As much as the phrase “this day in age” is like nails on a chalkboard for most people, it really is difficult to not use it when referring to the technological jumps we’ve seen in the past decade. Or for that matter, in the past year. This is no different for one of the professions that has been around for centuries and is often thought of as archaic in its ways: the law.
This day in age (see), successful lawyers and law firms need to keep up with technological advances just as much as any Silicon Valley startup. Lawyers need to offer the best services to their clients and ensure that both existing and potential clients have the easiest access to them and their services. Enter Google’s Project Beacon.
This article provides a little background into what, exactly, Project Beacon is, how it works, and how to use it. It also discusses ways in which beacons can help your search engine optimization, or SEO, and how it will serve the benefit of your clients, and eventually, your bottom line.
What is Project Beacon?
For starters, a beacon is a small, battery powered device that emits a Bluetooth signal (often called a Bluetooth low energy, or BLE). Once the beacon is set up, it repeatedly marks an identifier, and that identifier marks a place or object which is relayed back to you through your phone. In other words, it allows your phone to know what matters to you in your surrounding environment. Or according to Google Developers, “Beacons are one-way transmitters that are used to mark important places and objects.”
Beacons can be used in fixed locations such as retail stores and offices, as well as in mobile objects such as taxies, trains or busses. However, from a business standpoint, beacons provide the best benefit to businesses that have a physical location that customers can visit, and use the beacon to help guide their way.
Additionally, through Google’s Proximately Beacon Application Programming Interface (API), you can monitor the health of your individual beacons diagnostic endpoint. This means that you can remotely detect battery levels, determine beacon location, and more.
How Can a Beacon Help My Practice?
Probably the most obvious benefit from utilizing beacons is to refine your businesses location and proximity. A beacon can help potential clients find your office and obtain step-by-step walking directions to your front door. They could also save those directions straight to their phone for use in the future.
What’s maybe not so obvious is the effect Google Beacons can have on your brand visibility. Beacons can help lead generation by broadcasting a newsletter or advertisement to potential customers located nearby. A beacon can also increase your online reputation. For example, after a client has been in your office for a set amount of time, you can then send a message through the beacon prompting them to submit feedback about their experience, and potential future clients can then read their reviews online.
Beacons can also help your SEO by having Google value your pages higher in an online search. The more engaged your clients are with your business, website and services, the higher Google will rate your pages. Moreover, Google Beacon can collect information regarding a specific location’s foot traffic, which in turn can be used as an SEO ranking factor.
While it may seem a little too futuristic for some to place devices that blend physical and digital worlds, this day in age (there it is again) law practices need to stay on top of the latest marketing technology, and reach as many potential clients as possible. Google Beacon presents wonderful, new opportunities for you to learn about your clients, which you can then use to help them make better decisions about their legal needs.
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