Law Firms On The Map

Legal SEO Expert Victor Perez Talks Map Rankings, Citations, and The Future of SEO

June 02, 2023 Kristaps Brencans Season 1 Episode 9
Law Firms On The Map
Legal SEO Expert Victor Perez Talks Map Rankings, Citations, and The Future of SEO
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In the ninth episode of Law Firms On The Map, Kristaps Brencans the CEO at On The Map Marketing, gets together with Victor Perez, who's the chief brand ambassador at web 2.0 ranker and has overseen thousands of legal SEO campaigns.

Here are some of the subjects they discuss in the episode:

  • Victor discusses his experience, starting as a content writer before moving onto legal marketing.
  • Tips on local map rankings, directories, and reviews in legal SEO.
  • The importance of branding, outreach, and content creation in building a law firm's online authority and increasing its SEO ranking.

About Victor: Widely known for his ability to manage hundreds of concurrent monthly SEO campaigns in the toughest niches online whilst under the age of 25, Victor has now taken his own legal marketing agency, Elevation Labs Consulting, to over six figures in revenue. He's ranked lawyers across the most competitive cities and practice areas across the US.

About Kristaps Brencans: The CEO of On The Map Marketing, Kristaps, has helped establish the agency as a leading law firm marketing agency, serving 300+ clients nationwide.

About
On The Map Marketing: As the name suggests, the company started as an agency specializing in SEO for lawyers — specifically ranking them on the map. Now we have ranked law firms in the most competitive practice areas and cities across the US.


If you enjoyed the show please leave a review on Apple. If you have any questions you can find me (Kristaps Brencans, the CEO at On The Map Marketing on Twitter).

Thank you for listening :)

Podcast: Law Firms On The Map

Episode Title: Mastering Legal SEO With Victor Perez

Host(s): Kristaps Brencans

Guest(s): Victor Perez

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Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1770 - 48090
Welcome to law firms on the map, the goto digital marketing show for attorneys serious about their business growth. I'm your host, Kristobs Brankins, CEO of on the map marketing. Our agency has helped thousands of attorneys crush their SEO and digital marketing goals over the last decade in effort to continue our exploration in the world of law firm SEO. To I'm meeting with victor Perez. In the last three to four years, victor has held several legal SEO director roles and has overseen 300 plus law firm SEO campaigns. To say the least, he has seen it all and has particularly keen experience with local map rankings. Victor, what an incredible pleasure having on our podcast.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 48830 - 70450
Thank you. Thank you. Yes. Always love being a part of any type of discourse relating to law firm SEO. Lawyer SEO. It's actually about 1000 now campaigns as far as the total amount I've worked on. But concurrently, yeah, it was about 250 or so before I was able to really build out a proper team underneath me. Wow.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 70520 - 89398
So I undersold you. So why don't we kick things off and you give us a little bit synopsis on your career, how you got into SEO and how did you found yourself in legal marketing and in particular legal SEO.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 89574 - 212750
Sure, that's always an interesting question to hear of or a good question to ask a lot of people. So I know I go to a lot of events, and a lot of the different people that I talk to, it seems like everybody has a little bit of a different path that they went down. But one thing that does match up is I've noticed a lot of people, they start as content writers. So me, myself, yeah, I started as a very typical content writer. Somebody that you might go and hire off of like fiverr or legit or one of those marketplaces, but I never actually knew about marketing at all, to be honest. I did study business finance. That's what I got my degree on. So I did have one or two it was like two marketing types of classes. But I've never been a true marketer from the beginning. I've never really always wanted to be a marketer per se. I've always had a financial background where I'm more of the analytical person. A lot of times I leverage a lot of creative skills from writers with the campaigns that I do just because I recognize how much I truly just love the data. But basically, I was in facebook group, so there's a lot of facebook groups out there for SEO, right? And one day somebody had posted in a group and they're like, hey, I need somebody to do a work from home job. And this was before the pandemic, before that stuff really kicked off. So he was like, hey, I need an online writer for my business. I do marketing for different home service businesses, and I'm trying to write about fence websites. So there were other categories, too, but I won't talk about the other ones because they're not too public. As far as that agency that I worked with, but I didn't really know it, but I was hired to be a content writer for an SEO lead gen operation.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 213750 - 214900
That's interesting.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 215670 - 263086
So I started off not making that much, but I was paid per word. And I took that upon myself as, hey, if you're building technically, like, an infinite amount of website, not truly infinite, but if you're here trying to just build website after website after website, let me just crank out some content. And this is way before Chat, GPT or AI ever kicked off. I got really good. I made my mechanical keyboard. I'm like a big nerd about that. I got really good at typing. I got really fast. And especially with one niche, maybe a few months, we had a few websites already put together, and then after a whole year, we had dozens of websites put together.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 263188 - 265730
So what was your daily content output?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 267350 - 275950
I know at one point I was doing, like, I guess in an hour, I could easily do like 2000 words or like, two pages.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 276110 - 277694
That's pretty impressive. Yeah.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 277832 - 309086
But again, it's one niche and it's not a very complex one. So you got to realize, I guess a lot of it is just you're firing off and you're like, let me make this more unique than the last one. That's really what you're doing. So I started off doing that, and then all of a sudden, we have all these websites and too many websites, we paired them with Gbps. This was back when I did the black cat stuff. We acquired Gbps through any means necessary. Okay.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 309268 - 315470
For listeners who don't know. GBP is Google business profiles. So your Google map profiles.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 315550 - 379880
So the property that provides that local visibility, that gets the majority of those high intent leads, we would just put those out. We had listings everywhere across the entire south of the United States. So all the states covered. And that's as much as I'll say, because we covered way too much in certain areas to the point where there were people that would call back years later and would say, hey, I figured out what you were doing. I'm trying to do what you're doing. Fence contract or so and so, whatever. But basically, we got really big. All of a sudden, there were too many Gbps. There were too many leads to really just for one person to be reselling to have. Yeah. So I was brought on to sell the leads, to do outreach, sell those, close them down on monthly contract. Not contracts, but just on a monthly level. And we made a pretty tremendous amount of money as some 20 year olds out of college.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 381050 - 388706
Right. You said that was a fence lead generation business.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 388828 - 435240
I can't say too much more. I don't know how many of these properties still stand, and I have no connection to them anymore. But fence companies across the US. Would know me for those leads because it's GBP leads. They're high intent. They're people that they saw the first result, they're calling, they're going to hire that first guy. So some of these people, it changed their lives. I mean, it changed their family's lives. And that's what I would focus on, right? Because it's black hat and I don't do any of that stuff anymore. But that was what took me from a very young person to, holy crap, I can actually make a big difference for other businesses. And I was hooked from there.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 436330 - 464740
It's a great story, and I can resonate with that so much. So you went from content writer, then you writing content for this fence contractor legion site, and all of a sudden you're like, wow, so this is how it really works. If I optimize and create profiles, I can generate leads through the maps. And then you have all these websites, so you got to see SEO from probably the highest scale possible.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 466150 - 505518
So it wasn't that high scale when you compared it then to my next, I guess, when I got into that actual legal niche. But as far as somebody who just started so as far as coming out of like a freelancer mentality, yes, I pretty much shortcutted my way into my SEO career because right away, I was entrusted with managing so many accounts, and obviously that was because I built them too. And I helped bring in the clients to them. And I kept the clients, I talked to the clients every month. So obviously it was a win win, I guess, for the both of us.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 505604 - 509098
What was the next chapter? How did you get into the legal SEO?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 509194 - 534918
So I guess it's one of those things where when you do so much so fast and people start to kind of talk, especially because of my age. And I noticed this even at events too. Once people realize how old I am, they'll start to ask a little bit more questions because I guess it's not usual, right? You just don't come across the ability to even work on that many campaigns. So it's just so difficult to learn, really.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 535004 - 539370
Right. SEO is all about experience over years, right?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 539440 - 552802
Exactly. So there's a lot of SEO tools, right? We all know ahrefs SEM Rush local Viking the Bright local Geogrids local Falcon There's all these different geogrids.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 552966 - 555866
Exactly, that's our self promotion.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 556058 - 556750
Sorry.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 556900 - 558560
No, you're good, go ahead.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 559090 - 643014
But there's all these tools, right? And the ones that I had picked, some of them, they were owned by the same person. I didn't really know too much about that stuff. Again, I'm just over here building fence websites, just minding my own business, do my own stuff. But all of a sudden, somebody reaches out to me over Facebook, like a messenger, says, hey, I've seen the work that you've been doing out here. I see the rankings you're producing. I need a manager. I just bought into a legal law firm agency, SEO agency, and I need a director. And I wasn't told the name of it. Honestly, there was good reasons why I wasn't even told the name. I was told what it was and how much it paid. And I went and I said, you know what? If you're the person, if you're the authority here from all these tools that I've been using that have allowed me to, I guess, get to where I am, I was like, yeah, I'm doing this. So that was Mark Luckenbaugh, infamous, notorious, whatever you want to call him, famous SEO marketer for local SEO. But he had reached out. He saw that I knew what I was doing. I was very young. How old was I? 22, 23? But that was when I joined company called social fire Starter.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 643142 - 651718
Didn't know that. Mark Lockemau, he was involved with social fire Starter, the agency he worked for.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 651824 - 695110
Yes. And I guess nowadays it's not until more recently that he's kind of shared a lot of this information. Really? Because it makes sense. We're going through a lot of changes. People are seeing me shift around agencies. It's really confusing until you get a little bit more information. But, yeah, Mark was essentially there to kind of pioneer the SEO department, and his main effort was essentially to insert me in there. And one of those things and he likes to really talk me up a lot, but he ended up getting his portion of the business bought out and got kind of pushed out because I ended up replacing him entirely, which meant that he was not needed anymore.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 695190 - 706174
Well, but as leaders, that should be our focus. I'll work ourselves out of our position, but not because you're doing a bad job, but because you find people that can execute it better than you can.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 706292 - 734150
Right. So it was one of those where he wasn't upset at it. If anything, he's like in a way, he kind of underestimated how fast I could grow into that position. But also, I mean, it was a very uncertain time. So I joined in the pandemic hit. We were able to scale from, I think, a few million revenue when I arrived to past 10 million in revenue right before we went. There was an acquisition that was made, essentially.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 735050 - 752190
Right. So tell us a little bit about your time there. So you were managing quite high volume of accounts, and they all were within the legal space. So how was that whole experience for you? What were the success points and just in general, the scope?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 753010 - 856158
Yeah, and I guess I didn't explain why I jumped so hard at the opportunity, but overall, it's because I knew everybody would talk about it. Legal is the most difficult local SEO niche. So that was what I was trying to get into, even when I would talk to my parents about it, because they don't understand anything, right? Like, nothing. We have a family grocery store business that they run, and they do a pretty good job at it too. But again, it's very brick and mortar, so they've never understood anything that I do. But one thing that my dad would even come up to me and say was, oh, so lawyers, that's the most difficult. Well, that's what you should do, right? And I was like, yeah, I guess so, because that's the most interesting. But yeah, getting access to that many accounts, it was like 50 or something. Clients at first, so it was all right at then. But when it scaled past 300, I think that's where it got really exciting, because all of a sudden, it's not me. Like, oh, I'm just one person. And I have a very limited reach as far as how much information I can take in. At least now with this many spread out campaigns that I manage and I oversee and I'm constantly monitoring, I can see what's going on across the industry, across at least our country. And I guess that was the big exciting part to me, where it made it really fun. It made it fun to do that, even though it was a lot of work and it took a lot of sacrifice to really get everything to grow the way that it did.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 856244 - 882070
But that's super interesting. You're not taking it only from angle of like, I need to deliver the results, the cases. But you're looking at it as overall trend analysis, and you're building out your hypotheses on this data set of your client book. What were some of those patterns and trends you were trying to identify?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 882730 - 1000206
So I guess the most significant, I could talk about two of them. One of them I know you covered in a previous episode of your podcast. I guess I could mention that one really quick. So this one's not as interesting as the next one, but something that a lot of marketing agencies don't do or maybe aren't able to do, or maybe they're just too lazy to do. It is part of what you were talking about with, I believe, isadora with Double Eats. How getting lawyers. So if you're a lawyer, getting you on a legal directory site. For US. Marketers, it seems like such a simple thing. It's like, go produce this one profile link, right? A lot of lawyers, they just don't have too much time to do this. So I've noticed a lot of marketers, they'll just skip out on that. And one of the biggest changes as far as internal processes that I was a big advocate for and I've always pushed for, which ended up producing great results, was that it was essentially mandatory for our clients to be on these directories. And I would say it's because we're so far away from the days where you could just produce any citations, any obscure ones, get them rolled and call it a day. We're far away from the day where you could just do that and rank an entire brand at this point, especially if you ever have to shorten up your list of citations that you can do because of budgets or time constraints. Always go for those legal niche specific directories, especially if you notice that your competitors are doing the paid ones at that point. Do the paid ones. But that's one of those things where maybe it's not a super new thing that came up, but I don't understand why marketing agencies aren't as so gung ho about it because, man, it doesn't make a difference. But okay, before you go to the.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1000228 - 1041766
Next point, I think you're on to something very valuable that is often overlooked. I even recently had a discussion with our own team. We've put even hyper focus on these directories because if you look at the link profiles, you identify that parts of it are directories and it's probably 70, 80% of someone's link profile is directories. Those are those trust signals coming back to the site. And on top of that, an attorney. If you're not an attorney, you can't be on a legal directory. So that's a huge trust signal for Google because you need to submit your bar details.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1041878 - 1050220
The quality standpoint on that domain is ridiculously higher than an obscure one that nobody is really going to.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1051710 - 1065170
Exactly. So I think it's a huge factor. So how did you identify that as a data point? You were just looking at all 300 websites and you started identifying that the best ranking ones had more directories.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1066550 - 1191866
I sat down, I looked across every client, and I'm just like, okay, let's start segmenting people based upon success. So I'm thinking of every factor. I'm asking other people to help me come up with factors. And we're coming up with everything. Domain age, the amount of time from first index to building links or starting a campaign. Like all the different levels of, okay, this law firm is brand new, or this law firm is really established and everything in between. Just trying to capture the differences. Looking at different total amounts of reviews, sure, but then also frequencies. So level of frequency, how many per month, just putting together all these factors and all of a sudden I'm just like, holy crap. If you narrow down to everybody that did everything that we say you must do, including all of those top citations, I can't find anybody that didn't do well. The sample size, I'm not going to say the sample size was incredibly large. I would have wanted the sample size to be larger. But at least in our situation with our agency, I guess if you notice that, it's like, I mean, holy crap, at least do the effort of getting better data to make this decision, which would be force all your clients to get. So not just the citations, but everything that you've decided is essential, that needs to be there. So, for example, even to be listed on an LSA, you need five reviews. But even more so than that, you might decide internally, okay, you need at least 20 reviews in this city, or you're just not considered a complete you're not even starting yet. So anything like that, that you put together, just doing everything you can to force all your clients to meet that criteria. Because either, one, it's going to improve rankings, right? But two, it's going to get you to a spot where you have better information now, and you're not dealing with, oh, I can't tell if he didn't do that well because of this this or that they didn't do that, gives.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1191888 - 1213258
You a lot stronger foundation. I think that's what you're alluding to, and I love that point. So that's a big takeaway and suggestion. So focus on fundamentals, which is directories. So what are some other aspects in your legal SEO formula that you've seen work miracles for the clients?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1213354 - 1314626
I wanted to talk about yeah, really quickly, as far as the trend, so I do feel like I was amongst one of the first people to start telling everybody that the weight upon reviews had come back into play about two years ago. That's the one trend. So, similarly, again, and I told you this one before this, when we were talking privately, but I had spotted out a marketer, and I don't know, I never found out who it was, but somebody had done a big legion operation for personal injury, and it was centered somewhere around in California. Around California. So as soon as I noticed what they were doing, I got interested, and I went on local Viking on our geograph tracker. I inserted every single one of their listings for their Legion, and I was tracking them. Every single keyword, every variation for injury cases, I was tracking them. I was also tracking just all the other factors. Right, so the website, are they building links? What content are they doing? Are they refreshing stuff to where it looks like they're doing on page? Thankfully, they weren't doing very much. So I did not spend like a ridiculous amount of time on this because they weren't doing that much. So I was able to narrow down on one critical factor that they were manipulating. And this was about two years ago when they first started increasing the quality level to where nowadays we see reviews not go live. But basically around that time, these guys were doing reviews, just reviews with key terms in them.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1314808 - 1315250
Okay?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1315320 - 1385446
And that was literally it, and they were pounding it with reviews. But here's the thing. If you looked at the frequency and I looked at all the geogrites to confirm, but whenever you do those fake reviews, there's varied levels of success so that it's not always super constant. If it was constant. It would be difficult for me to really identify this, but because it would speed up and slow down, I noticed that the ranks, their radius of their visibility would increase whenever there was a speed up of the frequency, and they would decrease when there was a decrease in the frequency of the reviews that put together. With me not able to find any active link building or any type of signal building campaign at all across this brand, one way for me to see, okay, all of a sudden, review frequency is a huge thing, which nowadays I incorporate that into everything I do. I tell people right from the beginning, if you can't get reviews every month, I'm sorry, but I don't think you can be a top ranked lawyer in your city.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1385548 - 1398682
Right. So what are some of your favorite review? I guess generation is not the right word, but review accumulation methods. Like, what do you recommend your clients to do?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1398816 - 1439420
I'm still technically working on that internally for my own agency, but I would say there's a lot of tools out there. I think the bottom line is utilizing the tool and not just buying it and letting it sit around. Other than that, here's something that I think is critical, and I think every single law firm needs to do this. And this is not against the rules. So it would be against the rules if you paid people to leave your review, but you can create incentives for your front office staff or receptionist for every review that's brought in.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1439950 - 1440458
Okay?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1440544 - 1500620
So I think it's something that you must do because when it comes down to okay, so now zoomed out, look at the online presence and what's bringing in so many local leads. If the GBP is bringing in so much value to the law firm, and if so much of that is based upon the fundamental of review frequency, it's a no brainer for you to pay up to $500 for the top quality review. And this is something I do have a little worksheet I'll do where it's like, here's different categories, different levels. Here's a plus b, c, DF. Right now there's different incentive levels. You're not going to pay them $500 for a review without text in it. So you do have to put a little bit of effort as far as telling them up front if it has a certain amount of text, if they put a picture in there and it's five stars, you get $500.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1502050 - 1504670
Does pictures add value, in your opinion?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1505570 - 1538540
I can't say whether they add more weight on the rank improvement than one without one, but what I can say for sure is that it adds more trust to that individual review from a user level. So a lot of law firms get this confused. They're like, whoa, Google doesn't trust me. No, Google doesn't trust its users to always publish the reviews that they leave. So if you take a picture, that's a huge trust signal for that review.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1539150 - 1612630
While we're on topic of reviews, there's a big conversation right now happening with G Sacalis. He runs the Tower Legal Marketing, and they had a big discussion, G Sacalis and Conrad Sam, about the fake reviews. Also joy from stirring sky. Who they're? A huge local SEO agency. And everyone's kind of uprated right now about the fact that Google's not fighting the fake reviews. And there's a lot of law firms heavily, heavily utilizing the fake review services. That's really frowned upon and they're risking in a way, but it doesn't seem like it's an issue. And what I was surprised about was the fact that even if the reviews are detected, you still don't lose the rankings versus if your website is being penalized for black hat link building, your site gets penalized. But in this case, the Google Map ranking still stays. So almost feels like the risk and reward here is so high. That motivates a lot of people look into buying the fake reviews.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1612810 - 1696860
Yeah. So I do know law firms that like to buy reviews. Now, I definitely don't offer this to anybody myself. I've strayed away from anything like that, where it's A, direct and more blatant use of the rules. But yes. So that's the thing. There's a lot of lawyers that realize, okay, well, if the risk is lower and if it's that cheap to just pay somebody to do fake reviews, then, yeah, a lot of them are taking on those risks. Now, I will say, and I can't confirm this, but I know last week I started seeing a lot of people in different groups and forums start to complain about their reviews, particularly about their fake reviews disappearing. So that's the only thing. And that's kind of obvious, though. It's like right now, that's fine if you're not getting caught, right, but are you going to get caught in the future? And what would that do for your business if you do get caught? And I know a lot of people, the reviews can be deleted and you can get reinstated if you do get suspended. But I guess I'm on the side of I don't like placing my own clients under that type of position, but I do know some of them would want to probably place themselves in that position because if it's your business, you can take on the risk, I'm just not going to take them on for you.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1697310 - 1700540
So you're saying that Google will catch on?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1700990 - 1825730
I would say that when it comes to so there's two areas. There's two areas of black hat or what people would consider black hat, where I would kind of keep myself away from. And again, if the client understands the risk and it's their business and it's their decision, then I'm sure they're not going to make a big deal out of it. If you have to kind of help them start from the beginning, or just help them get a new GBP and get reestablished, start buying new fake reviews, whatever the method might be. Yeah. So the things that I wouldn't want to do are placing the reviews just because I see how critical it is to the experience of the user. So I guess the bottom line is my perspective is I'll kind of zoom out and it's like, okay, well, I'm doing legal SEO, they're doing home service, they're doing whatever. We're all helping our clients serve Google's customers. And at the end of the day, Google needs to make sure that the experience for their customers is right. If it's so easy for you to manipulate things in a way that not only affects the rankings, but also affects the conversions, the crucial information that people use to make their decision of whether or not to do business, with you. If you're manipulating so much of that user experience aspect or so many aspects of the user experience, I think at that point that's something I want to stay away from. And that would go along also with click through rate manipulation, which a lot of marketers some marketers are using nowadays for short term, like instant movement. And again, that's one of those things where you stop manipulating it and the ranks do go away. But the thing with click through rate manipulation, or I guess the moment where I decided I don't really want to mess with that is when I realized how much weight was placed on brand searches.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1826490 - 1833990
Victor, I feel like we shifted off our topic a little bit, so I'll bring you back to blackhat ideas.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1834490 - 1835238
Sorry.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1835404 - 1867810
No, you don't apologize. That was great. So I think we covered the fake review aspect, and we understand that you're playing with a fire while we're on the Google business profiles and you being an expert in this area, what are your favorite, I wouldn't say tactics to influence the map rankings. What are the things you look at to say, hey, this is my tool belt when it comes to getting the map rankings?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1868310 - 1898598
Sure. So outside of what we talked about as far as citations, I do like to use some type of citation service, whether it's a one and done or it's something like a Yaxt or Bright Local where you're locked in every month. I know. I do like using data aggregator services, too. I'm a big proponent of that, especially if anybody has branding issues where their signals online are already mixed. I like to start them with data aggregator submissions.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 1898774 - 1904046
What do you understand by branding issues? That's a great term that you just brought up.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 1904148 - 2011130
Sure. Yes. And that's a big one. But I guess to explain it in simple terms, I can explain it this way. If you do a Google search for your brand, what comes up? And does that reflect the results of that of your top competitors? Now, I say this because this. Is a good way, okay, this is a good way to just check your branding or for any particular client, right? But when I talk about branding for SEO, it's talking about, I guess, what people refer to the entity. How well have you established the entity of this law firm? So you can start with the website and the GBP, but what are other common places? So we talked about like AVO, Justia fine, Law, all of those. What are some other places? You've got Yelp, you've got Apple Maps, you've got the Bing platform, you've got Facebook, maybe you have a lot of your competitors are big on TikTok and anything like that. Let's say they're also big on YouTube. They're publishing a lot of stuff on YouTube. If your brand doesn't do any of that and all of your competitors have their entity, that's just connected with all these different again, all these separate platforms, each platform completely separate. If you don't match that and you have such a big discrepancy where you're like, oh, we don't do YouTube, we don't do TikTok, we don't do that, we don't do that, we don't like Facebook. Okay? All of a sudden, the way that your brand looks online is nothing compared to that of some of your top competitors. So that's why I like to talk about branding.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2011290 - 2012158
I love it.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2012244 - 2030040
Okay, you can get specific with okay, well, let me do brand searches. Let me check out all the competitors. Where are they listed, where are they getting reviews, where are they getting relevant signals from? Because all these other places collect their own traffic and people go to them from Google.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2031770 - 2087522
I guess that wouldn't be just map rankings, but I like, what? Actually, once Blake Denman from Rickety Rusett, when we were talking about map rankings, he said, Google wants to show in the map rankings what's happening in the real world. Meaning how big is the brand, how well known it is, and the most well known brands are usually the ones actually ranking in the map results. You're adding aspect of citations, which is not just the typical ones, but also other areas of online activity. So what are the steps you're taking to? Are you going to a level of building YouTube videos for clients, TikTok videos, building audience for them there, or you kind of get the fundamental level tasks done and leave it at that?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2087596 - 2307294
So that's a great question. So now that I do my own business, outside of also working for Web 20 Ranker, I personally don't have any offering that handles YouTube or TikTok or any of those bigger platforms that isn't niche specific. So right now my offering really just includes the niche specific lawyer, directories and anything like that. But I would end up as far as consulting, telling them to do the YouTube stuff on their own. I would say, especially moving forward, just looking into the future. I think this is something that's really important for you to think about. Because if you're a law firm and you're just thinking about it as an internal business thing, that means that, hey, if I notice all of my top competitors are all really big on YouTube or they're all doing a podcast or they're all doing some form of media, try to think about what it would look like for your business to do that as well. Because in the future, I believe that it's going to be even more important for you to have more signals across the different little pieces that make up your brand. You had asked, what else do I use to influence? So I think that can explain things a lot. Outside of that, I would say just to kind of keep it simple, producing so the typical stuff you want on your website as far as technical SEO, but producing the same amount of content as your top competitors or at least just at a core level. Because the main objective is you need a rank for maybe not the exact amount of keywords, but you need to be bringing in about as much traffic or more for, in general, roughly the same amount of keywords. Now, obviously every law firm is a little bit different, but replicating the authority that they have from their website as well as just across the different entities and citations, heavy focus on content and producing lots of pages, especially if you have really competitors with really big websites. But also my favorite method of acquiring backlinks, right, is outreach. So having some sort of a team member or a team, whether it's internal or it's outsourced, but having somebody that can dedicate themselves to looking for more and more places over time that have some type of relevance for the niche that you're working in. Okay, it's all about networking too. Meeting the right people, meeting people you can trust, meeting people that kind of maintain the same quality level. Because you could go on and on about the dangers of link building, but basically trying to keep it on the natural side of, hey, look, we've produced this great piece of content, this article on this topic that we think fits on your website, and the difference between me and the typical person building links. I would actually put a lot of effort into that piece of content that I use for the guest blog post method. Because then, at least over time, these webmasters, all these third parties that I'm using for building links, at least over time, they realize like, oh, okay, well, that's Victor's company. He's actually adding value to my website. And as far as quality and as far as not having people that just delete your page after a certain amount of time, I think that's very crucial, I guess as far as the long term, if you want to have a repeatable way to be building mentions for.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2307332 - 2330100
The websites, okay, can we go back to map rankings. So you're saying building links obviously separate from directory links that will influence the map rankings, along with building out your website content to stay competitive with the top ranking map results? Yes.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2332810 - 2443622
I guess I'm trying to think about the best way to introduce it, but there is a big tie between your website and the GBP. And I think we talked about law firms or just businesses as being an entity. So, of course, if it's all one entity, then everything technically can contribute to each other, or at least the way that the maps platform works, because it's so diverse in the different amount of signals that it tries to incorporate, and because they're so experimental adding in so many new factors. First to Maps, you basically have to think about everything as a whole. But with the website, it's not like going on Yelp or AVO where you only have so much control about what that little profile is. Right? So an AVO profile, you can put content on it, but you can't change what it is. It's not your domain. You can't control it very much. Your business website, your law firm's website, you can control the entire thing. You can even control, especially if you have an SEO team, you can control how many mentions are pointed to what page and how many new ones appear. You can control everything. So I guess when you think about all of the different methods that people would use to rank a GBP for local mass visibility, you see all these different range of items. Some of the methods, maybe more black hat, maybe more short term. So it's like, okay, you turn off your CTR manipulation, your ranks go down, but what can't you just turn off that just goes away entirely? Okay, if you have a website that is self sustaining, or at least a marketer is helping it be self sustaining.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2443766 - 2444460
Yeah.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2446270 - 2573870
You'Ve literally just built equity for your business because the rankings, the traffic, and all the signals that your website is collecting, if it's getting traffic for the same keywords that you want on the map, all of those signals are the backbone of the ranking. And across the board, it creates more stable rankings. Because, of course, we just explained the maps platform is very experimental. They change stuff in there so often. So if you're thinking about how do I build something long term that at least attempts to mitigate those fluctuations that happen, that's the best way to do it. Because on your website, at least, that organic traffic. That's something that's really consistent in the context of what we're talking about. So that's what I've seen over time, maintain rankings the best as far as, yeah, there's a lot of ways to get it to pop up, but keeping it locked in is really what's important. I've even seen just simply gaining a new mention. So let's say you're a brand new law firm and you're trying to work on slip and Fall cases. Let's say you've always worked on car accident cases and you even get traffic on your website for car accident queries, but you've never done slip and Fall and nobody in the world has ever talked about you regarding slip and Fall. Okay, so your GVP, let's say it's not ranking at all for that query and you can track it, right. With a geogrid tracker. You start building a few mentions from articles that talk about slip and Fall cases or you put out a press release that talks about how your firm is now offering representation for slip and Fall claims. All of a sudden in the next few weeks, the next month you have movement for that keyword backlinks. I would just call it building mentions.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2573950 - 2588726
In general, building mentions will help expand your keyword targeting for the map rankings. Would you say that same approach applies for Spanish keywords to rank for Spanish keywords in the maps?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2588918 - 2612560
Yes, but I think that with the difference in competition level there's a lot less effort you need to put as far as being that hyper optimized for Spanish. I know a lot of law firms where as long as they're building links and getting mentions in English, they're able to rank in Spanish because there's not that many competitors in Spanish in their city yet.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2613570 - 2616914
But if it was competitive, what would you do then?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2617032 - 2661710
Yes, and that is a good question because it's only in this past month is the first time that I'm actually actively building links from Spanish articles with Spanish mentions, spanish anchors, the whole nine yards with Spanish. But I've never done it before and I've never really had the need. I've never had anybody that said let's go harder on Spanish. It usually always just kind of took off just having things internally linked, just the domain being strong enough. But yes, if more competition enters into the place then at that point you do need to be looking for websites that are publishing Spanish content and to some degree getting traffic themselves for searches in Spanish.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2662450 - 2706602
Nice. So I have a little kind of I think situational question that a lot of law firms could come across. So say you have two practice areas that are not directly overlapping. Let's say it's personal injury and immigration law and law firms well established, they have the resources to invest to rank both of them. How do you go about ranking the GMB because you have one address but two practice areas and category wise you need to select one that's going to be the primary one and the primary category is the main influencing factor for the GMB rankings. How do you approach this type of dilemma?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2706666 - 2854480
I guess broad level, if there's an equal coverage, if the law firm wants to spend marketing budget equally across everything, you just have to ensure that your process is producing work for all of those. So don't try to just build links for the personal injury pages and expect the other stuff to ever take off, of course. So I think that just at a broad level, whatever your process is, don't expect just internal linking to save you or just a few add ons. No, try to literally multiply the effort across the board to ensure that it actually comes out. And at least from my experience, most attorneys have been able to understand that, hey, I have to multiply the cost here. We could do it for cheap, but I'm not going to guarantee all of your practice areas move. I'm only going to be able to build links for one or two. And I can tell you I've worked with plenty of attorneys, several at this point, that have a wide distribution across their practice areas. I know one in particular that had like six locations across Florida who was doing Pi, criminal Defense, immigration and Workers comp, also Social Security. We were able to rank them in those. Now there were struggles on the car accident and Pi, sure, where the other practice areas all kicked off way faster. But I guess that's when you consider the competition, I guess that's to be expected. Okay, let me say one more thing. There something really important, okay? Your GBP, first of all, do not stuff any one practice area in there. Don't do that. The category of the GBP law firm. Law firm. Don't choose just one or the other. If the marketing is supposed to be equal, choose law firm and then list all the specific ones as secondaries, carry that over to the website. Homepage must be for branded queries only. Do not choose one practice area for the homepage to rank for because you will throw off the balance because you're trying to create an equal effort. It's hard. It is because if you do a little bit too much for one, you could start to do the little pigeonhole effect where maybe it just takes off a little bit too hard and too specifically for one area, not the other.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2855250 - 2876690
Okay? So I'm going to feed you back the formula. So categorize the GBP as law firm and then put all your additional practice areas, the subcategories and then the website optimization. The home page should be for your brand and I guess you could say law firm term too in that case.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2876840 - 2903870
And you can get some traffic just from people looking for the attorneys, at least when you first start. But after a while the attorney profile pages will start to kick off with grabbing that traffic. But yes, the variation. So your home page should only if you have that type of distribution across different categories of law, the home page, you should aim to only have it pick up traffic for variations of people searching for your law firm.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2905170 - 2908640
This is only in multiple area cases, right?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2909570 - 2943978
If you only do one, then there's benefits and it makes sense. But even then, I'll tell you, a lot of times I'll start to force people. Now homepage is just branded only now. Sure, you can mention that they do. And this is how I do it, too. So you still have to mention we do Pi, criminal defense, immigrant. You still have to mention all that on the home page. But there's no level of optimization, no level of link building to actually influence that to rank for any specific query. But sorry, I lost track of your question there.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 2943984 - 2970770
I was going, no, that was great. The initial question was how to rank in maps with multilocation website or practice area company law firm. And you answered it really well. Now, I'm curious to run some tests because I think the alternative method would be to get two GMBs and run two websites and basically run them as separate business entities.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 2971110 - 3103454
Yeah, so I have so much to talk about with that. If your brand is made to be an injury law firm and an injury law firm only, then go ahead with making your homepage rank for some of those queries, those high level ones. If you have any thought in your mind that you're going to expand to a new practice area in the future, do the difficult thing and reformat your website to have branded only for the home page now. It's going to make things way easier for the future and the rankings come in way faster when things are that clear and that organized on your site. Sorry. And then you said the alternative, which is a good point to bring up because that is a bit of a I still see a lot of law firms that come to me and they're really gung ho about, hey, I want to start this. I've done injury my whole life, but I'm trying to start a defense practice and I want to do it as a separate brand all of a sudden. Oh, man, that really requires a big conversation. Because the only thing is, if you're trying to make it separate only because you think it's easier for the SEO, don't do that. Do not do it. It's only making it harder for us. So from my perspective, look, we're spending so much money building these links or doing press so that you can try to get some really natural mentions. I don't want to see you start from the beginning with a new domain. So I rather go the route of making the all inclusive, much bigger brand. And this goes back to my preference with branding. I want a big brand. I don't want these tiny little brands floating around that can get eaten up by bigger ones. I want you to have a massive brand that can cover all the practice areas. That's my preference. From my perspective. Now, there are situations where it's like, hey, well, we bought a separate office, we hired separate attorneys. We hired a separate receptionist. Okay, yeah, that sounds compliant. Let's go ahead and do let's do a separate one.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3103492 - 3178726
Yeah, I love it. And you touched a lot on brand today, which is kind of evolving conversation everywhere with EA T and generative search. Just the brand factor is becoming such a almost stamp of approval in Google's eyes that you exist. We used to call, and people still do, links are vote of popularity, which is great. Link building is that and you get that from third party sites like you called it mentions. But really the bigger picture and kind of next level aspect we need to look at is the brand. Like your brand will influence your SEO standings in Google business profile wise and your organic ranking wise. Now with saying that, where do you see AI and Google's generative search experience? Where do you see all this going? What search marketing will look like in, let's say in next three years, how do you think this will play out for us?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3178908 - 3406160
Yeah, so I think to start with, Google doesn't want to admit to its shareholders that the link building is still running the SEO industry to the degree that it is. And they're doing everything they can to get away from keeping it that simple. So if you think about, okay, well, what's a more natural way to judge somebody's authority? Well, what if you spread out the risks? Because if you're only looking at the website or GBP, that's risky. We mess with those all day long. I can't really manipulate Yelp too much. I can't manipulate them too much to the same degree that we can with Google's properties. So to one level they're diversifying the amount of factors makes things better, I think, for the user. Another thing is you mentioned AI, I think AI, I mean, just quickly, it's going to help you if you're not posting across different social media networks, you can use AI to maybe help you turn your blog post into creative post. You can use AI to help you get caught up with spreading out your brand or maybe taking a really nice YouTube video that you spent all day working on and at least turning that into a blog post and creating more uses out of it. Sure, right. It's going to help you get caught up. But I think overall, we're moving to a situation where it's just going to take a lot more different signals and it's going to come down to what all places can Google use and leverage to make these judgments. Now we're talking about so much about the brand. So let me kind of change things up here, or not changing them up, but let me talk about this in a different way. So if I have a law firm that are just kind of rock stars as far as having created a business that's just deeply involved in their community, deeply involved in the type of cases that they work on as far as whenever something amazing happens or they set a new president, they're running to us to create something to blast out to reporters, somebody that's filming their own videos and just putting it out everywhere. Somebody that's that spread out. Think about all of the traffic that all these locations are getting and all of the different now factors that Google can use to leverage their decision. If you're not participating in any of these things, you just don't have anything. Your brand looks like a dead brand. Now further, so let's say you think about because a lot of attorneys, they tell me, how do we multiply the efforts? Obviously you can publish more content, you can get more mentions, whether they're links or whatever. But okay, well, something that nobody else can do is nobody can just go to a big publication. I'm not talking about press releases, but nobody can go to the Wall Street Journal, new York Times, or any of these and just pay somebody for a link and just get it contextually. It doesn't work like that. You would just be getting a press release link. So if your brand is that big and that truly authoritative, then yours is the one that can end up getting links from these big news stations. If you're on the side of we're not doing anything, we don't put anything out there. There's nothing for people to even care about. There's no opportunity, I guess, for me to help you get those golden mentions, those golden votes from people that have more authority than all the other people we're messing with.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3409170 - 3418580
To sum that up, you're saying brand authority will play even bigger factor in search marketing in next three years?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3419350 - 3442570
Yeah, I would say so. And I would say you can even see that now. Just the amount of weight placed on branded queries, the amount of people that search for your business, it's a direct authority signal. And you know this because of all the people that are doing click through manipulation. If you find out what they're doing it to, they're doing it to branded queries.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3443230 - 3465682
Oh, you know what, we're almost out of time and I still have so many questions for you. So let's just make this a little extended episode. But I did want to ask you, have you seen people run the keyword combination of their brand? And I think this is CTR manipulation that you mentioned.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3465736 - 3470946
Don't do that. Do not do the keyword. Oh wait, sorry. So what exactly if I type in.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3470968 - 3479366
Let'S say, Miami car accident lawyer and it's going to pull up someone's brand, actually, I'm going to share my screen and let's do it.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3479468 - 3503774
I would say don't do that. Because see, the thing is, I've learned from people that do this as a service. So I didn't go through the typical looking up how to do this on your own type of thing where you just see all of the random SEO blog posts. So what you're doing here? I would highly recommend first of all, I don't there it is.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3503892 - 3504606
See?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3504788 - 3518660
Yeah. Now this can happen over a long time, right? And sure, you can influence this by doing branded searches with the keyword. I did, yes.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3519110 - 3536210
So you would pay people to search this query, right? So then Google starts to sodicating only the first part as, hey, they probably are looking for the brand that's very close to this search query.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3536290 - 3579430
Well, if you think about it, okay, what if this person did like a viral TikTok or a viral ad and they're like, oh, let me find him. What was his name? Oh, the ward law something. Miami car accident, something like that. That's what you're telling Google. So if everybody in your city or a lot of people in your city start to do that, that is a direct influence to the authority metric, which is a pretty powerful way to manipulate rankings. Now, I would say this is the easiest way to get caught too, though. There's lots of ways to do this. Again, I'm not an expert in this. I'm just around people who do it. There's a lot of ways to do it.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3579580 - 3593302
So what are the risks with manipulating this in not real way? It's not like a radio ad that says, look up the Ward Law group. Miami car accident attorneys.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3593366 - 3609870
Well, I think the kind of worst case scenario is if you're really new to this type of black hat stuff and you do it on your own and it's like, whoops, I didn't hop across my IPS very frequently. All of a sudden you get caught.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3612710 - 3615970
Can you explain that one more time? How can that be identified?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3616310 - 3729250
There's a lot of ways. It's pretty much just like OpSec, the operation that you're doing. These people, they're using like mobile proxies, they're using services that are connected with an API. So it's much easier for them to do. It's not very manual. It's very much after a certain amount of clicks, maybe even just after one search and one click, it hops to a new IP. And if you think that you can just use like NordVPN's IPS, no, that's not going to work. People will get more obscure, very natural, not abused IPS. But if you mess up with any of this so here's another thing, and this is something that I don't know, is I don't know how they don't get caught right away. Because something that a lot of people don't realize is if you have a phone, whether it's a Google Android phone or it's an iPhone with Gmail logged in, you're sending your data through to, in this case, Apple and Google. But there's telemetry involved. If you have like 50 phones in your office that are doing click through manipulation through proxies, sure, the IP that you're running the internet through is different, but what about the WiFi network that you're connected to. It gets very technical. And at this point, I don't know the specifics of how to do it. But I do know that Google is incredibly clever. And if you're even signed into any other products on your phone, it constantly tracks you, it constantly knows everything about it. So I guess the way I see it at the end of the day is I don't want to build a business that I don't want to ever be known by Google for breaking such rules.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3729410 - 3734502
So what could be the consequence? What could be the negative consequences of doing that?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3734556 - 3742010
Your GBP can get suspended or you get like the shadow ban where your rankings just kind of disappear for a while.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3742080 - 3753994
And that could happen if you're trying to manipulate these direct response plus brand keyword term, would that be considered the CTR manipulation?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3754122 - 3766642
Yeah. So that's the more obvious way to do it, the more obscure way that people that do it the way that they're doing it is just purely branded queries. Just purely people searching up the name of the law firm. No keywords in there.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3766696 - 3782918
Okay, so that's the first level of brand manipulation. And then the second one is adding this direct response query. Miami car accident lawyer. The law. John Smith Law Group.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3783084 - 3783558
Exactly.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3783644 - 3797910
Interesting. So the potential negative consequence of that could be google is going to eventually penalize you like you said. What would that mean? Is that your website that gets penalized or your Google business profile?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3797990 - 3809870
It's just a Google business profile and it's ranking. So the worst case scenario is they suspend your listing and they don't let you reinstate because a lot of things can suspend your GDP.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3810850 - 3822318
So how can one identify if this is fake or this is true? Can we report that? If I knew that this law firm is definitely not as known in certain.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3822404 - 3869714
Area, you can and send reports. So anywhere on any search results page, you can do the little three dot more settings thing to report somebody if you feel that way. But I don't know how active they are in actually taking action. In case you're not familiar, anybody listening is not familiar. There is natural ways to acquire a result like that where you're putting in keywords. It's just pretty difficult to do it without manipulation somewhere that's very competitive. So if you're in a very rural area, especially if you have ads running for specific, that can happen very naturally just to let people yeah, of course. It's not just a clear sign of manipulation. There are people manipulating that.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3869832 - 3879110
No, I see it all the time and it's interesting. Okay, we are way over time. My last question for you.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3879180 - 3879800
Yes.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3880570 - 3889542
So I convince you to move to Arizona. You and I, we buy a law firm, personal injury law firm, because in Arizona now, you don't have to be an attorney to own a law firm.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3889606 - 3890380
Oh yeah.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3890830 - 3894122
So what are we doing? What's our marketing plan?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3894256 - 3951306
Going crazy as far as trying to connect ourselves to media. Trying to okay, now this is difficult. If I'm entering, I don't know, try to talk to influencers or anybody that has any type of coverage at all in the legal niche across any YouTube, whatever. Try to get in a foot in the door as far as talking on more places like this podcast or anything with a lot of traffic that can get my interesting. It's value based, so I would want to eventually start to put out like reports or studies. And if you put that in front of people now, it's like, oh, well, let me cover your story. You're putting out some serious value. Let's cover that in our article. But trying to go as hard as possible for a natural method of building mentions over time because everything else is simple to us. Marketers.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 3951498 - 3985430
Yeah, writing, content, publishing, that's not hard. Hard right now is the media, like media recognition. And I liked a couple of things you touched on, is getting involved with local influencers that have the media connections. I mean, that's kind of broad idea, but if you are actually adding value, that can totally happen. So would that mean we would hire an in house PR person or part time PR? So would it be considered digital PR manager?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 3986090 - 4003760
I'd call them just PR because that's more familiar. And at the end of the day, you just don't want somebody to see an email from you and think, oh, they just want a link from us. I do have a meeting in another 2 minutes.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 4004530 - 4026066
Victor, that was amazing. I don't want you to be late. You were so generous with the time. And I think one is clear. We're going to be meeting back for another episode to touch on some of the other topics you didn't get to. So thank you so much, Victor. Appreciate you. And last 30 seconds. Where can people find you?

Victor Perez (Guest) | 4026248 - 4046370
You can find me on Facebook. You want to search for Victor Perez SEO because there's a lot of people by my name. Otherwise my personal business where I have my other links to socials is elevationlabsconsulting.com. So check me out on there and you can find all the other places where I'm posting.

Kristaps Brencans (Host) | 4046530 - 4050542
Awesome. Thank you so much, Victor. Take care. Have a good meeting you.

Victor Perez (Guest) | 4050676 - 4051840
I'll see you.

Intro
Managing high volume accounts
Legal SEO Patterns and Trends
Legal SEO Formula
Review affiliation methods
Faking Reviews
Tactics to Influence Map Rankings
Marketing tips for legal companies
Building mentions
Ranking with multiple practice areas
Search Marketing in the Next 3 Years
Manipulating with branded searches
Marketing plan for a new law firm
Outro