At Postali, we provide the law firms we work with a detailed marketing analytics report each month. We also realize these reports can be challenging to understand and comprehend. The biggest frustration we often hear is that attorneys struggle to understand the key performance indicators (KPIs) of their marketing efforts.
We believe it’s important for attorneys know basic definitions of marketing metrics and we encourage the lawyers we work with to really understand them. Our most successful clients are very engaged, and each month we discuss performance metrics and how best to optimize the firm’s marketing strategy.
You may receive marketing reports from your law firm’s marketing specialists or agency. Maybe you’re guilty of letting it fall to the bottom of your inbox. Perhaps you try to look at it, but don’t really understand what the numbers all mean. It’s easy to look up a definition of what a marketing metric is, but understanding its implications takes a bit more work.
We encourage all lawyers to engage in an effort to track, measure and understand their digital marketing campaigns.
Here are 5 common metrics you should be tracking and important things to keep in mind:
Definition: The number of unique visits to your law firm’s website.
This metric is simple to understand, but it’s not always black-and-white.
More traffic doesn’t always mean more business, and vice versa. With website traffic, quality is often more important than quantity. Your law firm’s marketing consultants should be able to provide more context on what is contributing to any changes in website traffic and what type of business impact those changes may have.
It’s also important to ensure your website analytics are configured properly. If you are visiting your own firm’s site regularly, you do not want that to affect your data. It’s important to make sure that your website analytics is blocking certain IP addresses, like your office’s IP.
Definition: Actions visitors to your website complete that align with a business goal.
A conversion is a metric that can be customized toward your law firm’s digital marketing goals. Identifying and tracking conversions is one of the best ways to really understand how your firm’s website is performing.
It’s important to understand that your website should have several conversion goals.
For example, completing a contact form or calling your office are two of the most common conversion metrics. There may be others, such as subscribing to your legal blog.
Much like website traffic, it’s important to understand what is contributing to your website conversions, or what may be inhibiting them. For example, you may want to know if there are certain pages on your website where visitors often convert.
It’s also important to understand the relationship between your website’s conversions and your retained cases. It may be the case that many people are calling your law firm after visiting your website, but it’s not translating into new cases. In that case, you would want to assess your intake process or the quality of calls and adjust accordingly.
Definition: The average time a visitor spends on your website.
Many marketers use this metric as a benchmark for success. However, we advise attorneys to understand that while this is a metric you should pay attention to, it’s not the most important indicator of success.
It’s a common misconception that a longer time-on-site means your visitors are more engaged. While that may be the case, it’s not always true.
It may mean a user is having trouble finding the information they need. It may also be a law student using your firm’s website for research. It could be someone who has left your website up on their browser and walked away from their computer.
On the other hand, a potential client may visit your website and easily find the information they need, so they decide to call for a consultation. This is a shorter session, but it’s more likely to lead to new business for your firm.
Our advice is to review this metric, but be cautious about making conclusions and marketing decisions based on time-on-site alone. It should be viewed in conjunction with your traffic and conversion data.
Definition: The placement of your website within search engine’s organic (non-paid) results.
We could write several blog posts about organic rankings. It’s one of the most difficult metrics to understand.
You want to rank #1 for every keyword related to your business. Your SEO consultant or agency likely does, too. However, it’s important to understand that law firm SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, and your rankings are one of many factors to measure your success.
Our advice is to focus more on conversions and SEO traffic and view rankings at an aggregate, monthly view. Your keyword rankings will fluctuate daily, and a well-optimized attorney website will rank for thousands of keywords.
Looking at rankings alone can also be misleading. For example, your website may rank #1 for many keywords, but if they’re not relevant to your business, your rankings will not matter. Your SEO strategy should target highly relevant keywords and aim to gradually increase rankings over time with consistent optimization.
Your SEO agency or consultant should be able to inform you of major fluctuations and the reasoning behind them. It’s important to communicate your business goals and align your organic ranking reporting with those goals in a format you understand.
Definition: A breakdown of your total website traffic by desktop, mobile and tablet traffic.
Do you know how much of your website traffic is from a desktop versus a mobile device? We think this is an under-reported metric, but extremely important to understand.
Understanding this metric can help make sense of almost every other marketing metric you may be looking at. For example, if your average time-on-site has been decreasing, it may be because more of your traffic is shifting to mobile devices, where users tend to have shorter attention spans.
Perhaps you’re seeing a decrease in users filling out contact forms, but an increase in direct calls from your website to your office. This could also be due to increasing mobile traffic, especially if your phone number is clickable on the mobile version of your attorney website.
It’s important to understand not just how much traffic your website receives, but what devices your potential clients are using. This will help you and your marketing partners create content and optimize your firm’s marketing strategy to better meet their needs.
At Postali, we work hard to ensure the attorneys we work with understand every metric we report on. This leads to collaborative, productive discussion and ultimately, helps improve our marketing efforts. If you’d like to discuss your firm’s marketing metrics, let’s talk.