What You Should Know About Facebook Advertising

Facebook advertisingPerhaps you’ve been hearing about Facebook’s push for advertising dollars and the tightening up of organic reach. You might be wondering if Facebook advertising is right for your business and how it works. I’m here today to outline the basics.

The advertising program on Facebook is very similar to Google Adwords and the other search engine paid search programs where small ads are displayed on a cost per click pricing model and a daily budget.

Yet rather than being a search program driven by keywords, Facebook advertising is delivered to people who fit the geographic, demographic and interest criteria selected by you, the advertiser. The geographic and demographic data is provided through the user’s Facebook profile. A user is selected as someone who has an interest if they have expressed interest in or have liked pages that are or related to the interest specified.

The Facebook ads can be set to display in the midst of the users’ news feed for optimal visibility.

A flaw in Facebook advertising filtering

There is a flaw in Facebook’s process for defining the target audience that limits your ability to filter by interests. Let’s say you wanted to reach an audience of people who are Vietnam War veterans and baseball fans. Facebook allows you to choose both of these interests as filters yet the flaw is that the process operates on an OR basis rather than AND. By that I mean that this filter will deliver an audience that is interested in the Vietnam War OR baseball, not the Vietnam War AND baseball. Since both interests are necessary to define the target, this criteria will deliver a lot of users who don’t fit your target profile and result in a waste of money spent.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider Facebook advertising. What it does mean is that you simply need to understand how your filter will work and choose accordingly.

How Facebook Advertising Pricing Compares to Google

We’ve seen the suggested cost per click for our clients’ Facebook advertising run less than 10% of what they pay with Google. Keep in mind, though, that they are different animals. The key benefit that Google Adword brings is users whose keyword searches are proving their want or need for your service or product in the moment.

Using Your Blog to Power Your Law Firm SEO Strategy

law firm seoStaying up on the latest focuses of Google’s search algorithm will give you the intelligence from which to build the most effective law firm SEO strategy.  A search engine algorithm is a formula used by Google to take a user’s search terms and combine them with information on websites to provide the person performing the search with the best possible match.

Google’s latest algorithmic update—called Hummingbird—addresses the fact that conversational search–asking a question rather than typing key words–has become the norm over short keyword terms. This trend has evolved from the fact that most people searching on mobile devices speak queries into the voice search feature. We are now seeing 20% or more of law firm website traffic coming from mobile devices.

This shift to conversational search means that your blog has become a more powerful tool in your law firm SEO strategy. Blogging is done in a conversational style and you have all the freedom to create content that supports your law firm SEO strategy. We are currently seeing more than 50% of traffic being generated by organic search for law firms with blogs.

 Blogging Tips to Fuel Your Law Firm SEO Strategy

  •  If your firm has several areas of practice, publish articles that promote all practice areas that you wish to generate new cases for, not just those that are current now. Not only will this help your law firm SEO strategy, it will make it clear to those who visit your blog that you do practice in all of these areas.
  • Host your blog on the domain with your website. This will ensure that the traffic generated by the blog articles will land on your website. While some of the large legal marketing companies building websites for law firms won’t allow this, be aware that you are doing your law firm SEO strategy a major disservice if you walk down this path.
  • Publish more frequently. Frequent, fresh content is what makes a site most relevant in Google’s eyes. The more relevant your content, the higher you will be placed in search results. And the more often you publish the more traffic you will drive to your site.

3 Basics for a Successful PPC Campaign

PPC CampaignIt is not unusual in marketing that the most effective source for bringing in a large volume of new leads or new customers is also the most expensive. I saw it first while growing up in the magazine industry where we invested in direct mail campaigns that reached hundreds of thousands to millions of prospects at a time. It was an expensive proposition yet a necessary one to meet the advertising rate base. Today’s big marketing hammer? Meet Google Adwords and the pay-per-click (PPC) campaign.

No matter how big or how small of a role a PPC campaign plays in your marketing mix, here are three things that are basic to the success of any program.

1.      Determine Cost Effectiveness

Determining whether a PPC campaign is cost effective begins first with getting straight on your goal. What end result would you like to see from that click that you are paying for? Is it a purchase made from your website? A lead generated for your sales department? A new newsletter subscriber from which to cultivate a customer relationship? The achievement of each of these goals are likely worth different values to your business so getting clear on your goals and how much you’re willing to invest for each is step 1.

2.      Design a Successful User Experience

Probably one of the biggest mistakes PPC marketers make is running ad campaigns that send visitors to the home page. That’s like inviting potential job candidates to your headquarters office and expecting them to find their hiring manager’s office on their own. People need a little hand-holding when being introduced to something new. That’s what a landing page is for.

A landing page should be uniquely customized to an ad or ppc campaign. It needs to effectively deliver on the expectations the user developed from the ad. The landing page needs to sell the benefits of your product or service and contain a call-to-action to move the prospect to the next step in the goal process.

3.      Evaluate Goal Results

The goal examples mentioned in #1 above are all actions that take place beyond the clicks that are measured in your Google Adwords reports. So in order to evaluate how well your PPC campaign is doing, you must set up a system to measure your goals.

Luckily Google makes this rather simple. In the Tools section of your Adword account is a feature called Conversions. Here you designate what your conversion options are, how exactly they will be defined, and what visitor actions will trigger the count of a conversion.Conversion tracking is critical to effectively managing your PPC budget. The counting of clicks alone is not very meaningful towards understanding how well your goals are being achieved.

What basics have added to your success?

Related post:

The Drying Up of Hidden Keywords and How to Get Around It

The Drying Up of Hidden Keywords and How to Get Around It

Over the last couple of years we have seen data on organic keywords dry up as Google implemented their user privacy policy in October 2011.  This policy results in the hiding of keywords utilized by users who search while logged into their Gmail, Google+, YouTube, or any other Google account.

The chart below illustrates the evolution of this loss of keyword intelligence on one of Inner Architect’s case studies since the policy’s inception Q4 2011. This particular client, a professional services provider, is now seeing 66% of its keywords hidden for the first two months of this year after a steady climb.

Organic keywords hidden

For those of us trying to analyze organic keywords to understand what’s working and what’s not, this secure search poses a real problem as we evaluate our SEO, blogging and content marketing efforts. Luckily there are industry leaders out there to guide us on how to get around this problem to uncover the information you’re looking for.

Technical writer and SEO copywriter Claire Broadley gives us Four Methods to Unlock Your ‘Not Provided’ Keywords in Google Analytics. Sean Ellis, CEO/Founder of Qualaroo, delivers more meat in Four More Ways to Crack the Keyword (not provided) Code.

Thanks to these bloggers and others who are helping to keep us out of the dark.

Related post:

3 Basics for a Successful PPC Campaign

Inner Architect Offers Free Evaluation of Google Social Signals

Social signals scorecardMost of the companies we work with have the need to rank high in Google search results to be visible to new clients or customers. A couple months back we wrote about the increasing influence of social signals in Google’s search ranking algorithm. The evolution of Google’s search engine is taking shape with social signals becoming a driving force behind improved user experience and more relevant search engine results for every search query.

Social Signals’ Impact Ranking on Google Search

In the past, the search engine optimization community relied upon accepted link building and other SEO tactics in order to push websites to the top of the Google rankings. Today another powerful element is beginning to positively affect Google search results: social signals.

A recent study by search analytics company SearchMetrics reported these as the most influential 8 ranking factors within Google search in order of importance:

  • Google +1
  • Facebook shares
  • Number of back links
  • Facebook total
  • Facebook comments
  • Facebook likes
  • Pinterest
  • Tweets

Today I am happy to announce that Inner Architect is offering a free service–our Social Signals Scorecard–to give firms and brands a gauge on how well your social media efforts are contributing to the goal of ranking high on Google according to the list above. Even better, we give you some tips on what you can do to be more effective towards this social signals goal.

This really is a turning point in SEO. It puts more power at your control.

Maintaining Attention Span in the Digital World

Red tapeIn the 1970’s attention referred to the time a person spent attending to another or focusing on a problem or solution. Our attention was not thought of as a valuable commodity but rather an everyday afterthought. You were told to pay attention by your parents, your teachers, and your bosses.

Today attention is the most precious commodity in the digital world. It can validate, authenticate, and influence a brand. But what is your personal attention worth? And how much content, in a never ending seawall of information, can a person read, comprehend, and utilize during any given day? If you are a marketer searching for content and information every day, here are some ideas on how to maintain your sanity while keeping your attention span intact.

Maintaining Attention Span in the Digital World

  • Scrutinize Sources: utilize the top blogs, websites, and news media sources more often than smaller unknown content sources
  • Go-To List: create a go-to list of the best content sources for your needs
  • Writers: create a list of the top writers, pundits, digital personalities, and visionaries
  • Twitter Lists: build Twitter lists by category, niche grouping the best news websites. Each list then becomes a quick real time stream of published information
  • Google Alerts: this is an old one but still effective. Set up Google alerts for your keywords
  • Google Search: learn how to utilize all of the search filters. Start with the “Web” content filter, then “News”, apply time filters e.g. “Past Hour”, “Past 24 Hours”, “Past Week”
  • Organization: once you have set up your content channels, prioritize them with an eye for most effective to least effective

Save Time Searching for Content

What does remove the “search” in your search mean? If you utilize the ideas set forth, you begin to eliminate wasted time spent searching. The idea is to have a predictive set of channels that will produce information, on a real time basis, that you can pinpoint immediately. The time you save then can be spent on slowing down and reading more of the content that you are interested in distributing. The time savings also takes pressure off of the need for instantaneous results.

 

 

Guest Writing Assignments Generate Revenue for Your Firm

TypewriterSpeaking engagements, guest articles in industry publications, advertising, free promotional offers, case studies, and referral partnerships are a few methods of generating leads for your business. One of our favorite and successful methods is through our writing platform where we produce blog articles, articles in industry publications, and case studies. Although all of these activities produce results, one of our favorite activities is writing for industry publications.

Advantages of Guest Writing Assignments

We have experienced 6 powerful advantages of guest writing assignments when writing for a valued industry publication:

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.  .  . ”

Writing assignments enhance your brand leading directly to credibility.

  • Credibility: call it benefit by association. The prestige and respect that an industry publication garners from their audience of readers directly reflects upon your brand if you are invited to become a contributor. Your brand can and will be greatly enhanced as a result of being chosen for an assignment
  • Targeting: one of the best ways to target potential clients, partnerships, and referral positioning is to request writing assignments from industry publications that service your best niche(s). Seek out opportunities within publications that include an entire industry as well as a specific niche within the industry
  • Reach: industry publications often have long track records with established growing audiences. In the best publications, reach can be found both online in the digital world and offline in the print publication world. The true gold is the possibility of viral marketing benefits if your article is successfully viewed and passed on to an exponential audience
  • Motivated Readership: because a publications’ audience is most often willing to pay a premium for the content, the odds are good that your article will be seen, passed along, and possibly acted upon by your target audience
  • Networking: in some instances, we have been contacted by other consultants, who have synergy with our services, interested in networking together and trading referrals
  • Valued Resource: the lifeblood of any publication is information-content that is valued by their readership. By providing quality content for an industry publication, your firm becomes a go-to resource of value to the publication

Secret Formula for Generating Leads

There is no secret formula for generating leads! But there is one tip, if executed properly and with some luck, that will help generate leads from your industry publication articles. You have heard the saying Location, Location, Location? This is called Title, Title, Title:

  • Example: if you are a marketing company that sells social media marketing services utilizing social networks, then creating a title that includes the name(s) of the social network is vital

That’s it. Don’t be esoteric and vague in your titles. Make sure that your title is a roadmap for the reader and inspires interest in how your firm can create value. The rest is up to the body of your article and how well it provides value

Google “Helpouts” Launches Real-Time Collaborative Tutorials

Google’s October launch of “Helpouts”, a video tutorial service community, is another move designed to bring people to Google, create a growing audience, and provide a collaborative atmosphere benefiting individuals, small businesses, and corporations.

What Are Google Helpouts?

Google’s definition of Helpouts:

“Helpouts is a new way to get and give help over live video. Our goal is simple: help people help each other. We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help.”

How Does It Work?

Helpouts are real-time video tutorials where individuals can interact, via video, with experts in order to learn, fix a problem, or ask questions. Helpouts are fee based but they provide an opportunity for instant help when you need it most. If you don’t feel your Helpout session met your expectations, Google offers a full money back guarantee.

Finding the Right Expertise

Helpouts allows individuals to choose who they receive help from based on:

  • Qualifications and Expertise
  • Availability
  • Price
  • Expert’s Ratings
  • Expert’s Reviews

You can receive help from acknowledged brands you know and trust or individuals. Some of the brands currently lined up for the launch of Helpouts include One Medical, Weight Watchers, Rosetta Stone and Sephora. For your convenience, you can connect in real time instantly or book a Helpout session in advance.

Real-Time Collaboration

Helpout sessions provide direct real-time conversational opportunities with an expert to solve your problems. In addition, you can share your computer screen, record your Helpout session, and collaboratively edit a presentation.

Measure Your Marketing Aptitude Profile

MAP photo002The following is a simple diagnostic test you can perform that will help you begin to understand the effectiveness of your company’s marketing efforts.  The eventual goal is to measure your social media marketing campaigns, overall brand awareness, audience engagement, and marketing reach. The best way to get to where you need to go is to understand where you are now. There are two keys to this exercise. First, be as honest as possible about your current marketing efforts. Without an honest assessment, this test is worthless. Second, utilize the Marketing Aptitude Profile Scoring section in order to determine how effective or ineffective your marketing activities have been to this point.

Marketing Aptitude Profile

In this test you will be asked to score 25  categories from 0 to 10 with a maximum score of 250:

  • 10: maximum effort possible
  •   5: average effort
  •   0: no effort or not adopted

For this measurement test to be noteworthy remember to be completely honest about your efforts in each category.

Marketing Aptitude Profile Scoring

Take into consideration the following attributes-variables when scoring your marketing channel efforts:

  • Creating content including written word, video, audio, photo image
  • Distributing content
  • Broadcasting
  • Answering inquiries
  • Engaging audience
  • Networking
  • Managing community
  • Lead generation
  • Search Engine Optimization

Marketing Aptitude Categories

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
  • Blogging
  • Advertising
  • Press release
  • Events
  • Contests
  • Website
  • Email
  • Webinar
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Free Consultations
  • Paid Referral Program
  • White Paper
  • Case Study
  • SEO
  • Ratings & Reviews Yelp
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Public Speaking
  • Database list building
  • Podcasting

MAP Conclusion

Because you are asked to measure your company’s marketing efforts, there exists a variable between how each user “judges” each category of their marketing efforts. This was done intentionally so that each participant, within an organization, can assess their marketing efforts individually. The goal is to bring an entire team together to examine each individual’s output and come to next step conclusions leading to an action plan.

Inner Architect

For further information on how to create a MAP for your company’s marketing efforts contact Susan Hanshaw or Dean Guadagni at Inner Architect (415) 485.6961.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Signals’ Influence On Law Firm Marketing

AudienceWith the replacement of Google’s algorithm with the new Hummingbird, social media will become more important and relevant to your law firms’ efforts to rank highly in Google search. The basis for the increasing importance of  your law firms’ social media efforts are the “social signals” that a smart social media strategy will elicit.

Social Signals

What are social signals? According SEO specialist Brittany Moran social signals are defined as:

“Social signals are the likes, shares, votes, pins, or views people place on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other social media sites that filter out to the various search engines.”

The vital importance of social signals is the fact that they are an indication that your law firms’ audience trusts and gives merit to your marketing messages on the various social media networks. This stamp of approval provides Google with another algorithmic factor in the process of ranking your social network properties higher in search results.

Social Signals Study

In an influential study conducted by Searchmetrics.com via MarketingCharts.com, social signals were identified as high correlating factors which could positively influence Google rankings:

“Within the US, among 44 ranking factors examined, social signals account for 7 of the 8 most highly correlated with Google search results.”

The following is a list of the top 8 most highly correlated ranking factors with Google search in order of importance:

  • Google +1
  • Facebook shares
  • Number of back links
  • Facebook total
  • Facebook comments
  • Facebook likes
  • Pinterest
  • Tweets

Law Firm Social Signals

In our last post “Law Firm Marketing Opportunities and Google Hummingbird” we detailed Google Hummingbird as focusing on conversational search by taking into consideration long-tail phrases rather than just keywords. Consequently, long-tail keyword phrases utilized within content copy will be powerful signals that Google can and will notice in their ranking of your firms’ posts. Most important to this concept is the idea that Google will rank higher those sites which provide the most meaningful information to the query. Danny Sullivan stated this goal succinctly:

“In particular, Google said that Hummingbird is paying more attention to each word in a query, ensuring that the whole query — the whole sentence or conversation or meaning — is taken into account, rather than particular words. The goal is that pages matching the meaning do better, rather than pages matching just a few words.”

Inner Architect Law Firm Marketing

If you are interested in more information on how your firm can best begin to take advantage of the new Google search algorithm changes, please contact us or call (415) 485-6961.

 

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