Marketing your Law Firm During COVID Pandemic

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Follow these Five if You Want to Thrive

The COVID pandemic has give lawyers a new perspective on how they work and reviewing their marketing budgets. Many law firms are making reactionary moves to cut all advertising spend rather than strategic ones such as reevaluation channels that are not working and doubling down on those that will help their law firm revenue thrive after the COVID lockdown such as digital marketing. Online marketing channels are avenues to make connection and build trust with people and this is what your law firm should be doing now while people are home in front of their computers. Here are 5 actionable tips to help you start focusing your marketing activities during this crisis

Keep Your Head and Your Digital Marketing

With the whole world in a state of panic because the future is unsure. The news channels and social media exploding with all types of information both true and untrue, but it’s very important to take a step back and think logically when it comes to marketing at this time.

Cutting your budget would be an over-reaction that could be costly to your law firm in the long run. It is also worth noting that if every competitor law firm cuts its marketing budget, that leaves a gap in the market for you. Take the time to conduct a mini audit of what you’re spending and realign your budget rather than abandon it. For example, you may allocate a certain amount to event marketing, but with all the events being cancelled, rather than pocket that budget, why not re-route it to a digital space such as Google PPC, which is still going to be an active marketing channel during this time.

Time to Double Down on Digital

Social distancing is causing meetings, seminars, conferences to be cancelled and let’s face it, print media is just a waste of add spend right now. Many law firms will will not reinvest that money, while the smart ones will capitalize and get the jump on their competition by focusing, their efforts on digital marketing. With many of us working remotely and forced to stay home, online traffic has increased 10-fold. Law firms that take advantage of these additional online users need to focus their efforts on, SEO, social media, content marketing, and pay per click.

Content Marketing

Now is the perfect time reevaluate your content strategy. Are there pages on your website that are not performing? Are there topics you want to talk about?  If you have down time, this a great time to start writing your content and become the authority in your area of practice . Focus on topical news, such as issues that will arise due to the Coronavirus and you will see your case load explode.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Everyone know SEO takes some time to start working, so this is the best time to start SEO services or to evaluate and update the SEO you have. Review you URL structure, site speed, current content

Pay Per Click

With everyone staying at home, people are spending more time online and searching for information. Now is a great time to place your law firm in their search results. Another plus is that some law firms cut back add spend, so that means paid channels such as Adwords cost less and there is more inventory available.

Social Media

During the COVID-19 crisis, people are getting news updates and much of their information from social media. This mean lawyers need to be active during this time.. People are scared and have questions, you the answers.

Email Marketing/Out Reach

If you want to be more personable with clients of yours, calling them to see how they are doing is a great option. Ask them how they are doing, about their business, and that you your office is open to help people. Don’t try to sell them anything, just reach out and let them you are there for them.

Updating Your GMB Listing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updating Your GMB Listing During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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During this crisis everyone is doing everything they can to help others and remain safe. With all the changes in store closures and business hours due to COVID-19, it’s important for small businesses to communicate these changes to the public.  Customers are looking for up to date information about the status of local businesses and Google Business profiles are often the first thing they will see.  Google has removed Questions and Answers and disabled Reviews during this time, but there are a few things you can do to control

Here is a list of suggestions on how to use Google My Business (GMB) to get up-to-date information to customers. Hope it’s helpful.

Update Your Business Hours

Let people know your business hours have changed, whether you will see clients by appointment only or that you will do consultations over the phone. I know myself after needing to go out to the pharmacy I wondered if they were open or not and if their hours on Google Maps was accurate.

Here is an example how J.C. Penny’s updated their hours during this time.

GMB COVID-19 JC Pennys Hours Update

Create a Post

Creating a post on your Google My Business listing is a great way to provide updates on what is going on with your business. Adding information about what products and services you have available. For example, with some medical and law firm clients, we put I an image stating they are still taking consultations and created a short message.

GMB COVID-19 Lawyer Medical Post

 

For others we created a post that had an image stating that the company has new temporary hours due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

GMB COVID-19 Temp Hours Post

If anyone who wants to learn more about GMB functionality due to COVID-19 or needs help or has questions on how to handle this situation for their business, feel free to reach out on here or social media

10 Reasons Why Your Local Business Needs a Website

10 Reasons Why Your Local Business Needs a Website

Web Design

We went from searching the Yellowpages, to performing online searches on our desktop to now the ease of searching on your mobile phone for local business information. Because you can find information about local businesses right at your fingertips, companies need to attract these local customers if they are serving a specific geographic area.

Some companies still use traditional forms of advertising such as billboards or television ads, but they tend to be to costly for smaller businesses and do not provide the same ROI as local SEO services on your website will. Building an online presence is important to attracting these potential customers and the first step towards doing this is creating a website for your company.

If you are among the 40% of businesses that still do not have a company website and online presence, you’re losing out on this extremely powerful marketing tool that works 24 hours a day.

Still not convinced, here are 10 essential reasons why you should be focused on creating a website for your company in the coming year.

1. It’s Like Having a Digital Business Card

A website is like having a digital business card for your business that people can easily look at if they need your contact information and learn about the services you provide.

Most people lose typical business cards, so having a website with accurate information about your company accessible all the time will minimize losing potential customers because they can’t find your company information.
Almost 4.5 billion people spend their time using the web each day, so you need to get your business in front these people!.

2. Attract New Customers Through Search Engines

Attracting new customers is the live blood of every business and having a professionally designed website allows you to do that. People don’t always search online for business they know. In most cases they are looking to discover companies they want to do businesses with whether its local services or to find a product or business they never knew existed. Users usually start their buying process with a search on a search engine. Make sure you have information for prospects in multiple stages of the sales process, whether they are researchers, comparers or purchasers.
This makes it imperative that your business has a search-optimized website that can rank well in search engine results. This way searches will find you in the earlier stages of their buying cycle and learn how you can help them before discovering your competition.
81% of people research a business or service online prior to making a purchase decision. If you don’t have a website, you have no chance at capturing a share of this market.

3. Your Website Stays Open 24 Hours a Day

Unlike your business, which most likely operate or communicate with customers 9am – 5pm, your website is open 24 hours per day every day. So now even when your business is closed and your staff is not available to help customers, your website is available for people to find information they need and even allow customers to make purchases and contact you.

4. Consumers Search with Proximity in Mind

For small businesses that service a specific geographic area, the need to have an optimized website that comes up in local search results is essential. Consider this, 46% of all searches on Google are local and 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles.  With the increase of mobile devices used to search for products and services that are close to them, you need to capture this traffic.
Are you getting their business?. Having a website allows searchers who are looking for a business in their immediate town or city, discover your brand and do business with you.

5. Adds Instant Credibility

30% of consumers will not consider buying from a company that does not have a website. Americans spend an average of almost 5 hours a day on their mobile devices so having a dated looking website or no website at all significantly hurts your credibility and sales.
User experience is everything these days, if searchers do not like your website because of appearance or load speed they will simply bounce off your website.

Having a professionally designed, mobile friendly website can help potential customers see that you are a professional, reputable, one that they will want to do business with.
Depending on local profiles and social media pages alone only gets you so far.  In the end searches always want to see that you have a website connected to your account because it makes them feel you are more credible and didn’t just set up a free page on a social website.

Think about it. Would you trust a business that didn’t have a website?

6. Your Competitors Have a Website

Most companies have websites these days and are investing in their presence online, so it’s likely that your competitors have a website and are doing business with people in your local market.
If you want be competitive within your industry, it’s important that your business have a piece of the market. It will help you stay competitive and look like a modern tech-savvy business.

7. Show Up in Google Search Results with SEO Services

A website alone will not get you business. Many web development companies make the process easy for you to have website for your business and add SEO services to optimize it so you can increase traffic from Google Search Engine results.
Finding a marketing strategy that is Cost Effective and Produces High ROI is every business owners goal. If you have a professional website for your business, you can have your site optimized for search using SEO services that is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies and in the long run produces the best return on investment.

8. Google Ranks Local Businesses Higher When Searchers Use Mobile Devices

Google assumes mobile phone searchers are out and about when searching, so they provide businesses in search results that are in a close proximity to you. This makes mobile and local SEO essential for local businesses.
Take advantage Google’s preference for mobile searchers by having a company website that is mobile search optimized for mobile and appear higher up on the results page. This increases your chances of reaching consumers that are more ready to buy and helping them discover your brand.

9. Introduce Your Company’s Brand and Image

Social media pages are good for brand awareness and engaging with the public, but a having business website allows you project an image of your company and introduce your brand to the public in a way that your social media pages will not. Through your websites look, feel, images, colors, the voice of your content, it allows you to shape your company’s online image.
Social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin allows you to convey a customer service image to the public, but when you create your own website you get to paint the whole picture of your business.

10. Grow Your Business by Showing Products and Services

If you want to attract new customers and grow your business, having a website will allow you to expand your reach to remote areas, not just local customers. It also helps showcase what your selling to help convert visitors into paying customers. Study’s show that over 81 percent of searchers consult the internet before purchasing a product or service.

CPG Brands: 4 Things Hurting Your CPG Brand’s Website

CPG Brands: 4 Things Hurting Your CPG Brand’s Website

CPG Marketing CPG SEO

CPG brands are fighting an uphill battle in today’s digital marketing worldwide

CPG brands are struggling when it comes to competing online. Many brands are failing to adopt and include digital marketing in their budgets.

58% of online users
43% use search engines when searching for products
33% CPG sales increase was due to online sales

Now I’ll ask the obvious question, Is your CPG Company Using a Digital Marketing Agency?

Yes, I made that question a position instead of a negative. We find that many CPG brands continue to pour money into traditional marketing techniques and have failed to address the digital ecommerce market going on around them. Over the past 10 years the landscape has changed, commercials, and traditional coupons are no longer effective when targeting new customers. These days most audiences are spending 5 hours a day on social media sites such as facebook and marketers need to get their products in front of these people.

Most CPG Websites Lack Quality Content

Many CPG brand load their website with products but do not offer consumers any valuable information. Now you are competing with e-commerce retailers who are more popular that are doing the same thing as you, putting your exact product description on its website.  Why would a consumer come to your website?
Since Google’s Panda algorithm update back in 2011, Google has been rewarding websites with high quality content and devaluing those that have duplicate or weak content in an effort to improve user experience. Google determines how good your content is based on user metrics such as visitors, time onsite, bounce rate, etc., to determine how you rank and who may be interested in your website so they can ensure they are displaying organic search effectively.
We I’m asked to review a website, I find most CPG websites have low-quality or no content or tat all! CPG websites tend to focus solely on their brands products and miss out on SEO opportunities to keep visitors on their website.  As a CPG brand, it’s essential to tell your brand’s story and let consumers what your product does for them. By creating a responsive website with images and quality content you can have a website that visitors will not only find interesting, but search engines will like too! #salesincrease #betterSEOrankings

Sounds easy enough right? OK, let me show you how.

Create Ways to Rank for Long Tail Keywords

Many CPG brands create a recipe section on their website to provide fresh content, but they also provide you with a chance to target keywords in your industry’s niche that you may otherwise not rank for organically.  Creating new recipes weekly or monthly, will not only provide fresh content for users and search engines, but will give visitors another reason to come back to your website helping your SEO efforts.
Coming up with innovative content and finding creative opportunities to rank a websites pages for long tail keywords there are a number of ways for CPG brands.
⦁ Rank in Knowledge Panel/  Answer Box
⦁ Frequently asked questions
⦁ Recipes
⦁ How to Articles
⦁ Brand-centric content

 

That is just one strategy, but there are many ways to provide your visitors with valuable content that will also help your organic SEO rankings. Just take a look at Dollar Shave club. They have a blog section that attracts returning visits and they just sell razor blades!  We have created successful content strategies that increase organic SEO traffic and search engine across the entire CPG industryIf your CPG brand in need of fresh thinking, let us create a custom content strategies for your brands niche, contact us today for a free consultation.

Most CPG Websites Are Extremely Slow

When I perform audits on CPG websites the one thing I notice compared to other business websites is that they are extremely slow to load. In this era of mobile phones, if your website is slow or not mobile friendly, this will cost you potential customers.  Even Google knows this and gives a rankings boost to faster mobile friendly sites. Can your brand afford to lose this traffic? This can happen for a number of reasons, let me show you a few and how to fix them.

Large Images Slow Your Website

CPG websites are loaded with product images and in most cases they are not optimized properly. Using high-resolution and uncompressed photos on your website can severely affect page load time.

Usually the image file size is to large do to the file type causing the webpage to load slower and believe it or not only do internet users hate it, Google doesn’t like it either.  Traditional marketers have a hard time understanding why this matters or how this hurts their rankings , but it does.

Compressing larger file sizes or saving your images in a newer image format such as WebP, which are generally 25% smaller than both optimized PNGs and JPGs, will help them load faster and use less cellular data.

Since then, I’ve worked with several brands to audit their page speed and optimize overall user experience across their web apps.

Here are some of the common reasons your CPG website is loading slowly:

⦁ Large Image Sizes
⦁ Heavy Javascript Loads
⦁ Pages that are too long

Excesive Javascript Code

Creating your new CPG website can be exciting, but not when they come with excess Java Script code. This happens for a number of reasons; from using website template that has a lot of interactive features, popups, or one that runs to many third party scripts such as Facebook and Twitter social sharing buttons, video player embeds or analytics scripts.

Consider reducing the time spent parsing, compiling, and executing JS. S o that it wont slow down the speed of your website,  Applying these fixes or at least thinking about them the next time your updating your website can lead to an improved user experience on your CPG brands website which in turn will lead to better Google rankings and increased online sales!

How to Rank Your Website on the First Page of Google’s Local Search

How to Rank Your Website on the First Page of Google’s Local Search

Local Search Marketing

Rank Google LocalAs an SEO Specialist, the one question I always hear from prospective clients is, “how do I get my business ranked on the first page of Google’s local search results?

Well despite what they think, there is no magic trick or button to push to achieve first page results. It takes a great SEO strategy, constant optimization and some patience. If you perform the little SEO things that your competitors usually miss, you have a great chance of outperforming your competitors.

Before I get into what I do to help your small business SEO out, let me tell you a little bit about local search results and how local SEO can improve your online business.

If you go to Google and do a search for say, a plumber in new jersey or New York Digital marketing company, you should see Google’s search results page. On this page you will see Google maps listings and some bubble icons near the top of the page. These listings are called the local 7 pack. Each icon corresponds a local business and to their place on Google maps.

These local business listings are specifically for businesses that have a physical address and provide a service or sell a product in a specific geographic area. It makes it easier for customers to pick up the phone and do business with someone in the area.

The growth in mobile search use made providing local business options a necessity because moble users are usually looking for something right now such as, ordering food, making a reservation or even trying to find your location while they are away from their desktop computer. Google even lets you “tap to call” for the local listings making it easy to connect new customers with your business.

Now you know how getting listed in local search results can help your business, now let me show you some ways to improve your local rankings.

4 Easy Tips to Getting Ranked in Google Local Search Results

1.) Get Your Business Added

Creating your Google Business page is the first step to improving your local search traffic. To do this, log into your Google+ profile and click on “pages” in the left column. Next click on create your page.

Google will then walk you through selecting the type of business you have such as servicing a local area or if you have a storefront etc.
Very important, make sure your Google Business Listing information is accurate! Google uses this information along with information it compiles from other business directories to determine which businesses are accurately represented by this data.

When putting in your business information, if Google finds your information and happens to ask you “is this your business”, I recommend selecting it and continue signing up. If the local listing is not correct, click that “this is not my business” and fill in the correct information.
Important tips:

  • Do not spam your business name with keywords. This is the quickest way to get your business listing banned.
  • Use your real business name as your business name
  • Select as many relevant categories as you can for your business
  • Be sure to fill our your business page completely
  • Don’t forget to put your website URL in your contact information!
  • Once you completely fill out your local listing information, submit it and lets move on to step two!

Want more tips on how to optimize your Google Business Listing for better results? Click here for my detailed Local SEO tips.
2.) Verify Your Business Listing

This is extremely important for the SEO rankings of you business, not to mention the generation of traffic and sales for you business.
Google will give you two options, one is to verify by phone and the other is to verify by mail. By phone Google will give you a PIN number that you will need to enter and by mail they will send you a postcard with a PIN# on it. Use this PIN# to successful verify your business listing and you will start seeing results.
3.) Create Citations

Once you have an accurate local business listing with Google, you need to do more work in order to compete with businesses in competitive GEO’s like New York personal injury lawyer or Plumber in Chicago, IL.

This is where most business owners stop if they don’t have a digital marketing agency working for them. They create a Google listing and that’s it. To gain more relevance for you immediate area, you need to create citations on other local business directories. If you Google your business name or address, you may see listings showing on the search results page for web directories such as Yelp, Merchant Circle or YP.com. These sites may list some of your information such as name, address phone number and maybe even your websites URL. These are called local citations. Having a number of quality citations that are accurate along with domain authority will help you to tip the scales in your favor with Google and get your business listed in the local 7 pack of search results.

So you do you do about getting local citations created for your business?

  1. You can hire a digital marketing firm that specializes in Local SEO such as Verdict Media Group
  2. Pay for an automated service such as Boost Local or Yext
  3. Do it yourself manually

Of the three choices, of course as an experienced SEO specialist I would have to say #1, selecting a digital marketing company to do you local search marketing is your best option and here’s why.

An experienced local search marketer will know how to properly optimize your profiles. They will manually create them in such a way to help you rank well while drawing in customers to click on your links. Knowledgeable SEO specialists also know how much they can optimize your listing and how many links they can create without getting penalized by Google. Yes, your listing can get penalized if you create to many listings quickly or if you over optimize your listing.

Automated submission services limit how customized you can make your listings. You can add some information and then the services submit your listing out to different local directories.  Want more information, learn more about Yext automated local directory submission service.

Doing the work yourself is another good option. You are able to create the exact text you would like for each listing, but the time it takes to build citations can be exhausting, not to mention learning how to do it properly.

If budget is limited and you just want a number of citations listed, use an automated service to create listings, but be sure you manually create or hire someone to do your Google, Yahoo and Bing listings since they are hard to automate properly
4.) Customer Reviews

Encourage your customers to leave you a review. Reviews are very important for a number of reasons. It shows your business page has activity, interaction and it increases your credibility. People will see good reviews about your business and be more willing to do business with you. Be sure to respond to any customer reviews or responses. It shows you are engaged with your customers as well as a level of respect towards your customers.

There it is, four great tips to help get your business ranked in Google Local Search results and start generating traffic, leads and sales to your website. If you would like more great tips or would like to talk to use about ways we can help your local business, check out our classes here or call us.