How to Claim and Create your Apple Map Listing

I recently visited a client of mine and tried to use my iPhone to pull up directions to their office. Despite looking for them directly by name, I couldn’t find their listing. This can be frustrating for anyone trying to visit your office, and could potentially cost you business. But fear not, the fix is very simple, and takes less than ten minutes.

  1. If you have an Apple ID, use that to login here: https://mapsconnect.apple.com/. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one on the same page.
  2. Click the “Add Place” link. Enter your business name and location.
  3. If nothing shows in your search, create your listing and fill out as much information as possible.
  4. If you do have a listing, click into the profile and “Claim this place.” Update and add any relevant business information.
  5. Verify through a phone call. *NOTE: your listing will not be visible on Apple Maps until you’ve finished verifying.

Here’s what your finished product will look like:

Apple Maps

As you can see, Apple Maps also pulls information from Yelp, like your reviews and photos. So, make sure you add your Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter accounts, if you have them.

Not only is it important to have an Apple Maps listing for your potential clients to find you and share important details about your business, but this is also the information that’s shared when someone does a voice search using Siri.

Creative Ways to Increase Positive Reviews

Getting clients to leave reviews is tough, so I’ve complied a list of some creative ways my clients have attempted to increase their positive review count. Below are five techniques clients have used to generate additional testimonials:

  1. Create a bound book of written reviews

    This particular firm receives a lot of hand-written thank you’s from their past clients and wanted to showcase them in their office for future clients to read. They also have their clients fill out a form during their final meeting, reviewing their experience with the attorney and paralegals.

  2. Use QR codes

    I recently had a law firm come to me with this idea. This is a great option for those who are asking for client reviews while the client is in the office. Creating QR codes is very simple, I used this tool. Simply choose the site you’d like to link the QR code to, and use the image wherever you’d like.

  3. Give advice on cases that don’t require legal help, ask for a review in exchange

    This was actually a really great idea that came from Conrad. A firm I work with gets a lot of phone calls from a page on their site that covers a practice area that doesn’t require legal representation. Instead of removing the page to stop the barrage of phone calls, he answers their questions and asks them to let him know how their case ends. After that, he asks for a review.

  4. Create an incentive program for employees

    If you have a lot of attorneys and paralegals who are responsible for getting reviews, this is a good option. Ask each employee to get 5 positive reviews every quarter. If they succeed they get an extra vacation day, a catered lunch, or a gift card.

  5. Use automated text messages

    This works better for case types that are more transactional. Companies like BirdEye and Gather Up (formerly Get Five Stars) are good options for this. Essentially, once the case has concluded, the client receives a text message asking to rate their experience.

Asking for reviews can feel intrusive to some, but it’s extremely important for SEO. If you and a competitor have very similar Google My Business profiles, the one with the most reviews will usually win out in local search results.

No matter your firm’s size, location, or practice area, choose a review strategy and stick with it!

Don’t Turn a Blind Eye to How Your Phone is Answered

Almost every law firm has a dedicated person answering their main phone line, but not many are regularly auditing their calls. The initial touchpoint for a potential client is a crucial step in whether or not they’ll hire you, so why wouldn’t you put the same time, money, and effort into intake training as you do for the marketing that drives those calls to you in the first place?

As a marketer, it’s my job to drive calls to your office. What happens when they contact you is completely in the hands of your intake team.

I’ve had multiple conversations with clients who believe their intake process is superb, only to call in myself and have a less than favorable experience with their gatekeeper. If I have a bad experience, potential clients are also having a bad experience, which means they’re probably not going to hire you.

There are a few options, depending on how involved you’d like to be, in the auditing/training of your intake team:

  1. You can mystery shop your own office and create a script off of your findings
  2. You can use your marketing agency to mystery shop or listen to your recorded phone calls and give feedback
  3. You can hire an intake specialist to coach you on how to properly answer your phone and capture more leads

Which ever method you choose, continue to be involved with your intake team. Your intake team is the first personal connection made on behalf of your firm, make sure it’s a good one.

Lawyers of Distinction’s New Top Dog

Mockingbird Marketing is pleased to announce that Lucy Davis of Seattle, Washington has been accepted as a member of Lawyers of Distinction. Lawyers of Distinction limits its membership to the top 10% of attorneys in the United States, and accepts only those who pass their objective evaluation of an attorney’s reputation, experience, license, qualifications, and disciplinary history. Through their vigorous research, Lawyers of Distinction has chosen to bestow this remarkable honor on our dear friend, Lucy.

Lucy Davis is a highly experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney at Davis Law Group in Seattle, WA. With many years of close client relationships, Ms. Davis takes a different approach to advocating for innocent victims of negligent crimes.

Ms. Davis is a member of the King County Bark Association and the American Kennel Club. She is also a strong supporter of the Courthouse Dogs Foundation.

In her spare time, Ms. Davis likes to take long walks and spend time with her family. During the summer months, she spends her time outdoors, either bike riding or boating around Lake Union and Lake Washington. Naturally, Ms. Davis is a die-hard UW Huskies fan, and enjoys attending the Dawg Wagon tailgate party.

Ms. Davis received her Bachelor’s degree from Springfield University, and her Juris Dogtor from Manhattan Law School in New York.

On behalf of Mockingbird Marketing, we want to congratulate all of the skilled attorneys who have been awarded the distinction of being in the top 10% of attorneys in 2017. We can’t wait to see the great things that 2018 brings, especially for Lawyers of Distinction.

*Disclaimer: Lucy is not a lawyer, but she really did win this award. This post is satirical and meant to be humorous. If you’re in for even more of a laugh, take a look at Lucy’s marvelous acceptance speech.

How to Utilize Ad Extensions in the Legal Industry

One of the easiest ways to enhance your Google AdWords search ads is to implement Ad Extensions. AdWords offers quite a few types of extensions, but some of them just don’t make sense in the legal industry. In this post, I’ll go through the different types of extensions, what they look like, and which are my personal favorite.

Types of AdWords Ad Extensions:

  • Sitelink Extensions
  • Call Extensions
  • Location Extensions
  • Callout Extensions
  • Structured Snippet Extensions
  • Review Extensions
  • Message Extensions
  • Affiliate Location Extensions
  • Price Extensions
  • App Extensions

Sitelink Extensions:

These are essentially extra pages on your site that someone can visit directly from your ad in search results. You can choose which links you’d like to show up for specific campaigns or ad groups, which gives you the option to link the most relevant pages for that specific subject.

How this works for Legal:

Say you’re an attorney who practices both criminal and family law. You don’t want your DUI page showing up alongside your Divorce ad, so make sure you choose the correct level of placement.

AdWords Sitelink Extensions

Call Extensions:

This adds your phone number to your ad. Mobile and desktop versions will have slightly different functionality since you can make a call directly from the mobile ad.

How this works for legal:

This gives your potential clients a direct line of communication to your office without ever having to visit your website. This is a great option for those who already know they need a lawyer, or those who would rather talk to a real person to get answers about their specific case.

Pro Tip:

Add two call tracking numbers, one for desktop and one for mobile, in order to track visitors who never actually visited your website.

 AdWords Call Extensions

Location Extensions:

A location extension is a direct link to your Google My Business page (make sure your name, address, and phone number is correct!). What’s great about these is that not only can you get your address in your ad, but this also makes it possible for you to show up as an ad in Google Maps.

How this works for legal:

A lot of people choose attorneys based on location. This extension allows you to be more visible for “near me” searches.

AdWords Location Extension

Callout Extensions:

Callout extensions are essentially short, call to action statements.

How this works for legal:

If you offer free consultations, are a certified specialist, or accept calls 24/7, this is the place to share it.

AdWords Callout Extensions

Structured Snippet Extensions:

These are types of products or services you offer.

How this works for legal:

This is where you can specify the types of law you practice, or break out sub-practice areas. Ex: Child Custody, Child Support, and Divorce.

AdWords Structured Snippet Extensions

Review Extensions:

These are short reviews of your business, found on external sites. These are not automatically pulled from those sites, so you can choose which reviews you submit.

How this works for legal:

Reviews are an important part of any business, but are especially important in gaining new legal clients.

Special Note:

Of the available review extensions, these are the hardest to get approved, making them my personal favorite. If you’d like to learn my tips and tricks for getting reviews approved, join me for a webinar on September 13th! You can find more information and register here.

AdWords Review Extension

Message Extensions:

These are similar to call extensions, but for text messaging.

How this works for legal:

First, if you’re not open to receiving text messages, this isn’t a review extension you should use, and most potential legal clients won’t contact via text in the first place. But, if you’ve found this to be different for your practice, make sure you’re connecting a number that can receive text messages, or you’re using a call tracking service like CallRail that allows text messaging.

AdWords Mobile Extensions
Examples of multiple AdWords mobile ad extensions.

Affiliate Location Extensions:

This type of extension is only available to retail chains. They show searchers nearby locations of your retail store.

How this works for legal:

It doesn’t. At least not yet. Once this extension is available to smaller, non-retail businesses, law offices with multiple locations will be able to benefit from this really cool feature.

Price Extensions:

Price extensions give you up to eight cards to share prices for specific services.

How this works for legal:

We don’t use price extensions for legal because most practices don’t have set prices for multiple services. This may be an option for some attorneys who have standardized services.

App Extensions:

This extension gives you the option to link to your mobile app.

How this works for legal:

Since most attorneys don’t have an app for their services, this extension doesn’t really apply.

How Voice Search May Be Hurting Your Advertising

In the past six months, virtual assistants have become the newest must-have tech device.  Virtual assistants have been around for the past couple of years, but Amazon and Google have taken it to the next level. You can now ask a small speaker in your home to play music, write a to-do list, and search the internet for a restaurants’ phone number. I have yet to hop on the AI bandwagon, but my dad is still amazed that Alexa can play the Magnum P.I. theme song.

While these devices make life a little easier, they can also be hurting your advertising costs, and even inflating your leads. Since there’s no screen to view your search results, your assistant will choose what they believe the best answer is. If it’s the correct answer, then great! If not, you may end up calling a business you didn’t intend to.

I was recently looking through the search terms report in AdWords for a client, and stumbled upon a series of voice searches:

“Okay Google I need probate attorneys in the state of Kentucky USA not Oklahoma anywhere else”

“Okay Google maybe you don’t understand I’m trying to reach probate attorneys in Kentucky Kentucky”

I think it’s pretty safe to say that this was the same searcher looking for an attorney in Kentucky, not Oklahoma where my client practices. But because Google thought this query best matched our call-only ads, the helpful assistant placed a call to their office. Twice.

At least the second search was only half the price of the first…

So with the increased use of virtual assistants, your ad managers need to be vigilant in monitoring the types of searches you’re paying for, and what changes they can make to ensure you’re only paying for searches that are relevant to your business.

When the Top 10% Means Nothing

One of my clients was recently contacted by Lawyers of Distinction, an online legal directory claiming to only list the top 10% of lawyers. But what are they using to determine who qualifies as the top 10%?

“Lawyers of Distinction uses its own independent criteria, including both objective and subjective factors in determining if an attorney can be recognized as being within the top 10% of attorneys in the United States, in their respective field. This designation is based upon the proprietary analysis of the Lawyers of Distinction organization alone, and is not intended to be endorsed by any of the 50 United States Bar Associations.”

Doesn’t get much more vague than that.

Let’s say you ignore these first warning signs because you’re struck by flattery, and you start to poke around the site to see who is listed and what perks come with the exceptional honor of being in the top 10%. You may stumble upon the membership page and notice that your award will cost you $425 per year, at the least.

Lawyers of Distinction Membership Packages

What that $425 membership is really paying for is the link back to your site, and the plaque you can prominently display in your office. You also have the option to buy more plaques at $100 each, because who doesn’t need a plaque in the lobby and the restroom?

I was curious to know what the next steps would be for my client who had been nominated. Here’s the page I was taken to from the email he received:

Lawyers of Distinction Application from Email

Pretty basic information. But I wondered what would happen if I were to “Apply for Consideration” directly on their site…

Lawyers of Distinction Basic Application

Almost identical.

With a giant red flag waving in my face, I wondered how legitimate this company is. So I looked up their address using Google Street View:

Conrad wrote an eerily similar post two years ago about the American Institute of Personal Injury Lawyers whose corporate office was also located at a UPS store.

You’d think a company dealing with the top 10% of lawyers would have a physical location. Especially if they’re boasting their combined power with Avvo.

“Avvo has become an integral component of attorney marketing. Avvo provides comprehensive attorney profiles, client reviews and peer endorsements. The problem with Avvo membership alone is 97% of all U.S. Attorneys have Avvo profiles. With lawyers of distinction membership you can “distinguish yourself” and leverage your Avvo rating. The combination and synergy of these two memberships can make the difference in your push for top search engine optimization in your local geographic market and nationally, resulting in additional clients. Harness the power of this combination to fortify and solidify your strong legal reputation for excellence. We congratulate you!”

So in the spirit of the New Year, let’s cut out the shady directories and use our resources on more valuable marketing tactics.

But if you’re really just interested in the Costco discounts, they can hook you up.

Lawyers of Distinction Discounts

How To Create A Direct Link To Your Google Reviews

Reviews are a fantastic way to show potential clients the great work you do. Obtaining those reviews can be a difficult task in the legal world, but I’m here to make it one step easier.

Once you’ve found that wonderful client of yours who is willing to leave a review of your services, you probably want to make the process as easy as possible by sending links to your review sites. Small problem: how do I send a link to my most important review site, Google?

Step 1

Use Google Places API, and find your listing by entering your business information.

Google Place ID

Step 2

Take your Place ID, and add it to the following URL:

http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<place_id_here>

Example:
http://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=ChIJQUwKpR5pkFQR5ATGy9MswLc

Step 3

Since your URL might be long, you can use Google’s handy tool to shorten it.

Example:
goo.gl/C00mgT

When either the short or long link is clicked, your client will be taken to this window:

Google Review Link

You can now send this direct link to any participating clients, making the review process one step easier!

 

The Beginners Guide to Facebook Advertising

Tackling the many advertising options offered by Facebook can be a challenge. Do I want more likes on my Facebook page? Can I direct people to my website? What’s a boosted post? These and many other questions may be running through your mind, but don’t worry, I’ll be here to guide the way.

Why Facebook Ads?

First and foremost, you may be wondering why a lawyer would even want to advertise on Facebook. Although legal matters can be extremely personal, you have to think about how people make large purchases. They research, compare, and then buy. The traffic you receive from a Facebook ad may not be high converting, but they could be later, so think of these as branding campaigns. But with the extremely low cost of running ads on Facebook, it doesn’t hurt to dip your toes in the water.

Boosted Posts

Boosted posts are the easiest way to get familiar with Facebook advertising. A boosted post is essentially a post you might share with friends and followers, the only difference is you can now target people outside of that circle. You can target a specific location, a certain age group, and even narrow it down to job title and interests (this can be particularly helpful for workers’ compensation campaigns).

A boosted post could be a link to a recent blog on your site, or an update about your firm. Almost anything you share on your Facebook page can be used as a boosted post (consult their ad policies for more information).

Once you’ve published the post live on your page, you’ll find an option to boost underneath (there are other ways to get here, but I find this to be the easiest).

Boosted Post Button

You’ll then choose your targeting settings.

Facebook Boosted Post Demographics

And set your budget.

Boosted Post Budget

You’ll be able to preview your post before submitting in both desktop and mobile versions.

Boosted Post Preview

Once submitted, your post will be visible when someone matching your targeted audience scrolls through their newsfeed. With this kind of post, a potential client can click through to your website, visit your Facebook page, like your page directly from the post, comment, like, and share.

For these kinds of advertising campaigns, it’s usually best to run them for a short amount of time. The campaign pictured below ran for one week with a total budget of $200, yielding 169 clicks to our site, which equates to just under $1.20 per click. Not too shabby.

Mockingbird Boosted Post

Once you’ve mastered the art of the boosted post, you may be ready to start running even more targeted ads to generate leads, whether through video, geo-targeting, or larger branding ads.