Today, technological innovations are affecting different sectors and transforming businesses around the globe. While incorporating new tech into a business is a smart strategy, it has become quite challenging for law firms to win the competition. The reason is that every law firm, whether small or big, is striving to get an edge over its rival by leveraging digital marketing.
These days, very few law firms still think that digital marketing is superfluous to a client acquisition strategy. However, there are still firms who spend money month after month, unsure of whether or not their marketing is working.
This brings to mind the (supposed) old adage from John Wanamaker “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
How you solve this problem is by understanding the marketing metrics your law firm should focus on, to know what is working and where you are wasting money. Solid metrics provide you with valuable insights that can help you overcome the hurdle of unpredictability.
Your digital marketing agency may provide a weekly, monthly, or half-yearly report, which shows your page ranking on various search engines, like Google and Bing. However, most agencies seldom provide valuable insights, such as conversion by source or cost per lead breakdowns.
Whether you partner with a digital marketing agency or promote your services yourself, metrics are extremely crucial if you want to survive in the industry. That being said, it’s time for you to know the real digital marketing metrics that move the needle.
Which metrics are most important for law firms?
- Conversions (by source): This is also called lead attribution, which you must have in order to understand the methods that are providing a real return on investment. Ties back to your actual business goals. Knowing what converts is essential to tracking and understanding where to put your marketing budget. You get attribution by tracking where web visitors come from and what they did on the way to becoming a potential client lead.
- Conversion Rate: Understanding what percentage of website visitors and where those converted site visitors came from or went on your website, will let you understand much more about what is working and what’s not.
- Cost per Lead (CPL): Defines the lead conversion ratio that arises from a specific campaign and related cost. It provides insights on how profitable your campaign is.
- Traffic Sources: Understanding where your website visitors come from allows you to know what’s working and what’s not. Adding UTM parameters to shared posts will help you track and measure these things as well.
- Return on Investment (by channel): is measured by the converted site traffic. In addition, it helps you determine which part of your campaign is driving more sales and revenue. Besides this, ROI is measured by identifying the number of new customers for a specific period.
- Monthly Agency Work: What has your agency done for you lately? If your digital marketing agency can’t tell you what they’ve done within the last month, what are you paying them for? SEO and PPC are an ongoing process, and depending upon your agreement and spend, your agency should always be moving your law firm forward.
- Insights & Expertise: In our monthly reports to clients, we include what’s working, what isn’t, and what’s coming around the corner. We view this as our accountability to clients, especially keeping track of what isn’t working and previewing the upcoming strategy. One of the things that come from the preview is a conversation with our clients, where we may find out that the client has too many leads for one practice area and wants links and leads focusing on a different area.
- Local Organic Traffic: Traffic metrics often get overblown but do have some basis for measuring effectiveness of digital marketing. When it comes to traffic, focus on the geographic area of the traffic, since most of your clients are likely to come from the area your practice is located in.
- Leads: This is the metric that we tell our clients to pay the most attention to, for obvious reasons. Without leads and clients, your law firm doesn’t grow.
- Return On Ad Spend: This is a paid search metric, for PPC or Paid Social Media. Your agency should have a target cost per client, as determined by case or client value, that they are marking this ROI against.
- Target Cost Per Client (CPC): This is a goal metric, the number that your digital marketing agency is tracking all costs of the marketing against.
- Cost Per Client, Actual: This is also known as cost per acquisition. When you know your target CPC, your agency can mark this against the actual CPC, to showcase what your actual cost of client acquisition is.
- Lifetime Value of Client: We are so excited when we can show this metric to a client but it doesn’t always happen. In order to showcase the lifetime value of a client, we need to have a lot of information that we don’t always get form clients. To find out more about calculating LTV of clients, check out this Hubspot article.
- Client Satisfaction & NPS: Another vital metric relates to client happiness. What does this have to do with digital marketing? Reviews, referrals, and more. If you don’t have happy clients, you won’t get online reviews. At least not positive ones. It is vital to track and monitor your client satisfaction, both during and after the case. We recommend a few tools to help with this, beyond a phone call or in-person questions. Try out GatherUp or Podium.
What metrics do other marketing firms focus on that they shouldn’t be?
- Pageviews/Unique Pageviews: Only tells you the page they visited but nothing else about their site visit.
- Visitors/Unique Visitors: Traffic statistics don’t measure where and what they did on the site. It could also be your mom visiting the website.
- Time on Site: Visitors could open the tab and then switch to another tab, leaving their browsing session open but essentially leaving your website.
- Bounce Rate: Difficult to accurately measure, citing the same problems as above. If you tie bounce rate to an individual web visitor, then you can focus on where engaged individuals are coming from and where they are leaving your website. People accidentally clicking your website aren’t metrics you should care about.
- Pages Per Visit: Does not measure anything of value, unless it is tied to users who filled out your contact form. Then you want to know the pages they visited.
- New Visits: If people use an incognito browser or delete their cookies frequently, they may be counted as new site visitors.
- Rankings & Ranking Reports: We often see other agencies boasting about their client’s rankings, but what are the keywords these law firms are ranking highly for? Sometimes these are the keywords that matter to the law firms practice area but oftentimes, these are used as vanity metrics because the ranking keywords aren’t actually getting organic searches. Thus, ranking for those keywords won’t result in site traffic or leads. When your agency gets you super excited about number one rankings, ask to see the search volume for that keyword in your geographic area.
- Overall Traffic: This metric is one of many that we have to convince lawyers to let go of. Often times, agencies will cite, fooling a law firm into thinking that this matters because it looks good. In reality, what matters when it comes to traffic is your local, organic traffic (also, leads).
- Social Media Likes, Impressions, and Followers: When it comes to your law firm’s social media pages, does it matter if your mom and her friends like your Facebook page? Maybe. Similarly, it may not matter if your mom is seeing your posts and sharing your page unless those people are actually potential clients. The metric to pay attention to for social media? Are people contacting you on your profiles? Does your web traffic show conversion from your social media profiles?
What metrics do lawyers think are important- that really aren’t?
- Rankings: See above, where we mention this. The reason we repeated this? Even after reading this, many of you will still think rankings matter. Being at the top of a search result could matter. But only if you’re ranking for the right search terms and only if you follow through with a great potential client experience when they contact your law firm.
- How much they like their website (and how it looks, vs. how it performs): One question we often get from our potential web design clients is, “What kind of designs have you done?” or “What do your websites look like?” While we can appreciate this question, as digital marketing experts, we know there needs to be so much more to a website than looks. What matters more than your cool design and scrolling homepage? Conversion and Technical SEO. If a search engine can’t find or understand your website, your pretty homepage makes no difference. We build websites prioritizing technical SEO, to make sure your website shows up in search results. Beyond the technical aspects, conversion is always the goal on a website, so you need great forms and a user experience that leads to those forms.
One more soapbox moment, and then we’ll stop.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that today global traffic means nothing, what matters is your SERP results within a 5-mile radius. Moreover, you need to evaluate that even if you have a massive number of leads online, are those leads turning into clients?
Track your inbound links, shares, and likes. Inbound links are a great indication that your content is valuable to other websites, blogs, and people. You also want to make sure those links are coming from reputable sites to make sure that your content shows Expertise, Authority, and Trust from Google. High-quality links from quality websites should be part of your SEO efforts. Tracking inbound links is fairly easy with Google Analytics. Check your referral traffic to see who is linking to your site and what they are linking to.
However, if you’ve hired a digital marketing agency, you should keep a check on whether they are working with real metrics or not. Above all, you need to ensure if your website is reflecting the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of your business. Often times, most digital marketing agencies incorporate your law firm website with the black hat link-building websites instead of creating valuable and unique links,.
While strengthening your position in the legal industry isn’t as simple as it seems, it’s highly important that you leverage digital marketing to take an edge over your competitors. For that, you need to monitor these essential and effective metrics to evaluate your marketing strategies. The aforementioned metrics provide you valuable insights that help you improve your digital marketing campaign.
In case you have already partnered with a digital marketing agency, make sure that you get these insights in your monthly reports. Hiring a trustworthy agency helps ensure that your website insights are included in monthly reports so that you can have a clear idea of what strategies are actually boosting your site rank.