Paid Media SEO

Generating Leads in Competitive Industries for Less

Photo credit: The talented Zybnek Burival

Generating leads for ultra competitive industries can seem like a prohibitively expensive process. The reason is that for the last two decades brands have been stuck thinking that the only way to consistently generate inquiries is through high dollar Google Ads campaigns with the hope that over time and with enough investment they may be able to get organic visibility and direct traffic from branding.

It’s time for companies to break out of that cycle because there are evergreen and budget friendly ways to generate leads that diversify your marketing mix and improve your overall brand.

Here’s how to do it:

Build a Content Library

Content is king but brands often struggle from a lack of planning/organization or they develop content that is irrelevant, vague or doesn’t connect with their audience. A strong, well written, keyword optimized and interlinked content library that covers all stages of the buying cycle, customer needs, objections and features can generate a consistent volume of leads month in and month out.

Where to start:

The best part is that all the data you need to build a content machine is already out there.

Content Ideas

Google Ads (Free):  Their keyword tool is one of the most powerful business intelligence products on the market. You can literally see what people are searching for, how often they search, competition and other related queries.

AnswerThePublic (Free): This helpful tool scrapes Google Autocomplete data and organizes it by alphabetical, questions and prepositions and is a great way to develop taxonomies

SEMRush (Paid):  This tool offers both of the above and pulls in additional keyword data that won’t be found in Google Ads. One important thing to note with Google Ads data is that it only shows keywords where an ad matched to it so you don’t get the full spectrum of long tail searches that SEMRush provides.

Your CRM/Sales Team (Free): The best place to source content is your closed deals. Often you can find all the objections that had to be overcome, all the obstacles for approval, all the other vendors that were part of the selection process. Lea

Google Trends (Free):  If your business is seasonal, has a regional focus or is taking advantage of a new medium like NFTs then Google Trends is an incredible business tool.

Reddit (Free): Odds are your industry has its own subreddit(s) where your target audience is discussing questions, problems and solutions to what they’re encountering. Avoid spamming these discussions with self-promotion and instead focus on how to take common themes from the content and incorporating them into your content library

Quora (Free): The internet’s question database. Simply type in a keyword and find the most common questions or those with the most answers to uncover opportunity and points of confusion

Leverage Programmatic

Your customer’s search journey is so much more than a one or two word search phrase at the end of the funnel. They might go to 10-25 different places across multiple devices and channels and programmatic ad networks can help message your prospects throughout their journey.

Using lists, competitor sites/apps and other important customer attributes will help you get the best ROI from your campaigns and you can work with your programmatic provider to feed data back to their systems to help further hone in targets.

Where to Start: 

There are a number of great programmatic networks and providers that can help guide your business from setup to final execution.


StackAdapt: They have a great dataset and offer a number of custom ad units that really make brands pop

Criteo: They have the best data of any network but their ad units are fairly generic. Perfect for service based businesses.

Airtory: They have an amazing ad builder that turns your static creative into engaging dynamic ads

Become an Industry Influencer

There are influencers in every industry and becoming one doesn’t mean having to do a catchy Tiktok dance or trying to make a video go viral. You can be an influencer by simply being a consistent source of quality information in the forums and mediums where it matters.

Where to Start:

Reddit and Quora should be the first places you being to establish a presence. What you’ll want to do is start involving yourself as often as you can in discussions relevant to your industry and most importantly you’ll want to give straightforward answers leveraging your experience while not being overly promotional.

Once you’ve taken 2-3 weeks to really involve yourself in these communities, it’s time to start leveraging video, specifically YouTube, Tiktok and Reels to rehash popular discussion topics (with your answers of course) and assert experience.

If you have a well defined audience, then we recommend boosting each post to that group to help with views and subscriber/follower counts and the key here is to consistently post rather than make 3 videos and call it a day.

For an added bonus, you’ll want to then blog about each video and tie to it existing relevant content or use it as the backbone for a strong well researched article.

Brands that do these 3 things will find themselves generating a consistent stream of inbound leads while putting there name out there at every step of the consumer journey.


SEO Spring Cleaning – Refresh Your Site in 2022

Photo credit: The interesting Anton

It’s that time of year again when the seasons change and marketing budgets and expectations for the year have been set. Now that companies are turning their focus to performance, this is a great time to look at your site and more importantly how it’s producing organically. Here’s our guide to spring cleaning your site and making sure your organic presence hits the mark.

Crawl your site

Sites break over time for various reasons and if you haven’t run a crawl in the last few months, this is a perfect time to use Screaming Frog or similar tools to check your site. In addition to finding and fixing broken links, we recommend focusing on the following areas:

  • Sitewide redirects
  • Sitewide canonicals
  • Short H1 tags
  • Short Title tags
  • Missing meta descriptions
  • Buried pages (crawl depth of 6 or greater)
  • Short pages (100 words or less)
  • Low internal links

Once you have your crawl data, build a gameplay to prioritize and tackle everything over time. Sites can be nebulous so a schedule with accountability is a must have. 

Dust off your blog

Blogs work well for content development but for most sites on the web, the last entry is often months if not years ago. If you have a compelling value proposition, industry knowledge or want to address pain points in your market then you should consider creating a content calendar and holding your brand accountable for consistent, quality, content production. 

You’ll have new assets to share in social, Google will see new content and crawl your site more often and more importantly you’ll have new touchpoint for prospects looking for solutions. 

Cull your underperforming content

Similar to pruning a tree or rose bush, your site likely has content that isn’t getting any traffic and is taking link equity and crawl space away from more important pages. We recommend taking a list of current pages then doing an export of Google analytics for pages that received traffic over the last 6 months and comparing the two lists.

For most sites, you’ll see 5-10% of pages haven’t received traffic in the last 6 months and we recommend the following steps when reviewing whether to keep or remove content:

1. Is the content still relevant? A post about a new hire who has since left or a post wishing people a Happy 2017 are likely candidates for removal. Remember these posts take link equity and crawl budget away from your higher performing pages.

2. If it’s still relevant, can it be improved? This is something we consistently do with our corporate blog given the number of guides and how-to articles we create. Often steps need to be redone or a platform will make changes that require us to revisit and rewrite content which gives us the opportunity to make sure we’re up to date and let people know a post has been edited for 2022. 

For content you decide to update and improve on – make sure those changes get communicated to your prospects via social or email updates.

3. If you find content you need to delete, make sure to put redirects in place and crawl the site to make sure everything looks good.

Getting your site cleaned up and performing well is going to pay dividends throughout the year and if your brand is struggling to get your site to perform make this your top priority.

Paid Media SEO


Photo credit: The classical Gianmarco

Legal marketing is arguably the most competitive industry online and many firms make basic mistakes that hurt their ability to drive case volume and lower their overall return on ad spend. Having had the opportunity to scale successful lead generation campaigns for firms ranging from three person personal injury practices to 200+ employee firms I thought it would be a good idea to share the basic mistakes that almost every practice makes and how to remedy them. 

Only Running Expensive Paid Search Campaigns

What’s the easiest way to get a case in the next 24 hours? Run a paid search campaign.

What’s the most expensive way to get a case in the next 24 hours? Run a paid search campaign.

If you’re reading this and you’ve ever done paid search, especially for ultra-competitive practice areas like personal injury, truck accidents or mesothelioma you know that clicks can cost $150 or more. You also know the uncomfortable truth that most of those clicks are your competitors or people who aren’t serious and while Google can filter out some of that behavior, for the most part the majority of your clicks are wasted. 

For those clicks that are actually genuine, if visitors don’t have a user experience that immediately empathizes, educates and lets them take action they’ll leave and there’s nothing worse than seeing you’ve spent $1500 in a day and didn’t get a single call or form fill (for both the lawyer and the agency that will get a call from said lawyer the next day).

The way to improve visibility and reduce reliance on expensive terms is to think of the decision making process for your client. If someone is in a wreck for instance, a lawyer is actually what they search for well after the accident as their immediate needs center around insurance processes, liability, treatment, rentals etc …

Strategically having visibility on their journey is not only cost effective but gets your name into their minds well before they reach a point of seeking legal assistance.

Ignoring Organic SEO

What we generally hear from firms that rely heavily on paid search for lead volume is that they tried SEO and didn’t get traction or they were quoted a long timeline and heavy investment with no guarantee of page 1 ranking. The second part is true to a degree in that if you’re a brand new site, the odds you’ll rank on page 1 for your main practice term in a short span of time are low.

However SEO is often the best place to generate leads because as we began to discuss in the previous section, there is an entire ecosystem of online activity around even the simplest of cases. 

For instance with the car wreck example above there could be issues around fault, insured/uninsured motorists, diminution of value, medical billing, short term financial woes as a result of injury. Every firm I’ve seen strategically invest in content tailored to specific questions and issues always get results vs those spinning their wheels on expensive paid search campaigns. Would you rather invest in 10 well-written and optimized pieces of evergreen content that will generate pageviews and leads for years or x10 $200 clicks for car accident attorney Dallas? 

In fact when I previously worked on behalf of a firm that handled asbestos litigation, we spent thousands of hours mapping out every possible search area for mesothelioma including symptoms, diagnosis, actual factories/ships/places for exposure and reading through clinical trial data for potential therapies. The result is that we built an extensive content library that gave a full context around the cancer and every element of it and became a powerful lead generation engine that needed relatively little ongoing maintenance.

Falling Flat With Video 

Your firm has probably at one point or another been told you need to be on YouTube and most firms do the exact same thing: build a channel, upload their latest TV ad or radio spot and then watch as they rack up 2-3 views per month.

Most law firms look at YouTube from the lens of reality … people go there to watch cat videos and people playing video games. However the opportunity for law firms is that video for many people is easier to absorb and understand and taking the above example of evergreen content and applying that to video you can start to see where the opportunity exists. There are countless 200k+ view videos from lawyers explaining (without giving legal advice) obstacles, questions and challenges someone might face after a car accident.

When done right (not shot an iPhone as you walk down a loud street downtown) video can be an evergreen medium for connection, links and ultimately get people onto your site and into your queue. Video is the medium of the future and firms are even beginning to look at platforms like Snapchat and TikTok (especially for criminal law).

Downplaying Spanish Search 

The way that firms approach Spanish speakers is still relatively basic. I’ve consulted with many that hired Spanish speaking staff specifically to handle inbound calls and are shocked when they never seem to materialize.

The problem is most firms put it as a footnote for their advertising because they assume the Spanish speaking audience doesn’t need sophisticated messaging – just put Se Habla Espanol somewhere by the phone number and they’ll know what to do next. 

But often the web experience for many of these consumers is 99% in English and that doesn’t do enough to build confidence and not only win the click but win the client. If your firm has invested resources in accommodating Spanish speakers, you need to understand the investment should go beyond people and into the marketing assets themselves.

Basics like a Spanish language landing page and dedicated Spanish language ads are easy additions to existing web assets. Spanish speaking consumers will encounter the same questions and obstacles as their English speaking counterparts so investing in content marketing, often as a first mover in many markets, can pay significant dividends.