It’s Time To Start Making Video Content

I know, it’s an investment. Making high-quality video content requires expensive gear and loads of time both in front of the camera and editing. You need scripts and producers and lighting and a boom guy. Your lawyers are lawyers, not actors.

Here’s the thing, you don’t need all of that. Sure, you need a camera and a microphone, and someone who knows how to edit videos, but there has never been a better time to be producing video content.

 

Improved Data

With Google’s recent announcement that videos will appear in searches and webmasters will be provided comprehensive data on the performance of the video, producing tailored content is simple, or at least as simple as any other form of digital marketing. With improved access to data, adapting your campaigns will be a sharp learning curve.

 

Video Reach Campaigns

While you definitely shouldn’t have third-party embedded videos on your website (it can significantly slow down site speeds by full seconds), you should consider video advertising or posting regular informational blogs on a company Youtube channel. With Youtube’s updated video reach campaigns managing multiple campaigns is easy and cost-effective. If you don’t want to manage video ads, a video channel will help build your online presence.  

 

Editing

Simple videos don’t need complicated edits. As a law firm, you probably don’t want to be producing complicated videos in-house, but simple informative videos are easy to learn to edit. There are multiple free video editing programs that should cover everything you need to do.

 

What Kind of Content 

You’re a law firm, right? You know the law. Explain your practice to your viewers. If you have a legal blog some of your blog posts can be repurposed into more in-depth videos. FAQs can be answered with an actual voice, not just in text. Be creative! 

 

If you don’t feel comfortable expanding into creating video content, you don’t have to. Just know that marketers are prioritizing video advertising just below keyword searches and audience targeting. 

If you would like help to understand or designing a video marketing campaign, contact us and we can discuss your options.

Understanding Conversions (SEO 101)

Website management programs record every type of action a consumer makes on a website. The digital marketing world designates each action with its own acronym and relevance. There’s the click-through-rate (CTR), which describes how many people clicked on your link; the bounce rate, or how many people left the page immediately after clicking on your link; and the conversion rate, how many consumers become clients.

 

How To Measure Conversions

Due to the complexities of both the internet and human behaviors, measure the exact numbers of conversions can be difficult. This means your conversion rate will change depending on the parameters you set for recording conversions, but you can decide which actions count as conversions. According to a Moz.com article on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO), there are two types of converting actions: macro-conversions and micro-conversions:

From Moz.com

 

Things to Keep In Mind

Every time a unique visit results in a conversion, the conversion rate goes up. This often doesn’t account for the few unique visits before a consumer makes before they convert into a client. They might not register as the same consumer If they clear their cookies or visit your site from a different device and account. Conversion rates are never 100% accurate, but if you optimize your ads and webpages with conversion actions they should give a good sense of how long it takes for consumers to become clients after visiting your page.

 

Increasing Conversions

So the consumer is on your webpage, now it’s up to your product and your content to make them into a customer. SEO and advertising can only go so far as to get them to your page, once they’re there, you have to convince them. This can be done with pleasing web design, easy access to converting actions (commenting on blogs, filling out surveys, signing up for newsletters, etc.), and providing quality content and products.

If you would like help in setting up any aspect of what is discussed here, contact Mockingbird Marketing. We set you up with everything your law firm needs for a website and a marketing campaign.

Why Law Stories are Perfect for Content

Shareable content is the currency of the internet, and creating a viral video, story, or article is the visibility lottery few companies are able to win. Law firms tend to only win in comedic, slapstick way (think of the over-the-top local ads you may have seen on tv). This method may lead to a memorable name for consumers but doesn’t do much for credibility. As any advertiser knows to get people to see and remember the ad is one thing, getting them to purchase the product is another. That’s where it’s important to know your brand.

 

As explained by Greg Jarboe of Search Engine Journal, humor is an easy way to elicit an emotional response from a consumer. The other way to get attention is through drama and sincerity. 

 

The Type of Story You Should Tell

As a law firm, you fight to get people what they deserve every day. If you’re a personal injury lawyer you help people get back on their feet. If you’re an immigration firm you get people working and reconnected with their families. There are few things that get internet users as teary-eyed as family reunions, especially if there was a struggle involved. DUI lawyers can focus on rehabilitation after a mistake. You get it: you stand up for the little man, let the little man help you stand taller. 

 

How to Tell Your Story

Let the focus stay on your client. They are the star, and they’re who you focused on during their case. Have the story be strongly based on a true story, if not fully true. People respond to honest stories and honest struggle.

 

The Story doesn’t Have to be Universally Relatable

A very small percentage of America’s population are dogs with owners who are serving in the military. That doesn’t stop large numbers of people from crying when they watch videos of dogs reacting when their owners return from service. People connect with the feeling of reunion and relief. You, as a law firm, provide at least one of those things every time you win a case.

 

Keep It Simple

Your story has one goal: get people to know what you do and that you care about your clients’ stories. This means that it should follow a basic narrative arc, wrap up nicely, and leave the viewer knowing that your firm resolved the conflict. No need for b-plots or side characters. 

 

Designing a compelling story is the oldest art known to man, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Emotions can be complicated and, occasionally, controversial. Ask clients for their thoughts on if they would like to be featured in one of your stories. You help people every day and it’s time you showed the world the effects of your work.

If you feel like your brand needs help with advertising or digital marketing, contact us and we can discuss your options.

Chrome is Updating and Leaving Mixed Pages Behind

In an announcement on October 3rd, it was revealed that Google Chrome will be phasing out access to pages with mixed content, citing user security. 

 

What Does This Mean?

If your website has secure https:// connections, but includes media without secure linking, Chrome will flag the page as insecure. Beginning in December 2019, Chrome 79 will allow users to toggle their security settings. They will be able to allow the browser to access insecure scripts and otherwise blocked content. Google will release Chromes 80 and 81 in early 2020 and promise to upgrade media with http:// security to https:// automatically. The update will allow mixed images to load, but with a “Not Secure” warning appearing in the Omnibox. 

 

How Does Mixed Content Affect User Security?

Mixed content provides malicious website builders an opportunity to tamper with content to influence visitors to the page. They can do this by adding cookie trackers to hidden scripts or messing with media links. Due to the prevalence of https:// security, and the relative lack of upsides to having mixed content, Chrome has decided that it’s more efficient to block all mixed content and upgrade the passive content of images, audio, and video.

 

Is My Website At Risk of Being Blocked?

Always make sure to check that your website is up and running and complying with all search engine and browser guidelines, but chances are that the largest risks to your site will get upgraded by Chrome with Chrome 80 and 81. If you would like some easy and/or free ways to quickly check your website for potentially blocked pages, check out Search Engine Journal’s article on the update. A number of good resources appear at the bottom of the page.

If you would like help building or maintaining your law firm’s website, contact us here at Mockingbird Marketing. The services we offer include web design and SEO for your business, as well as web-traffic monitoring and PPC.

Don’t Neglect Your Firm’s Social Media

We live in a social world, and if you fail to participate you are failing your business. While many aspects of social media are fast-moving and trendy, near impossible for a hard-working firm to keep up with, simply having a presence will help build organic traffic to your website. Luckily, social media pages are easy to set up.

 

The Basics

To set up a basic social media presence, stick to the main 3 platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To be honest, you probably don’t even really need Instagram unless one of your attorneys has a passion for taking artsy photos of just out of focus legal briefs. As for Facebook, you can set up a business page with all of your information, which you should do. A Facebook business page gives you a platform to keep all your information. Even if you have a Google My Business profile, the more places you have your information the better.

The basic information you want to have on Facebook and Twitter is about the same as your Google My Business profile: address, hours, contact information, link to your website. Social media will also allow you to present your business to a wider audience. Make sure photos of your firm and your lawyers are easily accessible on your page(s). This adds credibility to your business and gives your internet presence a more personal feeling.

 

Adding More

Once the basics of your page have been set up, you can further increase traffic by uploading regularly. You can do this simply by connecting your legal blog to your social media firm. This will help your social media feed to remain active and increase the readership of your blog. If you don’t have a blog, consider starting one. If you don’t want to start one, try just sharing relevant articles. Active social media feeds let clients know that your business is still running with lawyers that keep up to date with current events. Post business updates: new hires, successful cases, attendance at conferences. Every detail about your firm will be a deciding factor for your potential clients, so give them as many good and honest details as you can.

 

If you already have a social media page make sure to check on it regularly. If you change offices update the address. Check and see if the page has photos. Think of your business as a person: if you (not your business) got contacted by someone you didn’t know and when you looked them up all you could find was a Facebook page with no photos or posts, that was made in 2007. You wouldn’t trust that person. The same goes for your firm. Make sure your firm is more trustworthy than the twelve-year-old empty profile of a stranger.

For advice on building a social media page or resources on improving your website’s traffic, contact us. We love lawyers!

You Need to Improve Your Firm’s Brand Story

So you have a good business, you treat your clients well, your firm works hard, and yet your presence is barely felt online. You’ve worked on SEO, PPC, and every other acronym your digital marketing team has thrown at you. Maybe you need to improve your brand story, for both you and your clients.

 

The Client’s Story

Unless they’ve been referred by a friend, it’s unlikely that your client will show up at your website without first doing research into their case and other lawyers. This is that client’s story you need to work on. They need to go from not knowing you, recognizing your brand, to trusting you, to converting. 

This process begins with the client researching their problem, which is when you can come in with information. This is why having an informative and accessible blog is essential. If you’re a personal injury firm, maybe your client will find a blog about settlements from trampoline-related injuries when they’re researching how common the injuries they sustained on their friend’s trampoline are. 

Once they decide to take action, they will hopefully have your brand in the back of their heads as they research local law firms. Once the name is familiar, they are more likely to look into your firm. As they’re comparing firms, you need to make sure your personal brand story stands out.

 

Your Brand Story

Remember the three arts of rhetoric: Pathos, Ethos, and Logos. That’s right, we’re going back to High School English. Consider what makes your firm different, what gives it the upper-hand. 

What brought everyone into the firm and why do you do what you do? Pull those pathos strings; get them emotionally involved.  

What makes your lawyers so good? Was it their schooling? Their years of experience? Maybe they clerked for superior court judges in their youth. Show your potential client that you have the knowledge and authority to win the case. You must wow them with your ethos.

Finally, explain why your firm is the practical option. If you’re a personal injury lawyer who only charges a contingency fee, you’re probably more practical for someone trying to repair their life that a lawyer who costs $1,200/hour. If you’re a local business you are easily accessible to anyone nearby and know all the local regulations. You are the logical option, and you need to prove it with logos.

 

What If My Story Isn’t Interesting?

Any story can be interesting if it’s told correctly. Focus on emotions where the details get dry, focus on details when there aren’t many emotions to talk about and talk about your hopes for your brand’s future when there’s not much to say about emotions or details. Every person has some motivation for being where they are, and yours and your clients’ need to align when they find your website. Whatever you do, don’t make up your story. Fabricated details and emotions are easy to sense and can push potential clients away, even if they aren’t quite sure why. People respond to honesty. 

If you need help building your brand story or increasing your brand awareness, contact us and we will help you plan a comprehensive marketing strategy.

Structuring Your Page for SEO

Whether you’re building a page for an article, a blog, a product review, or a practice area, the way you structure your page is vital for Search Engine Optimization. From the design to the programming to the writing, you should always keep the big picture in mind before publishing.

 

Design

Your webpage should also be user-friendly first. This means the visuals are pleasing and the color scheme is easy to read. If the website looks good enough for the consumer to stay and read its contents, you’re on the right track. For improved reading and improved SEO, make sure you use headings in your text. These allow readers to easily scroll through your text to find the section they’re looking for, and it lets Google know the contents of the website. Don’t be afraid of having multiple “Heading 1’s,” as Google has ensured webmasters that despite certain less than honest tactics, the search engine can look past them.

 

Programming

The success of your site should rest on a foundation of solid programming, with special consideration taken to page speed and crawler accessibility. I’ll be honest, I know nothing about programming or coding, but if you’re building a website you or someone on your team should. 

 

Writing

As mentioned before, make sure your content is properly labeled with headings. As for the actual writing, try not to be Hemmingway or James Joyce. You want your writing to be comprehensive, but not rambling. If possible, work links into your writing as naturally. This will help Google connect your page to other pages on your website, as well as other websites. 

Your website is your company’s connection to the largest human network in history, and if you don’t set it up for people to visit you are wasting time and money. If you need help setting up a website for your law firm contact us here at Mockingbird Marketing. Optimizing web pages is what we do!

If Google Ads Runs Itself Now, What do We do?

Google Ads have been getting more sophisticated and closer to full automation over the recent years, all the while causing panic for those who make their living in SEO and PPC. This is a well-known never-ending crisis, as evidenced by blogs and articles from the early 2010s. Recent developments by Google have done very little to quell these fears, as updates introduce features like automated ad suggestions and automated extensions, which write, design, and post ads with little to no help from the human in charge. This leaves the question: what is our role?

 

Just Because its Automated Doesn’t Mean it Has to Be

 While Google Ads have the capacity to be fully automated, they probably shouldn’t be, for the good of your campaigns and your wallet. Many of the default options for Google Ads serve Google more than you. You know your target market, and it’s more narrow than Google’s Display Network. Until further notice, you and Google have conflicting goals: Google wants your ad to be seen by as many people as possible, and you want your ad to be seen by people who are likely to click-through. SEO experts will always have a place as long as there are options to customize ad reach and visibility. 

 

Content Works Best When Written By Humans For Humans

We’ve all read scripts written by ai, and we all know that people still have the upper hand when it comes to writing for human readers, for now at least. Humans, and SEO experts, in particular, are particularly skilled in writing content that optimized for the guidelines of Google rankings as well as holding the interest of a human reader. We have that touch of emotion and a unique voice that has yet to be properly replicated.

 

Humans Can Connect Broader Concepts

Direct traffic has little data connected to it, making it difficult to use in analytics. Luckily, SEO experts are able to make sense of where traffic can come from, even if they don’t have an accessible browser history. They can see that the person went to the website from a mobile device shortly after their ad was played on TV. People have a better ability to think outside the box, which is why advertisements look different than they did in the 1970s. Times and trends change when people try new things, a concept that doesn’t work as well for computer programs.

 

In Conclusion, Your Industry Is (Probably) Safe

While automation has a tendency to remove people from certain steps of the digital marketing equation, it has yet to make them obsolete, and since this worry has been pretty consistent for almost a decade now without the disappearance of the industry, you will probably be fine. Just remember to hold onto the skills the robots can’t replicate.

Setting Up Your Google Ads

 

 

In today’s digital marketing climate, Google Ads are just about unavoidable. Google owns over 89% of North America’s search engine market, which rises to 92% worldwide. This makes advertising on the platform the best way to get to the eyes of consumers. Unfortunately, a lot of advertisers are completely clueless about how to optimize their Google Ad campaigns. Here’s how to not be one of those advertisers. For a more in-depth guide, check out Brittany Zerr of Kick Point’s article here.

 

Keywords

For an aspect of advertising that has been around since the beginning of search engines, keywords are commonly misused. Think about keywords like a description of a sandwich on a menu: descriptive, but not over the top. Describe the sandwich’s key features, but you probably don’t have to describe every ingredient. If your keywords are too broad you risk people seeing your ad who are searching for something completely underrated. A search for the keyword “sandwich” will bring the consumer a mountain of results that your ad could get lost under. If one of your keywords for your sandwich is “self-rising flour,” it might show up when someone is looking for a cake recipe. This results in you paying for an ad that the consumer didn’t want to see.

 

Just as important as regular keywords, negative keywords help to narrow your audience. If someone is looking for a vegan sandwich or classes at a sandwich school, you can make it so that “vegan” and “school” are negative keywords, meaning your ad won’t show up if the consumers searches for those terms. Finding the right negative keywords can take time, so don’t be afraid to look into your Google Analytics and see what keywords are bringing your ads to consumers. If any don’t align with your business, make them negative keywords.

 

Match Types

Google has many options that aren’t best for advertisers, but are best for Google, which is why they might be set as the default. “Broad match” is one of these options. Broad match allows Google to display your ad anywhere it feels like it might be relevant based on your keywords. Since Google profits off your ad being displayed, it’ll likely show up in places you don’t think are relevant. Get ready to see your sandwich on searches for what to do when your car gets crunched between the car in front and behind it. 

 

To start your campaign, try using “Exact match.” This will make sure your ad will only show up on searches that include your exact keyword. If you know your market, you will reach your clients more efficiently with the keyword “pesto aioli sandwich Cupertino” than the keyword “sandwich south bay.”

 

Calls to Action/Extensions

Efficiency is everything in the internet age, as are statistics. Having a call to action on your ad helps with both of these. If your sandwich ad gives options to “Order Online” or “Get Directions,” the consumer will be able to end their search with the click of a button, and you get click-through data. To get those calls to action on your ad, you’ll need to add extensions. 

 

Extensions help to broaden your searches and provide more info to your clients. Its best to just add as many extensions as you think are relevant to your campaign(s) and let Google do the rest. That being said, it’s up to you to make sure all your extensions are working properly with the right parameters. 

 

Location

If you are a local business make sure Google knows. Make sure your business’s address, hours, contact details, and description are all easily accessible and show up when a client searches for your business. This will help with local searches beyond any advertising campaign you might have, but it will also help your advertising campaign. If someone Google knows is close to your business searches “pesto sandwich Cupertino,” your ad will show up at the top of the list. If you can only serve customers in your nearby area, make sure those are the only people seeing your ad. You don’t want someone in Tangiers seeing your ad when they want a pesto sandwich.

 

If you’re unsure about where people are when they’re seeing your ad, you can see those on your GoogleAd page data sets. If a large group of people seeing your ad are in Tangiers, you might want to tighten up your location settings.

 

Campaigns

Finally, think about your campaign strategy. When it comes to Google Ads it’s best to have multiple campaigns with fewer ads in each campaign than the other way around. This gives you more control over each individual ad and more information on each campaign, letting you know what is and isn’t working. 

 

To make further sure that you are in control of your ads, make sure that you’ve selected to be a “Search Campaign” as opposed to Google’s default “Google Display Network.” The Google display network will restrict your ad to a text ad while handing the wheel to Google on where to show your ad. As a rule, you want to be in control of your campaign. 

Google Ads can be confusing and difficult to set up, and if you get it wrong you could be dumping money into a campaign that’s giving you nothing in return. If you are a lawyer who needs help setting up your Google Ads or designing PPC campaigns, contact us for a consultation.