We get it: Potential clients look for law firms to hire online, and they tend to start their hunt with a search engine like Google. But how many actually turn to a search engine, first? And how do the other people end up finding a law firm to hire?
Back in 2014, one study broke the numbers down, and found that web traffic that came from organic search engine results were strong – and were even stronger when the site was run by a company that provided business services.
Study: 51% of Web Traffic Comes from Organic Search Results
The study was pretty simple: Marketing researchers monitored “billions of pieces of content” on numerous websites and tracked how visitors got to them. Did they come from Twitter or Facebook? Did they use a pay-per-click (PPC) advertisement to find the content? Did they use an organic link in the search engine results page (SERP) to get there?
The results were emphatically in favor of organic traffic:
The same study was updated in 2017, which found that organic had grown to 53.3% of traffic. While social media stayed about the same, paid ads picked up a bit of ground.
Organic Even More Important for Sites Advertising Business Services
When the website was promoting a company that provided “business services,” though, organic traffic provided an even higher percentage of the overall visitors to the site. For these sites, which included law firms and legal services, organic results provided 73% of the site’s web traffic.
The Main Takeaway: Content Marketing and SEO are Crucial
Obviously, the major takeaway from this study is that a huge chunk of the visitors to your law firm’s website probably come from your organic marketing efforts. Those visitors only increase the further up the rankings you get. Organically getting near the top of the results page means convincing search engines that your site is both relevant and important for a given search query, and this means filling it with meaningful content that is optimized for search engines.
Another Important but Complicated Takeaway: Social Media
The big loser in the study was the ability of social media to attract visitors to your site. Social media accounted for only 5% of the web traffic, overall.
However, this disappointment needs to be seen with the bigger picture in mind. Social media does more than just bring visitors to your law firm’s website. It also gives you an opportunity to interact with potential clients and to be seen responding to other people and accounts on the platform. The branding opportunities that social media presents should not be overlooked.
Additionally, just because social media does not directly lead to website traffic does not mean that it isn’t contributing indirectly. Potential clients can see or hear about your firm and go through your social media days before actually visiting your website. Remember, the study only monitored how people had reached a given web page, not what they did beforehand.