Tina Willis graduated 2nd in her class from Florida State University College of Law. She has worked as a big firm defense attorney and as a law professor, not to mention the many awards under her belt. She now focuses her time as a personal injury attorney. She is using InjuryAttorneyFlorida.com as her domain to her business site and likes to refer to herself as an Orlando car & truck accident attorney.
Mike: What attracted you to practice law from the start?
Tina: My grandparents raised me and we had very little money or connections. As I became a young adult, who thankfully was able to attend college, I became more aware of the societal and economic pressures that had made life difficult for my grandparents. So I suppose you could say that I wanted to help those who were less fortunate when they needed an advocate. That was because I knew how it felt to need help, and not be able to find anyone who really cared. That is one big reason that I love my current practice area, which allows me to help those who could not otherwise afford to hire a lawyer, instead of helping large corporations. Plus, I have always loved a good debate!
Mike: You’re leveraging InjuryAttorneyFlorida.com along with tinawillislaw.com. Are there any other domains you own?
Tina: On the advice of a not great SEO agency, when I first started my practice, we purchased over 100 domains, and still own quite a few of those. These days, we only maintain and regularly update my primary domain (InjuryAttorneyFlorida.com). We made the decision to focus our efforts online because maintaining more than one website, much less many other websites, was far too challenging. We also get virtually no traffic or leads from the other domains we own. So basically we learned the hard way that the advice to purchase many domains was not good.
Also, as a side note, managing multiple domains is so problematic that tinawillislaw.com is not even forwarding properly (to my primary domain). We purchased that domain name only for email and offline marketing. But the forwarding has never worked. Your interview actually reminded me that I need to check with my tech/website support people, to hopefully get that resolved. But that’s a perfect example of how multiple domains can lead to many unexpected complications.
Mike: I have to ask some questions related to law. If I were to be injured at work or at a business, what are the first steps I should take? Is that any different if I were to get injured on someones residential property?
Tina: Most of the cases that we handle are either auto accidents, such as car, truck, or motorcycle accidents, or premises liability, such as slip and fall, or negligent security cases.
Your question relates more to premises liability. But many of the steps for an injured victim to take after any accident are the same.
First, they should make sure they get immediate medical treatment. If their injuries are serious, the best scenario in terms of adding value to their injury case is to be transported by ambulance to the hospital right after their accident.
Second, or simultaneously, they should report the accident, either to the police (in an auto accident), or the business owner (in a premises liability case). They also should take detailed photos of the accident scene, vehicles involved, property defects in a premises liability case, and any visible signs of their own injuries.
Finally, they absolutely need to call a personal injury & accident lawyer ASAP. Injured victims have the burden of proving their cases in court. And that burden is a heavy one. So we need to quickly gather evidence, which could, and often does, disappears very soon after any accident. This includes documentary evidence, physical evidence, and witnesses.
Although they have a duty to report the accident to their own insurance company (in auto accident cases), usually within a short period of time, they should call a lawyer first. The reason is that their own insurance company wants to pay the least amount of money possible, on every claim. If their insurance company might owe any money under an uninsured motorist (UM) policy, they WILL ask questions, sometimes very innocent-sounding questions, to get information that can significantly reduce case value. Injured victims have no obligation to communicate with the other party’s insurance company, regardless of what they say. Either way, injured victims need a lawyer speaking and working for them, very quickly, particularly if they sustained serious injuries.
If someone were injured on residential property, there might be different issues involved, primarily with getting the home owner’s insurance policy. Lawyers do not have access to homeowner policies. So we might need the client to get the homeowner’s policy, or we would have to reject case. This happens in dog bite cases, for example. One exception would be if the residential property were an apartment complex, and some defect with the apartment caused their injury. Then we might be able to accept the case, and hold the landlord, management company, or owner responsible.
The bottom line with all injury and accident cases is that the facts can change the outcome. So there really is no substitute for a consultation, during which we tell our clients what they need to do to get the most money possible in their cases. We provide free consultations so we encourage potential clients to take advantage of those.
Mike: How has this descriptive, geographic domain name helped your traffic and what made you decide to try this approach?
Tina: We believe the domain name has helped our online presence because we tend to rank well for many of our targeted phrases. But, as you know, the Google algorithm doesn’t send you a message telling you what helped your phone ring. So we cannot be sure. That’s just a hunch / gut-feeling. We purchased this domain name on the advice of an SEO professional and friend.
Mike: Have you considered other domains with TLDs such as dot law or dot legal as some other attorneys have?
Tina: I have considered the other TLDs, primarily because I have friends who have successfully used them. But, after just going through a conversion of my website from http to httpS, there is no way in the world that I would change domain names at this point. Besides, my personal opinion is that dot com will always be the best. Plus, the algorithm awards domain age. So I wouldn’t want to convert an older URL to a brand new domain name, for the sake of possibly better keywords. Also, many of the exact match domain names have already been purchased, so we would still have to settle for a partial match domain.
Mike: Would you recommend a geo name for other businesses, such as “orlandodentist.com?” Why or why not?
Tina: As I said, I think having geography in the name has been helpful. But I have no statistics or analytics to support that theory. I just assume they help, based on what I have been told, and we seem to rank reasonably well. On the other hand, since the algorithm involves hundreds of factors, there definitely could be other factors that are helping our website rank. I am not aware of any way to test any one specific factor. That all being said, if I were starting a new business, with a new website, then I definitely would try to include geo factors. That creates a problem of finding an available, exact match domain name. Partial matches aren’t as helpful. As it turns out, actually, mine is a partial match, because an exact match was not available. On the other hand, if I had an established domain, then I wouldn’t switch domain names just for the geo component.