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

Your Law Firm Needs One Website … No More (And No Less)

22
Jun 2012
By:

Multiple websites anyone?  I know, I sound like a broken record, but hear me out one more time…

How many web sites are too many? Well, according to Google, having multiple sites is not a viable strategy. Google wants to see firms putting their efforts into one authoritative website.

Yes, one website.

Not two. Not Four. Not Six.

Why is this? Why isn’t it a better approach to have multiple legal websites? I could have, say, one site for my truck accidents, another for my auto accidents, and so on …

If you’re Google and you’re trying to return relevant, clear, specific results to consumers, you would think having a separate website for each practice area makes sense.

And there is the problem. It sounds logical.

Much of consumer marketing and brand building is counter-intuitive to lay people. And yes, that means lawyers. This has much to do with how brands work, and in this case the brand at issue is Google.

The brand? Huh?

Google’s brand is predicated on “organizing the world’s information,” so having five, 10, or 15 sites for every company makes this nearly impossible. Google has been clear that having one robust, authoritative site will put you at the front of the search results, rather than having a fragmented group of sites where each looks less authoritative.

So why do we keep coming back to this issue?  Well, once again, we’ve encountered a client who is being told by one of the larger competitors in the marketplace that he must have multiple websites.

We can’t say this any more clearly: Multiple sites are NOT GOOD for your law firm, but saying they are good is an excellent way for web firms to charge more, make everything more complex and convince you that you need more.

Still not convinced? Well, we’ve proven this definitively. By shutting off multiple sites, we’ve seen traffic increase 20 percent! We’ve seen qualified traffic increase 50 percent and case generation increase nearly 80 percent to record heights. These eye-popping results came only two months after shutting down multiple sites and then incorporating those sections into their “branded” website.

Be careful out there. When the biggest players are giving outdated counsel at best, or self-serving counsel at worst – it get treacherous.

But don’t believe me. Watch this video to hear what Google’s head of search Matt Cutts has to say.

Our advice: Get another opinion, talk to more partners, and most of all listen, because if one thing has gotten clearer – YOUR WEB SITE is going to be YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET in the next ten years.

It’s Lonely at the Top (but we’re handling it)

9
May 2012
By:

In the business of marketing lawyers online, the “branded main site vs. multiple sites” battle is still being waged by our competitors. For us, though, it’s an open-and-shut case (pardon the pun): branding is where it’s at. Client after client, click after click, conversion after conversion, we’ve been proving for years that building a strong, memorable brand—rather than populating the ether with keyword-laden mini-you’s—is the way to go.

It all gets down to name recognition. Quick, say three company names out loud. What were they?  Come on, tell the truth. It was names like Apple, Target or Gap—not  cooltechtoysonline, buyeverythingstore or mycasualclothingsource—right?

There are a few core issues at play here. One is that we humans can only retain so much and, in the cluttered world of online, SEO-fueled marketing—where everyone and their uncle is spawning keyword-rich microsites like bunnies—distinct attorney firm names will lodge in prospective clients’ memory banks more than a long string of generic, run-of-the-mill words. In a sea of variations on “personalinjurylawyerinyourtown” sites, no prospective client is going to remember one over another. But your law firm’s name is unique and that’s your branding, right there.

Secondly, rankings show authoritative, branded sites rise to the top when they’re supported by—not diluted by—only a select few, carefully managed, keyword-rich sites. Lastly, Matt Cutts himself has said that Google is adjusting its algorithm so it won’t help much to have keywords in your domain name anyway.

Multiple, keyword-heavy sites might sound alluring but they’re dangerous. By amassing keyword-rich domain names, the only thing you can be sure of is that you’ll segment your traffic and fragment your conversion potential into a constellation of counter-productive, if not destructive, microsites (Google doesn’t suffer buried main sites gladly).

So yes, you can have a few additional domains but only if they support the mother-ship: your brand.

We know this is the opposite of what most of our competitors are saying but that’s why we’re the fastest growing online legal marketing company in the country.

We help our clients rise above the noise, but it’s not rarified air up here at the top and it’s not rocket science. It’s just smart. Come on up—the view’s awesome.

Check out Matt Cutts’ take on branded sites vs. keyword-heavy microsites.