Here are a few website marketing ideas that I'd prioritize today:
If your pages don't fully load in around one second, you're losing visitors unnecessarily. If you're not sure whether your pages are too slow, you can find out with:
Again, you really want to get down to around one second. If you're under three seconds, that's pretty good. If over three seconds, make it a priority.
There can be a lot of different things slowing your pages down. Some of these things are relatively easy to fix. Others are much more difficult. If you're somewhat technically savvy, you might be able to fix some of these yourself. If not, you probably want to get some help.
If you pay someone to host / admin / manage your website, ask them about why your site is running slowly. If they can't fix it, find someone who can. This is one of the most common reasons that business websites fail to deliver.
Security (or lack thereof) is a big deal online. First, if you accept user information through your site, you probably have an obligation to protect it. Second, insecure sites are bad for business. If your site gets hacked, it might not show up as prominently in search results (or at all). Plus, if your next client's browser warns them about visiting your site, they're likely to click back and head to your competitor's site.
Part of the security equation includes implementing TLS. If you're not currently using a cryptographic protocol, call your web vendor. Don't accept excuses as to why they're not implementing it.
If you use WordPress (and you should), you should take steps to harden it.
Some of the most common reasons sites get hacked include insecure WordPress installations, themes and plugins.
Don't use WordPress themes and plugins that aren't regularly supported and updated. In fact, use as few plugins as you possibly can.
I can't tell you how many major issues I run into from crappy themes and plugins. It's a huge problem that isn't understood by most lawyers.
In competitive areas, some law firms spend tens of thousands of dollars per month on some form of web marketing. Many of these same lawyers don't track anything! That's just dumb.
Some will loosely track things like overall traffic and rankings (meh). Here are some better things to track:
- Fee per Client by Source
- Cost per Client by Source
If you're inclined to track additional proxy metrics, I suggest:
- Traffic in your geographic region (i.e. city, state, etc) by Source (i.e. organic search traffic in Illinois).
- Potential client inquiries (i.e. phone calls / form fills) a/k/a goal conversions by Source.
- Directional ranking trends (i.e. for x number of keywords your pages are trending in the right direction).
There are a ton of tools you can use to track this stuff, here are a few I like:
- Google Analytics
- Google Search Console (Webmaster Tools)
- Stat (GetStat)
If you don't track the performance of your web marketing, don't spend money on it.
Huh? Client service? What's that have to do with web marketing? Answer: Everything.
Here's the simple version: If you suck at providing great service to clients, it's likely to show-up online. Furthermore, even if you don't suck, but you're just unremarkable, it's going to be very hard to stand-out online.
You can't SEO your way of providing crappy service to your clients.
That's one of the real game-changing aspects of the web.
Obviously, a big part of client service relates to competence, skill and experience. But remarkable client service also means things like:
- Keeping clients informed.
After all, most of your clients probably don't have a very clear idea of how skilled a lawyer you actually are. But just about all of them will know whether you're a jerk or whether you actually care about them.
Put in places systems and processes for people to provide you feedback about what they think about you. Be proactive about feedback. Ask people for it. Create an environment in which people feel comfortable telling you how they really feel about you. You might be very surprised to see what kind of impact your real-world behavior has on your online presence, and more importantly, your bottom-line.
Obviously, there's a lot more to winning online, especially in competitive locations and practice areas. But if you don't make speed, security and service priorities, much of the rest of the stuff won't matter.