A quick look at Denmon Pearlman, a St Petersburg Personal Injury Law Firm

Disclosure: Denmon Pearlman is not a client of Injury Gap, nor are we acquainted. Nobody from Denmon Pearlman was contacted for this post. If you would like an honest analysis of your online presence to be included in our ongoing blog series, please contact us. If you would like a private review and digital ads management services, please become a client.

According to Avvo - there are 592 personal injury attorneys in Pinellas County, Florida - the home of Clearwater and St Petersburg. 

And according to Google, there are about 938,098 people living in Pinellas County.

So, a little quick math gives us 1 lawyer per 1585 people in Pinellas County. That's a lot more lawyers per capita than Milwaukee, but I suppose Pinellas County has its charms.

Next stop is census​.gov to take a look at a few high level demographics of Pinellas County:

  • 52.1% Female
  • 83.0% White Alone 
  • 10.9% Black/African American Alone
  • 9.3% Hispanic/Latino
  • 23.8% over age 65

While Pinellas County is comprised of mostly whites, which is notable in many other contexts, what stands out to me most for PI lawyers is that Pinellas County skews older. The concentration of senior drivers creates an opportunity for PI lawyers because, According to the NHTSA, older drivers crash much more seriously than younger drivers:

The immediate question I have is whether Pinellas County lawyers are working to appeal to an older - and by the way predominately white - population.

Back at Avvo - Dolman stands out

Avvo has 60 pages of PI lawyers listed in Pinellas County and The Dolman Law Firm stands out prominently. Not only is Mr. Dolman advertising, Ms. McGrath is also advertising - and they are both in the same firm. Advertising lawyers as individuals is a good idea - but there's no mention of how these lawyers help senior drivers. Oops.

Google Map Results

Doing a quick Google search for "St Petersburg Car Accident Lawyer" yields a few ads at the top and this map, where Dolman stands out again:​

I like Dolman's listing here because he has a perfect 5.0 review rating and he is open 24 hours. Reeder & Nussbaum are only open until 9pm and Morgan & Morgan has enough bad reviews to bring them down to a 3.6. 

Click on "More Places" link - yields a bigger map of Personal Injury Attorneys in St Petersburg.

Google gives the opportunity to place an ad on Desktop screens at the top of this list of results. I don't see an ad right now, which is very odd. This is the internet's best spot, and normally at least one lawyer is there.

If you look at the map, notice the east-west attorney strip highlighted on the map. My first thought would be to set up a tight geo-fence around this area and advertise like crazy on mobile display. Granted, it may be too late by the time someone sits down with one of your competitors, but anyone driving through that area is getting inundated with offline law firm messages, and you can pick up on this sensitivity, even if you don't have an office in the area.

A Overview of Denmon Pearlman

I picked Denmon Pearlman (5th on the map results page) for a quick review even though they're not on the main Google results page because they have 55 reviews with a perfect 5.0 score and they're open 24 hours.  Seems like they know what they're doing.

The Desktop home page is really good at first glance:

I like a few elements:

  1. The map, showing their office location, is enormous, and easy to see. Remember the local population and their propensity for crashing due to age?
  2. This firm shows off 4 practice areas - all of which are valuable to people over 65.

On closer inspection, however, there are a lot of real weaknesses:

  1. The catchphrase - "Lawyers Helping People in Tampa Bay" - is really lame, and the geographic area may be too big.
  2. The firm isn't focused on Personal Injury.  Do they really have the experience necessary to help in a serious accident?
  3. The call to action is really weak. While chat drop down boxes can come on too strong at times, I just don't see enough here that compels me to contact them.

Since I'm here, I might as well click "Car Accident" button and see what happens. Here is their car accident page: 

A few things are pretty standard fare here:

  1. The gigantic, in your face, call to action is right in the main image space. Make sense.
  2. The location switcher at the top is a cool feature. Not sure how many senior citizens are going to be able to see it, but it's cool anyway.
  3. Who is the guy on the left? He wasn't on the home page. 

Here are the lawyer pictures from the home page:

If I had clicked on the "View our Attorneys" link on the home page before I clicked on the "Car Accident" button, I would have known that the guy on the left is Lee Pearlman. But I was thrown off a little bit, and had to go looking around to piece it together.

The Car Accident page is pretty deep with some Google friendly content - but the best piece of content, is, sadly, buried at the bottom in a jumbled mess of legal looking text. It looks like some kind of disclaimer about what is supposed to be a free case review, and we are trained not to read these kind of text blobs. Oh, and there is no functional chat bar right now, so that's just wrong. This big blob of text has the opposite intended effect. It makes me feel distrustful and averse to filling out the form.

If you actually take the time to read the blob - it says lots of genuinely cool stuff about how committed they are to meeting clients wherever they are and however they want. Great idea, poor execution.

​Up to now, I have yet to see anything that makes me stop and want to reach out, and make a connection with this firm. Le'ts check the blog.

​A couple things jump out:

  1. Popular Posts aren't that popular if they have zero shares. The "total shares" notice can and should be turned off.
  2. The content topics are too broad - divorce, injury, bike laws
  3. There's a post titled "How to beat a drug trafficking charge." Whoa. Seriously? On a PI site? If my attorney is defending drug traffickers, do I really want to be in the waiting area among serious felons if I'm a senior citizen who's been hurt in a car wreck? Nope.

​Moving on, I was intrigued by the "Self Driving Cars..." post, so I clicked on it. I found 4 lines of text and a big infographic:

I love infographics, they're pretty and easy to read. I'm all about making things more visual - but here's the problem: at least half the value of your blog is to differentiate your firm in search.

If you give Google a big image (even if it's in the form of an infographic) as the only indexable element on your page, they don't know what to do with it. It's useless to Google. You're way better off laying out these facts as icons and text than in a fancy infographic - UNLESS - you've printed it and distributed it around to local coffee shops and senior centers. 

I'm also bored of this type of content. I don't want safety or trite public service messages from PI attorneys - I want to know how settlement payments work, how long it takes to get paid, where the money goes, how much you get, how much I get. I want to know that you're doing something cool in the community, too. That doesn't include helping drug traffickers roam free.

Competitive Response Ideas:

Here are a few takeaways:

  1. Office hours should be 24/7.
  2. If your Google reviews are bad, figure out why and work to fix them.
  3. Giant format design is great for people who can't see very well.
  4. Infographics don't help you very much in Google search
  5. Criminal defense and PI are two totally different sets of clients. Consider two separate websites to handle these competencies.
  6. Don't clutter calls to action with text blobs that resemble disclaimers.
  7. Look for opportunities to buy great ad slots.
  8. Hire Injury Gap to uncover and seize opportunities to deliver cases.

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