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Who is Eligible for Local Services Ads?


Friday December 18, 2020

Reading Time: 9 minutes

It’s been a long while since we talked about Local Services ads for lawyers – in the time since then, Google has made a number of changes to this ad delivery method. Today, we want to tell you about how this exciting new platform can get your business in front of potential clients… right when they need you most.

Nashville local services ad company

Nashville Local Services Ads: A Primer

On their Local Services ads page, Google says that this approach will “get more leads and grow your business” – as a Nashville Local Services ad company, we agree. Here’s the rundown on how these Google ads work.

First, a person types their search into Google. If they’re looking for a service your business provides, your ads will show up. Pretty simple, right? It gets better. Google’s algorithm will only show your ads to customers in your service area, and on top of that, you only pay if they call you directly through the ad.

At a glance, the benefits of Local Services ads include:

  • Get seen at the top of Google.
  • Connect with customers who are looking for you (and more likely to book).
  • Use the mobile app to communicate with customers anytime.
  • Customers can call, message, or schedule a booking directly through your ad.
  • A wide array of tools are available to help build out your profile.
  • Only pay for the leads related to your services.
  • Google Guarantee and Google Screened badges boost conversions.
  • Only hear from customers who have chosen your profile.
  • Get listed as a local provider on the Assistant.

 

A Badge of Trust

Recently, Google has introduced a new offering for your Nashville local service ad company. By becoming a Google Screened or Google Guaranteed provider, you will earn a badge for your listing based on your industry. This little checkmark works a lot like the “verified” badge on Twitter – it gives you extra credibility and increases the likelihood that customers will book your services.

 

Who is Eligible for Nashville Local Services Ads?

Thanks to some recent changes, a variety of businesses around Nashville will be able to promote themselves through Local Services ads.

Initially, Google was very conservative with the professions which were eligible for this ad delivery method. Their logic was that household services (and those which could help with emergencies) would, by nature, need high quality, hyper-localized results. Until May of last year, Local Services ads were only available for electricians, HVAC professionals, carpet cleaners, plumbers, garage door repair services, and locksmiths.

Today, in addition to the above, professionals and those offering these services can apply for Nashville Local Services ads.

Active now:

  • Cleaning services
  • Window cleaning services
  • Criminal lawyers
  • Water damage services
  • DUI lawyers
  • Siding services
  • Tree services
  • Lawn care services
  • Air duct cleaning services
  • Real estate agents
  • Roofers
  • Litigation lawyers
  • Estate lawyers
  • Pest control services
  • Movers
  • Malpractice lawyers
  • Fencing services
  • Personal injury lawyers

Coming soon:

  • Appliance repair services
  • Bankruptcy lawyers
  • Videographers
  • Tax services
  • Financial planning services
  • Chiropractors
  • Towing services
  • Architecture services
  • Mechanics
  • Window repair services
  • Foundation repair services
  • Interior designers
  • Junk removal services
  • Family lawyers
  • Immigration lawyer services
  • Labor lawyers
  • Carpenters
  • Event planning services
  • Business lawyers
  • Flooring services
  • Countertop services
  • Contract lawyers
  • Photographers

Whether you are a lawyer, real estate agent, or someone who provides household repairs – roofers, appliance repairmen, and tree removal specialists – we strongly encourage you to work with a Nashville Local Services ad company to take advantage of this opportunity.

 

Do I Need a Nashville Local Services Ad Company?

Local Services ads have a host of benefits. As we’ve mentioned above, they solve one of the biggest pain points of online advertising: spending money on people who won’t hire your company. You don’t want to show your listings to people who are too far away to use your services or who are searching for something unrelated. This method has the potential to bring in a lot of new business for a relatively small monthly investment.

By hiring a Nashville Local Services ad company, you can be sure that your ads are properly calibrated. Agencies like Webconsuls work directly with you to understand what your business offers, how you can outrank the competition, and how to maximize your budget. We believe that most of digital advertising is smart money management, combined with constant ad tweaks, updates, and optimization.

For many people, Google Ads don’t work right out of the box. They may try a “set it and forget it” approach, which usually results in wasted money and minimal return. A professional Nashville local service ad company will continuously modify your ads based on performance. Additionally, we’ll suggest budgetary fluctuations and other strategies that can improve your results over time. These small changes add up to big results.

To learn more about Local Services ads, contact Webconsuls today. Our managing partners are happy to help you through the process of creating and optimizing your online presence.

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Okay, confession time: we’ve never been fans of Black Friday. Somehow, getting trampled in a Walmart at 3AM has become a holiday tradition, and the Webconsuls team is not here for it. What we do love is supporting our East Nashville neighbors. As we gear up for Small Business Saturday, consider stopping by one of our favorite storefronts out east.

 

Why You Should Shop Small

Whether you’re looking for holiday sales or everyday necessities, small businesses are a great resource. You may have heard a lot of buzz about ignoring big box stores in favor of mom-and-pop shops. While supporting local companies may feel good, there’s also a host of benefits to shopping small.

Helping Your Community. When you spend a dollar at the farmer’s market, that dollar is more likely to stay in your community. This results in greater wealth and more jobs in your area. On average, 48% of each purchase from a local, independent business is recirculated locally. At chain stores, that number is just 14%. This is referred to as the local multiplier effect.

Small Businesses Are the Backbone of Our Economy. This is a popular saying among politicians, and for good reason. Since 1995, more than half of America’s jobs have been created by small businesses. More research shows that since 1990, big box stores have eliminated 4 million jobs, while small business owners have added 8 million of them. The more you support local establishments, the more careers will be created.

You’ll Find Something Special. At big box stores like Walmart or Target, inventory is largely determined by the average consumer. This results in a lot of generic stock. If you’re looking for a unique gift, vintage piece, or specialty item, you’re much more likely to find it in the cozy confines of a small business.

Relationships and Better Service. Finally, you just can’t beat the service you’ll find in a local storefront. Owners may be willing to work with you to create custom pieces, source niche items, or special order exactly what you need. Not only will you build lasting relationships with other people in your area, but you’ll discover hidden treasures along the way.

 

Best East Nashville Small Businesses

Webconsuls has just renovated our own office space in East Nashville, Tennessee. We love being a part of this inspiring and artistic neighborhood. Here are a few of our favorite local businesses; if you’re in town for Small Business Saturday, we advise you to check them out.

 

Best Pizza Italia Pizza & Pasta

Looking for a memorable meal and great customer service? Look no further than Italia Pizza & Pasta. They’ve got options for every dietary preference and restriction, and they’re always fast and friendly. Fun fact, Steve Buscemi ate there, so you know it’s good.

 

The Ultimate Cup of Joe – Ugly Mugs

Fancy coffee without the fancy attitude. Helmed by owners Jarod and Courtney (the friendliest faces in East Nashville) and staffed by long-term baristas (shoutout to Josh), Ugly Mugs is down-to-earth. Also, their cold brew does not mess around. If you’re looking for a cozy spot where people will remember your name and memorize your order, we recommend this coffee shop.

 

Best Workout in Town – Title Boxing East

The trainers at Title Boxing East have turned a high intensity workout into an accessible, enjoyable, COVID-friendly experience. When you walk in, you’ll be greeted by good music and people who will show you the ropes – no intimidation or steep learning curve here.

 

Unwind and De-Stress – Katie Parker Massage

Katie is a master of energy work and body massage. She’s highly experienced and knowledgeable, which equips her to fix ailments of all kinds through techniques tailored to your needs. She’s adapted to COVID by offering outdoor massage in a private tent.

 

A Truly Unique Bar Experience – Chopper Tiki

Chopper has everything you didn’t know you wanted in a bar: robot theming, tiki drinks, a mythical futuristic island origin story, exciting events, souvenir mugs… There’s something truly special about this East Nashville haunt. Their array of craft cocktails is available to go during COVID-19, and you can even purchase remote service date night sets that come with glasses, orchids, straws, and swizzle sticks.

 

Best Spot for Teatime – High Garden Tea

March’s tornado was devastating for East Nashville, and perhaps the greatest loss was High Garden Tea: an heirloom herbal and tea craft apothecary on Woodland Street. While their cozy and moody storefront may be gone, you can still get your hands on some of their magical herbal blends through their online shop. Please join us in supporting High Garden so that they can reopen their apothecary in 2021!

 

A Great Haircut – Hawkins Barbershop

If you’re like us, you’ve noticed the wave of hipster barbershops popping up around Nashville. While they may look sleek from the outside, you may not have had a great experience in those overstuffed leather salon chairs. For those sick of overpriced haircuts and pretentious barbers, Hawkins is a breath of fresh air. They call themselves “second to none,” and for good reason – Hawkins offers cuts, beard shaping, straight razor shaves, and more, all at the highest level of quality.

 

Vegan Food for All – Wild Cow

Wild Cow has been a Nashville landmark for ten years now, and their revolutionary take on vegan fare will satisfy even the most veggie-averse diner. Their food is locally sourced, cruelty-free, healthy, and incredibly fresh (Seriously fresh. They don’t even own a microwave or freezer).

 

Sip and Shop – Vinyl Tap

Have you ever been browsing a record store and wished you had a local draft beer in your hand? Us too. Enter Vinyl Tap: a place with new and used vinyl, local and regional craft beer, and the friendliest group of neighbors you’ll ever meet, all in one. It’s the perfect spot to pass an afternoon with fellow music aficionados.

 

When You’re Hurting – Catalyst Physical Therapy

Catalyst provides physical therapy services tailored to your needs. Chelsea will find the root cause of your pain, develop a custom plan, and teach you a long-term solution that builds strength and mobility for years to come. She’s extremely thorough and helpful, and we’d recommend visiting her Instagram for some great success stories, PT tips, and at-home exercises.

 

Seriously Amazing Food & Margs – El Fuego

El Fuego has moved to a brand-new location, and they’ve become our favorite COVID-friendly restaurant in East Nashville. The margaritas are made from scratch with freshly squeezed limes. The food is authentically Latin American. The tents are six feet apart, and there’s tons of seating. What more could you want?

 

For All Your Heating & AC Needs – Cumberland Cooling

When you’re dealing with home improvement and expensive appliances, it can be hard to find someone you trust. We’re so happy to have called Cumberland Cooling. Their team is honest and extremely responsive; we had an issue, and they came out and fixed it the same day.

 

Personalized Medical Attention – Riverside Village Pharmacy

Riverside is what pharmacies were intended to be. You can ask Candice, the owner, about any medical question; she offers complimentary 15-minute consultations. She knows her customers’ names and medical needs, and she follows up frequently to make sure you’re doing well. Riverside is also one of the few compounding pharmacies in Nashville – their state-of-the-art compounding lab enables them to make custom-formulated prescription medications just for you. Don’t take our word for it; check out the pages of great reviews on Google.

 

Support Small Business

We hope that this list has given you some leads on local companies who could use your support. When in doubt, ask around – you’d be surprised by how many of your friends and neighbors have developed a die-hard loyalty to a nearby auto shop, cocktail bar, or salon.

If you’re looking for small business marketing services, drop us a line.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Looking for Fall COVID-19 Activities in Nashville?

Today is the first day of fall! Tonight, the autumnal equinox marks the start of our Nashville fall celebrations. You’re officially okay to buy stashes of candy, start decorating for Halloween, and put some hot cider into themed mugs. We know that our festivities will look a bit different this year. Read on for some of our favorite fall COVID-19 activities near Nashville.

 

Spend the Afternoon at Cheekwood Harvest

This past weekend, Belle Meade’s Cheekwood Estate opened their signature autumnal event: Cheekwood Harvest. In addition to enjoying the changing leaves, you can see over 5,000 chrysanthemums, play in the Pumpkin House, and purchase your own autumn décor. This event is a favorite for parents and kids alike; for those without little ones, the estate has scheduled dog-friendly nights in the garden throughout the coming months. This event is truly a local favorite. Additionally, the venue is taking great pains to ensure mask-wearing and social distancing, meaning that it’s one of the best fall COVID-19 activities in town.

 

Boo at the Zoo

Every October, the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere puts on an event full of festive fun. Boo at the Zoo includes Pumpkin Town photo ops, a hay maze, dance areas, carousel rides, animal shows, trick-or-treat stations, and a magical walk-through experience for the whole family. To make this fall activity COVID-19 friendly, the zoo has modified its policies to include staggered entry times and a 50% nightly capacity. Attendees will need to wear masks and purchase tickets beforehand. Members get special rates, and for everyone else, it’s $16 per person (kids under 2 are free). Get in the fall spirit and see some of the bears and tigers who like to stay up late!

 

Get Lost in a Corn Maze and Visit the Pumpkin Patch

Nashville is home to quite a few corn mazes and pumpkin patches, and for many, those locations represent fall in its purest form. While hayrides may be off the table, these places can be the perfect escape during these difficult times. However, you should still exercise caution when planning your visit. Call the location ahead of time to be sure that they are enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing. Fall COVID-19 activities near Nashville include Walden Pumpkin Farm, Honeysuckle Hill Farm, Lucky Ladd Farms, and Fox Ferry Farm.

 

Fall Tennessee Craft Fair

Each year, Centennial Park hosts the Fall Tennessee Craft Fair. This year marks the 42nd annual observance, and due to COVID-19, the event will be moving online. Log on and shop finely crafted artwork created by award-winning artists; you can meet the people who made each piece and learn what inspires them. Visit the Tennessee Craft website to learn more about exhibitors and their work.

 

Celebrate Fall at Home

If you’re immunocompromised or don’t feel like leaving the house this fall, you can still get in the spirit with some at-home activities. Pumpkin carving (or painting) can be a fun way to spend the afternoon; have a contest with your housemates to see whose turns out the best. You can also schedule a fall-themed movie marathon, whether you like scary movies or are in more of a Halloweentown state of mind. Finally, don’t forget our favorite autumn staples, like cider, leafy wreaths, and hearty meals. With a little planning, this fall can feel just as special as it has in years past.

 

Miscellaneous Fall COVID-19 Activities

There are a few more ways that you can enjoy the changing leaves and cooler weather this month. If you’re up for the drive, we recommend driving out to East Tennessee to take a hike; while the Smokies are a favorite destination, Monteagle is a beautiful area that’s a bit closer to Nashville. East Tennessee is home to countless great trails with a wonderful view of the leaves. We also recommend DIYing a fun Halloween costume, preserving some beautiful fall leaves, baking an apple pie (we will also accept pumpkin pie), digging out your favorite cozy sweaters, and voting.

 

Stay Safe This Fall

As the weather cools, we hope you will get to spend some time outdoors with family and friends. However, we urge you to keep your health and safety as your top priority. Experts warn that a fall COVID-19 spike could be coming. Take extra precautions to protect yourself and others as you celebrate Halloween and the autumn season. Wear a mask, socially distance, and limit the time spent in public spaces. We’re excited to see how you get creative with your celebrations this fall, Nashville!

 

Webconsuls is a full-service digital agency based in Nashville, TN.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

As digital marketers, our strength lies in fully understanding your business. Once you decide to work with Webconsuls, we’ll kick off that relationship with a discovery session. If you’ve never partnered with an agency before, you may have some questions about this process. Today, we’ll walk you what to expect in a discovery session.

What is the Purpose of a Discovery Session?

Our primary concern is developing a deeper knowledge of your company. Specifically, a discovery session helps us to unearth your current challenges, what you’ve tried in the past, what has and hasn’t worked, and your overall goals. With this information, we’ll know which of our services would most benefit you.

The other key function of a discovery meeting is to identify your target audience, unique offerings, and business situation. 

Who is Your Ideal Customer?

Identifying your target audience is an important goal of the discovery session. By dividing each set of clients into their own demographic categories, it becomes easier to cater advertisements to each group of potential customers. This applies to all marketing efforts; even if you’re a B2B company who works with large organizations, you will be discovered by individuals. What do those people look like? Demographic considerations include:

  • age,
  • gender,
  • location,
  • income level,
  • occupation,
  • marital status,
  • religion/values,
  • family size,
  • opinions/attitudes,
  • hobbies,
  • shopping habits, and
  • company size.

Having this information helps us to tailor advertisements to your audience. It also enables us to find them where they are. For example, younger people may see your ad on Instagram, while their parents are more active on Facebook. During this process, you can explain which markets you would like to expand into; we can change our digital strategy to capture leads from these individuals as well.

What’s Your Unique Offering?

After identifying your target audience, we need to know what sets you apart from the competition. We may ask questions like…

  • Who is your main competition?
  • What makes your business unique?
  • Why have you lost deals to competitors?
  • What do you offer that your competition does not?
  • How does your pricing differ from your competition?
  • Which objections do your prospects have during the sales process?
  • Do your competitors have any successful marketing tactics?
  • Why should a potential client choose you over other businesses in your industry?

Why is your unique offering important? It is likely that many of your potential clients have a hard time deciding which option within your industry is the one for them. Some choices, such as the selection of an addiction treatment facility, are especially difficult to make for the average consumer. The industry itself is challenging to understand, and a layperson may not know the signs of a legitimate organization.

That’s where we come in. Through this discovery session, we assist your customers by making your unique offering obvious and memorable. We will highlight your outstanding service or superior product while also using differentiation to create a competitive advantage.

What’s Your Business Situation?

Finally, we need to understand your business’s strengths and weaknesses in order to develop a concrete strategy based on your best assets. For example, we don’t want to build a campaign boasting about your customer service if your team is unable to handle a high volume of questions and requests. Instead, we tailor your marketing to your biggest strengths, whether that’s a specific product offering or a niche service.

To more fully grasp your company’s situation, we will use the discovery session to ask several questions, including:

  • What are your goals, mission, and vision?
  • Which areas of your business are performing well?
  • Which parts of your company are underperforming?
  • Do you have any plans for expansion? If so, in which areas?

Once we know what you want to emphasize, our team will work with you to build up your business’s strengths through a comprehensive marketing effort. 

Invest in a Discovery Session

After a discovery session, you will have an improved understanding of your company’s goals, audience, and competitive advantage. This meeting serves as a powerful tool that creates an efficient working relationship between client and agency. Are you ready to incorporate a discovery session into your marketing efforts? Our team is standing by.

Webconsuls is a full-service marketing agency with offices in Los Angeles, California, and Nashville, Tennessee.

Reading Time: 14 minutes

Black Lives Matter: Nashville

The recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have sparked protests across America, with some of the most notable taking place in Nashville, Tennessee. Through marches, phone calls, and petitions, Tennesseans have called for legislators to enact meaningful change in the form of public policy. As Nashville responds to Black Lives Matter, we want to keep you abreast of developments in local protests, recent rulings, and ways to get involved.

Unaffiliated Looting and Arson

Nashville has been home to some of the most well-documented protests of the past several weeks. For example, a peaceful demonstration on May 31st gave way to looting and vandalism at the Metro Courthouse, prompting Mayor John Cooper to declare a state of civil emergency. The days following saw 10 p.m. curfews, along with the arrest of 25-year-old Wesley Somers in connection with fires lit at the courthouse.

The Equity Alliance, one of the “I Will Breathe” rally organizers, tweeted, “We witnessed white people defacing public property while marching and told them to stop. The people attempting to set fire to the Metro Courthouse right now are NOT associated with today’s peaceful protest rally… It is our firm belief that those individuals defacing and destroying public property after the rally were not part of the original event.”

Nashville police tried to identify the individuals associated with acts of vandalism, whom they say hijacked the demonstration and used it “as a cover for the destruction they wanted to employ.” Police spokesman Don Aaron said that the Nashville Police Department suspects that white supremacist groups could have been involved, although it is too early to know for sure.

Mayor Cooper voiced his support of the afternoon’s demonstration, tweeting that the rally was peaceful and adding that, “We cannot let today’s message of reform descend into further violence. If you mean our city harm, go home.”

Six Teen Girls Organize Peaceful Protest

Fortunately, the demonstrations that followed have not been marred by outside influence or acts of violence. A particularly bright spot in recent news is last Thursday’s Black Lives Matter protest, which was organized by a group of six teen girls. Nya Collins, Zee Thomas, Emma Rose Smith, Kennedy Green, Jade Fuller, and Mikayla Smith – all students ranging in age from 14 to 16 – took just five days to organize the June 4th demonstration.

“We felt like we needed to do more, because change is not going to just happen overnight. We’re teens and we weren’t seeing any youth speaking up because they didn’t feel like they have a voice,” said Emma Rose, 15, a sophomore from Franklin, TN. “We wanted to show teenagers and youth that we need you guys and we do have a voice.”

Emma Rose and the other organizers met on Twitter and formed a group called Teens4Equality. Through a group text thread, the girls coordinated and spread the word, reaching out to other organizations and sharing flyers to social media. They met for the first time on the day of the march, which they hoped would attract at least 1,000 attendees.

More than 10,000 Nashvillians marched alongside them.

In an interview with Good Morning America, the teens emphasized that the demonstration was peaceful and featured people of all ages, races, and backgrounds, just as they had hoped. Their Instagram account has accrued more than 20,000 followers, and the girls are planning a second march for next month.

Nashville Police to Wear Body Cameras

These protests and calls for action have created real results. In an announcement this week, Mayor Cooper told the public that Nashville will begin to outfit Metro police officers with body-worn cameras.

“Since campaigning for office, I have supported body-worn cameras in Nashville and the need to invest in this vital technology the right way. We are delivering on that commitment today, and we are doing it in a cost responsible way.”

The cameras will be deployed beginning this July in Nashville’s West Precinct, with 86 body-worn cameras and 65 patrol car cams, which will provide additional views of incident response. Currently, the West Precinct is the only location with the IT capabilities to support this new tech; the mayor’s office hopes to update other precincts’ infrastructure as soon as possible. The deadline to implementation? Six months from now.

District Attorney General Glenn Funk praised Mayor Cooper for prioritizing this project, stating, “Body cameras will promote trust and accountability for law enforcement and the people of Nashville… These efforts will lead to a safer Nashville.”

Black Lives Matter Leads to Legislation, Other Changes

Fortunately, there appears to be even more legislation in the works. The George Floyd Act (HB2291) would change the way that officers use (or threaten) to use physical, deadly, and excessive force in the line of duty. The bill includes the ban of chokeholds and requires officers to give a verbal warning before firing a weapon, among other provisions. “We need to enact them not later, but right now. The people are crying out for action and that’s what they should get,” said State Representative Mike Stewart.

There have also been calls for the city follow in the footsteps of Chicago and Boston to hire a chief diversity officer. However, Mayor Cooper has not indicated whether this hire will be made. Citing budgetary concerns due to the tornado and the COVID-19 pandemic, the mayor said, “Everyone recognizes that this budget is not accomplishing what we all went into local government trying to do. Unfortunately, this budget is to get us through… the dramatic loss in revenue.”

Nashville, Get Involved

If you’re looking to get involved with Nashville’s Black Lives Matter movement, there are quite a few ways to do so.

Take to the Streets! Join a peaceful protest whenever you’re able. The girls at Teens4Equality are planning another protest on Independence Day: July 4th. They’ll be providing voter registration, snacks, and water at Bicentennial Capitol Mall Park. There are other gatherings taking place. To learn more about upcoming events…

Stay Updated. Follow Black Lives Matter – Nashville on social media or their website. They will be affiliated with all official acts of peaceful protest, and are a great source of information for local action.

Volunteer Locally. Gideon’s Army is a grassroots organization based in Nashville that seeks to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline through social activism. Their programs address youth violence, policing, and juvenile justice, as well as local problems disproportionately affecting the Black community. This March, they led tornado relief efforts for the North Nashville neighborhood, which saw far less volunteer turnout than Germantown or East Nashville. They have virtual trainings available now – donate today, or join them for a multitude of impactful volunteer opportunities.

Donate to Bail Funds. In this time of historic public demonstration, online fundraising is key. When protestors are arrested, donations to a local bail fund can help demonstrators to go home and plan their defense before trial. The Nashville Community Bail Fund is now accepting donations via PayPal.

Be Mindful of Where You Shop. It’s important to know where your money is going. National and local businesses have taken a stance on Black Lives Matter; after recent racist tweets from owner Jeremy Palmer, the Corner Pub in Green Hills has seen social media backlash, boycotts, and the dissolution of a business partnership. In the complete opposite vein, most local businesses have come out in support of the cause. The Mac Shack, Bryan Lee Weaver (owner of Butcher & Bee), Chopper Tiki, and many others have released statements in support of #BLM. East Nashville favorite Dino’s has also shared a list of Black-owned restaurants to visit. Be intentional of where you’re spending your money during this time.

Educate Yourself on the Issues. Be a better ally by educating yourself on the history of racism in America, along with the issues currently faced by the Black community. This can take the form of reading pivotal works, watching documentaries, and even diversifying your social media feeds. Great Big Story has compiled a helpful guide to this process.

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

1 in 5.

1 in 5. That’s the number of Americans who have a diagnosable mental illness right now. As you’re reading this article, friends, colleagues, and total strangers are dealing with the symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and myriad other disorders. Many of them have experienced traumatic events at some point in their lives. It’s impossible to tell someone’s mental health from a glance.

1 in 5 – 20% – is anything but a small amount. On average, people in the U.S. spend 20% of their day watching television. 20% of dogs are adopted through friends or relatives. 20% of college students use Snapchat. These numbers are enough to indicate powerful trends in a group’s priorities and well-being. So why is mental illness such a hush-hush topic?

The answer is the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health in America.

Stigma is when someone sees you differently – in a negative light – because of a mental illness. Discrimination is when you’re treated differently because of it. Humans are social creatures, and our group dynamics can be extremely influential. Social stigma and discrimination often make mental health problems worse and stop people from accessing the help that they need. For many, the only way to learn more and seek professional help is to perform a quiet, confidential search on the internet.

At Webconsuls, we hope to make mental health care available by promoting the services of accredited, evidence-based treatment centers from all corners of the United States.

“Do I Have Depression?”

Life insurance agency TermLife2Go used Google Trends to determine which mental health symptoms Americans were searching most frequently on a state-by-state basis. They found Washingtonians looking into internet addictions, Louisianans Googling postpartum depression, and West Virginians worried about mood swings. Many of these symptoms – particularly California’s concern about intimacy issues and Tennessee’s searches for low libido – are considered too taboo to be discussed with others.

In another study, researchers found that in the United Kingdom, someone Googles “depression” every two seconds.

For the search-minded among us, these trends probably come as no surprise. Google is the first place that younger people turn to for any type of information, whether it’s a niche sports stat or celebrity gossip. It stands to reason that we’d also find it natural to consult a search engine about concerning health issues, especially since unlike doctors, Google is available 24/7. However, the truth is probably more complex than that.

The perceived stigma around mental illness cannot be overstated. Mental health challenges are more complicated than most people realize; while they’re increasingly common, even the most confident individuals balk at the idea of widespread knowledge of their mental illness.

Dr. Jeanette Downie, Deputy Medical Director for the Priory Group, says, “I get some people (fairly high powered business people or people who are well known) who are terrified of people finding out and feel that they have absolutely ‘failed’ by being ill, and they often wait until they are really unwell before they come for help. People simply wouldn’t feel the same about a physical illness, like a heart condition.”

Mental Health Month was created to address this exact phenomenon.

About Mental Health Month

Beginning in the 1940s, Mental Health America and other groups began to observe Mental Health Month each May. By holding educational seminars, hosting events, and sharing resources to social media, this observation has spread throughout the United States. Key mental health services, such as screenings and informative programming, are provided each year. Ultimately, the goals of Mental Health Month are to educate the public, assist individuals in accessing care, and to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental illness in America.

Mental Health SEO: Ensuring Good Organizations Rise to the Top

The sheer volume of searches for mental health concerns speaks for itself. However, it comes with a sense of social responsibility – what happens if someone is directed to a fraudulent treatment center, or a scammy directory in which companies pay for referrals? At Webconsuls, we have made it our mission to help legitimate, accredited organizations to break through this noise. In doing so, we hope that those in need of help will be able to access high quality care.

Today, any drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers wishing to advertise on Google, Bing, or Facebook must achieve LegitScript certification. In order to gain this credential, a center must be properly licensed, have proof of a physical location, present policies demonstrating a commitment to best practices, and submit to a background check for all employees – among other requirements. We guide eligible companies through this process, helping them to reach those in need of treatment. In turn, fly-by-night organizations drop in ranking, preventing vulnerable people from falling victim to a scam.

When you’re seeking help for mental illness, it’s essential that you’re able to access factual information and evidence-based care. We’re here to help you along the way.

 

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Life in the Time of COVID-19 (& Also Tornadoes)

We’ve come a long way since March.

First, let’s acknowledge that in the past few months, we’ve had our lives turned completely upside-down. People all across the globe have dealt with strict “safer at home” orders, the sudden need to homeschool, and the abrupt closure of beloved establishments, among other unprecedented stressors.

In Nashville, things have been particularly tough. On the night of March 2nd, a deadly tornado outbreak affected Middle and West Tennessee. In storms ranging up to EF3 and EF4 ratings, 25 people were killed, 300 injured, and more than 70,000 lost power. As local businesses and residents in East Nashville, Germantown, North Nashville, and Donelson worked to bounce back from the destruction, coronavirus set in.

When you lay it all out like that, things may seem overwhelmingly bad. The devastation caused by not one, but two major events has definitely challenged our state and its residents. However, this is exactly when good news becomes important.

Finding the Silver Lining

Bad news isn’t just upsetting – it can be detrimental to your mental health. In their recommendations for daily life and coping during COVID-19, the CDC recommends moderating your media diet. They state that watching, reading, or listening to news stories (even on social media) can be upsetting, triggering feelings of stress and anxiety. It’s not uncommon to develop concerns about protecting oneself or one’s family from the virus, or to feel distressed by the statistics surrounding coronavirus.

However, it’s important to remember that even as negative news events gain widespread coverage, acts of human kindness are everywhere – especially in the state of Tennessee. Many of us have personally witnessed these ourselves, whether in the form of volunteers sewing masks or friends picking up groceries for elderly neighbors. In these weird and wild times, there’s something comforting about the Volunteer State living up to its name.

In honor of Mental Health Month and Nashville’s volunteer spirit, we’ve compiled some of our favorite uplifting stories of human kindness during COVID-19. We hope they inspire you to believe in a brighter future for all of us.

Nashville Tornado Relief Efforts Continue

While sympathetic hugs or politician’s handshakes are now out of the question, tornado relief efforts have continued in spite of COVID-19. More than 500 people were accommodated in hotel rooms provided by the Red Cross, since mass shelters were not an option, and they have been fed catered meals delivered to the hotels (instead of at a large kitchen). Other volunteer organizations are making similar accommodations, restricting the number of people on a job site to the bare essentials. While logistics have gotten more complicated, volunteers continue to work hard to help their fellow Tennesseans to recover.

Support from Public Figures

Celebrities have gotten in on the relief efforts too. Country star Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, have opened The Store, a free grocery open to those in need. The goal of this nonprofit is to enable food-insecure Tennesseans to shop for groceries with dignity and respect. Volunteers, interns, and staff have mobilized in the face of COVID-19, delivering food to high-risk elderly residents in affected communities.

Similarly, Oprah Winfrey has sought to support Nashvillians, particularly those in poor minority communities who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. She has called Nashville her foundation, donating $2 million to provide immediate food relief to underserved communities.

Drive-Through Graduations

In lieu of traditional cap and gown ceremonies, Nashville-area schools have transitioned to drive-through graduations for high school seniors, middle school graduates, and even younger children. For all, this event marks an incredible milestone that should be celebrated by other students, parents, and members of the community. A video of Pearl Cohn student Dontrail Spencer’s emotional graduation ceremony has gone viral, and for good reason – it demonstrates just how important these parades can be.

A Semi Truck Dumped Like 40,000 Pounds of Mac & Cheese on I-24

This one is more of a side note. Is this technically good news or a story of human kindness? No. Did this ridiculous headline make us laugh? Yes.

Photographer Raises Money for Nashville Humane

Local photographer Wendy Jo O’Barr has begun offering pet portraits to raise money for the Nashville Humane Association during COVID-19. Her professional photographs are taken from a safe distance, but they capture the unique personality of each animal – and raise funds for those in need.

Running Errands for High-Risk Neighbors

East Nashvillian Sarah Townsend Smith posted on social media asking for high-risk neighbors to email her with any errands they needed done. She received an outpouring of support from others who wanted to help pick up groceries and prescriptions for those in need. Today, she’s connecting high-risk individuals with a large pool of volunteers, making a difference in countless lives each day.

Brighter Days Ahead for Nashville, TN

Whatever your experience during the coronavirus outbreak, we hope you’re safe and able to seek out good news like the stories above. These are just a few of our notable mentions – there are countless more… you just have to look for the silver lining.

 

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Digital Marketing During COVID-19

As the novel coronavirus makes its way around the globe, Americans have adopted a lifestyle that seemed unthinkable just weeks ago. Today, we have closed schools and shuttered businesses while limiting travel as much as possible. As the economic landscape continues to shift, a strong online presence has become more important than ever. In this post, we’ll provide you with our top tips for digital marketing during COVID-19.

How Coronavirus Changes Your Business

COVID-19 has begun to devastate economies on a national scale. States have issued orders designed to keep citizens at home; these “shelter in place” directives have had widespread impact on local companies. Under these guidelines, non-essential businesses have shut down for the foreseeable future. Essential businesses, like daycare centers and addiction treatment providers, may remain open with additional precautions. However, the way that these companies promote themselves will have to change dramatically.

It’s important to note the shift in consumer behavior that has occurred as a result of these orders (and the pandemic in general). People are avoiding work, restaurants, and other public places in which it is possible to catch COVID-19. They may also be more hesitant to spend money during this period of economic uncertainty. Because these people are not seeing billboards or listening to the radio on their way to work, businesses must reach them where they are. Digital marketing has become the best way to reach customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronavirus Illustrates the Importance of Digital Marketing

According to the Washington Post, there has been a nationwide jump in screen time over the first few weeks of quarantine. In the midst of COVID-19, many people stuck at home have turned to their phones and computers to connect with others. Social media has become an important outlet for venting and commiseration. It also provides an easy way for loyal or new customers to receive updates from local businesses.

With this information in mind, here are our recommendations for marketing during COVID-19.

1. Acknowledge the Situation and Adapt

We’re going through an unprecedented worldwide event – don’t ignore that on your website or social profiles. Your first order of business should be informing your audience of how your company is changing policies due to the coronavirus. For example, some addiction treatment providers have adopted new cleaning protocols in their inpatient facilities, while others have begun to offer telehealth services to people in outpatient programs. Create a succinct page outlining your new procedures moving forward. Next, link to this page prominently from a brightly colored banner at the bottom of your site. This provides a quick reference point for your potential clients.

2. Update Your Audience

Have your hours changed due to the virus? Have you temporarily closed? Are you providing extra services to the community during this time? Be sure you log onto Google My Business and update your listing to reflect this information. They’ve created a robust suite of tools that allows you to clearly communicate COVID-related changes to your customers.

3. Foster an Online Community

The time for sales-forward messaging has passed. Posting content about your new product launch or offerings will come across as tone-deaf during the coronavirus outbreak. Today, the most effective step any brand can take is to lean into their customers’ desire to connect. Create posts that acknowledge their feelings and encourage open discussion about the issues at hand. Consider putting up advice about managing the anxiety and restlessness that come along with months of self-quarantine. If you’re genuine and authentic, your followers will appreciate it, and you’ll become a bright spot in their cluttered feeds.

4. Pause Automated Messages That Don’t Make Sense

Many companies operate with monthly content calendars; frequently, copy for e-blasts and social posts will be created in a large batch, then scheduled out at the top of the month. Go through your scheduling software and reevaluate your content for sensitivity to the current situation. Don’t advise gathering or promote events that have been cancelled. Instead, rework your messaging to acknowledge coronavirus and the steps you are taking in response to it. This is a key element of digital marketing during COVID-19.

5. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

It can be challenging to overhaul your digital presence at the drop of a hat. If you need a hand prioritizing SEO or rewriting a dozen ads, be sure to reach out to industry professionals or your peers for assistance. We’re all in this together!

Digital Marketing During COVID-19

As the world continues to change, remember that adaptation and quick thinking are critical to your success. By meeting your customers where they are, you’ll build trust and keep a people-first mindset. If you need help adjusting your digital presence during COVID-19, we’re here to help.

 

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 10 minutes

As the COVID-19 situation develops, hourly updates are released detailing changes to consumer purchasing habits, supply chains, and distribution. These events are a first for business owners; how do you navigate during a period of economic uncertainty? Industries that rely on consumer activities – event spaces, restaurants, brick-and-mortar retail storefronts – probably need to reduce their ad spend in the near future, but that doesn’t mean that you should suspend 100% of your digital marketing efforts. In the days ahead, SEO will become the most important marketing tactic for businesses worldwide.

Repercussions of COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has reduced demand for countless industries. Travel and hospitality have been all but suspended across the country. Restaurants have either closed indefinitely or switched to delivery-only business models. Even retail giants like Amazon have stopped stocking nonessential products and have prioritized the fulfillment of orders containing household staples. In an eerie repeat of the 2008 Recession, the DOW has dropped precipitously.

As a result, many companies have begun to panic.

This reaction sets up businesses for a long-term struggle to recover. While many companies may lose revenue in the coming weeks, the one certainty is recovery. This means that when the smoke clears, the same standards for success will still exist. SEO and organic search are long-term marketing efforts; this competitive space requires continuous nurturing and attention, especially when your rivals have stopped investing in it. Even if it seems counterintuitive, this is the time to invest in smart digital strategy.

Why SEO Still Matters

Right now, SEO can help your business zig where others zag. While your competitors shutter marketing departments for the foreseeable future, you have a unique opportunity to get ahead of the curve. Once the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 has cleared, you can emerge with a boosted ranking. This means more traffic, more business, and more profit once “normal” life resumes.

As we mentioned above, SEO is a long-term marketing channel. This means that your results grow over time; it takes about six months to start seeing noteworthy outcomes. After a year, you’ll see even higher numbers. During this time, your company is pulling ahead of (and outranking) industry competitors. Unfortunately, SEO is also a zero-sum game. If you’re not pulling ahead, you’re falling behind. This means that if you suspend all marketing efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak, you are likely to lose any previous progress made in years past.

How to Improve Your SEO during COVID-19

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to shore up your SEO and organic search efforts during this time. Most of these approaches center around creating smart, effective content that speaks to your customers’ needs.

Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome. First, consider which of your services could be made available online. Legal professionals, for example, could provide remote sessions and consultations via video conference or a phone call. If you offer therapy, seek out secure, HIPAA-compliant software that will allow clients to receive teletherapy sessions. Build new pages explaining your novel approach to treatment during COVID-19. In the days ahead, it will be imperative to adapt to the “new normal” as quickly as possible; make this step your first priority.

Think Outside the Box. Remember that your services will still be needed during and after the coronavirus outbreak. For example, lawyers have seen high demand in response to the crisis – from advising employers on how to respond when employees test positive for COVID-19 to creating task forces that assist domestic and international clients in navigating these complex times, the need has never been higher for legal help. Even after the coronavirus pandemic ends, there will be countless contract disputes centered around event cancellations during this time. Be sure that your SEO is up to snuff in order to get your share of this business.

Help Your Clients. You can also create resources for potential and previous clients. For example, addiction treatment centers should make lists of guidelines about how alumni can protect their recovery during a pandemic. These resources will provide much-needed support for your clientele, with the added benefit of boosting your ranking.

Address the Issue. Next, think about building pages on your website that address the coronavirus and how your company policies have changed because of it. Have you transitioned to a fully remote staff? Will you be canceling all in-person meetings for the foreseeable future? Are you adhering to the protocols provided by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? This information is vital for your clients to easily find and understand.

Be Sensitive and Empathetic. Social distancing and self-quarantine have also created an unparalleled amount of online activity. Your audience is more engaged now than ever before. Be tactful in your posts to your blog and social media; don’t push products or make light of the situation. Rather, consider using your platform to share information about COVID-19 safety and company updates.

Spring Clean Your Digital Presence. This is also a great time to take care of those digital housekeeping items you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s removing outdated information on your website, responding to online reviews, or ensuring NAP consistency (name, address, phone) across platforms, there’s no doubt that you could start chipping away at that to-do list now.

Digital in a Time of Coronavirus

We know things are uncertain right now. Instead of panicking, continue to invest in your business in the ways that make sense: long-term efforts that will pay dividends in the future. If you have any questions, we’re happy to help.

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Have You Been Asked to Work from Home?

Over the last week, Nashvillians have had to do a lot of adjusting. As we piece together roofless homes and wait for NES to restore power post-tornado, we’ve also received word of school closures and federally recommended quarantines. As coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, spreads throughout the country, many employers have asked their staff to work from home. If you’re worried about how to be effective from a remote location, never fear – we’ve put together your guide to work-from-home productivity.

Carve Out Space

One of the most challenging aspects of any remote position is finding a place to concentrate. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office, this problem takes care of itself! However, even if you’re not equipped with a posh desk space, it’s possible to get some great work done at home.

First, be sure that you’re set up in a quiet corner of the house, preferably at a desk or dining table. You want to find somewhere that will automatically place you in “work mode” (hint: not your bed or couch). As long as you’re sitting upright and can get in some hours while undisturbed, you’re on the right track. Also, try to avoid high traffic common areas, especially if you make a lot of phone calls. If you live with roommates (or have children), ask for some privacy during working hours; they shouldn’t disturb you unless absolutely necessary. 

Next, be sure that you’ve got all the equipment necessary to do your job. If you regularly use a second monitor or standing desk at the office, for example, bring them home for the days ahead. Don’t forget to grab some noise-cancelling headphones; these can be a lifesaver for those working in shared spaces. Make a list of all your must-haves and gather them before you get started.

Routine, Routine, Routine

One major plus to an office environment is the sense of routine associated with the workday. You probably wake up, shower, get ready, drive to work, eat lunch, and drive home at roughly the same times each day. When you’re working from home, on the other hand, it’s easy to let that structure fall by the wayside. Don’t be tempted to sleep in or work past the times that you usually eat.

If your day is unscheduled, it’s easy to wind up ignoring your physical needs. Wake up, get ready, and feed yourself on a consistent timetable. Furthermore, be sure that you’re moving around as often as you normally do. Whether you track this on a Fitbit or Apple Watch, keep an eye on your steps and take a walk if needed.

Take a Break

Separating your professional life from your personal life is challenging in the best of circumstances. When you’re working from home, those lines blur even more. Don’t allow yourself to be accessible to your supervisor 24/7; have clear start and end times for each day. Set reasonable deadlines for assignments and build in some time to adjust to your new schedule. If you find yourself becoming stressed, take a breather – take the dog on a walk around the block or get some fresh air on the porch.

Working from home also means that you’ve got time to take care of a few (realistic) household chores. Toss in some laundry when you’ve got writer’s block or roll the garbage can to the curb during a lull. The ideal chores are those that take a few minutes at most, but even in a short time, they can provide a much-needed brain break. Don’t try to undertake massive projects that require a lot of energy; these distractions can jeopardize your effectiveness and contribute to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Be Professional When You Work from Home

This tip is a bit counterintuitive. Many of us assume that getting to work from home means lazing around the house in sweatpants. However, donning more professional attire can make a huge difference in your perception of the workday. This is especially true for those conducting virtual meetings via Skype or Facetime; not only will you feel more put together, but you’ll be dressed appropriately for conversations with clients and coworkers.

Don’t Forget to Socialize

As Americans try to navigate “social distancing” recommendations to slow the spread of coronavirus, we’ve also got to remember the importance of human contact. If you’re used to working in a big office and chatting around the water cooler, working from home can be an isolating experience. Even the most introverted person needs to reach out to friends, family, and peers to stay sane. You can call your boss with any questions, send quick messages to your coworkers on Slack, or get in touch with your friends to discuss how your WFH days are going. Just make sure that you’re reaching out to a few people each day.

You Can Do It!

Even when it seems like the world is ending, working from home has its perks. You’ve got the flexibility to set your own schedule, minus the time it takes to commute, and your family will be safer from an international pandemic. If you find that you’re overwhelmed in the days ahead, we encourage you to reach out to your employer for additional support and resources. With the right level of preparation and structure, working from home can be a breeze.

Questions About How to Work from Home? We’re Happy to Help.

Webconsuls is a full-service digital agency with offices in Nashville, TN and Los Angeles, CA. If you would like to make a donation to tornado relief efforts, visit cfmt.org.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Online Legal Marketing: A Waste of Money or the Secret to Success?

Legal professionals spend a great deal of their time hiring stellar talent, finding new clients, and expanding their practices. Many assume (correctly) that turning to online legal marketing is an excellent tactic to accomplish these goals. Unfortunately, an increasing number of them are going about it the wrong way.

Not every campaign is guaranteed to succeed, and this is especially true with digital efforts. Many first-time approaches to legal marketing focus on the wrong strategy, meaning that even the most well-structured campaigns are doomed from the start.

The biggest false assumption that many attorneys make is that digital ads are meant to be a money pit. Efforts like Google Display Ads and Search Ads all hinge on careful calibration, not blind spending. Countless firms have dumped tons of money into the well of “online marketing” – SEO, PPC, and social media posts – and found themselves at a loss about where it all went, or where it even worked. It doesn’t help that the legal field represents one of the costliest industries in which to market. With this in mind, it’s easy to understand the frustration many attorneys feel when trying to promote their firms online. We’ve put together some of our top tips for cutting through the noise and getting those new retainers.

“Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.” – Survivor, but Also Webconsuls

Here’s our first piece of advice: it’s not enough to outbid your competitors; to achieve a positive return on investment, you need to outplay them. This means researching which keywords you would like to rank for, educating yourself on which keywords to exclude, and tailoring your ads to your specific industry niche. The more unique your firm appears, the better results you’ll have.

Make a Plan

Many attorneys may actually be losing their leads before they’ve even converted. Be sure that there is a plan in place for your complete sales funnel. After someone contacts your firm, how quickly will they receive a response? What happens if they call after business hours? How long will they have to wait before their consultation? What is your plan for tracking these individuals throughout the sales process? How often will you follow up with them? All of these questions should be answered to ensure that you eventually retain the people who clicked your ad (otherwise, what was the point?).

Remember, Online Leads are Different

Those who saw your ad online were probably searching for an attorney in your specific area of practice. While typical referrals may be more understanding if you take a while to get back to them, your legal marketing leads will not. They don’t have a specific loyalty to you in the way that a personal referral would; as such, they’re more likely to call up one of your competitors if you take your time getting back to them. Be sure that you’ve created a plan to speak with and retain these clients in a timely fashion for the best chance of success.

Look for New Platforms and Opportunities

The world of digital advertising is constantly shifting and staying on the cutting edge can make a huge difference in your strategy. For example, in a previous post, we discussed the release of Google’s Local Services Ads for immigration lawyers and estate lawyers in certain cities. These hyper-local ads rank above PPC ads and organic search results, meaning that those who run them will receive top billing for those searching for representation. This is just one example; trust us, it pays to keep up with emerging platforms and trends.

Content is King. Be a Thought Leader.

It may seem silly, but study after study has proven that your legal blog can be one of the biggest drivers in your ranking online. Frequently updated pages and blogs with information about your areas of practice can make all the difference in your legal marketing efforts. In addition to keeping your site fresh, this is an excellent opportunity to show off your expertise and build some cred on LinkedIn. If you’re unsure of how to get started, check out some articles from the American Bar Association or reach out to a digital marketing firm like Webconsuls.

Measure Your Results

If you’re worried about all the money going into your marketing efforts, the first step should be analyzing your return on investment. Because retainer amounts can be so high, this should hopefully work out positively. If it doesn’t, get granular and figure out which specific areas aren’t working (and why). Are you spending tons of money on Google Ads, but not getting enough clicks? That could be because of the ad creative, but it could also be due to where you’re placing those ads. Run a few A/B tests to figure out what the culprit is, then nix or edit that part of your strategy.

Your Partners in Legal Marketing

If you’re struggling to get your legal marketing on track, Webconsuls is here to help. Our managing partners are just a phone call away. Dial (949) 701-4714 to speak with them about your firm’s strategy today.

Webconsuls is a full-service digital marketing agency specializing in SEO, website building, and PPC in the legal field.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Autumn is a time of transition. Three big things should be changing right now: temperatures, leaves, and your marketing strategy. We’ve put together some of our favorite recommendations for getting your digital presence ready for fall.

Decorating Your Socials for Fall

Decorating for the season ahead isn’t limited to wreaths or spooky yard ornamentation. The easiest fall-centric update you can make is to your social media. Begin by replacing your cover photo and profile picture with updated imagery. This can be your company logo over an autumnal background, a new staff photo, or a shot of the exterior of your building. If you have a brick and mortar location, consider staging a photoshoot for each season of the year. Not only will this keep imagery of your facility current as new buildings and renovations are completed, but it will also ensure that you’re not posting outdated content.

Perform an Audit

While audits may not sound fun, they’re immensely important to your digital presence. At the beginning of each new season, you should comb through your website and all social media profiles to identify any out-of-date information. Something as simple as a disconnected phone number could cost you thousands if left up for an extended period of time.

After you’re done pulling down outdated photos and old business addresses, make a wish list of what you’d like to improve in the weeks ahead. If your site is full of old, low quality images, for example, hiring a photographer may be a high priority for you. On the other hand, if you notice that your blog has not been updated since 2014, setting aside time to write a few posts should jump to the top of your list.

Celebrations and Events

With the holidays ahead, there’s no shortage of causes for celebration. Whether you’re planning a Thanksgiving lunch or a monster mash, be sure to heavily document any company parties for sharing on socials. You can also host autumnal events and specials for clients. Be sure to advertise these online and keep your staff up to date on everything that’s coming up. Whatever your goal, create an up-to-date landing page where all traffic will be directed.

Community

Fall is a great time of year to get involved with your local community. With both back-to-school and football season to look forward to, small businesses have myriad opportunities to support youth organizations. Look into sponsoring a team or game to get the word out about your company. You can also loan out space to local charitable groups or encourage your social media followers to attend their meetings.

Remember that your staff is like a family and try giving back to them this fall. Consider providing a company-sponsored photoshoot for Christmas cards – all staff members can bring their spouses, children, and pets, and they’ll have a keepsake image to share with family and friends. You can also take this opportunity to express your thankfulness for each person via spotlights in the company newsletter or shout outs in team meetings.

Charitable Efforts

Autumn is also an excellent time to focus on charitable efforts. Set aside a day for your entire team to sort cans at a food bank or participate in a walk/run fundraiser. If you’d like something with a lower time commitment, consider hosting a can drive or coat donation at your business – it’s a great way to give back to the community, and it also ensures that locals know that your team is generous and trustworthy.

Have Fun This Fall

Remember, there’s no shame in embracing pumpkin spice lattes, corn mazes, haunted houses, and gingerbread everything – in fact, many companies have made significant financial gains by doing just that. As you create your fall-themed content, remember that authentic enjoyment and connection are what resonates the most with your audience. Don’t be afraid to look a little silly or try something new. You’ll be glad you did.

Webconsuls is a full service marketing agency headquartered in Nashville, TN.

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Last month, Facebook warned advertisers about an upcoming complication for their marketing strategies. The social media company will now be making a “clear history” feature available to its users. By selecting this option, people with Facebook profiles will be able to delete or disable data that the social network receives from outside websites and apps.

Today, we’ll explore why this choice is beneficial for consumers – and how it complicates things for advertisers.

How Facebook’s New Tool Works

The tool doesn’t delete users’ browsing activity or off-site actions, but it does make data anonymous. By choosing to clear their history, those with Facebook accounts will have their personal, identifying information removed – therefore removing the association between browsing activity and a personal account.

The main goal of Clear History is to create more transparency for users; it also provides them with a list of websites they have visited which employ Facebook’s suite of business tools, including Facebook Pixel, SDK, and API. This empowers people with Facebook profiles to make informed decisions about who, exactly, can access their personal information.

The Benefits of Clearing Facebook User Data

Facebook’s founder and high-ranking executives have found themselves in hot water in recent weeks. In the wake of data theft and privacy concerns, it’s no surprise that the social media giant has begun to prioritize users’ safety and data security. This development is just one of many recent changes Facebook’s higher-ups have released to the public. Representatives wrote in their announcement that “it’s important to understand that advertising and protecting people’s information are not at odds. We can do both.”

As mentioned, this change creates greater levels of transparency and independence for Facebook users – your potential customers. Their data is still available for analytics purposes, but with these new policies, it will exist independent of each individual’s Facebook account when requested.

How “Clear History” Affects Your Social Media Marketing

Those who haven’t set up ads themselves may be surprised by just how much data Facebook utilizes to categorize its members. Targeting options include geographical location, interests, prior purchase behavior, connections with pages or events, and demographics (such as age, gender, education level, relationship status, and job title). These prior behaviors are what will be impacted by the new policy.

Retargeting is a common tactic used to convert those who have visited your website in the past. This includes previous buyers, as well as those who browsed but have not made a purchase. By placing a pixel on your site, you are able to serve ads specifically to that audience: previous visitors. This targeting will be the most impacted by the Clear History feature. Once the tool goes live, if a user opts out of linking their off-Facebook activity, companies will no longer be able to use their data for targeting.

In brief, this means that Facebook Pixel and other tried-and-true advertising methods can’t be used to retarget someone who has opted out. This includes any custom audiences you’ve built consisting of visitors to your website or people using your app.

The good news for savvy marketers is that this doesn’t present an insurmountable challenge – just a series of changes to your overall strategy. Analytics reports will be unaffected, and accurate measurement of site traffic and conversions is still assured.

Why It Matters

Facebook has proven to be a great source of rich ad targeting and consumer data, but at what cost to user privacy? The Clear History feature is hopefully a first step towards increased transparency and prioritization of user safety in social media advertising. We’re excited to see Facebook (and hopefully other platforms) moving in this direction.

Webconsuls is a digital marketing company based in Nashville, TN, and Los Angeles, CA.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Any business owner can tell you that by the time you need to come up with a name, you’ve already done a ton of heavy lifting. Between filing as an LLC or LLP (or even a 501(c)(3)!) and getting your funds in order, the logistics can often become overwhelming. After spending hours on your core offerings and value proposition, you may be tempted to settle on just any name rather than pore over the endless possibilities. However, the importance of your brand identity can’t be overlooked.

Today, we’ll walk you through how we arrived at “Webconsuls” and give you some insider tips on naming your business, too.

Where’d You Get “Webconsuls?”

One of the most common questions from our clients and partners is, “What’s Webconsuls?” We thought it would be helpful to explain the history behind our brand name for you today.

In Europe, there are US Consulates, typically staffed with an appointed business “consul” to aid Americans who are working overseas. When our founder, Dennis Helfand, lived and worked in Denmark, he used to meet with them frequently. A consul focuses on making expats fluent in the local business and economic environments they’ll be working in, which improves their chances of financial success while abroad.

Webconsuls is a coined phrase Dennis Helfand developed, which simply means that we serve just as a consul does by assisting our clients as they work within the world wide web (what the internet was called in 1999, when the company was founded).

Names We’ve Been Called

We’re not sensitive when it comes to name-calling, because we’ve been called them all: web counsel, web console (think: comfort someone), web consoles (think: tables), webcouncil, webcounselors… the list goes on.

How to Pronounce Webconsuls:“web” is self-explanatory, and “consul” is /ˈkänsəl. Phonetically, you would say wehb-kahn-sulls.

5 Tips for Naming Your Business

It’s important to have a brand identity that stands out, directly explains your business goals, and applies to your industry. As you try to pin down the perfect name, don’t lose sight of these key principles.

  1. Your name should sound good out loud. In the digital age, you would be shocked by how many people choose outdated monikers cluttered with numbers and special characters. They file all the paperwork and buy their domain, but it isn’t until their first client call that they realize how difficult their lives are about to become. Simply put, clients aren’t going to feel confident contacting you if you’ve got a Web 2.0 name with y’s and asterisks. Moreover, it’ll be hard for them to search you later if it’s not spelled the way it sounds. Trust us – steer clear of exclamation marks, obscure words, and tongue twisters.
  2. Beware of initials and abbreviations. From an SEO standpoint, we don’t advise following in the footsteps of 3M and IBM. These companies have net worths in the billions, and don’t forget: they were founded before the competition of today’s search engine rankings. Initials don’t tell people about your business. Which brings us to point #3…
  3. Choose a name with meaning and benefit. Your name is the first impression that any potential investors or clients will see. Don’t waste that! Select something that indicates the industry you’re in and hints at the type of service you offer. You’ll definitely have an edge over the competition.
  4. Be sure you can secure the .com. Okay, this one is a digital marketing tip. Consumers associate .com domains with more established businesses, and they feel a little more skeptical about .co, .net, .org, and .biz across the board. They’re also not very trusting of the vanity extensions that have recently risen in popularity. Depending on your desired demographic, clients may not even know how to access anything but .coms. Even if the domain is already taken, most owners are willing to part with them.
  5. Be unique! Finally, we recommend that you do your due diligence when narrowing down name options. Search, search, search for competitors. Test your final few choices on Google AdWords to see how difficult it would be to rank for them. Be sure to check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see if you’ll be able to trademark your brand in the years to come. By taking these steps at the beginning, you’ll save yourself a ton of headache (and maybe some lawsuits) down the road.

Contact a Webconsuls Managing Partner at 949.701.4714 if you still need help pronouncing our name or assistance with (re)naming your business.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

We’ve been in the digital marketing world for twenty years, which means that we know two important things about Google: it’s always changing, and it’s the gold standard for advertising online. As a core tenant of our digital strategy, we make it our business to know about Google’s new ad platforms and capabilities before anyone else. Because many of our clients are lawyers, we’re also always on the lookout for ways to get an edge on their competition.

Flash forward to today, and we’ve uncovered some exciting news: Local Services Ads are coming to legal firms and lawyers in May of this year. This is a massive opportunity for legal professionals throughout the United States. Read on to learn what this means for your business.

What Are Local Services Ads?

Local Services Ads (LSAs) are the #1 listing in Google’s search results. They rank before PPC (pay-per-click) ads and regular, organic search results. These ads have more benefits beyond their top-ranking status: Google vets your business and adds a special “Google Guaranteed” badge to your listing. This indicates that your firm is fully approved and endorsed by the search engine giant, which builds trust with clientele. When potential customers click on your ad, they’ll be routed to a unique page vouching for your business.

In addition to vetting you for potential clients, Google also saves you from click-throughs that wouldn’t be a good fit. Once customers click through, the search engine asks them to confirm what service they’re looking for, as well as their zip code. If at this point they aren’t in your area (or even looking for your area of expertise), Google will direct them elsewhere and you won’t be charged for the interaction.

Local Services Ads have the added benefit of being available on all devices – from mobile to desktop. They’re also fully accessible through Google Assistant and voice search. If you recall, we listed voice search as one of our top SEO trends for 2019. It’s responsible for an increasing percentage of all queries, so these ads are a great way to get ahead of the pack.

LSAs originally rolled out for a very short list of professions. Google’s logic was that household emergencies and services in particular would require hyper-local, high-quality results. For example, if a pipe burst in someone’s house, Google knew that they couldn’t wait for a plumber who was too far away. This means that, until May 2019, Local Services Ads were only available for locksmiths, electricians, HVAC professionals, carpet cleaners, plumbers, and garage door repair services.

Local Services ads connect you with customers in your area who are looking for your specific skills and offerings, as they’re actively seeking you out. This means that your business is put in front of the right people at their exact moment of need, resulting in better conversion rates across the board. These ads also have a unique payment structure that’s particularly helpful for legal professionals. Instead of paying per click or per impression, you’ll only be charged per lead.

Local Services Ads for Law Firms and Legal Professionals

To run LSAs and earn that “Google Guaranteed” badge, it’s required that you submit an application and are fully vetted by the search engine. For lawyers, this process includes verification with your state bar association, as well as a full criminal background check for all employees. You’ll also need to submit a copy of your malpractice insurance. Once this is done, you’ll be ready to outrank the other firms in your area.

We’ve already heard whisperings about the estimated cost per lead for legal professionals in specific markets. Estate lawyers in San Diego expect to pay about $72 per lead, while those in Houston can anticipate rates as low as $49. Estimates for San Diego immigration lawyers are $49 per lead, while their Houston counterparts expect to pay closer to $85. These rates are speculative and subject to change based on the market. As more and more legal professionals flood in, costs can rise and fluctuate at any time.

Don’t Get Left Behind

If you’re looking to get leads to your law firm, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of managing partners today. This is your chance to get ahead of the competition – before this market is saturated with competitors. Call Webconsuls today at 949.701.4714 or submit a contact form here to speak with a member of our team about your digital marketing strategy.

Reading Time: 10 minutesIt’s nearly April, which can mean only one thing: spring cleaning is on the horizon. In today’s world of KonMari madness (thanks, Netflix), it’s never been more en vogue to tidy up. Once your house is spic and span, be sure to turn your attention to old social accounts that are gathering dust – they can have serious impact on your digital marketing.

 

Why Digital Matters

It goes without saying that digital presence is everything in 2019. 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 81% of people perform some sort of online research before making a large purchase. We’ve covered everything from the importance of mobile first website crawling to the weight of compelling blog content on the blog before, if you’d like a refresher.

These days, a Google search could be the difference between new clientele and fading business. Great companies suffer each year because of poor rankings, and even more receive customer complaints about barren social profiles. For example, 93% of people view menus online prior to dining out. When polled, many said they wouldn’t go to a restaurant that didn’t list their menu online. The same applies to people shopping for goods and services – just about everyone wants to see ratings and descriptions online. That’s digital in a nutshell.

In the spirit of tidying up, here are our top tips for cleaning your digital presence this spring.

 

Inventory

First, make sure you’re addressing all your accounts. In the KonMari method, you pile all similar items (clothes, books, you name it) together to go through them. The same principle applies here. Make a list of every Facebook, Twitter, or Xanga account you can remember, then delete unused or unnecessary social media profiles. (If you read our recent post on Google+, you know that it’s probably best to go ahead and delete that one before Google does.) This keeps potential customers from stumbling across information you no longer curate or endorse.

 

Privacy and Security

Now’s a great time to get into the nitty-gritty of your socials. Yes, we’re talking about security… cybersecurity. While often overlooked, weak passwords and vulnerable accounts can snowball into something much more serious than off-brand Facebook statuses. If your password is the same across different platforms, including your online banking system or business email, you’re making the company’s assets vulnerable to multiple account breaches. This information may be scraped by someone online, but it’s also possible that former employees may retain access to your social media.

To combat any rogue login attempts, get into the habit of regularly creating strong passwords. Avoid using any personal information relevant to you, such as birthdays, names, or addresses. As a best practice, you should change out passwords on a regular basis.

 

Updating Information

One of the most common issues customers complain about is conflicting information online. Is your old office still listed as your primary location on Google My Business? Ancient phone numbers still in your website’s footer? It’s more important than ever to make sure your data is up to date; no one’s checking the Yellow Pages these days. NAP Consistency – short for Name, Address, Phone – has become a key factor in local search. Google has outlined that if those items aren’t identical internet-wide, you could become invisible to the search engine and its users.

Be sure to go through your contact and location information with a fine-toothed comb to avoid customer headaches. Many companies forget to update their About section with current news; as a result, outdated promises of new locations and product releases can detract from your social media presence.

This is also a great time to keep your socials active by updating your profile pictures and cover photos. Have you had any company photoshoots recently? Gotten new branding and logos done? Are you sick of the winter-themed posts cluttering your profile? Even something as simple as refreshing your imagery can create a little buzz around your business and keep you relevant.

 

Digital Networking and Groups

Whether you’re looking at your company’s LinkedIn or Facebook account, your feed is probably full of old connections and personal friends. While it’s important to network, everyone could benefit from intentionality in their online presence. Remove yourself from groups that don’t relate to your business connections, and seek out new ones you’re more interested in.

Consider pruning your “following” list in pursuit of the ideal ratio – avoid following more people than follow you. Make sure to remove spam accounts, those who never post, and those who post content that doesn’t align with your philosophy. Once you’ve freed up that space, update your profile with any conferences or industry events you’ve attended, any honors or awards received, or any indicators of growth from the past year. Your social accounts should be as good at networking as you are.

 

Go Google Yourself

Or Bing it. Run your company’s name through every search engine in the book: Google, Bing, YouTube (did you know YouTube is one of the top-ranked search engines? Fun facts). If you’re not ranking where you’d like to, we recommend troubleshooting with our checklist of 2019’s top SEO strategies. Better yet, give us a call at 949.701.4714.

 

Need Help Scrubbing Those Accounts? Let’s Talk.

You only get one chance at a (digital) first impression, so let’s get it right. Our team of experts will run through your social media profiles and website content to craft your cohesive, refreshed brand presence. You can reach one of our managing partners by calling 949.701.4714 or filling out this form. We look forward to chatting with you.

Reading Time: 9 minutes

What is LegitScript certification, and why do I need it?

Okay, fair question. If you’ve visited the blog before, you’ve probably seen our other posts on the topic of LegitScript. For our new followers, here’s a general summary.

Back in September 2017, we got word from Google that AdWords advertising for the addiction treatment industry was halted while a new verification process was implemented. This was done with the intent of weeding out false advertisers – those who earned undisclosed referral fees from addiction centers, but didn’t provide recovery services themselves.

Today, that verification process is in place. Google has partnered with LegitScript to provide the only certification service for drug and alcohol treatment providers. Getting their seal of approval reduces the chance that your advertising will be disrupted and differentiates your services from competitors (not to mention those sketchy lead farms mentioned above).

Now that you’re up to speed on the history and importance of LegitScript certification, read on for a condensed list of their requirements. Glance over the items listed below to get an idea of what you’ll need to have before submitting your treatment center for approval. This isn’t intended to be a comprehensive rundown, just an idea of what you’ll need to get started – you can read more about the full application process and requirements on LegitScript’s official website.

The LegitScript Application Checklist

Are you where you say you are?

  • Register as a corporate entity (ex: an LLC) in the area where you claim to offer services.
  • Provide documents proving ownership or lease agreement (for MSGs: permission to use) to confirm physical location.
  • In general, privately owned (“recovery”) residences will not be eligible for certification.

Are you licensed?

  • Adhere to state legal and regulatory licensing requirements for addiction treatment facilities.
  • Adhere to licensing requirements for all other services you offer.

Is your domain registration public?

  • Make sure your domain name does not have privacy protection.
  • Provide a list of all domain names and websites under your control.

Have you checked your content?

  • Display your physical address(es) where services are rendered, and what the nature of those services is.

Do you have written policies and procedures?

  • Provide a list of written policies + procedures demonstrating commitment to best practices, effective recovery, and continuous improvement.
  • List the actual treatment or intervention services offered or recommended by the program.

Is your team qualified?

  • Provide resumes for business owner, business leadership, and treatment professionals on staff. Must demonstrate expertise and training in addiction treatment.
  • Do you have a medical director and/or a clinical psychologist with addiction training on staff?

Do you have a professional setting?

  • Addiction facility must be in a professional (business), not residential, setting, as must other addiction treatment settings to which patients are referred.

Will you agree to a background check?

  • Applicant + key staff must submit to criminal background checks.
  • Disclose any prior criminal, regulatory, or civil violations.
  • Disclose any litigation commenced, resolved, or otherwise addressed that involves applicant over the past 10 years.
  • Neither applicant nor any other business under applicant’s current or former control may have been listed on HHS’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities within the last five years.

Are you ready to disclose all your facilities?

  • Disclose all physical properties and corporate entities under applicant’s control and/or to which it refers patients.
  • All such properties must also adhere to these standards.

Do you have insurance?

  • Maintain + provide proof of insurance to operate an addiction treatment facility or service.

Are you compliant with HIPAA and other privacy provisions?

  • Comply with all provisions of applicable laws and regulations, including HIPAA.

Are your business practices legit?

  • None of your businesses may engage in practices (or extend offers) that may deceive or defraud patients in any way, including but not limited to any material detail about the facility.

What types of medicines do you prescribe, if any?

  • You may not use or recommend any drugs not approved by the FDA for their purpose. You may not rely on miracle cures, designer drugs, unapproved drugs, or other products such as Kratom or Ayahuasca (refer to LegitScript’s “Red Flag” list).

Do you offer incentives?

  • Disclose all incentives offered to patients to use your services. Applicants that offer incentives (ex: offering to pay for travel) will not be eligible for approval.

Will you be fully transparent?

  • If you fail to provide full and accurate information as requested, you will be denied. You may undertake reasonable remedial action during the certification process without penalty.

Do you work with lead generators?

  • Any co-ownership or affiliation with lead generators is prohibited. Any affiliation with a lead generator may be grounds for immediate denial.

Are you advertising without the proper certification?

  • Applicants advertising on Facebook or Google without LegitScript certification are presumed to be attempting to circumvent the goals of the LegitScript certification program. This may be grounds for denial.

Do you consent to on-site inspections?

  • You agree that LegitScript may conduct on-site inspections of your facility(ies) and you will in no way restrict this access.

That’s a wrap!

We hope this checklist will be helpful in your quest for LegitScript certification. Feel free to reach out by phone or email with any questions you may have – the Webconsuls team is always happy to talk digital strategy for your treatment center.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

mobile first web development
Google Now Crawls Mobile BEFORE the Desktop Version

What You Need to Know About Mobile-First Indexing

You might remember that in our last blog, we discussed the importance of ‘thinking mobile’ while establishing your 2019 SEO and marketing plans. Since Google’s 2018 rollout of mobile-first search engine indexing, Webconsuls clients have had many questions about how this new process impacts their rankings—and how they can best adapt their search strategy to the mobile-first indexing system.

One of the most important things to remember is that mobile-first indexing is about gathering – not ranking – content. Google will now crawl your company’s mobile site to establish search-engine rankings before it crawls your desktop site. This means that if you have a desktop-only website, your search engine rankings will suffer. It also means that to remain competitive online, you must give proper attention to your mobile/responsive site. (That’s where our digital achievers come in!)

The What & Why of Mobile-First Indexing

Since 2015, mobile search has surpassed desktop searches—and mobile usage continues to accelerate. In a March 2018 Google blog, the search-engine giant explained the reasoning behind its recent shift to mobile-first indexing:

“To recap, our crawling, indexing and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they are looking for.”

In lay terms, Google’s mobile-first indexing means that:

  1. Desktop-only sites will not perform as well on Google rankings as responsive or hybrid sites, since they lose mobile users (which are growing exponentially).
  2. Desktop pages will still be crawled, but not at the same frequency as mobile pages crawled by Google’s smartphone agent.
  3. When it caches pages, Google now saves the mobile version of your site instead of the desktop version.
  4. Responsive and mobile-friendly sites help content to load faster, which improves Google rankings (since slow-loading content is penalized).
  5. Content is still critical when it comes to your mobile site. Don’t deprive mobile users of content or strip your mobile site down to basics. Just remember to format content for usability on smaller screens.

Next Steps: How to Meet Google’s Mobile-First Indexing Standards

  1. Remember that mobile users are now the rule, rather than the exception. Stop thinking of your desktop site as the main event. Your mobile site is now primary, so it should never be an afterthought.
  2. Keep in mind mobile users behave differently than desktop users. For example, mobile users tend to consumer more visual media like images and video. Ask your digital marketing consultant how you can harness the power of visual media (and other elements) to better serve your mobile audience.
  3. Click here to use Google’s “Mobile-Friendly Test” for your website. If the results say that your mobile presence needs work, Webconsuls digital achievers can help you update your site and integrate mobile-friendly tactics into your overall marketing plan.
  4. Work with an SEO and web development professional to ensure that your mobile site delivers an optimal user experience. Do pages load quickly? Are images and dynamic features are optimized for fast loading? Is your site easy to navigate on a small device?
  5. Ask web developers about using the open-source AMP framework, which helps websites render faster on tablets, phones and phablet devices. To learn more about AMP, call Webconsuls at 949.701.4714 or visit the AMP Project online.
  6. Make the most of your Google Search Console. If you have not yet set this up, ask a Webconsuls team member about using Search Console tools to measure your mobile site performance, fix search issues and enhance your rankings.

Think Mobile With Webconsuls

If you have been dragging your feet on developing a responsive or mobile-friendly web design, there’s no time to waste. As Google moves forward with its mobile-first indexing approach and mobile users continue to insist on an enhanced UX, there’s no room for websites that translate poorly to mobile use.

When you partner with our elite team of Nashville digital marketing experts, we offer integrated digital solutions that move your brand—and your search rankings—forward. Putting our mobile development experience to work for you, we tailor services to meet your budget and marketing objectives while teaching you the “why” behind it all. Get started now by calling a Webconsuls’ managing partner at 949.701.4714. For your convenience, you can also submit your confidential inquiry online, 24/7. Our digital achievers will be in touch promptly to answer your questions!

Reading Time: 8 minutesWhile content still reigns in 2019, Google is making some technical and search-related changes that are bound to impact every business’s SEO and search marketing strategy. Consider these tips from our digital achievers as you adapt your SEO strategy to a new year and create a complementary action plan for content marketing, paid search and social media management.

  1. Think Mobile.

If you have yet to develop a responsive web design, the time is now. As part of its commitment to optimizing the user’s search experience, Google is making big waves in 2019 with a mobile-first indexing approach (which actually started last year). This means Google’s bots use “mobile eyes” to crawl your responsive site before crawling your desktop site. If your website isn’t responsive or translates poorly to phone, tablet and phablet use, Google will still index your desktop site—but your rankings will likely drop. Ask Webconsuls how we can help with new and adapted responsive designs and search strategy.

  1. Think Beyond Keyword Strings.

Search engines have gotten smarter since the days of exact-match keyword strings. What’s important today is creating high-quality, accurate and authentic content that’s useful to users andmeets their search intent. Google and other search engines can now pick up the subtleties of concepts and topics rather than simply ranking for a particular word-for-word phrase. Using the latest keyword-research techniques and our in-depth understanding of 2019 Google logarithms, Webconsuls provides content marketing, SEO strategy and digital marketing consulting services that ensure your content rises to Google’s complex expectations.

  1. Don’t Neglect Voice Search.

Thousands of homes now rely on the artificial intelligence assistance of their favorite Google Home or Amazon Echo—which throws yet another boomerang into the already complicated search mix. Although Webconsuls doesn’t recommend hanging your SEO hat on the outdated idea of keyword stuffing, we also teach clients that long-tailed keywords and exact search terms enable more accurate voice search.

  1. Listen to Your Audience.

It can be tempting to immerse yourself in Google research, spend all day reading SEO blogs and try to refine your SEO strategy in a vacuum. Instead of being a student of Google, become a student of your target audience. Before you write or optimize an article, conduct research about your target audience, consume media from their primary influencers, listen to their search vocabulary and build buyer personas that give you a focused marketing direction. If this sounds overwhelming, Webconsuls provides digital marketing consulting services tailored to your needs. Our digital achievers stick with you through each phase of the marketing and SEO process while teaching you to implement timely SEO strategies on your own. After all, what good is a consulting service if it doesn’t teach, equip and empower you to make positive change?

  1. Technical SEO Matters.

Aside from on- and off-page SEO, Google holds your website to a technical standard. Technical SEO is the process of optimizing your web pages so Google can effectively access, crawl and interpret your website. Technical SEO has little to do with content or website promotion, and more to do with your site’s infrastructure. Here are three tips for improving your site’s technical SEO. 

  1. Obtain SSL certification.If your site is unencrypted and does not yet have an SSL certificate, Google flags your site as “unsecure.” This is concerning to visitors and detrimental to your search results. At Webconsuls, we can help you address this problem by obtaining and installing an SSL certificate.
  2. Prioritize loading speed.Best-in-class websites should load within three seconds or less. If your website is clunky and slow, Google will lower your ranking and visitors will leave before they’ve gotten to know you. Webconsuls makes sure your desktop and mobile pages load quickly and meet Google’s rigorous technical standards.
  3. Talk to Webconsuls about AMP-ing up your site. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMPs) are designed to load even faster than mobile-responsive designs, and this speed protocol is gathering momentum in 2019. We’ll make sure your new website is incorporating these fast-loading page structures, where applicable, for optimal user experience.

Partner With Webconsuls During 2019

Meet the team of digital achievers that’s changing the SEO landscape in Nashville and beyond. With SEO, digital marketing and consulting services tailored to your branding needs, we provide integrated digital solutions that move your brand—and your search rankings—forward. We’re experts in search strategy and the latest Google logarithms, and we’re ready to ready to put decades of collective marketing expertise to work for you. Happy New Year! Welcome to a new (and exciting) year of search!

Reading Time: 11 minutes

blogging

You know you need to blog, but maybe you don’t know how to do it. Whether you’re launching a new business or want to refresh your brand’s digital presence, this blog will help you get started on creating content people actually want to read.

1. Set the groundwork

Before you start blogging, you have to cover the very basics. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s your blog’s purpose?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want to get out of it?
  • What do you want your audience to get out of it?
  • How are you going to host it? (WordPress, within your website, etc.)

Arguably the most important of these questions is “Who is your audience?” Your blogging audience likely fits the same profile as your customers. It’s crucial to understand who they are and what they need so you can consistently deliver content that is relevant and valuable to them.

2. Generate topic ideas

Start collecting ideas for new blog posts. You never know where inspiration may strike, so make it a habit to write down ideas as they come to you. Set up a Google Alert for industry-related topics. Reading other headlines can help shape your headlines, and you might even be able to glean a blog post inspired by a recent news story.

Another great source for topic ideas is your customers. Think about frequent questions you get from your customers or common concerns they have. You can easily come up with a few topics that address those questions and concerns.

3. Create an editorial calendar

How much time are you or someone on your team able to devote to writing blog content every week? You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Sometimes, less is more, especially if that content is valuable.

It doesn’t matter if you post once a day or once a month, just as long as you’re doing it consistently and the final product is valuable.

An editorial calendar serves as a visual to-do list that shows all the content you’ve created, and all the content that’s to come. It also helps visualize dates so you can plan content around holidays, new product/service launches, special announcements, etc.

4. Find your voice

How do you want your blog to come across to readers? Blogging affords you a little more creative license than other media. Depending on your brand and industry, it might be OK to use more casual language, sentence fragments or even–gasp!–end a sentence with a preposition.

You don’t need to ignore the rules altogether à la e.e. Cummings. Just know that the rules of blogging are more flexible.

Whatever your voice, write like a human. Whether you’re writing a blog for an organic pet food company or a legal practice, write in a conversational, human tone. Readers can recognize disingenuous, promotional language from a mile away, and it’s a huge turnoff.

5. Focus on formatting

Blogging isn’t as simple as plunking away on a keyboard and clicking “Post.” You want readers to read your blog, and that requires formatting.

Studies on how users read online content have found that they don’t actually read at all. They scan. One study of five different writing styles found that a sample website “scored 58% higher in measured usability when it was written concisely, 47% higher when the text was scannable, and 27% higher when it was written in an objective style instead of the promotional style.”

Instead, we scan in an F-shaped pattern. By keeping this pattern and some blog formatting best practices in mind, you’ll be able to optimize your content for readers and search engines.

There are a few ways to make your text more scannable:

  • Chunky text: Thick blocks of text just won’t do. Readers scan text waiting for keywords and hyperlinks to jump out at them, so in addition to peppering in keyword-rich words and phrases, break up text into chunky paragraphs–five lines or fewer–and make it easier to scan.
  • Lists: Bulleted and numbered lists and bold, italicized and underlined text are simple ways to improve the scannability factor.
  • Subheads: Bigger, bolder text stands out against body text. Subheads break up the overarching topic into more scannable sections. It presents content in a more organized, less overwhelming fashion. You can also incorporate keywords into subheads to boost search engine performance, but don’t go overboard–a term known as keyword stuffing.

6. Cut the fluff

Cutting text isn’t always easy, especially if you’re the one who wrote it, but think of it this way: It doesn’t take 45 minutes to describe the plot of a 45 minute TV episode. Say what you need to say using the fewest amount of words possible.

There’s probably a paragraph that isn’t completely relevant, a sentence that can be trimmed down, or wordiness that can be made more concise.

Once you’re finished writing, go back and trim down the article. Then trim it down again. Bullet points and numbered lists are also easy ways to trim down text.

7. Always include imagery

Use at least one image with your blog posts to break up the text and make it more visually appealing. This also helps social media pull imagery when sharing the blog on your social networks. Royalty-free images can be found on Flickr and Creative Commons.

8. End with a call-to-action

Blogging serves a dual purpose: to prove your credibility and value as a useful resource and to nurture readers into becoming clients. Your blog posts should end with some type of call to action, whether that’s to download a free guide, subscribe to your email list, learn more about your services or contact you for a free quote.

It can be difficult to blog on a consistent basis, especially if you aren’t confident in your writing chops or if you’re too busy running a business to spend a few hours a week blogging. Webconsuls is a digital strategy agency that specializes in content development. From topic generation to editorial calendar creation to churning out blogs on a weekly basis, we can help design a strategy that gets your business on track and improves search rankings.

Contact a Webconsuls Managing Partner directly at 949.701.4714 for a free consultation.