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Big Data – get used to the popular term, prepare for the tools.

Historically, Big Data was generally referenced when talking about huge Data Sets, high volume, high variety, the sort of information you get that is overloading your analysis tools, like being at a Carnival on a busy Sunny day. All this information is coming at you, but it is hard to process it, so you just focus on the one thing, whether it is the ferris wheel or the ice cream. Velocity is an issue when it comes to comprehension and gathering.

For quite some time we have been able to get all this Big Data, but the ability to process and analyse is fast becoming a big element in every day life – Data Mining. Imagine

Big Data Web Mining MeanIT Web Partners

ten years ago your local shopping centre could count the number of peolple who visited. now imageine that the same data collected will be revisited to see how many were male, female, over 40, under 2 metres, wearing boots, carrying a handbag, using an iPhone or Samsung, with children and the list goes on. With cameras the shopping centre can see who is coming in the door and with credit card usage they can study who is buying what and where. The car park tells a story of favourites makes and colours, ages and sizes etc. This is the same information as ten years ago, but now it can be analysed in its entirety.

Ten years ago, there would have been a data storage issue, cost of storing and the hardware to do it, but now the shopping centre can collect all the raw data, structured or unstructured and then work out how to market their offerings better. Maybe more women under 25 visit on a Tuesday morning between 8.00 and 10.00 am to shop before the mothers and toddlers, so the messaging can be directed to them specifically. With the right analytical tools, the data can be closely studied for any anomalies or changes and the reaction times can be reduced. These cost effective tools are fast becoming available to allow for this sort of work to be done, to allow marketers manage messaging and indeed help logisticians manage parking or traffic lights etc. The silos of information collected were hard to study in traditional databases, but now we have the tools to analyse and also do predictive analytics, by mining the data and guesstimating results or next steps. If we put an advert for Ray Bans on a  Tuesday morning at 9.00am on Twitter with a 50% off discount, how many pairs will we sell and how many buyers will be Men or Women. In a more serious way, we can now analyse DNA or Gene Modification, we can study behaviour and predict results, faster and better. We may be able to sell more red boots in th efuture or save lives, either way it is because of our ability to capture data and mine it for the answers to our questions. Most businesses will use the information to help speed up processes for customers, improve the shopping experience and retain customers longer. Science will use big data to get answers faster and deliver results that will save lives. Authorities will use big data to improve services, connect with inhabitants and prevent terrorism.

Big Data Analytics

At its lightest point, we can see how the shoe store can sell more red boots and at its heaviest point we can see the Big Brother shadow get bigger and more powerful. As with all advances, in everything there is good and bad. We now have the ability to study high volumes of structured and unstructured data, cross check it for veracity and produce speedy results that allow us make faster decisions. Whether reducing the price of the red boots or landing a plane in fog, the technology aids better decision making. Examining large data sets at speed is a great advance, for medicine and marketing, so you will hear about it more and more as time goes on. Business Intellingence is employing data scientists to determine the optimum price for a Facebook Advert to when to reduce the heat in public buildings.

Big Data Mining

Data Mining is the sifting through of available data with the right tools to establish relationships or patterns to determine opportunities for new offers, upselling or add ons. This is basic stuff that can make a big difference in Marketing or Medicine. It can help us determine the path someone will take when visiting a shopping centre or town or website. We can determine what direction or flow they will want to take. That helps us lead them to a designated spot, whether that is a car park space or a pair of red boots.

Warning on Big Data

Without going in to database types and SQL or NoSql, Hadoop etc, we would point out that all of this is a combination of metrics being analysed, based on past results. If we take our lead from historical data, we will end up selling yesterdays news, wellies on a dry day, sun glasses on a wet day etc. Good analytics will include Predictive Analytics tools, but there will always have to be a human element in the decision making. Web Mining can help us improve flow in a website and improve page views, reduce bounce rate and increase conversion, to tell more or sell more. Do get to understand how web mining, data mining or big data can help your business, then employ the right people or tools to do the work required to improve your offering.

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Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
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Let us get you noticed with a totally custom designed, fast loading website built to your specific needs. Then we can engage your target audience with unique page layouts perfect for feature content and focused landing pages. Training is provided with this custom designed WordPress website, typically 10 to 30 pages – this allows you to make all the changes you want.
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Strategic Website

You probably have an underperforming website, but realise you need a better web presence. One that will consistently generate the ideal pre-qualified leads and work you really want.
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Lets start with a meeting, then we can write up a digital strategy or plan, to ensure we set some agreed goals or targets for us to deliver for you.

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A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

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