ep20. Law Firm Marketing: Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing – Biggest Mistakes with Blogging and Marketing

December 23, 2020
By: Matthew Laurin

Matthew Laurin SEOMatthew Laurin is the President of Esq.Marketing, a company that helps law firms generate more clients and cases using search engine marketing.

Matthew has been in the SEO business for over ten years. He possesses a long track record of repeatable success, achieving maximum ROI for SEO campaigns, and leading teams to execute simple yet effective campaign strategies.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Matthew Laurin talks about the big mistakes lawyers make when it comes to blogging and SEO marketing.
  • What to focus on when blogging for SEO gains.
  • Matthew shares a case study of a legal blog post and what they need to improve their strategy and results.
  • The top elements for a quality legal blog post.
  • How accessible is your blog?
  • The Lemon Law example for creating content that potential clients want to read.
  • What is blog spamming?
  • The smart strategy for ranking your law firm website through blogging and SEO.

In this episode…

Your website can be the go-to destination for people in your area who are searching for a personal injury lawyer. But, the problem is your website isn’t ranking for the keywords these people are searching for. Blogging is one way to correct that, but you already have an active blog and still don’t rank for these keywords. What are you not getting right?

Listen to this episode of the Esq.Marketing Podcast with Matthew Laurin as he talks about the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to blogging and SEO marketing. Matthew uses different case studies to show you what works and what doesn’t, and how you can improve your blogging and SEO strategy. Stay tuned for more on how you can increase your traffic—and conversions—today!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

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Case Studies:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Esq Marketing, your firm’s strategic search marketing partner. Esq Marketing helps law firms generate more clients and cases using search marketing and helping them land on the first page on Google so that clients can find you right away. We help companies ranging from those with 10 or less members to those with over 50 in their team, essentially creating a marketing department for them to help them reach potential clients with ease.

 

Episode Transcript

Intro

You’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast hosted by Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing, where he features successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. Now, let’s get started with the show.

Matthew Laurin

Hey, I’m Matthew Laurin, President of Esq.Marketing. And you’re listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast where I interview successful solo and SMB law firms from all over the United States. This episode’s brought to you by Esq.Marketing, we help law firms generate more clients in cases using search marketing. And today we have Jeremy Weisz, who is has done 1000s of interviews, and he will be interviewing me,

Jeremy Weisz

Matt, thanks for having me. I always love chatting with you. Because what you do applies to to everyone, especially, you know, law firms that want to rank higher, and when that they rank higher, that means they get more clients, right? clients, no money, follow them. And so we’re going to talk about blogging and marketing, for SEO and SEO relates to getting the top of search which relates to more clients. So what are some big mistakes you people you see people making with blogging and marketing,

Matthew Laurin

I like talking about this topic, because I get questions about it a lot, like I told you before. Content is a huge part of SEO and a huge part of our philosophy of how we promote clients websites. And when I talk about it on consults with clients, or potential clients, there’s often a lot of either misinformation or misunderstanding about what, how to use a blog for SEO and how to use content for SEO. And it’s really pretty simple. So I do see a lot of common mistakes. But in general, a blog is is kind of a has a has to, I don’t know how to phrase it to two main purposes. So one is to showcase thought leadership for an attorney for a law firm. And and you could do that by elaborating on a topic. And people who are in the search phase of trying to find an attorney will see that post and start to understand more about their situation. And it gets them further along in the process. And then the second purpose is, it creates content that other site owners want to link to. So a lot of people don’t want to link to sales pages. news sites don’t want to reference sales pages, they want to reference useful content that’s been researched and helpful for for consumers. So blog posts fit that mold very nicely. And then you can take that link equity that you get from those from that content and funnel it back to your practice area pages. But in general, those are the two, two main purposes of blog posts. And that and that leads me to the fact that every time I have a consult with somebody, you know, a lot of attorneys are blogging themselves, or maybe they’ve had another company do it or whatever. But you always see some some common mistakes, and they tend to be you know, there’s no clear keyword strategy for blog posts, you know, they’re not focusing on a longtail keyword phrase that has search volume, or it might not be relevant to a practice area they want to generate cases in

Jeremy Weisz

what are they doing, they’re just randomly choosing

Matthew Laurin

a randomly choosing topics or they’re blogging about topics that you know that they they don’t have any you know, they don’t they haven’t researched the search volume or the or the or the searcher intent. And so they may be missing the mark for what people are looking for, especially when they’re in that top of the funnel phase, that research phase of the buying process when they’re just starting to look for an attorney they they’re just entered into this situation where they think they may need legal representation and and they’re searching the internet for answers. And if you don’t touch on those pain points that they’re having early on in the process, then they’re not going to pay attention to you so much.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, Matt. So when you’re starting with someone you’re saying, you’re doing research on here’s all of the longtail keywords that are they have this amount of volume and this is going to benefit you and you’ve also I think do research on you know, they’re more by no buying keywords

Matthew Laurin

yeah keywords that have purchased intent and in the legal vertical keywords with purchase intent are usually practice area plus lawyer or attorney, the word lawyer or attorney so Car Accident Lawyer, Car Accident Lawyer, Florida medical, mental medical malpractice attorney or, you know, Birth Injury attorney, you know, something that indicates they’re looking for a lawyer right now. Whereas a longer tail keyword phrase is going to be like when should I hire a car accident attorney or how much does a car accident attorney cost? You know, things where it’s not clear that they’re really looking to talk to somebody right now but they’re just trying to figure out If you need to talk to somebody, or if they have a case, or if they should be learning more about their situation before they call an attorney, so you want to rank for both of them. But obviously, the purchase intent keyword phrase are the ones you really want to rank for. But you can also draw in traffic from people who are in the search in the buying phase, or in the research phase of the buying process, with a longer tail keyword phrases, and I have some examples that I can

Jeremy Weisz

show show some examples where the mistake is, most people don’t even know what those are, nor do they research stuff.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, and I see them and there’s, you know, there’s always an opportunity to improve even if you have a really well crafted post, but so the first site, I want to look at here, you see my screen?

Jeremy Weisz

Yep.

Matthew Laurin

Um, this law firm is RC Legal Group out of San Diego, California. They’ve been doing a lot of good blogging, putting a lot of content on your site, which is great. You always want to, you know, continue to put content out there. One thing I noticed, though, when I took a look at their Motorcycle Accident post here is the large volume of the word, motorcycle, can you do a Ctrl? Find on the page to find the word motorcycle, and it’s mentioned 50 times. And I think I actually did speak with these attorneys. And they had mentioned that the strategy they thought was to, you know, make sure the page is really relevant for whatever it is they’re writing about the title of this one’s what, what you need to know about motorcycle accidents in Oceanside in Vista, California. So logically, and a lot of people hear this, you know, Google finds the page relevant if the keyword phrases there. But in reality, you probably only need to happen a few times. And Google understands that this page is about motorcycle accidents in this location, so definitely you

Jeremy Weisz

scroll down. Yeah, what does it look like?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, so I mean, I, my browser is highlighting all the words and you can see you know, all its peppered throughout with the word motorcycle, my suggestion would be to take out a lot of dimension of, of the word motorcycle and instead, go to thesaurus.com and generate other synonymous phrases for Motorcycle Accident Attorney, motor, Motorcycle Accident Lawyer, motorcycle wreck, bike wreck, things like that, to try to approach the content with a more holistic, more holistic strategy for that,

Jeremy Weisz

because then you could possibly rank for other terms related to motorcycles as opposed if you’re using motorcycle.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah. And there’s also a, you know, they’re all in the same category, pretty much. So it’s not like you’re going to rank different pages for slightly different variations of terms. If If, if the term is kind of a variation of what that whatever the parent term is, or then then Google is going to rank that page for it too. For the most part, um, so yeah, that would be my suggestion for this post is just to taper down the mention of Motorcycle Accident Lawyers include statistics about motorcycle accidents in the region include other links to helpful information, maybe, maybe there’s, you know, other types of insurance related information or maybe a list of insurance providers to avoid or you know, I don’t know what it would be, but other helpful information that would, would be useful to somebody who’s searching for this keyword phrase and trying to figure out what they want to do. And then also just having a clearer keyword strategy for the posts. So if it’s meant to rank for motorcycle accident in Oceanside, if you take if you stop for a minute and you think about what someone might be looking for if they use that that query motorcycle accident in Oceanside. They’re they’re probably looking for, you know, maybe images of motorcycle accidents or information about motorcycle accidents in Oceanside. They may not have even been in a motorcycle accident. So doing a little bit of keyword research to figure out what would a person who is thinking about hiring an attorney to help them with a case like this be searching for? if they if they aren’t ready to buy yet? They might be you know, like, how much does a motorcycle accident attorney in Oceanside cost? Or, you know, who are the motorcycle accident attorneys in Oceanside. And from there, you can kind of build on the content and rank for things that draw the type of people in that you want

Jeremy Weisz

to see the post. There’s more buyer intent in those situations.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, more buyer intent for sure. Yeah. Whereas this one has a little bit more research intent, like maybe somebody’s using this query to find information so they can write a paper or a news article or something like that, as opposed to wanting to hire an attorney eventually.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. So yeah, go ahead. Oh, no, go ahead. Question I was gonna say no, um, so not doing research with longtail keywords. And then in addition, having you know, too much repeatable keywords over and over anything else. On this blog, before I asked about the next one, um,

Matthew Laurin

I mean, I think those are the main issues I see with this blog and main things that could improve it. Yeah, I mean, the, I have some other examples here of, of an attorney who is kind of in the right direction, and then one who needs needs a little tune up. And then another one who’s doing some other aspects of blogging correctly.

Jeremy Weisz

All right, yeah, show the next one.

Matthew Laurin

So this guy, Oklahoma lawyer, Hasbrook & Hasbrook, this is a good example of a post that does better at targeting the longtail keyword phrase that has search intent. And then it also has a characteristic that I recommend to attorneys when they’re generating blog content is to link internally to their practice area pages. And the reason for that is back at the beginning of our call, I mentioned that part of the purpose of blogs is to create what we call linkable assets, or, you know, content that other site owners will want to link to. And so he’s, you know, when you generate a blog post and other sites link to it, you can funnel that link equity to your practice or your pages or to your sales pages. Whereas, you know, they may not want to link to the sales pages directly or the practice area pages directly, because they’re not, they’re not always, you know, they don’t have a research intent or a useful purpose in that regard. A lot of the time. So anyway, this guy does this good. So this post who’s at fault for a truck accident lawyer, or I’m sorry for a truck accident for a truck accident, and how truck accident lawyer can help. I didn’t check to see if there was search intent for this keyword phrase. So it’d be important to check that first. But it does kind of touch on the question research aspect of things like somebody may have been in a truck accident, maybe they’re a truck driver, or maybe they were hit by a truck or gotten an accident, you’re not looking

Jeremy Weisz

at who’s at fault. Typically, if you’re not in a truck accident, yeah.

Matthew Laurin

So so it’s obviously like, whoever is looking for content like this. I’m just

Jeremy Weisz

looking for a friend Matt.

Matthew Laurin

I’m asking for a buddy. Yeah, obviously. Yeah, it’s a it’s, it’s, it’s designed to capture people at the research phase. And then here, right at the beginning of the post, they link to their practice area page right here with this keyword phrase so good on that. Yeah, and I mean,

Jeremy Weisz

no people and mistake people make is they don’t do any internal linking at all. Mostly,

Matthew Laurin

I’ve seen that. Yeah, I’ve seen that. And, um, I don’t know if I have an example of that here. But But yeah, all right, this big, long piece of content, it ranks Well, that’s awesome. But internal linking can be just as important as building External links to your site, because it shows Google what pages on your site are important, and which ones you know, or, you know, maybe not, maybe not deserving of so much link authority. So yeah, you want to always want to link link internally to a practice area page. And then I also recommend no following links to like your contact page, like down here, you can see in my browser, it’s outlining this schedule a free consultation, because this is no followed. Because the contact page isn’t really something you’re trying to rank for anything, it usually doesn’t have a lot of content, it’s, it’s a function driven page doesn’t need to, you need to target a keyword phrase. So just nofollow these links, so that link authority is not passing to those. And then any note any external links, like your social profiles, or links to privacy policy should be nofollow as well. Only the links to other posts or links to your practice area pages should be do follow.

Jeremy Weisz

Got it? What was it? What’s the next? Is there? Anything others on on this one? Or should we go to the next? Oh,

Matthew Laurin

yeah, let’s look at the next one. Um, this attorney, this was a good example. And we almost didn’t show this because they couldn’t really see their blog. But I guess that’s a good example of, you know, something you should always make sure is is done is that you that you have the content on your site is accessible no matter what page a person is on. And a good thing to do is put a blog menu item in the main navigation structure of your site so that people can get to that page and see posts on the site and that it’s organized in a way that is logical for Google when you don’t have that blog page. There. It’s more difficult for people to find and then you also don’t get the benefit of you know, any link equity that you have pointing at your homepage. A lot of people by default will link to your homepage if they’re building links naturally to your site. And if you don’t have that page connected in some way, it’s just you’re missing out on opportunities.

Jeremy Weisz

I’m on the phone with people, Matt, and I’m like trying to find I’m like, Where’s your blog? I’m trying to find out more information. And they’re like, Oh, you click on this and it’s like the third thing down or you got to go to the bottom. I’m like, Can you just put it at the top and I was actually looking for it. Right, and I was on the phone with the person. And I go before the call, I wanted to do a little research. And I could not find it. I could not find it.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, that’s always a bad scenario. I’ve seen other sites where it’s like, it’s under an About Us section. And then maybe you can’t even click on the blog until you click on the About Us link. And then it’s a link down on the page as opposed to being in the menu. Right, right. And yeah, I mean, anytime you make it difficult for people to find things when they’re already on your site is that

Jeremy Weisz

I mean, you want people that stumble across it naturally, let alone if they’re looking for it again, find it, um, because I’ve had scenarios. So I totally get what you’re saying.

Matthew Laurin

And then another scenario, like if someone clicks on a blog post link from a search results page goes to your site reads the blog, you know, wants to see more information or more content on your site, and maybe they go to a practice area page, or maybe they go to the contact page, but then they want to go back to the blog, and they can’t find it anymore. There’s another issue. So yeah, yeah, definitely want to that was the example with this site.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah. So put it front and center. First of all, if they hit that page, they’ll be able to find more information. Second of all, it’s just easier to access.

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, yeah, definitely. And then my last example, here is of another site, LemonLaw.com, who’s doing it’s not they don’t have like a traditional. They’re not doing the blogging in a traditional way, really, that I would do it for ranking for keyword phrases for a specific practice area. So in this case, it’s like, you know, it’s lemon laws or consumer protection laws, but they are doing a really cool strategy where they’re trying to find issues with that people are having with vehicles, keyword phrases that are being searched, you know, kind of, you know, in the near term, and generating content around that, and then linking back to, to their sales pages. So in this case, it’s been really successful for them. And it’s, it’s still follows a similar strategy where they’re looking for a keyword phrase with search volume, because obviously, if people are having issues, and for people that don’t know, the lemon law firm, does consumer protection legal work where if people have issues with vehicles that have repeatedly been back in the shop, and can be fixed or is down for a long period of time, they’re able to recover monetary Awards on for, for that from from auto manufacturers, and there’s actually statutes and a lot of states that provide for payment of legal fees by the manufacturer for consumers who’ve had to go through that process. And this firm does that.

Jeremy Weisz

So most people don’t even know that exists. Probably

Matthew Laurin

they don’t

Jeremy Weisz

or they searching for something.

Matthew Laurin

There’s so much information out there. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like in this case, it was Ford F 250. Death wobble is shaking drivers of Ford F 250. Death. Wobble was the keyword phrase. So yeah, I mean, people are searching on forums they’re searching on, you know, maybe Lemon Law websites or wherever, you know, on social media trying to figure out if other people have the same issue, how have you been able to resolve it, I’ve had this thing into the dealership, it’s not getting fixed. And so really a brilliant strategy in in targeting these keyword phrases coming up with a post about it. And you can tell that they’re getting a lot of good responses. I mean, 128 responses on this blog, wow, I post ton of comments. And they’ve linked internally to a page, they want to rank here in New Jersey Lemon Law page, and then to their contact form. Um, there are short posts, I mean, not a lot of information, which generally I wouldn’t recommend, but because of the strategy they’re using, it’s really successful because they don’t, you know, they’re targeting something that has a lot of search volume, their, their site is already authoritative. They’re a Lemon Law site. And so when they put this content out there, it tends to rank really well and get a lot of activity.

Jeremy Weisz

Matt does, um, a company like this, do they take cases all over the country? Or is it more specific to their through their region?

Matthew Laurin

This firm takes cases in a lot of states across the country. Don’t quote me on this, because sometimes I forget which states they do. I know they do. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio. And they do some they do some states on the on the, I think on the west coast, either that or they have partners they deal with pretty much anywhere on the east coast. If you have an issue with a vehicle, LemonLaw.com can take care, I just know certain practices of law. It’s like, you know, limited to their state, in general. Yeah, in general. It is. And I think they have enough attorneys licensed in different states.

Jeremy Weisz

Gotta do that. That makes sense. That works.

Matthew Laurin

Oh, you’re right. Yeah, if you’re licensed in a state, you can’t practice outside of that state. I’m in another state.

Jeremy Weisz

So biggest mistakes we talked about is putting too many of the same keyword. Like not researching longtail keywords, make sure you’re doing internal linking. And then the obvious I guess, would be make sure someone could find your blog. Um, you We also talked about or like I’ve heard this term, and I don’t know if you’ve covered it already, but I’ve heard the term spamming before. Is that something you already talked about? Or what what does that mean?

Matthew Laurin

Um, I guess it could mean a lot of things. But for as it relates to blogging, spamming would be generating content that doesn’t have any clear value. So maybe there’s a keyword phrase like Motorcycle Accident Attorney and then writing a post about that, that doesn’t have any meat any real usefulness, any real in depth research, and then just, you know, affiliate with keyword phrases, and trying to link to it a bunch of times with God, exact match anchor text, Motorcycle Accident Attorney, anchor, anchor text, things like that. That would be an example of spamming using a blog to spam because that strategy will not work. And if it does work in the initial stages, it will stop, you know, you won’t those, those pages usually get nixed pretty quickly, because they don’t offer a lot of value to users. Google just wants to provide useful information for people that are searching for the queries. And the more Yeah, this is probably another thing you hear all the times is create useful content. And I hate that because it’s not. It’s not descriptive enough of what you should be producing like, you just if you want a post to rank for a specific keyword phrase, you have to assuming it ticks, checks, all the other boxes has search volume and everything, you have to look at the top ranking pages, and you have to make your content better than all those top ranking pages better than the most comprehensive source of information on the internet for that particular topic area. Yeah. And that’s when Google will start ranking it higher. I mean, you still have to promote it. But in general, for as far as the content is structured, it needs to be it needs to be a really well written piece of information.

Jeremy Weisz

Yeah, I mean, it seems like the the common thread Matt is, is research, like, first of all, you should research what terms who are searching and then research well, who is ranking for certain things at the top and look and see, what are they doing? And probably they’re doing something that Google likes, or wouldn’t be ranked? Or look at the top three, and then actually do your research and have a strategy?

Matthew Laurin

Yeah, totally. Yeah. And the strategy that we promote for clients is, if they don’t have existing blog content, it’s usually generating content around longtail keyword phrases that are relevant to the practice areas, they want to drive in cases, if they do have blog content. So most often, it’s a case where, you know, the internal linking is not being leveraged appropriately, the keyword targeting is not not as good as it could be, excuse me, or they have so much content out there that doesn’t really have a purpose that is creating a lot of bloat. So we go through and we find posts that may be ranking on the cusp of the first or second page and select those for improvement. We select posts that already have referring domains pointed at them, they already have links pointing to them. And we use those for internal linking. So those are kind of the things that we look at people as

Jeremy Weisz

kind of low hanging fruit and then bolstering that up. Exactly. They’re not even utilizing measure anything that we missed with this with blogging and marketing for SEO and big mistakes people make

Matthew Laurin

no I don’t think so. I mean, I just I think you should be blogging if you’re doing SEO. And just keep in mind that if if you don’t really have a clear strategy with the generating content, you should have one because you’re spinning your wheels If not,

Jeremy Weisz

yeah, so we should point I know they can go to Esq.Marketing anywhere else we should point people towards

Matthew Laurin

Oh, no, that’s it. Yeah. Esq.Marketing. And you can learn more about more about us there. We have a ton of information on the site related to SEO and blogging. And

Jeremy Weisz

yeah, what’s the top podcast episode people should check out? that sticks out to you? I know it’s like choosing your favorite child anything

Matthew Laurin

anything with Jeremy was in it for all that, that’s

Jeremy Weisz

for sure. Any any past guests that stick out that were just um, that is a fan favorite.

Matthew Laurin

Let me take a look at the blog. Yeah. I heard the Lemon Law when we actually did a lemon podcast with lemon law. That’s a good one. The I really like the one with Ann Thayer, starting a solo practice during a pandemic. She talks a lot about how she was able to cut back on costs and kind of where to invest, invest money and where not, which for any business owner. It’s always and even though I’m guilty of this, I get distracted by shiny things and I’m like, Oh, I need to get this or I need to send out gifts during the holiday or I need to you know buy nice office furniture. I need to look professional. I need all these new clothes or something like that, but she was like, yeah, in the beginning, you don’t focus on that stuff you, you know, buy cheap office furniture spend on marketing buy marketing, which I know that sounds like a conflict of interest because I’m marketing but, but investing in the business to generate more business. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz

I mean, that’s gonna generate more business for sure. Yeah,

Matthew Laurin

she had some other good tips in there too. That’s a good one. And then especially for like solo law firms or one start now and then also Frank Vendt, The Vendt Law Firm. He had some good tips along similar lines, you know how when he was starting out, talked about how he was broke and how he had to really grind to get some business and I think him sharing his experiences is enlightening for other attorneys who might be in the same situation right now.

Jeremy Weisz

Awesome. Check out Esq.Marketing, check out other podcast episodes. And Matt, thanks for having me.

Matthew Laurin

Thanks, buddy. Always a pleasure.

Conclusion

Thanks for listening to the Esq.Marketing Podcast. We’ll see you again next time and be sure to click subscribe to get future episodes.

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