Digital Marketing Tips to Boost Website Traffic and Conversions with Chris Dreyer

 

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Digital Marketing Tips to Boost Website Traffic and Conversions with Chris Dreyer

Personal injury law is a saturated field — there are thousands of firms battling for top spots on Google search results. So, how do you stand out from your competitors? 

According to SEO expert and Rankings CEO Chris Dreyer, there are two top digital assets that law firms should focus on: their website and their content. When crafting content and updating your website, you have to keep the consumer in mind. Is your website accessible? Is your content readable? Are you showcasing your authority and expertise?

When it comes to your website, you want to create a flat architecture, which makes it easy to access each page of your website quickly. Most people are just focused on website aesthetics, but a great website makes it easy for consumers to find information. 

A flat website is one that doesn't have sub-folders for every different category — all pages are one or two clicks away from your home page. This means that you have to be intentional with every single piece of content and where you're placing it.

In regards to the content itself, your goal is to have the best content on the internet. Not only should you be outputting more content to differentiate yourself, but it should be high-quality content to prove that you're an expert in the field. 

But here's one thing many lawyers get wrong: you shouldn't make your content too complex. It needs to be legally accurate, but it also needs to be conversational and easy for consumers to understand.  

Learn more in this episode of the David vs. Goliath podcast with elite personal injury lawyers Matt Dolman and Stan Gipe and their guest, Chris Dreyer, an expert in digital marketing for law firms. They discuss the top digital assets every firm should focus on, how to improve your website and content to boost conversions, and how to keep up with changes in the digital world.

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In this episode: 

  • [00:40] Matt Dolman and Stan Gipe introduce their guest, Chris Dreyer
  • [01:36] What is a digital asset, and what is a vertical?
  • [03:18] The top digital assets for law firms
  • [06:10] Tips to create more high-quality content that ranks on Google
  • [13:20] Matt and Chris discuss how they've built up Dolman Law Group's website architecture 
  • [16:35] How to rank for a keyword and convert consumers on the right pages
  • [19:34] Paid search versus organic search
  • [21:53] How can you stay relevant and keep up with technology changes?
  • [25:44] Why pay-per-click is so difficult nowadays
  • [29:09] How search engine results are changing 
  • [32:01] Chris talks about the future of digital marketing

Transcript

Matt Dolman:

Welcome to another episode of the David and Goliath Podcast. I'm here with my partner in crime, Stan Gipe. Stan?

Stan Gipe:

Hey guys, how are you? I guess today we're going to talk a little bit outside the law, right?

Matt Dolman:

Yeah, we're going to talk about digital marketing with an expert, someone I consider to be one of the top guys in the field of digital marketing, but especially in the vertical of legal. He represents a number of different law firms where he handles all their digital marketing assets. That's Chris Dreyer, Rankings.io. Chris, welcome to our podcast today.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, thanks for having me. Thanks for having me, Matt and Stan.

Stan Gipe:

Okay, I'm going to stop you right here and say that you two already, I can tell, know a lot more about digital marketing than I do, because we've already talked about attorney verticals. I don't know what that is. We've talked about digital assets, and for someone like me who is technically challenged, when I think of digital marketing and digital asset, are we talking about that sign that scrolls in front of my office and says, "Hey, here's the temperature. Injured people come in. We'd like to help you." What are we talking about?

Matt Dolman:

Not quite. There were two questions there. The first question, I guess, is what is a digital asset, and the second is vertical. I'll start with the vertical. Vertical is just different areas of practice. If I say the medical vertical, there are certain guys who do a great job of handling websites and search engine optimization for medical practices, dental practices, whatever have you. Chris's main focus is in the legal vertical, so the majority of his clients, but not all of his clients, are law firms around the United States. In terms of digital assets, that would be your website, and then there's offsite assets such as your social profiles. Do you want to expand on that, Chris?

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'd go even deeper. I would say 98% of the firms we work with are personal injury law firms. It's the most competitive. They have to really advertise more. When you're the only trademark attorney in a little city, you don't really need to advertise a lot. You get a lot of referrals. The way that I think of an asset as is any form of content you're building an asset. This conversation right here is an asset. We may touch on something that provides value to individuals.

I'm a big geek. I watch that Stranger Things Four show. There was this song, it was like, "Rolling up the hills," and it hadn't been listened to for like many, many years, but now it was on that show and now it's on the radio blasting. Now that song artist is making $250,000.00 a week on that show she created many, many years ago.

Stan Gipe:

Okay, from a legal marketing standpoint, when you're talking about assets you would typically manage for a law firm, like in the personal injury arena, what would be the top three things law firms count amongst their digital asset?

Chris Dreyer:

I know Matt's going to have some thoughts on this too. Obviously, you got to have a website. The name of the game, we're all sentients. We all have our phone nearby. You have to have that final conversion point. You have to have something you own and control. That's the one asset, the hub. Then content. All content is, it's the words and phrases on a page to help Google understand what you want to rank for.

For example, we got the Camp Lejeune tort that just came out. It's been really big. We have to create content about that in order to be recognized and be searchable by Google. I would say those are the two big, especially on the organic side, and we can go kind of social and YouTube, and this podcast, but in the PI space I would say your website and content are number one. Then I would say number two would be social assets.

Matt Dolman:

100%. Content is everything.

Stan Gipe:

In our firm, Matt handles all of that. Matt's really, really good at it. I only know because I see the results. It's almost like a cook. I don't see him pouring the ingredients. I don't know how he puts them together-

Matt Dolman:

A lot of that, by the way, is Chris. Chris and I have worked together as a team now for... How long has it been? Eight years? Nine years?

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, something like that. Yeah.

Matt Dolman:

Chris took our site from its infancy. We were just struggling, getting a little bit of traffic but not heavy traffic to the point where we were getting 50, 60, 70,000 organic visitors a month to our site.

Stan Gipe:

What are those things that kind of draw in traffic? If I say, "Hey, I want to become the best and most well known paper airplane maker in town," not a super competitive market I would guess, but I want to make paper airplanes. If I go out there and just shoot a video on YouTube of myself making a paper airplane and title it How To Make A Paper Airplane, what else do I need to do?

Matt Dolman:

Being that's not a competitive market, there's not a whole lot you're going to need to do in order to rank for paper airplane makers in Clearwater, Pinellas County, or even the Greater Tampa Bay area. You could probably count your competitors on one hand. I don't even know if there are competitors. With law firms-

Stan Gipe:

Have you met my son's friends?

Matt Dolman:

Do they have actual entities where they're selling airplanes?

Stan Gipe:

No.

Matt Dolman:

With personal injury law firms, there's so many of us. It's such a saturated field that you have to stand out from your competition. The only way you do that is by making better content, making more content but it has to be better though. There's too many law firms and lawyers just putting out a lot of fluff pieces, after fluff piece, after fluff piece, and different agencies that push out nothing but very cookie cutter strategies of 500 to 1,000 word articles, just pumping them out by volume. It doesn't really sell the practice. It doesn't go into much depth in certain practice areas, or whatever topic they're covering. And they never rank.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, and I'll kind of expound on that too. A lot of people say, "Well go the either/or," or they'll say, "Should it be more quantity or should it focused?" The answer is both. You have to have quantitative actions and qualitative. The thing that I'll really compliment Matt about is, we didn't just dip our toe into content creation. I think that's a big issue. Most personal injury law firms, you'll see a standard SEO agency contract to be four blogs a month. You're going to be working for 40 years before you finally catch fire on something. You have to do a ton of content that's good.

Yeah, we've been doing 100,000 words of content for years. People say, "100,000 words? Holy shit." No, that's what we have to do.

Matt Dolman:

We're actually over one million words now per year.

Stan Gipe:

Now let me ask you, you say quality. I'm kind of naive with this once again, so I imagine some other people are probably thinking the same thing I am. If we say quality and we talk about music, everyone's got a different opinion. Some people like rap. Some people like reggae. Some people like rock. When we're talking about quality content, are we talking about stuff that just different people like, or are there certain ways that Google or search engines value quality, or what they view as quality?

Chris Dreyer:

I'll start and then Matt, I guess you can jump in.

Matt Dolman:

Yeah, of course.

Chris Dreyer:

It is subjective. One individual may like, another person may not like. That's okay. I would say that the biggest thing that a lot of personal injury attorneys, a lot of lawyers get wrong is they try to make it too legalese, too factual and not more conversational and readable. It needs to have both. It needs to be legally accurate, but consumers, you got to think about who's going to be reading this.

It's the mom that got in a recent car accident that didn't go to law school. That's how I see it. Obviously, there's SEO components and optimizing for keywords, and the title tag, and the permalink, and the H1, and the body content, internal links, all those types of things. But that's where I view it in terms of quality.

Matt Dolman:

I think for the end user, it's very subjective as to what the end user will like. In terms of the search engine, there're tools that we both use, Chris and I, when we're creating content that use artificial intelligence and they are able to look at what the top 10 websites that rank for a specific key term or keyword, or long phrase that you put in. What they have similar, what they have in common, and where they stand out from your article, what's different about them in terms of are they using more words? Are they breaking up their paragraphs more? Are they using certain terms that you failed to put in your content?

That's less subjective. That's building it for both the search engine and the end user, which is subjective. If that makes sense.

Stan Gipe:

From my standpoint, I think quality is kind of subjective, but if you really wanted an objective measure like of those things I'm interested in... Okay, if I've got some specific field, I'm typically spending more time at the sites I consider to be higher quality or better information, and I spend less time on sites where maybe I don't think it's quite as good or quite as authoritative. Does any of that come into play? If I click on Page A and I'm there for 30 minutes consuming the information versus Page B and I'm there for one minute going, "This isn't really what I was looking for," how is that different quality?

Chris Dreyer:

That's Google's rank brain algorithm. They look at behavior. They look at time on page versus other pages. The other thing is, we're in the legal and medical space, or in the "your money your life" space, which means that their content is scrutinized by Google even more. Google wants to show content that was written by an expert. You'll hear expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. People call it EAT. I think that the easiest to make an example of this, is say you're not feeling good and you go and you Google your symptoms, and you see the first result 2016.

You see the next result is 2022. Well, if I'm sick I'm going with 2022. Maybe something came out new in the medical field. It's the same for legal. Google is looking for fresh content. They're looking for experts. So, there is some objective view there too.

Matt Dolman:

Yeah, they put a lot more focus into "your money your life", which if you're in the medical field, the financial field, if you're giving out advice, or legal field, that someone can rely on to their detriment, Google's applying a lot more scrutiny to the content that's being put out there, that they're not doing in other verticals/other areas of practice or disciplines. To prove that you're an expert, you have to show certain credentials, and to display those credentials on the website to have Google trust you based on the amount of content you put out over the years, the amount of jury verdicts you've had, whatever sets you apart from others in your field to show that you actually have authority is incredibly important to do on your site.

Stan Gipe:

So, Google will actually look at the substance of what you're putting out there to kind of give you more authority than someone else who maybe doesn't have the same qualifications in Google's metric?

Matt Dolman:

Correct.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah. Yeah, they even have a team of auditors of the thousands that look at this on a manual basis. They do it algorithmically, but then they do it manually too. Some of those tools that Matt and I use, a lot of people refer to Arush and Semrush. Those are great tools, but there are specific SEO writing tools, MarketMuse, Clearscope, Surfer SEO. Those are specifically on the content side. Arush and Semrush has some capabilities, but those are more focused on the writing and making it good.

Matt Dolman:

I actually scrapped every last one of those.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah.

Stan Gipe:

I've heard those from listening to Matt speak about, but really to say I have any idea what they are other than tools Matt uses to help us on the Internet would be a lie.

Matt Dolman:

For instance, you plug in a term that you want to rank for, and this tool or these tools will propagate a lot of information for you and will tell you which of the sites that rank in the top 10 for it, and what characteristics they have in common with your blog, and what separates their blog from yours, what are they doing differently. It's called building "skyscraper" content, content that's going to be better and bit higher and bigger than what is already out there. Ultimately, the goal is to have the best content on the Internet.

Stan Gipe:

You know, I know we're in a hyper competitive market in what we do.

Matt Dolman:

Sure.

Stan Gipe:

In addition to what we create, what we do internally, the content creation and all that, would actually require coordinating with experts and spending a lot of money to get the presence we have on the Internet. I don't know if many of the people on the podcast are aware of just what kind of website we have, but Matt maybe you can tell them a little bit about what you built.

Matt Dolman:

I would be remiss to say that I built this without Chris. Chris and I have built a website. We didn't so much as build the website, we had a company called Consultwebs that built the original website, and then we had... Who was it that just built the most recent website? It was-

Chris Dreyer:

I think we were using-

Matt Dolman:

Influex?

Chris Dreyer:

Yep.

Matt Dolman:

It was Influex, okay. We don't necessarily build the website. We build the architecture around the website. Chris can expound on that in a second. Chris and I together have built the content on the site that over the years has out-ranked the vast majority of law firms in the United States, and probably number five or number six among law firms today. We've been as high as number two. We constantly go back and forth in that area. We're climbing right now. We've been taking off over the last six weeks. Chris, do you want to explain what the architecture of a website is and how important flat architecture is, and what that really means?

Chris Dreyer:

I love that you asked this question. A lot of times when people think of the website, they just think of the aesthetics. The aesthetics are great. You want to represent yourself. You want to show social proof. You want to be hire-able. You want to look like an expert. But when you're producing the amount of content that we're producing on a monthly basis, you have to make it accessible and make it easy for the consumer to find the information they're looking for.

A lot of times, individuals will try to add sub-folders for every different category, and that's what's called... That would not be a flat structure. What we've done with the Dolman Law site, is this is a flat architecture. Now here's the thing about this, a flat architecture means you have to be very intentional with every single piece of content, where you're placing it, because it's very level to the root domain. It goes DolmanLaw.com, and then the landing page. There's not folders that break up everything.

So, a lot of times SEO agencies will default to these folders because it's easier to sort things. But easier doesn't mean better. The biggest problem is for the personal injury lawyer practice page. For the SEO agencies and the SEO nerds listening, here's the reason why this is an issue. Let's say we have a firm and they have multiple locations. Ultimately, that's the goal. We want expansion. So, you have DolmanLaw.com/Chicago. Then you have DolmanLaw.com/Clearwater. If you created folders around those, you couldn't incorporate the keywords "personal injury attorney" because it extends the URL too far.

What you have to do is... I'm getting a little granular, but you have to put the full keyword in the URL in order to give the best chance to succeed. Most people default to these folders because you could stick it under a folder, it's easier to organize and sort your content, but it ends up not being conducive for SEO. I might have to expound on that in the comments, but-

Matt Dolman:

No, but the goal is not to make it easier for yourself. It's to make it easier for Google to crawl your website. They have these bots that crawl the website all the time, and your whole goal is to make it as easy for Google to understand your content, the context, the contextual nature of your content, and how each piece of content relates to one another. If that makes sense.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, so let me just one more expand on this, just because I'm trying to make it more intuitive here. To rank for a keyword, let's say the keyword is "Clearwater personal injury lawyer." That keyword needs to be in the title tag. It needs to be in the URL. It needs to be in the H1, and it needs to be in the body. That exact title.

Matt Dolman:

What's a title tag?

Chris Dreyer:

The header tag.

Matt Dolman:

I mean, I know this. Just I want you to-

Chris Dreyer:

Clearwater personal injury lawyer.

Matt Dolman:

Yeah, mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, it's the title of the page when you go to the page, typically. A lot of times if you do the folder structure, it won't incorporate those other words and phrases, so Google loses context. It's a challenge. I know we kind of went down the rabbit hole here, but architecture is critical. A lot of times... I would say this is the biggest thing that most SEO agencies get wrong.

Matt Dolman:

The biggest thing I think you missed Chris, because I know your kind of strapped in time when you answer a question, but you always want to be one click or two clicks away from the money pages on your website. So, the pages that are meant to convert visitors. There's always resource pages that just answer questions. Then there're pages like a specific city page for a practice area that is meant to convert people to actual clients. Those pages should never be more than one click from your home screen or from your homepage. There shouldn't be more than one click from whatever page you're on.

Best practice is considered four clicks, but we wanted to make it as easy as possible, and make it seamless. That's why making it within one or two clicks, that's called flat architecture.

Stan Gipe:

Chris, you said something that kind of maybe expounded on the... What's a landing page? For those of us that are just getting into this, maybe explain that concept a little bit.

Chris Dreyer:

This is another thing of debate. Some people will call content landing pages. Some people will call content blogs or practice area pages. It's wherever content's housed, wherever the words are on a page. A landing page could literally be anything. It could be a category. It's just a page on a website that holds content. That's all it is.

Stan Gipe:

My understanding, it's a page on a website that's sort of meant to draw a consumer who's looking for specific content. Hey, when we've got someone who's out here looking for this content, we're trying to land them. We're trying to get them to land on this page. One website may have 20 or 30 different landing pages aimed at different consumers for different products, or different types of cases.

As a sort of naive Internet person, how does one website have 50 different landing pages? Is that what you're talking about with the flat-

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah.

Stan Gipe:

Okay.

Chris Dreyer:

Or several thousand, like Dolman Law. The key here though is what's the goal of each piece of content? If we're in the middle of the funnel, it may be just answer and question. At the bottom of the funnel, those practice area pages, that's where we want to convert the consumer. Here's the thing that a lot of digital agencies don't go about properly either is, there's a difference in creating content that should be made for pay per click and paid search versus organic.

Typically, Google likes longer form content because it answers multiple versions of intent. You get those time on page numbers long. You can add more words and phrases onto those. Versus pay per click, you want as little content as possible. You want a lot of social proof, and you want to capture the consumer immediately. You don't want them browsing. There's a difference in strategy based upon the channel that you're targeting.

Matt Dolman:

Agreed. Organic should be more informative where pay per click is meant to have quick, quick, quick call to actions because you're selling. Your average visitor, your average individual puts a search query into the search engine is three times more likely to click on an organic result than a pay per click result, a paid sponsored post. If they're click on a paid, they understand what the game is and they're window shopping. They're going to pick from one, or two, or three law firms, and you have to obviously have a quick call to action. That's what a true landing page is in terms of pay per click.

Stan Gipe:

Let me ask you something, Chris, and you may know some of this. When I first started, phone book was king. It was really easy to fall in love with the phone book and it's almost like any other person or thing you fall in love with. I may be kind of getting old, a little wrinkled around the edges, not as effective. But you don't really notice because you love your phone book.

I could remember vividly the day when we realized phone books were no longer working was when the phone books got dropped and I got more people emailing me about the harm I was doing to the environment than anything else. Then I started thinking, I go "You know, when was the last time I opened a Yellow Pages and looked for anyone?" From perspective of the Internet, what goes on out there? How is it changing and how do you keep from being that guy that fell in love with his phone book and all of a sudden looks up and realizes, "Hey, in 2005 I had the best website around, but now nobody loves me." How do you manage to stay on the cutting edge of that kind of stuff, because it changes, doesn't it?

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, you have to stay in the forefront. You constantly have to be reading about new channels, new technology. I'd say it's all about attention. Back in the day, the phone book had attention. Everyone had to use the phone book. Then you had the TV Guides. We all had to flip through the TV Guide. That was a great place to advertise because we all held that TV Guide. Then when we went to streaming and all these different services, those were irrelevant. Same for the mobile device. All our contacts were in our phone.

So, the attention is always shifting. You see that. Google is still king. Google still holds the biggest repository of content and information there is. People see a billboard, they still go to Google. They see something on TV, they still go to Google. Consumer behaviors change too. Because that information's out there, they're going to read reviews. Then they're going to go to social media. Then they're going to go back to the website.

It's just always changing. Look at TikTok. The attention of Facebook has now shifted more to Instagram. Now more people are going over to TikTok. It's constantly. Where people congregate and where attention lies is where you need to advertise.

Stan Gipe:

I think that's probably the perfect example because I, and I hate to keep going back to me, but I stagnate. I'm Facebook. Whether it's my generation or whatever, while other people may move around, I'm comfortable with Facebook. That's where I live. If I'm looking myself, I'm going "Facebook is the only place you need to advertise because that's the only place I'm looking." How is it that attorneys who aren't in this realm know where to look, so to speak, know how to get there? Is it people like you that tell us, "Hey, this is where you need to be. This is what's going on."

Chris Dreyer:

I would pose this question back to you guys. Matt has kids. Do you have kids, Stan?

Stan Gipe:

Yes.

Chris Dreyer:

What social media are they on?

Stan Gipe:

I can tell you I just got out of an 11 hour car trip with them. I know exactly what social medias they're on. TikTok is number one. Actually, there's another one they're out there using, whose name I just heard for the first time today. I don't really know what it is.

Chris Dreyer:

SnapChat?

Stan Gipe:

Oh, no SnapChat I heard a long time ago. It was some other... Bro-something, whatever. There's a continual change of platforms they use to communicate with. Me, I'm not comfortable with that. I've got my list... I'm still, Matt will tell you, I'm still comfortable with the paper newspaper. If it got delivered every morning still, I'd still pick it up and unfold it, and read it.

Chris Dreyer:

But that's the perfect example of why advertising should still be an omnichannel approach works, because of demographics, and ease, and comfort. If we're targeting a younger generation, maybe we want to hit TikTok. If we're targeting our generation, look I'm really familiar with Facebook as well. A much older generation, a lot of them use Bing as a search engine. A small percentage... Google is not the only search engine. A small percentage use Bing because they don't know how to change it on their phone.

Matt Dolman:

Yep, they go with the default setting.

Chris Dreyer:

The cost to advertise changes based upon where attention is. Right now, TikTok's in kind of the glory days of how much your ad spend can get you in terms of reach. It still doesn't have the audience to say, "Google ads does." Back in the day, you could bid $20.00 or less for "car accident lawyer", and now it's up to what, $300.00, $600.00 in some locations. It's like this attention arbitrage is what it is. When attention shifts and then the price drops, well then it might be a good opportunity to invest there again.

Matt Dolman:

Sure. Would you say pay per click is dead? I'll tell you, anecdotally from my experience, it's the price per case per cost of acquisition. I've talked to a number of different lawyers all over the country, guys in Los Angeles, and Houston, Texas, and Boston, and New York City. They would sign a case for under $2,000.00 on average. Now it's exceeding $5,000.00, %6,000.00 in some cases.

Chris Dreyer:

I've worked with a ton of personal injury attorneys. I haven't seen anyone crack the code to make it a reliable consistent channel. Just being transparent.

Matt Dolman:

What happened? What changed? Is it local service ads?

Chris Dreyer:

I think that that's had an impact on it. I think that there has been some consolidation effects where big bullies try to buy out the market. Now in Florida, you've got Morgan and Morgan way overspending, so they're just going to take one of those three. I think it's a combination of all of that. Well, it used to be a really solid vehicle for leads, so everyone shifted over there. Well then the cost per click went up.

I would love for any of our listeners to prove me wrong. And not for peanuts. You're signing five cases, bidding on some random phrase. Real cases, like a consistent amount of cases under that $2,000.00 mark-

Matt Dolman:

It's not happening.

Chris Dreyer:

Cases, not goal conversions, cases.

Matt Dolman:

Yeah, it's not happening anymore.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, I haven't seen it. I would love to see it.

Matt Dolman:

Where we are, Morgan is the biggest player. John Morgan, and Morgan and Morgan. Can't fault him. If I'm him, I'm doing the same exact thing, but he comes into an area and he overbids on terms to drive out everyone else. He's like Walmart model of business.

Stan Gipe:

Been successful with it.

Matt Dolman:

Of course. Yeah, he who has the biggest pie runs the whole show. He dictates the terms.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, and pay per click, you do get economies to scale. For bidding over mass amount territories, you get opportunities. You can get more data. There are some strategies. You can bid on competitor names. Certainly, there're different types. There are different types of strategies and mediums on pay per click-

Stan Gipe:

Stop for a second. What do you mean bid on competitor names? Explain that concept. What does that mean?

Matt Dolman:

We dealt with that this last year with a lead generation company that we cannot speak of. They're bidding on a competitor's name. For instance, in Florida let's say they're bidding on Farah and Farah, or they're bidding on Morgan and Morgan. They're just trying to show up anytime somebody puts a search query in for Morgan and Morgan. It's deceptive. You're not that firm.

Stan Gipe:

When you say "bid", that means like I was to put in Morgan and Morgan and search for it, this firm would show up on top instead of Morgan and Morgan? They would show up right where it says "ad" at the very top?

Matt Dolman:

Or that's their goal. Morgan and Morgan might be doing what's called "branded" pay per click, which is they're bidding on their own brand as well to prevent that from happening, which is a strategy. We do that ourselves, but yeah there are people who are going to bid on our names, bid on Morgan's name, bid on Farah and Farah's name, or any big player who has a huge presence, especially the biggest TV advertisers because they're getting so much what's called "direct search" where somebody is just putting their name into the search engine, not finding them through a search query like, "What is the best car accident lawyer in town?" They're finding them based on putting their name in. So, people are trying to capitalize on their traffic.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, if you search our name it'll say "Ranking's number one competitor."

Stan Gipe:

I've noticed just as a consumer that over the years I've had to go further down on the page to get to what I perceived to be the real result. Whether or not it's the real result, the most authoritative, the one Google naturally picks out versus someone who has paid to stick their link right around there when I Google. So, I've noticed it seems like I have to go now farther and farther, and farther down the page to get to that result.

Chris Dreyer:

That's a great observation, and definitely true. What I'll tell you, Google is in the game to make money. They're going to put their ads. That's how they make most of their money. Here's the thing, they've also invited competition. Guess who announced that they're making a search engine? Apple. Guess who also announced that they're creating a search engine? Ahrefs, which is another tool we love.

It's because we still have to... The search engines are driven by consumer original content. Whenever ads go against that and they truncate the amount of real estate that's natural and organic, it's going to invite in competition. I'm actually excited about it. I think Apple's quality and everything that they do, I can't wait until they push the search engine really heavy.

Stan Gipe:

I can tell you from a consumer standpoint, when there was just one ad at the top, I would read that and incorporate it into the search results almost by default. Now that there's three or four up there, I don't read any of them. I scroll to get to the real stuff. It's like I throw them all out. I'm like, "This is all the crap," when it was just one. As a sort of unsophisticated consumer, I would read that and almost give it as much authority as the organic result.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, and the other thing, Stan, too is there's only about 20%, I don't know the exact statistic, it might be 15% of queries that are typed in actually display ads. 80% don't at all because they're top-of-the-funnel or middle-of-the-funnel questions. People are bidding on the bottom-of-the-funnel, those high intent phrases, "car accident lawyer." If you typed in something about statistics or scores, or whatever niche you're in, it may not trigger an ad.

Matt Dolman:

Yeah, especially lower the search volume.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah.

Matt Dolman:

What is the future of digital marketing? We keep hearing SEO is going away. I've heard that for the last decade. I don't think it's going anywhere, but every year I notice there's less and less real estate to be had on the first page. Especially now with local service ads, which push down pay per click, which push down the maps. Now there's only a couple of organic results showing on the first page. What does the future tell us? Are they going to monetize the maps? What's next?

Chris Dreyer:

That's a great question. Consolidation happens in everything. I think the biggest most authoritative sites will have their content have the ability to rank, as they have a lot of back links. They have a lot of endorsements for that content. I believe in 2016 there were several trillion landing pages. I don't even know what the number is now, but it's a ton. Google can't afford to crawl every single page. They can't. So, they have to look for signals upon which pages to even crawl because the web is too big.

So, only the most authoritative sites will even get crawled. That crawl time is slow.

Matt Dolman:

Which is all the more reason why you should have content.

Chris Dreyer:

Yes.

Matt Dolman:

When you constantly put out content, you have fresh content. You're not static. Static means the website hasn't been changed in a while, or there's not been fresh updates. When you constantly refresh old content as well, you train Google to crawl your page more often, your website more often.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, 1,000% true. Also, when you're the original truth on a subject, you have something truly unique. There's not 10,000 copies of it, or iterations of that. You have a really good chance to stand out. In the past, you could write these 500-word articles, and they could rank because you were the only person that talked about that topic.

Matt Dolman:

Yep.

Chris Dreyer:

When you're the first in, that's why on these torts the person that's first in on content stands an incredible advantage. Same for Google local service ads, and all these. When you're first in, it's just a tremendous advantage because you're the only one on that topic.

Matt Dolman:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), 100% true. Anything else you want to cover today, Stan?

Stan Gipe:

No. I got my few questions out, and I hate to say mine are so base level. I said that to Matt before this, when you said what was going on. I'm like, "Look, I'm going to be the anchor." I'm going to be the one that's dragging around behind you guys going, "Wait, wait, wait, what do you mean? What's that word mean?" I got more questioned answered than I really had when we started.

Matt Dolman:

That's excellent.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, great.

Matt Dolman:

That's what Chris is here for.

Matt Dolman:

He's a master educator. Well, that wraps up another episode of the David Vs Goliath Podcast. I really appreciate being out here today. Chris, thank you very much for giving us your time.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

Matt Dolman:

As always, it's an honor to work with you, Stan.

Stan Gipe:

Always fun. I enjoy our podcast a lot.

Matt Dolman:

I wish everybody a great day.

💡 Meet Your Hosts 💡

Name Matthew A. Dolman, Esq.

Title: Partner at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

Specialty: Matt is a nationally recognized insurance and personal injury attorney and focuses much of his practice on the litigation of catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. 

Connect: LinkedIn | Twitter | Instagram

Name Stanley Gipe, Esq.

Title: Partner and Head of Litigation at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

Specialty: Stan is a Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. This distinction connotes expertise in the discipline of trial practice. He has served as lead counsel on over 1,000 Florida personal injury lawsuits.

Name: Chris Dreyer

Title: Founder and CEO of Rankings.io

Specialty: Chris helps elite personal injury law firms dominate the first page of rankings through search engine optimization. He and his team at Rankings.io are personally involved in client campaigns all the way from strategy to execution. They've helped clients own top-ranked spots for keywords and focus on delivering big wins. 

Connect: LinkedIn

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The insights and views presented in “David vs. Goliath” are for general information purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. The information presented is not a substitute for consulting with an attorney. Nor does tuning in to this podcast constitute an attorney-client relationship of any kind. Any case result information provided on any portion of this podcast should not be understood as a promise of any particular result in a future case. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers: Big firm results, small firm personal attention.