What are your web marketing goals? Ranking for keywords? Building links? “Hits” to your website?
I hope not.
Your web marketing goals, at least in part, should be about motivating the people you want for clients to contact, hire and pay you.
This should be obvious. And yet, many attorneys don’t even have systems in place to measure and properly attribute inquiries from potential clients. Very few have systems for tying new client sign-ups back to their source. And most are hyper-focusing on metrics like rankings for the handful of keywords that they believe everyone is using to find them.
Let me tell you a secret.
You can rank #1 for hundreds of keywords without attracting a signal visitor.
You can attract thousands of visitors without motivating a single one to contact you.
You can motivate people to contact you that, for a complex variety of reasons, never hire you.
While each of these are essential components to reaching your goals, they are not goals themselves.
If you’re interested in earning new business from search engines, try setting up some actionable SEO dashboards and tying your efforts to real business metrics.
Your web marketing goals should be about delivering the very best legal services that you are capable of.
What? What the heck does web marketing have to do with providing great service? Everything.
If your service sucks, people are going to talk about it. And some of these people are going to write about it online. And when people who look for information about you find that your clients had bad experiences with you, no rankings and traffic are going to save you.
The best thing you can do to attract new business from the web is to make your clients so happy that they just have to tell the world about you.
Of course, for many practice areas, people don’t want anyone to know that they were in need of your services. Which makes it that much more difficult to motivate them to become an evangelist.
Which means you need to find additional ways to motivate people to talk about you.
But it has to start with great service. While great service is probably not sufficient, it’s absolutely necessary.
Here’s another secret. Search engines use things like client sentiment, mentions, social signals and links to determine popularity and visibility within search. So, even if you just can’t get past rankings, you still need to focus on service because service will impact rankings.
Your web marketing goals should be about communicating the value of your services. You know, your knowledge, skill and experience.
If you look around the web a bit, you’ll see that lawyers seem to think that people lawyers who fight hard, are passionate and have hundreds of years of experience.
I don’t mean to diminish the value of being a hard worker, passion and experience. They certainly matter. But the way that these characteristics are communicated matters.
There’s a difference between marshaling evidence of your good reputation and screaming at the top of your internet lungs how great you are.
Set some real business goals. Execute a strategy that focuses on achieving these goals. Measure your efforts in terms of reaching these goals. Do more of what helps you reach your goals. Do less of anything that you can’t demonstrate is helping you meet these goals.