An Interview with GNGF CMO, Jabez LeBret
Every year thousands of marketers converge on Las Vegas in the fall to gather for Pubcon – the world’s largest social and search conference. Jabez LeBret, Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of GNGF, was invited for the fifth year to present at both the mastery day and several sessions.
We asked him to share with us the inside scoop from the speakers lounge. This is where the best hangout in between sessions to swap notes and share stories. The crowd included Marty Weintraub, Larry Kim, Eric Enge, Sean Jackson, Zeph Snapp, Brett Tabke, Joe Laratro, Tony Wright, Will Scott…well, too many folks to list.
Let’s cut to the chase – what’s the most important tip you heard at Pubcon this year?
Wow, I wish there was one magic tip to achieve success online. This year more than other years it became apparent that things are getting way harder. You no longer can focus on one channel, one tactic, or one lead generation method. Today you need to be doing a little of everything at a minimum: PPC, social advertising, social posting, content marketing, link building, other SEO tactics, and local optimization.
Ok, is there anything that people should be worried about then?
I’d say a few items people need to keeping a close eye on is AMP mobile and the conversation issues it presents, mobile backlinks, and video.
So tell us more about mobile issues.
The mobile issues are not new and for legal especially there are serious concerns around protecting referral business with a strong mobile strategy. AMP, accelerated mobile pages, is an attempt to create mobile ready pages that load quickly. Some immediate issues include the fact that the user doesn’t fully leave Google in the sense that when they hit the little “x”, implying that they would like to stay on the page, the user is instead back within the Google SERPS. There is also going to be a greater need for stronger link building strategies as Google is going to start addressing mobile SEO and website SEO.
We thought video was pretty straight forward what’s changing here?
For video things are clearly moving toward live video and that presents some challenges for those lawyers who prefer polished video. It is like we’ve taken a step back to 2009 when you could have a successful video on YouTube that you recorded from your phone. Good audio still matters and you may want to invest in some video equipment. Smart law firms will partner with their agency to use data and news jacking to develop an editorial calendar for live video.
Any major update with regards to standard SEO practices?
It is definitely getting more difficult. The search engines are updating their algorithms faster, machine learning is impacting results, voice search is on the rise, mobile traffic is being parsed out and requiring unique strategies, links still matter, content needs to be improved, and on-site tactics should be reviewed more frequently. This is a good thing for those that are willing to put the work in. The other upshot is once you achieve results it will be even harder to move past you. The obvious implication there is that it will be more difficult to overtake your competition these days.
Any last words?
It looks like social advertising is really on the rise. It is less expensive than pay per click and more targeted. In conjunction with a solid live-video strategy social media is raging back into the spotlight for marketing a law firm. Right now, live-video is the only organic play on social media that can translate into results.
We may not like to fill Google’s coffers with more money, but if you are not spending on PPC and your agency is not encouraging you to do so then there are certainly going to be missed opportunities. The new SERP layouts are scary for organic traffic. Google is really pushing all organic content further and further down. Setting up a targeted long-tail keyword campaign(s) can help usurp these future issues.