We’re a quarter of the way through 2022, making this a great time to check in with your current marketing goals and make any necessary adjustments or optimizations to your current strategy to finish the year strong.
There are a few key elements of a good marketing audit that help to keep attorneys on track to achieving their marketing goals. We will outline the metrics to measure, detail how to audit your marketing plan effectively, and explain how to course-correct your plan if you have found yourself off track.
Elements of a good marketing audit
Is Your Audit Comprehensive?
One of the first things attorneys need to ask themselves when auditing their current marketing strategy includes: Is my plan comprehensive? Applying a holistic look to your marketing strategy is the best way to uncover opportunities by discovering previous unknown areas of strength in your plan. It is much easier to make broader connections when looking at the bigger picture of your data, rather than focusing on the data of one channel or platform.
Is Your Audit Systematic?
Successful marketing audits are systematic in nature. They have both order and efficiency and account for each environment, principle, strategy, and operation in your marketing plan. By laying out each key player in your marketing strategy, you’re able to save time and achieve efficiency in your marketing audit. Identify the how, who, roles, responsibilities, and contributions for each player to effectively audit your current marketing strategy.
Are You Auditing on a Regular Basis?
While this may be your first marketing audit of the year, it shouldn’t be the last. By conducting regular marketing audits, your firm will be able to easily identify problem areas early on as well as uncover successful strategies.
Specific marketing metrics to measure
A good marketing audit is data-driven, but not all available data will be relevant to your marketing goals. By focusing on specific marketing metrics, you will be able to complete your audit more quickly and efficiently to maximize your time for making optimizations.
Brand reputation and consistency
Consistency is key to maintaining your firm’s brand reputation for your digital presence. It’s important to apply tone of voice consistently throughout your firm’s marketing. For example, your website’s homepage may have first-person language (“We’ll take care of you”) that doesn’t mirror the point of view of your attorney bio (“Attorney John Smith is passionate about…”). Whatever point of view you choose, keep this consistent throughout your messaging on your website. This detail, although small, can make a difference to a potential client when browsing your firm’s website.
Another simple but effective way to stay consistent in your firm’s marketing is to make sure you have a cohesive branding package for images, colors, graphics, logo, and fonts throughout your website and other platforms. By keeping your branding well-organized, you are working to build your firm’s brand awareness which will make it easier for potential clients to keep you top of mind when they need an attorney for themselves or someone they know.
In addition to messaging and consistent branding, your website should provide a good user experience. Overall, this can be measured by the user friendliness of your website and the quality of your content. Potential clients visit your firm’s website with the intent of finding answers to their legal questions.
A good website will answer these questions and eventually guide potential clients to a convenient way to get in touch with your firm. If you’re talking about your firm in your digital marketing, use it as an opportunity to explain ways your firm can help with the legal issues your potential clients face. It’s also useful to provide case results and client testimonials to make it easy for potential clients to determine if your firm is a good fit for them. As always, be sure to provide several easy ways to contact your firm with click-to-call numbers or quick contact forms and have a reliable system for replying to missed calls or messages.
The second marketing metric your firm should be tracking is the quality of your current marketing. Start by considering the assets you own and control versus the assets you don’t.
A majority of your potential clients will conduct some degree of online research about you and your firm before making the decision to hire you. This makes having an informative, client-friendly website key to landing new clients, as this is most likely the first touchpoint they will make with your firm. Second, determine the quality of your marketing by evaluating if your firm’s website effectively addresses the needs of your potential clients. Trust is built with potential clients by consistently delivering informative content throughout your website, from services to practice areas, client testimonials, case results, and more. Building trust is also essential to your website’s visibility on Google, which will rank your web pages higher in search results if it is confident that your content is a good match for relevant queries.
Good marketing quality also reflects clear messaging and communication that highlights your firm’s value proposition. Your website needs to answer the “why” for potential clients when they’re deciding if you’re the best fit for their legal issue. In many instances, effective storytelling can make the difference for a potential client and convert more leads for your firm.
Finally, audit your firm’s marketing quality by asking yourself: “Am I providing solutions to my potential clients’ pain points with my marketing?” Your potential clients are dealing with legal issues that are likely causing them stress and confusion. They don’t want to have to do a lot of online research before making a confident decision in who to hire for representation. Make the choice easy for your potential clients by providing them with plenty of answers and resources on your website that show your competence and expertise as an attorney.
Leads and conversions
Tracking your leads and conversions is one of the easiest ways to determine if your current marketing strategy is on track. A successful conversion can look different depending on the goals you have for your marketing. For example, a successful conversion may be driving more visitors from social media to your website, or a person who downloads an ebook from your website, or someone who submits a contact form. To make tracking these metrics easier for your firm, assign a clear definition of “conversion” to each channel.
Beyond the numbers, there are also a few important elements to help audit your leads and conversion efforts. Having clear value propositions and calls-to-action will help you maximize the business driven to your firm. Click-to-call phone numbers and contact forms throughout your website help guide potential clients to a way to get in touch. If your practice area – such as estate planning or tax law – doesn’t always require immediate action from potential clients, having a system for nurturing leads can help build the necessary trust with your potential client that will lead them to hire you at a later point.
Potential clients won’t always convert to paying clients immediately. So, it’s helpful to have several touch points that can address the needs of your potential clients throughout your journey. Assess if your website has content that is relevant to the various stages your potential clients experience over time. Also ask yourself if you’re connecting with clients on the right channels or platforms. Be wary of spreading your marketing efforts too thin across multiple channels. An effective audit will uncover where your ideal clients are to help you make decisions about where to direct your efforts and make your website a predictable client-generating tool for your firm.
“Engagement” can often be a buzzword when it comes to marketing strategy, but what does this look like for lawyers? Engagement is about developing trust and helping potential clients establish a relationship with your brand. While other industries may prioritize clicks, hits, and visits to measure their marketing success, getting new clients is the most important measure of success for attorneys. It’s best to target your ideal client in your local market so that you’re attracting viable leads and not wading through a large volume of unqualified leads.
Do you find yourself talking mostly with people who need help with a legal service you don’t offer, or have a lot of calls from potential clients outside your typical service area? These may be red flags that something is off with your marketing strategy.
Remember that the purpose of your website is to easily communicate who you are and who you help while providing valuable information that helps convert visitors into paying clients. Determine if your brand is resonating with potential new clients and if you’re effectively addressing their pain points by tracking leads and seeing what they engage with on your website and other marketing channels. If your data reflects that you are consistently getting calls from viable, relevant, and local potential clients, your marketing strategy is most effective for your firm.
How to audit effectively
To audit your firm’s marketing progress for 2022, first create an inventory of your assets. Take a deeper look at each of your assets to determine their value as well as strong and weak points. Next, if you haven’t already done so, map out your firm’s marketing goals and objectives for the year. These should align with your audit to keep it focused and useful.
Gather data about your firm’s performance. This includes data for the metrics such as brand reputation, marketing quality, leads and conversions, nurturing opportunities, and engagement. Keep your work to a minimum by only looking back at six months of data. This works to give you a clear picture of your strengths and pain points without having to delve too far into past data.
Compare this data to your marketing goals and objectives. You should be able to optimize from there and make any decisions on where you may need to course-correct your strategy.
How to course-correct your marketing plan
If you’re struggling to consistently target your ideal client or convert your leads, it may be time to take another look at your marketing strategy. Once you have completed a comprehensive audit of your marketing plan, your next step is to figure out where and how you can optimize to effectively grow your business.
Understand your potential clients’ behavior
To target your ideal client, first look at their typical behavior. Consider how your clients typically find you. You may discover that a majority of your leads originate from a Google search that directed them to your firm’s website. If that’s the case, remember that Google suggested your website in search results because it found your website’s content to be the best match to a particular query. This is helpful to know, but having insight into what they’re searching is even more valuable to course-correcting your marketing plan.
It is likely your potential new clients are doing some independent research on their legal issue through search engines before they know or decide to reach out to an attorney. To better predict what your potential clients are searching, think of what is typically asked in a consult. For example, a personal injury lawyer may often hear: “What are my options if I was in an accident with an uninsured driver?” Questions such as these tend to repeat themselves and make it easier to organize and write your website content.
Lawyers can also turn to Google’s Related Searches feature to reveal more insight into the search behavior of their potential clients. These appear at the bottom of search results on Google and are generated based on terms or keywords that relate to your search. You may find several new iterations of a single search that can help diversify your messaging. Take some time to Google a few of your commonly asked questions to better understand the search behavior of your potential clients and adjust your marketing accordingly.
Address the needs of your potential clients
For most potential clients, these searches are going to go beyond their location plus your practice areas. Rather, these searches will typically be longer and in question format. If your website is answering these types of questions, it’s more likely your website will show up in local search results for these types of queries. Understanding the intent of these searches but also addressing these questions with your firm’s website is really useful to your potential clients and makes your website much more comprehensive to visitors.
Your firm’s website is always going to be the pillar of your marketing efforts. Additional marketing modalities you pursue should be both easy and visible to your potential clients and always lead back to your website.
LawLytics makes having a high-performing website easy because we help you cater to your potential clients and deliver what they’re looking for without needing any sort of technical or marketing background. Take control of your website and also create the information and content that converts more leads in your local marketing. If you’re looking for a new website or your current website isn’t performing how you need it to, schedule a 20-minute interactive demo with our team.