Like most law firm marketing spend, closing the loop on what’s generating file-opens and what’s not can be difficult to track.
Invariably it’s the case that you can track to an extent that then requires the firm to ultimately advise whether or not the lead converted. In other words, as good as the metrics are, typically, we don’t know at this end if the lead that is directed to your firm becomes a client unless you tell us. But, let’s back-track a little.
What Technology Do Law Firms Need to Integrate to Better Track ROI
Google Analytics, which your firm should be across and should certainly be hard-wired into your firm’s website is a lethal weapon. To get as much out of this platform as possible, you’re going to need to do a deep-dive. Not to mention, this year, Google added a further bunch of analytics tools that you should get across.
But by and large, what you’re going to be able to see in your Analytics account, once set up correctly are the following usual suspects:
Direct: These are visits in which users have navigated directly to the URL by:
Typing in the domain directly to the URL bar
Clicking on a bookmark
Clicking on a link in an email which isn’t tagged using tracking parameters
Clicking on a link in a mobile messaging app
Organic Search: These are visits from organic (unpaid) search results. Month on month and year on year increases to organic traffic represents a strong SEO strategy. The results of this report are determined by the medium of organic traffic such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
Social: Visits from social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)
Email: Traffic from tagged links clicked in email messages, whether mass email marketing or individual messages. You can add a tracking link to the URLs in your emails by using Google’s URL Builder tool. You can further segment this traffic by ‘campaign’ if you have tagged your links. This way you can see which email campaign(s) were the most successful over a period of time
Referral: Traffic coming from users clicking a link from another site, excluding major search engines.
Paid Search: Traffic from PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns such as Google AdWords. You can also link your AdWords campaign to Analytics for more efficient reporting within Analytics, under Acquisition.
Other Traffic: Google defines “other traffic” as traffic coming from online advertising outside of search and display, such as cost-per-view video advertising. Occasionally you will have undefined traffic in this report which GA will eventually filter out to the appropriate channel.
Display: Indicates traffic from display advertising, such as Google AdWords remarketing campaigns.
Within the site content section of Google Analytics, there are four insightful sub-sections to look at: All Pages, Landing Pages, Content Drilldown and Exit Pages.
With All Pages, you will find a list of all the pages on your site that have been viewed during a date range that you specify. If any of your pages are missing, they either haven’t been viewed in the specified date range, or the tracking code isn’t installed properly on that page.
You can break the data down by the page, pageviews, unique page views, time on page, bounce rate, exit rate, entrances or page value.
Pageviews are how many times the page was viewed; this can be the same user multiple times in one session.
Unique Pageviews show how many unique sessions there have been for a page.
Average Time on Page is the average time spent on the page over a chosen date range.
Entrances calculates how many times a page was the entrance page to the website, meaning the first page that the user viewed.
Bounce Rate is a percentage calculated by the number of visits in which a person leaves your website from the landing page without browsing through other pages.
% Exit is the percentage of pageviews that were the final page before a user left the website.
Page Value is calculated using ecommerce, dividing the total ($) value by the number of pageviews for the page, so you can disregard this if you do not offer any products from your law firm’s website.
In Content Drilldown we see the same data as in the All Pages report (with the same user metrics mentioned above), but this time it is broken down by sub-folders.
Notwithstanding these important metrics, there are loads of others that your firm can access once integrated successfully.
If your law firm’s online marketing strategy has aspects of what we call a “funnel methodology” then you’re able to set up conversion goals within your analytics account to track them. For example, let’s say your law firm has a family law funnel sequence that goes like this:
Adword – We Can Help You Get a Prenup Today
Landing Page – Primary Objective – Make Appointment Now (appointment and calendar integration) Once done, the lead is taken to a “thank you” page that we identify as a Prenup Appointment Conversion Goal in Your Analytics
Secondary Objective – Not Sure if a Prenup Will Work? Download Our Free Guide. Once done, the lead is taken to a “thank-you” page that we identify as a Prenup Guide Conversion Goal in Your Analytics
You can, of course, take this further.
Although this function can be measured in Google Analytics, it’s our preference to use our own custom-built call tracking software for law firms. How it works, is that it will assign unique phone numbers to specific pages that you’re wanting to track, and when the caller calls the number, we’re able to track it’s location, length of call, and if necessary, record the call.
Despite forms be great on a law firm’s website, the number of completes are inconsequential to the volume of people who still call.
As much as we love Google Analytics, we aggregate their data through a number of platforms. For example, for clients who don’t want to be inundated with metrics, we find Whatagraph is a good solution. For those firms wanting to be able to see a simple, non-complicated dashboard, Cyfe is pretty good. However, for others who want a comprehensive data-set, we use a range of platforms depending upon objectives.
Closing the Loop
As mentioned at the outset, despite all these things in place, we typically find that the metric we want the most, but rarely get from the law firm, is did you open a file for the lead.
The starting point for your law firm is to determine if you want to do this work in-house or have an agency do this for you, among other things. If you’re the former, Google has a great tutorial series here that will help.
If you’re the latter, this might sound a little ridiculous, but ascertaining at the outset, to what extent you want to be involved in understanding the data-sets. If you want to be across it, then talk to the agency about the type of reporting you would like and in-turn, the data that you may be able to provide to the close the loop. Alternatively, you may be a firm that just wants to know your agency is on top of this, and if file-opens keep on growing from month to month, then all is calm on the farm.