Use this Google Analytics shortcut to better understand the effectiveness of your law firm's SEO activities.
Let's assume you run a local consumer-facing (PI, criminal, bankruptcy, etc) law practice. Let's further assume that at least some of your business comes from people who use search engines to find lawyers like you.
If you're responsible for understanding what's going on with your firm's SEO efforts, hopefully you're somewhat familiar with Google Analytics.
You might regularly check your Traffic Sources Overview report. Unfortunately, this top-level traffic report can be misleading. Especially if you receive a lot of "branded" search traffic (i.e. searches for your name, firm name, etc).
It's not that branded search traffic is bad. In fact, it's really good. It means that people are coming to search engines to learn more about you. Which means that they know your name. Which means that they heard it somewhere.
However, unless you're a really well-known lawyer, chances are that there is a whole lot more search volume for unbranded queries. And, depending on your practice, you may want to attract some of these searchers.
But in order to know whether you are actually attracting these folks, you need to dive a little deeper into your web analytics reports. Here's how to set up a Google Analytics shortcut to view your unbranded organic search traffic in your location.
First, open up Google Analytics and navigate to Traffic Sources -> Search -> Organic. This will take you to your Organic Search Traffic report.
Next, set your Primary Dimension to Keyword. You should now see all of the organic search traffic to your site organized by keyword.
After that, you're going to want to set your Secondary dimension to reflect the location(s) in which you would take clients.
You're probably going to be choosing from Country / Territory (if you have a national practice), Region (if you practice statewide, Metro or City.
Click Secondary dimension, then Visitors and select the appropriate dimension for your firm. For this example, I'm going to assume you have a statewide practice and are using Region.
You should now see a report that contains your organic search traffic by Keyword and Region (State).
Now we're going to create a filter to only include unbranded organic search traffic in your location.
Click on "advanced" to open up the advanced filters.
The first traffic we're going to filter out is your branded search traffic. To do this select Exclude -> Keyword --> Matching RegExp and enter 'yourfirstname|yourlastname'.
Next, select Include -> Region -> Containing and enter 'your state'.
Then click "Apply."
If I were a lawyer practice throughout Illinois, my filter would look like this:
You might have to add some additional branded keywords (i.e. firm name, taglines, phone numbers, misspellings, etc) to get all of your branded traffic out.
Once you've filtered out the overwhelming majority of your branded traffic, click Shortcut and Enter a name for your shortcut (probably something like unbranded organic search traffic in your state). Then click ok.
Now, the next time you come back to analytics, you can simply click Shortcuts and select the Shortcut you just made.
You can now see how much unbranded organic search traffic in your practice location(s) you are receiving to your site.
This is one way to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. And if you're paying someone to do SEO for you, it's a good way to hold them accountable.