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Law Marketing - A complete guide for 2021

An Interview with Tim Absalikov

Welcome to E-Coffee with Experts, an interview series where we discuss online marketing with the best minds in the business.

In this episode, Dawood is in conversation with Tim Absalikov, Founder and CEO at Lasting Trend.

Tim is a New Yorker who helps various local New York businesses in their digital transformation.

Tim expresses his thoughts on SEO, the importance of testimonials, the ideal structure for a website, voice search, and much more. He also shares his valuable tips on link building and content marketing.

Lastly, he shares the SEO process he follows and explains how google local services ads are effective for law firms to generate leads.

Tune into this insightful conversation and stay tuned for the next cup of E -coffee with Experts!

Voice Search will take much more time than we initially thought of, but we need to start optimizing right now!

Tim Absalikov
Founder and CEO at Lasting Trend
SEO, Link Building, Content Marketing
Hello, everyone. Today we have with us Tim Absalikov, Founder and CEO at Lasting Trend. I am really excited to have you. Before we start, it would be great if you would introduce yourself and your company to our viewers.

I am the owner of my own company. I do SEO on a daily basis. I have about ten years of experience. I worked for small businesses, agencies, and even big American corporates here in New York.

About three years ago, I decided to open up my own venture. I think that it would be a good time to start helping local businesses with all my experience. Currently, we work with a lot of local New York businesses, businesses that are going through a digital transformation, stable businesses that have a good offline presence. They have a lot of referrals and offline business, but today is the time to move online. We help them create a digital strategy and execute that to get more clients from their websites.

Perfect. You work with a lot of law firms, and I'll try to focus more on law firm marketing. When you talk about digital transformation, the first step is you need a website and that online presence. So when building a law firm website, what are the main pages that it needs to have? How do you define the site structure?

I have personally seen a couple of thousands of law firm websites. There are good websites, great websites, and bad websites. Speaking about bad websites, if we talk about personal injury lawyers, it’s a bad idea to have only one service page, which says, “Hey, I’m a personal injury lawyer, I will fight for you.” Usually, personal injury lawyers provide different types of services. They provide health illness, car accidents, medical malpractice, and maybe slip and fall cases. In this example, the lawyer needs to create at least three different service pages, which will be targeted to that particular practice area.

Speaking about the structure, if you are working on more than one type of case, you have to have different pages for each type. Another easy fix is, if you are a personal injury lawyer in Orange County, the title of the page has to have a geo modifier. Instead of calling the page “personal injury service,” call it “personal injury lawyer in Orange County.” These two things help a lot. It’s like a low-hanging fruit, which we recommend to all of our clients. That’s the first thing, you have to have a lot of commercial service pages. The second thing, which we also recommend to all of our clients, is that we need to write a lot of informational content on a blog section.

In the law space, the lawyer bio is very important because clients look for somebody they can trust. The "About Us" page doesn't matter that much on normal websites, but it really does when it comes to the law industry

For sure. It’s a low niche. They consider the UMUL niche, which is “Your Mind or Your Life”. The trust, EAT factors on those websites are very important. If there is more than one word, we create separate pages for each lawyer with a short bio, links to their social media, all the awards, the specification, and everything you can think about when you want to build trust.

The second thing is when we write content for a law firm, we ask our lawyer who is familiar with that particular case to read it and approve it. We post it under the Lawyer’s name, which also gives them credibility.

Tim, what does your SEO process look like?

There are two types of processes. The first one, where we already know the niche, we make some tweaks. For example, we know we’ve worked with a personal injury lawyer in New York at one time and just signed a personal injury lawyer in California. So, we have already done the research. We know 80% of the information. The process here is to basically find out what pages the client has on his website and what pages are required to fill the gap. We create a schedule for posting the content of connection pages, service pages, and blog content.

When we are entering a space where we haven’t worked before, we add one more step. We investigate the niche and the practice area of the city. Basically, we’re on the first step. Even at the first step, we try to find out at least 100 topics or ideas for content. That research is based on Semrush and Ahref’s data. In the first stage, we conduct marketing niche research. In the second stage, we divide that research into pieces and actionable plans. In the third stage, we give deadlines to each of the pages we want to publish. For each of those pages, we create in-depth research to see how the SEO market looks, how high is the competition of that and how much traffic we can get from each page.

Makes sense. After the EAT update, trust is a big parameter for SEO success. How do you suggest using testimonials for SEO success?

In the law space, it’s not always possible to collect testimonials because sometimes lawyers work on a very sensitive niche. So, in this case, you cannot share the name of the client. Here only case studies will work, and in those case studies, names are not publicly available.

On the other side, there are a lot of niches like a regular real estate attorney. There is nothing bad to say that you bought the home and that particular lawyer helped you. In this case, you have to automate the process, whatever system you use. If the client uses any CRM, there are plugins or solutions to send a request for review of testimonials to the client right away. In this case, I do not believe in people; I believe in robots. A lawyer can forget to send the request for review, but when you create an automated system, it works perfectly.

Trying to rank for rich answers has a lot of value. How do you strategize for it?

The first thing you have to consider is the limitation of a rich answer. I believe it’s something close to or less than 100 words. Figure out all the questions which Google possibly can ask. You can use Semrush, Ahref, or People Also Ask to get an idea of what kind of questions are related to your topic. Then, add small answers to those questions. We usually do that through the FAQ section. We try to add an FAQ section to each of our pages or articles. That’s the first thing.

The second thing, when we are creating a specification for copywriters, we specifically ask them to structure the piece of content the way that it has bite-sized pieces of content. So we do not add more than 300 words to any section, H2 or H3 section.

Do you think newsjacking plays an important role in promoting the brand?

For sure. It requires a lot of research and a lot of knowledge. But speaking about the lawyers again, there is an upcoming possible foreclosure problem in the United States. We are closely monitoring the market and the latest announcement by president Biden extending the moratorium on foreclosures from properties financed by USDA Single-Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans till July 31st, 2021. So, we already incorporated that into our strategy.

Absolutely. What are the best practices for the perfect legal branding?

For sure. It requires a lot of research and a lot of knowledge. But speaking about the lawyers again, there is an upcoming possible foreclosure problem in the United States. We are closely monitoring the market and the latest announcement by president Biden extending the moratorium on foreclosures from properties financed by USDA Single-Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans till July 31st, 2021. So, we already incorporated that into our strategy.

How do you decide what content to create? What are the content promotion strategies you follow?

We basically create a link-building plan for the next 12 months. Each quarter, we adjust that plan. We make changes and then composite the plans into monthly plans. We have a long-term and short-term strategy. For short-term strategy, we basically open up any position tracking software and see which keywords are close to the top 10, or maybe top 5. If we see that keyword, we try to push all our resources to make sure that we can promote that keyword.

Speaking about the long term, we have a list of keywords, which are really important money-wise for our client. The client can get leads from that keyword. We create a 6-month or 12-month plan for those keywords. That is about strategies.

About channels, we’re trying not to reinvent the wheel. We check how our competitors have worked on the promotion of that keyword. If they did a lot of blog posts, we would copy that strategy. If they did something else we were trying to do at the third stage, we copy the deal strategy at the second stage and make it better.

How important is the ratio between follow and no-follow links? Do you also look for that ratio, or do you only go for do-follow? What does your strategy look like?

I believe that no-follow links give some kind of signal to Google. Obviously, we try to build do-follow links, but if sometimes we’ve had certain relationships with our webmaster and, for some reason, it decided to give us a no-follow link, that’s not a catastrophic thing for us. Anyway, you have to have some amount of no-follow links.

I don’t believe the risk of any kind of percentage which Google allows or not. Basically, a 50-50 or 75-25% is alright. If you have more than 75% of do-follow links, then maybe you have to reconsider your strategy. On the other hand, if you have a lot of do-follow or a lot of no-follow, that’s also something to consider. If there is an equal amount or the same amount as your competitors have, then you are alright.

Is it okay to buy a lot of domains and do a 301 redirect for your main one?

That’s a good question. We are entering the blackhat area, which everybody likes to talk about. Five years ago, you could buy any good domain with a lot of authority until one redirects it anywhere. Currently, it doesn’t move as well. I think we stopped directing 301 domains about a year ago. Google allowed an update in last March or maybe September, which basically killed that feature. You couldn’t even redirect close to your related domains. It does work as before. If you still want to utilize this strategy, you can 301 redirect the domain, which is good, but you have to save the content.

If that domain has A, B, C pages, you have to recreate that on your website. You don’t need to give a link from the home page or from anywhere on your money side, but you have to have that HTML page or PHP page under your domain.

What are your thoughts on Google local services ads for local law-firm lead generation?

That’s good. We use local services ads for a couple of projects, not only for lawyers. We discovered that sometimes in very competitive niches, the cost per lead is too high. For lawyers, it’s 200 bucks a call or something like that. On the other hand, for electricians, it’s something like 10 or 15 bucks. Cost of job for the, our tradition is 300 dollars plus. For an electrician, it works. For lawyers, it may not work as well. It’s strongly related to return on investment if you can justify that.

I think it works more on tradies, people that are just looking for a quick solution. For niches, maybe a dentist or a lawyer, it doesn't work that well.

If you have an immediate need, like, you have no electricity in your house, then you call, and the electrician shows up. If you want to buy a house in the next six months, then it does work well.

Tim, what are your thoughts on optimizing for voice search?

I was actually interested in this topic maybe five or six years ago. At that time, I thought that we would have that transition really soon. So everybody will talk to Siri, Alexa, or Google. I think that Voice Search will take much more time than we initially thought about, but we need to start optimizing right now. We will see results, maybe in five years or so.

What are the main trends that you see in SEO for law marketing?

The main trend we see is that lawyers strive to create better content. We even have blog posts on our website about them. Earlier, lawyers wrote blog posts in the same language they used in court. A layman could not understand that. Now, we’re starting to understand that they need to speak only layman terms. That’s a good transition for lawyers and the whole industry. When you search for something, and you don’t understand what that word tries to tell you, it does not help anybody.

Well, Tim, thank you so much for your time. It was fun having you. Hopefully, we'll get in touch soon.

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