Margaret Barrett Interview - SEO Impact and Getting More Reviews For Her Business

Our First Client Interview

Jesse, Sue, and Bob sit down with Margaret Barrett of Safe Harbor Estate Law, a long-time Intrycks client, to discuss the value of SEO to her business and how the tips and tricks she has learned with our company has given her a leg up on the competition.

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Transcript For Margaret Barrett Interview – SEO Impact and Getting More Reviews For Her Business – 159

Margaret Barrett: So what has been really increasing in success as we have grown is we’ve definitely had to work on our SEO and improving our presence online.

Jesse Dolan: Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we bring you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, Jesse Dolan. We’ve got Bob Brennan here. We’ve got Sue Ginsburg here, and we’ve got Margaret Barrett here. Margaret is one of our clients here at Intrycks and the first client we’ve had on for an interview. We’ve been working with her for a long time. Sue, we’re going to let you set this up and talk a little bit more about Margaret, who she is first, what we’ve been doing, and then pepper her with some questions and just talk about what SEO and related services have done for her business.

Sue Ginsburg: It is totally my honor to have Margaret Barrett here as our first client on our podcast. Margaret is the owner and founder of Safe Harbor Estate and Elder Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Safe Harbor has been one of the fastest growing firms in North America for three years in a row and they are the biggest elder law firm in Minnesota. Helping about 350 clients per year protect what matters most to them.

We’ve been working with Margaret and Safe Harbor for about two years now, doing website SEO and GBP SEO, and some other things to drive SEO, so you get more leads online. The very first discussion we had about SEO and your website and your business was about the importance of reviews, of getting more reviews, of replying to reviews, and that is the first thing we actually started working with you on, helping you get more reviews.

It has made a big difference. We know for both Google and for people, reviews are very important, and you took that to heart and started doing something about it, and are continuing to do something about it, which is awesome. In addition to being a world class estate planning and elder lawyer, Margaret is a remarkable business owner. I have worked with hundreds of law firms in my day, not to make Margaret blush, and I always tell you that you are the best business owner of all the lawyers I know. With your trusted advisors, and I’m honored to be amongst them, you have grown and continue to grow, and I am so happy for you.

Let’s start with a few questions for you, so we can share the wisdom and the success you’ve had with reviews and let everybody know how much of an impact it can make. To start with-

Margaret Barrett: Hey, Sue? Can I say something before you ask?

Sue Ginsburg: Yes. Of course.

Margaret Barrett: Thank you for all the kind words and I really appreciate it, and you guys definitely play a role in our success, but I think you said we’re the largest elder law firm in Minnesota, which we’re not, but if we keep going the way we’re going, we will be.

Jesse Dolan: There you go.

Sue Ginsburg: Okay.

Margaret Barrett: But everything else, very, very accurate and true, and, well, I’m not saying all the compliments are true, but thank you.

Sue Ginsburg: They are, so keep it coming. That’s great. Okay. Margaret, as a business owner and you weren’t always, so this is not a new role, but as a business owner, what are your biggest challenges to getting new clients for you?

Margaret Barrett: Well, I guess it would be getting leads that are good fits for us. That are the people we can help, who are ready to take action, and so it’s really getting the word out there, so people know we’re here. Especially with elder law, people don’t really even know what kind of problems we solve sometimes. Even estate planning people sometimes don’t really know why they might need us. So how can people know we’re out there and we can help in their situation and just have them feel comfortable enough to pick up the phone and call us. Because let’s face it, these are the kind of things people put off. They don’t get up and say, “I get to call my lawyer today,” usually.

Sue Ginsburg: Yeah. Right.

Jesse Dolan: Right.

Sue Ginsburg: Even if they are-

Jesse Dolan: Well, especially when it deals with the topics, Margaret, that you specialize in, right?

Margaret Barrett: Mm-hmm.

Jesse Dolan: The elder care, long term care, things like that. Come on, none of us really want to be super proactive in planning that, right, as we’re younger?

Margaret Barrett: Right.

Jesse Dolan: Working with you, I thought it was super interesting as we got talking about, the more proactive you are though, the savings you have and the advantages you can have. If you were to take an action maybe a year or two years or whatever, before the thing happened, or you needed to wake up and call your lawyer today. Amazing. Yeah, that’s a challenge to get in front of people when it’s the most economical or advantageous for them. Right?

Margaret Barrett: It is, and so you’ve been learning.

Jesse Dolan: They’re not even looking, yet.

Margaret Barrett: I’ve been teaching you.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, right.

Sue Ginsburg: It’s working. It’s working.

Margaret Barrett: You’ve been a good student.

Sue Ginsburg: That’s good. So you are definitely in a teacher mode as well as a executing the estate planning and the elder law documents, which is interesting, too. So what are you doing or what have you been doing for marketing that’s working? What have you tried? What were you doing before? I’m sure that’s been somewhat of an evolution. Tell us about that.

Margaret Barrett: Let’s see. I do a fair amount of networking with senior professionals who work with elders and their families, with financial advisors, CPAs, things like that. Those are pretty traditional estate plan and elder law firm referral sources, and those are good. Also, we really have not done hardly any advertising, just a little kind of in the niche that we’re in, but we do. I only did pay per click, which I know. I think a lot of business owners want to jump to that. I did that for a while, probably about a year and a half. It’s just ending this month and I didn’t have much success with that.

So what has been really increasing in success as we have grown is we’ve definitely had to work on our SEO and improving our presence online so that when people hear about us, they can check us out or if they’re just finding us online, we’re more likely to come more toward the top of their list. Those are really the main ways. Oh, and I do speaking. So right now I’m doing webinars and I’m starting to get back into in-person speaking, which of course went downhill after COVID. And we started working with you guys around COVID, after COVID, and I think it was so I had lost that revenue stream of speaking. Not money from speaking, but people would end up hiring us who saw me speak. And so that was one of the things I was wanting to replace, figure out how I could do that.

Jesse Dolan: I know we’re going to dive a little deeper into reviews, but just to kind of bridge some of this, Margaret, you’re talking about like the networking events, right. Or even just referrals, just these offline ways of garnering and nurturing business. I always think the cool part about reviews is… Yeah, and we’ll talk, there’s plenty of reasons where reviews matter for your SEO and people finding you online, but if somebody gets a referral about you or you meet somebody and they come check you out online, right. Maybe they didn’t find you in Google, but they looked you up, your reviews matter there just as much as somebody who found you that wasn’t even aware of you to begin with. I mean, they’re still going to look at your score, check out your reviews, read the testimonials. So gathering these things are great for SEO, which is our core, which is what we do, but that just helps your business overall. Right? The more stories you can get the reviews, you can get things like that. No matter what marketing are you doing?

Margaret Barrett: I totally agree, Jesse, and that’s what I do when I’m meeting with somebody. I check out their website and their reviews, too. Right. We’re all doing it. And we hear it all the time and we’ll always ask our potential new clients like, “How’d you hear of us?” And lot of times like, oh, Google or online and then we’ll try to ask a couple follow up questions and we will very often mention the reviews. And especially now that they’re better. And then they’ll also say, oh, but my friend did refer me or my neighbor did. Then it comes out. But what seems top of mind to a lot of them is the online reviews and the online presence, even though that may not have been the first time they heard of us.

Jesse Dolan: But that was a deciding factor, right? Yeah. That helped convert them, if you will, convince them.

Margaret Barrett: Yes.

Jesse Dolan: Even if they were referred by a warm associate, right. A comfortable associate that they trust, they still want to vet you out before they talk to you.

Margaret Barrett: I agree. That’s the feedback we’re getting, too, from people. And it makes sense.

Sue Ginsburg: Well, and I also think we’re all consumers and when’s the last time you bought something online, even if it was referred to you, without reading reviews? That’s just what we do.

Jesse Dolan: Yep.

Sue Ginsburg: And it’s a good thing.

Jesse Dolan: Yeah, Bob, we’ve talked about this literally for years. It’s one of the first topics that we address. Margaret, you talked about when we started working with you it’s something that we did right away, just because of these things we’re saying and like I said, Bob, you and I.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: I don’t know if it’s a dozen or two episodes over time. It’s ridiculously important at all ways.

Bob Brennan: For me, it went back probably 10 years ago when my nephew came to me and said, you need to get reviews. And I’m like, at that time we had been in business 16 years and my ego said reviews my eye. I’ve been in business for 16 years, who needs reviews? My eyes eventually got woken up over the course of probably 12 months that somebody who hadn’t been in the industry very long, an upstart, had two or three times more reviews than I did, but guess what they were getting the calls.

Jesse Dolan: Yep.

Bob Brennan: And so it’s just a new economy as Seth Godin says. It’s one of those things we’re going to need to adjust and it’s an art we’re going to need to perfect, and what I’m really interested in, Margaret, is some of the companies we work with are pretty straightforward services. They’re maybe a couple hundred dollars transactions. It’s not a real intimate transaction. Estate planning and elder care is a very intimate and sophisticated service. How do you, I mean, without telling everything, I mean, how do you get reviews? Is it a pretty delicate situation to do that?

Margaret Barrett: Yes. That’s a good question, Bob. And I agree with you. I was seeing people who started their law firms after me getting way more reviews. And I was like, dang, what am I doing? I even asked one of them. And he’s like, well, I’ll just ask them at the signing. And I realized some of these competitors, they’re not an elder law. So they have a lot of younger clients and that people more comfortable with giving Google reviews and so forth.

So we walk and will work with a family. So we’re working with an elder and also their kids who could be in their sixties and so we are working with some younger people, but we found that I don’t think our population is as likely to leave a Google review. And we’ve had a number of people say, well, I don’t have a Gmail address and I’m not on Facebook and sorry, but I’ll give you guys a nice review on paper or whatever and so we definitely found less comfort level with it. And I think partly too, our staff wasn’t as comfortable asking. It’s like, there was like probably one of my staff was good at asking and others like aren’t really comfortable. And then you have to remember that people say nice things and that’s great and you, but then you, oh, I forgot to ask them for Google review.

So the culture, I think in habit, wasn’t really there with the staff. Plus I think our clientele maybe takes a little more work than some. And of course, if someone’s been really in a crisis and you help them out and that might not be the best time to ask them for a Google review. You know, maybe later they’re down the road, they’re in a place. We just got one from somebody I’ve probably finished up a year and a half ago and she had a really rough year. Her mom getting sick and dying and having clean up the house and the county was terrible to them and Medicaid. She was going through divorce at the time. You know, one daughter taking care of all this stuff. Can you imagine? She just left us a raving review after about a year or so.

Bob Brennan: Wow.

Margaret Barrett: So I completely understand that she wasn’t in a good place at first. She probably would’ve said we did good, but you know, she didn’t have the bandwidth.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: And have you found Margaret Barrett that evolution of how to coach the clients, qualify the client, ask them for review, get their comfort level. That evolves, plus your team, having that interaction and knowing what questions to ask or even then what follow up questions. Like if they don’t have a Gmail, what’s our next course of action? Can you maybe just talk to like how organic was that process to evolve it? Like, how did it evolve through your company? Are there people that were against reviews? Maybe even like Bob, like if you got a person over here getting reviews, they’re like still like I’m pushing against it, but they got on board over time. How did this go from zero to where you are now?

Margaret Barrett: Yeah. I think, honestly, as a professional, right? Like Bob was saying like, look, I’m doing good legal work. You’re telling me I got to get Google reviews. Like I’m a restaurant. Like I’m making hamburgers here. Like, come on. It’s I’m saying, I don’t know. It’s just, there’s a little bit of a mind switch there. So it’s really been a process, Jesse, and I kind of felt like I did what I could before I started working with you guys and that was one of the first recommendations. Hey, here’s some kind of low hanging fruit. Work on your reviews. Like, well I don’t know what else to do here. And you guys really coached me in that and coached us in that.

So some of the things we did is, oh, I give incentives to people. If you ask for review. If you’re the employee that ask for the review and they get it, you get an incentive for that. That helps one person who does their signing meetings. So that’s a great time to ask for review. She’s really comfortable now. And she has a great personality and she does a great job in this meeting. And now this is just one more thing that I think that kind of helped her get over the hump. Plus we would talk at team meetings like how to ask for it, what to say, different things.

We had tried different methods. We had tried using an iPad in the office and it didn’t work because it would show the last client who did a Google reviews name and our client names were confidential. So we had to work around that. What we do right now is we have a card with a QRC code in the conference rooms and by the front desk. And so they’re, they’re right there. All people have to do is scan it with their phone and they can leave a message.

But one of the first things you guys helped us with was contacting people who had already been clients in the past a while ago and asking them for reviews. And you guys had a system where you sent like a few requests or something. And we got quite a few that way. I mean, we felt like we got all we could. And that’s what really kind of jump started us I think from, we were at six when we started with you guys and now we have 83, most of which are on Google and they’re all five stars. So, our goal is a hundred. We’d like a hundred just on Google this year. And I’m sure we’ll probably do it because people are more on a roll now for the culture.

Jesse Dolan: Hey, everyone. Wanted to take a quick second to talk about Review Lead. You’ve heard us talk about it on the show before. Review Lead is a product that we support and service that we represent. It’s a tool that’s going to help you get more reviews for your business, manage your reviews, be aware of those reviews, and maybe even deflect some of the negative reviews before they go live online. Check it out at localseotactics.com/reviewlead, or go to our resources page and look for Review Lead on there. This is a product that we support and that we resell. So this is not a third party or an affiliate link or something like that.

Now what Review Lead’s going to do is help you automate getting more reviews from your clients. It makes it very easy to get reviews and get more five star reviews. Whether you want those on your Google business profile, formerly Google my business listing, maybe the BBB, maybe Facebook, anywhere that you can get reviews, you can connect with Review Lead and promote this to your clients and customers and get more reviews quick, easy, and in an automated way.

Some other cool aspects of it is it does have a mechanism there to, I guess, deflect, if you will, one star reviews. If somebody is not happy with your service and asks them that and then rather than asking them to leave a review, it’ll say, do you want to fill out this feedback form and give that feedback directly to us? And hopefully that can help deflect some of those one star reviews before they go online and also alert you if something bad is happening in your business, you have a client or a customer that is disappointed. So you can rectify that and make changes in your business to keep them happy and prevent that from the future. So that’s a really cool feature.

Also, it has great reporting in it to make you aware of the amount of reviews you’re getting, where you’re getting them from, who’s leaving them, things like that. And you can also promote those reviews on your website or through social media with some of the integrations built into this product as well. Learn more, go to localseotactics.com/reviewlead and check it out.

There’s a few layers that it takes to be successful. Everybody listening and watching the show here knows we’ve talked about Review Lead, like the automated tool we have, which is what you’re referring to, Margaret, to send out emails or text messages, to solicit reviews and yeah. Taking your existing client base that you’ve worked with over the last x years and metering out automated requests of those people is a great way to take some inventory and just bring in some reviews. But then you’re also merging that with just how you naturally interact with clients now, right? And your team just in an organic way is just like, hey, help us out, give a review and it’s just part of the conversation.

When you get to that point, and Bob we’ve talked with many clients and worked on businesses doing that. That’s when it gets to be fun, because people understand that are asking to review, like why they’re asking. It’s one thing to just say, hey, we need to get reviews. When they see it’s working that new clients are coming in, that people are saying proactively, hey, I found you checked out your reviews, and you look awesome. I mean, that really helps you feel motivate when you can get over that hump and your team starts understanding how and why it works. Then you really got something there.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. I’ve got a quick question for you, Margaret, there’s certain industries, believe it or not, like the credit unions and stuff like that their average reviews, if you look at them as an industry, it’s actually pretty low. It’s like low fours.

Margaret Barrett: Yeah.

Bob Brennan: And obviously divorce attorneys-

Margaret Barrett: People comment because they’re mad.

Bob Brennan: Yeah, because they bounced a check or whatever, didn’t get the loan, or whatever the case is, I guess. Is that similar in your industry or what do you think the average is for your industry? 4.5? You know, do you think it’s, I mean, any idea what you’re seeing out there?

Sue Ginsburg: Are you way above average or above average or?

Margaret Barrett: It seems to me, I haven’t really surveyed this, but when I search and see where we’re ranking and stuff, there’s a few other competitors who have about as many reviews as we do.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Margaret Barrett: Who are working on getting them and they have pretty good scores.

Bob Brennan: Okay.

Margaret Barrett: There’s a few people who don’t really, who neglect this area and they, especially, if they’re not doing a great job, they’ll have some negatives. They’ll have a more negative score, but if you’re working on this and asking people and you have a few bad ones, I mean, that’s happened to a number of friends of mine. You got some kind of unfair ones even sometimes.

Bob Brennan: Right.

Jesse Dolan: Sure.

Margaret Barrett: But even if it is fair, it’s better to know and repair, then not know, I think.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Margaret Barrett: So I haven’t noticed a low average, but you know, it could be, Bob. I haven’t, I’m not looking at everything. I’m looking at the sea playing attorneys near me.

Bob Brennan: Right. Right. Well, it’s just something to keep in mind. So if you get a four nine, if you’re down to a four nine, or even a four eight, I hate to say it out of a hundred reviews, you’re going to have one person that there’s nothing you could do to help them and they’re just having a bad day and they’re just going to leave it low and it is what it is.

Margaret Barrett: Some people say though, that’s credibility, if you just have a few.

Bob Brennan: Yeah. Right, right.

Margaret Barrett: I mean, I was going to say too at our team meeting… I started once a month, we have a team meeting and we put up a slide with the Google reviews and the Facebook reviews from that month. So what’s nice is it’s kind of a rah team because we can go, hey, who works on this file? Listen to what they said. And look at this person actually mentioned you and then I think it’s helping to build awareness of they matter. They matter to the team. It’s getting the word out there.

Sue Ginsburg: Oh yes.

Margaret Barrett: The other thing I was thinking about when you were talking, Jesse, was it’s easier to ask, if you can say, hey, you found us on the web. You mentioned the Google reviews.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Margaret Barrett: If you could help us out, that’s how that will help other people out because they’re doing the same thing looking for reviews.

Jesse Dolan: You mentioned something real quick about like catching a negative review and maybe getting it improved or correcting the situation. Right, things like that. I think that’s a hidden thing that goes unnoticed. Like you’re saying, Bob, you’re going to get some bad reviews, right?

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: But if you and your team at large are just aware of reviews, you’re going to be so much more in tune when you do get that one, two, three, or four star even review coming in and people will be motivated to see it, catch it, report it, and then try to get it bumped up. Right because they understand how it works. And that I feel like personally, that all comes back to you running an awesome business then, right? Like that can’t be part of what’s happening. Getting good reviews, converting low reviews, to be high reviews, asking people, getting them engaged, to leave review that can’t be happening if you’re not actually giving five star service as a company and I think that veil of transparency, like asking for reviews, you’re going to get the negative feedback too. But that now is not swept into the rug.

You know, that comes at you as a business owner, you can improve your business and just kind of keep pumping that flywheel of getting better, engaging with clients, getting reviews, and in your ER, like you said, you’ve been from which compared to Bob, like we talked like phone repair, right. Where you’re getting 20 or 30 clients a day, okay Margaret going from six to 83 is an amazing jump for you. If other people are listening, like only 83, I have 900. Well-

Margaret Barrett: I know.

Jesse Dolan: It’s not like you have 17 clients in a day coming through. Right? So that is a great number in the context of your book of business. Right?

Margaret Barrett: We have about 350 clients a year, and some of them are overlapped from different kind of matters. So less of that. Yeah. Probably 250 or 300.

Jesse Dolan: And that’s, that’s a pretty good percentage.

Bob Brennan: That’s a very good percentage, Margaret.

Jesse Dolan: Going through to do it.

Margaret Barrett: Yeah. So it seems like work, but I will say we had one, I think she didn’t actually leave a bad review, but I was worried she would. And I reached out to you guys to help me because this person was not happy and I think was sort unreasonable. But anyway, so you helped me with that in responding and I think she didn’t leave a bad review. She ended up to be okay in the end. And so I was really happy about that because I remember this was, don’t do this, I was off to dinner and I look at my phone and then I see I got this angry email, you know? And I’m like Friday night or whatever. I’m like, oh no. And anyway, Sue helped me with that and I calmed down and we took care of it. And so it was really, it’s nice to be able to have advice and help on how to handle dealing with or avoiding the negative reviews. So it happens.

Sue Ginsburg: Well like, like Bob said, if you’re in business for more than five minutes, you’re going to be getting a bad review from somebody.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Sue Ginsburg: Maybe one out of a hundred, but it will happen. So Margaret, one thing that I hear clearly coming through on the way you are approaching this is you’re being very intentional. You realized, you heard and learned the importance of reviews. We put some measures in place where we’ve had a lot of conversations. The things that you’re doing for your employees and your staff, that’s incredible. Showing the reviews, letting them savor them when they were involved. That’s amazing and brilliant and it all helps.

We’ve talked a lot about also the importance of making it easy for your clients. In your case, you have a little bit of a niche because many of them are older and may or may not be online and all those other things. Will you talk a little bit about some of the things you’ve done to make it easy for your clients?

Margaret Barrett: To leave the reviews?

Sue Ginsburg: Yeah.

Margaret Barrett: Yeah. So that card with the QRC is really easy because we can even if they hand us the phone, we can hold it up if they don’t know how to do that. And there’s a time, especially within estate plan, where you sign everything and then we go make copies. So you they’re sitting there and we give them all something to eat and drink and stuff and they can do it then. So that makes it easy. We also, they will get emails, texts that say, hey, you just finished up with us. Would you like to leave a review? Or you know, you have a meeting, would you like to leave a review? So we have that built into the process for them. And then those are just click here, a couple of options. I think that’s it. Am I missing anything, Sue?

Jesse Dolan: I think that’s important to do that, too, like you are. Which, of course,, we’re talking the same language because we’re helping you with these recommendations right on to do the strategy and talk. So it makes sense that we agree with what you’re doing, but the point is you can’t just do one thing, right? Like Bob, again, we talk, you can’t just print it off in the back of the receipt and say, when you get home, please take this survey and give us feedback. Like ask them in person, do the QR, like hold their hand. Also, hit them with the automation in case anybody falls through the cracks. No one of those is the only solution. Doing them all together is how you start to get a good percentage of people, right. Leaving the reviews and leave more going unturned. So, that’s awesome.

Margaret Barrett: We do care calls. We call clients at least once a year to check in and see how they’re doing. And these are clients, like we’re done with their work. Well, a lot of the work is, it ends, it’s not a continuous thing. But we check in with them anyway and then we ask them then too, if it’s appropriate.

Jesse Dolan: Super.

Sue Ginsburg: That is great. I mean, it’s just all about your awareness of the importance of it and sharing that awareness and the different ways that you’re handling it and incorporating into your business is evolved as you see what works for your staff and what works for the clients. That’s great. So that’s really, really great. Really great. Okay. So just talking about metrics for a moment since we’ve been working with you on your SEO, the number of users for your website have increased almost 50%, the number of sessions on your website have increased 176%, and the number of engaged sessions, which is sessions where people are on for more than 10 seconds, has increased more than 2000%. Can you talk to us a little bit? You touched on it, your metrics, your growth in review metrics, and then also the different things that you’ve heard from people coming in and referencing the reviews that have been left for you.

Margaret Barrett: Okay. I would say overall, like this is my bottom line. I’m getting more potential new clients from the internet. Okay. And so you’re talking about numbers. Like the users have increased. That’s great. The number of sessions increased the time they spent there has greatly increased 2000%. So they’re finding more value. I’m really happy about all of that. And it’s leading to more people coming, which is what was really my goal because I told you at the beginning, networking, that’s kind of the base starting point for estate planning lawyers, but there’s only so much of me to go around and I want to be able to have clients come in without me spending a whole lot of time on each single client, whether it’s speaking or networking. And as you were saying earlier, Jesse, anyway they come and they’re going to check the website anyway.

So I really wanted to have better SEO. And I’m really happy. The bottom line to me is that we have a lot more SEO clients now from the internet. I think, I know this maybe isn’t exactly the topic, but Intrycks has also helped me with the content on my website with more blog posts, with videos, and trying to answer those two questions that we’re hearing all the time from people. So there’s more resources there. I think that’s partly why maybe they come because the reviews, but they’re staying because there’s more content there and then they end up calling us.

So we are hearing from more and more people. We always ask, how’d you hear about us? You know? Okay. Online. Okay. You know, how was it online or what are you searching for whatever? My staff has learned to ask a little more questions about it. So it’s very common to hear, you were five stars, you had the most reviews, you, things like that. Well, even there’s a website for attorneys, Avvo and Avvo has 10. We go up to 10, so they’ll go, oh, you had 10. Oh, then we know that’s Avvo. Or when they say like five stars, you’re the most, we know it’s Google, we can tell. And so we are just for sure, an SEO that’s the most common for people that come in off the internet. That’s the most common thing that we hear, the reviews.

Jesse Dolan: And I think a cool part of what you’re saying here, too. Anybody who’s listened to a lot of our shows and particularly some of the things Bob has talked about for iron out on stats and things that lead up to business, Bob is much more concerned about did we get business, right? Like the real world did my phone ring then the email ding. And it’s kind of cool, Margaret again, you’re the first client we’ve had on.

Margaret Barrett: I’m trying to do a good job.

Jesse Dolan: No, but I’m, I’m having fun. Listening to what you’re saying mimic a lot of the little micro threads and topics we’ve talked about in various episodes here about what’s important for your business and how it should all work when it’s done. Right? At the end of the day, it’s cool to rank your website. It’s cool to get more reviews and everything else, but we’re doing all this to grow and you’re seeing that happen. You’re translating it directly back to the website, the SEO, the internet marketing, if you will and your business has really transformed over the last couple years and you’re on a great trajectory.

You’ve given us a lot of credit to helping set that trajectory. You and your team of course are where the rubber meets the road on converting and making all this happen. But yeah, I’m just listening as a fly on the wall, hearing the things you’re saying, feeling like Bob’s mentioned these things plenty of times, and it all really does come full circle and show that these things add up to success at the end of the day. So it’s good stuff.

Sue Ginsburg: That’s great stuff. It is. You are obviously a very successful law firm business owner. Your growth is phenomenal and continuing, and you’ve been very intentional about that. What advice do you have for other law firms who were where you were two years ago, three years ago, pick the time, whatever, as far as increasing the visibility online, getting more leads, getting more reviews, how reviews have helped you. What kind of tidbits would you offer to other people or law firms who were where you were two or three or five years ago?

Margaret Barrett: Oh, that’s a great question. So I would say, I mean, I think it does help to get an SEO coach, some outside advice from an expert. And then I, because I’ve learned a lot of this from you, but Google My Business. A lot of web law firms haven’t claimed their GMB is called or I think there’s a new name for it. GMB? What is it called now?

Jesse Dolan: GBP. Yep.

Margaret Barrett: Something else.

Jesse Dolan: Google Business Profile.

Margaret Barrett: Oh whatever. Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: Same thing.

Margaret Barrett: It’s like Meta, Facebook, whatever. Okay. So GMP, claim your business, put some pictures up there too, et cetera, keep that up to date. And then the reviews, like we’ve been talking about a lot really work on getting the reviews, getting incentivize your staff, just help them get comfortable with it, call your clients and see how they’re doing, and you know, one thing you can ask happy clients is if they would be willing to leave a review and send them a link Google or Facebook, if they can’t do Google. Those are kind of my main things. I mean, because beyond that, then you’re getting to, I think the website SEO and your blog posts and keywords and…

Jesse Dolan: A little more sophisticated at that point then. Yeah.

Margaret Barrett: Yeah. And you can do social media too, but I don’t know what you guys think, but I mean, I think what I’ve learned is SEO` comes before the social media post. I think in my business.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Margaret Barrett: It does. So I wouldn’t put it so much on that. I’d put my money and effort more on SEO before pay per click before social media and that’s repurposing. That’s my next thing. So I make these one to two minute videos and we use them on social media. We use them on our website. We send them to potential clients or actual clients in email. We, and then one thing that Trish was doing for us was creating them in blog post. And so repurposing the work you do, the free reports or whatever, every which way you can make the most of it, add value to people. That’s what you want to do is have some things to add value, to help move them along and learn. And we always say, we want to educate and empower our clients to make the best decision for them.

Jesse Dolan: That’s I was going to say, Margaret, I think that last point you just hit on was definitely one of the big things. That’s one of the later phases of what we get into. But again, piggybacks on stuff, Bob and I we’ve talked about all the time is answering those questions people are asking all the time on your website. You know what they’re asking, you’re not trying to use your website to close the sale, but you’re trying to use your website to convince them that they should call you and contact you. That you’re the one to help solve their thing and getting that stuff out in front and marrying what are people searching for with the answers you’re providing, getting that on the website. So yeah, they’re, they’re browsing your store, they decide they want to be here, and then they’re going to call you know, and reach out to you, and then from there it’s on your team. So that’s when things really come full circle.

In an example, there is, as you get more reviews, you’ve seen us well, use those reviews that you get on Google or Facebook on your website, right. To reinforce certain pages. Like here’s a topic we talked about. Here’s a great review that says how awesome our business has done on this exact topic. And as a consumer, that confidence you get right is then off the charts. They’ve answered my questions. They look like they’re knowledgeable. Somebody from the public has used them for this thing. And here’s their testimonial. Yeah. Your odds of getting that call then, regardless of your ranking of your website, your odds of getting the call just from that interaction are much greater.

Sue Ginsburg: Jesse didn’t you-

Jesse Dolan: A lot of good stuff happened.

Sue Ginsburg: Recently, say some statistic, like if you’re not in the map pack or on the first page, but you have twice as many reviews you will get contacted?

Jesse Dolan: Yeah. There’s a, Bob, there’s a BrightLocal, survey from a few years ago that we always reference for like 33% of the clicks hit the map pack 27% hit the number one in SERP, and you want to be in both to capture over half the page potential.

Bob Brennan: Yeah.

Jesse Dolan: And that’s the conversation you’re talking, Sue, and the stats and what we’re talking there is just being in the map pack is going to get you potentially one third of the clicks for any search. If you’re in the third position on the map pack, but have Margaret’s 86 reviews and a 5.0 score. If I’m her competitor, but I’m in the number one spot with 12 reviews and a 4.3, that doesn’t matter that I’m ranked one and she’s three in this scenario, which is what you’re asking. She’s going to get that inquiry, not me. Just off that conversion, right? The psychological part. Not so much the ranking. So yeah.

Sue Ginsburg: Very powerful.

Jesse Dolan: That’s where the reviews are a huge thing outside of rankings altogether.

Sue Ginsburg: And we’ve all done it because we’re all consumers.

Jesse Dolan: Oh, good stuff. Yeah.

Sue Ginsburg: So, all right just-

Jesse Dolan: Do you have anything else, Sue, or should I wrap it up?

Sue Ginsburg: No, I was just going to say for all of our listeners, if you want to reach Margaret Barretto discuss your estate planning or elder law needs, the best way is to either call 612-615-9535 or email [email protected] Safe Harbor can work with you personally, if you live in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and for all other states, Margaret can refer you to an equally good estate planning and elder lawyer, elder law lawyer, who can help you where you live. So any last thoughts on the importance of reviews and getting you where you are now?

Margaret Barrett: I don’t think so. Or were you asking me so I?

Sue Ginsburg: Anybody.

Margaret Barrett: Okay.

Jesse Dolan: I’d say back to a fair plug for a Margaret and her business, something I kind of mentioned earlier is whatever your age, if you’re thinking about your legacy, right? And if you have children and have more than 20 bucks in the bank, an inquiry just to see where you stand or what timeline you should be looking at. If I’ve learned anything helping Margaret in this it’s that’s important to start now. So just whatever state you live in, if you’re Minnesota, Wisconsin, give her a call. They’re the best. If you don’t, this isn’t a side, a topic that’s completely off our radar until it’s too late, usually and our eyes has been open for sure. So.

Margaret Barrett: Thank you.

Jesse Dolan: All right.

Sue Ginsburg: Thank you, Margaret.

Jesse Dolan: All right, Margaret, thanks for jumping on. It’s been a pleasure having you be our first client to be on here. I think we’re close to 160 episodes in, so it’s about time to finally get somebody on that can talk about the things that we’ve done from a firsthand experience standpoint. And I know you’ve had a great relationship with Sue working through this. So we’re excited to have this success with you then to have you on here and share what you’ve been doing and peel away some of the layers for everybody listening firsthand from a business owner’s perspective.

Bob, you always bring that perspective, but you’re part of the show, right? This is great to have somebody different come in and yeah basically read from the same script, even though we didn’t provide her with one. I think it just corroborates, like this is the right way to do things. You know, the stuff that we’re talking in the real world. So super great info. I hope everybody listening got some good nuggets out of this. Some good action items. Just think what would Margaret do and go ahead and do that and you’re going to have some success, right? So which includes maybe patronizing your favorite SEO agency up here in Minnesota. We can help you out, too. So appreciate everybody tuning in. We’ll catch you the next episode and take care everybody.

Bob Brennan: Thanks.

Margaret Barrett: Bye, thank you.

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