Webinar: SEO Competitive Analysis – Law firm websites and SEO

By  |  Published 

Are Your Competitors Playing Dirty? The Importance of A Competitor Analysis

Did you know that one of the most important activities for any SEO process is the initial competitive analysis?

Have you started taking the steps to find out what your competitors are doing better than you?

The process of a good competitive analysis should correctly identify your SEO targets and provide fundamental input to establish your overall SEO and content strategy.

Depending on the scope of your SEO process, and industry, this can be really complex, because of the all of the other factors involved.

In the above webinar you will learn about the tools and how to spy on your competitors. You will also learn:

  • How to get a realistic insight into your SEO
  • What Your Competitors are spending
  • How to find link building opportunities, and more…

Find out how we can help you with your online marketing and law firm SEO by contacting us.


Transcription

Operator:  The broadcast is now starting.  All attendees are in listen-only mode.

Alex:  Good afternoon and welcome to our webinar with Conrad Saam from Mockingbird and myself from We Do Web Content.  Today we’re going to be going over your competitive analysis and finding out if your competitors are cheating you or the system and what they’re doing to get where they are.  So we’re going to find out some inside secrets from Conrad, how to use them, how to do a competitive analysis.  So Conrad why don’t you start filling us in?  I hear this is one of the best presentations he has.  So we’re going to hold him to it.  He wanted to wear his favorite team shirt today so let’s say Go Michigan!  Everyone!

Conrad:  You know what? I nearly swapped out this shirt in the off chance that there were any Ohio people –

Alex:  Oh!

Conrad:   –on air.

Alex:  I think we do have some Ohio.  If they knew my clients I would, clients on here from Ohio so we’ll see.

Conrad:  We have a crazy vine of clients in Ohio and so far I’ve kept this a secret but I guess the secret’s blown. So what I’m going to walk through today there are a ton of tools out there.  Alright we’ve already got a question.  Alex, see if you can jump on that.  Uh-oh!  Sorry Kelly, Kelly from Ohio.  Anyway what I want to do today is walk through some of the tools that we use when we’re doing competitive analysis.  There is not a paucity of tools available, they’re all over the place and so I’m going to walk you through some of the tools that we use when we are looking through a competitive analysis to find out what’s going on and look for opportunities and I’m going to do this.  I picked this firm, this is not a client’s I don’t know these guys at all, they’re probably very nice guys but I’m going to do it from the perspective of The Higgins Firm.  I believe these guys are in Tennessee.  So what we’re going to do and since we’re in PowerPoint, we’re going to literally walk through in real time some of the tools that we would use if we were looking at taking on a firm like The Higgins Firm at I believe they’re at Tennessee.  We’re going to find out more about this in a second.  Actually let’s go and look at it yeah.  Okay so they’re in Nashville, they’ve got a couple of different offices.  We’re going to find out if their offices are real, those types of things.  So the first thing that I want to look at when I’m looking at another firm or even my own firm is what’s the infrastructure, what are they using?  Okay and there’s this great site called BuiltWith and I’m just going to go on to The Higgins Firm, you can see I’ve already done this, dot com, oh sorry and we’re now going to check them out.  And this is really going to give us an overall perspective of the infrastructure that they’re using for their firm.  Are they up for their site?  What web servers are they using?  Are they using for email?  Where their registrar is?  Who’s hosting them?  Are they using Google Analytics?  There’s all sorts of stuff that I can find out about the way they’re actually built.  There’s a plug-in, here’s widget, where’s the plug-in module?  We can find while they don’t have any plug-ins because I don’t think they’re on WordPress.  But you can see here that like, if you want to learn more about, like they’ve got video coming out of YouTube so there’s video on their site, that’s being hosted on YouTube.  You can just look through all of this and find out exactly what they’re using for a lot of their technical infrastructure.  So that’s a really good starting place.  But really what I want to get into and this is a tool that I really love that has recently been updated is, I want to know how they’re performing on SEO.  Oops sorry I messed that up again but and PPC.  Okay?  And so I’m going to SpyFu.com and there’s a lot of data that comes out of this and let me say to start out with, I believe that PPC data on here is pretty accurate.  The SEO data is a little less accurate and when you’re dealing with really small sites and for the most part when you’re dealing with legal, you’ll probably dealing with less than 2000 visits a month.  Getting really accurate down at that really low level can be kind of difficult.  The only real accurate data that you’re going to get is Google Analytics, it’s kind of perfectly accurate.  A lot of this is done through estimating and sampling, etc.  So just be aware of that, that the smaller the site you’re looking at, the less accuracy you’re going to get.  But there’s a lot of data in here so we’re seeing stuff about organic keywords that are ranking for, there is an estimate of organic traffic that they’re getting.  We can see paid search, paid versus organic, it looks like 32% of their search traffic is coming out of organic and the other two thirds is coming out of paid.  We can see what they estimate is showing up for the volume of keywords they’re bidding on and the number of clicks that they’re getting.  And we can go down, we can look at who are their major competitors in natural search we can also look at major competitors in paid search.  There’s also and it is pretty crass that makes it all really nice for us to look at.  Here is some of their competitors.  But we’re going to drill deeper into some of these reports so I’m going to look in their SEO, their overall SEO traffic, what’s going on.  So this is really fascinating, look at these guys.  It looks like they’re on the up and up. And let’s look at two years, it looks like wow they were just bumbling along and all of a sudden on April 14 they started to get really serious about SEO. So that starts to get really interesting.  Also under SEO sorry, we can go deeper into a competitive ranking so you can see in this case this is our firm here, The Higgins Firm they look like across this group of five competitors and the competitors frankly are pulled out of what five true things is important.  But these guys at this point seem to be doing really well.  Conversely, if I am Mitch Grissom, I’m thinking to myself, well what on earth happened on February 15th?  What’s going on here?  If I’m the green guys, Parker Crawford and I’m paying a lot of money for SEO on a regular basis and I’m looking at this very slow but consistent gradual down trend in my SEO traffic, I start to wonder.  So it’s a really interesting way to have a look at how you stack up competitively.  We can look at that competitive thing in more detail, we can even go so far as to look at keywords.  So this is an estimate and you can login and get more data but this is an estimate of the keywords that The Higgins Firm is ranking for, where they’re ranking, are they improving or getting worse? If they were to pay for these, what types of CPCs are you looking at?  So you can start to find out –

Alex:  You just cut out.

Conrad:  –ranking for from a – I just cut out?  Am I still on?

Alex:  You’re back.

Conrad:  I’m back?  Okay.  So I just gave away the golden goose.  You know the really important stuff unfortunately we just cut out during that period.  I’m kidding.  So what I’m talking about here is being able to see what type of natural search traffic and what type of terms you’re getting for that natural search traffic, from your competitors or even for yourself.  So then we can move into –

Alex:  This is really good, before we jump into PPC, first of all is SpyFu a paid site through subscription or is it free?

Conrad:  A lot of this is free, a lot of these tools are a sign up and then you’ll get more data and then if you want to get really deep you’ll end up spending some money.  So a lot of these do what marketers call frenium.  So we’ll give you a little bit and depending on how much you want to use it we’ll actually, we’ll start charging you at some point of time.

Alex:  So let’s say if you go back to SEO research and you’re probably going to do this later on the call before we show PPC.  But let’s say the marketing director and one of our attorneys or business owner’s offices saying okay, you know, we’re working with an SEO firm but I want to learn some of my own information, I want to go in there and find out what my competitors are doing.  How would they take and use this information?  Now I know how we use it internally for our content.  How would someone that’s managing the marketing for a law firm use this information for their benefit?

Conrad:  Well I think the really important thing here and this is where law firms get so, you have to understand that legal is a zero sum game.  SEO is a zero sum game. I’m getting clients at the expense of someone else.  And so really my job as an SEO is to move the clients around.  It’s not about creating more clients, its moving clients from the competitor to my client.  And if I’m an in-house marketing director or the owner of a law firm, I rarely have a really good feel for how I stack up.  And generally and you’ve heard me rail against this for a long time Alex, generally I will work with ranking reports.  We rank on page, on position number seven for this key term and my competitor ranks for position number four and I want to figure out how to get from seven to three.  And the reality is when you’re looking at stuff at that very, very small micro-level, you’re completely missing the big picture.  And law firms by and large focus so heavily on rankings when they really should be looking at traffic.  Are we doing better?  What is the trajectory of our traffic?  And you can use Google Analytics your own reporting for that but really what you want to know because you’re in a zero sum game is, what’s my market share look like?  Am I doing better or worse than Bill, Mary or some, and in here let’s say I really hate Smith and Smith, I don’t know if Smith and Smith is a firm but I can add Smith and Smith to this list.  Smith and Smith doesn’t show up here, let’s drop one of these guys.  We’re going to add Smith and Smith which I’m sure that domain is probably not a law firm on there, well there’s nothing there.  But I can look at specific competitors and get a feel and so many times I’ll talk to an attorney, he’ll say hey these guys are crushing me and I want to know why.  And when we look at some of this data it’s like, hey you know what?  It looks like you’re right.  Or it looks like they’re slowly declining.  Or it looks like you’re moving in the right direction.  And it gives us a better feel for how we’re actually performing and kind of a market ownership perspective.

Alex:  Okay perfect.

Conrad:  And let me add one other thing here because this gets really interesting.  Look at this, if we go back five years like a lot of this data is really new for these guys.  The thing down at the bottom that’s really interesting, let me go back to a one year view, this is really, really helpful.  These zeros here underneath, I don’t know why they have them looking like zeros that are cut off.  These are major Google algorithm changes.  And so you could look at this.  If I am the Higgins Firm and all of a sudden I get this big uptick on oh I guess the 6th.  Okay here’s a great competitive situation.  On August 6th the HTTPS algorithm update went out.  And that algo update and they don’t know if this is true, this is just something that I would say, “Hmm, interesting maybe we should think about this.”  The search engines essentially said, hey we’re going to give a preferential treatment and having a secure server is going to have an impact on your ratings.  Now if I look at this and I say oh, on August 6th The Higgins Firm jumped up.  And then I might say to myself, well I wonder if they have a secure server are they on HTTPS or are they not?  And if I then find that they are and none of these other guys is, maybe that suggests to me that, hey you know what?  Conrad we probably should put ourselves on HTTPS.  Now the reality is I doubt that’s the case because we never saw any big deal with this algorithm change.  But it certainly makes you wonder what happened on that specific date for these guys.  So that’s why – and you can mess around, what do you mean going to the PPC stuff?  But this is really interesting too.  What is the advertising budget for my marketplace and here’s The Higgins Firm.  Are they spending any money on PCC or not?  You can see that you go back to September and they weren’t.  They started in November-October of 2014.  And now they seem lower we’re only lowered up if I may yeah we’re through May.  So you know, we have specific pieces of data and we can see what they’re actually spending and I can look at anyone on here.  So let’s look at our competitors, look at this really, really fascinating who is spending money here?  Higgins Firm is spending kind of a consistent amount of money.  These guys, ask Mitch, they’re all over the place and this is a typical pattern of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, they spend a whole bunch of money and then someone said, “Hey guys, we spent a whole bunch of money, let’s turn that down.”  And then they turned it down, I don’t know if this is the case but this is the kind of pattern that I see a lot.  They turn it down and then it’s like, oh all the business disappeared, let’s turn it back up.  And then it’s, oh someone we spent a whole bunch of money.  So you can see what people are actually working on.  You can even see some of the words that people are bidding on.  And this is the frenium model here but you can go down and see like what are the cost per clicks for some of the terms that people are actually bidding on, where are they?  How many searches are showing up?  And so you get a really, really interesting ability to see what people are spending money on.  You may find it’s like it may be very interesting to know that the Higgins Firm is pushing 18-wheeler accidents right?  What does that mean for your firm?  So there’s all sorts of interesting things and you can drill into this, you know, really, really deep and spend a ton of time on this.  But it’s an interesting way to have some insight into the marketplace.

The next tool that I’m going to show you is very simple.  This is a tool called Google and what we want to do here is we want to find all of the content on a competitor’s website, its index.  And let me make the caveat with the .index part.  If you do this site:theHigginsfirm.com, if you add the ‘site:’ before that, this will return all of the index pages and those are pages that the search engines will consider putting in search engine results of your query.  You can see all of the content that’s on there. So here’s an example, okay so Higgins Firm has a page in Spanish that ironically the meta description is in English which is not really great.  You can see that they’re doing work with Xarelto and Mirena, Benicar, Morcellator stuff and we can find out, uh-ho here’s a great example.  Oh no, Testimonials and Testosterone, two different things.  We can just roll down and see all of the things that they’re actually trying to get traffic for.  And it’s an interesting way to know what these guys are working on.  I’ll give you another example, let’s use the Spanish piece as an example even though they have the page that says we speak Spanish, let’s look at this guy.  Here we speak Spanish, this is our page that is optimized for the word Spanish and it says a bunch of stuff in Spanish and yes, want to go back and look at this.  There’s not a single page that I’m looking at so far that’s in Spanish.  So they’re not really marketing in Spanish.  You can see pretty much where they’re working, what they’re trying to do, here’s some of their blog stuff, some Q&A type questions.  You can see here they’re doing some link based opportunities, Ten Worst Workplace Homicides in US History, that sounds like that they’re actually trying to do some SEO because they’ve got some kind of linky bait content.  And you can set your Google setting so instead of just seeing ten you can see up to hundred results on any page which is how I have mine set up because otherwise I’ll be clicking ‘Next’ all the time.  So it’s an interesting way for you to feel for what your competitors are actually trying to rank for from a content perspective.

The next one that we’re going to look at, where did my Pingdom go?  Oh watch this.  I’ll make this very easy.  I’m going to look at site speed.  So we’re going to need a tool called Pingdom and they do a website speed test so we’ll do this in real time.  Now when you do this over here what you want to do is make sure that your settings pick somewhere that’s near where you are.  These are the only six places that they look from.  So pick somewhere that’s, let’s not take Melbourne, Australia for example.  These guys are in Tennessee so I’m going to pick New York because speed really is correlated to how far or where your server is, it’s not a huge part of the component but if I’m running this test from Melbourne, Australia and the Higgins law firm servers are in say Atlanta, they’ve got to get all the way to Melbourne they’re going through the wires instead of being much closer.  So site speed is impacted by the location of your servers.  It’s a small impact but it’s, just pick something that’s nearby.  So now I’m running this, oh this is going to take a while just because I’m doing this in real time.  Usually this goes much faster, we may have to come back to these guys.  Come on I love when technology kind of just sits on itself while we’re doing things.  Let’s try again, I’m going to reload this, try again, theHigginsfirm.com.  We’re going to have to come back to this one to see what we actually get.  The end result on this is I’m going to give an example here.  The end result on this is the percentage and the percentage says that in fact there’s a lot of data that comes out of this but it will tell you that your site is faster than x percentage of sites on the web.  And in legal where it’s very competitive, you really want we push, especially in PI we want to get the top 10%.  Okay, unable to – obviously something went wrong especially while I was doing a presentation.  We’ll come back to Pingdom and see if we can get something more useful than that error message.  Let’s try this maybe it was, let’s try wedowebcontent.com, let’s see how fast these guys are.  See if that gets us anywhere.  You will end up with a percentage and in PI and any really competitive practice area it’s really competitive, we really push our clients to be in the top 10% of site speed.  Anything below 60 and in legal I think you have something to worry about and it’s something to really work on.  You might be on a slow server, etc.  But what I do is, I will run this across a client and then four or five competitors and that gives us a feel – here we go, Pingdom’s having a bad morning.  It will give us a feel for, is site speed something that we need to worry about because we’re grossly underperforming compared to our competitors?  And if it is like we should do X, Y or Z.  The X, Y or Z is less obvious but it is a good feel for, do we have a problem in ranking that maybe correlated to site speed.

Alex:  How is this related that site speed to what is in webmaster tools? Because I know webmaster tools gives you some kind of report which is always pretty good.

Conrad:  The Webmaster tools data is really good, again, like you can measure, there’s probably 100 different ways to measure each of these important things.  That the problem with webmaster tools is you don’t have access, you don’t know how you stack up with an editor.  And so I would rather look at webmaster tools and Pingdom from my own data but I really want to know how we match up on a competitive level.  That make sense?

Alex:  Yes.  Pingdom is back on someone said.  I guess someone just tested it.  But it could be you have a lot of browsers on too.

Conrad:  What was that?

Alex:  Someone just –

Conrad:  Pingdom is back.  Got it.  Let’s try this one last time and then if it doesn’t work I’m just going to assume that you guys are smart enough to figure out how to type something in here.  Alright, let’s see.  We’ll stop picking on the Higgins Firm.  Here we go, this is what site speed looks like.  And what I want here is to get a feel, oh sorry this is not going to turn out good for you. I’m going to put you on a different server.

Alex:  We’re working on it.

Conrad:  Okay, your website is faster than 35% of all, this is what I’m looking at right here.  That’s what I’m really looking at and so I want that to be in the 90s.  Especially if you’re doing something hypercompetitive like legal.  Okay, next one.

One of the things, we just finished the SMX advanced conference out here in Seattle. One of the things that is a constant issue is, spam and local.  And spam and local lawyers are with the exception of locksmiths lawyers are the spammiest industry pretending that you guys have offices that are not where they actually are and the counterpoint that I get back from attorneys when I talk about is like, well I do, I’m happy to see clients all over the country or all over the state and I have this conference room that’s at my buddies office that I can always meet a client with.  It might be two hours away but for the right case I will go there.  Why won’t Google let me have that office?  And the answer is and the guidelines from Google are very, very clear about this.  If you don’t have someone there, staff there, when I walk in the door that I can meet with, even if it’s just a receptionist, that’s not really an office.  And what search engines do not want is for me as a consumer to use my phone, here’s my phone and say okay I want to go find Alex Valencia and so I look for Alex Valencia on here, I get an address in Tampa, I drive to the address, I use my phone to get directions through Google, I pull up and I find out that the address is actually a post office box.  Now I’m not ticked off at Alex, I’m ticked off at Google for sending me on some wild goose chase into Tampa.  When you talk  about local but what’s happened is by and large law firms have continued to successfully spam local results.  So there’s a lot of cases where they’re creating offices where they actually don’t exist and using such an optimization you try, let’s do an example here.  When I talk about local I mean this, I’m looking for Seattle, DUI lawyer and when I do that, this map, this list here this is my local results.  Who shows up here and why and do these people really have an office in the location that they say they have an office in? and I’m not suggesting that these guys don’t but this is local search engine optimization.  You’ll see here that someone’s got, I’ll show you just how spammy this is.  Someone has a law firm named Seattle DUI Attorney.  Here’s another one named Seattle DUI Attorneys and their website is plus.google.com right?  So here we have right off the bat two spammy results for Seattle DUI Attorney.  And this is an example of how bad the search engines are at identifying spam and local results.  So the question is, how do you find out if your competitors are spamming Google local? So the first thing to do is use a tool from Moz, this is Moz.com local/search.  We’re going to go back to find Higgins and what you need is zip code, oops sorry 37210.  We’re going to put him in there and the Higgins Firm.  By the way, I’ve done this before so I know what’s going to happen here.  I wouldn’t be totally mean to someone.  So when we look for the Higgins Firm we are seeing that they are really showing this is where they are in Nashville right?  There’s one address, now they have a problem because they have unfortunately created map problems with their address, they have two different names, The Higgins Firm and Tennessee Litigation Attorneys The Higgins Firm.  They’ve got two different addresses, one is 4th Ave South, one is 4th Avenue South and they have two different phone numbers.  So they have a mess but they’re not trying to spam it although we can go down here and find more Higgins Firms.  So it’s a good way to start finding out where people say they actually are.

Another thing to do is to look at their address and Google this address.  So we’re just going to take this address and Google the address and find out what’s happened.  So let’s do this is real time this I haven’t done yet but I’m pretty sure I know what we’re going to find.  So here’s Goggle’s search results for their address and what you’ll find is boom! Nashville State Lawyers, Higgins Estate Group.  So they are where they say they are.  What we’re not getting here is an ice cream store.  And I will show you an example recently I Googled an address, this is the address that we looked for and this is a law firm that is actually named Cork wine bar.  So we Googled the address and we found on Google maps that in fact this is a wine bar.  And if I look around here in Google maps doesn’t really look here’s something else called Bluebeard and if we look on the other side of the street it’s an abandoned house, it’s for sale and this really does not look like a law firm.  So in this case it looks to me that this law firm is trying to pretend that they are here when they really are actually in Seattle.  Note that this is in Tacoma.  This firm is headquartered in Seattle and they’re pretending that they have an office at a wine bar which is a great place to meet an attorney but it’s certainly not what Google wants to do when you’re looking to walk in and talk to this attorney.  So that’s something I would definitely look at and if you find that you’re competitor and this is rampant, this is absolutely rampant.  If you find that your competitors are spamming local there are certain things that you can do to try and make sure that they’re not showing up in your city when they actually are two hours away.

So let me look through, what is our next one? Okay I want to walk through, actually I want to use Open Site Explorer first.  We’re going to use Open Site Explorer.  The next big thing we’re going to talk about is authority.  And Authority when I speak about authority I’m really talking about the link profile to a law firm.  How strong, how much authority, how much, this used to be called page rank, people would say Google juice or page juice or SEO juice.  It really is, how strong is this site from a link building perspective?  And this is a product like Moz called Open Site explorer and what you want to look like, what I look at is what – we’ll put this in here, the Higgins Firm.  I want to look at the domain authority.  So Moz cuts this up into 1000 different ways.  But really what I want to do is to look at the domain authority because that is the overall number and quality of links pointing to my domain regardless of what page they are pointing to and now I’ve got a number.  This is at 23.  I would do this for five competitors and see where you fall from an authority perspective.  And if you find that you’re way out of balance here, if you find you’re way behind on authority, the answer is tactically the things you need to start working on is link building.  So link building is hard, it’s expensive but don’t engage in that if you’re already crushing your competitors from an authority perspective.  Actually you should still do it anyway because they’ll be trying to catch up to you.  But this authority way metric is a really easy way to grasp how we’re doing.  The other thing that Moz has recently launched is what they call spam score and you’ll find this is very variable with law firms, the number of low quality links.  So we can actually look at links so in this case I want to look at links to this law firm and it’s going to take a little while to load itself.

Alex:  While we’re loading we had a couple of questions come through on the last one.  The first one was and I’m presuming that everyone on this webinar is an attorney so they have a question about home based businesses.  What do they do with local home based businesses?

Conrad:  No this is hard.  This is awful.  I have an awful answer for you.  And there’s no good answer to this.  Unless you want people showing up at your home, you’re kind of SOL from the local search perspective.  I don’t have a good answer. The problem is of course that if you’re doing criminal defense there’s no way you want your home address listed and probably even if you’re doing most types of law, you don’t really want people knocking on the door unless it’s kind of a plan to knock.

Alex:  I don’t think it’s an attorney though there is a number of small business owners as well

Conrad:  No, no, this happens, Alex I get this all the time from lawyers who are working from home right?  A lot of you guys have those home based businesses especially solos and it’s like how do we compete with local?  And the answer is, the unfortunate answer is you get an office and you pay for an office and you find an office that’s in the center of the legal industry in your city.  And it’s expensive and it sucks and I don’t have a better solution.

Alex:  So they just answered it to travel agency?

Conrad:  If it’s a travel agency and you don’t mind people – here’s the thing, if it’s a travel agency and you don’t mind people showing up to your door, have at it.  But it’s harder, it’s just a harder issue.

Alex:  Next question was, can you turn the phone locations into Google to get the offending lawyer office off the Google local lists?

Conrad:  Yes, you have to look very carefully.  So here’s the thing, you’re treading in very, the answer is yes and be very careful.  It’s easy to make enemies like that.  One of the reasons that we don’t ever publicize our client list is because frankly a lot of our local work is dealing with cleaning up spam listings and local.  Google knows how bad their listings are.  They know that the quality is very problematic and so the response is to this.  They also don’t want people to abuse it.  They also don’t me to be able to call, hey you know what?  That law firm they’re really not there and all of a sudden the law firm disappears off the map and they actually were there.  So the potential for this  is pretty high.  So they will do things like mystery call the location.  And so they’ll call up and they’ll say, “Hey this is a representative from Google, can you tell me the name of the business across the street from you.”  And so let’s go back to this example here.  Find the Cork, the name of the business across the street from me as I don’t know because I’m really answering this, I’m not in Tacoma, I’m up in Seattle and I don’t know that there’s an old crusty softball field and a church over there and an abandoned building across, I just don’t know that, because I’ve never been there.  So they are proactively looking at this issue.  But do it carefully, don’t like post it publically, be careful with that.

Alex:  Alright cool, thank you.

Conrad:  Any other question?

Alex:  No I don’t have anything else right now.

Conrad:  Okay great.  So this one is actually really important.  The domain authority is a really, really big issue and it really, when we do these competitive reviews it dictates where we spend our effort.  This is the hardest thing to do but it’s really the most important thing that you can do to do well from a natural search perspective.  Majestic has another tool that does the same exact thing as Moz so it gets slightly different data out of this.  My bias is that Majestic tends to have a more complete data set although I don’t really know why I’m saying that anecdotally.  The other cool thing about Majestic is you can very easily see recent back links to my site, so you can see here like these guys look like they were working really hard.  237 back links that showed up on March 2015, nothing recently.  But the other thing that becomes really fascinating is lost back links.  So where are these back links disappearing from and why?  And I can actually drill down on to these dates and find the links that have disappeared.  So this starts to become really, really – look at this, attorneys – what was this?  Attorneys.caraccident.Attorneys.net/feed like what’s going on here?  Interesting stuff.  So you can start to get a feel for links that are coming on and links that are dropping out.

Now the next thing that’s really actionable is what’s called Clique Hunter out of Majestic and so this is an example of where what they’re looking for here is commonality among a link profile for a set of websites and what I picked out here is I’ve got wedowebcontent, I’ve got mockingbirdmarketing, I’ve got attorneysync, these guys  are good guys out of Chicago and I’ve got consultwebs another good firm.  Where are they based Alex?

Alex:  I think South or North Carolina.

Conrad:  North Carolina and so the four of us have, we all work in legal, we’re all kind of SEO nerds and what I’ve done here is looked for all of the links, all of the linking websites that link to most of us or all of us.  So you’ll see here that lets say I’m Alex and I’m looking down through here and it’s like the NationalReview.com, okay NationalLawReview.com they’ve linked to everyone but me.  Maybe I need to go make happy with these guys because clearly they’ll generate links for people and what I really need to do is find a way to generate a link for me. Here’s lex blog, my next blog out of Seattle, they’ve linked to these other guys but I’m Alex I’m like oh poor me why hasn’t blog hasn’t linked to me.  And this gives you a great example to get a feel for where you can try and get links from.  Here’s Larry Bodine, let’s take on me, here’s [indiscernible] PILMMA right? I’d always worked for PILMMA and these guys haven’t even linked to me?  But they’re linking to Alex and GYI and ConsultWebs but they’re not linked to me?  Like what’s going on here guys?  So now I can go back to PILMMA and say, “Hey Ken you only get everyone but me. What’s going on?”  And you can see that this list is exhaustive and if you want to find a way to go about generating links, the easiest way to do that is to find places to link out to competitors to lots of similar competitors that aren’t linking to you.  And so that’s something that I would be seriously looking at from an opportunity perspective on link building.

Alex:  That was great, that was awesome.  That was good information.  We have a question from Lauren.  So she said we are crushing our competitors with domain and page authority.  But they still are outranking us on some terms.  How do we pinpoint that issue?

Conrad:  It’s a hard question because the answer is, there’s probably 20 different answers.  My first gut tells me, look at your Google Analytics.  Don’t look at the ranking reports, you’ll note that in all of these tools that I’ve been sharing with you guys I have not shown a single ranking report except for the PPC stuff right?  So look at your traffic, don’t worry about, you do a query, you see, oh what ranking number three on for this term.  What you see and what everyone else sees is so personalized it’s so different, everything that’s on the phone right is different is based on location it’s so variable.  So I would look at the traffic to the pages that you want to rank for instead of the ranking for the, that you think is going to drive traffic to the pages that you wish you were getting traffic to.  Look at the traffic not the ranking, that’s one.

Two, if you’re crushing on a domain authority perspective one of the things that I didn’t hit on these tools is they’re good tools but they’re not really good tools.  So Google’s ability to sniff out spam is very much more sophisticated than the guys over at Moz right and the guys at Majestic.  So this is the attempt of Moz and Majestic to essentially recreate page rank and get a feel for how well you’re doing.  But it is the best bad method that we have of looking at met.  And so where I’m going with this is it’s possible that you have a really strong domain authority even reported by these guys that the search engines don’t like.  And what do I mean by that?  Let’s just say that you are part of a link wheel or some link exchange or that you’ve been buying links or you’ve got links from pharmaceutical sites in Canada or porn sites in Thailand and let’s just say that these guys, it looks good here but the search engines are really like you know what, I don’t like these links and I’m devaluing that site.  So sometimes we’ll talk to clients and they’ll say hey, we’ve got all of these links but we’re not getting any traffic and it’s like, yeah but all of these links are probably hurting your traffic instead of helping your traffic.  So that’s theory number two.

Theory number three tells me that I would look at the on page optimization of those pages that you wish you were getting traffic for.  You know what, I’m going to pull out another tool here.  This is a really great one, it only works with Firefox.  Let’s pick on the Higgins Firm again.  I hope I never meet these guys.  Actually so far their stuff’s been pretty good.  But you’ll see that I use Firefox for all of my analytics so this is all a bunch of analytical garbage that I look at.  But I’m going to look right now at practice areas.  I want to look at – this is kind of ugly menu.  Let’s look at their alright this is really ugly.  Let’s look at their Madmouth page.  Okay this is a tool right here called SEOQuake and SEOQuake does some very quick diagnostic on lot of things.  It’s a really dated tool.  So it kind of sucks because it will report on a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter anymore.  But it’s a very easy way to look at these guys.  So the on page optimization for this site and these guys are doing an okay job with their on page optimization.  What I’m really looking for here is this.  So down here you’re H1 is your medical malpractice and that’s in fact what they’re trying to rank for.  This page here is about medical malpractice.  And you’ll see that from a cognizant perspective they’ve done a reasonable job they’ve got 6 H4s they skipped H2 and H3 but they’ve skipped H4 that’s all about medical malpractice.  Let me find a bad site, I don’t want to pick on any one.  But instead of picking on someone, let me say this. A lot of times when we look at these headings you’ll find that you’ll have seven H1s. and you’ll find that those H1s are the exact same, they’re built into the WordPress template. So we had a client who had an H1, the H1 represents the heading which you give your heading that’s the primary heading, that page is probably about that specific thing, in this case its medical malpractice.  So we had a client who had an H1 on every single page that said original text.  So they were sending a signal to the search engines that their content was about original.  So I would look at this.  I would also look at the title here, medical malpractice, that you guys are doing is right.  This is about medical malpractice and the meta description here it’s a pre-consultation on medical malpractice.  Now it’s too long but they’re doing ok here.  So I would look at your on page optimization as well and this is a really long conversation so I apologize for the lengthy answer.  But the next thing I would look at is, is that linked directly from your home page?  An easy way to get a bump is to make that a link directly from the home page.  So if you really want to push medical malpractice in this case, let’s make sure that that page is not 7 or 8 or 9 clicks away from the home page but you’re directly off the home page.

So without looking those are kind of four things that I would look for from a diagnostics perspective.  Really quickly about this tool here.  SEOQuake, it’s a download I believe it only works for Firefox but it’s a really handy tool to walk through your own site and page by page look at things.  The other way to do that there is a tool, we’re going to go unlimited uses browsers so we don’t lose anything.  If you want to get really geeky and spend some time, there is a, the Screaming frog. Screaming frog is your tool and it’s not about – see, look how bad Yahoo is.  Come on, do I want to look at videos about screaming frogs?  Are you out of your mind.  So this is what I’m really looking for.  I’m looking for this crawler.  This tool will walk through your entire website and its free if you have I think less than 400 pages and it will give you this level of information, this stuff across your entire website and it will in fact look for things where you have duplicated H1s.  So it’s a really, really, do you want to get really nerdy about doing an on page optimization for your site?  This is the way to go about doing it with Screaming Frog.  Okay so that’s another awesome tool that moves into the very advanced level.

We talked about that, we’ve talked about clique hunter.  Here’s another one Ahrefs gives you interesting domain comparatives.  Ahrefs also does a back link analysis but you can run through where you’re getting links from and how many pages are invoved that will kind of consolidate all of this.  This is their domain to I think it’s called domain comparison.  But it’s a really good way to get some data and do comparative data with competitors.  I don’t use this as much but it’s certainly a good one out there.  Here’s Pingdom again, we played with him.  SEMRush is another tool very similar to SpyFu in fact SpyFu has moved into frankly copying a lot of the stuff that’s out of SEMRush.  Another tool that you can walk through all sorts of data on I just prefer SpyFu because I’m used to it.  But another tool that if you want to spend time looking through ton and ton of data you can use and I think that is those are kind of like the end tools, I don’t want to go too deep in because we’ve already done similar analysis with some of the other tools. But those are some of the types of things that you can look at and get a feel for.

Alex:  We have a question Conrad from Mr. Rosenzweig, Barry.  What is the one top set overall your SEO analysis tool that can be used on a consistent basis?  I don’t know if there’s actually one but if there were one that you would choose –

Conrad:  I would use this very cool tool called Google Analytics.  Most of this and it’s not a competitive tool.  So you have to recognize most of our work is not this competitive snooping because I really believe that for us as experts we know all of this stuff, we know where you should be.  Knowing how you’re performing in SEO, knowing if you’re overall trajectory is going up or going down, knowing if you have paid, I’ll give you a great example.  Are you spending a ton of money on stuff that’s not working?  Do you have a bunch of content that’s not getting any traffic?  You should know this and you should be looking at this.  Conversely, I’ll give you another good example with SEO with Google Analytics.  Is your traffic coming from your market area, geographically or are you getting a ton of traffic from Uzbekistan?  And Google Analytics will show you that.  You can actually see and you can cut all of your reporting under than just by looking, yeah I think we did a webinar on this recently just by looking at your geo traffic.  So is 90% of your traffic outside of your market?  Right now we have a localization problem.  So there’s nothing better that you can really do outside of GA.  The second answer is also a non-competitive tool but it is setting up Google webmaster tools.  Now most of you guys have GA installed.  Some of you have Goggle webmaster tools installed and a very small number of you actually look at that information.  Google webmaster tools is much more technical.  Generally, if you find a problem in there it requires someone who knows what they’re doing to fix.  But those problems if you can identify them and fix them are infrastructure, they’re technical.  And so they are its like that one easy fix although it may be hard to do if you don’t know what you’re doing but if you can get that fixed done it can have wide ranging implications. So I would really push from a technical perspective, Google webmaster tools and for an overall SEO and traffic and paid search and data, get really familiar with how GA works.

Alex:  Good answer.  Any more questions?  It looks like we finished up a few minutes early.  We’re happy to take any questions.  We’ll go over some future webinars, you’ll be getting an email this afternoon or around 4 o’clock with a link to leave your feedback.  I’m also inviting you to a webinar that I’m going to be hosting with, I’m going to be interviewing Ken Hardison from PILMMA and Malpractice Advisor about his new book under-promised and over-delivered.  It’s a great book where we had it at a lawyernomics a month ago.  It went like hotcakes, I think we gave away about 250 above, so make sure you’re on for that. I’ll be asking him tons of questions about the book.  Conrad’s got a webinar next week I think, we’ll send over that information.  I think our next webinar together is also going to be about SEO audits which is also awesome information.  I mean this was a great webinar Conrad.  This was awesome information, it was detailed.  It’s useful.  I don’t know if we had just attorneys on here or marketing directors in the office but it’s definitely information you could use.  We use a lot of this information just for content spying and finding out how so people are competing against our clients in how we can make and write better content and convert more of it.  So this was great, this was awesome information.  I think we have another question.  SpyFu can you drill down to local PPC pricing which you have to look for search terms who have geo modifiers?

Conrad:  Okay so this is a really good question and I’m going to repeat it just because Alex you dropped out for a second here.  The question is, with Spyfu can you drill down to local PPC pricing?  Would you have to look the search terms with geo modifiers?  Now the answer is, I’m not going to answer your question.  And I’m going to answer it directly. I’m going to answer it a little bleakly.  The answer is that, to anyone and I’m focused very much on legal here, anyone legal should not necessarily be using or relying on geographic modifiers in their PPC campaigns to only get traffic in Seattle and here’s why.  There’s two reasons.  One on the user side, most users are now not necessarily, they know that I’m sitting here, if I look for steak restaurants, I know that I’m not going to get something in Alberta, I’m going to get results that are near me because Google knows where I’m at.  And so the behavior has changed.

Secondarily, the technology has changed so that you should really be geo targeting your traffic based on your settings and Adwords as opposed to your, the terms.  So using a tool like this to drive this down looking at specific search terms with those geo modifiers is going to give you very incomplete picture and the last the competitor doesn’t know what on earth they’re doing.  And in some cases that’s actually true.  But I really think that you’re going to have trouble looking at this from a localized level.  I’m not aware if the tool actually, you know I don’t think I can say hey SpyFu I only want you to look in King County or in the greater Atlanta area.  So my take on this is to assume that the campaign is set up correctly so that it is only targeted towards that geographic area.

Alex:  Thank you Conrad.  That brought up another question and it wasn’t on PPC but it goes back to local.  One of our clients is with Attorneys Sync and they had a local question about their, and to going back to like slide one about their local presence and how they were coming up.  One of the factors at Attorney Sync and our company We Do Web Content was able to find for the client is they felt that they weren’t really, and you can correct me if I’m wrong.  If their organic and local was still pushed by the amount of content that they had and it seems like the client thought well, you know I know this guy personally, I know that he’s not doing any work, why are they coming up first on Google?  Well first thing was they definitely had more Google reviews so we’re working on that.  Secondly is, once we use the site: it really kind of proves and digs in how great these tools are to find out exactly how much content that person had where the client thought they probably have like half if that much of the effort in content they were doing.  Well when we did the site.: we realized that that competitor had three times the amount of content that was ranking an index through Google which was also going to help him, their Google local and their organic rankings.  So is content still a big factor with what’s local?

Conrad:  So it’s interesting you asked this and my bias has been that in legal for the most part we’re overcontenting things.  And had you asked me this a week ago I would have given you that very strong answer.  But I just spent yesterday with doing a local specialty session with some of the smartest local people in the country, for it was an add-on session to SMX advanced which is a geek conference in Seattle every year.  So I was on this local panel with Andrew Shotland and Joy Hawkins a whole bunch of like rock star Greg I’m missing Greg.  Greg Sterling put it on.  One of the points that these guys brought up and this was consistent was that content and freshness of content within local results can be really effective.  And so I would be thinking about not just creating more pages but what is it that I can do to keep my current pages updated on a semi-regular basis?  So I frankly haven’t, we have not done this.  I haven’t walked down this path but the smartest people that I know in this industry had a consensus that this is an effective way to make this work.

Alex: Awesome that’s great.  That’s good information.  Alright guys I think we’re two minutes from time, if there’s any more questions, please ask them now.  If not, you feel free to email Conrad or myself.  Again you’ll be getting an email with some information around four so please feel free and fill that out.  Make sure you come by my webinar interview with Ken Hardison on the 16th.  I’m going to send out a list of webinars that Conrad is going to be having and we’re going to be having together.  Again your feedback is important to us. We want to try great content for you. if it’s not SEO its marketing business management, we’re here to help. We’ll get the right people on or answer any questions  I’d love to do one on automation and follow-up and content conversion for you so let me know if that’s anything that interests you.  Again, thanks again Conrad you’re off dude man have a happy Friday, appreciate the help in doing these set webinars for our friends and clients.  I’m sure they appreciate it. Someone already gave the kudos that this was good.

Conrad:  Excellent thanks for having me.

Operator:  The broadcast is now starting.  All attendees are in listen-only mode.

Alex:  Good afternoon and welcome to our webinar with Conrad Saam from Mockingbird and myself from We Do Web Content.  Today we’re going to be going over your competitive analysis and finding out if your competitors are cheating you or the system and what they’re doing to get where they are.  So we’re going to find out some inside secrets from Conrad, how to use them, how to do a competitive analysis.  So Conrad why don’t you start filling us in?  I hear this is one of the best presentations he has.  So we’re going to hold him to it.  He wanted to wear his favorite team shirt today so let’s say Go Michigan!  Everyone!

Conrad:  You know what? I nearly swapped out this shirt in the off chance that there were any Ohio people –

Alex:  Oh!

Conrad:   –on air.

Alex:   think we do have some Ohio.  If they knew my clients I would, clients on here from Ohio so we’ll see.

Conrad:  We have a crazy vine of clients in Ohio and so far I’ve kept this a secret but I guess the secret’s blown. So what I’m going to walk through today there are a ton of tools out there.  Alright we’ve already got a question.  Alex, see if you can jump on that.  Uh-oh!  Sorry Kelly, Kelly from Ohio.  Anyway what I want to do today is walk through some of the tools that we use when we’re doing competitive analysis.  There is not a paucity of tools available, they’re all over the place and so I’m going to walk you through some of the tools that we use when we are looking through a competitive analysis to find out what’s going on and look for opportunities and I’m going to do this.  I picked this firm, this is not a client’s I don’t know these guys at all, they’re probably very nice guys but I’m going to do it from the perspective of The Higgins Firm.  I believe these guys are in Tennessee.  So what we’re going to do and since we’re in PowerPoint, we’re going to literally walk through in real time some of the tools that we would use if we were looking at taking on a firm like The Higgins Firm at I believe they’re at Tennessee.  We’re going to find out more about this in a second.  Actually let’s go and look at it yeah.  Okay so they’re in Nashville, they’ve got a couple of different offices.  We’re going to find out if their offices are real, those types of things.  So the first thing that I want to look at when I’m looking at another firm or even my own firm is what’s the infrastructure, what are they using?  Okay and there’s this great site called BuiltWith and I’m just going to go on to The Higgins Firm, you can see I’ve already done this, dot com, oh sorry and we’re now going to check them out.  And this is really going to give us an overall perspective of the infrastructure that they’re using for their firm.  Are they up for their site?  What web servers are they using?  Are they using for email?  Where their registrar is?  Who’s hosting them?  Are they using Google Analytics?  There’s all sorts of stuff that I can find out about the way they’re actually built.  There’s a plug-in, here’s widget, where’s the plug-in module?  We can find while they don’t have any plug-ins because I don’t think they’re on WordPress.  But you can see here that like, if you want to learn more about, like they’ve got video coming out of YouTube so there’s video on their site, that’s being hosted on YouTube.  You can just look through all of this and find out exactly what they’re using for a lot of their technical infrastructure.  So that’s a really good starting place.  But really what I want to get into and this is a tool that I really love that has recently been updated is, I want to know how they’re performing on SEO.  Oops sorry I messed that up again but and PPC.  Okay?  And so I’m going to SpyFu.com and there’s a lot of data that comes out of this and let me say to start out with, I believe that PPC data on here is pretty accurate.  The SEO data is a little less accurate and when you’re dealing with really small sites and for the most part when you’re dealing with legal, you’ll probably dealing with less than 2000 visits a month.  Getting really accurate down at that really low level can be kind of difficult.  The only real accurate data that you’re going to get is Google Analytics, it’s kind of perfectly accurate.  A lot of this is done through estimating and sampling, etc.  So just be aware of that, that the smaller the site you’re looking at, the less accuracy you’re going to get.  But there’s a lot of data in here so we’re seeing stuff about organic keywords that are ranking for, there is an estimate of organic traffic that they’re getting.  We can see paid search, paid versus organic, it looks like 32% of their search traffic is coming out of organic and the other two thirds is coming out of paid.  We can see what they estimate is showing up for the volume of keywords they’re bidding on and the number of clicks that they’re getting.  And we can go down, we can look at who are their major competitors in natural search we can also look at major competitors in paid search.  There’s also and it is pretty crass that makes it all really nice for us to look at.  Here is some of their competitors.  But we’re going to drill deeper into some of these reports so I’m going to look in their SEO, their overall SEO traffic, what’s going on.  So this is really fascinating, look at these guys.  It looks like they’re on the up and up. And let’s look at two years, it looks like wow they were just bumbling along and all of a sudden on April 14 they started to get really serious about SEO. So that starts to get really interesting.  Also under SEO sorry, we can go deeper into a competitive ranking so you can see in this case this is our firm here, The Higgins Firm they look like across this group of five competitors and the competitors frankly are pulled out of what five true things is important.  But these guys at this point seem to be doing really well.  Conversely, if I am Mitch Grissom, I’m thinking to myself, well what on earth happened on February 15th?  What’s going on here?  If I’m the green guys, Parker Crawford and I’m paying a lot of money for SEO on a regular basis and I’m looking at this very slow but consistent gradual down trend in my SEO traffic, I start to wonder.  So it’s a really interesting way to have a look at how you stack up competitively.  We can look at that competitive thing in more detail, we can even go so far as to look at keywords.  So this is an estimate and you can login and get more data but this is an estimate of the keywords that The Higgins Firm is ranking for, where they’re ranking, are they improving or getting worse? If they were to pay for these, what types of CPCs are you looking at?  So you can start to find out –

 

Alex:  You just cut out.

Conrad:  –ranking for from a – I just cut out?  Am I still on?

Alex:  You’re back.

Conrad:  I’m back?  Okay.  So I just gave away the golden goose.  You know the really important stuff unfortunately we just cut out during that period.  I’m kidding.  So what I’m talking about here is being able to see what type of natural search traffic and what type of terms you’re getting for that natural search traffic, from your competitors or even for yourself.  So then we can move into –

Alex:  This is really good, before we jump into PPC, first of all is SpyFu a paid site through subscription or is it free?

Conrad:  A lot of this is free, a lot of these tools are a sign up and then you’ll get more data and then if you want to get really deep you’ll end up spending some money.  So a lot of these do what marketers call frenium.  So we’ll give you a little bit and depending on how much you want to use it we’ll actually, we’ll start charging you at some point of time.

Alex:  So let’s say if you go back to SEO research and you’re probably going to do this later on the call before we show PPC.  But let’s say the marketing director and one of our attorneys or business owner’s offices saying okay, you know, we’re working with an SEO firm but I want to learn some of my own information, I want to go in there and find out what my competitors are doing.  How would they take and use this information?  Now I know how we use it internally for our content.  How would someone that’s managing the marketing for a law firm use this information for their benefit?

Conrad:  Well I think the really important thing here and this is where law firms get so, you have to understand that legal is a zero sum game.  SEO is a zero sum game. I’m getting clients at the expense of someone else.  And so really my job as an SEO is to move the clients around.  It’s not about creating more clients, its moving clients from the competitor to my client.  And if I’m an in-house marketing director or the owner of a law firm, I rarely have a really good feel for how I stack up.  And generally and you’ve heard me rail against this for a long time Alex, generally I will work with ranking reports.  We rank on page, on position number seven for this key term and my competitor ranks for position number four and I want to figure out how to get from seven to three.  And the reality is when you’re looking at stuff at that very, very small micro-level, you’re completely missing the big picture.  And law firms by and large focus so heavily on rankings when they really should be looking at traffic.  Are we doing better?  What is the trajectory of our traffic?  And you can use Google Analytics your own reporting for that but really what you want to know because you’re in a zero sum game is, what’s my market share look like?  Am I doing better or worse than Bill, Mary or some, and in here let’s say I really hate Smith and Smith, I don’t know if Smith and Smith is a firm but I can add Smith and Smith to this list.  Smith and Smith doesn’t show up here, let’s drop one of these guys.  We’re going to add Smith and Smith which I’m sure that domain is probably not a law firm on there, well there’s nothing there.  But I can look at specific competitors and get a feel and so many times I’ll talk to an attorney, he’ll say hey these guys are crushing me and I want to know why.  And when we look at some of this data it’s like, hey you know what?  It looks like you’re right.  Or it looks like they’re slowly declining.  Or it looks like you’re moving in the right direction.  And it gives us a better feel for how we’re actually performing and kind of a market ownership perspective.

Alex:  Okay perfect.

Conrad:  And let me add one other thing here because this gets really interesting.  Look at this, if we go back five years like a lot of this data is really new for these guys.  The thing down at the bottom that’s really interesting, let me go back to a one year view, this is really, really helpful.  These zeros here underneath, I don’t know why they have them looking like zeros that are cut off.  These are major Google algorithm changes.  And so you could look at this.  If I am the Higgins Firm and all of a sudden I get this big uptick on oh I guess the 6th.  Okay here’s a great competitive situation.  On August 6th the HTTPS algorithm update went out.  And that algo update and they don’t know if this is true, this is just something that I would say, “Hmm, interesting maybe we should think about this.”  The search engines essentially said, hey we’re going to give a preferential treatment and having a secure server is going to have an impact on your ratings.  Now if I look at this and I say oh, on August 6th The Higgins Firm jumped up.  And then I might say to myself, well I wonder if they have a secure server are they on HTTPS or are they not?  And if I then find that they are and none of these other guys is, maybe that suggests to me that, hey you know what?  Conrad we probably should put ourselves on HTTPS.  Now the reality is I doubt that’s the case because we never saw any big deal with this algorithm change.  But it certainly makes you wonder what happened on that specific date for these guys.  So that’s why – and you can mess around, what do you mean going to the PPC stuff?  But this is really interesting too.  What is the advertising budget for my marketplace and here’s The Higgins Firm.  Are they spending any money on PCC or not?  You can see that you go back to September and they weren’t.  They started in November-October of 2014.  And now they seem lower we’re only lowered up if I may yeah we’re through May.  So you know, we have specific pieces of data and we can see what they’re actually spending and I can look at anyone on here.  So let’s look at our competitors, look at this really, really fascinating who is spending money here?  Higgins Firm is spending kind of a consistent amount of money.  These guys, ask Mitch, they’re all over the place and this is a typical pattern of someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing, they spend a whole bunch of money and then someone said, “Hey guys, we spent a whole bunch of money, let’s turn that down.”  And then they turned it down, I don’t know if this is the case but this is the kind of pattern that I see a lot.  They turn it down and then it’s like, oh all the business disappeared, let’s turn it back up.  And then it’s, oh someone we spent a whole bunch of money.  So you can see what people are actually working on.  You can even see some of the words that people are bidding on.  And this is the frenium model here but you can go down and see like what are the cost per clicks for some of the terms that people are actually bidding on, where are they?  How many searches are showing up?  And so you get a really, really interesting ability to see what people are spending money on.  You may find it’s like it may be very interesting to know that the Higgins Firm is pushing 18-wheeler accidents right?  What does that mean for your firm?  So there’s all sorts of interesting things and you can drill into this, you know, really, really deep and spend a ton of time on this.  But it’s an interesting way to have some insight into the marketplace.

The next tool that I’m going to show you is very simple.  This is a tool called Google and what we want to do here is we want to find all of the content on a competitor’s website, its index.  And let me make the caveat with the .index part.  If you do this site:theHigginsfirm.com, if you add the ‘site:’ before that, this will return all of the index pages and those are pages that the search engines will consider putting in search engine results of your query.  You can see all of the content that’s on there. So here’s an example, okay so Higgins Firm has a page in Spanish that ironically the meta description is in English which is not really great.  You can see that they’re doing work with Xarelto and Mirena, Benicar, Morcellator stuff and we can find out, uh-ho here’s a great example.  Oh no, Testimonials and Testosterone, two different things.  We can just roll down and see all of the things that they’re actually trying to get traffic for.  And it’s an interesting way to know what these guys are working on.  I’ll give you another example, let’s use the Spanish piece as an example even though they have the page that says we speak Spanish, let’s look at this guy.  Here we speak Spanish, this is our page that is optimized for the word Spanish and it says a bunch of stuff in Spanish and yes, want to go back and look at this.  There’s not a single page that I’m looking at so far that’s in Spanish.  So they’re not really marketing in Spanish.  You can see pretty much where they’re working, what they’re trying to do, here’s some of their blog stuff, some Q&A type questions.  You can see here they’re doing some link based opportunities, Ten Worst Workplace Homicides in US History, that sounds like that they’re actually trying to do some SEO because they’ve got some kind of linky bait content.  And you can set your Google setting so instead of just seeing ten you can see up to hundred results on any page which is how I have mine set up because otherwise I’ll be clicking ‘Next’ all the time.  So it’s an interesting way for you to feel for what your competitors are actually trying to rank for from a content perspective.

The next one that we’re going to look at, where did my Pingdom go?  Oh watch this.  I’ll make this very easy.  I’m going to look at site speed.  So we’re going to need a tool called Pingdom and they do a website speed test so we’ll do this in real time.  Now when you do this over here what you want to do is make sure that your settings pick somewhere that’s near where you are.  These are the only six places that they look from.  So pick somewhere that’s, let’s not take Melbourne, Australia for example.  These guys are in Tennessee so I’m going to pick New York because speed really is correlated to how far or where your server is, it’s not a huge part of the component but if I’m running this test from Melbourne, Australia and the Higgins law firm servers are in say Atlanta, they’ve got to get all the way to Melbourne they’re going through the wires instead of being much closer.  So site speed is impacted by the location of your servers.  It’s a small impact but it’s, just pick something that’s nearby.  So now I’m running this, oh this is going to take a while just because I’m doing this in real time.  Usually this goes much faster, we may have to come back to these guys.  Come on I love when technology kind of just sits on itself while we’re doing things.  Let’s try again, I’m going to reload this, try again, theHigginsfirm.com.  We’re going to have to come back to this one to see what we actually get.  The end result on this is I’m going to give an example here.  The end result on this is the percentage and the percentage says that in fact there’s a lot of data that comes out of this but it will tell you that your site is faster than x percentage of sites on the web.  And in legal where it’s very competitive, you really want we push, especially in PI we want to get the top 10%.  Okay, unable to – obviously something went wrong especially while I was doing a presentation.  We’ll come back to Pingdom and see if we can get something more useful than that error message.  Let’s try this maybe it was, let’s try wedowebcontent.com, let’s see how fast these guys are.  See if that gets us anywhere.  You will end up with a percentage and in PI and any really competitive practice area it’s really competitive, we really push our clients to be in the top 10% of site speed.  Anything below 60 and in legal I think you have something to worry about and it’s something to really work on.  You might be on a slow server, etc.  But what I do is, I will run this across a client and then four or five competitors and that gives us a feel – here we go, Pingdom’s having a bad morning.  It will give us a feel for, is site speed something that we need to worry about because we’re grossly underperforming compared to our competitors?  And if it is like we should do X, Y or Z.  The X, Y or Z is less obvious but it is a good feel for, do we have a problem in ranking that maybe correlated to site speed.

Alex:  How is this related that site speed to what is in webmaster tools? Because I know webmaster tools gives you some kind of report which is always pretty good.

Conrad:  The Webmaster tools data is really good, again, like you can measure, there’s probably 100 different ways to measure each of these important things.  That the problem with webmaster tools is you don’t have access, you don’t know how you stack up with an editor.  And so I would rather look at webmaster tools and Pingdom from my own data but I really want to know how we match up on a competitive level.  That make sense?

Alex:  Yes.  Pingdom is back on someone said.  I guess someone just tested it.  But it could be you have a lot of browsers on too.

Conrad:  What was that?

Alex:  Someone just –

Conrad:  Pingdom is back.  Got it.  Let’s try this one last time and then if it doesn’t work I’m just going to assume that you guys are smart enough to figure out how to type something in here.  Alright, let’s see.  We’ll stop picking on the Higgins Firm.  Here we go, this is what site speed looks like.  And what I want here is to get a feel, oh sorry this is not going to turn out good for you. I’m going to put you on a different server.

Alex:  We’re working on it.

Conrad:  Okay, your website is faster than 35% of all, this is what I’m looking at right here.  That’s what I’m really looking at and so I want that to be in the 90s.  Especially if you’re doing something hypercompetitive like legal.  Okay, next one.

One of the things, we just finished the SMX advanced conference out here in Seattle. One of the things that is a constant issue is, spam and local.  And spam and local lawyers are with the exception of locksmiths lawyers are the spammiest industry pretending that you guys have offices that are not where they actually are and the counterpoint that I get back from attorneys when I talk about is like, well I do, I’m happy to see clients all over the country or all over the state and I have this conference room that’s at my buddies office that I can always meet a client with.  It might be two hours away but for the right case I will go there.  Why won’t Google let me have that office?  And the answer is and the guidelines from Google are very, very clear about this.  If you don’t have someone there, staff there, when I walk in the door that I can meet with, even if it’s just a receptionist, that’s not really an office.  And what search engines do not want is for me as a consumer to use my phone, here’s my phone and say okay I want to go find Alex Valencia and so I look for Alex Valencia on here, I get an address in Tampa, I drive to the address, I use my phone to get directions through Google, I pull up and I find out that the address is actually a post office box.  Now I’m not ticked off at Alex, I’m ticked off at Google for sending me on some wild goose chase into Tampa.  When you talk  about local but what’s happened is by and large law firms have continued to successfully spam local results.  So there’s a lot of cases where they’re creating offices where they actually don’t exist and using such an optimization you try, let’s do an example here.  When I talk about local I mean this, I’m looking for Seattle, DUI lawyer and when I do that, this map, this list here this is my local results.  Who shows up here and why and do these people really have an office in the location that they say they have an office in? and I’m not suggesting that these guys don’t but this is local search engine optimization.  You’ll see here that someone’s got, I’ll show you just how spammy this is.  Someone has a law firm named Seattle DUI Attorney.  Here’s another one named Seattle DUI Attorneys and their website is plus.google.com right?  So here we have right off the bat two spammy results for Seattle DUI Attorney.  And this is an example of how bad the search engines are at identifying spam and local results.  So the question is, how do you find out if your competitors are spamming Google local? So the first thing to do is use a tool from Moz, this is Moz.com local/search.  We’re going to go back to find Higgins and what you need is zip code, oops sorry 37210.  We’re going to put him in there and the Higgins Firm.  By the way, I’ve done this before so I know what’s going to happen here.  I wouldn’t be totally mean to someone.  So when we look for the Higgins Firm we are seeing that they are really showing this is where they are in Nashville right?  There’s one address, now they have a problem because they have unfortunately created map problems with their address, they have two different names, The Higgins Firm and Tennessee Litigation Attorneys The Higgins Firm.  They’ve got two different addresses, one is 4th Ave South, one is 4th Avenue South and they have two different phone numbers.  So they have a mess but they’re not trying to spam it although we can go down here and find more Higgins Firms.  So it’s a good way to start finding out where people say they actually are.

 

Another thing to do is to look at their address and Google this address.  So we’re just going to take this address and Google the address and find out what’s happened.  So let’s do this is real time this I haven’t done yet but I’m pretty sure I know what we’re going to find.  So here’s Goggle’s search results for their address and what you’ll find is boom! Nashville State Lawyers, Higgins Estate Group.  So they are where they say they are.  What we’re not getting here is an ice cream store.  And I will show you an example recently I Googled an address, this is the address that we looked for and this is a law firm that is actually named Cork wine bar.  So we Googled the address and we found on Google maps that in fact this is a wine bar.  And if I look around here in Google maps doesn’t really look here’s something else called Bluebeard and if we look on the other side of the street it’s an abandoned house, it’s for sale and this really does not look like a law firm.  So in this case it looks to me that this law firm is trying to pretend that they are here when they really are actually in Seattle.  Note that this is in Tacoma.  This firm is headquartered in Seattle and they’re pretending that they have an office at a wine bar which is a great place to meet an attorney but it’s certainly not what Google wants to do when you’re looking to walk in and talk to this attorney.  So that’s something I would definitely look at and if you find that you’re competitor and this is rampant, this is absolutely rampant.  If you find that your competitors are spamming local there are certain things that you can do to try and make sure that they’re not showing up in your city when they actually are two hours away.

So let me look through, what is our next one? Okay I want to walk through, actually I want to use Open Site Explorer first.  We’re going to use Open Site Explorer.  The next big thing we’re going to talk about is authority.  And Authority when I speak about authority I’m really talking about the link profile to a law firm.  How strong, how much authority, how much, this used to be called page rank, people would say Google juice or page juice or SEO juice.  It really is, how strong is this site from a link building perspective?  And this is a product like Moz called Open Site explorer and what you want to look like, what I look at is what – we’ll put this in here, the Higgins Firm.  I want to look at the domain authority.  So Moz cuts this up into 1000 different ways.  But really what I want to do is to look at the domain authority because that is the overall number and quality of links pointing to my domain regardless of what page they are pointing to and now I’ve got a number.  This is at 23.  I would do this for five competitors and see where you fall from an authority perspective.  And if you find that you’re way out of balance here, if you find you’re way behind on authority, the answer is tactically the things you need to start working on is link building.  So link building is hard, it’s expensive but don’t engage in that if you’re already crushing your competitors from an authority perspective.  Actually you should still do it anyway because they’ll be trying to catch up to you.  But this authority way metric is a really easy way to grasp how we’re doing.  The other thing that Moz has recently launched is what they call spam score and you’ll find this is very variable with law firms, the number of low quality links.  So we can actually look at links so in this case I want to look at links to this law firm and it’s going to take a little while to load itself.

Alex:  While we’re loading we had a couple of questions come through on the last one.  The first one was and I’m presuming that everyone on this webinar is an attorney so they have a question about home based businesses.  What do they do with local home based businesses?

Conrad:  No this is hard.  This is awful.  I have an awful answer for you.  And there’s no good answer to this.  Unless you want people showing up at your home, you’re kind of SOL from the local search perspective.  I don’t have a good answer. The problem is of course that if you’re doing criminal defense there’s no way you want your home address listed and probably even if you’re doing most types of law, you don’t really want people knocking on the door unless it’s kind of a plan to knock.

Alex:  I don’t think it’s an attorney though there is a number of small business owners as well

Conrad:  No, no, this happens, Alex I get this all the time from lawyers who are working from home right?  A lot of you guys have those home based businesses especially solos and it’s like how do we compete with local?  And the answer is, the unfortunate answer is you get an office and you pay for an office and you find an office that’s in the center of the legal industry in your city.  And it’s expensive and it sucks and I don’t have a better solution.

Alex:  So they just answered it to travel agency?

Conrad:  If it’s a travel agency and you don’t mind people – here’s the thing, if it’s a travel agency and you don’t mind people showing up to your door, have at it.  But it’s harder, it’s just a harder issue.

Alex:  Next question was, can you turn the phone locations into Google to get the offending lawyer office off the Google local lists?

Conrad:  Yes, you have to look very carefully.  So here’s the thing, you’re treading in very, the answer is yes and be very careful.  It’s easy to make enemies like that.  One of the reasons that we don’t ever publicize our client list is because frankly a lot of our local work is dealing with cleaning up spam listings and local.  Google knows how bad their listings are.  They know that the quality is very problematic and so the response is to this.  They also don’t want people to abuse it.  They also don’t me to be able to call, hey you know what?  That law firm they’re really not there and all of a sudden the law firm disappears off the map and they actually were there.  So the potential for this  is pretty high.  So they will do things like mystery call the location.  And so they’ll call up and they’ll say, “Hey this is a representative from Google, can you tell me the name of the business across the street from you.”  And so let’s go back to this example here.  Find the Cork, the name of the business across the street from me as I don’t know because I’m really answering this, I’m not in Tacoma, I’m up in Seattle and I don’t know that there’s an old crusty softball field and a church over there and an abandoned building across, I just don’t know that, because I’ve never been there.  So they are proactively looking at this issue.  But do it carefully, don’t like post it publically, be careful with that.

Alex:  Alright cool, thank you.

Conrad:  Any other question?

Alex:  No I don’t have anything else right now.

Conrad:  Okay great.  So this one is actually really important.  The domain authority is a really, really big issue and it really, when we do these competitive reviews it dictates where we spend our effort.  This is the hardest thing to do but it’s really the most important thing that you can do to do well from a natural search perspective.  Majestic has another tool that does the same exact thing as Moz so it gets slightly different data out of this.  My bias is that Majestic tends to have a more complete data set although I don’t really know why I’m saying that anecdotally.  The other cool thing about Majestic is you can very easily see recent back links to my site, so you can see here like these guys look like they were working really hard.  237 back links that showed up on March 2015, nothing recently.  But the other thing that becomes really fascinating is lost back links.  So where are these back links disappearing from and why?  And I can actually drill down on to these dates and find the links that have disappeared.  So this starts to become really, really – look at this, attorneys – what was this?  Attorneys.caraccident.Attorneys.net/feed like what’s going on here?  Interesting stuff.  So you can start to get a feel for links that are coming on and links that are dropping out.

Now the next thing that’s really actionable is what’s called Clique Hunter out of Majestic and so this is an example of where what they’re looking for here is commonality among a link profile for a set of websites and what I picked out here is I’ve got wedowebcontent, I’ve got mockingbirdmarketing, I’ve got attorneysync, these guys  are good guys out of Chicago and I’ve got consultwebs another good firm.  Where are they based Alex?

Alex:  I think South or North Carolina.

Conrad:  North Carolina and so the four of us have, we all work in legal, we’re all kind of SEO nerds and what I’ve done here is looked for all of the links, all of the linking websites that link to most of us or all of us.  So you’ll see here that lets say I’m Alex and I’m looking down through here and it’s like the NationalReview.com, okay NationalLawReview.com they’ve linked to everyone but me.  Maybe I need to go make happy with these guys because clearly they’ll generate links for people and what I really need to do is find a way to generate a link for me. Here’s lex blog, my next blog out of Seattle, they’ve linked to these other guys but I’m Alex I’m like oh poor me why hasn’t blog hasn’t linked to me.  And this gives you a great example to get a feel for where you can try and get links from.  Here’s Larry Bodine, let’s take on me, here’s [indiscernible] PILMMA right? I’d always worked for PILMMA and these guys haven’t even linked to me?  But they’re linking to Alex and GYI and ConsultWebs but they’re not linked to me?  Like what’s going on here guys?  So now I can go back to PILMMA and say, “Hey Ken you only get everyone but me. What’s going on?”  And you can see that this list is exhaustive and if you want to find a way to go about generating links, the easiest way to do that is to find places to link out to competitors to lots of similar competitors that aren’t linking to you.  And so that’s something that I would be seriously looking at from an opportunity perspective on link building.

Alex:  That was great, that was awesome.  That was good information.  We have a question from Lauren.  So she said we are crushing our competitors with domain and page authority.  But they still are outranking us on some terms.  How do we pinpoint that issue?

Conrad:  It’s a hard question because the answer is, there’s probably 20 different answers.  My first gut tells me, look at your Google Analytics.  Don’t look at the ranking reports, you’ll note that in all of these tools that I’ve been sharing with you guys I have not shown a single ranking report except for the PPC stuff right?  So look at your traffic, don’t worry about, you do a query, you see, oh what ranking number three on for this term.  What you see and what everyone else sees is so personalized it’s so different, everything that’s on the phone right is different is based on location it’s so variable.  So I would look at the traffic to the pages that you want to rank for instead of the ranking for the, that you think is going to drive traffic to the pages that you wish you were getting traffic to.  Look at the traffic not the ranking, that’s one.

Two, if you’re crushing on a domain authority perspective one of the things that I didn’t hit on these tools is they’re good tools but they’re not really good tools.  So Google’s ability to sniff out spam is very much more sophisticated than the guys over at Moz right and the guys at Majestic.  So this is the attempt of Moz and Majestic to essentially recreate page rank and get a feel for how well you’re doing.  But it is the best bad method that we have of looking at met.  And so where I’m going with this is it’s possible that you have a really strong domain authority even reported by these guys that the search engines don’t like.  And what do I mean by that?  Let’s just say that you are part of a link wheel or some link exchange or that you’ve been buying links or you’ve got links from pharmaceutical sites in Canada or porn sites in Thailand and let’s just say that these guys, it looks good here but the search engines are really like you know what, I don’t like these links and I’m devaluing that site.  So sometimes we’ll talk to clients and they’ll say hey, we’ve got all of these links but we’re not getting any traffic and it’s like, yeah but all of these links are probably hurting your traffic instead of helping your traffic.  So that’s theory number two.

Theory number three tells me that I would look at the on page optimization of those pages that you wish you were getting traffic for.  You know what, I’m going to pull out another tool here.  This is a really great one, it only works with Firefox.  Let’s pick on the Higgins Firm again.  I hope I never meet these guys.  Actually so far their stuff’s been pretty good.  But you’ll see that I use Firefox for all of my analytics so this is all a bunch of analytical garbage that I look at.  But I’m going to look right now at practice areas.  I want to look at – this is kind of ugly menu.  Let’s look at their alright this is really ugly.  Let’s look at their Madmouth page.  Okay this is a tool right here called SEOQuake and SEOQuake does some very quick diagnostic on lot of things.  It’s a really dated tool.  So it kind of sucks because it will report on a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter anymore.  But it’s a very easy way to look at these guys.  So the on page optimization for this site and these guys are doing an okay job with their on page optimization.  What I’m really looking for here is this.  So down here you’re H1 is your medical malpractice and that’s in fact what they’re trying to rank for.  This page here is about medical malpractice.  And you’ll see that from a cognizant perspective they’ve done a reasonable job they’ve got 6 H4s they skipped H2 and H3 but they’ve skipped H4 that’s all about medical malpractice.  Let me find a bad site, I don’t want to pick on any one.  But instead of picking on someone, let me say this. A lot of times when we look at these headings you’ll find that you’ll have seven H1s. and you’ll find that those H1s are the exact same, they’re built into the WordPress template. So we had a client who had an H1, the H1 represents the heading which you give your heading that’s the primary heading, that page is probably about that specific thing, in this case its medical malpractice.  So we had a client who had an H1 on every single page that said original text.  So they were sending a signal to the search engines that their content was about original.  So I would look at this.  I would also look at the title here, medical malpractice, that you guys are doing is right.  This is about medical malpractice and the meta description here it’s a pre-consultation on medical malpractice.  Now it’s too long but they’re doing ok here.  So I would look at your on page optimization as well and this is a really long conversation so I apologize for the lengthy answer.  But the next thing I would look at is, is that linked directly from your home page?  An easy way to get a bump is to make that a link directly from the home page.  So if you really want to push medical malpractice in this case, let’s make sure that that page is not 7 or 8 or 9 clicks away from the home page but you’re directly off the home page.

So without looking those are kind of four things that I would look for from a diagnostics perspective.  Really quickly about this tool here.  SEOQuake, it’s a download I believe it only works for Firefox but it’s a really handy tool to walk through your own site and page by page look at things.  The other way to do that there is a tool, we’re going to go unlimited uses browsers so we don’t lose anything.  If you want to get really geeky and spend some time, there is a, the Screaming frog. Screaming frog is your tool and it’s not about – see, look how bad Yahoo is.  Come on, do I want to look at videos about screaming frogs?  Are you out of your mind.  So this is what I’m really looking for.  I’m looking for this crawler.  This tool will walk through your entire website and its free if you have I think less than 400 pages and it will give you this level of information, this stuff across your entire website and it will in fact look for things where you have duplicated H1s.  So it’s a really, really, do you want to get really nerdy about doing an on page optimization for your site?  This is the way to go about doing it with Screaming Frog.  Okay so that’s another awesome tool that moves into the very advanced level.

We talked about that, we’ve talked about clique hunter.  Here’s another one Ahrefs gives you interesting domain comparatives.  Ahrefs also does a back link analysis but you can run through where you’re getting links from and how many pages are invoved that will kind of consolidate all of this.  This is their domain to I think it’s called domain comparison.  But it’s a really good way to get some data and do comparative data with competitors.  I don’t use this as much but it’s certainly a good one out there.  Here’s Pingdom again, we played with him.  SEMRush is another tool very similar to SpyFu in fact SpyFu has moved into frankly copying a lot of the stuff that’s out of SEMRush.  Another tool that you can walk through all sorts of data on I just prefer SpyFu because I’m used to it.  But another tool that if you want to spend time looking through ton and ton of data you can use and I think that is those are kind of like the end tools, I don’t want to go too deep in because we’ve already done similar analysis with some of the other tools. But those are some of the types of things that you can look at and get a feel for.

Alex:  We have a question Conrad from Mr. Rosenzweig, Barry.  What is the one top set overall your SEO analysis tool that can be used on a consistent basis?  I don’t know if there’s actually one but if there were one that you would choose –

Conrad:  I would use this very cool tool called Google Analytics.  Most of this and it’s not a competitive tool.  So you have to recognize most of our work is not this competitive snooping because I really believe that for us as experts we know all of this stuff, we know where you should be.  Knowing how you’re performing in SEO, knowing if you’re overall trajectory is going up or going down, knowing if you have paid, I’ll give you a great example.  Are you spending a ton of money on stuff that’s not working?  Do you have a bunch of content that’s not getting any traffic?  You should know this and you should be looking at this.  Conversely, I’ll give you another good example with SEO with Google Analytics.  Is your traffic coming from your market area, geographically or are you getting a ton of traffic from Uzbekistan?  And Google Analytics will show you that.  You can actually see and you can cut all of your reporting under than just by looking, yeah I think we did a webinar on this recently just by looking at your geo traffic.  So is 90% of your traffic outside of your market?  Right now we have a localization problem.  So there’s nothing better that you can really do outside of GA.  The second answer is also a non-competitive tool but it is setting up Google webmaster tools.  Now most of you guys have GA installed.  Some of you have Goggle webmaster tools installed and a very small number of you actually look at that information.  Google webmaster tools is much more technical.  Generally, if you find a problem in there it requires someone who knows what they’re doing to fix.  But those problems if you can identify them and fix them are infrastructure, they’re technical.  And so they are its like that one easy fix although it may be hard to do if you don’t know what you’re doing but if you can get that fixed done it can have wide ranging implications. So I would really push from a technical perspective, Google webmaster tools and for an overall SEO and traffic and paid search and data, get really familiar with how GA works.

Alex:  Good answer.  Any more questions?  It looks like we finished up a few minutes early.  We’re happy to take any questions.  We’ll go over some future webinars, you’ll be getting an email this afternoon or around 4 o’clock with a link to leave your feedback.  I’m also inviting you to a webinar that I’m going to be hosting with, I’m going to be interviewing Ken Hardison from PILMMA and Malpractice Advisor about his new book under-promised and over-delivered.  It’s a great book where we had it at a lawyernomics a month ago.  It went like hotcakes, I think we gave away about 250 above, so make sure you’re on for that. I’ll be asking him tons of questions about the book.  Conrad’s got a webinar next week I think, we’ll send over that information.  I think our next webinar together is also going to be about SEO audits which is also awesome information.  I mean this was a great webinar Conrad.  This was awesome information, it was detailed.  It’s useful.  I don’t know if we had just attorneys on here or marketing directors in the office but it’s definitely information you could use.  We use a lot of this information just for content spying and finding out how so people are competing against our clients in how we can make and write better content and convert more of it.  So this was great, this was awesome information.  I think we have another question.  SpyFu can you drill down to local PPC pricing which you have to look for search terms who have geo modifiers?

Conrad:  Okay so this is a really good question and I’m going to repeat it just because Alex you dropped out for a second here.  The question is, with Spyfu can you drill down to local PPC pricing?  Would you have to look the search terms with geo modifiers?  Now the answer is, I’m not going to answer your question.  And I’m going to answer it directly. I’m going to answer it a little bleakly.  The answer is that, to anyone and I’m focused very much on legal here, anyone legal should not necessarily be using or relying on geographic modifiers in their PPC campaigns to only get traffic in Seattle and here’s why.  There’s two reasons.  One on the user side, most users are now not necessarily, they know that I’m sitting here, if I look for steak restaurants, I know that I’m not going to get something in Alberta, I’m going to get results that are near me because Google knows where I’m at.  And so the behavior has changed.

Secondarily, the technology has changed so that you should really be geo targeting your traffic based on your settings and Adwords as opposed to your, the terms.  So using a tool like this to drive this down looking at specific search terms with those geo modifiers is going to give you very incomplete picture and the last the competitor doesn’t know what on earth they’re doing.  And in some cases that’s actually true.  But I really think that you’re going to have trouble looking at this from a localized level.  I’m not aware if the tool actually, you know I don’t think I can say hey SpyFu I only want you to look in King County or in the greater Atlanta area.  So my take on this is to assume that the campaign is set up correctly so that it is only targeted towards that geographic area.

Alex:  Thank you Conrad.  That brought up another question and it wasn’t on PPC but it goes back to local.  One of our clients is with Attorneys Sync and they had a local question about their, and to going back to like slide one about their local presence and how they were coming up.  One of the factors at Attorney Sync and our company We Do Web Content was able to find for the client is they felt that they weren’t really, and you can correct me if I’m wrong.  If their organic and local was still pushed by the amount of content that they had and it seems like the client thought well, you know I know this guy personally, I know that he’s not doing any work, why are they coming up first on Google?  Well first thing was they definitely had more Google reviews so we’re working on that.  Secondly is, once we use the site: it really kind of proves and digs in how great these tools are to find out exactly how much content that person had where the client thought they probably have like half if that much of the effort in content they were doing.  Well when we did the site.: we realized that that competitor had three times the amount of content that was ranking an index through Google which was also going to help him, their Google local and their organic rankings.  So is content still a big factor with what’s local?

Conrad:  So it’s interesting you asked this and my bias has been that in legal for the most part we’re overcontenting things.  And had you asked me this a week ago I would have given you that very strong answer.  But I just spent yesterday with doing a local specialty session with some of the smartest local people in the country, for it was an add-on session to SMX advanced which is a geek conference in Seattle every year.  So I was on this local panel with Andrew Shotland and Joy Hawkins a whole bunch of like rock star Greg I’m missing Greg.  Greg Sterling put it on.  One of the points that these guys brought up and this was consistent was that content and freshness of content within local results can be really effective.  And so I would be thinking about not just creating more pages but what is it that I can do to keep my current pages updated on a semi-regular basis?  So I frankly haven’t, we have not done this.  I haven’t walked down this path but the smartest people that I know in this industry had a consensus that this is an effective way to make this work.

Alex: Awesome that’s great.  That’s good information.  Alright guys I think we’re two minutes from time, if there’s any more questions, please ask them now.  If not, you feel free to email Conrad or myself.  Again you’ll be getting an email with some information around four so please feel free and fill that out.  Make sure you come by my webinar interview with Ken Hardison on the 16th.  I’m going to send out a list of webinars that Conrad is going to be having and we’re going to be having together.  Again your feedback is important to us. We want to try great content for you. if it’s not SEO its marketing business management, we’re here to help. We’ll get the right people on or answer any questions  I’d love to do one on automation and follow-up and content conversion for you so let me know if that’s anything that interests you.  Again, thanks again Conrad you’re off dude man have a happy Friday, appreciate the help in doing these set webinars for our friends and clients.  I’m sure they appreciate it. Someone already gave the kudos that this was good.

Conrad:  Excellent thanks for having me.