When it comes to SEO advocacy, there are several things you need to know. First, it is important to create and employ buyers. These are the general characteristics of the types of customers that your company typically attracts. With these in mind, you can ensure that your content matches these features. For example, if you offer legal services, you need to create content around legal matters and their corresponding keywords. This way, you can be sure that your content will be relevant to your target audience.
In addition to using keywords and meta tags, you also need to optimize your content. This is because content is the foundation of online marketing for your law firm. It needs to be optimized and thematically relevant to the search engines. It should also be informative and sharing. The best type of content is the kind that people can click on, so it’s important to have a page dedicated to it. It will not only increase the volume of traffic you have, but also improve your social media presence.
Another thing you need to know about legal firm SEO is to understand who your audience is. You want to make sure your content answers their questions and answers the questions of your potential customers. A legal website should contain clear information about your services, transparent pricing, and customer testimonials. And of course, it needs to be up to date and relevant to the needs of your audience. Remember, search engines use keywords to rank websites, so the more relevant your content is, the better your chances of getting organic traffic.
When you have your content ready, you need to consider how to make the content relevant to your target audience. It is important to answer the questions of potential customers in the most effective way. If you do this well, you can gain more customers by getting high ranking listings on Google. With the right SEO strategy, your website can attract a lot of traffic and convert visitors into leads. There is no reason not to try.
Searching for your competitors ’websites is also important. It’s important to understand how the content of your competitors ’website is written and whether it’s relevant to your customers’ questions. So, you need to make sure that the content of your website is easy to find and easy to navigate. If you don’t, you have no customers. And you can’t expect to make more money by just hiring SEO.
While your website should be accessible to all visitors, you also need to make sure that your pages are search engine friendly. You want to make sure they can see the content you provide. If they are not, you are missing out on precious things. If you want to rank well on Google, you have to have good quality content. Also, your content should be skimmable and easy to read.
You need to think of the best way to answer the questions of your website visitors. Be sure to include information about your services, transparent pricing, and customer testimonials. Always make sure you provide links back to your site. Your content needs to be up-to-date and relevant to the keywords you want to target. This is how your website will rank in search results. This is a major benefit of ensuring that your content is optimized.
Guest blogging is an important strategy to improve the search engine visibility of your law student. You can write articles for other websites. It is also vital to create social media accounts and promote your content on other sites. It is also a good idea to create a website with a blog for your lawyers. This will help your site appear more prominently in search results. By providing your visitors with high quality content, you will attract more customers.
Adding fresh, unique content to your website is vital. The right kind of content will increase the ranking of your website on Google and help you become the best in your field. So, be sure to include fresh and original material in your website. Not only will it keep your visitors happy, but it will also increase the chances of your site being listed at the top. With fresh and relevant posts, your lawyer’s clients will see your website as a trusted resource.
Skeptical of your marketing efforts and wondering if all that work is really worth it? Rachel and Jessica have a great background in SEO from John McDougall, president of McDougall Interactive. Spoiler alert: Good SEO practices can catapult your business to the next level.
Read below for a transcript of our conversation, created by AI. The transcript has been slightly edited for clarity and readability.
Hello, and welcome to Legal News Reach, the official podcast for the National Law Review. Stay tuned for a discussion on the latest trends in legal marketing, SEO, attorney best practices and more.
I’m Rachel, the Editorial Manager for the National Law Review.
And I’m Jessica, a web content specialist for the National Law Review. And we are the co-guests of Legal News Reach.
In this episode, we are excited to talk to John McDougall, president of McDougall Interactive. John, do you want to introduce yourself to our listeners?
Yes, of course. So welcome, everyone, and appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. And I started in ’95 at my dad’s advertising agency selling websites. So I fell in love first and have been doing SEO ever since. So now, I started a class called Talk Marketing. In addition to the agency, McDougall Interactive, we do coaching and teaching.
Excellent, we are excited to get your perspective on SEO. So just sort of moving on to our first topic here, with how much Google has changed, and how much people’s habits with, you know, search tend to change, why is it so hard to do SEO now?
Oh, so much to do. I mean, it’s like you need a little exercise to do it, you need organizational skills, and first SEO, you can just fly in and go to some conferences and do a little bit, you know, pull yourself together. I don’t know, somewhere in the 90’s, I made a hearing aid website over a weekend, I made the logo, the design, the website, I built it and coded it by hand in HTML, he wrote pages for various brands of hearing aids and launched them. on the weekend. And then it was ranking and Yahoo, as the number one for hearing aids, and then a company bought my client. And then I started working for that company. Then it was so easy, almost in the daytime. And now, I mean, my God, we get deeper into it as we go here. But there are only 1000 different things that can influence your SEO.
So going into more specifics of the legal industry, is there a different approach for different types of law firms? So personal injury, or maybe more business-oriented law firms when it comes to website marketing?
I’m not going to sell a personal injury lawyer on the idea of SEO, right, I’m here, they know their clients are out looking, you know, if you’re bitten by a dog or injured by a dangerous drug . or a medical device, you don’t even need to ask anyone for a referral if it’s embarrassing. Either you are in a race, or you know, whatever. So going to Google is not a brainer. On the other hand, with business lawyers, there are some very large companies that, you know, business lawyers will say that they don’t just search Google for me. And that may be true, but I’ll tell you later, but if you’re looking for this kind of niche, I’d like my leadership content to be right here at the top of Google. So ironically, I think sometimes having good content that optimized search for is perhaps not as important as the obvious with personal injury, as I said, but close enough to similar importance, right? So whether it’s intellectual property, or international law, the various things that are really important, whether you’re going to impress the General Council, or some really high-level people, they might see that you’re in search, not just in conversation. with them and, even if it’s not so much, they search Google, when they come to your site, it should be an asset, either a blog on your site or separate from the blog site on topics of niche that’s really fair. shows highlights your thought direction. So my argument would be if you have to do it anyway, because you want to demonstrate your thought leadership, at least put a little effort into a fast loading website, good title and meta tags, consistent content, if weekly, if not , at least monthly. So some of the same things you say to a personal injury lawyer really apply to l business lawyers only at a slightly less exaggerated pace. You may not go out and do link building or as you will probably do PR but maybe not PR for link building as you would with potential personal injuries. A lot of sharing your content management thinking should involve good quality content that is optimized for the internet. You know that a lot of this is their search some of their social media. But, you know, a lot of the same rules apply to different levels of exaggeration,
Right. And so once lawyers really get their feet wet to create this really great content and optimize SEO, how do they keep up with all the changes Google is making to its algorithm?
Will they hire an agency to keep up with him, or to help and spoon feed what is most important to them? That would be one way. Otherwise, if they have more to do, do it yourself or the marketing department wants to keep it. Just keep reading things like search engine land Search Engine Journal, you know, the HubSpot blog, things like that, you’re really going to need to follow them. And one agency has the benefit of testing across multiple sites. So for example, in 2012, I had 27 clients or something. And Google Penguin hit, which was an algorithm, Google designed to discredit low quality links. One day, I was looking at my ranks, and I said, Geez, that doesn’t look right. Something is going on here. And I asked a guy who was a subcontractor of mine, he said, No, I didn’t see anything unusual. It’s like, wait a minute, let me call you back. He went and looked at his rankings all over, he had hundreds of customers, he had a lower price and more customer strategy, and he said, Oh, shit, let’s see how, significant drops consistently across all customers, it turned out that Google had just dropped the Google Penguin bomb on people. And I think, later on, maybe they’ll be sorry, I’d like to think they went too fast with him. So, you know, having so many customers, and asking a subcontractor to read so many customers, we’ve been unable to see that this isn’t an invented trend. That’s not my imagination, you know, that’s how we keep up with trends and network with peers. And then of course, it breaks down into hours or days on the search engine, the newspaper, and the Search Engine Land and stuff. But we see it in the data of many customers. So if you are a law firm, you have a site, just be aware of that, which, you know, you have to look for others that have multiple clients are certain at least the top, you know, online SEO media review sites. , and you so you can see what the trends are.
I think an editorial calendar is key. At the National Law Review, you have huge amounts of content, but you need to think like a review / And if you don’t, you won’t be consistent. So that’s at the heart of it. And then find ways for the lawyers involved, or the agency involved with the lawyers to generate content around the issues. And we can get into that more in a minute.
We’re going to ask you about all kinds of social networks, especially because so many law firms now understand if they haven’t before, which they probably don’t. But I think lawyers and clients in general understand that we can make the internet and how social media work for us. And pay attention to what those numbers mean now. So I want to know, you know, I want to attack any kind that we see more commonly produced with podcasts. How does it help with SEO?
Yes. And so I’m going to link back to the last question, because I think it’s critical that people understand that you can do SEO-guided content through podcasting, and video, if you don’t use transcripts, for your podcasts in the your videos. , You probably won’t get the mile as much as you might. And many people will use it as a show note for your podcast. And it’s good, you know, a few paragraphs or something in this episode, you see that in certain dance points. But in addition to this, having the transcript as an option, you can also do this so that it can disappear and appear on the page. Then search engines can always read it. But having the content of lawyers who are thought to be leaders is not always easy to get them to write, you know, some of them will be rock stars who will write, some are not. And you can have categories that well, the intellectual property lawyer writes well. But international law or any law is the wonderful speaker of the person, but a terrible writer is just lazy or doesn’t have time to write what he is. If you want SEO and consistent content, you can do only the shortest ones, because every minute of podcasting, we have 130 words, even 10 minutes, say a 12 minute podcast, you can get like 1500 words, this is a really robust and deep piece. . of content. And lawyers just talk, you know, they do that all the time, they’re good at it. So if your marketing team manages this, and you just beat those to be consistent, you’re going to let it go a little bit. And maybe occasionally do the half hour, hour podcast, you have to get a lot of consistent content, then you can turn some of that into short YouTube videos, or make remote YouTube videos, or in person YouTube videos that are like one minute, two minutes, you know, what is this particular law? You know, that’s Brexit, too, you know and, it covers some of the things that if you are a search engine algorithm, it has to be. And good to see on your website that you dispute, you know, ask the question, like, What is Brexit? Maybe someone in her on Amazon Alexa, or Google Home is like, hey, Alexa, what is Brexit? So if you’re going to cover all the gamuts the way people ask questions, you need a lot of content. And if you’re expecting, you know, lawyers to write who aren’t necessarily writers. Sometimes it works well.
It’s really interesting that you’re talking about podcasting and combining video with it, because that’s what we do. But it’s also like having the transcript for a podcast episode is the web content accessibility guide you should have on a website, it usually has to be ADA compliant. Yes. So it is important to know that SEO is always good. So, I’m sure I’d tell the people who are listening to this, that, hey, that extra work really helps you and you know, the people who need to access your site.
Yes. So just like all this just for SEO, it’s a big pain in the ass. All your content should have an alternate version, even one image should have as above an alt tag. And that was true in the 90’s, and I think it’s part of the future of SEO and it’s been there and you can’t really ignore it anymore.
I think the pandemic has made especially that realization very strong for so many people, not just the compliance part of a website, but also, just with this SEO, all these numbers and tactics that you have to use right now on your site, because it is where people are. andendu. I mean, when the pandemic happened, you didn’t go to a place where they went to their site. So how has SEO changed? Plus like those couple of things? Are there any other features you’ve noticed since last year? so what
I would say that the level of competition is huge because of the pandemic. My dad, who had an advertising agency, sent me an article six months or a year ago, the Wall Street Journal said that essentially the Mad Men era is done, aggravated by SEO and Google ads. More importantly, I think podcast ads have taken over more than radio ads since the pandemic. It’s like the nail in the hood. Now, most of the advertising is controlled by the big Google, Facebook, Amazon for the products, right? Because Amazon is basically a search engine for products. So those three are just, I mean, the top five Google companies and, you know, the old control that advertising agencies basically had is gone. The Wall Street Journal is basically saying that advertising is controlled by digital now. And what does that mean? This means that there is a local amount of competition. So if you do SEO, as I did a long time ago, the audios just put in the title and meta tags. And all over the page, you’re done. You know, that’s not the case anymore. Now, write something like Phone X, hearing aids or series, Siemens hearing aids online or something, and then look at the page that ranks what is there, and it’s probably, you know, God knows how many SEO agencies have helped and hearing aid companies. Do you like the last page, the last guide to hearing aids, you know, this, like a 10,000 word article? Yes, this is a big change. And, you know, we can go further in some of the specifications. But this is broader, what I think has changed as competition has increased, and is not going away anytime soon. I mean, what do you do with SEO? In general? Have you seen any major changes? Or is it harder than ever? What do you see?
I mean, probably one of the biggest things we’ve seen that has an impact in terms of our customers ’content, when we see that things are doing particularly well, is that they have, you know, really big keywords. So, you know, the headline posed as questions, the articles are long, so they have like about 1200 words. Punctuality also seems to be a big factor contributing to content success. So if it comes to us, you know, around noon, rather than I like, 5 o’clock in the evening, on Friday, those articles tend to do a lot better than the short ones, you know, they don’t like it, you know, really. great bullet points, really great formatting. I think as for the people who are looking to sort of do well on our website, and things like that, it is important to make your content really great for the search engines. Then you know, it’s also really readable by people. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.
Of course, that content competition is huge. Now, I mean, we already have a lot of content just because we have so many customers that we want, you know, to put out their information. You know, if we have a Supreme Court decision, that’s huge. I mean, we’re going to have as many pieces on the same thing. And it’s a kind of game like, that the slightest difference in format or word choices, keyword choices can really please to make certain articles do really well, as far as the display just to stand on the page and not bouncing versus other pages than for some reason. , even on the same topic, maybe you don’t just do the same level, you know, not so many points of view.
Historically, SEO people like myself will be more focused on backlinks than on social action. Sometimes one helps the other. So one of my best case studies, we wrote an article for a bank, and it came to NerdWallet. NerdWallet interviewed us to link to the content. But it all started with just sharing on Twitter and Facebook. So we were sharing the content. We do social media, but we weren’t holding our breath to do so, except hoping that some people would link to the content. And we got backlinks from NerdWallet, which is like a massive financial website with a huge amount of credibility. Another was lobster, we ranked number two on Google for single word lobster. And I wrote an article because I have lobster traps and do fishing and stuff. And so I wrote an article 100 Fun Facts About Lobster and it was shared by the Huffington Post and a bunch of places no, all of a sudden, this little restaurant next to me had hundreds of 1000s of views on one, you know , a stupid page of lobsters. with some historical portraits and, you know, these crazy facts. Sometimes we use social media to get links, you know, just get visibility out there and I agree that you know, if you can get faster, you’re more likely to get everything happening. And you can look at your home pages and look at the first pages for social shares and the first pages for backlinks. Then I only advise you on the audience and you, if you don’t, check where you are ranked in the search. I’m like number four, or five, or God forbid, number six, because the Top Five is where I forget, it’s like 67% of the eyeballs go, used to be want to be the top 10 In Google. Now, really, the top five is key. And number one, of course, gets, you know, a huge amount of the lion’s share of eyeballs and clicks, you have a lot of leads, think about social media? Or is that part of the process?
Most of our traffic comes from SEO and Google. But we certainly see a connection between social media that makes us have a fairly robust social media strategy and process where we try, you know, to use certain hashtags that are relevant, as well as tagging specific people who we think will find the content. for them specifically interesting to them. Social is definitely a big part of this. But it’s kind of like the bigger picture of this is just one of the things we do, I think SEO is more important, but I think the social type can link in SEO so that relevant people are in it. a different channel.
One of the things I’m talking about and doing with Jennifer, actually in a webinar is the seven main SEO factors that I think people need to think about, like technical SEO, which is really a fast growing trend now, a fast-loading website will be ranked better than a slow-loading website. Because even if you do everything right, SEO wise, if it’s slow loading, Google won’t give you a good ranking. Number one is technical SEO – you can’t have too many broken links, no duplicate titles, and meta descriptions all over the place. And it’s not like before, but it’s always about on-page SEO, and then the content, the fresh content, the blogging, the content, the depth of the content is important. And then off page SEO, or what we call link building, which is essentially PR. You need to get media sites or even small blogs, to link to you and link to individual pages. And then number four is user signals, and user experience. And then the user signals are more similar to if you search on Google, you know, the Boston personal injury lawyer. Seven is branded. So, instead of just doing SEO, law firms should really build a brand that is known for something. And you guys are known at least if you look at your backlinks and your social actions, again, Brexit, I think it was constitutional change, you get a lot of backlinks for that. So build your brand and be known for something and then have some content that really sets you apart. What’s more the future of SEO is that you can’t just do SEO, ironically, you need to be part of a brand.
The purpose of SEO and those tactics are good for people, because I think it makes the content more relevant. I think it makes things on the Internet more valuable to people who need them. You know, everyone goes on the Internet for information now. And now businesses and websites are being forced to make sure they are truly valuable. They’re not just full of links for no reason and, you know, short things that won’t help anyone, so I think yes, I don’t know if everyone agrees with that. But I think that actually makes it better for the audience that reads it and goes to your site anyway. Personally, I think it’s good
Google is better off reinforcing these things now. So that was kind of the goal always with the Internet. But because we can only play the system, you know, certainly low-end SEO companies in the day, just get crappy links building stupid pages that mean nothing. These tactics must be dead. Unfortunately, it’s like, wow, no, it’s so hard. Like you don’t need to go that far. Take some of that TV money or, or print dollars or event dollars. And in fact, whether you pay the agencies or do it internally, you really train and do well. There are many proven workflows for this stuff. Just trust the three of us and the other people who do this stuff, they are people who are not just doing things, you know, where we do all the things that we just discussed, and it takes time, each of them. Add snippets to the site, you know, go explore Google Analytics to know, use Google Search Console every week, you know, use SEMRush to use a draft. All this stuff is more time consuming now, but I like it. I think it’s more developed. It is, you know, you have to be more aggressive. It’s not that easy. I mean, there’s certainly a lot to do. So what. That’s the good news is, there are things to do that keep working. But yes, if you are not consistent, it will never work. Get those social shares and even sometimes backlinks from very relevant partners or related people and Google can’t miss that, you know. So yes, it’s all a victory. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either. But he sounds like you guys really do the right thing with him and repurpose this content.
Yes. It was a lot of fun. And we had a wonderful conversation with you, John, thank you so much for joining us.
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