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But his world changed around 2011, when Google released something called the Penguin Algorithm (for the uninitiated, it redesigned searches.) The bad news? Overnight, it messed with his operations, and his income shrunk to a seventh of what he was making.
“It was a pretty big jolt,” he says, but he knew he needed to switch gears, and eventually landed back on his feet, at a digital agency in Clayton, Missouri.
There, he rose to be their top SEO specialist.
After picking up new skills, in 2013 he started his own agency, attorneyrankings.org, a full service digital agency. He bootstrapped the company with a $15,000 loan from his sister, and acquired his first clients strategically through LinkedIn, Google+ (now defunct), and YouTube marketing.
After his tenth client, he was so successful that he hired their first employee.
At the end 2018, not only had they ventured to the legal space, but also the specific practice area, and type of law that they could help the most –personal injury law. By 2019, they focused exclusively on personal injury SEO with Rankings.io. “And that’s been the trajectory: Finding the smallest addressable market that we can help, and be remarkable,” he says.
They followed the motto “riches in the niches,” with emphasis on building trust.
“An example would be if you have a heart issue,” he explains.
“No matter how much you knew about the individual, and how smart they were, would you go with a general practitioner, or with a heart surgeon? It’s an obvious answer. And naturally you wouldn’t expect the heart surgeon to be cheap. Expertise brings with it a perception of higher fees. And also trust.” Through that trust, it’s no surprise that his own clientele came to him because of his own company’s reputation. So in demand, and their quality top-tier, these days their minimum client engagement is $10,000 per month.
Niche is one thing, but the keys to really being successful lie in being intuitive to their needs.
“We try to imagine what information they would be searching for, and try to create that for them,” he says
So, while one firm may be focused on car accidents, another might be focused on slip and fall accidents, mass-torts, defective devices or a variety of other areas. Still another area of differentiation could be location: it’s more difficult to rank a site in Los Angeles, than it would be for suburban Chicago.
“The strategies to obtain results for one, is different than another, even though they’re both personal injury firms.”
They tout as one of their greatest success a client that ranks first, nation-wide, for car accident lawyers. “The amount of competition and effort to achieve this, and to see the worth of the individual, is very gratifying,” Dreyer says
“It’s had a major impact on their business” – and not just in a smattering of cities, but “almost all markets, he ranks high,” in a way that has no parallel.
In latest news, despite COVID, he opened a second agency in March of this year, ESQ Marketing.
“ESQ does more than SEO, it does CPC and design, so it has a few more offers, and it caters to solo practitioners, and small to medium-size businesses, as well as to bankruptcy and family law too,” he says.
Dreyer maintains that much of his company’s growth – be it other offices or popularity – can be attributed to how they interact with the client, too.
“One of the comments we receive the most is that our communication is excellent, and it’s because there’s a certain level of warmth, and confidence, a good recipe for retention,” he explains, adding that every client going in wants to know that the relationship will be smooth.
Mix that in with a solid group of dedicated individuals, and it’s a recipe for success.
“It’s not just me behind the wheel, but my very talented team behind me as well. When you have a shared vision, it gets everyone rolling in the right direction.”
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