Law Firms On The Map

SEO Tipping Point Optimization: Taking Keywords From Page-2 To Top-3 Rankings

March 18, 2024 Season 2 Episode 5
SEO Tipping Point Optimization: Taking Keywords From Page-2 To Top-3 Rankings
Law Firms On The Map
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Law Firms On The Map
SEO Tipping Point Optimization: Taking Keywords From Page-2 To Top-3 Rankings
Mar 18, 2024 Season 2 Episode 5

Hosted by Kristaps Brencans, join Daniel Denbow and Nikolai Hernandez in an illuminating discussion as they unveil the secrets behind their lawyer SEO mastery and share captivating client success stories.

In this episode, they delve into the intricacies of optimizing content, crafting effective internal linking structures, and harnessing the power of citation consistency to propel websites to the TOP of search engine rankings for attorneys.

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 :)

Show Notes Transcript

Hosted by Kristaps Brencans, join Daniel Denbow and Nikolai Hernandez in an illuminating discussion as they unveil the secrets behind their lawyer SEO mastery and share captivating client success stories.

In this episode, they delve into the intricacies of optimizing content, crafting effective internal linking structures, and harnessing the power of citation consistency to propel websites to the TOP of search engine rankings for attorneys.

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 :)


Kristaps Brencans:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to Law Firms on the Map, the go to digital marketing show for attorneys serious about their business growth. I'm your host, Christops Brankens, CEO of OnTheMap Marketing. Our agency has helped thousands of attorneys crush their SEO and digital marketing goals over the last decade.


Today, I'm sitting down with two very special guests, Nikolai Hernandez and Daniel Dembo, both senior team members at OTM. Nikolai leading our enterprise account, SEM teams, and Daniel, senior SEO working on some of the biggest accounts at OTM. So recently the duo has been doing some testing in SEO strategies and those are driving really insane results for our clients.


So I thought what a timely conversation to uncover the secrets. What a pleasure to have both of you guys here. Thank you for coming on. To kick things off and set the ground a little bit why don't you guys give a little intro? About yourself and tell us how you got into law firm 


Nikolai Hernandez:

SEO. So like Chris mentioned, my name is Nikolai Hernandez.


I'm an SEO team lead here on the map. I started pretty early. I would like to say that working at OTM was probably my first official gig almost six years ago now. So it wasn't really something that I had really thought about too hard or too critically before. But just got introduced into the world of SEO and realized like this is, A massive industry and I have a lot to learn.


And that's what I've done. So most of the clients that we work with are in the legal space. And as a result, just by the nature of the work that I do becoming a legal SEO expert and not just in SEO, but I mean, we're going to talk about, I'm sure digital marketing as well, which a lot of attorneys now are learning more about and they realize that, Hey, you know what?


I probably shouldn't just pay one person to do one thing, you know, I need to look at this more holistically. So yeah, that's pretty much how I started. 


Daniel Denbow:

My scenario is a little bit different. And I started out behind the wheel of a semi for 22 years. So, and You know, that's kind of my intro to this.


And I was just, as I was driving all these years, as I just like, there's gotta be a way I can get out of this truck, I'm tired of driving truck. You know, it's just, things have changed since the nineties. So I was like, so I started studying this at night and I found somebody to train me back, but it's been five years ago, so 2017, 2016, I started training at night after work, I come home and just study and learn.


And just, I had a guy basically mentor me and I did all worked on all of his clients and then. Once I got to that level, I got, you know, helped him get his clients ranking. Then I went to push myself to the next level. And that's where I got, went out and started filling out tests and, you know, for taking all these tests for these other companies, looking for agencies so I can get out of the truck.


Well, so that's what I did. I finally. Took one of the biggest tests out there I could get with another agency that deals with law firms. And that's when I passed their tests with flying colors. And they hired me pretty much on the spot where I spent a couple of years over there, and then I worked my way over here to, you know, considering 


Kristaps Brencans:

both of your years of experience in law firm, marketing law firm, SEO.


I kind of want to pick both of your minds and ask you guys, what are the biggest shifts you have noticed in the last three years? I think it's been a significant kind of journey, especially the last three years, so I want to hear a little bit of your guys reflection on this, you know, coming to the point where we are right now.


Daniel Denbow:

I'm going to say basically the User driven content is basically the biggest thing I've noticed. You know, if you're not optimizing your page for the user, you know, and getting people on your site, once they get there and they see the stuff on there, it's not what they're, you know, trying to find it's they're going to leave.


You know, so getting somebody to your site is one thing, but keeping him on your site is the most important thing. So 


Kristaps Brencans:

basically user engagement signals, content quality, experience on the web 


Daniel Denbow:

page. Yes. And that's what, that's kind of the stuff that I implemented on one of the things that Nikolai and our client that we've been working on is.


First of all, a getting, you know, Google to recognize you as, you know, the top person for that campaign. And then once the person gets there, getting your user signals optimized correctly for the person to stay there. Yeah, I 


Nikolai Hernandez:

definitely think a lot more attorneys are just becoming smarter and more deadly in the sense of they know a lot more about SEO now than.


They did, you know, four or five years ago, and I think that's due to a number of different reasons. I think there's just been an explosion and stuff like this the type of content that's available, you know, not just podcast format, but like YouTube, Tiktok, Twitter, I mean, it's every attorney that really knows and is dedicated to, you know, being successful online has done a little bit of their research versus back in the day, most attorneys are kind of used to like traditional marketing methods and, SEO was kind of like a alien type concept that they didn't really understand but they understood that i've got to pay someone to take care of this for me Because i'm never going to learn any of it so i'm on the people side of it.


I would say a lot more lawyers are a lot smarter When it comes to learning about seo really, you know being critical of the work that their agencies are doing for them which is a double edged sword. It's supposed to push you to be better and you know Some agencies are just not cut out for that.


So It is what it is. And then I guess another big observation for me is exactly what Daniel just said, like, thinking about the algorithm itself, so much has been flooded in, into the SERPs, specifically the last three years, that, you know, the quality of your content is probably the most important thing that you can control, and obviously the fundamentals are still in place.


Having a strong offsite profile, having citations, knowing where your target audience is, and knowing how to target queries on the type of content that you actually wanna get ranked. But more importantly, just taking a step back and really looking at one particular page and saying, what can I do to make this the most kick ass version of this?


As opposed to, well, I'm thinking about the scale. I gotta have a page for this. Gotta have a page for that. I gonna have a page for this. You know, just the stale and volatility of it. 


Kristaps Brencans:

Okay. Awesome. Well, sounds like both leading questions led us to a big reason why we're here today, besides just having an awesome conversation with two of you.


But. You guys have been doing some really interesting SEO experiments. Daniel, you already led on that a little bit. It has to do with user signals. So the floor is yours. Spill the beans. What's, what are the things you've been testing and. And maybe we can talk specifically, you have, you know, there's no magic bullets to this, no magic secrets.


So we can talk about, you know, the clients, keywords, you know, full transparency. So open it up and then Nikolai, I think you can add some additional layers to that with your point of view as SEM team lead. 


Daniel Denbow:

Well, basically the thing that I've been working with attorneys, that's one of our clients that we're working on.


And basically they. They were stuck on page two for the car accident lawyer page for, I don't know how long. I mean, this was before I even started here. They were stuck on page two. So I was like, okay. Let me, you know, I got a little bit of time, let me analyze what's going on page, what's going on off page, what's going on user signals, everything just do a complete overall analysis of what's happening and why they're stuck here.


So after doing, you know, my research, I started slowly implementing. First of all, I fixed. All their internal linking, they had a lot of internal linking issues. You know, they were sending the wrong signals to the page. And what I mean by signals is like when you do an internal link, you're using an anchor from another page that's pointing to your page and your anchors should be relative to the page you're trying to rank.


So the internal anchors were incorrectly, properly done or incorrectly done. So I went in through and completely cleaned up a lot of the anchors that were pointing to this page. That's step one. Would you say 


Kristaps Brencans:

that's a common error you see across the site? 


Daniel Denbow:

Absolutely. A major error. I see it a lot.


It's just hard to, it's just hard to implement on every site all at one time. We just have to take it in stages. 


Kristaps Brencans:

Can you, for the audience, can you peel a couple more layers on this because you were already talking quite technically about this, but like Nikolai was saying, attorneys getting into this, they understand this a little bit more.


In layman's terms, how can you quickly audit someone's internal links on their on their 


Daniel Denbow:

site? You can use Ahrefs. That's what I use. I use Ahrefs and just input the URL in there, go to the exact URL, and then there's actually a tab on the left. You can go in and look at the anchors pointing to that page.


And then you can, you know, if you see an anchor that doesn't make sense, you follow that anchor to the page and see if it's actually even relevant to the topic of the page itself. And then if it is relevant, then you want to make sure that the anchor makes sense. So basically, if you're on a, say, a car accident page and your page is pointing to it from a car accident, you know, a blog post, you want that anchor pointing to that page to make sense to why somebody would leave this page to go to this page.


Also, the blog 


Nikolai Hernandez:

post that's linking to needs to be relevant to the actual core subject material. So a big issue that you were hitting on was. You know, having all these internal links just for the sake of having internal links because we know that, hey, Google likes these and we should use as many as we possibly can.


But just a little bit more critical thinking and you could quickly paint the picture that, yeah, you know what, this actually doesn't really make a lot of sense. Like, why do we have medical malpractice vlogs, you know, linking directly to one of our core car accident pages? It's not it just doesn't make sense.


And then that's the page itself Then you talk about the actual anchors and it's like, you know, click here for more It's like okay, you know, that's not exciting enough that doesn't really push the needle in terms of building any sort of contextual relevance Between those two pages. And like Daniel alluded to that is a really time consuming process.


You can imagine how many internal links you have on just one particular page, especially pages, big as like your primary car accident page, if you're a personal injury lawyer, so to reiterate 


Kristaps Brencans:

the strategy. You put it in Ahrefs, you look at the internal links for the respective page, and then you start editing the anchors, or are you editing also the paragraphs itself, too, to make more contextual sense coming back to that 


Daniel Denbow:



It depends on several things. First of all, where the anchor is on the page, that's a big factor. You want it, typically you want it as high as possible because that pushes the most relevance. It has the most On a top to bottom level, your higher pages have more link juice, so to speak, going to that page.


Obviously, the lower it is, the less power it has. So just think on a tiered period, you know, obviously your links up here are better than your links way down here. But they all still matter. But the most important thing is trying to keep your most important links highest up on the page, first of all.


Your whole blog post, not only the content of your paragraph should be relative to that post or that page that you're pointing it to. But if it's a car accident blog, the whole blog should literally be related to the page you're pointing it to. Not only the paragraph, but if say if you're on A pair, a blog topic that talks about multiple things.


So if you have a section on the blog that talks about the car accidents and you want to link from there to there, well, that section needs to be talking about the car accidents that you're pointing it to, you know, the whole little section, not just one little, say car accident lawyer, whatever pointing to the page.


You want the whole paragraph because Google not only reads the anchor, they read the surrounding text of the anchor to make sure it makes sense to point back to that link. And if it does make sense, it just helps the relevancy of that page you're pushing 


Kristaps Brencans:

it to. So roughly how many pages did you 


Daniel Denbow:

guys edit?


I added a lot of the blog posts, but that's, you're only talking phase one. Remember this is, this was a four phase process. This was only step one of the four steps that I did to get this page this one page to page one in the number two spot. And that's where it currently resides.


Just to kind of add some 


Nikolai Hernandez:

additional, like, you know, context, I guess, homework that people can do. If they happen to come across this and they're wondering about their internal links, you know, one of the biggest issues that we come across you know, specifically with new clients coming on board is that we'll take a look at those internal linking structures.


And, you know, first of all, the relevance from page to page cannot be built, you know, they're completely different things and one of the big issues that I personally have seen a lot is that people will just kind of put like a text box. That has all these bullet points and they're just listing out all these different either practice areas or topics that they think are related because you could say something as broad as, hey, these are all my personal injury topics.


But again, doing it in that way where there's no relevance. You're diluting any possible benefit you could get from having a linking structure like that. Versus, hey, you can keep the same thing, keep those bullet points, but you're going to have to completely revamp that topic. And that page needs to be talking about a certain subsect within this particular practice area.


Then it becomes a lot more viable to use those types of linking structures and then updating the anchors and everything like that. So it sounds super complicated, but I promise it's not. You know, this isn't rocket science. Google. Wants to view you as an expert And the easiest way to do that is to cover as many bases as you possibly can that you actually do, and cleaning your structure on your website so that those hubs are linked together in a way that just makes a lot of sense and is really clean and easy to look at.


Kristaps Brencans:

So Daniel, you mentioned there's four phases of this. So we internal, no internal linking was phase one. What are the phases? 2, 3, 


Daniel Denbow:

4. Phase two was my my. Tipping point optimization 2. 0. That was phase two. A lot of people don't know about that. They might've heard about those, but they haven't heard about my variation of these.


There's a completely different strategy that I use. That makes a lot of like a lot of difference and a lot of help to, so basically what a tipping point is like taking a page and putting it into a surfer content. I don't know if people know what surfer is, but surfer is just, you know, after a page has been alive for so long, Google's gonna start recognizing what this page is about.


So when we put it into surfer, we can kind of see what ser, what Google sees this page as. And what it doesn't see it as. So we want to basically go in and try to target what Google doesn't see it as that we want it to see it as like it's variations of key terms. You know, because when you're trying to rank a single page, you want it to rank for not just car accident lawyer, car accident attorney, car crash attorney, car crash lawyer, you know, the variation, every variation that you can think of possible, you want Google to recognize this page for and understand, hey, this page serves our users, this is the page to go to for that type of injury or that type of accident or whatever the case is.


Kristaps Brencans:

So how did you edit the page? Text edits, keyword density. 


Daniel Denbow:

I went through put, sir, I took the, all the content off the page and entered it in the surfer, and then went through and optimized based off what surfer recommended on that side of it. They, what they recommended that this page should rank for against all your competitors.


Which basically boils back to the most important part about this is you've got to be competitor parity. Your whole, your page has to be equal to your competitors. So I use the analogy, competitor parity plus one. The plus one comes into phase three and four. Right now, I'm just trying to get equal to my co competitors.


So, you know, competitor analysis, the competitor audit comes into place to see what they have that I don't, and when we get equal. And then I turn on the juice to where I do a little bit of tweak in here and there that gives me my competitor polarity plus one. And that's, I'll go into phase three and four is where those two came in.


So basically phase three was what I did on phase three is I did a user engagement. I went through and I tried to find out what other people are doing that I missed. Like what am I doing? Now I've got, this is like two, three weeks in, I've done a tipping point. I've done an internal link, which is the most important.


You got to get your structure right first. So you've got internal linking done, you've got your on page optimization done on the page. Next thing you got to do is go and see where, what your competitors are doing that you're missing. And what I found when on my competitor analysis was, I wasn't doing a terms as a table of contents and I didn't have a video on the page.


So therefore I, you know, signed that out to our dev team to put a table of contents. What the table of contents Is it's a low thing, right? The very top of the page, basically pointing all your H two tags, which are all your questions and answers that are throughout the page. So I had them linked. How to do a link that for when you click the link, it takes them to that section.


So when a user comes to this page, so when a user comes there, like they have a question that, you know, they have a question immediately. Well, those are like top seven questions on the page that, you know, that's how the page was written is, you know, on the top questions that people are asking. So when they get to the page, I see the question right there.


So they don't have to scroll down. All they have to do is click the button, which is user engagement. So when they get there, they stay there because they there for a reason. And they click the button. It takes them right to where they want to be. 


Nikolai Hernandez:

And that helps a lot too. When you're talking about a page, it's so big to begin with, because we're talking about one of the most competitive practice areas in one of the most competitive areas of law, you can't escape that, you know, if you, if your content gaps are telling you.


You need anywhere from 3, 500 to 4, 500 words just to be acknowledged in the same level as your competitors. There is no way to kind of circumnavigate that you're going to need that content and having something like a table of continents just makes it so much easier for me as a user to enter that page and be like, well, you know what, I don't really care about 99 percent of the content I'm seeing on this page.


I only care about this one particular section. Because it's pertinent to what I'm going through in my particular case that I need help with. So if I can see that right at the very beginning of entering that page, and then not only that, I can click on it and it'll take me straight there. You can kind of think, you know, just use common sense.


That makes it a lot easier. And Google likes easy. The easier it is for your content to be consumed and navigated, overall, the better you're going to be performing. Assuming, of course, that you're not just Keyword spamming and I think we have to make a point to be very clear like when we talk about filling out competitive parity.


It's not just Taking all these different terms and throwing them in as many different variations as possible A lot of the times this is going to necessitate You know, sitting down and writing and cranking out new content to add supplemental to what you've already had on that page. So, it, again, it's a process, like Daniel's alluded to a bunch of times already, you're not going to do all this in one shot.


And each step is really critical, but that was probably one of the things that definitely pushed us over the top to now where we're in position two. For one of those biggest car accident terms in our client's market. 


Kristaps Brencans:

Phase four, did you mention that? So we have Inner, internal linking content optimization, and then content user engagement signal optimization.


Daniel Denbow:

The last one is basically taking, so what that did, I think, over the course of the three weeks, four weeks that took, is it pushed me to page one, but it didn't get me to where I wanted to be. So what I had to do is manipulate the system just to tweak. I just basically went through and I found I went to, back to my AHRFs and I put in I basically typed in car accident.


So I just, I'm looking for anything related to car accident on, that's on my website that's already getting traffic. So I went to the top pages that are getting traffic for car accident related blogs. And I took five, I found five blog posts that are getting the most traffic. I took those blog posts, I took the URLs, and I put them on a document.


And I did a complete blog siloing of those blogs. So I basically what they call Daisy chained them together, and then I pointed them up to the car accident page. But there's a little tweak that I did to this that not very many people do is I think I've introduced it to you a couple of times and a couple of things here is I did what they call CPC internal linking.


So what that is. When you're looking for CPCs, people are buying, paying ads, you know, they're paying, you know, Google sells, you know, ad spots, whatever, for like a, an internal link. So if it says car accident lawyers St. Louis, cause that's one of the ones we were going after. That's a high CPC. To buy that, to pay for that ad, it's going to cost you about 300 just for that keyword.


Well, what I did is I found that keyword and I used a variation of that keyword specifically in my anchor text. That's what I consider to do my internal linking between the blog silos and then pointing up to the page with the CPC internal linking, because Google already recognizes this exact key CPC word as a major role say, okay, if people are paying for this, why can't I get it for free?


So that's what I did. I used all those CPC variations internally linked between my blogs and to point up to my main car accident page, which is what pushed us over the top. And it was 


Nikolai Hernandez:

easier to link down because those blogs were already relative relative to the primary page topic. So it wasn't the case of us having to go and, you know, rewrite completely from scratch brand new things.


You know, these were. Blogs that already existed have been indexed for quite some time. We're generating a lot of organic traffic back to the site. It was really as simple as just identifying those type of anchors and then utilizing them in a way, again, that makes sense. You're not going to just. Plaster them on there.


Cause you found them, you need to be a little bit smarter the way that you do it, but yeah, that was kind of the the final piece of the puzzle, I would say. And so far clients have just taken off and they've retained on those top organic spots. 


Kristaps Brencans:

In doing our initial anchor text analysis, you didn't recognize those blogs.


Is that why you didn't use them? That 


Daniel Denbow:

is correct. I never looked for them. I did not look for them at that point. I did not look for them. I was looking for more of a longer tail variation. And then these ones here are getting more traffic. So I did like two stages of blog. The first stages are, you know, just blogs that are on the site that are getting very low traffic to no traffic at all.


And I wanted to use those to try to help Google understand, you know, we have all this content. Now let's point it somewhere. Let's make it useful. And I did not daisy chain those together. I just did one link up to the car accident page from those blogs. We're the ones that were getting traffic. I linked them together, and if the content didn't have anything on there about the next page that I was wanting to link to, I changed the content on there just to add a little section.


If you want to learn more about this type of a car accident or this accident blog post, I'd link it to this one. Then I would link this one back to this one. Then, once I daisy chained them all together, then I pointed them all up to the car accident page, which pushes all the relevance of all those CPC terms that Google loves so much because it's their You know, those are the ones that people are paying 300 for.


I use those CPC variations to point and push relevance for those type of keywords that I want Google to know that my page is relevant for, and that relevancy push is what got me to the number two spot. That's what. Week five and six did. And after week six is where we stuck right there on Nikolai.


Kristaps Brencans:

What's been the impact on clients leads and cases from this?


Nikolai Hernandez:

Super gratifying to have a client that, you know, has been a pretty much a long term one, at least for me personally and going through a lot of different ups and downs just because that's kind of nature of the work that we do to begin with.


So they've definitely had peaks in terms of lead gen, they've had values in terms of lead gen. But as far as the labs. Three months or so ago there's just been an absolute explosion in terms of the traffic being generated from those car accident queries. But ultimately getting the type of qualified leads that our clients are looking for to the point where they can kind of pick and choose which ones they really want to take.


Versus, you know, before in the past, it was kind of like a struggle just to get leads through the door organically. So it's been really gratifying just working with Daniel on this process and ultimately our number one goal is, you know, get money for our clients and that's what we're doing right now.


Kristaps Brencans:

Can you give a ballpark number? What was their, like, closed cases last month? 


Nikolai Hernandez:

Last month they closed around 25 organic leaks. And we could attribute about 7 of those directly from their car accident queries. So not all necessarily from that main beach. We had a few that closed from Different sub, what's called subpractice area pages within the Clorox Mint silo which is a great number.


You know, we always are going to be greedy and push for more, but sometimes we also need to take a step back and, you know, kind of appreciate the work that's that's been done and the results are coming from that. And our clients are definitely feeling it. 


Kristaps Brencans:

From your observations, did these organic, traditional listing page ranking improvements helped also the Google Business Profile rankings?


Nikolai Hernandez:

I would say that, you know, Google looks at you holistically no matter what. So any positive work that you're doing, especially when we talk about a firm that Their number one thing is personal injury. You know, we're not talking about multi practice firms that have like 25 different lawyers and they're operating within a bunch of different states.


Things can get kind of complicated and you can kind of see like, all right, this side of the business is doing a lot more, getting a lot more than, you know, maybe our family law side as an example. So for our clients in this case in particular, they're all PI, personal injury, and they are multi state, but not really.


We're talking about two states that are like right next to each other. So they have reaped benefits across the board. And we have seen that in some of the other organic KPIs that we look at that specifically just in their Google business profiles. But I mean, again, I've already said it. It's not rocket science.


Like if you are consistently doing this type of work and you stay committed to doing it, you're ultimately going to be reaping those benefits. And the question for our audience, I think, is. Are you working with the right people? Are you working with the right type of agency that's going to look at all those different layers and get, really dive in the level of detail that's required to push the needle?


Because we could easily in this example, we could have told our clients, hey, congrats, you know, you guys were never even ranking, now you're on page two. Just hold on a little longer, eventually you'll start getting leads. That's not the approach that we took, you know, we were really competitive and we had a really set goal that we've been able to hit and our clients are happy.


They're making money. That's all we care about. So 


Kristaps Brencans:

I want to take a step back and talk a little bit about other SEO performance driving factors. Like this campaign, as you mentioned, Nikolai, you know, it's been a client that's been with us for a while. And their side has seen already certain maturity level Daniel, when you mentioned they were on page two.


So, like, not everyone isn't in that position yet to be paid to sue for a big car accident or criminal terms in metropolitan city. Maybe they're, you know, some are page five or they're getting their, you know, resources together to begin a high impact SEO campaign. What are the driving factors to speed up the process while doing it correctly, while knowing that your money is put to the best possible use and your ROIs, You know, you know, you're going to see results from this, you know, once, once it really starts kicking in.


Daniel Denbow:


I'm going to say it's, you know, making sure that Google recognizes you or your firm as an authority in your niche. And the only way to do that is to cover all the practice areas in that niche. And all the topics that you can and all the related questions related to that niche you cover and you explain you write topics about and help your audience because that's what it's all about is it's about the user.


It doesn't Google doesn't care. Google only cares about the user. Are you serving the right page to this user? Are you helping this user in any way? That's what Google cares about. If you're helping the user and you're serving them something that's beneficial to them, they're going to reward you. And of course you want your off page stuff too to match your on page stuff.


You want your off page your backlinks, all your citations filled out properly. You want your NAP signals out there, your name, address, and phone number signals across on all of your citations, you know, your online profiles. You want your Facebook, your Twitter, your. You know, your LinkedIn, your Justia, your AVO, all those have got to match 100 percent across the board.


So if you have one, if you have, you know, if your name ends with PLLC on one citation, on the other citation that doesn't have PLLC, that's a name brand inconsistency or a NAP, signal inconsistent brand. Signal that you need to fix because Google recognizes you as an entity and that entity has to have the same name across the board.


If it's different in any way, if your phone number is different, if your address is different, if you have street spot on one side and ST on another, that's an inconsistent map signal. You've got to get that cleaned up. That has to be completely cleaned up on your off page stuff and as well as your on page stuff.


It's all got to be clean. That's where you start. You got to start with the core. Your core is your NAP. Start with your name, address, and phone number and make sure it's absolutely unique across every profile, every brand name, every brand mentioned that you have out there. That's where I would start. And if you don't 


Nikolai Hernandez:

have those, you need to get them.


So I would definitely recommend to anyone that's starting, you know, like you said, Chris. Page six, seven, or maybe they don't even have a domain yet or a viable functioning site. The first thing is clarity on your name, address, phone number, because that is your branding. And if Google looks at you as an entity, it's like if I were to use a bunch of different names and I went to a party and I was like, Hey, my name's Daniel.


And then the next guy I talked to, Hey, my name's Chris. Hey, my name's Nikolai. Hey, my name's this. Hey, my name's that. Oh, I work here. Oh, I work there. No one's going to trust me. Everyone's going to look at me like, who is this weirdo at this party? Who the hell invited this guy? We don't even know his name.


Like, it sounds silly, but that is the core basic functionality of what's called the EAT signals, expertise, authority, and trust. And a huge component of that is your citations. I'm sorry, I would recommend Make sure you do a deep audit on every single citation link that your site owns. And if you're starting from brand new, hey, guess what?


You know, it's a lot easier to do something right, especially with citations than to try to clean a bunch that have just been sitting around for years and years. So start with that first. Be clear on your branding and get your name out in as many places as you possibly can. Before you even think about starting to build a robust, you know, content campaign or.


Building really amazing quality links. Yes. Those are going to help you. But if you're inconsistent with your branding, it's going to be really difficult for Google to eventually recognize you as someone that is worthy of being in those top organic positions. 


Kristaps Brencans:

And I think it's worth mentioning that the citation consistency will also improve your map rankings and your record can recognize ability for those map map results.


Okay. We're shifting into our last questions. Wanna talk to you guys about the future of SEO. We're now in a really interesting time with AI search, generative experience Gemini. It feels like there's a new AI tool coming out every other day. And you know, for us involved in technology business.


It's, you know, raising different red flags or you guys are getting excited about it. What's what's your guys individual take on this? 


Nikolai Hernandez:

If I could go first, just because I'm on the front lines and I'm talking to clients all the time. And they're always asking me like, Oh, what about this? What's this AI going to do?


The blah, blah, blah, blah. I always like to tell people that these changes, especially with Google and with SERPs in general, they come in ebbs and flows. So there is not one consistent stream, one consistent steady path forward. A lot of the times Google is a little reactive where right now I would say we're still in that phase where our market has been completely inundated.


With. Like you mentioned, you know, some of these AI tools and just like anything else in life, people are going to look to try to get the shortcuts in as quickly as possible before the rest of, you know, the system figures it out. However, what I always caution against is that there is always going to be a system of checks and balances because we're talking about a system that is so valuable, so important, it makes so much money for so many different people.


That it's really hard for me to envision one particular AI tool, all of a sudden completely changing the entire surf landscape across all these different verticals. So I always say caution. First and foremost, I think there are a lot of positive changes that come from specifically some of the indundance of like the AI tools and just utilizing them to supplement what you're already doing as far as content goes.


It's a great starting point. However, I would always tell people that, you know, the fundamentals of SEO are the fundamentals for a reason. And if you're ignoring those and you think that you're going to be able to get undercut or undercut other people, kind of using some of these shortcuts, the AI tools that, you know, are really flashy and sexy and just makes it so easy to do it, you know, unfortunately, I don't think that's going to work for you and we've already seen Google kind of lash out, we've had like four.


Major algorithm updates in the last five, five or six months. And, you know, a lot of those are geared towards content quality. So stick with what you know, close out the opportunity completely. In terms of using some of these new tools that we have at our disposal. There's a fine line that has to be drawn out.


And I think it's different for every website, but 


Daniel Denbow:

I tell you what, I know that the, you know, the tipping points are definitely going to, I'm kind of curious to see how they are going to work with AI content, you know? Because, you know, how are they optimized? How are they, you know, the only thing that Surfer doesn't offer is a user experience, you know, so that would be something that would be great that we could play a role in.


How would a user experience work with a Surfer? Because, you know, maybe that's, maybe it's something for Surfer to think about. But yeah, I think as long as you, you're helping the user. I don't think it's about the AI. I think AI would be fine as long as you're helping the person on your website at the same time.


That's what it all boils down to. Are you, is you just throwing content out there? No matter what, does it help the user? Because if somebody goes to your page, are you answering their questions? Are you solving their problems? That's what it boils down 


Kristaps Brencans:

to. And how you do it doesn't matter. Use AI videos, AI content.


If it's a good experience and you are hitting on the points of their questions through expertise, authoritiveness, and trust, that, that answer will be validated. Okay. Well, thank you guys. You've been absolutely generous with your time and your ideas. Secrets. I'm just kidding. But I think some of these strategies you discussed are highly valuable, and I am excited for our clients because now this is being rolled out on hyperspeed across all campaigns.


And I know, Daniel, you have something you mentioned 0. But let's keep that for our next episode so we can then discuss some other Other ideas and new findings. You guys will have discovered for audience if they want to reach out or chat or have follow up questions. Where can they find you guys?


Nikolai Hernandez:

You can search me up on LinkedIn. Nikolai Hernandez. I think you'll probably recognize me. I've got a big banner that says on the map in my profile. So feel free to reach out to me on there. You can also hit up our website too. It's always a plus to get some organic search pointed back on there. So, we're pretty available.


Just start with LinkedIn is probably the fastest way. 


Daniel Denbow:

Yeah. LinkedIn or, you know, even you'd go to the website or, you know, Daniel on the map. It's there. I'm sure Nikolai has an email if they had a direct question, something. Absolutely. I'm on LinkedIn as well. Got to watch my son's got the same name as me though.


Kristaps Brencans:

Hey, entity. Confusion. What's about what's going on with those 


Daniel Denbow:

NAP signals? 


Kristaps Brencans:

Yeah. All right, fellas. Thank you so much. This was great. And we'll catch you at the next episode. Tipping point 3.0