Outside SEO Tactics Used in the Past May Be Harming Existing Efforts

20
Jun 2014
By:

Dear Clients,

As part of our ongoing monitoring efforts, we have noticed a recent trend of Google penalizing websites that have used shortcuts and various spamming techniques to achieve higher ranking – currently or in the past.
If you have unknowingly used unscrupulous marketing or SEO agencies in the past, your site may be suffering the consequences. They are often sold as quick, cheap and easy tactics, however they could be harming existing efforts.

Typically, these SEO firms offer some sort of guaranteed of rankings. They may have promised top ranking within 30 days or less. Remember, No one can guarantee a No. 1 ranking on Google. Be skeptical of anyone who sends an email out of the blue offering guarantees in placement. The phrase: “If it sounds too good to be true, it usual is” comes to mind.

Google rewards legitimacy and sites that play by the rules – and that’s how we operate at BigVoodoo Interactive. We know Google determines ranking based on a number of factors. Some of those top items include:

  • Hyperlinks coming to your site from other legitimate, trustworthy websites;
  • Trust, authority and reputation of your site;
  • How well your site handles desktop and mobile users; and
  • The speed at which your website loads (faster is better).

We’re Monitoring ‘Negative SEO’ Schemes Used to Push You Off Page One

The good news is that we build sites with strong domain authority, which are less susceptible to negative SEO tactics. Furthermore, Google has systems in place to review sites that might be affected, and the process allows for a swift recovery if something were to happen.

As part of our support and ongoing maintenance efforts, we closely monitor SEO factors that can easily be manipulated by competitors, and if we discover any negative SEO tactics are being used to harm your site.

No Spam!

Client Social Media Postings & How They Can Be Used In Lawsuits

29
Apr 2014
By:

Client Social Media Postings & How They Can Be Used In Lawsuits

Did you know your clients’ social media postings can now be used against them in a lawsuit in most jurisdictions? A court order can even be obtained to demand that your clients provide them with their account password information. The insurance companies may ask the court to order the release of all information contained within their home computers and laptop hard drives.

That short Facebook status update, that light-hearted comment on Twitter, or that humorous photo posted on Instagram can discredit your client’s injury claim and ultimately derail the case.

Most of your clients likely will use some form of social media. In fact, 73 percent of online adults use social networking sites. Facebook has more than 1 billion users. Twitter users post more than 400 million “tweets” per day.

Let’s say your client has an injury, but then posts on Facebook that he or she was dancing at a nightclub.  The insurance companies can potentially access this information and use it against your client – even if the client had the highest privacy settings in place.

How Social Networking Can Ruin a Case

While social media is a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other websites have created a virtual minefield for plaintiffs’ attorneys. A seemingly innocuous post from a client about a fun activity – or a comment understating the extent of an injury – could seriously compromise a case.

Insurance companies will be looking for fraud, exaggeration, conflicting statements and any other evidence that could be used against your client. To avoid headaches down the road, be sure to educate your clients on their communications as a potential risk to their case.

Many people often fail to restrict access to their social-media profile pages. They might not realize that information about their background, location, reputation, credibility and friends is available to the general public – including opposing counsel and the insurance companies.  But even privacy settings won’t necessarily keep the information out the hands of insurance companies. Defense attorneys increasingly are seeking court orders to gain access to “private” content.

What to Do to Protect a Client Who Uses Social Networks

It’s important to ask your clients to refrain from using any social media while a case is ongoing. Better yet, ask them to delete all of their social media accounts. If your clients insist on using social media, they should do so responsibly. Ask your clients to do the following:

  • Keep settings on “private,” but remind them that their posts may still be used against them.
  • Don’t accept invitations from anyone you don’t know.
  • Don’t post photos or video of yourself.
  • Disable the “tagging” feature so friends cannot publish your activities on their accounts.
  • Don’t post any updates about the case or send any emails about the case to anyone except your attorney.
  • Tell friends and family not to post anything about the case.
  • Assume that anything you post will be read by an insurance adjuster.
  • Delete any posts about your accident.

Your clients should understand that insurance companies and opposing counsel will likely conduct a full internet search on them . They not only will search on Google, but they will search directly on Facebook, Twitter and similar social media sites. They may use subpoena power to access private information.

It is also recommended that firms direct their staff members to not “friend” clients on Facebook or other similar social media websites as a policy.

The impact of social media cannot be ignored. It is influencing not just how we communicate, but how lawyers litigate. When you meet with a client, you cannot overstate the serious risks of using social networking sites.

Tips on Responding to Online Inquiries

16
Apr 2014
By:

Do you ever stop and think about the financial and time resources that go into maintaining an effective website that converts into real cases?  You should, because how you respond to inquiries will determine the conversion rate.

► Respond to viable inquiries right away (within minutes): Most consumers on the web are shopping around and the first person that gets them on the phone, will probably be the first to sign them up; especially if they have a good case.

► Assign a reliable staff member or team of staff members to be responsible for responding to inquiries.  Incentivize them if you can so that they are committed to responding quickly.

► Train your staff to be compassionate and empathetic to the callers, even when they may not have a case.  Make sure the caller speaks to an attorney as soon as possible and an appointment is set up.

► Respond to inquiries that do not fit the profile of a case that your firm handles.  Provide useful information or a bar association referral telephone number if possible.  A positive exchange will be remembered.

► Build up a list of law firms you can refer out to and arrange fee split arrangements if permitted ethically in your state.

► Keep accurate tracking of all calls / emails internally.

These couple of steps will ensure you are making the most out of all of your advertising efforts.  Build a clientele that will refer you to friends and family for years to come.

Online Reviews & What They Mean to Your Law Firm

One of the many pieces to your Law Firms’ online brand expansion are Client reviews.  In a perfect world these reviews would only be from actual satisfied clients.  However, sometimes they also originate from a variety of SPAM (anonymous users), competitors, and even ex-employees.  As one of the proactive measures you can take to ensure your firms online reputation is intact, Big VooDoo recommends periodically monitoring Google Places, Yelp, and The Rip-Off Report (www.ripoffreport.com).

Suggested Steps to Take if Correction or Response is needed:

Google Places:

  • If a negative review is posted from an actual Client we recommend responding and explaining the situation.

https://support.google.com/places/answer/184271?hl=en

  • If a negative review is false or a competitor trying to slander your reputation we recommend flagging the listing as inappropriate.

https://support.google.com/places/answer/184271?hl=en

  • We also recommend asking Clients to add reviews to your Google places listings,  at a rate of 2-3 per month maximum.

Yelp:

  • We encourage clients to post, share and actively participate in Yelp especially if negative reviews are found.

https://biz.yelp.com/support/responding_to_reviews ;

The Rip-Off Report:

  • We have found that a number of overseas SEO firms are using www.ripoffreport.com to engage in the dark side of “Reputation Management” the new “digital extortion”.  Some of them even falsely imply that they work for or on behalf of Rip-Off Report.

Be sure to coordinate your online efforts with your Big Voodoo Interactive Account Manager.

Yellow Pages – Is the Print Directory Worth the Investment?

13
Mar 2014
By:

In the days before the internet, a full page ad in the Yellow Pages printed directory or Yellow Book was a must for any lawyer who wanted the phone to start ringing. Unfortunately, those phone calls came at a price. The Yellow Pages charged categories such as lawyers/attorneys far more than it charged for other advertisers. But in the modern era of search engines and social media, some attorneys are questioning whether they should even invest in a print ad in the Yellow Pages at all.

Is an ad in the big yellow book still worth it?

For some firms, the Yellow Pages continue to be a marketing tool. While searching online for a lawyer is not for everyone, the younger demographic has shifted away from printed directories. With smartphones so immersed in our culture, consumers are going right to their phone to find what they need online.

If you do choose to invest your valued marketing budget on the Yellow Pages print directory, we recommend a few useful tips:

  • Don’t overspend! Sometimes a bold-line listing is all you need.
  • Use a unique tracking telephone number to gauge traffic. With proper tracking, you can determine the ROI of your advertising inquiries.
  • Cross-reference any call that lasts for more than a few minutes to determine if you signed an actual case, and if the call data is legitimate

Yellow Pages Online Listings

While Yellow Pages representatives continue to sell print ads in their directories, they are also putting more effort into selling internet advertising. Generally the Yellow Pages setup duplicate sites for their pay-per-click and SEO campaigns and can dilute your online brand profile.

Some of the things you should watch out for when working with online advertisers are:

  • Duplicated websites, which are known to tank organic SEO rankings.
  • Use of directories for primary searching listings. These can be a good add on, but not recommended for a Primary Search strategy.
  • Pay-Per-Click campaigns with duplicated landing pages

Before you do anything on line be sure to coordinate through your website management team.

Social Media – Why It’s So Important to Engage with Your Community

12
Mar 2014
By:

At Big Voodoo Interactive, we firmly believe in using any online tool necessary to boost a client’s online presence.  Without question, social media is one of the powerful tools in our box. We assist clients in setting up and managing their social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.

Why Does a Law Firm Need Social Media?

Social media allows people to engage with your law firm in a personalized way.  Why does that matter? A Facebook post or a “tweet” might lead to a comment from an injury victim or family member who has a potential multi-million dollar case. Your “status update” might prompt a positive comment from a current or former client, which can be a deciding factor for a consumer who is on the fence about contacting you. Social media also is a way to address any customer service issues. You can set the record straight if somebody posts a negative comment.

The Upsides of Social Media

  • Search engine optimization: Whether we are promoting your latest blog about the dangers of drunk driving or we are highlighting a partner’s latest achievement, we know that a “like,” a comment or even a simple click through to the article will send a strong message to search engines. It’s a message that says you are relevant and an authority in your field.  Google rewards businesses that have active social media accounts with higher page rankings.
  • Customer engagement: We also use social media to promote your interests, either professional or personal. While your website is packed with information and might include some personal details in your bio page, social media is the way to get up-close-and-personal with former, current and future clients. Whether you are running in a marathon, your office is throwing a Halloween party, or your firm is sponsoring an anti-texting-while-driving campaign, we can make it part of the social media conversation.  Photos of the office party or a picture of a senior partner training for a 5K race create a strong human connection to a potential client who is scanning your social media pages.
  • Generating leads: Remember, whether it’s the post about your personal hobby or the update about your firm’s philanthropic effort, you never know what might be the tidbit that converts an on-the-fence visitor into a qualified lead.
  • Building loyalty: Loyalty to your brand should never be underestimated, and social media can enhance this. Your former clients may “like” you on Facebook or share an update showing those amusing Halloween photos, which creates more visibility for your firm.  Social media allows you to broadcast your values and shine a light on your personality.  You may be able to share a heart-warming story from a former client whose life was improved thanks to your work on his or her case.
  • Getting your message across: You may want to add a quick status update stating your opinion about a new law in your state.  Or you may want to post a link to a video on YouTube in which you discuss a recent verdict or settlement.  Social media lets you get the message across quickly and allows you to start a conversation.

Pay-Per-Click or PPC – A Smart Way to Spend Your Advertising Dollars

12
Mar 2014
By:

Our experts at Big Voodoo Interactive have helped you get organic search results based on relevant search terms. But if you have the budget for it, we strongly recommend investing in pay-per-click.  PPC is paid search advertising, which can give you the edge you need to dominate your market.

What is PPC?

Pay-per-click is an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to a website. You pay a fee each time your ad is clicked. While you will receive traffic through organic results, you can use PPC to “buy” visits to your site. Google AdWords by far is the most popular PPC advertising system. AdWords allows business to create ads that appear on Google’s search engine and other Google properties.

How Does PPC Work?

You bid on keywords for your placement in a search engine’s sponsored links. Each time a consumer initiates a search on Google, the search engine digs into the pool of AdWords advertisers and chooses a set of “winners” to appear in the prominently displayed ad space. For example, when a consumer types into a search engine “personal injury lawyer” for your city (or some other search phrase you are targeting), he or she will see the PPC listings above the organic search results. PPC is located just below the search box – the most valuable space on the page. The PPC listings typically are grouped in a box labeled as advertisements. Your position is based on the amount you bid for the keywords. Consumers who click on your PPC link will be directed to your website.  You pay a small fee for each click, but keep in mind that every click is potentially a multi-million-dollar case.

How Are the PPC ‘Winners’ Chosen?

Google uses a combination of factors to determine the placement of a PPC link, including the quality and relevance of the advertiser’s keywords and ad campaign as well as the size of their keyword bids. So, even if your competitor has bid more than you, you can still win a higher position with highly targeted keywords.

Can I Control My PPC Costs?

You can let Google know how much you are willing to spend.  You choose a daily budget you’re comfortable with, and you can change it over time. You don’t pay anything when your ad is displayed. You only pay when someone clicks.

What are the Benefits of PPC?

Reach potential clients fast: Unlike organic search, PPC can be launched quickly.

Target the leads you want: Your PPC campaign also will bring in targeted traffic and quality leads.

Become an authority: Your firm will get the most search engine visibility for the keywords you are targeting, which helps establish you as a leader in that area.

Zoom in on geographic regions: PPC ads can be used to target specific geographic regions, which lead to better cases.

Run at a specific time: PPC can be turned on and off.  That means you can strike when a particular topic is “hot.”

Who’s answering the call?

13
May 2013
By:

In talking to many clients over the years, there is one part of their business that some often lose sight of.  The Intake process.

Our clients are always looking and wanting more calls, emails & cases from their marketing campaigns – but are those inquiries correctly handled once the hard fought marketing battle is won?

Not always.

Ask yourself these questions:

Do you have friendly, warm greeters answering the phone? Do you have someone available to take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?  Are the Lawyers picking up the phone to call back from emails promptly, or are they sitting on those inquiries?  Does the firm have a formalized intake process?  Are you missing out on those big cases, because that one prospective client has moved on to the firm that DID answer the call?

Remember, these are injured victims.  They feel hurt, emotional, and want their story to be heard.

When it is an email – or chat – the consumer expects virtually immediate response (especially during office hours).

Here’s what one of our most successful clients has to say on the subject, “We treat every person who comes to us for help as if they have a case with us.  Whether they do today doesn’t matter – one day they MAY need us and we want to be sure they remember us and our firm – and call us when it really DOES matter.  That person may have a mother, a father, a friend or close relative that runs into trouble and does need our help too.  We take the time to make sure they know we really do care about them and can help them win – and we do.  That is our philosophy”.

Great words of advice.  Strive to give the impression that your firm is the best at being able to help that injured victim navigate the stressful and unknown of a Personal Injury matter – and make them feel as though you are the answer to their call.

Don’t let the next firm take your case.  You have minutes, not hours.

Paige Gore

Director of Client Services, Big VooDoo Interactive

Get Cases, NOT JUST Clicks

http://www.linkedin.com/in/paigegore/

 

 

 

 

 

Social Media & Your Law Firm

13
Aug 2012
By:

Socialize thy self—with a little (but very vital) help from your friends at BVI.

What can you do to help directly with your law firm marketing? Get social. That is, post legal practice social media marketing messages on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and any other outlets you’d like to leverage. Then watch your law practice grow.

It’s a remarkably beneficial thing you or a staff member can do personally for your firm, but only if handled right.  BVI will help you get it right–every step of the way.

Let’s face it, the technical side of setting up personal injury social media accounts properly and understanding how to use them can be confusing.  Correctly configuring different types of accounts so that you can begin moving forward with effective social media campaigns can be technically intimidating without a savvy partner to make it painless and efficient (that’s us).

That’s right—you don’t have to go it alone in order to directly participate in your firm’s marketing.  BVI not only sets everything up, you’ll then have a dedicated Account Manager who will provide ongoing online law firm marketing support, by training you and holding your hand through the whole process.  We’ll show you what to link to, what keyword terms to focus on based on your practice areas and what you can get behind in your community to broaden your law firm’s social online presence. And when you’re ready, we can amp up your social media campaigns even further by producing powerful monthly personal injury law blogs and legal practice videos to add to your online marketing impact.

The invaluable part you bring to the table is knowing what’s relevant to consumers in your market: personal injury victims, ex-customers of former clients who periodically look at what’s going on at your firm, movers and shakers in local events, etc.

What resonates most for them are topics that are innately familiar to you as a seasoned personal injury lawyer in your region and which come intuitively to people inside your firm.  There may already be somebody on staff who—like a duck to water—is a well-versed social media user and who would be great at keeping your law firm social media wheels well-oiled. You’ll be building your branding power and your practice with each Tweet, FB, Google+ and LinkedIn post he or she gleefully launches into the ether.

So don’t be intimidated & don’t procrastinate—contact BVI now. Once we combine forces with your team’s “chatty Kathy”, it’ll be like throwing your law firm a social media party, every day!

 

RESPONSIVE DESIGN = 1 WEBSITE, PERIOD!

11
Jul 2012
By:

What is Responsive website design? It’s exactly what it sounds like. A website that reformats and responds, depending on what device is accessing it.

Why is this important to me? Many web vendors have been selling multiples site – in the hopes that Google will give their clients more real estate in the search results.

This is wrong.

Not only is mobile and tablet browsing hitting an all-time high in the past 6 months, Google is now recommending it for the mobile delivery. (see http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2184616/Responsive-Web-Design-Introduction-Impact)

Our company has been a strong advocate on a one – branded – site strategy. One world wide web, one website per brand, one consumer experience – and one algorithm.

Good enough for STARBUCKS – but not your law firm’s site? ‘nough said.

responsive design for lawfirms