All Posts by tj

A quick look at Daniel Kim Law, an Orange County Personal Injury Attorney

Disclosure: Daniel Kim Law is not a client of Injury Gap, nor are we acquainted. Mr. Kim was not 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 1,326 personal injury attorneys in Orange County, California - the home of Anaheim and world class tourist attractions like Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.

And according to Google, there are about 3,146,000 people living in Orange County, CA.

So, a little quick math gives us 1 lawyer per 2,372 people in Orange County. That puts Orange County right between Milwaukee and Pinellas County on a PI lawyer per capita basis.

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

  • 44.1% White - not Hispanic or Latino
  • 2.1% African American Alone
  • 20.4% Asian Alone
  • 34.3% Hispanic/Latino

As in other posts, I won't get into the merits of racial diversity or cultural issues we face when diversity exists or does not. I will contend, however, that race is a dominant narrative in our culture and as a marketer to the general public, you've got to be aware of the makeup of your market and make adjustments if you want people to hire you.

So, what we have to deal with in Orange County is a massive population comprised of 3 major race classifications. Should be fun. 

Instead of starting with Avvo, as I did in the past couple posts, I wanted to take a look at Yelp and see what it looks like.

Daniel Kim is the main Yelp advertiser

Yelp has 154 pages of PI lawyers listed in Orange County and The Daniel Kim Law Firm stands out prominently. Here's his listing with some great features highlighted above the fold:

  1. 246 reviews and a 5 star rating seems fairly impossible. That's about 70 more reviews than the next firm, but no matter how he got there, the profile does stand out.
  2. Request Consultation call-to-action on Yelp. This is a no-brainer feature.
  3. Open 24 hours. Excellent. When case value potential is literally unlimited, why would you ever dictate when your potential clients can call you? Get an answering service if you're in bed, sheesh.

Given the prominence of the profile, there are some major differentiating factors that I'd add to the profile somehow - perhaps in the photos? For example (I found these facts buried on his About page): 

  1. He speaks Korean fluently.
  2. He is a decorated US Army Veteran
  3. He is committed to community service

Google Map Results

Doing a long tail Google search for "korean language injury lawyer in orange county ca" yields a few really lame and untargeted ads at the top and this map, where nothing stands out:​

I mean - look at those listings! There's no link for "More Places" - Google can barely scrape these three together, and these listings are really bad. Kring & Chung are "General Practice," Sonny Koo has no reviews and closes at 5pm, and JML Law has bad reviews and closes at 5pm. Lame.

Mr. Kim should be resolving in a search like this. Frankly, I'm reasonably shocked that I couldn't find his site with this specific search. 

Where is Mr. Kim in Google?

When I typed in the site he has listed on Yelp - dkimlaw.com - it temporarily failed to redirect, and then resolved to usaccidentlawyer.com. So, something is goofy there, and that's the first red flag.

I went to my trusty Ahrefs account and found this:

What this looks like to me is that Mr. Kim decided to "upgrade" his old domain at dkimlaw.com to the much more generic usaccidentlawyer.com, and did it just recently.

This kind of thing can work, but it's ridiculously risky. Who knows what kind of reputation usaccidentlawyer.com had? Sexy, vanity domains like his new one acquire baggage over time. I would never recommend setting a permanent redirect like this. At best, build a new site behind the new domain, maintain both of them, and slowly migrate to the new one. 

Here's the front page of his site:

The site looks dated, has a weird looking slider with stock images, and generic text. There's only one entry on his blog, and it's disjointed. The content is super shallow.

There's an issue with his office locations as well. As background, I see, on a highly regular basis, attorneys who advertise multiple locations. Oftentimes, these are executive suites or just a pay-per-use conference room. In addition to being an SEO technique, the strategy can make sense because it is usually well worth the time to travel to meet clients closer to their location. In Mr. Kim's case, I'm inclined to recommend transparency about the strategy and instead of advertising 10 locations in flashy high rise buildings, offer to meet clients at any one of these 10 locations as needed.

In all, the website is in need of a revamp and serious overhaul to compete in a major market like Orange County - esp. if he wants to get be found in Google.

What about Facebook? 

​Sadly, Mr. Kim apparently abandoned the Facebook page a couple years ago. The only freshness is a very negative review from May 2017. Dang.

Social platforms are an amazing way to show people that you really do care and convey a sense of engagement.  Mr Ehline from Los Angeles gives a perfect example​ on Yelp of how engagement works, and I encourage Mr. Kim to respond similarly in Facebook:

Perhaps Mr. Kim's Yelp profile and offline efforts I can't see are generating plenty of cases. Or perhaps he's running display ads or native ads somewhere than are hard to detect. I would definitely be expanding my foundation to diversify from Yelp, if that truly is the only online platform referring leads because the internet is fickle, and platforms come and go.

Competitive Response Ideas:

Here are a few takeaways:

  1. Office contact hours should be 24/7.
  2. If you get a bad review in social media - respond to it reasonably. Don't assume the reviewer is legitimate, but don't freak out or say anything you'll regret later.
  3. Avoid "upgrading" your domain in one fell swoop.
  4. Websites require ongoing maintenance. They are hard and take time, and they become outdated. Keep them fresh with good content and clients will respond.
  5. Think of unique skills and differentiators you have and ways you can connect with groups of people in your region, and make a big deal about them.
  6. Don't overreach with unnecessary extra office locations.
  7. Don't abandon your Facebook page and be careful of relying on one site or platform too much.
  8. Hire Injury Gap to uncover and seize opportunities to deliver cases.

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.

A Quick Look at Gruber Law, a Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorney

According to Avvo - there are 391 personal injury attorneys in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

And according to Google, there are about 956,406 people living in Milwaukee County.

So, a little quick math gives us 1 lawyer per 2,578 people in Milwaukee County. That seems about right, but time will tell as I look at more markets across the country.

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

  • 51.8% Female
  • 64.8% White Alone 
  • 27.2% Black/African American Alone
  • 14.8% Hispanic/Latino

Politically correct marketers don't feel comfortable making racial assumptions based on pictures, but I guarantee that at some level - potential clients do make race and gender based decisions.

In case you haven't heard, race and gender are real issues in the USA. I tallied most of the Avvo list, and by my reckoning, Milwaukee area lawyers are about 85% male, and about 95% white. I'm not going to protest sex and race disparities in the PI legal world here now, but you need to understand that if you are a white male PI lawyer (and you probably are), you're going to have to figure out some way to meaningfully differentiate yourself for your potential clients who aren't your race or gender, and don't trust you.

Back to Avvo - One Advertiser?

Avvo has 40 pages of PI lawyers listed in Milwaukee and there's only one major advertiser I can find - Jon Groth. Great work standing out Mr. Groth. If I'm hurt, and I've made it to Avvo, you're going to get noticed.

For all the people who don't know about Avvo, or haven't been referred to a lawyer by their neighbor or 2nd cousin, we need to take a look at Google.

Google Map Results

Doing a quick Google search for "Milwaukee Personal Injury Lawyer" yields this map, and an obvious first choice:

On Desktop, if you click on "More Places" - you'll see that Gruber is also the only advertiser for the top map spot. On mobile, it doesn't require a click.

Google is now selling the top spot in the maps results as an ad. Seriously, it's 7:20pm right now in Milwaukee on a Tuesday and nobody is competing with Gruber for that top spot in Google Maps? When do you think people are getting in car wrecks? Possibly on the drive home? Wow.

And if you are PKSD - you really need to deal with those 4 unhappy reviewers. Those reviews will cause some damage.​

Google is telling the searcher that Gendlin Liverman & Rymer are "closed now." I guess they don't want any calls. Amazing.

Are you aligning your AdWords campaigns with your office schedule or the schedules of potential clients? Since you're not advertising there, Gruber Law is getting all the calls for PI law in Milwaukee because everyone else is closed, has bad reviews, or is simply not listed.

So, let's go and see what's happening over at Gruber Law​ since he's the only guy taking calls when people get in wrecks.

Quick Gruber Law Overview

Below is a quick snapshot of Mr. Gruber's website - and there's Mr. Gruber - smiling at us like almost all of you PI lawyers love to do. His promise stands out -  "One Call...That's All!" - but I ask myself - "what does that mean? One call for what? One call to get my case handled and settled? Huh?"

I suppose that means it only takes a quick call to get my case rolling and all signed up, but it's a little bit confusing.

The trust seals across the bottom of the image - Top Trial Lawyers, SuperLawyers, Top 40 under 40, etc. - all look appealing, but I don't see any explanation of their meaning. How are they relevant to me as an injured person? Are they still applicable? I'm not convinced Mr. Gruber is still under 40, so is that claim still viable? Linking these seals would help, but perhaps a dedicated page explaining them would be better.  

He's also running an Apex Chat popup (that I closed down, and not shown here), but the trigger was way too sensitive at about the 3 second mark. I get it - he wants to grab that contact info, but let me catch my breath first.

Scrolling down a little further - we get to his personal video. I only lasted until the 24 second mark because it was so boring, and, frankly, kind of weird. It was just so right up in my face and personal, and I didn't enjoy it.

As well, he's got the video on a hosted Wistia server which is a great video hosting platform - but why on earth does he open the video on a full size 2nd window?

One of the cool Wistia features is the ability to collect contact info in exchange for watching the video - why not try and grab it right there? You've got the tool, might as well use it. Missed opportunity.

Scrolling down a little further, I happen to find a "Breaking News" section (that's another Apex Chat popup invading the screen by the way) with a video snapshot of what appears to be Aaron Rodgers talking to Mr. Gruber...

​Wait - Aaron Rodgers? Now this is interesting - but if it's "BREAKING NEWS!" - what the heck is it doing way down low? It should be on some kind of super top ticker like a news site would run, because clicking on the video and finding itsAaron, was a game changer...

itsAaron is AWESOME:

Well done Mr. Gruber. This is great content. But why did you bury it? Especially if it's "BREAKING NEWS"? Curious about that. And why aren't you hosting the video on your Wistia platform to gather contact info from people watching it and gleaning more insights about how you can help them? Another missed opportunity.

Competitive Response Ideas:

I know you PI lawyers can only take so much, so I'll wrap this up for now. Here are a few takeaways:

  1. Change your office hours to 24/7 and stop letting Mr. Gruber get all the calls.
  2. Don't copy Mr. Gruber's Apex Chat 3 second popup.
  3. If you're going to do a personal video - make it cool and real like itsAaron.
  4. If you're going to make video as cool as itsAaron, make a really big deal about it.
  5. Ditch the black pin stripe suit, and red tie in your face videos. Over rehearsed delivery doesn't build trust. 
  6. Consider a catch phrase, they're catchy after all, but make it meaningful.
  7. Look for opportunities to buy great ad slots where the competition is thin.
  8. Hire Injury Gap to uncover and seize opportunities to deliver cases.