumer is so stupid to think that a listing in Expertise is bestowing something that a lawyer shouldn’t have because of — I mean it’s just bananas. I can’t even.
Gyi Tsakalakis: But it’s totally fine to be like, “W e recovered a billion dollars in fees all over everything” and at the bottom of your website’s say “Prior outcomes don’t guarantee future results,” that’s totally fine. I mean, come on people. Come on State Bar Regulators. Your friend, Gyi Tsakalakis.
Conrad Saam: P.S. Dear South Carolina State Bar Regulator, the SCbar.org is an ADA lawsuit waiting to happen with your footer with tiny gray text hidden on a black background. So that might be something that you do think about and spend your time on. Just throwing it out there.
Gyi Tsakalakis: It’s Conrad’s threatening lawsuits.
Conrad Saam: I’m not threatening anything but I mean, look at this stuff. And it’s like, there are things you should be worried about and there are things you should not be worried about. You guys are looking at the wrong direction. Let’s take a break.
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Gyi Tsakalakis: So, if this isn’t your first Lunch Hour Legal Marketing rodeo, you know that from time to time, Conrad and I like to thank our listeners who leave us reviews or say something nice about us or say something indifferent about us. So I received an email from folks on our team and the email said, “I was listening to Gyi’s latest podcast.” Sorry Conrad, apparently it is my podcast.
He brought up a better question that we thought we should be asking. So this was someone inquiring with a colleague of mine at Attorneys Inc. about exploring whether we might be the right fit for what they need. Based on your review audit of our SEO, what should our expectations be? Right?
Conrad Saam: Wow.
Gyi Tsakalakis: We just talk about — yeah, right? So listener, yeah, love it. Any forecasting in terms of qualified leads consultations over time? So one, thank you so much for listening. Two, thank you so much for holding us accountable to answer the questions that I’m posing on the show. For others that are out there listening, please do hit us up #lhlm. We really do appreciate the feedback whether it’s reviews, emails. We’re very, very proud of our silliness on YouTube so check out our YouTube channel. Which takes us right into the next segment which is — so Conrad and I were kind of thinking about this and it made me think what a great opportunity to do some LARPing. Conrad, your big LARPer? LARPing, it sounds like something you do at a county fair.
Conrad Saam: Maybe. So, LARPing, for those that are not familiar with this fun activity is live action role-play. And there’s a very famous live action role play.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yes.
Conrad Saam: This is a family show, Gyi. The last time we recorded, you were talking about something wiggling on my lap, and now we’re doing some role play.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Well, I suppose it depends on what roles you’re playing and how you’re playing them.
Conrad Saam: All right.
Gyi Tsakalakis: But in this context, what we’re going to do is some Legal Marketing LARPing.
Video Playing: Magic missile. Magic missile.
Conrad Saam: Legal marketing LARPing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah. So here are rules. I’m going to be lawyer. Lawyer person looking for a SEO, have a bunch of questions about — “Hey, I listened to Conrad and Gyi talk on the show. I got some questions about this expectation because I think there is — we can go a little bit deeper. Conrad and I had a conversation offline of like, “What should you be doing in month one?” So, we thought this might be a good opportunity for lawyers to get a sense of like, “Hey, here’s somethings I’d be doing if I was just getting started with SEO again, whether it’s in house, doing it yourself, or working with an agency.” What can move the dial in a very short period of time?
From SEO perspective, Conrad is going to play himself which he’s so good at playing. And so, let’s dive in. Conrad, who’s my first character going to be?
Conrad Saam: Well, I think it’s really important that your first character is not a solo practitioner in Downtown, Chicago going to dominate the market for personal injury. So the reason I’m saying this is not the case. It is when we’re talking – we’re specifically talking about finding a situation where we can see some quick wins in SEO. If you’re in a huge city, like, you just don’t really stand a chance, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah.
Conrad Saam: Gyi, you are a family lawyer. You have been working on SEO for the last ten years. You’ve used a variety of different vendors. You’ve been frustrated with many of them. You’ve tried lots of things yourself. You’ve been to lots of conferences. You’ve done a whole bunch of things, but you feel like you’ve plateaued and you are really frustrated, and you think most Legal Marketing agencies are lying thieves.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So I’m playing myself, except for the family lawyer part.
Conrad Saam: Except for the family lawyer part. Did we decide where you are?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, you tell me where I am in the world.
Conrad Saam: You are in, let’s call it a secondary city. Let’s say you’re in St. Pete (ph), which I believe is one on the outskirts of Tampa.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay.
Conrad Saam: That’s a great geography. And the reason I’m focusing the geography here and we talked about this geography is in some cases, if you’re in the middle of nowhere and there’s no one else out there, it’s a great opportunity for you to actually get really quick wins. That can be the thing that gives you the quick wins.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And here’s another question that I should be asking. What are we going to set as my primary objective for this? What am I coming to you? Because you said you’re frustrated, you don’t really trust your agency, you don’t really know what the metrics are. So, am I just generally coming in being like, “I’m just generally frustrated, or do I have some data? And I want to talk about cost per client and reducing cost per acquisition, but where am I sophistication level wise?”
Conrad Saam: Sophistication level wise. I’ll make you the typical conversation that we have.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, that’s why I —
Conrad Saam: We think things have plateaued, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay.
Conrad Saam: And you want to grow your law firm. You’re not quite sure how much you want to grow the law firm. Like, “I want to be bigger. How much bigger? Well, I’m not sure. Bigger than last year.” Okay, good.
But you have a level sophistication because you’ve been doing a lot of this yourself. You’ve done a lot of research, you’ve gone to the seminars, but things have really plateaued and you’re frustrated, and you feel like here’s the other thing.
You feel like everyone else is catching up, and you’re starting to feel like you were left behind. You were doing it yourself earlier, but you’re now starting to feel like you’re left behind.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Got it. Tell me, what do I need to know? What are we going to do here?
Conrad Saam: All right, Gyi. The first thing that I want to talk through in terms of — we’re going to be looking for opportunities that can have a meaningful impact quickly, and I want to set your expectation that we really don’t want to be focused on the things that are under importance. I think the things that become really important are whether or not you’re generating business. And so, a lot of the metrics that we deal with and that we see are not related to driving business for you.
For example, the classic one is the ranking. So, we’re going to improve your rankings Gyi. Well, which is great unless no one’s looking for those terms, right? Or, we’re going to improve your rankings but we’re talking about local, and so we’re not really looking at the overall radius where you’re ranking. We’re just talking about how you rank in your own office. Or, we’re going to rank for something that’s actually not going to turn into clients. You use this on the last thing where you rank for Detroit Tigers. Well, great. You get a ton of traffic. That doesn’t really help.
So, rankings is not something that I really want to focus too much on. Traffic good, but not great because traffic, again, you can get traffic for things that no one is going to actually hire you for. Our ability to drive traffic is not that helpful. In fact, we’ve dealt with sites where we’ve reduced the traffic but actually increased the next piece, which is the most important thing. Sorry, there’s one more thing.
The next one is leads. We don’t necessarily want to be maximizing for leads either Gyi, because a lot of the leads, and I know this from our own data, 84 percent of the leads that Mockingbird delivers. Eight-four percent are not real leads, right? They’re garbage. They’re not just bad leads, but a lot of them are ads and I guess post on your website. And that shows up as a lead because that’s how Google analytics looks at tracking conversions in your system. So, you fill out a form, great. That’s a lead. The quality of that form is a question.
What I really want to get to, Mr. Lawyer, is what can we do to drive consultations, right? And from there, we want to make sure that those people flowed down the pipeline and you’re responsive to them, et cetera. But really, when we’re looking at marketing channels, it’s, “Can we drive consultations?”
Gyi Tsakalakis: And so, what can we do? I agree. Marketing person.
Conrad Saam: Great.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Number one, there’s another thing I wanted to qualify about, because a lot of lawyers that we talked to. They’re open to whatever we think is the best thing for them. So maybe it’s SEO, maybe it’s ads, maybe it’s something else. But for this conversation, are we going to assume that we’re focusing on SEO? We’ve decided –
Conrad Saam: We’re going to focus on SEO.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Okay.
Conrad Saam: And that means a couple of things. To me, and what I want to throw out is the notion that SEO always has to be this long-term play. It’s always going to take time, but it presupposes a couple of things, because we’re focusing on SEO.
One, you’ve got a site already that it’s been there. We’re not starting from scratch. Number two, you have a significant amount of content that you’ve done a bunch of stuff. And that’s why when I was talking to you earlier, I was kind of framing your profiles. Like, you’ve been at this for ten years, and you’ve had a lot of people at it. Which means that there are a lot of people have probably effed it up somewhere, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: What’s my link profile look like? Well, that’s exactly what I was going to get to. Number three is that your link profile is actually solid, and that’s a function of being around for a long time. But like, the link profile and the focus of this conversation is we’re trying to get some big wins early on. Fixing the link profile is not a big win early on answer. If that is your weakness, this is not the right conversation for us to be having, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: And if someone’s pitching you on that in month one, be careful.
Conrad Saam: Yes. Why would one be careful, Gyi?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Because there’s only a few ways to generate significant links in one month and 99 out of 100 of those ways can actually get you in trouble. There’s really only one way, and that’s like you happen to publish something on the site that just takes off which is very exceedingly rare. But if you’re out there, like, getting a bunch of spammy links, you get a significant number of spammy links, you’re talking about manual actions, meaning somebody at Google flips a switch and your site disappears.
Conrad Saam: Which would be bad. And then you’re mad at me, but I disappear. Because “Hey, it’s not my business. Sorry, I was just the agency.”
Gyi Tsakalakis: Got it. I’ve been doing this a long time. I got a pretty big site. I’ve got a bunch of links, but I feel like things are flattened out.
Conrad Saam: And the big site thing is important because content does take time. High quality content takes time. So that is also not a quick fix answer, right?
So if you need to build out content, it’s not a quick fix answer. If that’s your profile, it is very possible that there are quick fixes. And I mean this. That can generate more consultations in month one, if you make them. So, what do those things look like?
The first we’re going to talk about is what I will call your terrible undirected content strategy. If you have 100s, 800, a 1000 plus pages of content, you probably have a bloated site with terrible content. And when I look at really large sites, and this is also correlated to a really large site with a really poor backlink profile. The likelihood that a lot of your content is actually getting any traffic is close to zero. So, we can actually make really, really dramatic fast improvements by thoroughly going through your content and adjusting what is there and dealing with it page by page by page by page, to turn a 850 page site into a 250 page site.
Gyi Tsakalakis: For folks where that’s, maybe there’s some, I’m going to make you more kind of a technical gobbledygook.
Conrad Saam: Go.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Just to explain how you do that. You crawl the site and then you compare the pages that actually exist versus the pages that are showing up for organic traffic through Analytics.
Conrad Saam: Well, I mean, it can be as simple as crawling the site and realizing all the garbage pages that you have, right?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Just meet eyeball test.
Conrad Saam: It just really basic. The 25 pages for permutations on plurals. Permutations on plurals, it’s the tags that showed up in WordPress that have generated a bunch of duplicate content that you didn’t know about.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Category pages.
Conrad Saam: Tags and categories are classic for this, but the other one is just like you guys have been told that you need to publish, right? Google loves fresh content, garbage. That’s not true. No one needs 25 pages about we want super lawyers in 1995, right? No one cares. So that stuff is a bunch of garbage.
Now, I don’t think people understand this. Google looks at the quality of your site from a site wide perspective, which means if you have all these tiny little pages that are useless and dated, it’s hurting the good stuff, right? And so, the classic simple approach to looking at content is kill consolidate or keep. Every single page. What do you do with it?
Now, the bigger your site, the more you have to deal with. The longer this takes. But this is something that can have dramatic very fast impact. So what I will call a terrible content strategy.
The next one, and you alluded to this the other day was technical disasters, right? Like absolutely obvious technical mistakes. It can be things like you don’t have H1 is included in your CSS. It could include things like you have tons of four or four pages, right? So you’ve got 20 percent of your pages are broken four of fours. Well, Google is not going to send traffic to a site that’s full of four of fours. So looking for these kind of low hanging technical disasters can have a big impact. It really can.
Gyi Tsakalakis: No, I mean, we see this all time. It’s a couple more of my favorites. The H1 is actually just your logo image.
Conrad Saam: Yeah.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Or your homepage title is home.
Conrad Saam: Right. Think of all the links go on your home page title and you’re optimizing for the word home, which is great if you’re in real estate, but like “come on.”
Gyi Tsakalakis: Home stuffed the rank for.
Conrad Saam: A home is very stuff to rank for. And also, if your law firm, you don’t want to rank for a home, right? Because no one’s going to buy your home law services.
It’s things like that where there’s just really big technical messes. And you would think the more SEO experts you have engaged to work on your site, the less of a problem this would be. It is the opposite. I don’t know if you see this Gyi, but the more cooks that have been in the kitchen, the more likelihood the dinner is terrible. Like it’s a bad meal. I’m scratching on my metaphor here, but you get my point. Have you found the same thing?
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, I think the big obstacle that we see all the time, and this is the classic at the SEO Water Cooler or bar, depending on what you’re into, is that you make these recommendations and then somebody’s got to go implement them, right? So sometimes our clients will be like, “Look, we want your expertise, but we’ve got an in-house marketing team. They’re actually going to make the updates.”
And then there’s the telephone game of like, number one, it got pushed into a developer’s queue and it got pushed away to the bottom of their priority list. And we’re like, “these are the quick wins. You got to do that makes them – do them now because they’re the low hanging for quick wins.” And two is that even though you think, you put a cell together, it’s like “this should be the page title for this URL. What comes out doesn’t always match up.” That’s where I find most of my frustrations with it in terms of the too many cooks in the kitchen thing.
Now, if you got many cooks making different recommendations, that’s even worse. But usually, we see the bottleneck in the implementation.
Conrad Saam: Which is why you should clear those bottlenecks.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right. Single points of accountability. Who is responsible for doing this?
Conrad Saam: If that’s what’s slowing you down that is, I hate to say this, “That’s your fault.” If you’re hiring experts, get out of their way.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: One more point on this, because maybe think about.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Site change ledger.
Conrad Saam: Put a site change ledger together so you know when changes are being made and who made them. Whether you use analytics annotations or use one of these plugins. Treat your website like a software. Track the changes. And what you will find when you do that is you will see some dramatic improvements that you can pinpoint to when those changes have happened.
You may also, Gyi, and we see this sometimes we make changes and you’re like, “well, nothing happens. Change it back.” So that was on my list as well.
On page adjustments, we talked about that. Like changing what the title tag for the home base, the fundamental components. H1s title tags. What can we do to actually improve the basics of this? But you need to go back and see if it had an improvement. So that is the thing that is missed over and over again. You get these people who think, I know I’m being pejorative, but a lot of people listen to best practices or they read things or they hear it from their buddy that this is how SEO works and you got to have 27 characters in the H1 or whatever, it might be fine, go play with that stuff.
But none of you are going back and looking to determine whether or not it had an impact, right? Ideally, it’s a consultation’s impact, but at the very least it’s a traffic or at the worst of rankings impact. And if you’re making these changes and nothing has happened, stop making those changes. Or worse, it’s getting worse, well, go backwards. But you skip this spot over and over again.
So you do all this stuff, but no one’s tracking to see whether it works. Especially, with on page adjustments, just go back, go back a week later, go back a month later. See if you’ve had any impact and then you literally get better.
And the last one, Mr. Fantasy Role Playing LARP client, is local was classic for very fast improvements. And the classic ones that we’ve dealt with in local 0and one of them is still very relevant is categories. You don’t have a category. Get your category right. Yeah, that might be all you have to do is add categories or the correct category to your Google business profile, and all of a sudden, Google realizes that you’re not a restaurant, you’re a pizza restaurant. Right? That is so important when people are looking for pizza, because Google is not going to send someone to a restaurant, they want to send someone to a pizza restaurant. So that was classic.
And the other one, and I hated this. I still hate this and it’s not as much of a big deal, but this actually came up from the post by Andrew Shotland, who is one of my favorite SEO nerds out there. He was talking about how to 10X your SEO traffic. And I was like, “well, what are you going to do?” Andrew’s response to that, Gyi, the punchline was “Get someone who’s responsible for the outcome,” which is exactly what we’re talking about here.
But Darren Shaw added to the thing, “Hey, it’s a lot easier. Just spam the crap out of your Google business profile name and that will have an impact, too.” That is certainly true 12 months ago. It’s much less true today.
Gyi Tsakalakis: They’re working on it. I don’t know. Go check out what’s going on the local pack in LA. It’s ugly. But I’ll even give you one more that’s on based on your point, which is go report your competitors who are spamming because you want to know. It’s a really easy way to rise to the top, get those other ones to fall out because Google doesn’t want to serve them up because they’re spam. People don’t like that one, but works.
Conrad Saam: Just to build on that. Be very careful when you do that. You don’t want that to come back to you and you become –
Gyi Tsakalakis: No, you do it anonymously.
Conrad Saam: This is a great way to do this.
Gyi Tsakalakis: We have Conrad to do it. I’m hiring you to do it, Conrad.
Conrad Saam: Great, and I will make sure that nobody knows which of the law firms my agency has burned, because I don’t want to deal with those negative reviews.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Right.
Conrad Saam: Okay. We ended on a dark note here. Let’s try and turn this positive.
Everyone, instead of listening to agencies talk about. How it takes time for SEO walk into this. Especially if you fit that profile of someone who’s been around for a long time, you’re frustrated, you’ve had lots of eyes on this, you’ve done a bunch of hands on work yourself, you have a reasonable back length profile and you have a bunch of content, it’s very possible that those improvements and actual consultations, which is where we started from. You can see an improvement much more quickly than our industry would lead you to believe.
Gyi Tsakalakis: And so that’s what I want to get to. In your experience, you’ve been doing this for a long time. What kind of impact might I see? Everything’s different dynamic environment, but say “I’m getting benchmarking ten consultations.” Have you seen that double after some of these changes, triple? What’s my expectations look like?
Conrad Saam: I think if you have a mess that’s this big, we have definitely seen and I’m going to make a fallacious assumption here. So, jars walk out–
Gyi Tsakalakis: Perfect. That’s my favorite kind of assumption.
Conrad Saam: So I have seen improvements in traffic that have happened immediately. And I’m going to make the assumption that that improvement in traffic was not because we started putting up a bunch of content that was going to drive traffic, that wasn’t going to talk to a law firm, right? So I’m making those assumptions.
You can see traffic as much as 40-50 percent increase in a three-month period with a commensurate increase in leads, form fill, phone call, text, or chat consultations. So it’s as qualified, if not more qualified, which then turns into clients.
Now, 40-50 percent that’s on the top end but regularly, you’re seeing improvements from some of these things in the 5 to 20 percent range. And it is very doable in a short period of time.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Awesome. I’m sold. Where do I sign up?
Conrad Saam: Well.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Mockingbird.com.
Conrad Saam: It’s not even Mockingbird. It’s mockingbird.marketing.
Gyi Tsakalakis: Yeah, that’s right.
Conrad Saam: That’s a long. We’re not going to bring that one up. You want to dig through Conrad’s dirty laundry? We can do that for our next episode.
Gyi Tsakalakis: So, we try to end on a positive again.
Conrad Saam: Yeah. Okay, we’ll end it this way. Look at your backlink profile and take a look at something as bad from a diagnostic perspective the AHREFS (ph). Try and see whether or not your AHREFS number DR is reasonable. If it’s in the six or seven, go away. Like you’ve got a different problem, I had this the other day, AND then find out how much content you have. Do a site colon search, go to Google, do site colon and then put in your website. Find out how many pages. The very first result will tell you the number of pages that Google has. That may give you insights as to whether or not you have something that you can turn around in a more aggressive than SEO takes timeline.
Thank you once again to our dear Lunch Hour Legal Marketing listening audience. If you just landed on this because someone shot you a link or you saw a tweet, please do go subscribe on your favorite podcasting thing about Bob (ph), whether it’s Spotify or Apple podcast or Stitcher or whatever and hashtag LHLM. Give us your feedback, leave us a review, shoot us an email, direct message us on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you.
Thank you so much. Until next time. Gyi and Conrad, Lunch Hour Legal Marketing Out.
Outro: Thank you for listening to Launch Hour Legal Marketing. If you’d like more information about what you heard today, please visit legaltalknetwork.com., subscribe via Apple podcasts and RSS. Follow LegalTalk Network on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Conrad Saam: Little bit awkward, but my first time.