Not long ago, legal marketing looked something like this: You took out a Yellow Pages listing. You used print ads. You put up a website. And then you hoped they would work together to fortify your brand and bring in new business. You got some new clients, but chances are good that you didn’t always know how they found your firm.
By today’s standards, that all seems, well, dated when you consider what’s at your disposal now: blogs, social media, Web conversion tools and the like. And yet many law firms still use a scattershot approach when it comes to Internet marketing.
That’s where Web analytics can help.
Web analytics defined
In its most basic form, Web analytics refers to tools that keep track of your site visitors. Yes, they record Web “hits,” or overall visits to your website. But hits are only part of the picture — and actually not the most relevant factor to consider. Even basic analytics tools can provide far more useful information, including:
- total number of visitors for specific periods (monthly, daily, hourly, etc.).
- how visitors arrive at your site (e.g., from search engines, other websites, social media sites, etc.).
- which site pages get the most traffic.
- when visitors leave your site.
Rather than forcing you to rely on hunches and hope, an analytics package provides tangible data that allows you to make informed decisions. For example, if the majority of your visitors flock to one of your practice area pages, it might be a clue to invest more in that niche. If few people are reading your blog, it might be time to change its focus or display it more prominently on your home page.
Analytics programs aren’t only for websites, either. There are also programs that can track and examine activity and traffic on every element of your online activity. And there are integrated, dashboard-style options that can get quite sophisticated.
Some provide real-time details on your site’s current users—what pages each person is currently viewing, how long they’ve been on the site and more. Others allow you to write and schedule posts on your blog(s) and social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn while also providing at-a-glance details on your connections. Top-of-the line packages can incorporate all of the above and provide details on potential clients who contact your firm via phone, email or online chat.
In short, not all analytics programs are created equal. On one end, there are free tools such as Google Analytics that provide basic information (and which can be customized to provide more granular details, depending on your time and ability). Looking for a more comprehensive solution? Consider investing in a dashboard that offers a more comprehensive range of data options — and which is also more user friendly.
The bottom line: Data can be your ally. Take advantage of it and you can fine-tune your Internet marketing efforts. Ignore it, and you’re back to relying on hunches and hope.
If you would like to learn more about how FindLaw can help with Web analytics solutions, please contact us for a free legal marketing consultation.