22+ Tax Preparation Service Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients

Tax Preparation Service Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients

Most tax preparation services & tax professionals would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client. New clients not only bring in immediate revenue, but also lifetime value since they are likely to return year after year. And in an industry built on trust, new clients also represent potential word of mouth referrals.

But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new inquiries coming in.

Some tax professionals – especially those with a large, national brand – have a reputation and client base that brings in referrals and inquiries with nothing but a visible office.

But for most tax professionals and preparers, you have to go out and market your service to get a quality pool of potential clients.

I’ve consulted on search marketing for several local insurance agents* and many local service professionals. Based on those experiences, here are some tax preparation service ideas that you can use to bring in more clients.

*I’ve found that some local insurance agents are highly constrained by their national company franchise agreements. Tax professionals are often in a similar setup with the large national franchise brands. These constraints come with major marketing advantages, but also force you to be creative with your supplemental digital marketing. Some of these tactics might be unavailable for your service, but some just need a bit of tweaking.

Create City-Specific Website Pages

For many clients, regions are too big and neighborhoods are too small for the right tax professional, but they do want a local service in their own city.

Local Tax Preparer

That may sound obvious, but most professional firms that I’ve worked with still don’t focus their marketing on individual cities within a region. It’s a lot of work. It’s tedious. But it can still be worthwhile.

Make sure that every city page is actually about that city and includes all your services. Make your page structure “scalable” so that you can easily expand your service area as needed.

Create Niche Service Pages

Lots of clients have specific services and/or expertise that they want.

This is particularly true in an industry like tax preparation. For basic tax prep, there’s Turbo Tax and the 1040EZ form at the library. Lean into hyper-specific services and expertise.

Instead of listing your services & expertise in a giant list, make detailed pages about each expertise. Try to rank for searches like “tax [service]”.

You can use Google Suggest for ideas. Go to Google and type in “tax for” and hit space, but not enter. You’ll see some suggestions.

Tax Preparer Ideas

You can do this with the entire alphabet and as many modifiers as you can think of.

Tax Preparation Service Niches

Create pages that match those search queries to show up when people search.

If you want to take this to the next level, you can use a tool like SEMrush’s Keyword Explorer to provide phrase match search terms in bulk.

Just type in a broad term and see what it’s comes up with.

Create Local Guide Pages

Create resource guides for people moving to or living in your city. Create lots of them.

Local Tax Considerations

Use Google Autosuggest to understand what people are searching for in your city.

Local Atlanta City Tax

Find niche tax questions, which vary State by State and jurisdiction by jurisdiction.

Make a local version for popular tax questions. You can also search for ideas outside of Google. Check out my guide to researching content here.

Develop Your Local Citations & Reviews

You should already have a Google My Business profile so that you can show up in Google Maps.*

*In fact, if you are a local professional who can’t run your own website, your Google My Business profile will be your primary search marketing tool.

But you can take it to the next level to show up even more prominently.

First, you can build your Google My Business profile with photos, posts, and full listing details.

Second, go to every local business listing site and make sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number match exactly. Whether it’s on the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or elsewhere – everything must match. These are called your “local citations” and Google uses them to confirm the relevance of local business.

You can use SEMrush’s Local Listing Management Tool to audit all these listings quickly.

Third, create a local review strategy. Having diverse, unique, and regular reviews on your Google My Business page is the number one way to get more views (aka calls & inquiries) from Google Maps. There are many ways to get reviews, but you can use follow-ups emails, retargeting on social media, and many other methods.

Getting creative with reviews is how you’ll leapfrog other local competing tax professionals in search.

Fourth, you need to make sure your categorization is comprehensive and complete. Many listings offer varying and multiple business categories. If you are a tax professional with multiple services, makes sure you are listed in every database.

Steal Ideas from Large Local Competitors / Businesses

I’m not a fan of brainstorming. I think that it’s more effective to build off ideas that have already worked.

No matter your size, you can always look to larger competitors or larger businesses for inspiration.

With tax preparation marketing, make a list of local businesses that you *think* are being creative – including companies in different industries.

Like local listings and keywords, I then use a marketing tool like SEMrush to spy on those competitors. Type in the URL of a competitor below to see an example.

Here’s what you’ll see.

It looks like a lot. But drill down and categorize each link. You’ll quickly get a sense of what they are doing. You’ll see where they are posting on social media. You’ll see which media outlets have accepted press releases and what types of digital marketing they’re doing.

The trick here is *not* to copy cat them. Instead, take the general idea of what your competitors have done and make it your own – or, make it better.

Work with Local Publications & Blogs

Every city, no matter how small, has an interest in themselves. In Atlanta, where I live, we have a Curbed blog in addition to the AJC Blogs, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and dozens of smaller neighborhood newspapers and real estate blogs.

Find those and become a regular fixture. All local publications & blogs act on tips & press releases. Very few have a “boots on the ground” journalists. If you can be the place to provide inside information, free images, and consistent write-ups, you’ll earn attention and links.

In the tax arena, any statistics, trends, or data that you have can easily translate to free PR, which can then translate into links to your website or service profile.

That extra attention and those links will help every other idea on this list. Google loves links. Social media users find URLs via links.

Your city pages, service pages, and everything else on your website will benefit from more inbound links.

Use Hyper-Local Facebook Ads

A local business has one massive advantage against national brands trying to operate locally – you live in your city and understand it.

Facebook allows for hyper-local advertising. You can run ads that show within a radius of only a few miles. It’s tedious to set up, but it’s relevant and effective.

Learn how to create hyper-local targeting for demographics and geography to find lots of interested clients. Lean in to local tax problems.

For example, if you live in State affected by the SALT cap – talk about that. If you serve one of the cities with a wage / income tax – talk about that.

Whether it’s 529s, childcare, energy credits, find out what makes *your* area different and talk to the exact people that those tax considerations affect.

You can run small, targeted campaigns that show multiple places at once.

Use Hyper-Local Google Search Ads

Google Search ads are famously effective and famously expensive. The best client is someone who searches for “tax preparation in [city]”.

But that search click will be very costly.

In fact, some of the most expensive searches on Google are for tax queries.

You’ll be competing with huge, publicly traded national brands with near infinite budgets and an army of advertising professionals.

But like Facebook, you have an critical local advantage with Google Quality Score. Google will show ads higher if they are more relevant even if they don’t have the high bid.

Like Facebook, it’s tedious to set up, but if you can set up a hyper-local campaign, you’ll be able to get Google Search traffic that large competitors can’t bid on.

The key is to run landing pages that perfectly match your ads, and run ads that perfectly match specific, local keywords.

If you offer tailored or niche tax products, this strategy can be particularly useful.

Use Hyper-Local Google Display Ads

Google’s Display Network also offers opportunities for local advertisers who are willing to put in the work.

Google serves banner & text ads on some of the best ad locations on the Internet. Many placements are expensive for bulk ad buys.

But again, Google would rather serve a relevant ad with a low bid than an irrelevant ad with a high bid. That’s your opportunity to set up a hyper-local campaign focused on specific demographics in a specific area.

Even if you have a small market, you can always use Google’s Retargeting setting to solicit more reviews & referrals.

List on Locally-Popular Tax Websites

Tax & financial websites are a dime a dozen. They will send traffic to your listing. But they are expensive and require a lot of legwork.

The key is to find a few key financial websites that are popular in your area – and list on those.

Tax Listings Atlanta

You can use Google Trends, client interviews, SEMrush, or simply looking at the Google Search Results to see who is more popular for your city / neighborhood.

List on NextDoor & Local Forums

NextDoor is one of many local social media websites & forums. They are hard to find and hard to join, representing an opportunity for any local, enterprising tax professional.

These networks are interesting because they are specifically local and extremely relevant for professional services.

They also have an accessible, affordable, and useful local advertising service.

Automate Social Media Monitoring

Like Reddit, people often start their professional search on local social media with open-ended, specific questions.

It’s impossible to spend all your time on social media. But it is possible to automate both posting and listening on social media.

Take advantage of Twitter alerts, IFTTT, Zapier, and other tools to automate your social media presence and find great leads.

Contribute to Local Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a known resource for everyone. It relies on contributors – and authoritative contributors for local cities are often sparse.

Look for opportunities to use your website as an authoritative source for Wikipedia. A tax agency is well-positioned to provide historical documentation, legal background, and more for Wikipedia entries.

Historical Tax Documents in Wikipedia

Don’t be over-promotional or spammy, but you can look to increase your presence there for the links and the potential exposure.

After all, if people are using Wikipedia for research, it’s a great place to have your website & brand.

Identify & Market Popular Client Sources

Take previous & existing clients and try to understand where those clients came from and how they found you.

See if there is a way to build off that success. It sounds cliche and obvious, but the key is in the execution. I’ve worked with plenty of professional firms who knew where they got clients from, but never thought about increasing that channel.

Cross-Promote Local Professionals

Local financial professionals usually have an incredible offline network, but have a poor online network. That’s the same with real estate agents, therapists, and other professional services. If you are investing in your online marketing efforts, try to develop a relationship to cross-promote as many local professionals as possible.

Cross-Promote Local Businesses

As an tax professional, you have the opportunity to stand at the nexus of lots of businesses & people. The key to most tax professionals is referrals. Try promoting other businesses in an effort to simply be top of mind for when the need for a tax professional happens.

Remember that even a link to your website from their website will dramatically help your other online efforts.

Coordinate Offline & Online Marketing

Take what your other marketing channels and drive them to specific landing pages with tracking. Create a marketing funnel rather than direct call to action across your on and offline marketing.

Use Events To Get Social Media Attention

Events like pro bono, Q&A sessions, seminars, college recruiting events are staples for many tax professionals. But events have a bonus effect online.

You can list them on multiple platforms to get extra exposure. Facebook is the best place for this tactic, but it also works on Google, Instagram, and event apps like Meet and Four Square.

Use Video Tours To Hack Social Media

Like events, most social media gives preference to video in their feeds. Take interesting video tours of tax issues with behind the scenes explainers.

Video can be hard, but that means you will get a competitive advantage if you can pull it off. Create “evergreen” videos about topics that will last.

Post the file natively to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Pay a small budget to boost it. And look for opportunities to embed it on your website.

Use Digital Referral Fees for Word of Mouth

Referral fees are also a staple of professionals’ marketing. But they don’t get the same reach as digital referral codes.

Whether you use a simple bit.ly link, manually hand out custom codes (i.e., client numbers), or use a software service – digital referral codes can help you move limited physical word of mouth to unlimited digital word of mouth.

Find & Sponsor Local Charities

Sponsoring local charities provides a few marketing benefits.

First, you can likely get a link to your website, which will help your other efforts. For many professionals, it’s the cheapest, simplest, and best way to promote your local listing & get links. You get long-term value for a short-term fee.

Second, you can tap into a well-networked organization with lots of word of mouth potential.

Third, you can tap into neighborhood goodwill to help with soliciting reviews to help with your Google My Business efforts.

Next Steps

There are a lot of marketing ideas out there for tax professionals and tax preparation services. You don’t have to do all of them. You just have to do one or two well.

Find the one that fits your interests & resources and give it a try. Learn based on your initial experience and improve.

This post originally appeared at 22+ Tax Preparation Service Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients via ShivarWeb

“”

How To Offer Gift Wrapping To Your Customers & Boost Your Online Store This Holiday Season

The post How To Offer Gift Wrapping To Your Customers & Boost Your Online Store This Holiday Season appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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22+ Insurance Agency Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients

Insurance Agency Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients

Most insurance agencies & brokers would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client. New clients not only bring in revenue, but also lifetime value and new referrals. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new inquiries coming in.

Some insurance agencies & brokers – especially those with a large, national brand – have a reputation and client base that brings in referrals and inquiries with nothing but a phone number.

But for most agents and brokers, you have to go out and market your agency or brokerage to get a quality pool of potential clients.

I’ve consulted on search marketing for several local insurance agents* and many local service professionals. Based on those experiences, here are some insurance agency marketing ideas that you can use to bring in more clients.

*I’ve found that some local insurance agents are highly constrained by their national company franchise agreements. These constraints come with major marketing advantages, but also force you to be creative with your supplemental digital marketing. Some of these tactics might be unavailable for you, but some just need a bit of tweaking.

Create City-Specific Website Pages

For many clients, regions are too big and neighborhoods are too small for the right insurance agent, but they do want a local agent or broker in their own city.

That may sound obvious, but most professional firms that I’ve worked with still don’t focus their marketing on individual cities within a region. It’s a lot of work. It’s tedious. But it can still be worthwhile.

Make sure that every city page is actually about that city and includes all your services. Make your page structure “scalable” so that you can easily expand your service area as needed.

Create Niche Service Pages

Lots of clients have specific services and/or expertise that they want. Instead of listing your services & expertise in a giant list, make detailed pages about each expertise. Try to rank for searches like “[service] insurance”.

You can use Google Suggest for ideas. Go to Google and type in “[city] insurance that” and hit space, but not enter. You’ll see some suggestions.

You can do this with the entire alphabet and as many modifiers as you can think of.

Create pages that match those search queries to show up when people search.

If you want to take this to the next level, you can use a tool like SEMrush’s Keyword Explorer to provide phrase match search terms in bulk.

Just type in a broad term and see what it’s comes up with.

Create Local Guide Pages

Create resource guides for people moving to or living in your city. Create lots of them.

Use Google Autosuggest to understand what people are searching for in your city.

Find niche insurance questions, which vary State by State and jurisdiction by jurisdiction.

Make a local version for popular insurance questions.

Develop Your Local Citations & Reviews

You should already have a Google My Business profile so that you can show up in Google Maps.*

*In fact, if you are a local agent who can’t run your own website, your Google My Business profile will be your primary search marketing tool.

But you can take it to the next level to show up even more prominently.

First, you can build your Google My Business profile with photos, posts, and full listing details.

Second, go to every local business listing site and make sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number match exactly. Whether it’s on the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or elsewhere – everything must match. These are called your “local citations” and Google uses them to confirm the relevance of local business.

You can use SEMrush’s Local Listing Management Tool to audit all these listings quickly.

Third, create a local review strategy. Having diverse, unique, and regular reviews on your Google My Business page is the number one way to get more views (aka calls & inquiries) from Google Maps. There are many ways to get reviews, but you can use follow-ups emails, retargeting on social media, and many other methods.

Getting creative with reviews is how you’ll leapfrog other local competing insurance agents in search.

Fourth, you need to make sure your categorization is comprehensive and complete. Many listings offer varying and multiple business categories. If you are an insurance broker or agency with multiple services, makes sure you are listed in every database.

Steal Ideas from Large Local Competitors / Businesses

I’m not a fan of brainstorming. I think that it’s more effective to build off ideas that have already worked.

No matter your size, you can always look to larger competitors or larger businesses for inspiration.

With insurance marketing, make a list of local businesses that you *think* are being creative – including companies in different industries.

Like local listings and keywords, I then use a marketing tool like SEMrush to spy on those competitors. Type in the URL of a competitor below to see an example.

Here’s what you’ll see.

It looks like a lot. But drill down and categorize each link. You’ll quickly get a sense of what they are doing. You’ll see where they are posting on social media. You’ll see which media outlets have accepted press releases and what types of digital marketing they’re doing.

The trick here is *not* to copy cat them. Instead, take the general idea of what your competitors have done and make it your own – or, make it better.

Work with Local Publications & Blogs

Every city, no matter how small, has an interest in themselves. In Atlanta, where I live, we have a Curbed blog in addition to the AJC Blogs, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and dozens of smaller neighborhood newspapers and real estate blogs.

Find those and become a regular fixture. All local publications & blogs act on tips & press releases. Very few have a “boots on the ground” journalists. If you can be the place to provide inside information, free images, and consistent write-ups, you’ll earn attention and links.

In the insurance arena, any statistics, trends, or data that you have can easily translate to free PR, which can then translate into links to your website or agent profile.

That extra attention and those links will help every other idea on this list. Google loves links. Social media users find URLs via links.

Your city pages, service pages, and everything else on your website will benefit from more inbound links.

Use Hyper-Local Facebook Ads

A local business has one massive advantage against national brands trying to operate locally – you live in your city and understand it.

Facebook allows for hyper-local advertising. You can run ads that show within a radius of only a few miles. It’s tedious to set up, but it’s relevant and effective.

Learn how to create hyper-local targeting for demographics and geography to find lots of interested clients.

You can run small, targeted campaigns that show multiple places at once.

Use Hyper-Local Google Search Ads

Google Search ads are famously effective and famously expensive. The best client is someone who searches for “car insurance in [city]”.

But that search click will be very costly.

In fact, some of the most expensive searches on Google are for legal terms.

But like Facebook, you have an critical local advantage with Google Quality Score. Google will show ads higher if they are more relevant even if they don’t have the high bid.

Like Facebook, it’s tedious to set up, but if you can set up a hyper-local campaign, you’ll be able to get Google Search traffic that large competitors can’t bid on.

The key is to run landing pages that perfectly match your ads, and run ads that perfectly match specific, local keywords.

If you offer tailored or niche insurance products, this strategy can be particularly useful.

Use Hyper-Local Google Display Ads

Google’s Display Network also offers opportunities for local advertisers who are willing to put in the work.

Google serves banner & text ads on some of the best ad locations on the Internet. Many placements are expensive for bulk ad buys.

But again, Google would rather serve a relevant ad with a low bid than an irrelevant ad with a high bid. That’s your opportunity to set up a hyper-local campaign focused on specific demographics in a specific area.

Even if you have a small market, you can always use Google’s Retargeting setting to solicit more reviews & referrals.

List on Locally-Popular Insurance Websites

Insurance listing websites are a dime a dozen. They will send traffic to your listing. But they are expensive and require a lot of legwork.

The key is to find a few key insurance websites that are popular in your area – and list on those.

You can use Google Trends, client interviews, SEMrush, or simply looking at the Google Search Results to see who is more popular for your city / neighborhood.

List on NextDoor & Local Forums

NextDoor is one of many local social media websites & forums. They are hard to find and hard to join, representing an opportunity for any local, enterprising broker or agent.

These networks are interesting because they are specifically local and extremely relevant for professional services.

They also have an accessible, affordable, and useful local advertising service.

Automate Social Media Monitoring

Like Reddit, people often start their insurance search on local social media with open-ended, specific questions.

It’s impossible to spend all your time on social media. But it is possible to automate both posting and listening on social media.

Take advantage of Twitter alerts, IFTTT, Zapier, and other tools to automate your social media presence and find great leads.

Contribute to Local Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a known resource for everyone. It relies on contributors – and authoritative contributors for local cities are often sparse.

Look for opportunities to use your website as an authoritative source for Wikipedia. An insurance agency is well-positioned to provide historical documentation, legal background, and more for Wikipedia entries.

Don’t be over-promotional or spammy, but you can look to increase your presence there for the links and the potential exposure.

After all, if people are using Wikipedia for research, it’s a great place to have your website & brand.

Identify & Market Popular Client Sources

Take previous & existing clients and try to understand where those clients came from and how they found you.

See if there is a way to build off that success. It sounds cliche and obvious, but the key is in the execution. I’ve worked with plenty of professional firms who knew where they got clients from, but never thought about increasing that channel.

Cross-Promote Local Professionals

Local real estate agents usually have an incredible offline network, but have a poor online network. That’s the same with accountants, therapists, and other professional services. If you are investing in your online marketing efforts, try to develop a relationship to cross-promote as many local professionals as possible.

Cross-Promote Local Businesses

As an insurance agent, you have the opportunity to stand at the nexus of lots of businesses & people. The key to most law firms is referrals. Try promoting other businesses in an effort to simply be top of mind for when the need for an insurance agent / broker happens.

Remember that even a link to your website from their website will dramatically help your other online efforts.

Coordinate Offline & Online Marketing

Take what your other marketing channels and drive them to specific landing pages with tracking. Create a marketing funnel rather than direct call to action across your on and offline marketing.

Use Events To Get Social Media Attention

Events like pro bono, Q&A sessions, seminars, college recruiting events are staples for many law firms. But events have a bonus effect online.

You can list them on multiple platforms to get extra exposure. Facebook is the best place for this tactic, but it also works on Google, Instagram, and event apps like Meet and Four Square.

Use Video Tours To Hack Social Media

Like events, most social media gives preference to video in their feeds. Take interesting video tours of insurance issues with behind the scenes explainers.

Video can be hard, but that means you will get a competitive advantage if you can pull it off. Create “evergreen” videos about topics that will last.

Post the file natively to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Pay a small budget to boost it. And look for opportunities to embed it on your website.

Use Digital Referral Fees for Word of Mouth

Referral fees are also a staple of insurance marketing. But they don’t get the same reach as digital referral codes.

Whether you use a simple bit.ly link, manually hand out custom codes (i.e., client numbers), or use a software service – digital referral codes can help you move limited physical word of mouth to unlimited digital word of mouth.

Find & Sponsor Local Charities

Sponsoring local charities provides a few marketing benefits.

First, you can likely get a link to your website, which will help your other efforts. For many agents, it’s the cheapest, simplest, and best way to promote your local listing & get links. You get long-term value for a short-term fee.

Second, you can tap into a well-networked organization with lots of word of mouth potential.

Third, you can tap into neighborhood goodwill to help with soliciting reviews to help with your Google My Business efforts.

Next Steps

There are a lot of marketing ideas out there for insurance agencies & brokers. You don’t have to do all of them. You just have to do one or two well.

Find the one that fits your interests & resources and give it a try. Learn based on your initial experience and improve.

This post originally appeared at 22+ Insurance Agency Marketing Ideas To Get More Clients via ShivarWeb

“”

Google’s AI Can Now Make Appointments & 4 More Small Business News Stories You Need To Know

The post Google’s AI Can Now Make Appointments & 4 More Small Business News Stories You Need To Know appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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How To Maintain A Healthy Cash Flow For Your Business

The post How To Maintain A Healthy Cash Flow For Your Business appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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Comcast RISE Promises Small Businesses Grants & Marketing Help To Combat COVID

The post Comcast RISE Promises Small Businesses Grants & Marketing Help To Combat COVID appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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22+ Law Firm Marketing & Advertising Ideas To Find More Clients

Law Firm Marketing & Advertising Ideas To Find More Clients

Most law firms would agree that there’s nothing like finding a new client. New clients not only bring in revenue, but also lifetime value and new referrals. But it’s hard to find a good client if you don’t have new inquiries coming in.

Some law firms have a reputation and client base that brings in referrals and inquiries with nothing but a phone number. But for most lawyers, you have to go out and market your firm to get a quality pool of potential clients.

I’ve consulted on search marketing for several large, local professional firms. Based on those experiences, here are some lawyer & law firm marketing ideas that you can use to bring in more clients.

Create City-Specific Website Pages

For many clients, regions are too big and neighborhoods are too small for the right law firm, but they do want a local lawyer in their own city.

Lawyer Marketing

That may sound obvious, but most professional firms that I’ve worked with still don’t focus their marketing on individual cities within a region. It’s a lot of work. It’s tedious. But it can still be worthwhile.

Make sure that every city page is actually about that city and includes all your services. Make your page structure “scalable” so that you can easily expand your service area as needed.

Create Niche Service Pages

Lots of clients have specific services and/or expertise that they want. Instead of listing your services & expertise in a giant list, make detailed pages about each expertise. Try to rank for searches like “[service] lawyer”.

You can use Google Suggest for ideas. Go to Google and type in “[city] lawyer that” and hit space, but not enter. You’ll see some suggestions.

Lawyer Services
Lawyer Expertise

You can do this with the entire alphabet and as many modifiers as you can think of.

Atlanta Legal Expertise

Create pages that match those search queries to show up when people search.

If you want to take this to the next level, you can use a tool like SEMrush’s Keyword Explorer to provide phrase match search terms in bulk.

Create Local Guide Pages

Create resource guides for people moving to your city. Create lots of them.

Georgia Laws

Use Google Autosuggest to understand what people are searching for in your city.

Municipal Laws

Find a niche in legal questions, which vary State by State and jurisdiction by jurisdiction.

Hiring a Lawyer

Make a local version for popular legal questions.

Develop Your Local Citations & Reviews

You should already have a Google My Business profile so that you can show up in Google Maps.

But you can take it to the next level to show up even more prominently.

First, you can build your Google My Business profile with photos, posts, and full listing details.

Second, go to every local business listing site and make sure that your Business Name, Address, and Phone Number match exactly. Whether it’s on the Yellow Pages, Yelp, or elsewhere – everything must match. These are called your “local citations” and Google uses them to confirm the relevance of local business.

You can use SEMrush’s Local Listing Management Tool to audit all these listings quickly.

Third, create a local review strategy. Having diverse, unique, and regular reviews on your Google My Business page is the number one way to get more views (aka calls & inquiries) from Google Maps. There are many ways to get reviews, but you can use follow-ups emails, retargeting, and many other methods.

Fourth, you need to make sure your categorization is comprehensive and complete. Many listings offer varying and multiple business categories. If you are a law firm with multiple services, makes sure you are listed in every database.

Steal Ideas from Large Local Competitors / Businesses

I’m not a fan of brainstorming. I think that it’s more effective to build off ideas that have already worked.

No matter your size, you can always look to larger competitors or larger businesses for inspiration.

With law firm marketing, make a list of local businesses that you *think* are being creative – including companies in different industries.

Like local listings and keywords, I then use a marketing tool like SEMrush to spy on those competitors. Type in the URL of a competitor below to see an example.

Here’s what you’ll see.

It looks like a lot. But drill down and categorize each link. You’ll quickly get a sense of what they are doing. You’ll see where they are posting on social media. You’ll see which media outlets have accepted press releases and what types of digital marketing they’re doing.

The trick here is *not* to copy cat them. Instead, take the general idea of what your competitors have done and make it your own – or, make it better.

Work with Local Publications & Blogs

Every city, no matter how small, has an interest in themselves. In Atlanta, where I live, we have a Curbed blog in addition to the AJC Blogs, Atlanta Business Chronicle, and dozens of smaller neighborhood newspapers and real estate blogs.

Find those and become a regular fixture. All local publications & blogs act on tips & press releases. Very few have a “boots on the ground” journalists. If you can be the place to provide inside information, free images, and consistent write-ups, you’ll earn attention and links.

In the legal arena, any statistics, trends, or data that you have can easily translate to free PR, which can then translate into links to your website.

That extra attention and those links will help every other idea on this list. Google loves links. Social media users find URLs via links.

Your city pages, service pages, and everything else on your website will benefit from more inbound links.

Use Hyper-Local Facebook Ads

A local business has one massive advantage against national brands trying to operate locally – you live in your city and understand it.

Facebook allows for hyper-local advertising. You can run ads that show within a radius of only a few miles. It’s tedious to set up, but it’s relevant and effective.

Learn how to create hyper-local targeting for demographics and geography to find lots of interested clients.

You can run small, targeted campaigns that show multiple places at once.

Use Hyper-Local Google Search Ads

Google Search ads are famously effective and famously expensive. The best client is someone who searches for “lawyer in [city]”.

But that search click will be very costly.

In fact, some of the most expensive searches on Google are for legal terms.

But like Facebook, you have an critical local advantage with Google Quality Score. Google will show ads higher if they are more relevant even if they don’t have the high bid.

Like Facebook, it’s tedious to set up, but if you can set up a hyper-local campaign, you’ll be able to get Google Search traffic that large competitors can’t bid on.

The key is to run landing pages that perfectly match your ads, and run ads that perfectly match specific, local keywords.

Use Hyper-Local Google Display Ads

Google’s Display Network also offers opportunities for local advertisers who are willing to put in the work.

Google serves banner & text ads on some of the best ad locations on the Internet. Many placements are expensive for bulk ad buys.

But again, Google would rather serve a relevant ad with a low bid than an irrelevant ad with a high bid. That’s your opportunity to set up a hyper-local campaign focused on specific demographics in a specific area.

Even if you have a small market, you can always use Google’s Retargeting setting to solicit more reviews & referrals.

List on Locally-Popular Legal Websites

Lawyer listing websites are a dime a dozen. They will send traffic to your listing. But they are expensive and require a lot of legwork.

The key is to find a few key lawyer websites that are popular in your area – and list on those.

You can use Google Trends, client interviews, SEMrush, or simply looking at the Google Search Results to see who is more popular for your city / neighborhood.

Lawyer SERPs

List on NextDoor & Local Forums

NextDoor is one of many local social media websites & forums. They are hard to find and hard to join, representing an opportunity for any local, enterprising attorney.

These networks are interesting because they are specifically local and extremely relevant for professional services.

They also have an accessible, affordable, and useful local advertising service.

Advertise / Post on Local Subreddits

Reddit is an attractive website for many industries. But local subreddits are especially interesting for attorneys and law firms for a couple of reasons.

First, they are hubs for local discussion & recommendations.

Second, they are the first place for people to ask open-ended specific, local questions.

Reddit Lawyer Recommendations

Now, Reddit is decidedly non-commercial with lots of rules. You should get to know them before posting or commenting as a commercial entity.

However, you should explore their sidebar wiki for research.

You should get in touch with the moderators to listen to their rules about business posting. And you should look at running ads or giveaways there.

Automate Social Media Monitoring

Like Reddit, people often start their lawyer search on local social media with open-ended, specific questions.

It’s impossible to spend all your time on social media. But it is possible to automate both posting and listening on social media.

Take advantage of Twitter alerts, IFTTT, Zapier, and other tools to automate your social media presence and find great leads.

Contribute to Local Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a known resource for everyone. It relies on contributors – and authoritative contributors for local cities are often sparse.

Look for opportunities to use your website as an authoritative source for Wikipedia. A law firm is well-positioned to provide historical documentation, legal background, and more for Wikipedia entries.

Don’t be over-promotional or spammy, but you can look to increase your presence there for the links and the potential exposure.

After all, if people are using Wikipedia for legal research, it’s a great place to have your website & brand.

Identify & Market Popular Client Sources

Take previous & existing clients and try to understand where those clients came from and how they found you.

See if there is a way to build off that success. It sounds cliche and obvious, but the key is in the execution. I’ve worked with plenty of professional firms who knew where they got clients from, but never thought about increasing that channel.

Cross-Promote Local Professionals

Local real estate agents usually have an incredible offline network, but have a poor online network. That’s the same with accountants, therapists, and other professional services. If you are investing in your online marketing efforts, try to develop a relationship to cross-promote as many local professionals as possible.

Cross-Promote Local Businesses

As a lawyer, you have the opportunity to stand at the nexus of lots of businesses & people. The key to most law firms is referrals. Try promoting other businesses in an effort to simply be top of mind for when the need for an attorney happens.

Remember that even a link to your website from their website will dramatically help your other online efforts.

Coordinate Offline & Online Marketing

Take what your other marketing channels and drive them to specific landing pages with tracking. Create a marketing funnel rather than direct call to action across your on and offline marketing.

Use Events To Get Social Media Attention

Events like open houses, pro bono, Q&A sessions, seminars, college recruiting events are staples for many law firms. But events have a bonus effect online.

You can list them on multiple platforms to get extra exposure. Facebook is the best place for this tactic, but it also works on Google, Instagram, and event apps like Meet and Four Square.

Use Video Tours To Hack Social Media

Like events, most social media gives preference to video in their feeds. Take interesting video tours of legal issues with behind the scenes explainers.

Video can be hard, but that means you will get a competitive advantage if you can pull it off. Create “evergreen” videos about topics that will last.

Post the file natively to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Pay a small budget to boost it. And look for opportunities to embed it on your website.

Use Digital Referral Fees for Word of Mouth

Referral fees are also a staple of attorney marketing. But they don’t get the same reach as digital referral codes.

Whether you use a simple bit.ly link, manually hand out custom codes (i.e., client numbers), or use a software service – digital referral codes can help you move limited physical word of mouth to unlimited digital word of mouth.

Find & Sponsor Local Charities

Sponsoring local charities provides a few marketing benefits.

First, you can likely get a link to your website, which will help your other efforts.

Second, you can tap into a well-networked organization with lots of word of mouth potential.

Third, you can tap into neighborhood goodwill to help with soliciting reviews to help with your Google My Business efforts.

Next Steps

There are a lot of marketing ideas out there for attorneys and law firms. You don’t have to do all of them. You just have to do one or two well.

Find the one that fits your interests & resources and give it a try. Learn based on your initial experience and improve.

This post originally appeared at 22+ Law Firm Marketing & Advertising Ideas To Find More Clients via ShivarWeb

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Klarna for Business: Is This Buy Now Pay Later Solution Right For Your Small Business?

The post Klarna for Business: Is This Buy Now Pay Later Solution Right For Your Small Business? appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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11+ Ways To Check Your NAP Consistency for Local SEO

This post originally appeared at 11+ Ways To Check Your NAP Consistency for Local SEO via ShivarWeb

Local SEO NAP Consistency

NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone Number.”

NAP is the core element of local business citations (aka listings) across the Internet.

Local search engines use citations to form a confidence score that any given business actually exists in the physical world.

Search engines combine the confidence score with a relevance score for a local search query to rank businesses in the search results.

NAP Consistency matters for local SEO because it hurts your confidence score. If a search engine is not confident that you exist in the physical world, you are less likely to appear in search results.

That’s why NAP consistency matters. And NAP consistency is especially important for Local SEO and local marketing because it’s one of the few direct ranking factors that you have total control over.

But how do you find all your NAP variations and fix them?

Well, it’s a bit like looking up how to spell a word in the dictionary. You need to have a general idea of what you are looking for plus a few tools.

Here are a few tools & techniques that I use to track down every local listing with a NAP citation to fix the incorrect version and remove duplicate listings.

These are in order of expense & accuracy. If you have some budget, skip down to SEMrush Local Listing Tool to save some time.

Google Your Phone Numbers

Make a list of all your phone numbers. All your employee’s numbers. Your personal phone number. All of them.

Google them.

Credit – EZ Dent Repair

Scrape / copy all the listings that show up. You can go ahead and fix them, but keep in mind that you might find duplicates later.

Google Your Addresses

Use the same process as the phone numbers. Google your current and former addresses.

However, with addresses, try to use a general form of your address if possible. For example, if your business is on 200 Elm St SE Newnan, GA 30263 then try just searching for “200 Elm St Newnan, GA” – dropping the “SE” and the ZIP Code.

Google Your Business Names

Use the same process as phone numbers and addresses. With your business name, always search for the shortest / broadest version.

Copy down, scrape, or fix all the inaccurate listings.

Remember that your goal is for every citation to match exactly. If most citations refer to “Shivar BBQ” then every citation should say “Shivar BBQ”.

You don’t want “Shivar Barbecue” or “Shivar BBQ Restaurant”. Make sure that every citation is exactly right.

If you have duplicates, you need to remove the duplicates.

Check Google Keyword SERPs

Now, if you’ve found many inaccurate listings, there’s a quick way to check for importance. Go ahead and Google a few key search queries – the keywords that your customers are certainly using.

Pull all the listing websites that show up until Page 5 of the search results. Every city will be a little different.

Do a manual search on each listing website for variations of your NAP so that you can fix inconsistencies and remove duplicates.

These first four methods are free but tedious. If you have some budget, using a premium tool will speed up the process.*

*Note – There’s a whole world of local SEO tools out there – including “done for you” tools like Yext. I do not recommend those unless you are dealing with hundreds & thousands of locations. Turning your citations over to a 3rd party can have nasty consequences.

Manual NAP repair is *always* worth the effort if you can. If you have budget, spend it on a tool that will help you find the listings while manually fixing the listings.

Check SEMrush Local Listing Tool

SEMrush is an entire suite of SEO and Paid Marketing intelligence tools.

I like to use SEMrush because a single premium subscription provides access to a local listing management tool in addition to one of the best backlink tools, keyword research tools, and advertising research tools.

8 SEMRush Local SEO Management

You can run a single search for free here. It won’t be able to find all your NAP inconsistencies, but it will find most of them. And it will find the most important ones quickly – along with a quick link to fix them.

Check Moz Local Search

Moz offers a stand alone Local Search tool that will find most inconsistent and duplicate locations.

It’s a great middle option for businesses with dozens of locations.

Check WhiteSpark Citation Builder

WhiteSpark is one of the most well-known local SEO agencies. They have an entire suite of tools that you can use for quick checks.

Their premium tools and premium services will help you get the listings edited & changed quickly in addition to finding new local links. Unlike Yext, they’ll change the listings manually, so you are always in control.

Check SEOfoxy’s Local Listing Tool

SEOfoxy has a local listing tool that is a bit error-prone, but has a ton of premium-grade search features for free.

I’ll use it for a quick double-check.

Check Data Aggregators

There are four large business data aggregators in the United States –

  • Neustar
  • Factual
  • Data Axle
  • Foursquare (took Acxiom’s place)

These businesses are kind of like Equifax, Transunion, and Experian in the consumer world. They are almost like the database of record for all businesses in the United States. Their database gets sent out to many large services (like Apple Maps, banks, etc). If your information is wrong with them, you’ll just be playing whack-a-mole with your local listings.

It can be extremely difficult to get your data fixed with them. But the important part is finding your data in their database and setting up some sort of account to provide some input on your data.

Check ZoomInfo Database

ZoomInfo is the hot new business data startup trying to compete with the big four data aggregators. They have a different database with their own primary sources. Make sure you are in their database.

Bonus – Use Your Library

If you are having trouble with lots of these databases or work in a hyper-competitive market (e.g., Los Angeles locksmiths), then it might be worthwhile to check ReferenceUSA and Dun & Bradstreet. You can access both those resources for free via your local library.

Next Steps for NAP Consistency

NAP consistency is a pain. But it’s worthwhile. The days of the Yellow Pages – or even word of mouth – is long, long gone. We even get directions to local places that we know via local search.

There’s a lot about local search that is out of your hands. But NAP consistency is one factor that is entirely in your control. Make it part of your recurring business marketing. Focus on making small improvements over time.

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Marketing Agency JustDigital Continues To Help Businesses Target & Maintain Clients, Even Through COVID

The post Marketing Agency JustDigital Continues To Help Businesses Target & Maintain Clients, Even Through COVID appeared first on Merchant Maverick.

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