Why We Track the Customer Journey: 3 Good Reasons

Quick question: should you invest more into the consumer who has searched for local auto-body shops, how to make an insurance claim, and then “car accident lawyer,” or the consumer who has just searched “car accident lawyer?” The answer is, of course, the former. We know that they have been in an accident, we know that they are making an insurance claim, and we know that they need a lawyer. What do we know about the second consumer, other than they want to know about car accident lawyers? 

 

1. Invest Where it Matters

Advertising is a game of wise investing and strategic placement. “Car accident lawyer” won’t be a cheap search term, no matter where you are. It’s important not to spend exorbitant amounts for each click by someone who isn’t even in the market for a lawyer.  By narrowing your audience down through search histories, you are saving money on PPC.

 

2. Reliable Customers

Visibility is vital for brand awareness and future conversions, but shouldn’t be the focus of targeted search campaigns. The customer journey is not vital for visibility campaigns, which largely appear on Youtube and Display ads. Search ads can be highly targeted and are a high-investment-high-return type of advertising. You can, and should, target consumers who you know are on the path to hiring a lawyer. Don’t use search ads to try and convert people who aren’t interested.

 

3. Actionable Metrics

Through Google Analytics and/or Google Search Console you can see where your clients are coming from. You can see their customer journey, how they found their way to your website, and at what step in their search they chose to convert. These metrics will show you where to invest in advertising and where to focus on link-building. Knowing how to connect with your clients before they even know they are going to convert is the goal of any good advertising campaign.

Deciding when to intercept a customer is a skill, and one that we excel at. We take pride in our experience running successful search campaigns. If you would like to discuss opportunities for your firm, contact Mockingbird today.

The Unseen Benefits of Building a New Website

It can be hard to build your website up from nothing, especially if you already had a website before. There are a number of reasons why you might have had to do so: rebranding, lost your previous domain, your last website was a train-wreck. Whatever your reason, a new domain is a great opportunity to establish your firm.

 

Google’s Honeymoon Period

One of the main benefits of a new domain is Google’s honeymoon period, where your website ranks well despite not having sufficient metrics that might have earned it. This allows a well-managed website to desperately grab and hang onto decent rankings early. 

 

The key takeaway from that should be “well-managed.” A poorly run website will do poorly, and won’t help its firm. There is nothing sadder than a website that doesn’t utilize their honeymoon period.

 

Configuring Google Search Console (GSC)

Just like how it’s easier to furnish an empty room than a room full of old furniture, it’s easier to set up GSC on a new website than on a website that has already set up a network of illogical metrics. 

 

A properly set up GSC can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date metrics on what is and isn’t working with your website. It can tell you where there are errors and, oftentimes, how to fix them. GSC can learn from the data from a fresh website, uncorrupted by confusing configurations.

 

Rebranding Your Firm

Sometimes it’s best to take an opportunity to rebrand your firm. This can mean changing your primary practice area, your logo, or the general image you want to represent you. Us here at Mockingbird have seen our fair share of outdated websites, and are always excited when we get the chance to create a shiny new site that truly represents the lawyers it advertises. 

Building a new website can feel time-consuming and inefficient, but we encourage looking at the silver linings. Alongside the opportunities it can present, the process of building a new website has been streamlined (especially for law firms) and can be made more easily scalable, accessible, and mobile than ever before.

3 Things to Remember When Leaving Your Digital Marketing Agency

Splitting with your marketing agency is rarely a mutual decision with warm feelings all around. More often it involves pulling teeth and giving up access to your analytics and domain name. Many digital marketing firms take pride in making it difficult for you to move on, and the best way to fight back is by making sure you know what to fight for after your break up.

 

1. Protect Your Customer Information

If your marketing agency had control over your call tracking programs and/or access to your direct messaging ads they have access to your clients. They can use those client lists against you by leading potential customers away from your firm and maybe even towards your competitors. To avoid this, you need to ensure that you either maintain control over all your customer information or see that any programs that collect information are terminated.

 

2. Check Your Website Access

A lot of digital marketing companies that provide website building services will make sure that they own every domain they build. That means that if they build your website and you fire them later, they will keep your website. You will be left to build another or buy it from them. The best way to avoid this is to make sure you own your domain prior to signing a contract, or by working with an organization that ensures that you own your website.

 

3. Review Cancellation Penalties

Always review your contracts before firing your agency. It’s not unusual for there to be penalties for canceling your plan, and those penalties can be costly. Unfortunately, long-term contracts can prove to be more costly. It can seem like there’s no easy escape, but making your grievances public can certainly help your case. 

 

Digital marketing agencies often aim to make their profit by trapping their clients in contracts and hiding their spendings. Mockingbird works to provide full transparency and ownership to our clients, and never traps them in unnecessary long-term contracts. We have helped law firms escape predatory firms for our entire career, and know how to best do our job. 

 

If you have been used by your marketing agency, contact Mockingbird. We will help you build your brand organically and protect your assets.

 

5 Steps to Upcycling Old Content

5 Steps to Upcycling Old Content

  1. SEO
  2. Keywords
  3. Plug-Ins
  4. Avoid Duplicate Pages
  5. Push the Pages

 

If your website has been around for a while, chances are it’s full of some pretty old content. Websites are like houses in that way: the longer you’re there, the more likely you are to have a pile of strange boxes in the back of a closet somewhere. Luckily, it’s easier to clean up your website than it is to sort through the boxes you never really unpacked after moving in. 

 

The first step to cleaning up your website is to create a spreadsheet so that you know which pages are salvageable. Some won’t be, and that’s fine. Delete those pages, kill your darlings. For the ones that can still be used as a resource, you need to determine what needs to be done to retrofit them for today’s internet. Let’s get started on that.

 

1. SEO

The easiest way to instantly improve your website is to optimize it. Read through the entire page and catch any wordy sentences or places where paragraphs can be split up. Put in headers and bulleted lists where you can. Make it as easy to read as possible.

 

2. Keywords

Language shifts, so make sure your keywords have adapted. This is as easy as reading through and making sure that no part of your piece sounds like it was written by someone who has memories of the Truman administration. 

 

3. Plug-ins

Make sure they’re all up to date. That’s it.

 

4. Avoid Duplicate Pages

When you’re updating old pages you can either update the original page or upload a new page and pause or delete the old one. Just make sure you don’t end up with duplicate pages. This damages your domain authority.

 

5. Push the Pages

There’s no point in dealing with content if you aren’t advertising it. Let people know about your work. Post your updated pages to your social media feeds and let your clients know about what you’re doing and what resources you offer. 

 

Making sure your website is up to date and providing only the best information in the resources you provide will help you build domain authority and a strong client base. It will also help you to maintain your content production without constantly producing new content.

 

If you would like help creating a content production plan, contact Mockingbird. 

The Future of Search Ads

A recent report from eMarketer about the future of search ads has provided some interesting predictions. The report looks into the coming ad revenues by company in the US market as well as total upcoming ad spend compared to percentage digital ad spend. 

 

Companies with the Highest Shares of Search Ads

Unsurprisingly, Google tops this list. In 2018, it held 73.4 percent of the Search Ad market, a number which eMarketer expects to drop to 70.5 percent by 2021. Other companies that appear on the list include Amazon, Microsoft, and Verizon Media Group. Amazon is the only company on the chart Marketer expects to grow over the coming years.

Chart showing ad revenue predictions for various advertising companies

 

Increase in Ad Spending

The report predicts that the US will spend more and more money on search ads in the next few years. Spending will jump from $55.17 billion in 2019 to a staggering $86.08 billion in 2023. Meanwhile, eMarketer expects the percentage of total digital ad spending devoted to search ads to remain at around 43 percent. The rate of growth is expected to slow over the years, and search ads are expected to grow at the same rate.

Chart showing expected total ad spend in the coming years

What Does This Mean?

This report means that the search ad market is going to get bigger, as is the digital advertising world as a whole. It also means that the ad world is getting more varied, even if by a small margin. With Google holding slightly less of the search ad market share, there might be room for competitors to rise up. This is why diversifying your advertising investments is always a good idea.

Why Microsoft/Bing Advertising is Worth It

Microsoft Advertising, which is largely Bing Search Ads, is an opportunity that law firms shouldn’t sleep on. Keywords for lawyers are some of the most competitive on Google, where the user bases of both consumers and advertisers are vast and saturated. Bing doesn’t have that same market, which means less competition and a better cost per acquisition (CPA) in many campaigns.

 

Demographics

By demographics I’m not referring to audience factors when designing an ad campaign, I’m talking about the general demographics of the users of the platform. Bing tends to be more popular among less tech-savvy individuals, as those who use it tend not to care too much about their search engine. Its users tend to be a bit more blue-collar and older than the average Google user, which can be used to your advantage.

Bing is the default search engine on a wide array of devices on the market, and anyone who isn’t a die-hard Google loyalist won’t care if the internet on their computer leads them straight to Bing; as long as it gives them an answer to their search query they’ll be happy. 

 

Utilizing Bing

The benefit of Bing is that its audience isn’t very tech-savvy. Where Google users might be aware and wary of search ads, Bing users might not even notice that they’re ads in the first place. They’re just looking for an answer to their search, and if your ad looks like it’ll provide that, they’ll click on it. 

By only using Google Ads, you are excluding a significant share of your target market. The share you are excluding could even be more representative of your target audience than who is currently seeing your ads. 

The other benefit of Bing is that it’s ad costs tend to be cheaper than Google’s, meaning you can use more targeted keywords without paying Google prices.

We encourage our clients to think of Microsoft/Bing advertising as something to invest in alongside Google, especially for firms with lower budgets. The two platforms are not mutually exclusive, and neglecting one in favor of the other is simply bad business.

If you need help setting up your Microsoft Ads account, contact Mockingbird. We’ll help you get your business off the ground.

Yes, You Need Call Tracking

So your ad campaign has been working and you’re getting almost more calls than you can handle. How do you handle it? Do you write down names and numbers on a notepad next to your phone?

 

If you are still using the pen and paper method for tracking essential information you can give it up. It’s simply not scalable. This is why Mockingbird encourages all of our clients to get call tracking software.

 

Why Should I Invest? My Method Works

Your method works…for now. Maybe it isn’t even working that well now. How many potential clients have been lost because of a misplaced note or messy handwriting? How many calls have you missed and never thought about again? This is why you need call tracking.

 

Our Method Works Better

Call tracking will give you a database of everyone who calls you, their phone numbers, and how many times they have called your firm. This can give you solid information about business growth, inquiry trends, and the type of clients you are attracting. It will also give you solid trends regarding the times of day with the most calls, helping you prepared for high volumes instead of always being overwhelmed and surprised. 

 

Our Selfish Reasons

We’d be lying if we didn’t say that we prefer call tracking because it makes our job easier because it does. It helps us know which of our ad campaigns are working, where to target call-only ads, and which clients are more receptive to your ads. This helps us be better marketers, thereby improving business for you. Our selfish reasons always benefit you, which is part of our business model. We don’t ever encourage our clients to invest in things that don’t actively improve their business, but sometimes we get to benefit too.

 

 

There are multiple forms of call tracking software that can help your business, and we can help you choose the right one for your firm. Call Mockingbird today to learn how to handle your phone!

Creating a Content Development Plan

A good website is like a good sandwich: it can look amazing from the outside, but if it doesn’t taste good then it’s a bad sandwich. The best way to make sure you have a good sandwich is to make sure you have the right ingredients and organize them in the right way. 

 

In case my metaphor is too wandering, content is to a website as ingredients are to a sandwich. While you can accidentally throw together an amazing sandwich, your best bet is to plan ahead.

 

Auditing The Content You Have

Every law practice has a set of required pages for its site to be an adequate resource for potential clients. These include:

 

  • A homepage
  • A contact page
  • An about page
  • Individual practice area pages
  • A resource page, whether it’s FAQ or a blog

 

Before you even consider adding extra content you need to audit your current pages. Are they optimized and well written? Do you have the basics? If you don’t, fill out your pages with the barebones.

 

On the other side of things, some websites have way too much content. You might need to prune some of it back. If there’s duplicate content or orphan pages your site could suffer. You don’t want a sandwich full of iceberg lettuce. No one likes that.

 

Adding The Content You Need

Once you have figured out what your site is missing, you can get to work adding it. This is a great opportunity to optimize your site! If your existing pages haven’t been updated since 2009, update them now! You’ll be amazed at all the plug-ins available (also, no one uses Flash anymore; get rid of any plug-ins that require Flash ASAP).  You need to make sure you have the fillings of your sandwich before you even think about condiments. 

 

Adding Extra Content

Extras normally include pages like regular blog postings, successful case results, and in-depth resources. To make sure your pages are getting you the traffic and clients you want, you need to ask yourself a few questions before beginning work:

 

  1. What types of cases do I want? You can control what type of audience visits your website through the content you produce. If you have resources in greater depth on a specific issue than any other website, people looking into that issue will find their way to your page. It might not get high traffic, but it will get the right traffic.
  2. What type of expertise are my clients looking for? You’re a lawyer, so you’re in competition with every lawyer in your practice in your area. You need to show that you can not only stand toe-to-toe with any of them, but you are also more knowledgeable than them. Write about the specifics of your practice areas, things that might not show up on the practice area page. Prove you’re an expert.
  3. What is my voice? Your voice is a vital part of your brand. Some firms put more personality in their blogs, some keep it strictly academic. You need to decide what voice you’re putting into the world and keep it consistent.

 

Once you have answered these questions about yourself, you’re ready to start writing. 

 

Consider SEO

SEO is often considered something that can be accounted for later but is really much easier to just account for now. There are ways to optimize a page that barely even impacts writing. Four things you can do to improve SEO without even trying are:

 

  1. Organizing H1s, H2s, and H3s. By setting up your headers that accurately summarize and organize your page you are letting search engines know the content and composition of the page. 
  2. Adding bullet-pointed or numbered lists. Just like with headers, lists help search engines know how you’re organizing your page. A header with a well-designed list can even create a nice featured snippet if you’re lucky.
  3. Internal linking. Linking to other pages on your site not only improves the user experience by helping them visit the rest of your website but it also really helps with SEO.
  4. Add relevant images. Images help to make your page look nicer, and relevant images with accurate alt-text are particularly appreciated by search engines.

 

If you’ve noticed that pretty much all of that advice has been used in this post, good job! Sandwich for you!

 

Getting Help

Not every law firm has the time or writing expertise to do in-house content audits or plan development. This is understandable since the law is a complicated subject with a lot riding on it. You can’t be expected to spend all your time brainstorming your next FAQ. 

Mockingbird is here to help. We are proud of content audits and development plans and will help with link building and PR campaigns to improve your website’s rankings and increase your organic traffic. If you feel like your website could be performing better, don’t hesitate to call us! Helping lawyers is what we do.

FACEBOOK’s New Safety Guidelines

Facebook Ads, run by FACEBOOK for Business and appearing on Facebook and Instagram, recently announced new safety controls for their advertisers, meant to “maintain a high-quality ecosystem of content, publishers, and ads.” These new features largely build on existing features but focus more on efficiency and advertiser security.

 

Ad Manager

Facebook ads used to have layers you had to get through to edit each individual campaign. They have now set up a new “one-stop place.” This will allow advertisers to set account-wide filters.

 

The platform is also improving its advertiser-creator relationships with more comprehensive publisher white lists and block lists so that advertisers always know where their ads are being shown.

 

Advertiser Safety Partners

Facebook is also introducing a partnership with Zefr, a targeted advertising company. Zefr will be working alongside DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science, and OpenSlate to maintain protections for advertisers.

 

Community Standards

Facebook has updated its community guidelines! But not very much. It is unlikely to affect legal marketing.

 

If You Need Legal Marketing Help

If you have found yourself in a situation where you want Facebook and Instagram ads for your law firm but are unsure how to set them up, give Mockingbird a call. We make it our specialty to run marketing campaigns on multiple platforms, including FACEBOOK.