No Video in Your Marketing Plan – Your Plan is Destined to Fail

If you want to create more brand awareness, generate more traffic for your firm’s website, and convert more visitors to clients, video marketing checks all the boxes. Despite the clear appeal of video to consumers, law firms are often reluctant to try this medium as part of their digital marketing strategy. So, if you have been considering ways to take your marketing game to the next level, here is how video can do it and some of the ways you can use it in law firm marketing.

How Video Marketing Can Help Your Law Firm

Consumers love video, and its use has expanded to much more than just silly challenges or travel diaries. Video marketing has proven to be an incredibly effective marketing strategy across all industries. According to the latest statistics:

  • 89% of video marketers claim that video gives them a good ROI.
  • 92% of marketers that use video say it is an essential part of their marketing strategy.
  • 96% of consumers admit that they have watched an explanation video, and 84% say they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a video.

According to statistics compiled by The National Law Review, 96% of prospects now begin their search for legal answers online. And 62% of searches are non-branded, meaning a person isn’t looking up your name, but rather asking a question or searching for a “Birmingham divorce lawyer.”

When your firm has a variety of ways for consumers to get the information they want and need, it will reach more people. Some consumers want to read, and others would prefer to watch a video. Even if you already have some of this information on your site, video marketing can pay off in spades for your firm.

5 Ways to Use Video in Law Firm Marketing

Roughly 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, which is a staggering figure. But the truth is that many of your competitors either aren’t taking advantage of video marketing or are not doing so effectively.

As a lawyer, you can begin to get better rankings, reach more clients, and improve your business results by creating some high-quality videos. Here are five ways you can leverage video to market your law firm.

  1. “About Us” Page

Create a video for your “About Us” page that showcases your firm from the ground up. Include information about your company’s background and mission statement and then introduce your attorneys and other key staff.

While you might have some of this information in written form, video is a more engaging way to connect potential clients with attorneys that may be able to help them solve their legal matters. A video like this can make your office, and its staff seem less intimidating to potential clients. You might even wish to include it on your website’s home page.

  1. Video Series

Another useful way to use video in law firm marketing is to create a series of videos tied to a particular topic, such as divorce, trucking accidents, or disability law.

If you are a personal injury attorney, you can create a series of videos about what to expect from a personal injury case. There can also be videos explaining the best way for dealing with insurance companies, getting medical care, and avoiding common personal injury case mistakes.

  1. Case Studies

Prospective clients generally want to know that you have successfully handled cases like theirs and achieved positive outcomes. While you may not be able to cover all the possibilities, you can showcase some of your experience and past successes with video case studies.

Create some videos of your firm’s attorneys describing a specific case from start to finish. If the client consents, you can even ask them to provide testimony about how your firm solved their legal issue. This gives clients a good sense of what they might expect from their case and your firm.

  1. Testimonials

Many legal clients still arrive via referrals and word of mouth. Even those that get a recommendation from a friend or family member are likely to do some independent research on your firm before giving you a call. If there aren’t any reviews or testimonials available, even a personal referral might not be enough.

Video testimonials are excellent ways to reach that segment of your audience that is doing a deep dive into your online reputation before deciding on what law firm to hire. More than a few printed quotes from past clients, these pieces elicit more credibility and emotion and are likely to influence the decisions of those who view them.

  1. Live Streaming

If you have not added social media to your digital marketing strategy, there are a host of benefits to meeting clients where they spend a good deal of time. One of the features of social media, particularly Facebook, is the ability to “go live” with your videos.

Many law firms are now hosting informal live sessions on Facebook, LinkedIn, and even Instagram that feature Q&A sessions, a discussion of breaking cases or current events, or other information that would be of interest. One of the benefits of these videos is that they don’t disappear forever once you hit the “stop” button. Visitors can continue to replay the recorded versions of your live sessions as long as you keep them posted.

Should You DIY or Hire a Video Team?

Video isn’t necessarily complicated, so your firm could create some of these materials without a dedicated marketing agency or videographer. That said, you have other things on your plate and may not have the tools on hand to do quality video editing.

If you want to create video marketing pieces that will have the most impact, it makes sense to work with a digital marketing agency that will help you get the most return on your investment. If you’d like to maximize the value of YouTube and video marketing for your law firm, give Sundown Marketing Group a call. We have extensive experience helping clients review their needs and goals and will present a plan designed to deliver the best possible results.

Does Your Firm Need to Generate Press Releases….Yes, Yes it Does!

Press releases are a great way to gain publicity and visibility for a law firm, and to drive targeted traffic to the firm’s web properties. A well-crafted press release can attract the attention of widely read media outlets, which puts your firm in the news, helps brand it as a major authority in the areas of law that are practiced there, and reaches legal consumers that could turn into clients. In some cases, press releases can even go viral and lead to other media opportunities, such as a local radio interview.

Press releases are different from blog post articles, area of practice (AOP) pages, attorney profiles, and other forms of online content. A press release is a news story that should be written in the third person with the goal of providing unique and compelling information that targeted readers would find interesting and useful. The primary purpose of a press release is not to sell your firm’s legal services (although that could be one of the results of the story going public), but rather to inform the reader about something important that you or your firm have some involvement in.

Although a press release can be a strong addition to your content marketing strategy, this will not just happen by chance. Media organizations are inundated with countless news stories every day, and if you want your story to gain traction, it needs to stand out from the others. Fortunately, it is not terribly difficult to create a press release that will get your firm noticed, but it does involve incorporating some essential elements.

Here are some important guidelines for writing and publishing a winning press release:

Select a Newsworthy Topic

Since the primary purpose of a press release is to announce something or convey an important piece of information about you or your firm, you need to make sure that your story is newsworthy. Your topic should be unique, timely, and tell readers something relevant and interesting that they could not find out in a hundred other places.

Here are some examples of newsworthy topics that you could write about:

  • Attorney awards and recognitions.
  • A new partner joining the firm.
  • The opening of a new office.
  • An important case that your firm just won.
  • Groundbreaking legislation that your firm was a part of shaping.
  • A special event that you or your firm is sponsoring.
  • Your firm’s participation in a charitable event.
  • A new legal service that you are offering.
  • The release of a book or white paper.
  • Discussion about the legal implications of timely events (COVID-19 is a great example).
  • Useful tips and insights for legal consumers.

A good way to know whether or not you are choosing a newsworthy topic is to ask yourself this question, “why would anyone outside our office care about the topic we want to use?” If you cannot come up with a good answer to this question, then put that topic on the shelf.

Write an Attention Grabbing Headline

Create a headline that is short, to the point, and draws readers in. A good headline should have no more than 15 words in it, around 10 is even better. Here are a few examples:

  • Top Atlanta Personal Injury Firm marks 40-Year Anniversary
  • Leading New York Firm wins Major Lawsuit against Auto Manufacturer
  • Philadelphia Injury Attorney Shares Unique Insights into the Auto Accident Claims Process

Include just the facts in your headline – no exaggerations, hyperbole, or opinions. Give the reader the “who”, “what”, “how”, “when”, or “why” of the story, and if possible, look for a unique angle or spin that will make readers want to click on your news article. You should also try to optimize the headline for a keyword phrase that you would like to rank for in the search engines (more on search engine optimization later).

Use the Proper News Story Structure

As we have talked about already, a press release is a news story; and as such, you need to make sure that it is structured properly and written in the right style and tone. The press release should be written objectively and using a journalistic style. Include the dateline and city/state prior to the body of the article, and include the name of the attorney or law firm that the story is about in the first paragraph.

In the body of the press release, include all relevant facts about whatever you are announcing, and also include quotes from one or more of the attorneys or other stakeholders who are involved in the story. Although the story itself should be strictly informational, including quotations gives you the opportunity to sell yourself and your firm a little bit.

For example, if your firm just won a major lawsuit, whoever is being quoted could talk about the importance of this win, give credit to the other attorneys and staff who worked on the case, talk about how the win helped your client, and discuss some of the keys to your firm’s ongoing success. This is not directly selling your firm, but it does give readers some insight into how you approach cases and emphasizes your successful track record.

After the body of the press release, there should be a few more sections:

  • About: A paragraph talking about the attorney or firm, your services, recognitions and awards, how long you have been practicing, and any other relevant information you want to include. The same “About” section can be used in all of your press releases.
  • Call to Action: One sentence that directs readers to the firm’s website to learn more details.
  • Contact Information: The contact information of the firm, including phone number, email address, and social media profiles (if you have them).

Make your Press Release Readable and Concise

Because of the sheer volume of information that is available online, most internet consumers scan news stories looking for information that is useful to them rather than reading every word. Journalists are the same way when they consider whether to run with a news story that lands in their inbox.

Make sure your press release is easy to read. Limit your paragraphs to three sentences or less and use subheadings and bullet points frequently to separate the text. Be careful not to make your news article too long; a good rule of thumb is to keep it to 1000 words or less, unless it takes more than that to adequately cover the topic without any added “filler.”

Lastly, select an image to complement your press release. This could be a picture of the building where an event is being held, a picture of a courthouse if you just won a big court case, a picture of the book cover if you are releasing a new book, or the picture of an attorney if you are announcing the addition of a new partner for your firm. If in doubt, you can always use your firm’s logo for the image.

Optimize the Press Release for Search Engines

A press release is a strong branding tool, but it can also play a role in your SEO strategy. This can be done through backlinks from authority news websites to your own website (which helps build search engine rankings) or through your press release article showing up for popular keyword searches.

Identify two or three keyword phrases that you would like to rank for in order of importance. Try to work the most important one into your headline and into the article three or four more times. Then work the other keyword phrases into the article a couple times as well.

Do NOT “keyword stuff” or force a keyword into a sentence awkwardly if it does not naturally flow with the text. The search engine algorithms no longer reward this strategy, and more importantly, it will make your article look unprofessional and unappealing. Focus on quality content first, and work your keyword phrases in only where you can find an appropriate place for them.

Send your Story to the Right News Outlets

Be sure to send your story out to the news publications that are most relevant to the region the news story is covering, and outlets that are most likely to publish the story. For example, if the story has something to do with a charitable event that you are participating in within your city, there is no reason to distribute the release nationally. On the other hand, if you were part of a major class action lawsuit with class members in all 50 states, then a national release might be appropriate.

You can send out the press release yourself by compiling a list of news publications you would like to see it in and obtaining the email addresses of reporters at each outlet. But this is extremely time-consuming, and most firms opt to use a distribution service that can guarantee publication in at least some of the outlets that they are targeting. There are numerous distribution services out there, and their prices can range from $100 on the low-end up to $1,000 or more on the high-end depending on the length of your article and how many (and which) outlets you are sending it to.

Set Realistic Expectations

One very important thing that everyone needs to realize about press releases is that they are not a “one off” strategy, and you should not expect every news story to be a home run.

Will your first press release result in a highly lucrative case for your firm or a radio interview?

It could happen and it has happened. But there is also a chance that the first news story you send out will not receive a strong response. Or maybe it will receive a decent response in which you get some good exposure, but it does not result in immediate business.

The point is that you never know what will come of each story you send out. A successful effort will include some singles and doubles, some strikeouts, an occasional home run, and even a grand slam every now and then. This is a long term strategy, and with consistency over time, your efforts will pay off and you will see a good return on your investment.

Do Not Overthink It or Overdo It

The last point we want to leave you with is not to overthink this or overdo it. Creating a press release that will get your firm noticed is not as complicated as it may seem. It is simply a matter of writing a good news story and sending it out to the right places. For some topics, 300 to 400 words is all that is needed to craft your story and have it ready for publication.

By “overdoing it”, we are referring to sending out too many press releases in too short a period of time. For example, if you are spamming the news wires with a new press release every week, you are far less likely to get any reporter to take your story seriously. This will not do your reputation any good, and it will produce diminishing returns on your SEO efforts as well.

Some firms produce a monthly press release, and this could work as long as you have a newsworthy topic every month. But we would definitely not recommend doing it any more often than monthly. We typically advise our clients to shoot for a press release every three months or so as an optimal branding and SEO strategy.

If you feel like writing a press release yourself or having someone in your office do it seems overwhelming and beyond your capacity, no worries. As with distribution, you can always have a professional do the writing for you. And as always, if there is anything we can help you with regarding press releases or anything else related to digital marketing, feel free to get in touch with us whenever it is convenient.

About Sundown Legal Marketing

Sundown Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms review their current internet footprint, developing a comprehensive internet marketing plan and implementing every aspect of that plan. Contact us today for a free website evaluation and a no obligation assessment of your internet marketing plan. Call us today at (800) 864-1764 or online at Sundown Marketing.

Facebook Is Made For Sharing

While the relationship between social media and SEO isn’t black and white, we know it does exist and may help you move up in your google rankings. For example, if your number of site visitors increases due to SEO, and you have a link to your Facebook page on your site, many of them will likely visit your page. They will then become followers and share your information with their friends. Over time, the SEO you used to attract visitors to your site can help you continue to attract followers and shares on Facebook as users find your page through your site. This can help you continue to build a following by fostering relationships with people in your industry, as well as prospects and customers. Conversely, if a Facebook user happens to see one of your blog posts in their News Feed because one of their friends who follows you shared it, they like what they see, and decide to follow you. After seeing more of your posts over the following weeks, they want to learn more about your firm and visit your site, in turn resulting in increased traffic to your page.

Now that we’ve demonstrated the benefit of social media and SEO, with Facebook leading the way, it is worthwhile to establish some easy measures you can implement to increase your business’ Facebook reach. We are often asked by our client’s “What can I do to help my social media following”. Given the fact that most do not want to spend a tremendous amount of time on this, I have assembled some of the easiest ways to boost a firm’s following. Let’s assume that you are posting interesting content that is both original and curated on a regular basis (2-3x per week)…now what?

  1. Share your page on your personal news feed.
  • Tell your friends and family about your Facebook Page. Ask them to like the Page and to share it with their friends and communities.
  1. Create a link from your personal page to your business page.
  • Friends may (or may not ) know you are an attorney, but not sure what firm you are associated with. By adding a link, you take the guesswork out.
  1. Include a link to your Facebook page in your email signature.
  • Make sure any potential follower is aware of your Facebook page. A simple addition to your automated signature can quickly add followers.
  1. Use your email list directly and ask former and current clients to follow your Facebook page, and to rate your service or write a review.
  • Page ratings and reviews can help build trust and credibility for your business.
  1. Follow local business with similar interests.
  • Share, like or comment on posts. Tag individuals and businesses and your post will show up in their news feed, giving you the potential to gain some of their followers.
  1. Engage with your community.
  • Post about local businesses, sports teams, restaurants, essential workers etc. Show that your business cares and supports the community that it resides in.
  1. Post photos of office staff.
  • It’s a social platform and your brand needs to have a human touch. Don’t rely solely on your latest blog post or curated content. Let your followers know what your firm is all about.
  1. Boost a post.
  • If you want audience engagement on your page or to develop your brand awareness, boosting a post is a great way to maximize visibility and grow your audience. Boosting a post is an effective way to spread information to a wider audience for a chosen amount of time, geography and target audience. This is an effective way of sharing exciting information, like a big win for your law firm, a recent honor that was bestowed to you or your team or a tactic to target new customers in a specific practice area. With just a few clicks your post can reach hundreds of people in a specifically targeted area.

There are many other ways to increase your social media presence, specifically Facebook for the sake of this article. Many of these options may only have to be completed once or even quarterly. These are steps that don’t take extensive time or knowledge but the potential benefits can make a big difference in expanding your Facebook reach.

Social Media and SEO Rankings: What’s the Connection?

If you take Google at their word, correlation doesn’t mean causation… at least, directly.

But indirectly is another story.

Social media may not be a ranking factor for Google, but it can amplify the ranking factors that Google DOES consider.

Here’s why: Social media is built for mass sharing

Facebook is made for sharing

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing Today

Fortunately, many attorneys are gifted storytellers but don’t think to use that skill to market their own services. For more information on using this effective tool in your website content, reach out to Sundown Legal Marketing. Contact us today at (800) 864-1764 or online to schedule a free website evaluation or with any questions about our services.

Personal Injury Attorneys Beware – It’s A Jungle Out There

These days, running a personal injury firm is not for the faint of heart. With so much competition, law practices need to do everything they can to distinguish themselves. It is no longer enough to run an ad in the Yellow Pages and hope your phone will ring. And although client referrals are still one of the best marketing tools a firm has, this avenue alone may not be enough to build long-term stability.

In recent years, there has been a major shift among legal consumers, particularly Millennial’s and Gen-Xers. The majority of individuals from these generations now look for a personal injury attorney online after they suffer an injury. They are very tech savvy, and they will often spend hours researching to find out about their type of case and what they need to know.

In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift toward online commerce. At this point, having a strong digital presence is not just an optional strategy for personal injury firms, it is a must.

If you want to compete in the 2020s and beyond, you need to show up online, and you need to do everything possible to establish authority in your area of practice. Build your web properties correctly, and they will do most of the selling for you, so you can focus on what you do best – practicing law.

Tips for Marketing your Personal Injury Practice

Here are five of the most effective steps you can take to market your personal injury firm online:

Focus on the Low Hanging Fruit First

A surprising number of attorneys and law firms do not even complete the basic steps to developing an online presence. Even before we talk about websites, you need to understand where many legal consumers look to find an attorney and be sure that you are there as well. For example, have you claimed your Avvo profile yet?

Avvo is the largest and most popular online legal directory; and it is one of the first places a consumer will look to see how reputable an attorney is. Ideally, you want to have an Avvo rating of 9 to 10, which means “superb.” And you definitely want to avoid being on the middle or lower end of that rating scale.

Maximizing your Avvo rating can be done with fairly minimal effort. It is a one-time investment of your time that will pay dividends on an ongoing basis. Whether you know it or not, you most likely already have an Avvo profile. So, the first step is for you to claim it and fill in all of the necessary information.

Put in your education, years of experience, areas of practice, licenses, recognitions and awards, contact information, photo, etc. Also be sure to submit your bar number to Avvo, so they can verify your identity.

Finally, your Avvo rating is partially determined by external sources. Specifically, you will need to request peer endorsements, which you can do within the Avvo system.

Endorsements from other attorneys are best, but you can also get endorsements from friends, family members, former coworkers, or others you have worked with in the past. Avvo client reviews are also very helpful, so be sure to request them when you successfully handle a case.

Create an Attractive and Engaging Website

Get your profiles optimized in Avvo and other widely used legal directories, then focus on your most valuable online property, your website. A law firm website is more than just an online calling card; it houses several pages of content that describes your firm, background, why people should hire you, each of your areas of practice, a blog where you can publish helpful information for legal consumers, and maybe a section to list all of your verdicts and settlements (if that is something you want to highlight).

Your website is essentially the vehicle that drives your online marketing strategy. You can also think of it as the digital version of your physical office. An effective website is one that is professional, user-friendly, attractive and aesthetically pleasing, and engaging to potential clients.

When a visitor arrives, they should find a website that is easy to navigate, clearly explains who you are and what you can do for them, and provides the opportunity to interact via a chat box and online contact form. Keep in mind also that a growing percentage of the population connects online using a mobile device, so your website should look good on both tablets and smartphones.

Develop an SEO-Friendly Content Marketing Strategy

You have an Avvo rating of 10 and a beautiful website that is ready to convert visitors into clients. Now what?

These are important pieces to the online marketing puzzle, but there is still one more essential ingredient you need to add – targeted traffic. The best website in the world will do you no good if nobody ever sees it, so you need a consistent strategy to make sure you are continually bringing in targeted visitors.

There are two main ways to drive targeted traffic to your online properties; search engine optimization (SEO) and paid advertising. With SEO, the object is to rank on the first page of Google (and ideally in one of the top three to five spots) for keywords that your target market is searching for. With Google pay per click advertising (which is one of the most common forms of paid search advertising), your ad is displayed on the top of the page or on the right-hand side, and you pay each time someone clicks on the ad.

The challenge with paid ads for personal injury law firms is that they can be extremely expensive. For example, the keyword “best mesothelioma lawyer” costs more than $900 per click. Of course, winning a mesothelioma case could be worth millions, but a lot of personal injury firms do not have the budget to spend thousands of dollars up front just to bring a handful of visitors to their website.

Effective SEO gives you organic rankings that will last much longer than a paid ad, provided you are not doing anything to manipulate Google’s algorithms. One of the best ways to drive traffic organically through SEO is by consistently publishing blogs. This method is commonly known as “content marketing.”

There are a few essential elements of a strong content marketing strategy:

  • Choose the Right Article Topics: An SEO-friendly content marketing strategy starts with creating blogs/articles with the right titles/topics. Go for topics that will be relevant to a larger number of readers and try not to get too specific. Find keywords that a lot of legal consumers are searching for and look for common questions that your audience is asking. Articles that answer frequently asked questions tend to work very well for both SEO and reader engagement.
  • Make your Content Understandable: It might be tempting to use a lot of legal terminology in your articles and doing some of that certainly helps establish your authority on the topic. That said, be careful not to overuse legal jargon. The best legal article is one that takes complex topics and makes them understandable to the average layperson.
  • Make your Content Practical: Always give your readers practical and helpful advice, so they will come away feeling that reading your article was worth their time. A good example would be an article that gives readers an inside look at what to expect during each step of the accident injury claims process. Another type of article that readers appreciate is helpful advice on avoiding auto accidents, or steps to take if they get into an accident.
  • Make your Content Readable: Most people do not read an article all the way through – there is simply too much information out there online and not enough time in the day. If they click on your page and see a huge block of text, the reaction of many will be to go somewhere else for their information. Make sure your content is readable and scannable with plenty of subheadings, bullet points, and bolded text.

Think of each web page and blog post as another avenue that allows legal consumers can reach your website. The more pages and posts you create, the more chances you have to rank them for keywords that are searched for by members of your audience. Do not stress too much over ranking one specific page or article – the key here is consistency, and if you keep this strategy up over time, you can drive a ton of targeted traffic to your website.

Build Relationships with Your Audience through Social Media and Newsletters

Even if someone has not become a client yet, you can still build a relationship with them through the use of email and social media. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are more relaxed settings where you can show your human side and build rapport with those you interact with. You can connect with past clients and associates, and you can build up a network of followers who appreciate the useful content that you put out.

If you want to take your online relationship building to the next level, consider publishing a biweekly or monthly newsletter. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, just something that updates readers about what is happening in your firm, recent cases you have won, and maybe some interesting things that are going on in the world of personal injury law.

When a reader receives a newsletter from you regularly, that keeps you in the front of their mind, and you will be the first firm they think of when they need help with a personal injury claim.

Be Flexible in Your Approach

One thing we can be absolutely certain of when it comes to the online world is that it is always changing. New technologies will emerge, and new platforms will come on the scene, and some of these new trends could be useful for personal injury attorneys to grow their clientele. As we have seen recently, societal disruptions like COVID-19 can also force firms to adapt their strategies in order to survive and grow.

Test and tweak your online marketing methods, find out what is working best and do more of that, and eliminate campaigns that are not performing. Stay flexible in everything you do online, and always be prepared to make shifts when necessary. Finally, if you need any help marketing your personal injury firm online, feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation.

About Sundown Legal Marketing

Sundown Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms review their current internet footprint, developing a comprehensive internet marketing plan and implementing every aspect of that plan. Contact us today for a free website evaluation and a no obligation assessment of your internet marketing plan. Call us today at (800) 864-1764 or online at Sundown Marketing.

The Sundown Marketing Way of Doing Business

At Sundown Marketing Group, our philosophy is simple. It’s not about us.

We are a full-service digital marketing agency that is small enough to give every client the attention they deserve, yet our team is large and skilled enough to take on projects of all sizes.

Every modern business needs to have a robust marketing plan in place that increases brand awareness and drives revenue. And a well-tailored marketing strategy will build a successful brand image that creates loyalty among your clients and influences referral business.

Our Philosophy

Sundown Marketing Group’s team of experienced and dedicated digital marketing professionals has more than 40 years of experience helping businesses stand apart from the competition.

But we don’t achieve results like a typical agency. Instead, we view ourselves as stakeholders in your business, so that your success is our success.

That said, we understand that each client has a different range of services, target market, and goals. So, our approach is to tailor our solutions to the needs of each individual client. To achieve this, we begin every relationship with a thorough audit and analysis of your company’s business, services, client base, online footprint, and current marketing activities.

The rigorous analysis that we perform at the start of our partnership helps us develop a strategy that is unique and effective for your business.

Our primary mission as internet marketers is to help your business grow. We accomplish this in several ways.

We take a multi-faceted approach

We understand that consumers want solutions, and businesses want results. Today’s marketing happens with a consumer looking for context and content in real-time and on their terms. Our multi-faceted approach to digital marketing allows you to deliver the right experience seamlessly across channels, at just the right time.

We use creative strategies

Our firm uses creative strategies to leverage organic search, social media, and paid ads to amplify your quality content. This combination of strategies helps increase brand awareness, drives deeper engagement with your brand, boosts conversions, and results in higher brand loyalty.

We leverage cutting-edge technology

We may have years of experience in digital marketing, but we are always at the forefront when it comes to embracing new methods and technologies that can help our clients get in front of prospective clients and build brand awareness.

We emphasize results-driven solutions

Most digital marketing agencies can give you and your clients something pretty to look at, but will it get the desired response? We are committed to delivering the highest quality work that produces the most impactful results.

How We Treat Our Clients

Our relentless commitment to your success and the client experience has never wavered. Sundown Marketing Group was founded on the core values of excellence and integrity.

These basic principles drive our decisions and actions daily.

One of the things that sets us apart from other digital marketing agencies is our fierce commitment to client service.

Clear Communication

When you work with us, you can expect consistent and clear communication throughout the evaluation, web design, content creation, and promotion process. In other words, we plan to stay in touch every step of the way and communicate as much or as little as you prefer.

At Sundown Marketing Group, we take pride in open communication because it gives clients a sense of comfort. We are accessible via phone, email, or your communication method of choice.

Personalized Solutions

While we consider it a privilege to serve a wide range of clients across the country, no client is ever just a number in our eyes. We deliver stunning and effective results that meet your particular needs and goals.

Long-lasting client relationships are at the heart of our business. When you partner with us, we commit to gaining an in-depth understanding of your business, culture, and market so that we can match the solutions that are best suited to your organization.

Passionate Professionals

Web design and digital marketing are our passions. By delivering high-quality, functional, and SEO-optimized designs, we take pride in treating each project as if it were our own.

Instead of delivering a project and walking away after it’s complete, we want to be your long-term digital marketing partner as you work to build your online reputation and brand. We can accomplish this through ongoing strategies for engaging content and promotion.

Highly Transparent

As our client, you deserve to work with a digital marketing agency that will tell you the truth about your current situation and the process required to improve results. We focus on being upfront with clients from the beginning about the processes we follow.

Sundown Marketing Group has developed best practices for website development projects. Our goal in being transparent is to remove any ambiguity in the minds of our clients about our work so that we can foster a long-term relationship focused on results.

Proactive Strategies

The online marketing landscape is frequently shifting. Whether it be the best ways to reach mobile searchers, an update to your Google My Business page, or a change on your website that will improve your organic search results, we believe it’s vital to take a proactive approach to digital marketing that will get you the best results. If you work with a fly-by-night operation that delivers a website and walks away, you are most likely going to spend more time and expense putting out fires as opposed to welcoming new clients.

Compassionate Approach

We are a personable and caring digital marketing agency that takes a grassroots approach to client relationships and online marketing. Our firm is inspired by companies that go out of their way to make a difference, and this philosophy drives us to create meaningful, lasting relationships with clients.

If your firm is looking for a true partner or wants to change the direction of its digital marketing strategy at any time, we would love to have a conversation about your goals.

Let Sundown Marketing Group help your business find and elevate its voice. Contact us today for a free consultation and website evaluation and learn more about your options for growing your firm. Our phone number is (800) 649-1764 or you can use our website contact form. Let’s get started today.

Paid Advertising Is The Difference Maker

Getting people’s attention online is tough. Everyone has a website. Your best friend has a website. Your kids probably have one, too. And you can be sure that the law firm down the street has a website, telling prospective clients how they will help them resolve their legal issues, protect their rights or collect the most damages.

So how do you get people to visit your firm’s website and take the action you want? Effective digital marketing requires an SEO-optimized website and engaging content. But you need to get people to actually visit your site before you can hook them with your charms. One of the ways you can do this is through paid digital advertising.

What is Paid Digital Advertising?

Paid advertising online is also referred to as pay-per-click or PPC advertising. In this scenario, your firm pays a fee each time a user clicks on one of its ads. This is an additional way to generate leads for your business. The cost can vary depending on the competitiveness of the terms you choose to target as well as the platforms selected for your advertising campaign.

There is a common misconception that PPC advertising is expensive. Some keywords, like “attorney”, “injury” or “divorce” can be costly on certain networks. But using more strategic and targeted phrasing can generate quality leads and a positive return on your investment.

The Benefits of Using PPC Advertising

So, why are PPC ads a good idea? Here are a few reasons why your firm should consider integrating paid advertising into its digital marketing program.

  1. PPC Ads Produce Fast Results

There is nothing wrong with getting traffic from organic searches, in fact most SEO programs are designed to increase website traffic through organic searches. But it can take time to get results from a comprehensive SEO strategy. You can achieve fast and immediate results with paid ads, making it an excellent complementary tactic to your firm’s SEO efforts.

In 2019, Google was the world’s largest digital ad seller, with over 31% of the market or more than $103 billion in ad dollars. Facebook came in second at over $67 billion in ad spending and 65% of all social media ads.

  1. PPC Ads Helps You Generate Qualified Leads

Another benefit of paid ads is that they help small businesses bring in more qualified leads to their websites. A billboard, newspaper, or television ad aims to reach as large an audience as possible. But most people that are looking for a lawyer perform a targeted local search, such as “personal injury lawyer near me.”

With PPC ads, you are targeting geographically as well as towards the types of people who would be most interested in your services. This means that the traffic you drive to your website will be more likely to contact you for a consultation.

  1. PPC Ads Deliver Measurable Results

As with any type of digital marketing campaign, you need to be able to set benchmarks and measure your results. With PPC ad campaigns, you get in-depth analytics that enable you to measure every aspect of your campaign, including the number of clicks, your cost per click, and how many conversions you are getting from the clicks. This can help you optimize your marketing budget and improve your results over time.

  1. You Can Broadcast Your Message Across Multiple Platforms

It is not always easy to guess where your target audience is going to search for your services. Some are going to use Google, and others will turn to social media. Fortunately, you can advertise on both with PPC ads.

When you advertise with Google, you have the option of having your ads show up in search as well as in the Google Display Network on other websites. Further, nearly all social media platforms have some form of paid advertising that you can leverage:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Reddit

Types of PPC Campaigns for Law Firms

Not all legal PPC campaigns are the same. Depending on your specific goals and primary areas of practice, there are different ways to pay for advertising online:

Search Ads

This is one of the most common types of PPC advertising. Web searchers see paid ads with the label “Ad” at the top and bottom of the search engine results. The more you outbid others, the higher your ad will get placed. With this type of campaign, you log into Google AdWords or Bing Ads and set up your different campaigns to serve your ads for different phrases and target audiences.

Display Ads

Display ads are like purchasing space in the yellow pages, but a bit more fluid. With a display campaign, you can buy a spot on a website, or set up a campaign through AdWords. You can specify placement on websites that appeal to your market. These ads are useful for brand awareness, but the CTR is higher on other types of PPC ads.

Social Media Ads

Millions of Americans spend time on social media platforms. They connect with friends and family, network, and research businesses. You can create paid ads on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to target users based on demographics or specific interests.

For example, you might create a campaign on Facebook that targets women in your area between the ages of 25 and 45 that join “single mothers” groups. If your firm focuses on business law, you can run paid ads on LinkedIn targeting people that have joined small business or entrepreneur groups.

Retargeting (Remarketing)

When a person has a troubling legal issue, they might struggle with where to turn for help. Maybe they have visited several attorney’s websites and still cannot make a decision. Enter paid retargeting ads.

If you have ever shopped for a product, say kayaks, and then saw ads for kayaks on every site you visited afterward, you have experienced retargeting ads. This tactic uses browser cookies to determine what consumers have recently searched for and then serves relevant ads on search engines, web sites, and social media platforms.

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing Today

Sundown Legal Marketing specializes in helping law firms maximize their potential. We start with a thorough review of your current online presence and then develop a comprehensive digital marketing plan that includes website optimization, video engagement, paid advertising and a robust content strategy. Contact us today for a free evaluation and to learn more about how we can help you take your firm’s marketing to the next level. Call us at (800) 864-1764 or reach us online at your convenience.

Client Reviews are important for potential clients, but does Google pay any attention?

Reviews have become an entrepreneur’s most burdensome task. It can seem daunting and difficult to reach out to clients, and ask for a review online, all while staying ethical, and avoiding Google penalty for paying for reviews.

Still, we do it because everyone says reviews are important, but do they know what they’re talking about? How important are positive client reviews for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Let’s ask Google. On a related Google’s support page, they make the following statement:

“Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.

That means in the local ranking, which currently consists of a three-pack map (with the option to view more places) is affected by the listing’s number of reviews, and the overall ratings of those reviews.

So, you want 4 and 5-star reviews, and you want a lot of them, but you don’t want them from bots. You want them to be real clients who have taken the time to review your business.

The statement on Google’s support page continues:

“Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.”

So, this means that it’s not only the number and the quality of the reviews on your Google listing, but it’s also the organic performance of your business website, which is connected to the Google listing, that matters in determining which businesses go in the three-pack of Google local search. Your website needs to be optimized for search engines.

According to this statement the three businesses that make it to the three-pack map are likely going to have a good amount of positive client reviews on their business listing, and they will also likely have an optimized website. Let’s put this hypothesis to the test.

Above is a screenshot of a local three-pack result for “general practitioner” when searched from Powder Springs, GA.  The first listing has no reviews, and no website. How could that be? Well, it could be that there were no other general practitioners in Powder Springs, GA apart from these three. In this case Google gave us these three choices simply because that’s all there was within the local area.

However, if you search for a general practitioner in a high-population metropolitan area, such as Washington, D.C. we see that One Medical dominates all downtown.

One Medical has three locations, all three of which are featured in the three-pack map. Each of the listings point to different pages on the same website, which is onemedical.com. Also, they all have at least 15 reviews, with an average rating of over 4.3.

If you actually visit onemedical.com, with the help of an SEO browser extension, you will find the reason this company dominates the space. The website has a domain authority of 60+. This website is one powerful website, and that is the sole reason it dominates in the three-pack map.

If you have a website with a domain authority above 60, you are going to naturally dominate the local three-pack map, regardless of the reviews, just because your website is so powerful. However, there are other industries that are not so dominated by one player, as it tends to be in the medical field.

For example, if we do a search for divorce lawyers in Washington, D.C. we get three independent (from each other) lawyers and law firms: Goodman Law, Hunt Law, and Kuder Law.  All three have a website this time, but Kuder Law only has one single review while the other two have over 20. Does Kuder have a powerful website too? Nope. Their domain authority is only 23.  The only thing of value is they have 9 images on their listing. They have images of the office, the workers, the building, etc.

Clicking on “More places” reveals that there are at least three other law firms that have more reviews than Kuder Law. One of them, Capital Family Law, even had 25 reviews. However, Capital Family Law had only one picture. Could it be that pictures are an important deciding factor? It could be, and therefore we recommend uploading images to your Google business listing. However, we do know for certain that reviews are a major deciding factor, so it will never hurt to focus on that.

Reviews are a great way of gaining trust within the community, and they are possible through good marketing programs. In these two examples, in two different industries, we saw that the digital marketing was involved. In the first example the website domain authority was an important factor in deciding who made the local three-pack map. In the second it was the number of reviews. This is why it’s important to hire a trustworthy SEO company. Organic traffic is so valuable to the business that the investment is worth it.

At Sundown Marketing we are that trustworthy company that businesses rely on to make stellar websites and bring a thorough, and time-tested SEO program to help you build your business. Check out our SEO and reputation management programs, and then call us for a free consultation! We can be reached at (800) 649-1764 or through our website contact form.

Are You Telling The Right Story On Your Homepage?

As an attorney, you face plenty of challenges advocating for your clients in the courtroom or against insurance companies with deep pockets. But with nearly 1.2 million attorneys in the U.S., one of your biggest uphill battles is against the search engines and your peers.

With hundreds or thousands of attorneys in your area competing for the same client, how can you differentiate your firm and attract the best cases? Your track record is essential, as is your brand, but you can stand out and create more interest by telling stories throughout your website.

The Effectiveness of Storytelling in Marketing

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your digital marketing campaign. By giving your law firm and its services an identity, you can quickly engage your audience and connect with them on a more emotional level.

People who approach attorneys generally need help solving some type of pressing issue. They may be physically, emotionally, and financially in peril and looking for someone that can provide some hope. When you tell a story that quickly connects with them, you have a stronger chance of gaining their business.

Stories unite people with a common bond. When someone is dealing with the aftermath of a serious car accident, and you tell a story about helping a client in similar circumstances, that person is likely to respond.

Storytelling can also be used to transmit meaning and knowledge. Concepts that might be difficult to grasp become more clear when shared within the context of an interesting story.

In addition to being a valuable strategic tool, you can use stories to engage consumers that have become numb to the standard types of content. It gives them a new and engaging experience with an attorney and makes the interaction on your website a memorable one.

How to Use Storytelling to Attract More Cases

People hire attorneys they believe they can trust with some important matters. You can humanize your firm to build rapport and trust with potential clients that are looking for solutions.

Once you’ve established that connection, you’re one step closer to a consultation appointment and a new client.

Here are several ways your firm can use storytelling to attract more clients:

Understand Your Audience

Before you create any content or craft your story, develop a cohesive picture of your target audience. What are their demographics, values, and pain points? Once you have this information, you can tailor your story so that it resonates with them.

Is your typical client looking to maximize recovery on a personal injury case? Or, are they interested in affordable representation for an estate or family law issue? What emotions do you generally sense from them when they contact your firm? Do you find that they are familiar with the legal process or want some education?

The answers to these questions vary greatly across practice areas and firms. But, answering these questions first will help you create a story that is most appealing to your typical client.

Emphasize Your “Why” Instead of Your “What”

With thousands of attorneys in every U.S. state offering similar services, what your firm does may not be enough to differentiate it from the place down the street. You can spend some time on the “what,” but it’s vital that your story place significant emphasis on your firm’s “why.”

When you explain why you fight for the rights of clients, you make the clients the subject of the story instead of the law. As an example, you can tell readers that you believe one of your missions is to fight for the rights of injured workers against unsafe and unfair employers that are backed by powerful insurance companies.

Create an Emotional Connection

Legal marketing is equal parts strategy and art. Your job, or your marketer’s job, is to connect with a potential client’s mind as well as their heart. Decisions are often made more on instinct than logic, and emotion is a key driver of these choices.

You’re obviously a capable attorney, but piling statistics onto a prospective client may not be the best approach. Instead, you can tell stories that create an emotional connection with your reader, and that prompts them to make a decision.

One of the best ways to create an emotional connection is by inserting your reader into the story. For example: “After a crash with a commercial truck, you may have many questions. ‘Who will pay my hospital bills?’ ‘How will I survive with lost time from work?’”

Use Client Testimonials

Some of your most credible stories will be written by past clients. According to BIA/Kelsey, 97% of people (so nearly everyone) read reviews for local businesses. Incorporate client testimonials into your website content to communicate your story through the eyes of someone that has experience with your firm.

Produce Ongoing Quality Content

Putting your story on your website’s homepage is an excellent start. But this is also a theme that you’ll want to carry through your other pages and ongoing blog and social media posts.

People like to see a consistent message, and this can help your firm create an authentic brand. As you learn more about your audience and expand your firm’s services, your story can continue to unfold to incorporate those areas and send the message that you provide the best client experience in the area.

Contact Sundown Legal Marketing Today

Fortunately, many attorneys are gifted storytellers but don’t think to use that skill to market their own services. For more information on using this effective tool in your website content, reach out to Sundown Legal Marketing. Contact us today at (800) 864-1764 or online to schedule a free website evaluation or with any questions about our services.

Backlinks – A Must Have In Any Successful SEO Program

If you research the backlinks of some of the pages at the top of Google search engine results pages (SERPs) for the most competitive keywords in the financial industry you will find that they all have thousands and thousands of backlinks from Google Display ads. At least that we found while researching top keyword placements for a Financial Services industry keyword term a couple years ago. This led us to believe that Google might take into account the very same backlinks they have always publicly said they do not take into account: their own ads. Display ads, to be specific.

So, the top notch Paid Advertising Team at Sundown Marketing Group decided to test out this theory. Our team chose one of our clients who had not yet had much SEO work done to their website. They felt this client would be the perfect candidate because at the time they would not allow us to add any content to their website, thereby giving us a blank canvas to work with.

 

The team created the display campaign, created copy, headlines, descriptions, images and links. They focused on the keyword “car accident attorney” and then let it collect data for three months – June, July, and August of 2019. The team hypothesized that a small display ad budget of $500 would create a small increase in organic traffic, in part due to the backlinks that are generated in the ads. They believed this would happen due to the evidence seen in an Ahrefs backlink report that showed a significant amount of display ads for the top organically placed websites.

Results:

The display campaign produced some traffic, but a near 90% bounce rate, and no form submissions.

But this was to be expected; display ads are more for branding than traffic. So, what happened to the organic placement of the website for “car accident attorney”? Was it impacted?

During the first month website placement for “car accident attorney” cruised up slowly from about 35 to 25. The following two months it was erratic, going up and down but on average the site was shown at the 25 spot. It seems to have helped slightly.

What about the overall organic traffic?

There seemed to be an initial spike in traffic, but nothing too significant overall. You could say there’s more stability in the few weeks after the initial spike comes down.

Overall users were down almost 3% during the time of having the display ads. However, almost every one of the other measurements were up: overall sessions, pages per session, average session duration, even more contact form submissions resulted from the organic traffic during this time.

Those are all very good things, but it can’t be logically correlated to the display ads.

At least one thing is sure – a $500/month budget won’t make a real difference in your organic traffic. But it may help you rank better organically for the keywords you are targeting. Again, evidence seems to suggest that the larger the budget the more organic traffic you’ll get as an indirect result.

At Sundown Marketing Group we are constantly searching for the most effective way to best position our clients online and trying to uncover cutting-edge marketing/SEO ideas. If you’re a small to mid-sized law firm we can help you grow your business. Contact Sundown Marketing Group today at (800) 864-1764 or contact us online at Sundown Marketing Group to schedule a free consultation!

Proper Use of Keywords Can Make or Break Your Law Firm Website Rankings

A successful law firm relies on a constant supply of new cases to continue operations and, hopefully, keep expanding and accumulating a positive reputation. One of the catalysts for this continuous supply, particularly for smaller firms, is a robust digital marketing strategy that puts your firm’s name and website in front of people who are looking for the services you provide.

One shortcut is to simply pay for traffic with PPC ads, but legal keywords are notoriously some of the most expensive in the PPC industry. For example, the term “car accident lawyer long beach” will cost you as much as $350 per click. Ouch!

The good news is that you can avoid this costly form of advertising by focusing on the right keywords throughout your website. There are also some dangers of keyword overuse that could derail your legal marketing efforts.

The Importance of Legal Marketing Keywords

Your keywords are the words or phrases that someone will use to look for your services on a search engine such as Google. They can be single words like “lawyer,” phrases like “personal injury attorney in Mobile,” or even questions like “what’s the penalty for a 2nd DUI in Virginia?”

The better job you do of selecting and optimizing your website (called search engine optimization or SEO) for your keywords, the more likely someone that is looking looking for a firm like yours will find it at the top of the search results and end up on your webpage. So, the keywords you choose as part of your legal marketing strategy must be directly tailored to fit what you’re offering and consider the needs of your target audience. Your keywords should focus on several areas.

Consider Your Unique Brand

One of the first things you should consider is your law firm’s brand. Maybe you have a mission that sums up your firm’s values, such as fierce advocacy for accident victims. You can create some words and phrases associated with your brand to incorporate in your company’s digital content.

If you aren’t sure about what defines you, think about the type of client you wish to serve. What cases do you consider your specialty? What is the most common question you receive from new and current clients?

Location is Vital for Attorneys

According to Hubspot, nearly half (46%) of all Google searches are seeking local information. As an attorney, it’s safe to argue that almost all of your traffic will come from local searches, such as “family lawyer near me” or “motorcycle accident attorney Montgomery.”

When you choose your keyword phrases, it might be tempting to just focus on one or two, but having a broad range is likely to get you better results. Some of the ways you can target geographic keywords for your legal services include:

  • Cities and towns
  • Neighborhoods
  • Points of interest such as universities
  • Geographic regions such as the Gulf Coast

Emphasize Your Services

Most laypeople don’t have an interest in learning the intricacies of your state’s legal code. So, they won’t be searching for legalese or complex legal jargon related to their issues. Instead, they’ll want to know the potential consequences of a recent arrest, what they should do after a slip and fall, or how much they might recover after an accident with an 18-wheeler.

Someone that is suspicious of attorneys will search for one that is “trustworthy” and a person that is detail-oriented with look for a lawyer that is “thorough.” While you can’t claim to be the “best” attorney or an “expert,” you can certainly emphasize other aspects of your unique services with the right keyword choices so that you attract more clients.

Where Do the Keywords Go?

Choosing the best keywords and phrases for your legal marketing strategy is only the first step. You’ll need to use them appropriately and effectively to get the results you want and beat out the attorneys that are trying to do the same.

Simply put, you’ll use your keywords and variations of them in content that you publish on your website as practice area pages and blog posts. The best way to get the most mileage out of your chosen topics is to continually post new material that answers questions and provides additional value to current and potential clients.

The Dangers of Overusing Keywords

Similar to many areas of life, too much of a good thing produces diminishing returns. When it comes to overusing keywords, Google’s response can be brutal. In the past, “stuffing” keywords into a website would garner positive results. This is no longer the case.

Cramming the term “Colorado DUI attorney” into a blog post 10 times makes for clunky and unnatural reading. Google’s algorithms will also notice what you’ve done and could penalize or even deindex your site.

Keyword selection and use is obviously a pain point for many law firms. A lot of work not only goes into choosing the right keywords for your business, but also using them effectively so that they engage with the right audience, get you more clicks, and bring in additional clients.

If you believe you could use some help marketing your legal services online, Sundown Legal Marketing has you covered. We specialize in helping law firms develop individualized digital marketing plans and then executing every aspect of those plans so that you can focus on what you do best.

Contact Sundown Marketing Group today at (800) 864-1764 or online for a free law firm marketing assessment or with any questions.