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.

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.

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.

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!

Do You Have A Marketing Plan?

At Sundown Marketing Group we have helped law firms market themselves for over 15 years. From big markets to small markets, there has always been one constant; law firms with a well thought out marketing plan, get more cases than firms that do not have a plan. In the days of the yellow pages, firms with the best positions in the most books typically received the most calls and often secured the most clients. We have moved on from those days, but the concepts remain the same.  Get your name and your message in front of as many people as you can while sticking to a specific budget. In today’s world of sensational, in your face, advertising your marketing message must be concise, clear and visible.   Whether it is radio, billboards, TV or the internet you have just a few seconds to get someone’s attention and sell yourself.

With that in mind, we have come up with 10 tips you can implement today to help your firm achieve its marketing goals and dominate your competition.

  1. Decide who will oversee your marketing program and who will have the final decision about all things marketing. Although getting input from other members of the firm is important, the decision on how to proceed should be kept to as small a group as possible. Often, as the group gets larger, less gets done. Paralysis by analysis really comes into play here.
  1. Decide what type of cases your firm wants to attract and prioritize them. This may seem unnecessary, since the firm may practice in several areas, but it just isn’t worth advertising for some types of cases (i.e. real estate closings). This type of work usually comes through relationships or referrals. If your budget is limited, you should mention all your practice areas on your website but save your advertising dollars for the types of cases that require name and brand recognition. Examples of these would be car accidents, criminal defense or divorce cases. There are always case types that are more profitable than others, so you should prioritize them.
  1. Create a budget and stick to it. Marketing of any kind carries a burden of uncertainty. Have a budget that the firm can afford, even if there was a zero return on the money. That is not likely to happen with the right plan, but it should take pressure off the firm. Also, stay away from every “new” idea that comes along. We see this a lot. Stick with the proven methods but give them time to work. Jumping from one plan to another wastes a lot of time and money.
  1. Determine your “total” current investment on marketing. If you have a person at the firm dedicated to marketing efforts, what is their true cost? What is their cost in hourly pay, benefits, education etc.? You must then add in the amount you are spending on marketing outside of your internal human cost (i.e. Google Ads, Facebook Advertising). This will be your actual marketing investment. You then need to determine if your marketing person is as effective as someone who specializes in law firm marketing. In the long run, it may be less expensive to pay an agency, whose job it is to work for you, as opposed to paying an employee to do a similar job.
  1. Know your competition. If everyone in your area is spending $5,000 per month to market their firm and you are spending $500 per month, your program won’t get the same results. Your law firm is your biggest investment, bigger than the stock market or a new car, so invest in it regularly and wisely.
  1. Decide on firm involvement. Determine how much of the firm’s marketing is going to be done internally (dedicated person or people) or externally (agency), or a combination of the two. The first step is to build the best website in your area. This is your calling card and your initial impression on prospective clients. The next step is to get that website found. Digital marketing can be the hardest marketing to do, because the rules are always changing. But it is also an area where you can work with someone else to complement your efforts, with the least amount of time taken away from the firm.
  1. A digital presence is the cornerstone of any business. Everyone has a website, but to really stand out, you should be covering as many of the digital bases as possible, website, video, social media, reviews, internal client referrals and paid ads.
  1. Be consistent. That is the hardest thing for firms that handle their own marketing. A successful program, in the eyes of Google, will have a website that is content rich, has fast load speeds, few errors, proper tagging, quality back links, videos, social media links and the website is updated with new content on a regular basis. Consistency also comes in the form of social media updates on firm activities, community involvement and helpful information for the public.
  1. Build your brand. Be consistent with your firm’s message. Create a steady stream of branding opportunities and stick with them. If you have a tag line, use it on everything. Some of the most successful marketers, in any business, have a great tag line; you should too.
  1. Build up your reviews and testimonials. For most prospective clients, reviews are one of the primary deciding factors when it comes to hiring a lawyer. Facebook, Google and legal directories are all great places to show people how good you are. Don’t be afraid to ask a happy client for a review. You can count on the fact that your competition is doing it.

If you need help with any of these ideas, call our office today. We provide a no cost marketing analysis and can get you headed on the right track in no time. Contact the experienced legal marketing team at Sundown Legal Marketing at (800) 649-1764 or through our website contact form.

Are You Missing Out On Clients? You May Be If Your Website Isn’t Mobile Ready

A website is an essential part of business today. From providing information about your firm and practice areas to driving prospective clients to take action, your website lays the foundation for your connection with clients. However, that means your website needs to appeal to clients based on how they use it. You may have a beautiful, dynamic desktop website, but if it’s not mobile-friendly, you’re missing out on an important part of your online presence.

Mobile technology today

In our technology driven world, mobile internet traffic surpasses desktop traffic by approximately 3% per year. Desktops and laptops are used at home and in business, but most people utilize mobile devices while on the go. People of all ages use smartphones and tablets, to work online, browse social media, and read the news. The constant access to content has created a society that demands instant information, including while on the go. As a result, many websites have adapted to create mobile-friendly formatting, so that website visitors can get what they need whether they’re sitting at a desk with a traditional computer, using their tablet while commuting to work or from their mobile phone while shopping on the weekend.

Reasons to have mobile-friendly websites

Mobile-friendly websites are not just a convenience for a small percentage of users any longer. It is a necessity because of the way people use mobile technology today. However, it’s more than just simply about accessibility on mobile devices. There are a number of reasons that mobile-friendly websites are a good idea for your firm. Understanding these reasons can help highlight the value of this approach for your firm’s business goals.

Users want mobile access. Even though people use desktops for work or personal reasons, chances are they also use mobile devices. People have gotten so used to instant access to information that they expect to be able to find anything on their mobile devices that they would on their desktop computers. Without a mobile-friendly website, your prospective clients will not have easy access to information about your firm on their mobile devices.

Make it easier for prospective clients to contact you. Mobile ready websites provide any website visitor with the ability to instantly contact you using easily clickable buttons (phone or email).

Google likes mobile-friendly content. Google’s all-important algorithm prioritizes mobile-friendly websites. Google knows that most people are online using mobile devices, so they want their search results to match the search needs of the majority of their users. By optimizing your website to be mobile-friendly in formatting and content, your SEO content will be more effective, and your site will rank higher in search results when prospective clients use your keywords and phrases in searching. Whether your prospective clients are searching on desktop or mobile, your mobile-friendly site will make Google happy and help you site to rank well.

Mobile-friendly content is more sharable. Sharing is an important way to spread information. From links on social media to text messaging websites to friends and family, people want to be able to share what they see and like. However, if your site is not mobile-friendly, sharing from desktop to mobile doesn’t work very well. Even if a client wants to share information with others, the information the new client gets won’t be in a format that appeals to them, and they may not take the time to save the link to read it on their desktop.

Stay competitive. Your competitors, especially those with successful internet marketing programs, have already integrated a mobile version of their website. If you want to keep up, get busy.

Ways to make your website mobile-friendly

It’s not difficult to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Whether you are building a new site or working with an existing site, here are things you can do to make your site easier to use on mobile devices:

  • Make your site responsive. That means it will automatically adapt to the size of the screen used, including mobile devices. Along similar lines, it’s important to include the viewport meta tag so that browsers will fit the width of your site page to the device your customer is using.
  • Think about the information your prospective clients need. By making important information clearly visible, your users won’t have to figure out how to navigate a site to find valuable information. This may be your menu, your homepage, or your contact information. You can use site metrics to find out the type of information your users view most often to help you decide.
  • Avoid flash. Not only is flash bad for SEO, but it can slow down your site’s loading time considerably. Not all mobile devices support flash, which means some people won’t be able to load your site properly.
  • Pay attention to button and font sizes. Users can get irritated quickly if they have trouble clicking buttons or reading content on their mobile devices. No one wants to have to zoom in on a site just to easily navigate your site.
  • Compress images. High quality images can slow your site’s load time dramatically. By compressing all of the images on your website, you will be able to give a website visitor a better user experience regardless of their device preference.
  • Test mobile and desktop versions of the site. Whenever you make changes or update your content, be sure to test both versions of your site. That will ensure that your site is mobile optimized and your users will be able to access all the information quickly and easily.

Whether you’re redesigning your site to make it more attractive to your target demographic or you want to take advantage of mobile technology with your site’s formatting, a mobile-friendly website is an important part of successful online business. More people use the internet on mobile devices than desktops, so having a mobile-friendly site means being able to engage with the majority of your target demographic. By making changes to your site so that it adapts to mobile devices, you’ll be able to share information with your clients and achieve your firm’s business goals, as well as your website metric goals.

If you have questions about mobile search or building a mobile friendly website 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 Group.

Building a Killer Law Firm Social Media Presence

Social media has long been a popular marketing channel for major brands. You see companies like Nike, Starbucks, and even Airbnb dominating the landscape with their exceptional social media marketing tactics.

While people enjoy interacting with these consumer brands, it might seem like the legal industry has largely ignored social media as an effective marketing channel. But this isn’t entirely the case as social media use among law firms and independent attorneys becomes increasingly popular.

A recent Attorney at Work survey reveals that 96% of the more than 300 lawyers surveyed use social media. And 70% say their use of social media is part of an overall legal marketing strategy. Here are some of the benefits of developing a social media presence for your law firm and a few steps you can take to get started.

The Benefits of a Social Media Presence for Your Law Firm

Social media isn’t easy, but the results are worth it. Social media still hasn’t reached its peak of popularity, but a stunning 3.5 billion people, or 45% of the population, actively use social networks daily. That’s a massive audience, but why should your law firm bother with social media marketing? Here are a few of the benefits of having a social media presence:

  1. Create Brand Awareness

Consumers are spending more time on social media, so a strong social presence can help get your firm’s message in front of its audience. According to the latest Sprout Social Index, 44% of consumer report increasing their use of social media, which is a benefit for brands that want to increase visibility on social platforms. And 87% say they are likely to visit a brand’s website if they follow them on social media.

  1. Attract Prospective Clients

Social media is an effective tool for attorneys to attract new clients. The American Bar Association reports that 35% of lawyers who use social media have gained new clients from these channels. But law firms that are active and engaging on social media have the potential to push those numbers much higher.

  1. Engage Your Target Audience

Even though many people use social media to connect with loved ones, they also increasingly engage with brands on social platforms. This provides your law firm with a valuable opportunity to deliver engaging content and answer questions, whether it be about auto accidents, family law, criminal defense, or some other area of practice.

  1. Establish Your Authority

Most people who are struggling with a legal issue are looking for answers and some reassurance. While you don’t need to provide your services gratis online, you can establish yourself as an authority in your field and gain the trust of potential clients. Share useful information that will interest your target audience and help prove your credibility.

  1. Boost Your SEO Efforts

Even though social signals aren’t considered a direct website ranking factor, various search engine authorities report that they can help your SEO efforts. According to Search Engine Journal, Google has changed its story multiple times regarding whether website links shared on Facebook and Twitter are used as ranking signals.

Even so, there continues to be a strong correlation between social signals and ranking position. In short, it’s worth it to build your audience on social media, drive more traffic to your website, and potentially get higher search engine rankings for your efforts.

Some Tips for Using Social Media for Legal Marketing

Even if you’re convinced that your firm needs a social media presence, where do you begin? Here are some tips for getting started with social media marketing so that you get the best return on your investment.

  1. Pay Attention to the Basics

No matter where you choose to advertise your business, you need to get the basics down first. Some of the social media marketing details you should focus on include:

  • Choosing the right social network to invest in. It might be tempting to pick all of them, but your efforts would be better spent on choosing a few that you know your audience uses most. Facebook is a common choice for law firms since it’s the world’s largest social network. Others are Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.
  • Set some realistic goals. Before you begin, decide what you’d like to achieve with social media and establish some measurable goals. Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Maybe you want to boost your brand’s visibility and authority. Regardless of which goals you choose, make sure you include them in your marketing plan and measure them on a regular basis.
  • Create a detailed content strategy. What type of content do you plan to create for social media? How often will you post?
  1. Post Engaging Content

Law firms can use social media to engage people on social media in a variety of ways. Consumers love stories, so share stories about the origins of your firm, its history, and its achievements to build an emotional connection.

In addition to promotional content, provide valuable and credible information that can give readers peace of mind or the information they need to make a decision about hiring your firm. You can share relevant industry news as well as excerpts from blog posts related to your main practice areas.

  1. Use Visuals That Pop!

Visuals are essential to engagement on social media. Many people will scroll past a wall of text but will stop to read a colorful infographic or watch a short video. Your social media strategy should include sharing basic legal information, statistics, inspirational quotes, and tips that are in video format or that use strong graphics.

  1. Monitor and Respond to Online Conversations

Social media isn’t meant to be a one-way conversation, where your firm tosses out occasional posts and waits for the clicks to roll in. To be successful, you should be actively engaging with your audience.

You can start by searching for social media conversations related to your firm and any related topics, such as “medical malpractice.” You can monitor these conversations to get an understanding of user sentiment as well as join in to make connections and boost the visibility of your brand online.

Want to Explore Your Legal Marketing Strategy?

If you or your law firm are not active on social media, you are missing a massive opportunity to promote your brand, drive potential clients to your website, and increase engagement. Sundown Legal Marketing can help develop your legal marketing strategy or give you assistance with managing your current profiles. Give us a call at (800) 649-1764 or reach out to us online for a free evaluation.

 

 

How to Maximize SEO ROI

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved from a mysterious buzz phrase that savvy business owners used to seek out to be cutting-edge results, to an everyday effort used by most website owners. Today it has been formulated into a-la-carte programs offered by all sorts of marketing agencies (both reputable and not-so reputable), but how do you know what you are paying for and whether it is returning an acceptable Return on Investment (ROI)?

Your SEO program should be aligned with your business goals. You may have received a negative review that you want to push down in search results, you may have competition that you want to outrank, or you may just be a law firm owner who wants more clients. Whatever your goals are for your SEO program, they should be identified from the beginning so you can define success.

A typical law firm’s goal for a website is to rank on the first page for a specific set of keywords that produce a high volume of searches. For example, “personal injury attorney” or “criminal defense attorney”. Ranking highly for these keyword phrases will be difficult because they are so generic and because the sites that typically rank at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for these keyword phrases are often nationally recognized legal directories like findlaw.com or lawyers.com. Still, if you do your best to at least improve your rankings for that keyword, say from the fourth page (position 35) to the second page (position 15), it is likely that you will also improve for other keywords even more significantly. For example, “personal injury attorney in Mobile, AL” or “criminal defense attorney in my area”.

If no business goals are clearly defined the default goal is to increase overall organic traffic. This is a good goal to have because it also produces good return on investment since organic traffic often turns into conversions. These people may watch a video, call the firm, fill out a form, ask a question, etc.

Still, it is beneficial to have clear goals so that you can target your traffic increases for one lucrative segment of your prospective clients. Sometimes an agency will make recommendations on which keywords to target based on current rankings of the website. At Sundown Legal Marketing, we do this for our clients through the use of a tool called SEMRush. This process is outlined in our article on “Striking Distance Keywords”.

Once keywords are identified, and SEO work has been done to the website, you are ready to start reviewing results. Any improvement in ranking has value even if it is just an incremental change (i.e. moving from page 4, position 38, to page 2, position 12). However, value is in the eye of the beholder, so how much you should pay per keyword at this stage is difficult to say.

However, once the keywords move into the top 10, or page 1, then you can very easily place a dollar value on the keyword because you can compare it to the cost of purchasing a Google ad for that keyword.

To calculate the value of a keyword, look up the average volume for that keyword by utilizing a third party tool (we use SEMRush), then multiply that by a typical Click Through Rate (CTR) of 2%, then multiply that by the average cost of that keyword according to the Google Keyword Planner. So if SEMRush says the keyword receives 2,900 monthly visits, and the Keyword Planner says your keyword costs $5/click, and you factor an industry standard 2% CTR, then a keyword that is showing your website organically in the top 10 spots could be worth up to $290 per month. You could take a little bit of value off each position as it goes down. For example, $290 for position 1; $260 for position 2, and so on.

This is all just to put a value on a keyword. Doing things like this help us determine the return on investment of our SEO programs. It is essentially the method that paid search managers use and it is a way to help you understand where your money is going when you have a Digital Marketing campaign.

At Sundown Legal Marketing we like to take the smoke and mirrors out of our campaigns and be as transparent as we can. If you are unhappy with the service your current marketing agency is providing, or feel that they are not returning an acceptable ROI, please call us for a free initial consultation! Our team of legal marketing experts is ready to help you craft an internet marketing campaign for your law firm. We can be reached at (800) 864-1764 or through our website contact form.