How Does SEO Benefit Local Businesses?

Most law firms are small businesses and do not have millions of dollars to sink into marketing and advertising. They are local and they are looking for local clients. One of the best ways to target local clients is online using SEO.

What are some of the benefits you can get from doing SEO for your local business?

Organic Traffic

Organic search tends to make up the majority of a website’s traffic. The average online searcher, especially when searching for law firm information, tends to avoid ads and look for individual local websites of attorneys and law firms. The more you can do to make Google happy with SEO the more organic traffic you will get from people searching for your services.

Credibility with Your Target Audience

Your website is the online storefront of your firm. It is the first place people see when they click on a link leading them directly to you. It needs to be well-designed, user-friendly, and mobile responsive. It also needs to establish you as an authority in your industry. SEO can help you accomplish this. It can help you improve your quality of links, make your pages optimized, and offer machine-learning signals that make for a more user-friendly experience.

Improved User Experience

You can further improve your user experience by taking SEO further than just focusing on keywords. Keywords are still important, but they are not the only thing that is going to get your site noticed. Google wants to match searchers to the most relevant information. The better your use of comprehensive SEO the higher Google will rank you in relevant searches.

Improved Conversion

Not only is SEO going to get you better search results, it is going to make sure you appear in relevant results, which improves your conversion rate. SEO optimized sites that load fast ensure that the right people find you and that they stick around and ultimately take the next action. The better impression you make on people searching for your services the more likely they are to turn to you for those services.

Want to learn more about how SEO can help your firm? Give us a call!

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Is Search Engine Optimization Necessary for Your Law Firm? You Bet Your SEO It Is!

There was a time when having a website online was enough to make a law firm stand out from the competition, but this is no longer enough. Every firm has a site, so to rise to the top and get noticed by potential clients, you need to employ all of the tools you have available to you. Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful.

SEO is a significant part of any business’ online presence. It helps you gain growth and allows you to target your ideal clients. The first place people will turn when they need a lawyer is the internet and if you want your firm to be the one they turn to, SEO is a vital part of getting attention from search engines.

Is SEO Expensive?

Like all marketing, especially online marketing, you can invest a little or a lot. And in most cases, you get what you pay for. This does not mean you need to sink your entire marketing budget into SEO, but it does mean paying a little more for quality. Cultivating a strong presence online with a well-designed site and other tools takes time and effort. Understanding its value and investing in your firm’s future is an essential part of your success.

SEO is also an important part of drawing clients to your firm that are well-suited to your niche. Most advertising tools allow you to cast a wide net, but SEO makes it possible to target people looking for your specific services in your specific area. The more narrow your approach the more likely you are to find clients that are looking for your firm. SEO helps you cut down on time wasted – for you and your potential clients.

SEO is an essential part of growing your law firm. If you would like to know more or you are looking for ways to reach your ideal clients with SEO tools, give us a call.

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Requesting Online Reviews from Clients: A Primer on How to Make It Happen

Online reviews are an essential part of any business’ success, but they are especially useful for law firms. Before a client even contacts you, they want to gather information and get a feel for your reputation. Referrals from previous clients is the best way they can get a sense for whether or not you are going to be able to help them with their legal issue. And online reviews are the most convenient tool they have for researching.

But how do you get more reviews? Is it not awkward and uncomfortable to ask clients for reviews?

Though it might seem daunting, creating a system for collecting online reviews and sharing what satisfied clients had to say about your firm makes the entire process easier.

What should your process include?

The most obvious thing you will need to do is the first thing you will need to do when it comes to getting client reviews: ask for them. Any time you finished working with a client and the experience was average or better for both of you, ask for a review.

Sending an email to previous clients is one of the best ways to get in touch with them and ask. You can point them via a link in the email to a variety of different websites, but it is best to start with Google. Google gives them instructions for leaving a review on your Google My Business page and the review they leave will pop up in search results when future clients look for law firms like yours.

Google is only one option, though. You will also want to build up your collection of reviews on sites like Avvo.com, Lawyers.com, Yelp, and more. The more places glowing information can be found about your firm online the better.

Finally, double check your state’s ethics rules concerning reviews and how you ask for them. Most of what you do to solicit reviews will be fine, but it does not hurt to safeguard your efforts and make sure you are operating within the letter of the law.

Looking for more tips for getting reviews? Give us a call!

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Are You Hurting Your Business with Content? Why Some Types of Social Media Posts Do More to Harm Than Help Your Business

Being active on social media can help your business, but only if you are doing it the right way. If you want to make sure your business is benefiting from the time you invest on social media, avoid these types of posts:

Overly Promotional Content

Make sure you are offering value to your customers with social media, not just always trying to sell them something. Do your best to start conversations, listen to your customers, and share other valuable information with them. 

Political or Religious Content

Unless you are a religious or political organization you should not be sharing this type of content. All it does is polarizing your audience. It does not matter what you post, you are bound to offend a portion of your audience, so keep your views out of business.

Viral Posts that are Irrelevant

It can help to participate in trends and show you are aware of what is current and noteworthy, but you do not need to be sharing viral memes. They are nothing more than a crutch to give you content when you’re short on original posts.

Anything Negative or Derogatory

Be nice on social media and show respect, even to our competitors.

Posts that Contain Grammatical or Spelling Errors

Make sure someone proofreads what you are going to post before you post it. Anything less makes you look unprofessional.

Posts that are Not On-Brand

You know your brand is better than anyone else’s brand, so you should be able to determine if something is off-brand or not. Make sure anything you post is representative of your brand in style and content both.

Repetitive Messages

If you are operating more than one social media account for your business there is no need to post the same thing on all platforms. Tailor your posts to the specific audience, which tends to be different from social media platform to platform.

Unaccredited Content

Feel free to share content other people have created, but make sure you are crediting them for it. Site your sources. Otherwise you are just stealing.

Content Stuffed with Hashtags

Hashtags are extremely useful in social media and increase the visibility and shareability of content, but you should not be stuffing your posts with endless hashtags. Choose ones that are relevant. You can do this by conducting research and knowing what is going to benefit your business the most.

Want more tips on using social media effectively for your business? Give us a call!

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Creating the Perfect Location Page: A Step-by-Step Checklist

Great SEO implementation is meant to satisfy search intent. The same is true for optimizing your location page. What makes a location page great?

Here is a step-by-step checklist of what you need to include on your location to ensure it is working for you:

  • NAP

NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and what is in your listing should be an exact match to your location page, Google My Business profile, and anywhere else your business appears online.

  • Photos

Interior and exterior photos including products, employees, shopping or dining area, signage, and parking. The goal is to make your business seem inviting to people who have never been there before.

  • Description of Business Location

This should not only include where you are, but also the services and products you offer, brands you offer, nearby locations, and a unique selling proposition.

  • CTA

This is basic SEO and marketing advice, but it is not always included on location pages. It needs to be.

  • Directions to Business

Including directions helps people find their way to you, but it also allows you to work in geo-specific keywords and targeting into your copy.

  • Embedded Map

Embedding a map helps users figure out if your location is the one nearest to them if you have more than one location or if there are competitors in the area.

  • Schema

All local businesses need to venture beyond the standard Local Business markup and optimize their listing in the best way possible.

  • Title & Meta Description

Adding a well-optimized title and Meta description to your listing is basic SEO advice. Follow it.

  • Internal Linking

There are several ways to add relevant internal linking for your local landing pages and you should be doing so to improve your listing.

Want more tips to help you improve your location page? Give us a call!

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Trying to Encourage Customer Reviews? Try These Tips!

Chances are by now you already know how valuable reviews can be for your business. Unfortunately, you might not have yet mastered the art of building a portfolio of reviews. Getting started and steadily continuing to collect reviews can be a daunting task, but it is possible without putting in so much effort that you are too exhausted to run your business.

What are a few tried-and-true tips for encouraging customer reviews?

Be Sure to Claim Your Business Pages

The most important step in using reviews to help your business is to make sure clients have a place to post those reviews. Claim your pages on sites like Google, Facebook, and Yelp, and then let people know you are featured on these sites. The easiest way to get reviews is to make it easy and convenient for customers to leave you reviews.

Ask, But Don’t Push

It is OK to ask for reviews. Nobody is going to be offended if you ask and asking is not considered unethical or in poor taste. However, you should not be pushy about asking and you should be trying to buy anyone’s love when it comes to reviews. Finding ways to reach out to customers that does not go overboard but encourages them to share their opinions is the best way to go about getting a steady stream of reviews. Email reminders are a great gentle push that gives customers step-by-step instructions for sharing their reviews.

Don’t Try to Do It All

If you know people are searching for your business on Yelp, make sure you are encouraging customers to review you on Yelp. The same goes for all other review platforms. Know where people are looking for your products and services and make that your review destinations for existing customers.

Respond to Reviews

Be active on your review site and make sure you are interacting with customers who are taking the time to leave you reviews, good and bad. Thank those who have left good reviews and try to solve the problems of those who have left less than favorable reviews.

For more information or help getting started with a review program, give us a call!

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Use Google My Business to Attract Local Customers

Google My Business has been around since 2014 and it is still going strong. It is one of the most powerful tools available for marketing your business online. Here is what you need to know about using it to attract local customers to your business: 

Make Sure You Have Claimed Your Listing

Just because you have not set up a Google My Business account does not mean your business is not listed. You want your listing to be active and you want to be in control of it. If it turns out your business is not already listed for you to claim, you have the option of adding it. You will need to verify your business, so the sooner you get the ball rolling the better.

Update Your Listing

Some aspects of your Google My Business listing might be “set it and forget it,” but not all of them are. You need to make sure the information customers see is accurate and current. It helps to check your standard contact information such as your address and business name, as well as your hours and the products and services you offer. Everything on your listing should be correct and current.

Aim for “Local Favorite”

Google awards the top 5 percent of local businesses a badge that announces their status to the world. This helps you maximize visibility and shows that you are “Google approved.” The best way to do this is to keep your profile optimized and activity and use all of the functions you can on the Google My Business page.

Use Posts

Google offers the option of posting to your Google My Business page. Here you can say something interesting about your business or share current information. For instance, if you are launching a new product this is a good place to announce it on your listing. Your post will eventually expire, so you can add new information every so often.

Encourage Reviews

You should be encouraging customers to share their thoughts about your business in the Google Review section and responding to those reviews. Reviews are one of the easiest ways to let people know about your business.

If you would like more information on getting attention locally from your Google My Business listing, give us a call.

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Must-Do Steps to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

It is not enough to be a part of Google My Business, you need to optimize your listing. Having an optimized listing ensures your business shows up when people conduct searches. It is free and allows you to promote your business on Google Maps and Google Search, so you have nothing to lose. By optimizing your listing, you are telling Google you belong in its relevant search results.

But how do you optimize?

These three steps can help:

Complete Your Listing

Make sure your listing includes all relevant information about your business. This should include business name, address, contact information, updated hours, and anything else you would like customers to know. It should also include your business description. This enables you to include rich content directly onto Google about your products and services. You can write up to 750 characters and you should use them all.

Make Sure Your Business is Listed under the Right Category

As part of setting up your Google My Business listing, you will be asked to choose a primary business category. You can choose up to 10 different categories, but there is no need to choose them all. Your best bet is to choose the best two or three that suit your business. Ideally, you choose a primary category, a secondary category, and a tertiary category that each describe your business, but in descending order of priorities. 

Select Your Applicable Attributes

This is an opportunity to “toot your own horn” about your business. You will be able to highlight keywords and make your business more searchable. For instance, you might list your business as being “woman owned” or “veteran owned.” Google tends to add new attribute categories about every quarter, so it is a good idea to check the latest offerings to see if any more apply to you than you are already using.

Last but not least, make sure you check back in frequently to see if you need to update your listing at all. The more active you are the more Google likes it.

Want more info on making the most of your Google My Business listing? Give us a call!

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You Can Provide Discounts to Customers Right from Your Google My Business Listing!

Google My Business now offers a valuable tool that allows you to offer discounts and deals to your customers easily and conveniently. It is one of the best ways to attract more people to your business.

The new feature is called Welcome Offers. According to Google, more than half of online customers are searching for offers or discounts to sway their purchasing decisions. People are more likely to choose one business over another if they are able to claim an offer or get a deal when shopping with the business. Google’s Welcome Offers makes this easier than ever before.

Says Google of its new feature, “…businesses can reward customers who follow their business on Google with welcome offers, turning happy first time customers into loyal, repeat ones.”

Users are immediately provided with a discount once they have followed a business. Users would not be able to see the specific offer until after they have clicked follow, but they will know an offer is available.

When choosing your offer, you do not need to go crazy. Even a small percentage off or a two-for-one deal is enough to entice customers to pick you over the competition. Not to mention the attention giving an offer will garner you in social circles. As word spreads that by following your business a customer will be entitled to a discount, you will see your followers increase at a speedy rate.

One note of caution: make sure you are prepared to honor whatever offer you provide. Employees should be aware of the offer and know how to apply it when a customer makes a purchase. Nothing is worse than thinking you are getting a discount, only to be met with confusion or resistance from a business.

Additionally, GMB is offer businesses the ability to attract people photos and other features including cover photos and logos.

If you would like to know more about using Welcome Offers to entice customers or you need help with setting up your Google My Business profile, give us a call!

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Diversify Google AdWords and Facebook Ads for the Greatest Success

Every business owner knows how important it is to diversify. After all, how successful can you be when you rely on only one source for all of your income?

The same is true when it comes to online marketing – especially Google AdWords and Facebook Ads. Diversification is just as important on these platforms as it is elsewhere in your business.

Change is a constant in the world of online advertising. You need to be flexible and be able to change with the evolution of online marketing. And it is important to understand that even as new things pop up, some of the old things still work. Digital advertising crosses multiple channels, and though social media advertising is important, but many of the more traditional networks have not disappeared.

They key to success if your willingness to try different things. Some will work and some would not – it all depends on your business. But staying stagnant definitely won’t work, no matter your audience or industry.

It is also important not to rely only on research, despite research being important. Studies and focus groups that help you figure out where your audience is are important, but at the end of the day there are times when you will just be surprised by what works and what does not work.

Finally, remember that what works today might not work tomorrow. And then again it might, but then not work in three or six months. There is no reason to be frustrated or feel as though you have failed. If you are able to get a strategy to work one time you should consider yourself a success. It means you picked the right method at just the right time – something that often feels like catching lighting in a bottle to companies that are marketing online.

if you would like more information or you need tips to help you make the most of diversifying, give us a call!

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