You’ve cut the ribbon on your law firm’s website and started investing in marketing your firm online. Several landing pages on your site describe your firm’s practice areas, and your contact page is up and running. However, you’re far from the top of the rankings on Google, so you started keeping a legal blog to help on the search engine optimization (SEO) front. You’ve even managed to post regularly for a couple of months.
Now comes the question: Is this blog working? It takes up your energy, attention, and time. But, like most kinds of marketing, it’s hard to tell if it’s actually bringing people into your office.
There are numerous analytics that will give discreet signs about how well your blog is performing. However, not one of them is the magical talisman on which to hang the success or failure of your blogging efforts. In fact, nearly all of them overlay each other, to some extent, relying on some force outside of your blog for a good score. Nevertheless, keeping an eye on them is useful for determining if your legal blog is working or not.
Your Firm’s Bottom Line
This might go without saying, but it’s helpful to keep it in mind: You put money into online marketing to get it back (plus more) when new clients knock on your door, and legal blogging is, at its heart, online marketing. Keep track of the expenses associated with your blog and subtract them from the increase in business you’ve had since starting it. It’s kind of what online marketing is all about.
Will this put an exact dollar amount on the value of your blog to your firm? Of course not – there are countless variables other than your legal blog that can impact this calculation. But if the final number is in the positives, you’re doing alright. If it’s in the negatives, then something’s not working, and it might be your legal blog.
There are several reasons to maintain a legal blog. If you’re doing it mainly for the SEO benefits, then watching your ranking on a regular basis is one of the best ways to track the impact – on a macro level – of your legal blog. This is especially true if the rest of your website is largely static, and the only new content being produced is in your legal blog. Additionally, improvements in your ranking will likely correlate with increases in your firm’s bottom line – a higher ranking means more people click on your site which means (provided you have at least an adequate conversion rate) more paying clients.
The importance of using your ranking as a metric for your legal blog’s effectiveness showcases the value of keywords, and the fact that keywords are not, in fact, dead in the online marketing world. If keywords were useless, as some online marketers say they are, what search queries do you use as benchmarks for your online ranking?
A word of warning: Just like using your firm’s bottom line as a metric, using your search engine ranking is also imperfect for judging a legal blog. There are lots of factors that go into a site’s ranking. Legal blogging can help this ranking, but can also hurt if not done right. For example, your ranking might be hurt by a copyright penalty from an image on one of your blog posts. Additionally, just like in law school, rankings on search engines are curved, so your ranking is also largely dependent on how well your competitors are doing.
Even if you site ranks well, that does not necessarily mean that you’re winning the online marketing game: Sites that rank well but convert poorly won’t translate into increased business and a growth in your firm’s bottom line.
Overall Website Traffic
Because your blog is hosted on your law firm’s domain (doing otherwise is silly), and because one of the main factors in a site’s ranking is the web traffic is generates, monitoring your site’s page hits is a good way of seeing your legal blog at work. Even if you have a terrible conversion rate, a high volume of visitors can make up for it, and a productive legal blog will help.
In addition to logging your site’s overall visitor count, watching how many people look at your blog posts is useful, too. It will help differentiate the visitors who are seeking out your blog from those that are likely just going to your site because of its SEO ranking, helping you separate the direct from the indirect benefits of your blogging efforts.
Additionally, watching which blog posts perform well can help you better gauge your audience, giving you the information you need to write more posts that they want, attract more viewers, and improve your rankings through the resulting increase in traffic.
Referral Sources for Blog and Website Visits
Finally, keeping an eye on where your site’s viewers are coming from gives you hard data on where to focus or improve your marketing efforts. If you’re running a general criminal defense firm and most of your site’s viewers are clicking on your site from Google searches related to DUI-defense, then you can choose to build on that momentum by adding more and more DUI-related content or, if you’d rather get into white collar defense, take the hint and pull back on the drunk driving material.
Professional Legal Bloggers at Myers Freelance
Doing all of this takes the time that you could better be spending elsewhere and the online marketing expertise that they did not teach in law school. The professional legal bloggers at Myers Freelance can help. Contact us online to get started with your firm’s legal blog.