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Hennessey Digital is a 100%-remote agency specializing in organic search and organic lead increases via PPC, SEO, CRO, PR, Content, and Creative. With roots in SEO and a holistic marketing approach, Founder and CEO Jason Hennessey has been reverse-engineering the Google algorithm since 2001. Hennessey Digital was included in the Inc. 5000 list for its second consecutive year in 2020.
Ben Crump Law came to Hennessey Digital in December 2019 to invest in SEO for the first time. Nationally recognized as one of the top civil rights attorneys in America, Ben Crump had a decent amount of branded traffic coming to his website, but his bigger plan had always been to expand the law firm into all things personal injury.
The question was, how do they shift their brand recognition from civil rights to personal injury?
Entering a new practice area meant overcoming fierce competition. SEO for law firms is one of the most competitive industries out there, where $1,000 in cost-per-lead (CPL) could result in a multi-million dollar case. Ben Crump Law was about to go head to head with prominent law firms in America like Morgan & Morgan, the benchmark for SEO in the legal industry.
Hennessey Digital’s goal was to make Ben Crump Law rank organically for search terms like “car accident lawyer“ and “medical malpractice lawyer” and generate leads from across the U.S., making Ben Crump a national player in personal injury law.
When Hennessey Digital onboards a client, one area that the SEO team looks at is their Organic Research in SEMrush to evaluate the landscape of currently-ranking keywords, overall traffic, and traffic cost estimate.
“Traffic Cost is a metric that we’re able to quickly report and summarize a client’s or a prospect’s SEO performance,” says Matt McLean, Director of Strategic Partnerships at Hennessey Digital. “There’s really no simple way to show someone how their SEO is performing because there are many factors that play into the success of SEO. We feel that the best way to answer that question is to show the SEMrush traffic cost estimate: it shows how much the client would need to pay in ads to drive the same value from the same ranking keywords in organic. If we can help grow the traffic cost, it’s a good indicator that SEO is performing well. It’s a great way to translate SEO into business language for clients who are not as technical as our team at Hennessey Digital and rely upon us for business intelligence.”
Before starting SEO work with Hennessey Digital, the Ben Crump Law website ranked for 675 keywords and had an estimated traffic value of $14,800. Not bad for some law firms, but the Ben Crump team had higher hopes.
The Hennesey Digital team created a project in SEMrush and ran a Site Audit that identified numerous errors, including broken internal linking and 301 redirects.
“The Site Audit is really useful because not only can we see the URLs that were impacted, we can download them into our project management system,” says Matt. “We typically don’t publish any new content to the website until we clean up the site and get a 90% Domain Health score or better. The cleanup for Ben Crump Law gave a huge boost to the performance of the site.”
Meanwhile, Hennessey Digital identified a list of practice areas they wanted to focus on through a discovery call with the client. They used the SEMrush Keyword Planner tool to conduct keyword research and check keyword volume and difficulty. With the help of the Keyword Gap tool, they quickly identified the semantic gaps and mapped out their content strategy for the next 6 to 12 months, producing national pages and geo-targeted content for each topic.
The ambitious goal of becoming a leader in a very broad and competitive space required a far-reaching strategy. Initially, the Hennessey Digital content team published and optimized 50,000 words per month with the help of the prominent law firm content marketing team at We Do Web Content. After 3 months, the client lifted the content budget to 400,000 words per month (majority FAQ and location-based content); the agency strategically structured the site to house the relevant content.
Next, Hennessey Digital entered the head terms into the Position Tracking tool and set up the geo-targeted locations. SEMrush allowed them to switch between cities and view where a keyword is ranking so they didn’t need to set specific location-based keywords.