Every once in a while something prompts me to examine the rankings of a niche and put together my observations. This is something I do daily anyways, so sometimes I put the results here. Additionally, it is great content and people (usually) love reading them.
Today I’m going to go over personal injury rankings in Louisville Kentucky. Just don’t ask me to pronounce Louisville- my relatives from the area tell me that the only people who say Louisville correctly are from Louisville.
Quick note: Generally, it is a bad idea to create content that is a solid wall of text. The vast majority of people stop reading at the first sentence when they see a wall of text. Also, it is a pain on the eyes. That said, the rest of this article is a big wall of text.
How Louisville stacks up
The larger the city, the more fierce the competition. Everyone thinks their niche is extremely hard. And personal injury sites everywhere are indeed difficult to rank. But – truth be told, there is always a tougher niche out there. In the case of Louisville, the city’s population is 250,000. This niche is significantly easier than Chicago to win at SEO with. Chicago has 2.8 million residents. This is good news for attorneys in Louisville. Why? There are PIs in the twin cities drop $50k a month on AdWords. In fact, the term “car accident lawyers in Chicago” currently goes for $250 per click! But enough about Chicago.
Louisville KY attorneys have yet to embrace content. As a very brief example of this, Google “Taxi accident lawyer Los Angeles” and you’ll see pages and pages of results. Now Google “Taxi accident lawyer Louisville”. 2 results. Sure, there are less taxis in KY than Los Angeles, but the example still stands. More on this below.
The huge content opportunity
Let’s face it. Nobody ever WANTS a personal injury attorney. But, showing up in search WHEN people need you is huge.
I personally owned service oriented businesses in the IT field for 13 years. No amount of advertising I ever tried ever paid off like ranking in Google search. In fact I have “advertised” via content exclusively since 2007… For example… I could tell you that I offered data recovery and network support, but it would go in one ear and out the other. Nobody sees my ad and thinks “Oh boy, I’ll call Len next time I lose all of my data!” Nope… They wait until their hard drive crashes, THEN they scramble to their computer and look for data recovery options. The same goes for transmission repair, plumbers and bankruptcy, DUI, criminal defense and personal injury lawyers.
Next- realize that not everyone is looking for “personal injury lawyer” or “wrongful death attorney”. This is Greek to most people. Although we’ve heard them 47,000 times- the average Joe has no idea. They simply pull out their iPhone and Google something like:
- How do I file a claim after an accident?
- What if I was injured as a passenger in a vehicle?
- What if I am injured by a TARC bus?
- Dump truck accident lawyer
- Lawyer who understands Harley Davidson motorcycles
- Tractor trailer accidents on Interstate 65
- Throat injury lawyer
- Can I be compensated for lost wages in the future (earnings capacity)?
- Back pain after my car accident
There is probably not a better business in the world than personal injury to have a ton of content for. Ranking for “personal injury” is indeed a great goal and is attainable, but it is a journey. And the content above is necessary to boost the site in the rankings. Google does place a higher value on sites which provide more value to THEIR users- (Google stays in business by providing answers).
In its most basic form- if you have no content, you have no website. Next, if you have a site, you may have 5 – 10 pages. A lot of people make the mistake of focusing on these 5 pages. While it is fine to keep them as a goal, I know attorneys who have over 2,000 pages of content. If it isn’t there, people aren’t going to find you. You’ve heard of Wikipedia, right? Wikipedia has 5 million pages. A personal injury site does not need 2,000 or 5million pages, however, at minimum, a firm probably has a good 20-50 areas they cover, all of which need their own dedicated page, and on top of that, adding new articles on a permanent basis will absolutely be cost effective to any lawyer (done right).
In other words, you don’t want to rank for 1 word, you want to rank for 10,000.
There are a lot of factors involved in SEO. The Google algorithm changes 800 times a year, and as of 2016, some searches are actually handled by artificial intelligence which is always learning. However, the same things which worked back in the 1990s still work now, and that is getting very relevant, contextual links and having lots of content to answer people’s questions.
That said, one of the most important factors is links.
Going back to Chicago real quick- attorneys in Chicago have gotten VERY creative. See, links come in good, bad, and ugly. If Google thinks you’re trying to trick them by just building a quantity of links to your site, you will get penalized. Generally speaking, the easier a link is to obtain, the worse it is for you. In a perfect world, links would occur naturally, but in the personal injury world they do need a helping hand.
In Chicago, attorneys are sponsoring little league games, running college scholarship programs, offering free rides home on New year’s, issuing press releases, getting active in the community, having contests- you name it- all in an effort to get links to their website. Fortunately, attorneys in KY have it much, much easier. In fact, I am very surprised.
To make an EXTREMELY long story short, links come in good, bad, and ugly. In the old days, search engines simply saw links as popularity signals, and the more the merrier. These days quality far outweighs quantity. In fact, many links harm your site or even get it blacklisted (penalized). In a nutshell, a link will either help you, do nothing for you, or hurt you. Read more about link types here. Come to think of it, I need to write the article “how personal injury attorneys get links”. A good link will come from another attorney’s site, a chiropractor, a site about cars, your local chamber of commerce, etc.
I did some research on where attorneys in Kentucky are getting links, and the competition is NOT fierce at all.
PLEASE NOTE, not all of these are GOOD places to get links, it is simply a list of links that I have not gone through. Also note, most lawyer directories are NOT good places to get links from. (Good SEOs use special tools to measure a site’s domain score and spam score). But, in any link building campaign, step #1 is analyzing the competition. So, here you go:
Finding an SEO person in Louisville
From the data above I would be willing to bet money that most of the attorneys are using local SEO firms or one of the “lawyer SEO companies” out there. If you’re new to SEO let me be the first to tell you that the SEO world is heavily infected with scam artists and people who mean well but are actually incompetent. That said, I love shopping local and I even know the farmer where I get my meat, however, in the world of SEO there are people who specialize in certain niches. For example, I’m in North Carolina and the majority of my clients are in California and the U.K. So be it.
An experienced SEO professional who already does personal injury SEO and content has access to mountains of data and knows exactly what people are looking for in other major cities, which terms they are searching for, which articles perform the best, how long people spend on each page, if AdWords works or not, knows how much traffic AVVO refers, and much more.
Louisville KY Injury Website types
The vast majority of the time you will see sites which are built on 1 of 5 major platforms. WordPress is hands down the latest and greatest, the most mobile-friendly and the easiest to add content to. Some attorneys also use Justia or FindLaw sites.
Now this is sure to change, especially if I get involved in the Louisville area, but at the moment, here are some of the top ranking sites and the CMS (content management system) they are built on.
- Gladstein Law Firm – WordPress
- Byrnes Law Office – WordPress (although it is down today, 3/18/2016)
- Sam Aguiar – Concrete 5 (Never heard of it but it looks good)
- Isaacs & Isaacs – WordPress
- Morgan & Morgan – WordPress
- Slechter Law Firm – WordPress
As a note, this is amusing (to me anyways), Slechter has this in his source code of his website. I wonder if he knows that it is there:
Google Local Search Results
The “local search results” are the 3 map style results found at the top of local searches. I have written extensively about this on this blog. To make a very long story short, you need Google reviews and more importantly, good rankings to show up here. The algorithm that controls this changes drastically over the years but if you have a good website with good content and you actually DO good and get good reviews, generally Google will reward you with these. As a quick note, these DO change based on a mobile user’s location- but that is beyond the scope of this article.
Also, keep in mind, local results CHANGE based on what people type in. There are a lot of people simply typing in “taxi accident lawyer” or “car accident lawyer”.
My graphics skills are about as good as a kindergarten student’s. Oh well.
Best places to get reviews online
Where or where do you need your reviews? To get the most impact on Google search results, GOOGLE. I would call it Google+, however Google+ just separated from local AGAIN and now it is Google Maps.
I get calls from attorneys a couple of times a week. Believe it or not I turn many people away. There are indeed bad lawyers out there and I’m looking for long term relationships with good people who I can help. I’ve been self employed 20yrs and I only provide a service when it actually delivers something (people tell me this is very rare in the marketing world). Anyways, I personally turn to AVVO and Google.
AVVO is growing in power by the day because attorneys link to them over and over. They also run TV ads, for what they’re worth. Plus, when it comes to the Internet, unless it is on your own website, you should never put all of your eggs in 1 basket.
Get your reviews on Google. And, if possible, also get them on AVVO and Yelp.
- Good links lead to better rankings.
- Good content based around things people are looking for leads to additional rankings.
- SEO doesn’t happen overnight but unique content can indeed rank in search on day 1.
- High competition terms take time- in fact the age of your links and the velocity in which they are received are both factors of the Google algorithm.
- I estimate than in Louisville a good SEO person can get you to page 1 for “car accident lawyer” in 3 – 6 months and “personal injury lawyer” in 9-18 months.
- Content lasts forever and is there when people need it, rather than “pushed” like on TV, direct mail, billboards or radio.
- Find the right SEO person and do SEO and content – forever – it will pay for itself after the first case or two comes in and in 10, 20, 30 years from now you’ll be patting yourself on the back for making such great decisions in life.
If you are a glutton for punishment or are actually getting something out of this feel free to see these related articles:
- My page dedicated to personal injury SEO and content
- July 2015 Phoenix AZ personal injury analysis
- January 2015 Los Angeles personal injury SEO analysis
- How attorney Ed Smith and owner of AutoAccident.com benefits from content
- Other entrepreneurs who benefit from content