Legal Marketing

Multi-Platform Approach to Mass Torts

Multi-Platform Approach to Mass Torts

When a new mass tort lawsuit emerges, lawyers and marketers know that it’s time to act… and your next step can make you millions!

To get the most leads signed up in a cost-effective manner it is EXTREMELY important to be one of the fastest to market. However, being fast isn’t enough. Casting a wide net across various channels on the internet is proving to be the best way to improve your mass tort advertising. Here is the issue: if you are a digital marketing firm like ours, but you only work in one platform (like Facebook for example), you will only push facebook to your potential clients whether it has the best cost per acquisition or not. I have to ask you, how is this best for you? Simply put, it is not. You must spread your initial investment onto multiple platforms and then MEASURE! You will then see which platform has the best cost per acquisition. Sure, there are times Facebook is the winner. However, there are times when Google paid search is the winner, there are times when HULU is the winner, etc etc. Therefore, as a lawyer, don’t be swayed to put all of your eggs in one basket. Be smart, spread your investment dollars around the first few months and then hone in on the best result for you!

What Works

At TSEG, we manage lead-gen ad campaigns on different platforms such as Google Ads, Facebook, and Hulu Ads (plus many more). We deliver multiple messages to the potential client base and measure the return-data. All data that comes back from an ad is useful even if it doesn’t result in a lead. Once we analyze this data we will discover which ad copy, which creative and which platform works the best. This is the WINNING combination for you. Once this is obtained, we lever your dollars in the best way for you to achieve the best outcome for your firm. This data-driven practice helps us deliver ½ to ⅓ the lead generation costs of our competitors. Guess what? This is not a new practice for us. Since our inception, “data-driven” isn’t a buzzword, that is how we operate. This is the driving factor that lead The Search Engine Guys to be named one of the top 200 privately held companies in the US by Inc. magazine and this process propelled Ngage to the most dominant Chat platform in the attorney market.

Does a multi-platform approach cost more?

The short answer is no. Since we start off with a wide net – we only use a small budget to get started on a particular channel. This initial budget is to start figuring out what works and what doesn’t work. From there we improve on a weekly basis and then increase budgets.

“I Just Want Cases”

Some mass tort law firms have the ultimate goal to get as many cases as possible, without a budget limit. In these circumstances, the client may not care if the case acquisition cost may not be the driving force behind the decision. If this is the case for your firm, multi-platform is still the way to go as you need to generate as many cases as possible.

Multi-Platform Numbers

Below is a glimpse at some of our recent mass tort campaign numbers. These campaigns are running (or ran) on more than two platforms and have detailed strategies on each one.


Google My Business Verification and Optimization Guide

Google My Business Verification and Optimization Guide

One of the largest influencing factors on gaining local visibility on Google is the verification and optimization of your Google My Business listing. When people search for a lawyer near them they’re usually looking to hire someone, so it’s important the information about your business that shows up on Google is as accurate and optimized as possible.

What is Google My Business?

GMB is a free tool that allows you to manage your business information and lets you connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. GMB listings allow you to:

  • Add your contact information
  • Upload photos
  • Create a compelling business description to entice customers to contact your law firm
  • Display your hours of operation
  • Answer frequently asked questions
  • Monitor and reply to reviews that customers leave on Google for your business

These functions allow you to exert some control over what appears when potential clients search for your firm.

Why You Need a Google My Business Listing

If you are interested in boosting your local online presence, Google My Business is a great place to start. According to Search Engine RoundTable, Google has reported that 46% of all searches have local intent. If someone is looking to hire a lawyer, they may do a search for a “personal injury lawyer near me” or “Austin car accident attorney.” Focusing your efforts on the free-to-use Google My Business platform will not only allow potential customers to find your business online, but it will ensure that the information they see is correct.

In addition, Moz’s list of local search ranking factors shows Google My Business as one of the top-ranking factors in local map search and in local organic search.

How to Verify Your Google My Business Listing

Create a Google My Business Listing

  1. Log in to the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
  2. Visit google.com/business and select “Manage now” in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Enter your business’s name.
  4. Enter your business address.
  5. Select a business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible. For the legal field, you can choose categories like Personal Injury Attorney, Criminal Justice Attorney, Employment Attorney, Bankruptcy Attorney, etc.
  6. Input your phone number and website.
  7. Select a verification option.

There are several ways to verify your GMB listing. Here are the different options:

  • Postcard
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Instant verification
  • Bulk verification

Postcard

For this verification option, you will want to make sure your address is listed correctly. You can add a contact name that the postcard will be addressed to. The postcard will be mailed to the business location and will typically arrive within 5 days. Once you receive the postcard, log back into your Google My Business account and select “Verify now”. In the code field, enter the five-digit verification code that is listed on your postcard and click “Submit”.

If you don’t receive the postcard, you can request a new code by signing into GMB and clicking the “Request another code” button.

Phone

Some businesses are able to verify their location by phone. If you are eligible, you will see the option when you start the verification process. Make sure the phone number is correct before you verify the listing. You will be given a code through an automated message. Enter the code into your GMB dashboard.

Email

Some businesses are able to verify their location by email. If you’re eligible, you will see the option when you start the verification process. Make sure the email is correct before you verify the listing. You will need to sign in to the email address that the verification was sent to and click the verification button in the email from GMB.

Instant Verification

If you have already verified your business using the Google Search Console, you may be eligible for instant verification under the same email address. All you need to do is sign into GMB with the same email that you used to verify your business in Google Search Console. If you are eligible, you will see the notification for instant verification. If you don’t, it means that the category for your business isn’t eligible at this time.

Bulk Verification

If you have more than 10 locations for the same business, you may be eligible for bulk verification. To do this, sign in to your GMB account, select one of your locations and click “Get verified”. You will then click “Chain” and fill out the verification form with your business name country where you operate, all contact names who will be using the GMB account, phone number, business manager email (someone at the business who can verify you’re a representative of that business), and the email address of your Google Account Manager. You will submit this verification form and it can take up to a week for it to be reviewed and processed by Google.

How to Optimize Your GMB Listing

Once you have verified your business listing, you will need to optimize it by filling it out completely.

One thing to note is that anyone can suggest an edit to your business listing, even your competitors. When a searcher clicks on your business listing, there will be a “Suggest an edit” button. This will allow them to not only suggest edits to your listing, but the changes can actually be made live without you being notified. It is very important that you sign in to your GMB dashboard on a regular basis to ensure no one has made any unwanted changes.

Here are the different areas of the profile that you should fill out:

Info Section

Business Name

Make sure your business name is consistent with how it listed on your website and across all online directories.

Categories

Make sure the Primary Category is as specific as possible.You can list additional categories that apply under the primary category. For instance, if you are a personal injury lawyer, you will want to put Personal Injury Attorney as the primary category. You can list Law Firm, Lawyer, Legal Services, etc under it.

Address

Make sure your address is correct. If you are in a suite, you can include the suite number on the Address 2 line. If you are located in the same building as other attorneys, this can help differentiate your law firm from the rest.

Hours

Enter your business hours, including special hours for holidays, to let potential customers know when they can reach you and when they can visit your location.

Phone Number

Your primary number should be a local business number. You can add a toll-free number as a secondary phone number.

TIP: If you are using a tracking number for your GMB listing, make sure it has a local area code and is listed as the primary number. You will list your actual office phone number as the second number so that Google can still crawl it and see that it is consistent with the phone number on your website and other online directories.

Website

Enter the URL for your business website.

TIP: If you have a multi-location business, you can enter the location page on your website if one exists. You will want to send visitors to the most relevant page on the site for each specific location.

Services

Enter a full list of services your company provides. This will tell Google and anyone who sees the listing what your business does.

Description

GMB allows 750 characters in the business description, but only 250 characters will show up when someone views your business listing in the Knowledge Panel.

TIP: Because of this, you will want to make sure that you put the most important information at the top. This would include priority keywords and your city. Make sure to follow these business description guidelines provided by Google.

Opening Date

Add the opening date so that searchers know how long you have been in business.

Photos & Videos

One thing you don’t want to forget to do is to add photos and videos to your GMB listing. It will make the listing more engaging and will allow the searcher to learn more about your business. According to Google, businesses that have photos on their listing see 35% more clicks to their website. There are various types of photos you can add such as your logo, cover photo, interior and exterior photos, team photos, and more.

Photos should be at least 720 pixels wide by 720 pixels high and JPG or PNG files. Videos can be up to 30 seconds long, up to a 100 MB file size, and a resolution of 720p or higher. Videos should be taken at the business location, include people who work at the business, or directly pertain to the business.

Google Posts

Google Posts are social media posts that show up in the Knowledge Panel when someone searches for your business. You can take advantage of making the post more engaging by adding a photo, call-to-action, and a link to your website. Google Posts are live for 7 days and then you must post a new one. This is a great way to stand out from your competitors, drive traffic to your website, and inform potential customers of company events, special promos, events, and additional information about your business.

Q & A

Questions & Answers is a great feature on GMB that allows people to ask questions about your business that you can answer.

If you want to be proactive, you can create a list of frequently asked questions with the appropriate answers. Keep in mind that anyone can answer the questions posted by users about your business. You will want to make sure you closely monitor new questions that are posted and answer them as quickly as possible. If someone else answers a question and it isn’t accurate, you can reach out to the Google My Business support forums.

GMB Reviews

Online reviews are extremely important and can help you stand out from your competitors. They appear on your business listing, so it is vital that you are continuously working towards getting a larger number of positive reviews. In addition to obtaining reviews, it’s important to reply to all of your reviews. Not only does this show appreciation for the customer who left the review, but it also shows others that you are actively engaging with your listing and influences others to leave a review.

Online reviews have been known to impact local search rankings, click-through-rates, and consumer trust levels. In a study conducted by BrightLocal, they found the following key statistics:

  • 86% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses
  • Consumers read an average of 10 reviews before trusting a local business
  • 91% of 18-34-year-old consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 57% of consumers will only use a local business if it has 4 or more stars
  • 89% of consumers read the responses to reviews left by the business owner

The Importance of Google My Business

On Google My Business, you can control how your business information is displayed on Google and Google Maps, so don’t miss out on this free business tool in order to gain more local visibility. Remember that Google is always looking at the business owner engagement and the engagement of searchers on your GMB listing, so it is important to continually interact with it.

Shea Benedict. President of Operations, The Search Engine Guys (A Division of Cloud 8 Sixteen, Inc.)
The Search Engine Guys is a leader in the Digital Marketing Space for the past 12 years.


What is the Importance of Online Directories?

When building out the marketing strategy for your law firm or small business, you might ask yourself if it’s worth taking the time to build out business citations and add firm to niche, relevant directories. Directory and listings management is tedious, time consuming, and can cost money. However, these listings are extremely important to maintain and build in order to get your site to rank in search engines and ultimately drive leads.

What Are Online Directories?

When we talk about online directories and listings, we’re talking about the many local listing websites that you might or might not be familiar with. These online directories display your business information, logo and (most of the time) link to your websites. Every online directory is different, but this is all that is normally included in a typical local listing:

Yelp listing outline

There are two types of listings we are interested in: Local Citations and Niche Directories.

Local Citations for SEO

You probably know the names of the big local citation sites. (Yelp, YellowPages, MapQuest, Foursquare, Bing For Business, Google My Business etc.) But you are probably not familiar with the hundreds of other local business directories on the internet. (Yalwa, USCity.net, Soleo etc.) Why would you want to be on a bunch of directories that most people have never heard of? I will discuss in depth later, but in short, the more your consistent business information is listed on the web, the more trustworthy you look to the major search engines. More trust = higher rankings.

Niche Directories for SEO

Adding your small business to directory sites that are only for businesses in your niche is also incredibly important. This is because links from these sites increases your site’s relevancy. More on relevancy later. 

Every niche has its own directories. For example, Avvo, Lawyers.com, and Findlaw are some of the major directories that an attorney should be on. Angie’s List and Houzz are directories that a home improvement company or contractor would want to be listed on. Just like general local citations, there are hundreds of smaller niche citation websites that you can be added to.

Why Should I Sign Up For Online Directories?

A lot of businesses and business owners who have created listings in the past are all probably skeptical of them for one reason, they don’t bring in a ton of referral business. Some bring in more than others, but in large part, you are not going to be getting dozens of leads each month from these directories. So if they aren’t directly bringing in business, why should I take the time to get listed everywhere? At TSEG, we build out local business profiles to do the following:

Links/Authority Building

Most of these directories send links to your website and they, for the most part, are very authoritative sites. Directories and local listings are an easy way to build up a business’s backlink profile, especially for a small business that has little to no online presence. Even though search engines don’t value these links as highly as those from a news website or authoritative blog, your backlink profile needs to be diverse, and these links do just that.

Niche Directories go a step further because they are not only adding authority to your site but they are also adding in relevancy. For an attorney site, a link from Lawyers.com is much more valuable than a link from a home improvement site because it is more relevant. Google and the other search engines look at the types of sites that are linking to you in order to decide how to rank you.

Majestic has an online tool where you can check the category of your incoming links. (Majestic is a paid online SEO tool, but there is a free trial if you want to try out on your site.) This is an example of the backlink profile for one of our attorney websites:

Link categories

Over 93% of his incoming links are “Law” related. This is an impressive relevance percentage and should cause no confusion for Google as to what kind of keywords they should be showing for. Having a variety of other types of sites linking to you is good and natural, however, the majority of your links should be relevant to your niche.

Link building is one of the most difficult tasks when it comes to SEO, but directory links are very straightforward to build and you can do it in bulk if you have the correct online listing management tool.

Consistent Business Information

Having a consistent business profile across the internet is very important for local Google Maps rankings. If you are struggling to get into the maps, but your site is ranking highly otherwise, you might want to audit your business information for consistency across all of your listings. If you would like to check your business information, we invite you to use our free tool.

Having a consistent online business profile sends good, what we call, “local signals” to Google. This means Google is confident that you are where you say you are. Google and other search engines will avoid ranking your listing in the highest map placements if they aren’t sure you are actually located there.

Having control of these online listings additionally gives you the preparation needed in case any of your business information changes. If your business changes it’s closing time, you want that to be reflected across the web. A customer showing up to your place of business after it has closed can hurt your reputation.

Referral Leads

Earlier, we discussed that many business owners have not put much effort into expensive online directories because a lot of them don’t drive leads. However, the top niche directories and local listing sites can generate leads for your business.

If you are wondering which directories you should join to generate more leads, simply search your keyword into a search engine.

For example:

Search results for "Dallas Car Accident Lawyer"


For the search “Dallas personal injury lawyer”, four of the top seven organic results are attorney directories (Super Lawyers, Justia, FindLaw and Avvo) and another one is a general directory for businesses (Expertise). If you are wanting your business to “cut” the line and be visible on the first page, then you should probably add yourself to these directories.

Now, to be listed at the top of those individual directories is a different story. Most of those sites make you pay for a “premium placement” or “top spot.” Prices vary, but this is not cheap. In my mind this falls more in the category of paid search, not SEO, since the results are not permanent.

Regardless, being on these directories increases your visibility, especially if you are a business that is having trouble showing up in the Search Engine Results.

This is the smallest benefit of these directories for SEO, however, it does not make it insignificant.

How Do I Build Out Online Directories? 

The first step to building out directories is figuring out which directories you are already on. The tool linked above can help with that.

Then it’s just about finding all of the sites you want to be added to and manually adding yourself. There are also citation services where you can get listed in many places at once. 

The easiest approach to setting up directories, though, is to have your digital marketing team help you out. They likely already have a list of sites they can add you to, as well as the tools needed to manage all of these listings.

How Much Do Online Listings and Directories Cost?

Many local listings are free. Yelp, YP.com, and Google My Business are all free. The directories that cost money are most likely going to be your premium niche directories. The costs vary for all of them and many require you to be in contact with a rep that can get you a quote. Some directories will charge you monthly and others require you to pay the year upfront. This is an important factor to keep in mind when setting up directories and budgeting.

Should I Set Up Listings For All Of My Business Locations?

The short answer is yes. Every location you want to appear map rankings should be added to every directory you can. For the paid directories, this will most likely be an extra cost, but it depends on the site. 

If you are not worried about local SEO, then you may not want to set up profiles for your extra locations on the paid directories. There is a law of diminishing returns for links from the same domain. The extra links from a site are probably not worth the cost if you are not worried about local rankings. 

Which Paid Directories Should I Use?

First, you want to decide on a yearly budget for directories. Every company is different. A good rule is you should be spending at least as much as your competitors are. Once you have a budget, you need to prioritize the directories. A number of factors can go into this, including:

  • The authority of the site – Ultimately, you want to be on the sites that have the most authority in Google’s eyes. You can check a site’s authority using a number of online tools, including Ahrefs and Moz.
  • How many links you get from a site – Some websites and directories send more links than others. Another factor to keep in mind is if the links are follow or no-follow. Here is a resource discussing the difference, but the summary is, you want follow links. You can use Ahrefs and Moz to check this as well.
  • The cost – You are going to have to weigh the cost of the directory vs. how much authority the link has. This is the most difficult factor.

Your digital marketing team should be able to audit the value of each directory that you use and recommend which directories you should leverage with your budget.

How TSEG Can Help

TSEG can help you with your listings management needs, including:

  • Setting up local listings
  • Setting up paid niche directories
  • Audit your current listings to make sure all business information is correct and find which sites you are listed on
  • Recommend directories that fit your business
  • On-going management of business information

This is just part of how TSEG can help your small business. To learn more about our SEO and Web design services, contact our team.


Quantity vs Quality of Reviews

Getting an online review from one of your law firm’s clients can make all of your hard work feel like it was worth it. Getting detailed, thoughtful testimonials for others to see is top tier word-of-mouth advertising since the review will stay up on your profile forever.

But what are potential clients really looking for in your reviews? Thanks to a recent study featured by Search Engine Land and conducted by Womply, we now have insights and correlations from over 200,000 small business’ reviews and revenues to help answer this question.

Perfect 5 star ratings can turn away potential clients

The results of the study support claims that a 5-star rating can actually turn away online customers for a few reasons. Firstly, a perfect star rating can be achieved with very few reviews. A low number of reviews and a high rating indicates a new and less established business. Internet users are also aware of cheap seo tricks out there that involve buying fake reviews to give a business a false appearance of being more established.

More interestingly, the study finds that the “sweet spot” for online reviews is 3.5 to 4.5 stars. This range is where the 200,000 small business analyzed were earning the most revenue. Womply goes as far as encouraging the use of negative reviews to achieve a healthy mix of review scores. To be more exact, businesses with 15-30% negative comments earned more revenue than the study’s average. Think about that ratio the next time a negative review blesses your profile.

However, the range from 3 to 4.5 star ratings is where 80% of business are, and when similar scores are seen across the board, online shoppers will likely use other criteria as a basis for comparison. Increasing your law firm’s Local SEO is a great starting-point, but having a strategic, data-driven approach to all of your digital marketing gives you the competitive advantage on all fronts.

Are you an aggressive law firm? Do you want to dominate your market? We may be available in yours. Schedule a call to talk about how TSEG can help your law firm grow.


4 Things to Factor in When Picking a Marketing Company

by Ryne Goertz

Unless I receive a direct referral from a happy client, most of the prospective clients I discuss digital marketing strategies with are also talking to other potential digital companies, as they are looking for the perfect fit to help their business reach peak performance. During these conversations, it always seems like marketing companies are pulling the prospect in different directions, “You need to be only doing Pay-per-Click”, “You need a new website”, “For this type of campaign, you should really be focusing on Facebook Ads”, etc. So who is right? Who is wrong? How do you differentiate between all of the different website and digital agencies when you are being pulled in so many directions? How do you know you’re making the right move?

Here are four key factors you should be asking your website company about that can best help determine where you are on the map and how to achieve business goals:

Page Speed Update

In the past year, Google has updated its algorithm to start penalizing websites for how fast (or slow) they load or function on mobile devices. This can be a driving force in mobile rankings as well as help overall Google Ad Quality Scores. Google has a developers tool called Page Speed Insights. Plug in your website url in its entirety to get an accurate reading. For ex: Plug in “https://www.williamskherkher.com/” not just “www.williamskherkher.com”. If your website isn’t where you want it to be, ask your current company to look into the issues raised by the Page Speed Insights tool and make the necessary changes.

Pay-per-Click

Your PPC campaign can get expensive really quickly. Before you agree to an SEO company telling you to spend “X” amount, have them send you over a PPC forecast showing the amount of money it would take to be competitive. Google Ad’s forecasting tool allows companies to plug in your geographic area and search terms to determine a budget for the campaign. Based on Google’s historical data, they can predict cost, impressions, clicks, click-through-rate, cost-per-click, and how many conversions you can expect. Cost per click varies greatly per market, so it’s smart to know where your ad dollars are going and how you are allocating among keywords related to your business.

Hotjar or Crazy Egg

These two are tools that can help you see the activity of visitors on your website. They create what is called a “heatmap” that tracks how far down visitors are going on your page as well as where they are clicking. If your website is having trouble converting visitors, this tool could find the problem. These two are both great, however, don’t keep them on your site for long periods of time as they can tend to slow down your website speed, but one month’s worth of data could help you in the long run.

Tracking Leads

One of the things I hear the most from attorneys is that while they may be getting traffic to their site, the leads that they are getting may not be the types of cases they want to bring on. You should be tracking your leads that are coming through your site and listening to the calls or reading the contact forms/live chat transcripts (if you use one). How were they referred to your site? Are they quality leads? With these programs, you can track the keywords that were searched before the visitor landed on your page and called you. If you are repeatedly showing up for terms and getting calls that you don’t want, you should communicate that to your marketing company so they can adjust keywords and campaign strategy accordingly.

All in all, there are many different platforms that are available that can help you make an educated decision before even calling a potential marketing company. If a marketing company is just throwing out a number for you to spend without providing screen-shots of the problem and detail on their strategy to enhance your business’s performance, that is a red flag and something you should consider when choosing your digital agency. Choose an agency that knows your business, your goals, and is willing to share insight on how they will be managing your campaign. Transparency creates comfort in knowing that you are in good hands.


Is AdBlock Killing Your Digital Marketing?

How you can save your digital marketing campaigns from AdBlock

We love AdBlock.
If it weren’t for AdBlock, we would have to face all of those annoying, pop-up, pop-under, spammy, and obnoxious ads.

Figure 1: Remember these?

Surfing the web with ads blocked can feel like a real-life cheat code – you get away with something that you aren’t supposed to… as a consumer.

But as marketers, we must understand the impact that ad blocking software has on our work – especially when the software is literally intended to kill our digital campaigns.

Just to make sure we’re on the same page, let’s analyze how these ad blocking extensions came to be installed on nearly a quarter of global online users.

Figure 2: Ad Blocker study results from IAB

 

How did “ad block” happen?

As you surf the web, you take part in an exchange with the sites you visit: their content in exchange for your payment. However, the payment is not with currency but rather with your attention, view, impression, click, etc. of the ads shown on the site.

Whether you like it or not, this ad revenue is how a large portion of websites make money. Without it, they can’t cover costs to keep the website running and keep bringing you the content you want.

Since Day 1, ad blocking software is so highly sought after because it helps alleviate symptoms arising from core internet problems.

These core internet problems are:

  1. Little control over privacy
  2. Disruption of web experience
  3. Ads in excess
  4. Ads with bad intent
  5. Ads with bad presentation

If you’ve seen a pop-up instruct you to pay for the removal of a computer virus – then you fully understand why the concept of ad blocking software is so appealing.

In fact, 64% of people agree that ads are annoying and support the idea of ad blocking software.

On top of that, 79% of ad-blocking software users agree that their browsing experience improved with it.

These two stats make it clear that browser extensions AdBlock Plus and AdBlock have made a significant impact in the history of internet advertising, but what exactly is their impact today? And more importantly, what is their impact on your digital marketing campaigns?

 

Does AdBlock / Adblock Plus Affect Your Digital Marketing Campaign?

 

Paid ads on Google are largely unaffected because Google is a member of the Acceptable Ads program. Most users unknowingly opt into this program when installing an ad blocker. But what is it?

Acceptable Ads, defined by AdBlock Plus (ABP), are “respectful, don’t interfere with content, and are clearly labeled with the word ‘advertisement’ or its equivalent.” They also follow standards set forth by the Coalition for Better Ads, a group formed by leading international trade associations and companies involved in online media.

By default, AdBlock & ABP allow the whitelisted ads to show. To disable this feature, you have to manually go into the settings and uncheck the box next to it. Or (if you don’t exit out of the welcome page as soon as you see the donation part) you’ll see that ABP actually tells you about the whitelist and even provides a link to the settings page. (See “Figure 4” below.)

“The Acceptable Ads Committee (board that controls the program) gives advertisers, such as Google, a pass to show their ads – for a fee, of course. With these gatekeepers in place, advertisers must create ads that fall in line with standards produced by the expectations of online users.”

For users that do disable the whitelist, their Google experience will be free of all search and display ads.

A Google search, with ad blocking switched to “ON” will undergo these changes: (drag slider to compare)

Check out how different websites on the display network look with
1) no ads,
2) acceptable ads, and
3) all ads.
I counted 26 ads – but ABP’s number is a whopping 78.

As a result of the Acceptable Ads whitelist, Google ads in the search and display networks remain unblocked. Not only must a user install an extension, but they also have to change additional settings. ABP cleverly adds the Acceptable Ads notice below the donation box on their welcome page (highlighted in green below). By the time users get to the donation box, they’re already opening a tab to test out the ad blocker on YouTube.

How do ad blockers affect YouTube campaigns?

YouTube Ads are really just Google Ads run on the YouTube.com domain. The effects are similar to those observed with display ad campaigns. YouTube ads have banners that appear over the video player and in the sidebar above the queue of next videos. You can see how different the view is with and without AdBlock below.

Video ads are also blocked on YouTube. With AdBlock enabled, a user on YouTube avoids seeing all ads for an uninterrupted experience.

How do ad blockers affect Facebook campaigns?

On Facebook, the “acceptable” type of ads begin to appear more subtly. Adblockers are able to block most ads that are seen outside of the main timeline. Within the timeline, you still see ads in the form of sponsored posts. They will be presented in a more organic manner, but it is still a paid placement. Using standard settings, ABP will not block all ads on Facebook.

However, customizing advanced settings gives the user the option to block all ads, including acceptable ads. Remarketing campaigns using the Facebook pixel also suffer. The advanced settings can be configured to prevent the user’s browser from being tracked by the pixel code on your website or landing page. This is alarming because anyone willing to take the time to adjust settings can essentially become invisible on the internet (in terms of advertising). This ghost-user browses the web with ads blocked, and browser tracking tools thwarted.

Luckily, ABP by default will allow acceptable ads to pass through their filters. See the difference for yourself:

How do ad blockers affect SEO campaigns?

Your rankings are unlikely to fall victim to ad blockers, but your SEO campaign can still suffer.

An ad blocking extension can prevent your site’s Google Analytics from tracking users correctly, similar to the way they block the Facebook Pixel. With Google Analytics, we can see valuable data from a client’s website to draw insights from. This data helps us develop and implement changes to an SEO campaign. So when a visitor using ad block also blocks Analytics, we lose data about their on-site behavior such as how much time they spend on a webpage, which links they click on, and what websites they come from. This data is automatically processed daily and is a crucial factor of any good SEO strategy.

In short, ad blockers might be causing you to plan out your SEO campaign with inaccurate numbers.

How do ad blockers affect Hulu campaigns?

Hulu is impacted when streamed on a web browser. Like many other subscription services, Hulu’s website is able to detect ad blockers and combats it by directly requesting the user to enable ads on their site. The screenshot below shows the message that appears over the video player when the user would normally be shown an advertisement.

To take it a step further, Hulu forces the anti-adblock message to display on screen for thirty seconds, the same time a typical commercial would be shown. There is even a link to a guide in Hulu’s Help Center instructing users how to stop blocking ads on their site. The guide is even split into sections to show specific instructions for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

Users that persist with ad blockers skew reach and impression numbers from Hulu because the ad-blocking user is counted as a viewer of the programming even though they were not served any advertisements. This means that your ad campaign may be using inaccurate projected figures in its strategy.

However, this is typically not a negative occurrence. If a significant portion of your campaign’s reach was never exposed to your ad, Hulu’s ad algorithm can make up for the lapse with repeat exposures. You might be paying a higher rate for less reach, but if you exclude ad blockers when measuring the performance of your campaign, metrics like cost per view, cost per click, and conversion rate will reflect more accurate, higher quality results.

While users are able to avoid watching ads on Hulu, they still have to wait through pauses in their streaming, which could encourage them to enable ads. At this point the user must choose between sitting through empty gaps or watching ads.

Figure 4: Hulu raising an eyebrow

Is Your Digital Marketing Ad Blocker Proof?

Ad Block is an obstacle that must be addressed when planning out any digital marketing campaign for your law firm or small business. Whether a user is on a search engine, social media website, or television streaming service, these internet browser extensions intend to stop your online advertising. With the population of users increasing every day, it is crucial that you understand the impact ad blocking software has on your ad spend and more importantly your law firm or business’ growth. If you are concerned your marketing/advertising is suffering because of ad blockers, fill out a form or give us a call at (512) 394-7234. We’ll be more than happy to discuss how we can best optimize your campaigns.


Rumor has it, Google Local Service Ads will soon be available for lawyers!

What are Google Local Service Ads?

These special ads appear above paid search ads, maps, and organic results. For example, if you search for Plumbers in Austin, you will see these results:

google LSA ads for plumbers in Austin

These Local Service Ads appear above the Pay per Click Ads, map listings, and organic listings.

The other unique feature of these ads is their fee structure. Advertisers who are using Local Service Ads pay per call received, rather than for each click.

As with all digital marketing, you will want to track the results of your Local Service Advertising closely to make sure you are spending your marketing dollars wisely. We are in communication with Google to see when they will be available in your market.

Stay tuned!


What Attorneys and Vendor Do Wrong at Legal Conferences

What I would love to accomplish is a better experience for both lawyers and vendors at all legal conferences.

Vendors

We spend a lot of money to be at these conferences, from the high cost to attend, building booths, giveaways, sending salespeople and entertaining our prospective clients. That being said, we probably put too much pressure on our salespeople to obtain new business. This results in our salespeople being too darn pushy and a bit slimy at times. This results in attorneys hiding from the “dreaded” exhibit hall.

Here is the solution in my not so humble opinion. We (vendors) have a lot of expertise and knowledge that can help attorneys grow their practices. Therefore, we need to become trusted advisors, not just another salesperson. In my company, we have many clients that have known us for years before coming on board and I think the biggest contributor to this is the fact that we preach to our team to be AUTHENTIC. You don’t have to “sell” but just be your normal self. Take your time to educate the attorneys and create a TRUE relationship. How do you create great relationships—pretty easy… Give more than you receive. Give attorneys helpful advice that they can implement before they give your company a dime. Be committed to growing the attorneys business, not your own. We have a very long term view when it comes to partnering up with a firm. If we are not selected now, that is okay because it probably means someone OVERSOLD the attorney in the past. These attorneys come back over time, albeit a bit jaded.

Lawyers

Okay, we really gave it to the vendors and now it is your turn ;-).

Have you ever found yourself looking at the competition with a hint of jealousy of their success? Have you ever wondered how they get all these great ideas? Or how they are so knowledgeable about marketing/operations etc…Well, one of the reasons could be that these attorneys BRAVE the exhibit hall and take the time to speak with almost everyone. I truly believe that if you don’t spend the time to chat with these folks you are doing yourself a HUGE DISSERVICE. We live in our respective spaces as you live in the legal world. It is virtually impossible for you to stay up with all the latest and greatest digital marketing trends, video marketing trends, what is the best CRM, etc. I have been in this field for 20 years and know most of the vendors personally, and there is a TON of knowledge in the “hall” that can help you grow your business. Take the time to go meet with them, learn about what they offer and gain insights to help your firm. Don’t feel pressure to sign up and if the vendor is pressuring you, it is probably not a good fit. On the other hand, do not be afraid to take a RISK on an idea that you think might work because you have been burned in the past. If a person had a terrible experience with a lawyer, would you recommend against lawyers in the future? Just like anything, there are good vendors and bad vendors, your job is to find the best company for you your firm.


New Design Alert: Hart, McLaughlin & Eldridge

We are excited to announce the launch of a new website design for Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge!

Overall, the site’s new style reflects the efficiency and the professionalism of this experienced Chicago legal team. Our designers focused on sharp lines with minimal clutter on each page, conveying a formal sense of simplicity and directness. The clean presentation of information, coupled with the crisp lines and the lack of distracting features, should inspire site visitors with confidence. We have found that frustrating or confusing website designs can discourage potential clients from ever contacting the business in question. Our goal with this site’s structure was to create a simple, easy online experience that can flow smoothly into a call or an email to this skilled legal team.

Stylistic Features

The homepage of the new design features rotating images of Chicago in the background. Our attorney’s targeted clientele will most likely recognize Millennium Park and the Buckingham Fountain. The first thing site visitors will see on the homepage is the assertive, reassuring directive “Start with the end game.” Scrolling down the page reveals what the end game is: “Results.” New site visitors will be heartened by the sense that this legal team already has a history of favorable outcomes for their clients.
The other main pages on the site—”Legal Team,” “Practice Areas,” “Accomplishments,” and “Contact Us,” are all tidy and structured. The Legal Team page presents uniform black-and-white photos of the firm’s employees. The consistency of the photos conveys a sense of respectability and attention to detail.
When it comes to simple ease of access, our “Practice Areas” page presents the legal firm’s various fields in neat, direct rectangular boxes. A quick scan can familiarize a viewer with many of their practice areas. The fact that the attorneys handle such a wide variety of cases should impart the idea that this is an experienced team with a wide array of skills.

Contact Us

We are certainly proud of this new design and excited to offer it to a respected client! If you are interested in learning more about how we fit our website design to our customers’ business needs, feel free to contact us at (512) 394-7234.


New Website Launched: The Mokaram Law Firm

Today, The Search Engine Guys is excited to launch a new website for The Mokaram Law Firm.

This new web design features a stunning video at the top of the landing page, showing the attorneys hard at work and highlighting the professionalism with which they carry themselves. The firm’s total settlements of over a billion dollars is prominently overlayed on top of the video, sending a powerful message of success.

website design for lawyers

This site’s use of video and parallax effects is compelling and draws visitors in to see more. This is of incredible importance in web marketing, as most people leave a website within seconds of getting to it. If you are looking for a website design for your law firm that can help you retain visitors, call The Search Engine Guys at (512) 394-7234 and speak with our knowledgeable web development experts.

Ready to start working with us? Call (512) 394-7234 or Email Us Now