In the great, big world of internet marketing, sometimes it’s difficult to know whether or not your marketing efforts are helping to grow your firm as they should.
You might get frustrated with the fact that tangible, measurable results from SEO work are not immediate, but take some time to “kick in” and reap a healthy return on investment.
Or perhaps you can’t tell whether or not your website’s new design and content are really making a difference for your conversion rate. Who has time to run all of those numbers?
We get it. What you care about is the phone ringing more than it was prior, and when that isn’t happening, you get nervous. Possibly irate.
In part, we see this frustration as being linked to expectations. What results should you expect for the money you put into your internet marketing efforts, and what does success really look like, beyond just the final result of more phone calls (since, as discussed later in this study, an increase in leads isn’t actually positive unless those leads are converting)?
That’s not so clear.
And while results will always vary, the purpose of this case study is to show what results can – and should – look like for sound, results-driven internet marketing for law firms. No ambiguities or generalities, only the cold, hard facts.
In addition, by linking positive results with specific strategies, we hope to illustrate the connection between common strategies and the ringing phone, as well as the interconnections among these strategies themselves.
The details of the case
We began working with this particular client around September of 2016.
In the past year, they had seen large dips in their website analytics across the board, ultimately having a negative effect on their conversions and resulting in fewer cases.
After we began working for them in September – running audits, correcting technical problems, adjusting listings, building their backlink profile, writing quality content, making improvements to the site, etc. – things have changed for the better.
Here are the four primary areas of improvement we’ve seen over the past 5 months.
- An increase in organic traffic
- An increase in direct traffic
- An increase in mobile traffic (higher than ever)
- An improved conversion rate
Before we go any further…
Perhaps more important than showing what results can and should look like, this case study is meant to demonstrate that there’s no single, simple solution to creating a great web presence. Getting these kind of results takes a holistic approach.
We love helping clients with SEO, but all of our SEO efforts are for nothing if we’re sending leads to a poorly designed website, or if their social media accounts are sloppy or nonexistent.
All the same, we could help you dominate social media, but if we’re sending your followers to web pages with poor, bland content, then you’re losing clients.
The point being that the whole of your internet presence is important, not just the getting found part. You don’t have to be on every possible digital channel out there. We’re not encouraging many firms to start up a Pinterest presence.
But there are a number of platforms and strategies that demand your attention based on the basic number of people who use and rely on those platforms and corresponding strategies on a daily basis. Think of these channels as digital highways, with your presence on those channels serving as a kind of interactive billboard.
So, metaphors aside, let’s look at these improvements step-by-step – along with the strategies that led to the improvements – to show how a holistic strategy to your internet marketing is the best approach to take if you’re serious about growing your firm.
An increase in organic traffic | Quality content is SEO
One of the main improvements we saw with our client was an increase in organic traffic.
Organic traffic is traffic that comes to your website as a result of unpaid search results, meaning people are finding your website because you’re ranking well in search engines for certain keywords.
For our client, organic traffic was 4-percent higher in December 2016 than the previous month and 93-percent higher than in December 2015.
While much of the technical SEO work we did surely had a large part in creating this increase in organic traffic, about 56-percent of the organic traffic of December 2016 went to a blog article on the website titled “3 Common Causes of Chest Pain After a Car Accident.” This article also made up about 39-percent of all organic traffic from the entire 2016 year.
What does this tell us?
That creating content specifically tailored to the questions your potential clients are asking is an excellent way to drive organic traffic to your website.
While our client’s SEO strategy focused on keywords like “car accident lawyer,” the majority of the organic traffic for the website was driven by searches such as “chest pain after car accident,” leading people to the blog post on our client’s website.
While that doesn’t mean that many – if any – of these readers were leads who turned into clients, getting people to engage with content on your website is a primo way to earn Google’s respect and see a boost in your rankings.
Additionally, writing content on a frequent basis can show you to be authoritative in your field, which is a big step in establishing trust with leads.
An increase in direct traffic | Giving people more reasons to visit
Another improvement our client saw was an increase in direct traffic to their website.
Direct traffic is a little trickier to understand than organic traffic, as it could result from a number of different reasons. Some direct traffic comes from people typing in your website’s URL directly into their browser or from people bookmarking your website and coming back to it at later times.
But it could also result from email marketing, radio advertising, or any other sort of offline advertising work mentioning the website that a firm is doing.
In the case of our client, direct traffic to the website was 28-percent higher in December 2016 than the previous month and 183-percent higher than in December 2015.
And while it’s difficult to know exactly where all of that traffic came from, we do know the source of the majority of the direct traffic. In December 2016, 57-percent of the direct traffic on the website went to a scholarship page.
In part, law firms use scholarship campaigns as a means of getting valuable backlinks to their website from educational institutions, but it’s also a fantastic tool for getting involved in your community.
We put together a bi-annual scholarship campaign for our client, encouraging students to write an essay about the importance of driving without distractions, a noble cause for a personal injury firm.
Through that campaign, our client was able to see significant increases in direct traffic to their site.
Not only did that contribute to boosting their rankings in Google, but it also gave them a fantastic opportunity to engage with their local community while simultaneously getting some top level .edu backlinks.
An increase in mobile traffic | Keeping up with the times
With the transition into a mobile device-dominated world, making sure that your web presence is equally as awesome on a phone as it is on your desktop or laptop is absolutely imperative for law firms.
In fact, Google is starting to favor sites with better mobile performance, which is why it was imperative that we saw an improvement in our client’s mobile traffic. (Spoiler alert: We did.)
In 2012 and 2013, mobile traffic brought between 100 and 200 new visits monthly. In 2014 and 2015, mobile traffic brought between 800 and 1,000 new visits per month. The past 3 months averaged 2,507 visits per month.
That means our client’s mobile traffic is higher than it has ever been, and is a serious source of capturing new leads.
There are a couple of explanations for this.
In part, we made improvements to the speed of the site, knowing that Google is paying close attention to speed when it comes to mobile searches, in particular. There are also a number of other factors that we optimized for mobile to ensure the site didn’t get flagged by Google for poor mobile performance.
In addition, since local search is particularly important for mobile, we optimized all of the business listings across Google and other directories and platforms to ensure that there was no confusion about who – or where – they are located.
An improved conversion rate | The right leads
Perhaps the most important part of any marketing is ensuring that you’re creating opportunities for sales and capitalizing on those opportunities. For attorneys, this means that your marketing efforts are contributing to leads that turn into cases for your firm.
For our client, we saw both an increase in the number of intakes, as well as an increase in the close rate on those intakes.
They received 69 intakes in December 2016, compared to the 43 they received in December 2015. In addition, they increased their close rate from December 2015 to December 2016 from 27-percent to 33-percent.
That’s significant. Our client effectively doubled the amount of cases for their firm in the month of December, from 11 cases in 2015 to 22 in 2016. How exactly did they go about doing this?
Primarily, this improvement can be attributed to the work done to their bio pages and the main landing pages. Attorney bio pages are some of the most read web pages on law firm websites, and are an important part of converting leads into cases.
By improving both the content and the design of these pages, we were able to help our client receive significantly more leads and take on more cases.
While leads can come from anywhere, we were happy to see that our client has been receiving more contacts from the internet and converting those into intakes.
Between calls, chats and emails, we saw the conversion rate of internet contacts into intakes improve from 18-percent in December 2015 to 25-percent in December 2016.
These are the kinds of numbers that we get really excited about, and it’s why we believe an ROI-focused approach to internet marketing is key.
After all, you can talk all day about “vanity metrics” – how many people visited your site, how much engagement you’re getting on social media, even how many contacts and leads you get – but what really matters is gaining new clients.
Without getting to that final end, none of the means matter.
Need some help with your own internet marketing strategy?
While we recognize that these were some pretty stellar results over a short period of time, we were also reminded through this campaign that an all-in, committed approach to digital marketing efforts makes all the difference.
There are good reasons to be hesitant when it comes to internet marketing – maybe you’ve been burned in the past – and it’s understandable to want to “dip your toes in,” as it were, before diving in.
Nevertheless, time and again we have seen that excellent results almost always come about when you make sure that every piece of the puzzle is in place and fitting together.
If you aren’t seeing the results you want from your website, from your SEO, or from your internet marketing presence as a whole, we can help! Our law firm SEO team is passionate about making your web presence the exciting, vibrant business development tool it should be.
Contact us today to set up a meeting!