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Local SEO and Google Business Listings

Local SEO and Google Business Listings

SEO is the abbreviation of Search Engine Optimization. In a sense, this means how relevant your company is online. Your SEO evaluates how often you will show up in search results. Your Google Business Listing allows your company’s physical location to also be available for consumers when they search for your company.

Why does your ranking online matter?

Small businesses rely heavily on being in the search results of local consumers. Consumers are always searching for someone local and closer to home. Finding a small business that is in their community and can meet their needs, is essential to many consumers and is fundamental to how they chose a company.

Not to mention the majority of all searches for businesses today are online. If your business is not appearing in these results, there is a chance you are not reaching the majority of valuable customers who are looking for your services. Stats from Google consumer studies show the reality of the marketing landscape facing businesses today.

  • Did you know that 85% of consumers use online maps to find businesses? (Google Consumer Study, 2016)

What can you do to improve?

When growing a small business, the first steps will be to expand to reach new consumers.  Since these consumers could be in a neighboring town or city and many online searches are now location-based, reaching them naturally through a website can be hard. If you are trying to reach consumers, there are not in near vicinity of your office establishing an online “virtual office” presence in those areas can help. As a small business having a stable and natural online search presence is the key to new leads.

Using address and facilities listings in Google will boost businesses local search results and create new leads.

What can Officense do to grow your SEO search presence?

Officense can provide your company a virtual office or mailing address anywhere in the world. All our locations offer a variety of virtual office amenities that cater to small businesses. To establish a new local listing, we can provide a comprehensive address package where our address becomes your company address. By using this, your company’s search results will show that you service the specific geographic region you are trying to reach. At the same time, you now have a highly sought-after professional address which will lend credibility to your business.

Finally, when your phone lines get tied up from all of your new leads, you have acquired because of your new address, our executive assistants are trained to answer your companies phone calls with live answering phone service. We pride ourselves with growing a support system for small companies and making your business a success both online and over the phone.


MSBA & OFFICENSE Partnership

Officense is happy to announce our partnership with the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA).

Maryland State Bar Association Member Exclusive

MSBA members will receive exclusive discounts on helpful resources for your practice. As a result of the partnership, we will provide a 10% discount on all service packages.

What Officense Has to Offer Your Practice

Officense provides a wide range of packages including administrative support, back office services, office space. Also, our professional address, private deposition/video conference rooms, and furnished meeting space will add to your practices credibility and present a professional image reflective of your firm.  The best part about Officense is that our A-La-Carte pricing options mean pay for only what you use.  Whether your firm is large or small, Officense has the tools to help create and run a successful practice. 


The Officense Difference

       Officense has been helping legal professionals since 2006. With over ten years of experience in the legal industry, we know the challenges of running a practice, and have proven methods to help you run an efficient law firm.  Our packages and phone answering service is customized specifically for the legal community and we deploy a team of highly trained, locally based Executive Assistants to help you with any task that may arise. Our assistants are prepared to answer calls and forward calls directly to you after being screened. At the office, we can provide an array of services like notary services, outbound calling, and lead tracking.

    Full-service private offices are also available when you need them. MSBA member can choose to have a permanent office or use the office on an as-needed basis. WiFi, kitchen use, coffee, tea, water, and utilities are always free of charge.

Please visit the MSBA site to learn about additional benefits your membership provides, as well as our home page for pricing.


                  “The Office that Makes Sense”

The Stress-Free Contractor

Contractor’s Conundrum

As a contractor, it can be difficult and distracting to answer calls while trying to get work done. You are always on the move travelling to multiple work sites, which can make it difficult to have time to answer the phone. Still, missing calls can mean lost leads and in today’s culture of instant access, customers often move on to another company if they are sent to voicemail. Unfortunately, for many contractors hiring a full-time staff to answer the phone is just not practical.

A Better Way

Officense Executive Assistants can help alleviate some of the stress of booking appointments and handling scheduling for your customers. For over 10 years, our company has been reliable when it comes to providing affordable call answering service for roofers, painters, HVAC pro’s, home improvement companies, and general contractors. Using Officense will allow you to focus on your business without worrying about missing out on potential customers due to lack of support.

With Officense, you can have a receptionist who filters your calls, and will only forward the calls that are important. Our skilled team will screen every call and you will no longer be frustrated answering calls that turn out to be a solicitor. Officense receptionists will not only answer calls from your customers, but we will also schedule estimates and appointments. Our phone answering runs 24/7, 365 days a year, so your customers will never get a busy signal or voice mail. For many of our contractor clients, we simply send text messages with caller information so you can follow up at your convenience.

Why Wait?

The Officense staff is ready to be of assistance and make your job easier! We don’t want your business to get in the way of business; and we also don’t want you to miss great opportunities to improve your company. Let us help to keep track of your leads and provide effective follow-ups! If you’re ready to have a live receptionist greet your customers and provide excellent service, call us at 410-814-7500, or click here for more information.

Starting a solo practice is hard.  It takes persistence, attention to detail, and a realistic, implementable business plan in order to succeed as a solo lawyer. As a sole practitioner, your time is valuable and wasted time adds up to wasted dollars. Through our partnership with LawPay’s payment processing you can have all the conveniences of a traditional office space without the overhead.

Legal administration

Besides the work you are doing in the courtroom, there is always more work to be done in the office when you run your own solo practice. Between answering emails, scheduling consultations, processing billing, and document preparation, a solo attorney may find themselves overwhelmed by paperwork.

The Thomson Reuter’s Solo and Small Law Firms Group recently completed a study asking attorneys about the most challenging aspects of their profession, and not surprisingly, time spent on non-billable, administrative tasks was at the top of the list. These types of tasks can include invoicing, phone answering, client intake paperwork, and payment processing.

Survey results concluded that 45 percent of all solo and small law firm time is spent handling administrative tasks. These results should be a wake-up call to solo practice attorneys. The 45 percent is even more shocking when you break down its impact on a firm’s profitability and bottom line. Take the breakdown below, for example:
– 40-hour work week x 45 percent of admin. time = 18 hours of unbilled work
– 18 non-billable hrs. x $150 hourly rate = $2,700 in potential billing lost weekly
– $2,700 non-billable hrs./week x 48 weeks per year = $129,600 in potential revenue lost yearly

According to the study, when the firm’s own perception of success was accounted for, there was a large gap in reported time spent on administrative work. Of those describing themselves as “unsuccessful” up to the rating of “neither successful nor unsuccessful”, 31 percent reported that time spent on administrative tasks was a major challenge. Conversely, only 10 percent and 14 percent of the firms that view themselves as “successful” to “very successful” reported challenges with administrative time management. The natural conclusion is that less successful attorneys lack time to collect billable hours and practice law due to operational and practice management tasks.


*2016, State of U.S. Small Law Firms Study, Thomson Reuters

A better way

Obviously, no firm can carry the high costs of inefficient administrative methods without seriously diminishing potential revenue. However, hiring a skilled assistant or paralegal is often out of the question due to the cost. As a solo attorney, finding a better way will be essential to your success. Luckily, there are solutions to make life easier for solo practice law firms and attorneys.

Online payment solutions can streamline your cash flow and make it easier for your clients to pay your bills, letting them pay you instantly—which means no more waiting for checks to arrive in the mail. In fact, studies have shown that law firms get paid 39 percent faster when they accept online credit card payments. To make it even easier, you can also set up recurring payments that will automatically charge your client’s card whenever your bill is due, letting you and your client focus on the case.

While hiring a paralegal may be outside of your budget, The Digital Age has also paved the way for affordable virtual assistance services. You could have a team of experienced assistants handling your calls and scheduling, performing data entry, preparing your documents and more—all without stepping foot in your office. With virtual assistance, you can keep your sights on the bigger picture items while the tedious tasks that eat up your day get taken care of by experienced, trained professionals.

The resources and amenities provided by LawPay and Officense are what every solo practice and small firm needs to beat the competition and reach their potential.

To learn more about how legal tech can help you save time and boost your bottom line, check out LawPay’s e-book, “Getting Paid in 2018: What Lawyers Need to Know.”

About the author

Noah Shumway is the Director of Sales and Marketing at OFFICENSE, in downtown Baltimore, MD.

The Benefits of Using an Email Marketing Tool

Through email marketing, small businesses are acquiring the necessary resources and tools to improve their performance and grow their business. For some small businesses hiring a team to handle marketing is simply not affordable. As a result, companies are searching for other ways to go about reaching new customers, through automated marketing technics like mass emailing.


Email Marketing is a strategy used for sending emails to prospective clients and current customers. This can be more useful than traditional advertising since a majority of consumers check their email on a daily basis. It is a challenge attempting to stay on top of everything including customers and emails but using this software will allow you to stay in control of the content, keep track of emails, and staying up to date with trends.


Advantages of using email marketing are pricing, design, time-saving automation, and an increase in sales:

  • Pricing:

Some marketing tools are paid, while some provide you with a free version for up to a certain number of subscribers and emails per month.

  • Design:

Being able to control design allows you to provide more branding and creativity to your business.

  • Time – Saving:

With automation and bulk lists, you will not need to spend time sending emails with scheduling tools, instead, you can schedule a time that the email is sent so that it will easily reach and be opened by all of your clients.

  • Increased in Sales:

You can promote your new ideas or products with a click of a button to encourage customers to try out your products or visit your website.


Likewise, the disadvantages of using this tool are the risk of being detected as spam, size issues, and undeliverable emails:

  • Spam:

Some email providers may label your email as spam which ruins the purpose of using an email marketing tool.

  • Size Issues:

If a file is too large, then it may take longer to download or it may not download at all. This can cause you to lose out on reaching members of your target audience.

  • Undelivered Emails:

One challenge of sending an email is making sure you have the correct email address for your customer. If you do not have a high quality and accurate email list many of the messages will bounce.


Furthermore, if you are new to email marketing there is an easy way to get started and learn the basics.  At Officense, we can assist you with developing your marketing campaign or setting up an email marketing account to add more customers to your business.  We’ve been providing administrative support for small businesses for over 10 years and allowing companies to focus more on clients.  If you are interested in someone managing your email marketing efforts or setting up a bulk email campaign, then give us a call at 410-814-7500 or check out our virtual assistant page.