Tools We Love: CallRail

Call tracking has become a standard for anyone who’s focused on measuring the success of their website. There are plenty of tools out there that offer call tracking, but we’ve fallen in love with CallRail, and have stayed in love for many years now.

Over time, CallRail has added features and improved how effectively it tracks an individual’s call history.

What does it do?

Instead of showing your real business phone number, you can use a tracking number in places that a potential customer or client will see. If you choose to add tracking numbers to your website, CallRail will dynamically swap your real number with your chosen tracking number(s).

How does it work?

Within CallRail, you can either port (move) numbers you already own or create new numbers to use as your tracking numbers. These numbers can be displayed on your website, within ad copy, on billboards, or anywhere else you might want your number displayed.

When someone calls one of these tracking numbers, the information from that call is stored in your CallRail dashboard. The caller won’t notice that they’ve called a tracking number, and neither will the person answering your main line.

Implementation

For number swapping on your site, you’ll want to install CallRail’s script directly onto your website (we suggest using Google Tag Manager to do this).

You’ll also want to connect Google Analytics and Google Ads to CallRail in order to link your data together.

CallRail Integrations

Setting up Tracking Numbers

If you’re running Google Ads, you should have at least two tracking numbers, one for mobile, the other for desktop. You’ll use both of these as extensions for your ads.

A good rule of thumb is to place a tracking number on any marketing or advertising you’re paying for. If you have a TV commercial, make a tracking number specific to that. If you still advertise in a phonebook, have a tracking number for that as well.

This is the best way to figure out which campaigns are driving leads, and from those, clients.

Keyword Pools are the best way to track calls that happen on your website. A keyword pool is essentially a bunch of numbers that are available to show on your website at any given time. If you have 5 people viewing your site at the same time, each will see a different number and their visit will be tracked individually. It doesn’t matter where the user came from (Organic, Direct, etc.); each person will be tracked accordingly in your CallRail dashboard. This eliminates the need for individual tracking numbers by channel source.

CallRail Tracking

Form Captures

CallRail can also track the form submissions on your site. This is great for calculating ROI on forms, all in one easy place. You can easily search for a signed clients name, see their form submission, and see how they got to the site in that visit.

Call Recording

CallRail has an opt in feature to record calls on the tracking number level. If you wanted to only record calls from one of your numbers, you can do that. You can also customize the message that plays to the caller that alerts them they are being recorded.

If you suspect there’s an issue with your intake process, call recording is the best way to pinpoint the problem. It’s also a great way to track the quality of your leads. You might find that one of your advertising channels is only bringing in callers who can’t afford your services, who are outside of your service area, or the wrong kind of practice type.

Call Log

In the call log, you’ll be able to see all of the calls that have happened on all of your tracking numbers. You can switch to specific time periods, look at only specific tracking number, sources, and a number of other things.

You can also mark-up calls with notes about the call, or whether it was a good lead or a bad lead.

Callrail Call Log

Call Attribution

The call attribution tab has the best breakdown of how many calls you had by channel for a given time period, as well as how many were first-time calls. It’s important to know how many first-time calls you’ve had in comparison to your total call volume. At Mockingbird, we only report on first-time calls because we’re trying to track new business, not current clients or people who have contacted you previously.

CallRail Call Attribution

 

CallRail has a ton of amazing features that haven’t been covered here, and they’re constantly improving the tools they offer. As an official CallRail partner, feel free to contact Mockingbird if you have any questions. We’d love to help get you started with CallRail and improve your current tracking setup.

Handling Our Over-Performing Page

We have a problem. One of our blog posts is doing really well. How is this a problem? The post doesn’t really have anything to do with our services.

 

The Story

In October of 2016, we published this post. It’s about how to set up an email when you already have an existing email account. It didn’t do much at first but slowly began to gain traffic. Two years later it was getting between 800 and 900 organic landing pages every week. The page peaked in mid-January 2019 with over 2,400 landing pages in one week. 

 

Screenshot showing that the blog post was relatively inactive for a couple years before gradually becoming more and more popular

 

The page has generated 227 goal completions and 99,700 sessions. It has a 0.23% goal completion rate, about half of the total average for our website. 

 

The Problem

So the page is generating leads. It has links to it. Where’s the problem? 

 

Well, it’s screwing with our data. I mean, how do you accurately measure how the site is doing if half of the sessions are for a three-year-old page that doesn’t actually have anything to do with legal marketing? Beyond that, since most of our visitors are looking for info on Gmail, does Google think we’re a Gmail support website and are ranking us as such? 

 

Screenshot showing the blog post making up over half of all organic landing pages for the website

 

The Solutions

In our brainstorm about this page we came up with a few solutions, but no conclusions. I mean, what do you do with a page that’s doing a lot, but not a lot for us. It’s mainly just being a pain when we try to do a quick check of our numbers. This is why we had to think of what to do.

 

Delete the Page

This was one of the first options to pop up. Maybe we should just delete the page. Get rid of it. If most of the traffic is organic, it’ll just go somewhere else.

 

But it’s linked to. Sure, not a lot of clicks are coming from links for this page, but we don’t want any of our link value. Even if we redirected the links our domain authority would be impacted. So don’t delete the page.

 

Deindex the Page

This was one of our more viable options. Deindexing the page would make it so that Google would no longer provide it in relevant searches. The page will still exist, would still be accessible, but wouldn’t get the same number of organic landing pages. 

 

“What would happen to the links?”

 

Well, we just don’t want to risk the value of our precious links by sending them to a deindexed page. That’s why we’ve gone with option number three:

 

Ignore the Page

The page isn’t harmful. In fact, it’s bringing in leads. Not a lot, but some. Until we find a way to safely amputate it or until we find out that it’s actively hurting our site, we can ignore it. We can subtract the number of sessions our overachieving page got from our total number of sessions. 

 

And so we concluded our brainstorm. As it turns out, our problem is very minor.

 

If You Have a Single Page the Drives the Traffic

We know we’re not alone with this issue because we spend all day looking at data from other websites. Chances are if you have one page that gets significantly more traffic than the rest of your site you might also be wondering what to do. Each situation is different, so we can’t give you any direct orders,  but we can give you a checklist of things to consider.

Considerations Before Deindexing or Deleting a Page:

  • How much traffic is that page driving?
  • How many leads/conversions is that page generating?
  • How many pages link to that page? Are they improving your domain authority?
  • Is the page relevant to your services?

 

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.

3 Things a Customer Should See When They Land on Your Site

The journey from initial search to conversion is often a long and winding one. It starts with intent, wanders through research, and eventually lands on a conversion. Your website needs to be there every step of the way and needs to show a consumer what they want to see in a law firm.

 

Ideally, the largest impression you want to make will happen while the consumer is in their research phase. If you can convince them that your firm is the most knowledgeable before they even begin shopping around you already have the upper hand. The best way to do this is by having properly set up landing pages.

 

A properly set up landing page should have three key elements, regardless of the content:

 

1. The name of your firm

    • The consumer should never visit your site and not know what site they are visiting. This leads to distrust and bad impressions. Not only will telling the consumer who you are early on help them to trust your site, but it will also help them remember the name of your firm.

 

2. Contact details

    • Having prominent contact details is like having a well-lit exit sign: just because a person doesn’t plan on using it doesn’t mean it isn’t comforting to see. By having contact details, you are showing that you have accountability and aren’t just blogging from an undisclosed location, luring unsuspecting passersby into your website to steal their cookies like some unholy child of cookie monster and a bridge troll. 

 

3. Easy navigation 

    • Easy navigation is more of a benefit to your website than to the consumer’s feeling of easy, but it is a good indicator of the latter. Having pages with internal linking and a user-friendly interface will encourage consumers to explore your website beyond their landing page. If the consumers are utilizing these features, you know that your website is well set-up for conversions. Good examples of intuitive navigation are well-designed menus, comprehensible H1s and H2s, and up to date plugins to ensure site-speeds remain high. 

 

These features are important for any website but are useless if the content on your landing pages is low quality. A meal is improved by being plated nicely, but all the nice plating in the world can’t save a bad meal. 

If you think your website needs to be improved, updates, or maintained, contact Mockingbird. We are experts in ensuring lawyers are never left with a mediocre website.

E-A-T: SEO 101

Researching how to produce the best content can lead a person down a rabbit hole of optimization. Countless articles explain how H1s and H2s can both make and break a page. That adding images will improve your ranking until they slow your page down. Then you find E-A-T. You’re not sure what it is, but you know it relates to the quality of the page.

 

What is E-A-T?

Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These are the guidelines that Google uses to evaluate the quality of your page. Some of them can be achieved through simple quality content, and some need some outside work. This is why your content department needs to be multifaceted; creating great web pages is a team effort.

Expertise

Part of quality content is quality info. If you aren’t an expert in the area you are writing on, you need to cite your sources and maybe bring on an expert to help you write your piece. Google claims to use a holistic approach to ranking pages, meaning the actual content gets evaluated not just fed through an algorithm. 

A good rule of thumb: if you are providing advice or information, you need to make sure that the information your giving can be backed up by people way more qualified than you.

Authority

Authority is proving your expertise. It means that the author should be clear to the reader and any visitors can easily contact the company or learn more about it. If you are speaking with authority, you need to be able to explain where your attitude is coming from.

Domain authority is important for this and this is where you might need to do a bit of PR work. Chances are your website doesn’t have a high domain authority if it hasn’t been fully established yet, but luckily there are websites that do. This is an opportunity for link-building, or getting articles on more authoritative sites to link to your piece. Either that or you could reach out to more authoritative sites and ask if you can guest-publish an article on their site, linking to your site. Either way, it helps you look like you hang around with a good crowd.

 

Trustworthiness

Is your page a safe space? Do users feel like they might get a virus if they click on anything? Users should feel comfortable exploring your website. Beyond that, your web page should have a point. It should exist to help someone. The purpose of your page should be clear, as should the purpose of the website as a whole. 

 

How does E-A-T affect my page?

It’s important to remember that E-A-T are guidelines and not hard and fast ranking rules. Google has, on multiple occasions, explained that there are no algorithms that spit out ranking numbers based on E-A-T. Instead, there are hundreds of ranking algorithms that all work together to create a page’s rank.

Instead of thinking of E-A-T as a series of gymnastics elements that must be perfectly executed to achieve a score of 9.8, think of it as a way to ensure your posture, uniform, and style are optimized before going out and dancing before the judges (I don’t know gymnastics I’m sorry to any gymnasts who might be reading this). They don’t judge directly on those aspects, but they certainly help.

 

I’m still confused. Can you just do this for me?

If you are a law firm, then yes! Mockingbird works in website building and maintenance to make sure it looks trustworthy, PR for link building, and can help to plan content production. Contact us today to help you understand your website!

Making Your Website Scalable Helps Everyone (and Everwhere)

There’s always room for growth. Whether you’re a two-person firm in a one-horse town or a multinational corporation with hundreds of employees, you want to leave room to expand. 

 

This room has to extend to your website, which you should build with the expectation that it will someday need to be updated for a larger, broader market. There are a number of reasons for this, but let’s focus on the main three for now.

 

Accessibility

Every state and country has different accessibility regulations, and you should pay attention to the strictest of the lot. If you follow the rules of the strictest, you’re following the rules of the laxest. 

The best way to cover your bases for accessibility is by following current SEO best practices:

  • Ensure images have thorough alt text
  • Make sure each page has comprehensive titles, H1, H2, and H3 labeling
  • Add title tags

 

Privacy Settings

Arguably more varied than accessibility, internet privacy laws change from country to country. Even within America, privacy regulations change. Some sites avoid state-by-state violations by simply showing cookie warnings to every visitor, regardless of location. 

 

Site Regulations

America’s must-haves for a website are different from the EU’s, and both of those are wildly different from China’s. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need different websites for different regions (you will probably need a different website for China). The best thing you can do is make sure your website follows the guidelines of every region it will be active in, and the best way to prepare for this is to have a website that is already easily upgradable. 

If you’re looking at building a website for your firm or simply maintaining the one you already have, it’s important to look ahead at where your business could go. These are the things we think about here at Mockingbird Marketing. If you would like to discuss your firm’s website, contact us!

Why You Should Be Checking Your Bounce Rate

Relatively underrated compared to such metrics as “pageviews,” a page’s bounce rate shouldn’t be ignored. It’s important to know how many of your website’s pages were the first and last of your website a consumer ever saw. Knowing this might help you to improve your pages.

 

Judging Bounce Rates

Just like limbo at a party, you want it as low as possible for everyone. That being said, different pages will inherently have different bounce rates. Informational pages are likely to have higher rates due to the audience’s ability to get the information they were looking for and leave. Contact pages are likely to have lower rates because very few people click into a contact page from a browser. 

When looking at bounce rates, it’s important to remember page content and user intent. 

 

Improving Bounce Rates

If you want to improve your bounce rate you have to focus on user experience. This means optimizing everything.

 

Page Speed

Nothing gets a user to leave like making them wait. Compress your images, check your loading speeds, and making any necessary changes.

 

Page Design

Look at your pages as if you had never seen them. Are they visually appealing? Are they thematically consistent? Do they make you trust the website? Would it be easy to find an enticing next page to visit? 

If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” fix it. Your page is your front entryway. If a visitor enters and doesn’t feel comfortable they’re going to leave.

 

Optimize Content

Content should be optimized for fast reading. That means short sentences and short paragraphs. It also means that the content needs to be useful and relevant. Don’t sacrifice quality for brevity; you can write a longer piece if you really need to.

 

Internal Linking

If your page is well written, interesting, well designed, and loads quickly, one of the best ways to get people to go to a different page is with internal linking. This allows easy access to other pages on the website. We’ve all been down Wikipedia rabbit-holes and ended up learning about the history of some bridge in North Dakota.

If you think your website needs to improve the bounce rate on some (or all, we don’t judge) of its pages, contact us and we can help you figure out how to find and improve your bounce rate.

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.

What’s So Special About You?

I’m serious, what makes you special? Why should anyone be your client? There are other law firms, what makes you different?

 

How You Should Answer

All brands need answers to these questions, but law firms should spend some extra time thinking about it. Your clients are going through complicated and difficult situations, and are coming to you as a direct result of those situations. You need to be there to answer when they ask why they can trust you.

 

Prove Your Integrity

The best way to show you can be trusted is to show when you have been trusted. Client reviews are great for this. If a customer visits your site and immediately sees a list of reviews and testimonials you already have a solid starting point. 

Another method for gaining the customer’s trust is by sharing your story. What made you, personally, motivated enough to go to law school, work at various firms, and end up where you are. Every customer visiting your page is a job interview in which you have to provide your answers ahead of time. You need to come across motivated and up for their case.

 

Prove You’re Up For the Case

Just as important as your integrity is your capability. Unless this is literally your first case, you should have some proof that you’ve successfully practiced law before. Make sure your website lists cases you’ve won. For added specialization, list cases you’ve won in each of your practice area pages. The customer can trust you because you’ve done this before.

 

Prove You’re Different/Better

Chances are the customer is looking at multiple law firms. Let’s be honest, some of them might have better credentials than you, when to better-known law schools. Here’s where you really have to answer why you are special. If you’re not sure, ask past clients what made them choose you. Lean into that. 

 

Putting it All Together

So now you have a brand story and image that’s unique to your law firm. It shows why you’re different and why that’s good. Now you have to tell it. 

Like I said before, you’re website is your interview. You need it to look put together, qualified, and ready to help. That’s where we come in.

As a lawyer, you probably don’t have time for website maintenance or building web pages. We are proud to work with lawyers by getting to know them and building their online presence around their unique business. 

If you would like help identifying and conveying your brand’s character, give us a shout!