Lawyer Marketing & Web Traffic Trends
Today, marketing entails much more than it used to. Long gone are the days where you can place an ad in the local newspaper and expect your phone to start ringing off the hook. Instead, local newspaper advertisement are one of the least effective ways at marketing your legal practice.
Instead, like most of the world, the most effective ways of marketing your business have all moved online. Offline marketing still works, however, results are typically experienced when coupled with an effective online marketing strategy.
Search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, we hear these all the time but which is the best starting point for someone just getting their feet wet with digital marketing?
Oddly enough, they all are. Online marketing is most effective when each aspect is used cohesively with each. Like a machine each digital marketing element is a gear that keeps the entire machine running smoothly.
So when it comes to marketing your law firm website, consider each type of marketing. In terms of tracking the success of your online marketing campaigns, what’s the best way to go about that?
Here are three main ways to monitor web traffic to your law firm website:
1. Visits & Page Views
This is the first in a series of articles about your FindLaw Traffic Reports. This series will introduce you to the nomenclature and accurate interpretation of traffic data so that your law firm’s website can make the greatest contribution possible to the marketing of your law practice.
If your law firm’s website is a FirmSite from FindLaw, you have access to one of the very best web-traffic monitoring systems available. The FindLaw Traffic Reporting System is powered by WebSideStory, an industry pioneer and leading provider of web analytics software.
Your traffic reports give you information in real time and are available 24/7. To log on to your traffic reports, please go to http://reports.findlaw.com. You will be prompted to enter your account number, username and password.
Once you have logged on to the reporting system, you will notice several navigation buttons on the left-hand side. Each one of these navigation buttons allows you to view several different reports. Today I am going to talk about two of these reports Visits and Page Views, both of which are located under the Traffic navigation button.
- Visits – A visit is recorded when someone visits your website.
- Page Views – A page view, as the name implies, occurs each time a visitor views a page on your site.
Ideally, your website should receive multiple page views during each visit.
At a minimum, you should expect to record at least two page views for each visit to your website. If the number of page views is less than double the number of visits, it may indicate that your home page should be modified to provide a more compelling design or content for visitors to browse. Or, depending on your marketing goals, it may show that your homepage is doing an effective job of screening out unwanted prospects.
If your website’s page views are increasing over time, it may be due to more visitors, more pages viewed per visit, or both. Whatever the cause, an increase in page views usually means that you are doing things right. If your site’s page views are decreasing, you should examine other statistics to determine the cause and then respond accordingly.
You may want to expand the exposure elements of your marketing to increase traffic to your site, or consider adding fresh content or updating the design to maintain the interest of returning/new visitors.
2. Top Paths & Most Requested Pages
This is the second in a series of articles about FindLaw Traffic Reports. This series introduces you to the nomenclature and interpretation of traffic data so that your law firm’s website can make the greatest possible contribution to the marketing of your law practice.
If your law firm’s website is a FirmSite from FindLaw, you have access to one of the very best web-traffic monitoring systems available. The FindLaw Traffic Reporting System gives you information in real time and is available 24/7.
To log in to your traffic reports, go to http://reports.findlaw.com. You will be prompted to enter your account number, username and password.* Once you have logged in, you will notice several navigation buttons on the left-hand side. Each one of these navigation buttons allows you to view several different reports.
In my last article, I talked about Page Views & Visits. Today I will speak to you about Top Paths and Most Requested Pages. Top Paths is located under the “Navigation” navigation button, and Most Requested Pages is located under the “Pages” navigation button.
- Top Paths – the most frequent routes visitors take through your website.
- Most Requested Pages – the most frequently viewed pages of your website.
Would you like to see your site’s potential strengths and weaknesses? The Most Requested Pages statistic allows you to do this. As the name suggests, the Most Requested Pages report shows you which pages the visitors to your site go to most often. If there are certain pages on your site where you would like to draw more traffic, a careful look at the pages that are already popular may provide guidance as to what modifications will be successful.
The success of a page may be due to the ease of navigation, or the content, depending on what is relevant to you’re your visitors may be searching for.
You may also want to evaluate your website’s Top Paths for further insight into what is working well on your site and why.
The Top Paths statistic allows you to walk in your visitors’ shoes. If your visitors have one more commonly followed path it may be due to the subject matter, the quality of the content, or the clarity of the navigation. If there are sections of the website that are less traveled or visited, you might want to consider refreshing your content or updating your design to encourage these visitors to visit the less traveled sections.
Please contact one of our Account Managers if you need your account #, username, and password.
In next month’s issue of Perspectives Update, you’ll learn about three more important traffic reports, Referring URLs, Search Engines and Search Keywords.
3. Search Engines & Search Keywords
This is the third in a series of articles about FindLaw Traffic Reports. This series introduces you to the nomenclature and interpretation of traffic data so that your law firm’s website can make the greatest possible contribution to the marketing of your law practice.
In my last article, I talked about the Top Paths & Most Requested Pages reports. Today I will speak to you about Referring URLs, Search Engines and Search Keywords.
To log in to your traffic reports, go to http://reports.findlaw.com. You will be prompted to enter your account number, username and password.
Once you have logged in, you will notice several navigation buttons on the left-hand side. Each one of these navigation buttons allows you to view several different reports. Referring URLs, Search Engines and Search Keywords are all located under the “Referrers” navigation button.
- Referring URLs — measures the top URLs that have referred visitors to your website.
- Search Engines — lists the top search engines that have referred visitors to your website.
- Search Keywords — lists the most popular keywords and keyword phrases used by visitors to find your website.
When analyzing the effectiveness of your online marketing activity, there are at least two questions you need to ask yourself.
How are your visitors getting to your site?
The Referring URLs statistic tells you which sites are consistently delivering visitors to your site. For example, a referral from http://pview.findlaw.com would be a visitor from your firm or attorney profiles on Findlaw.com.
Similar to the Referring URLs metric, the Search Engines report shows us the number of visits coming from specific search engines, such as Google, Yahoo or MSN.
Are your visitors using the search phrases you expect?
The Search Keywords statistic shows you what terms and phrases your visitors are typing into the search engines to find your site. Analyzing this report can be very helpful in further defining a search engine strategy.
For example, if an area of practice isn’t attracting the visitors that you would like, you might need to use different keywords or keyword phrases in the content to make it easier for people to find your site.
Let us say that your practice specializes in serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents. But experience has shown you that visitors to your site are just as likely to be victims of slip-and-fall accidents or construction or workplace accidents.
A look at your Search Keywords traffic report indicates that the words “injury” and “accident” draw the majority of visitors. Upon examination of the content on your site, you see that various forms of these two words appear frequently, as does the phrase “motor vehicle.”
Yet commonly used terms such as “car accident,” “car crash,” “truck accident,” etc., are few and far between on your site. This suggests that you may want to refresh your content to add more of the keywords and keyword phrases that will attract the specific accident victims that you seek.
I hope this series of articles has helped you better understand online traffic reporting software and how you can achieve a more effective web presence. If you have any questions, please contact Marqui Managment (888-384-9424) for more information and one of our Business Development Managers will be able to further assist you.