Your Clients are Your Best Advertisers

For both local and multi-office firms, client reviews are some of the most important aspects of a revenue-generating online presence. Surveys show that most consumers read reviews prior to committing to a purchase and that most online businesses now have at least one online review. This trend isn’t new, and it isn’t going anywhere, so hop on this bandwagon and let’s go on a ride.


Utilizing Client Feedback

Getting feedback from your clients is always important; how else are you going to know how to improve? 

Beyond constructive advice, client feedback is often good (or at least it should be). When you get good feedback you need to know how to get your clients to post it online in their spare time. If you don’t think they will, you can ask if you can keep their comments on file and post them to your website under testimonials.


Testimonials vs Reviews

If you’re wondering what the difference is between testimonials and reviews, you’re probably not alone. Think of a testimonial as to the type of thing you would ask someone to say about you in a reference letter. A review is what someone would say about you before you arrive at a party. In an ideal world, the two won’t be too different. 

Your testimonials should go on your website. They are cultivated pieces of client feedback that make you sound great. The problem with only relying on the testimonials you choose as the client feedback potential clients might see is that they might not feel as real. Of course, you’re going to cherry-pick the best ones and not post the bad reviews.

Your reviews should come straight from your clients and should be posted from their personal computer (Google tends to flag reviews posted directly from the business being reviewed). They go on Google My Business, Yelp, and anywhere else people are able to leave reviews. Consumers tend to trust them more, as they come directly from the clients. 


When a Review Goes Bad

The risk you take with relying on the reviews is that some are going to be bad. Not everyone is going to be happy, and that’s ok. You just need to know how to handle a negative review. 

Chances are, you will know the situation the reviewer is having a grievance with. If you don’t, find out. As the business owner, you are responsible for responding to the reviews, which you can do either publicly or privately, depending on the situation. In some cases, you’ll want to privately message the client to clear up the situation. In other cases, your best course of action will be to publicly respond. Knowing which situation calls for what is a matter of personal preference and over time you will learn what is best for you and your business.

If you would like to learn more about how to handle reviews or increase client feedback, contact Mockingbird.

Is Your Law Firm’s Site Affecting Your Ad Conversion Rate on Mobile?

As we’ve mentioned in the past, the world is seeing a shift toward more mobile usage. This holds for Google Ads as well. In 2019, The average clickthrough rate for a search ad on mobile is almost a full percentage point higher than the average rate for desktop ads. With this shift in behavior, it is important to make sure the landing pages your ads lead to are as up-to-par on mobile as they are on desktop.

The performance of your ads comes down to 3 factors:

  1. How much you’re bidding on your keywords
  2. How relevant your ads are to the search query
  3. The ad’s landing page experience

While the first two factors will help drive traffic and build awareness to your site, it’s the landing page experience that drives the likelihood that a potential client contacts you.

What is Landing Page Experience?

Landing page experience is a measure of your page’s relevance to what the searcher was looking for when they clicked on your ad. In the context of legal marketing, this means that your content must be informative enough to show the user that you can help them with what they are looking for. The better your landing page experience is, the more likely a user is to convert. To determine landing page performance, Google takes the following into account:

  • Site speed – how long does it take for the page to load?
  • Content relevance – is this what the searcher was looking for?
  • Prominent calls-to-action – how easy is it for someone to contact you?
  • User experience – how easy is it to find information on your site?

Take a second to put yourself in a potential client’s shoes and ask yourself these questions while looking at a practice area page on your firm’s site on your phone:

  • Did I just get annoyed with how long it took for my site to load?
  • Did I have to scroll far or zoom in to see my content?
  • Does my content tell me very little about how I can help?
  • Does it take me a long time to fill in my information on my forms?
  • Is it hard to find a number to call my firm?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you need to fix your landing pages. These are very real issues people can have with websites that can determine whether someone will contact you.

I Answered Yes to Some of These Questions. What Now?

If your landing pages are in need of work, there are a few things you can do to improve their efficacy. Besides improving the speed of your site, you can focus on making sure your content is relevant and informative while conveying how you can help a potential client, as highlighted in this outline.

If content and page layout adjustments are not an option, this does not mean you cannot advertise altogether. A great alternative to consider is to run call-only ads in place of text ads. These ads only appear on mobile devices and allow users to call your firm by clicking on your ad instead of being sent to a landing page.

Being the top bidder is an important factor in your ad performance. However, Google ultimately wants to provide users with the best possible search experience. If you want to be successful with advertising, it is crucial to consider the experience of your users in an increasingly mobile world. That means, creating a fast, user-friendly mobile experience.

Are Google Ads Messaging Extensions Right for You

Google integrated extensions into Google Ads in 2016, providing a number of new options for businesses. One option that is currently available is messaging, which allows consumers to directly message businesses right from the ad. 


This featured felt almost overwhelming to some small businesses when it was first rolled out. The idea of having to be on call for countless consumers without knowing whether or not they even intended to use the feature wasn’t what business owners thought was the best use of their time.


But it’s been a couple of years now, and maybe we can help demystify the feature.


Do I Always Have to be Available?

No, you don’t. Google is smart and knows that most small businesses don’t have the capacity to have someone ready to respond to messages 24/7. That’s why you can customize your hours on your ads to ensure that the messaging feature doesn’t appear when your business is closed. Beyond that, you can craft automated responses and email forwarding to ensure that no message goes unanswered. 


Where do the Messages Go and How Do I Respond?

This is largely up to you. You can set up your account to have the messages sent to an email address or a mobile phone number of your choosing. When you respond to a message on either platform it sends it directly back to the client. 


What Counts as a Conversion?

You can determine what counts as a conversion, i.e. how many messages need to be sent by the client before Google adds it to your list of conversions. Not everyone who clicks on a messaging extension means to, and therefore shouldn’t be counted as a conversion.


How Do I Know That My Business is Eligible for Messaging Extensions?

You can find Google’s requirements for users implementing messaging extensions here. To briefly summarize, your phone number (if you’re using a phone number) must be active, domestic, and toll-free. You have to respond to messages promptly and relevantly, so no advertising products that weren’t in the ad. Finally, you need to make sure you’re not abusing the access messaging extensions are giving you to the clients.  You are not allowed to use their personal information or data, and you’re not allowed to upload unwanted software of malware onto their device.


So, Are Messaging Extensions Right for My Firm?

To answer this question you need to look at your firm. Is there enough staff available to answer messages during the day? Does your firm provide services that can be sold easier with an immediate personal connection? Are you not planning on spamming people who message you or uploading viruses to their devices? If your answers to these questions are all “yes” then you should consider messaging extensions for your next ad campaign. If the answer to any of them is “no,” you might want to either consult a PPC expert or wait until your next set of ad campaigns to add the extension.

Data is Useless without Insights: 4 Indicators You Should Know

Every decision you make when advertising is based on data and best practices that were formed by data. If you have a Google Ads account, chances are you have large amounts of data you might not know what to do with. Luckily, you don’t need to know the meaning or purpose of every number. Here are 4 insights you should be checking on in your analytics.


1. Page Views vs Leads

Pageviews go up and down and don’t always mean that more people are interested in your firm. Of course, more pageviews can lead to more leads just due to a higher volume of traffic, but fewer page views don’t always mean fewer leads. While page views seem like the obvious factor to look at, leads are a more productive insight to check to see where your business is and what ad strategies are working.


2. Channels

Knowing where your traffic is coming from will help you know where you should be spending your money. Sometimes you can spend thousands of dollars on an ad campaign just to get all of your clients from your newly set-up Google My Business Account. 


3. Landing Pages

Just as you need to know where your traffic is coming from, you need to know where it’s going. Knowing your website’s top landing pages will show you where you need to put your time and energy. Sometimes your top landing pages are not the pages with the highest conversion rates. Sometimes they’re the pages with the highest bounce rates. If this is the case, you need to spend some time making those pages more welcoming and leading for the rest of the website. 


4. Bounce Rates

The bounce rate for a page is the percentage of visitors who left the website after visiting only that page. Sometimes that’s fine, as with educational blog posts where people might find what they need quickly. Other times it’s a sign that something’s wrong. For instance, if your homepage has a high bounce rate, that really isn’t good. A high bounce rate can be due to a number of things, including a site that feels untrustworthy or a site that loads slowly. Luckily, all of these problems can be fixed quickly.

Sometimes it can be hard to run a successful law firm while also worrying about advertising and digital marketing metrics. If this is the case, you’re in luck. Mockingbird is here with the most comprehensive and accessible report out there, so you can let the numbers tell you how to run your business, and let us tell you where the numbers are coming from in a language you understand. If this sounds like something you could benefit from, let us know!

Creating Effective PPC Landing Pages

Earlier this year, emarketer released a report stating that 2019 will be the first year digital ads surpass traditional ads. A claim was also made that by 2023, 2/3 of all advertising will be digital. If your law firm is not already putting the majority of advertising into reaching potential clients online then you’re already behind your competition.

Because pay-per-click encompasses such a large amount of the digital ad spend for our clients, we’re constantly trying to refine our designs and create websites that will perform well when it comes to converting your online ad spend into actual new clients. Here’s an overview of our process and what we try to convey on a successful PPC landing page.

After hours of external research and testing our creations, we have laid out our process for creating law firm PPC landing pages.

Determine Your Audience.

The first step, as it should be with any marketing material, is determining your audience and how we can appeal to their emotional desires. How we write copy is very important and just tweaking an ads copy can drastically increase click through rates and increase conversions on your landing pages. Once we know the audience, we can start the trust enhancing design.

Build the Landing Page

Now we know who the audience is, it’s time to think about the page structure and design of the landing page. We want the page to load fast, while gaining the user’s trust enough that they’ll want to contact your firm. When we create each landing page, we keep these three principles in the back of our heads:

  • Keep it minimal and uncluttered.
  • Each section should appeal to the user’s desires and reflect the search they conducted when finding your ad
  • The page should load as quickly as possible.

Header – Contact Bar

The header will serve more as a contact bar and an internal navigation. Your PPC landing page will not link to any external pages. We want to keep visitors on the landing page and emphasize contacting you on this first visit to your site. We also want your phone number and/or a contact button easily visible at all times. We will keep this fixed on the page so it’s constantly visible, but small enough that it’s not distracting users from your content.

Section: 1 – Establish Your Value Proposition

You want a marketing hero that has everything the client needs to contact you. This includes an appealing headline and/or copy that establishes your value proposition, imagery, and a call to action, that all appeals to your user’s desires.

Section 2: Build Trust

We have the user’s attention and they are interested in your value proposition, but they want to know who you are and why they should trust your value proposition? Section two should be a brief “about your firm” and clearly communicate why the client should trust you. This is a great place for an awesome testimonial or award. Just don’t overload the user with how awesome you are. Pick a few standout items that reinforce the values you’re trying to convey.

Section 3: Explain How Your Value Proposition is Unique

This section is to explain how awesome your firm is at meeting the desires your client is trying to fulfill. How does your firm stand out from the competition? You should use a short paragraph on how you stand out and include a result or two that backs up your claims.

Section 4: Encourage Contact Form Submissions

Buttons will also be in different sections that will anchor to this capture form section. Here we want a very simple form that captures name, email, and a quick description of the prospect’s issue or problem. We just want them to contact your firm so the intake team can handle the rest.

Test the Landing Page

It’s always important to test your landing pages. Play with copy, imagery, and placement to see what works better for your audience. You can easily (and should) run A/B testing on different versions of your landing page. Every audience is different and tweaking to get your maximum conversions is a must. Only data can prove what is working.

3 Marketing Strategies I Learned from the Virginia 2019 Elections

Virginia’s entire state legislature was up for re-election last night (November 5th, 2019) and the Democrats managed to flip both the state house and state senate despite having the odds stacked against them. From blackface scandals to strong anti-choice lobbying, there was a lot that could have gone wrong. Lucky for the Democrats, just about every Democratic strategizing, organizing, and campaigning organization had nowhere else to lend their focus. 

I was lucky enough to get an inside look at a couple of these organizations earlier in the year, and was able to pick up a few tricks that helped them get elected, and might help you get some more clients.


1. Targeting is Everything

Many organizations knew which districts they would our resources into before the district even had a candidate. How did they know how to do this? Historical data is available to show trends, and that data was mined just about to death (you should see the spreadsheets). 

The point is, they knew which races were won and lost before the primaries and so they focused their time and money and what needed to be protected and what needed to be flipped. Or rather, what clients might leave and where conversions might occur.


2. Don’t Treat People Like They’re Stupid

Some of the top issues discussed during the race included education, improved access to rural broadband, handling the prescription drug price gouging, and improving rural infrastructure. The candidates knew that the issues were vital to the lives of their constituents, and so treated them seriously. Rhetoric isn’t enough when people’s lives are on the line.

The same goes for your firm. If you just tell your clients that you will fight for them, it’s something they’ve read on 50 other websites. Show them that you know what you’re talking about.


3. Be Prepared to Explain Why You’re the Better Option (Basic Opposition Research isn’t a Bad Idea)

You’re competing with other law firms, and you know that. What are you doing to prove you’re the best option?

State legislative candidates and legislators only really make the news when they do something particularly interesting, and for the most part, they don’t. That doesn’t mean that they’re angels. It only takes some basic research to know which bills they co-signed, blocked, or spoke against. Candidates trying to oust an incumbent would check if their opponent had been productive, and use their findings to make a case to the voters.

It’s not a bad idea to look into your competition. If you have potential clients who are on the fence, it might help them to know your win record compared to that of your competitor.


Politics isn’t for everyone. It’s divisive and dirty and is usually a real downer. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it.


Marketing and campaigning utilize the same skill set and techniques, and both can be equally unpredictable despite being thoroughly studied. That’s why you need to have plans on plans, all backed up by data.

If you don’t know where to start on your marketing campaign, don’t worry. We make it our business to set up successful digital campaigns for lawyers. Give us a shout and we’ll get you set up with the best marketing out there!

How to Compete in a Saturated Market

Breaking into a competitive market can feel like trying to be seen in a crowd of thousands. It might feel like this because that’s essentially what it is. You are struggling to catch the eye of a consumer who’s eyes are already full of ads. Some estimates put the number of advertisements the average American is exposed to daily at over 5,000. So how does yours stand out?


What are your competitors doing? Don’t do that.

Research your top competitors. Then research their top keywords. Finally, research their client base. Find out where your target audiences overlap and where they break apart. Focus on where they break apart. 


Once you’ve found your isolated market you can start targeting them. Remember those competitor keywords you researched earlier? Don’t use those. Find your niche and work for them. If you succeed in turning your target market into clients, you’ve started breaking in. 


Get your name out there

Name recognition can’t be undervalued. PPC ads help with this. Even if no one clicks on them, they still see them. Show them enough and they might even remember your brand name. 


The other way to increase name recognition is by getting your work into the news or collaborating with established publications via link building or asking them to publish a well-written article you wrote. The goal is expanding your reach within your market.


Quality content

It’s been said before and it will be said again, but creating original, high-quality content can make a substantial difference for your business’s visibility. If you decide to follow through with collaborating with an established publication, they will be more likely to work with you if they can see a dense portfolio of well-produced works. 


Content doesn’t need to be directly related to your business, but there should be a through-line. If you’re a personal injury law firm you can have a regular publication on interesting drug trials. It’s a niche group and can be linked back to your “Medical Malpractice” or “Defective Drugs” page. 


Focus on your assets

This might seem obvious, but it’s worth saying: put your best foot forward. Make sure consumers know the best aspects of your firm first. You can use keyword data for this as well. See what modifiers people use when searching for businesses. If any of them describe your business, advertise that. 

Visibility and advertising are difficult to get right and especially difficult to figure out if you don’t have a degree in digital marketing or years of experience. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this alone. Give us a call and we can discuss what’s best for your law firm! 

Your Size (Or Lack Thereof) Is Your Strength

Being a small business comes with its struggles. You don’t have the endless funds and limitless protections of a multinational law firm. You don’t get to go to large company retreats. These factors might make you glance at larger law firms with envy in your eyes, but from an advertising standpoint, you’ve got the upper-hand.  As a local business, you have the trust of the community. You have a local office that your customers can visit and, more importantly, find on Google.


Google My Business

When a consumer does a Google search for businesses in their area, Google will show them business with locations near them. Small-town firms benefit the most from this since large businesses are less likely to have a physical location in town. That being said, it is vital that you have your Google My Business profile set-up and up to date. Google My Business will only benefit you if Google actually has your address.


The Local Factor

 As a local business, you probably already know people in the area. You probably already have connections through friends, family, social events, and just being a local. This improves your trustworthiness. An even better way to improve your name recognition and local reputation is by contributing to the community. Participate in local events, sponsor local services, and get your name out there. 


Connections are everything

If your town still has a local newspaper make connections there. They can be a vital resource for link-building, local advertising, and partnering for local events or sponsorship programs. The same goes for local radio and television stations. In a place where everybody knows everybody, make your firm’s name stick.


Emphasize Your Size

As a small firm, every client is personal. You know all your employees and care about everyone who walks through the door. Or at least that’s the image you want to project. Large firms may have fleets of lawyers, but they don’t have the personal touch. Consumers respond positively to locally owned businesses, so capitalize on that. 

Advertising as a small law firm can be difficult: without a marketing department, digital ad campaigns can be overwhelming and expensive. If you are a small law firm looking to grow your business, contact us and we can discuss how we can help you get more clients.

Call-Only vs. Call Extensions: What’s Best for Your Firm

PPC advertising has been advancing for the entire lifetime of digital marketing, with call options in ads being a prime example of such advancements. Google Ads currently have two calling options in ads: Call Only and Call Extensions. Both options are still relatively early in their development, evidenced by the fact that neither of them are optimized for Google’s Display Network, Google’s default campaign network. This doesn’t mean that your law firm should neglect your ads call settings, as they provide a valuable conversion method for potential clients. 


Call-Only Campaigns

What Are They

Call only campaigns are ads that only give the option to call the business. They are barebones, with only the website URL, metadata description, and a short message to provide context. These ads are straight to the point with a clear call to action. When the consumer clicks on the link, their phone calls the business. Call only campaigns are optimized for mobile phone convenience. They are good for businesses that provide services that could provide immediate assistance.



The benefits of call-only campaigns mainly relate to their convenience. They are direct to the point, every click counts as a conversion, and the firm can program them to only appear during your office’s business hours. Call-only campaigns let mobile customers utilize your service immediately after their search. If your firm provides service that can be utilized in a crisis (personal injury is a good example of this) then call-only campaigns are probably a good option.



As previously mentioned, call-only campaigns are not compatible with Google’s Display Network. Luckily, a good digital advertiser should be able to coordinate an ad campaign without using the Display Network. 

The other main con of call-only ads is that it is quite easy for consumers to accidentally call the business. Google has been working to redesign their ads to reduce the number of these occurrences, but it can still affect your conversion rate.


Call Extensions

What Are They

The firm can add call extensions to existing ads,  providing a phone number for the business. These can be buttons that direct the device the consumer is using to call the business. The ads are able to provide more information than call-only ad campaigns, which is better for firms with complicated practices. 



Call extensions can distinguish between devices. This means that they will prioritize mobile devices if asked but are also compatible with desktop formats. Google’s Display Network also features compatibility with call extensions. The Display Network makes them more accessible for those who might be less familiar with digital advertising. Unfortunately, their availability does include some limitations. 

Call extensions provide convenience in areas such as business hours and statistics. The ad manager can program the extension to show the business hours of the firm. They can link the extensions with call reporting software, making conversion statistics are available.



The types of phone numbers call extensions are compatible with is limited, as they do not work with fax numbers or vanity numbers. As previously mentioned, they have limited compatibility with Google’s Display Network: extensions on display network ads only work with high-end mobile phones, don’t work with call reporting software, or ad campaigns with alternative objectives.

If you need help setting up your law firm’s ad campaigns, contact us to arrange a site audit and plan a campaign optimized for your business.