blog post by Sam
It’s a request we hear fairly often: How can I get my law firm to show up in the location-based listings next to the maps with a corresponding lettered pushpin on Google?
While these listings are organically generated rather than purchased advertising, there are things you can do to improve your chances of popping up in these handy map-based lists.
The majority of your control of how you appear in a location search lies in your Google Places listing. Here are a few keys to boosting your visibility on the map:
Keep it clear, complete and consistent. It may seem simple and obvious, but just making sure all the contact and location information for your law firm is correct and the same on every site and on your Google Places listing can go a long way toward increasing your visibility.
Here at heystac, we’ve been working on cleaning up a client’s Google Place listing that featured the main office phone number on the Google Places page, while a tracking phone number is displayed on the main website. Discrepancies like this can cause Google to question the authenticity of the Google Places page, which may negatively affect where the business appears on the maps lists.
It also is crucial that third-party sites have your contact information listed correctly, so do what you can to make sure sites like Yahoo!, Localeze, Bing, Citysearch and other sites listing your law firm have everything right, too.
Make it visual. Photos and videos can help your listing stand out from the competition faster and more effectively than any words. You may even want to think about hiring a professional photographer and/or videographer to get beautiful, well composed shots of you, your staff, your firm, client interactions, etc. Keep videos short, engaging and packed with valuable information to make a quick impact.
Remember, there’s a big difference between pictures and videos caught with a smartphone and those strategically composed by a professional. The finished product will be well worth the investment and will create the exact impression you want to make.
Choose your categories carefully. Where categories are concerned, specificity and accuracy should be the focus. The more the words you choose reflect the precise nature of your particular services and skills, the more your listing will appear in front of those looking for just what you offer. Selecting categories that are authentically in line with your law firm also will up your organic value in the eyes of Google.
Rack up the reviews. Now is not the time to be shy. Ask your clients to write reviews of your firm on Google Place page. The more reviews you have, the greater your credibility and visibility to Google and to those searching the web. You can talk and talk about what makes your firm the best, but words of praise from others carry much more weight in the eyes of Internet searchers.
Taking these steps can help you put your law firm on the map—literally—and see more clients heading your way.
Roswell, Ga.-based heystac’s search engine optimization (SEO) experts know the strategy and techniques to use to make your site show up in search results. If your business is interested in learning more about Google Adwords, PPC, SEO or you want to improve on your existing efforts, feel free to contact heystac at 404-448-2930 for a consultation.
blog post by Sam
Creating an effective and eye-pleasing website for your law firm is certainly no easy task. Your website has a lot to do in a very short amount of time. It has to convey all the services you offer, how to connect with you and, most important, what makes you stand out from all the competition—all before a mouse can be clicked again.
The last thing you want to do is put up a boring, cookie-cutter site that will blend into the background and make a first impression that is just kind of…blah. Your site should capture your uniqueness and speak to your ideal client. It should appeal to your target audience instantly, both visually and informatively, motivating visitors to take action.
Here are a few keys to success in designing your attorney website to be the best it can be:
See it through their eyes. When you’re considering what information you want to highlight on your site and what kind of aesthetic you want your site to have, it crucial that you put yourself in your ideal client’s position. What does your target audience most want and need to know? What are the main questions on their minds? Is your site clear, searchable and easy to navigate? Poll a few friends, family members, colleagues and others to get a good, objective idea of what your site needs, and try to see your site with as unbiased an eye as possible.
Keep it fresh. Having a client-winning website takes more than just building and launching it. It’s important to continually cultivate the content you’re serving up on your site, adding frequent updates and new material. If there’s always something new to be found on your website, visitors will keep coming back for more and referring others to it as well. Fresh content can take the form of:
- blog posts
- the latest legal news and cases
- testimonials from clients
- downloadable ebooks and reports
- articles, and more.
Know your identity. What exactly is it that makes you and your firm different from all your competitors out there? Make a list of about 10 to 12 words that best capture the essence of your unique professional identity—what you do and how you do it—and use these as guideposts when choosing all the elements of your site. Everything from the font to the colors to the photos and graphics on your website should be in line with, resonate with and reflect your specific unique qualities.
Make it pop. Your website should jump out at anyone looking for the kind of services you offer. This refers both to the visual impression your site makes and the ease with which your site can be found by potential clients. No matter how stunning your website looks, if it’s not being seen by the right eyes it’s not working for you. Make sure you have good, solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place to get that beautiful site seen by exactly the people who should be seeing it.
At heystac, based in Roswell, GA, the focus is on creating strong, attractive website design that works well and adds value. The appearance and functionality of a site must ensure that the design reinforces and maintains brand integrity. Aesthetic choices include the use of images, color, gradients and fonts, as well as their placement. In addition to the appearance, websites should be easy-to-use and have functions appropriate to the site’s purpose. Also, heystac’s search engine optimization team knows the strategy and techniques to use to make your site show up in search results. If your business is interested in learning more about Google Adwords, PPC, SEO or you want to improve on your existing efforts, feel free to contact heystac at 404-448-2930 for a consultation.
blog post by Sam
There are seemingly endless ways to communicate with potential clients for your law firm these days. Your website, blog, e-newsletter, social media, articles…the list goes on and on. But how do you get clicks on your online content to convert into clients for your firm?
There are a few ways you can enhance your online communication with potential clients and up the chances that they will take the next step of hiring you:
Give a little, get a little. Nowadays, just about everyone puts a high premium on keeping email inboxes from getting clogged with time-sucking unwanted communication. If you’re going to be entrusted with an email address, you’re going to need to give something valuable in return. This can be a free sample of some kind, an e-book or an educational tool. The benefit of this exchange is twofold: You get the in to continue communication, and the potential client gets to know a bit more about you and what you have to offer and receives a valuable takeaway.
Follow up—strategically. Once you have a potential client’s email address, it’s important to be strategic about how you use it. Don’t start blasting away with high-pressure offers and frequent repetitive messages just because you can. Have a careful plan that opens the lines of communication with potential clients without making them feel hassled. Go back to the first tip by offering something valuable in every email. It could be an informative article, a mini-questionnaire or a bit of free advice and expertise. Make sure each communication brings something to the recipient, rather than simply asking for his or her business.
Use input to upgrade. Do you get a lot of the same questions or requests from potential clients? Is there a common problem or pitfall faced by many? Something you wish all your clients knew going in? Use the feedback you get from potential clients to streamline and improve your website and all your online communications. Continually improving the experience of potential clients ultimately will lead to more conversion overall, since your offerings will be more on point and precise.
Call on clickers to take action. Taking a client from potential to actual can be as simple as letting him or her know what step to take next. Some people coming to you may never have worked with an attorney before. Let them know what to expect; tell them what the process looks like. Then, lead them to the action they need to take, whether it’s scheduling a complimentary consultation and/or filling out a pre-consultation form online. Having an action or two that potential clients can take before they meet with you can help you as well, since it will weed out those who are not serious about becoming clients before you spend valuable time on them.
heystac, based in Roswell, GA works with businesses to ensure the highest levels of success and conversions from websites and Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns. heystac’s search engine optimization (SEO) experts know the strategy and techniques to use to make your site show up in search results. If your business is interested in learning more about Google Adwords, PPC, SEO or you want to improve on your existing efforts, feel free to contact heystac at 404-448-2930 for a consultation.
blog post by Sam
By the time your new website launches, you’ve probably poured a considerable amount of time, creative energy and money into it. It finally looks just as you’ve envisioned, and you’re sure that the moment it goes live the phone will start ringing off the hook.
Unfortunately, the leap between getting visitors to your beautiful, shiny new website and getting actual phone calls can be a big one. Motivating people to call your law firm requires a little more than putting your phone number on the “contact us” page.
There are several things you can do to help bridge the gap between clicking on your site and picking up the phone:
Make your number No. 1. It may seem obvious, but the best and easiest step you can take to get people to start calling is make your phone number as noticeable as possible. It’s surprising how often this simple strategy is overlooked. Put your phone number at the top of each and every page of your website, not just on the home page and “contact us” page. You never know which page of your site will grab visitors’ attention, and once they’re interested and ready to act, the last thing you want is their having to hunt around the entire site to find your number; the extra steps may cause them to lose momentum. Also, make sure your number is in an eye-catching color and font that will jump out at visitors the second they’re ready to start dialing. Finally, make sure your site is optimized for smart phones to enable click-to-call functionality, making calling you as easy as possible.
Give good direction. While keeping your phone number visible is crucial, you certainly can’t stop there. Guide website viewers in their next steps by letting them know exactly what those next steps should be. Will they be scheduling a free consultation with you? Are there any online forms that would be helpful for them to complete before meeting you in person? Do you have free information that can be downloaded from your site? A clear call to action that lets potential customers know exactly what to do next and what they’ll be getting will increase the chances that they will communicate with you directly.
Hold up your end of the deal. Just as important—if not more important—as getting people to call you is making sure they get the response they’re expecting once they do. Failing to call potential customers back in a timely manner or making them jump through confusing hoops to get to you will send them running to the competition and possibly telling others about their disappointment. Ensure that your call response system is efficient and reliable, and that you have a solid plan in place for dealing with all those phone calls you hope will come flooding in.
Show what makes you you. If your website is an accurate reflection of you and the unique work you do, it will prompt the right potential customers to contact you quickly. Your site should allow for your target market to connect with you and understand fully what you can offer them. Let them know exactly how you’ve helped others and what makes your approach and experience singular.
Be as clear, authentic and open about all the qualities and action that only you can bring, and visitors who are a fit with your services will be eager to start talking to you.
blog post by Sam
In this digital age of ours, the look and functionality of your website is as important as—and in some cases, even more crucial than—your business’ physical appearance. If your online visibility marketing is doing its job, your site is making a first impression on behalf of your business many times every day.
With all this riding on your website, it’s key that you find the perfect fit in a website design team. Here are a few things to look at when you’re looking for the experts to make your website skyrocket to the next level:
Get to know the team. Personally meet with the key members of the website design team you’re considering. You want to see the team in action “in their natural habitat” so you can get a feel for exactly how they work. As an entrepreneur and/or business owner, you know just how much weight good synergy can carry. Trust your instincts. If the partnership doesn’t feel right—even if you can’t pinpoint the exact reason—walk away.
What’s the word? Talk to their clients. What have their results been? How do they feel about their website performance? What was the development process like for them? Don’t stick solely to the testimonials on the web team’s site. Call or email past clients yourself and ask them about their specific experiences. This extra legwork on the front end will pay off big after you make your decision.
Take a look at their work. Determine how long the team has been doing website design, and be sure to look at a good sampling of the sites they’ve done. A great team should have a well-developed portfolio showing a wide array of skills and approaches. Do all their sites look very similar? If so, be aware that they may be limited and/or inflexible. Does their overall style and approach seem to dovetail well with your taste and vision? Websites have changed a ton over the past few years. Finding an experienced website design team is great, but if that team has not stayed current on technology and aesthetics, they may not be equipped to make your site everything you want it to be.
You get what you pay for. There are plenty of bargain-basement operations out there these days, but since your website is your business’ single most important online marketing tool, this may not be the time to scrimp. When gathering quotes, be sure to ask about everything that’s included in the project price. If the cost seems to high or too low, don’t hesitate to question it and ask for justification.
Peek behind the curtain. Depending on your website savvy, you may need to get a techy to help you decipher what you’re seeing, but viewing the HTML source code of a website can be a handy way to see what makes any site tick. Among other things, you can learn if the site was custom designed or designed using a template. Taking a look at the website source code can give you a better idea of the type of work the design team does. You can examine things like meta tags, which contain keywords, services used and other information. To see this info, go to the View or Develop tab in your browser and select Source or Show Page Source (this can vary depending on which browser you use).
Here at heystac, we love to pop the hood and let you poke around and see how we work. You can see plenty of examples of our work, and we’re happy to share anything that might help you in your search for the right website design team for you.