Are Vanity Metrics Hurting Your Law Firm Marketing?

by | May 12, 2017 | Marketing

At LawLytics, we believe that there are certain marketing metrics that can keep attorneys focused on what works online and keep them from being distracted by things that are unlikely to have a measurable effect on their business.

For attorneys who want their marketing to work without wasting time or money, we believe there are three core metrics that matter the most:

  1. Increases in profits;
  2. Increases in revenue;
  3. The replicability of 1 and 2 above.

Unfortunately, there are other metrics that, while used commonly by online legal marketing vendors, can send attorneys down a marketing rabbit hole that can confuse them about what actually works to build their business.

Some of the most common metrics used to measure the growth of a law firm’s marketing are:

  • “Grades” or “Scores”
  • “Hits”
  • “Clicks”
  • “Visits”
  • “Rank”

These metrics are common, but they rarely have much real meaning for law firms in terms of measuring growth.

To learn more about how marketing-speak can set your firm’s marketing on the wrong course, read our comprehensive piece on Law Firm SEO.

The trouble with law firm website “grades”

If you’ve received a cold call or email from a law firm marketing company that claims your law firm website isn’t “scoring” well, or that there’s something “wrong” with your site, then you may be familiar with the first term on this list.

There are hundreds of different “scores” available from marketing vendors that claim to grade the success of a website. A lot of times, these “grades” come with SEO reports. Often, these reports are available for any marketing person to buy and whitelabel.

To learn more about these reports, read Should Attorneys Rely On The Data In Law Firm SEO Reports?

As lawyers, we’re used to getting pretty good grades, so when we find out that we’re getting a C-, or a D+, or even an A-, it makes us uneasy,” says LawLytics CEO & Attorney Dan Jaffe.

But, without all of the information about your firm, your practice, your client base, your referral base, your market dynamics, external forces that drive public awareness…without having access to the actual intelligence about the actual business that interacts with your law firm’s website, these reports are simply a number, even if they are produced by an algorithm.”

Do hits, clicks, and visits transform into business for your law firm?

“Hits,” “clicks,” and “visits” are another way that marketers often measure their own effectiveness.

The problem is, these metrics don’t always translate into increased profits and revenue for your law firm. Whether you’re talking about the effectiveness of your efforts and expenses with PPC, or with organic visits to your law firm website and blog, traffic for the sake of traffic is meaningless.

If the people who click on your website are not potential clients, or are accidental clicks, or your competitors, that’s not going to move the needle for your law firm. (And, where PPC is concerned, those hits, clicks, and visits can cost you a lot of money with little or nothing to show for it. For an in-depth look at the industry works, see our PPC advertising for lawyers webinar.)

It doesn’t matter how many people visit your site if those people are not your intended audience. If a thousand people visit your website and not one of them is a viable potential client, what do those visits do to increase your law firm’s profits? (And, if a marketing activity doesn’t increase your law firm’s profits, why do it?)

This idea applies to Facebook “likes” and Twitter “followers” as well. If these individuals are not your intended audience and don’t produce business for your firm, it doesn’t matter how many people “like” you or “follow” you if nothing measurable comes as a result. For more on this, see our social media for lawyers webinar.

“Arguing that these metrics matter is like arguing for the admission of hearsay evidence,” Jaffe says. “In context they could be relevant, but it’s incumbent upon you to hold yourself accountable for the discipline of properly qualifying them in the context of the ROI they produce.”

Does ranking at “the top of Google” matter for attorneys?

We often hear from attorneys that they want to rank at the “top” of Google. Unfortunately, the “top of Google” is a mythical place.

Many potential clients don’t search for attorneys using basic keyword phrases (think, “DUI Attorney Los Angeles”).

But let’s use that basic keyword phrase to demonstrate why there is no such thing as the top of Google:

If you search for “DUI Attorney Los Angeles”, the results you’ll receive will be different based on:

  • The search engine you use
  • The day you search
  • The location you search from
  • The browser you’re using
  • The device you’re searching from

…among other factors.

Just about the only thing that’s the same about any search conducted is that they’re all going to be different based on the above factors.

To learn more about how your potential clients use search engines to find you, read Law Firm SEO – The Simple Truth That Will Save You Money

Yet, that hasn’t stopped lots of marketers who encourage attorneys to focus on getting to “the top of Google.”

Many attorneys who believe they need to reach “the top” in order to be successful will spend their time, money, and energy to do so. What they often discover is that this strategy doesn’t support the three metrics that attorneys should be focused on: an increase in profits, an increase in revenue, and the ability to replicate those results.

Turn your law firm website into an appreciating asset with LawLytics.

Attorneys who take the time to learn about what works online can free themselves from empty sales talk and turn their marketing from an expense into an asset that generates perpetual business with little additional expense.

To start and grow your firm’s web presence the right way, you’ll need to know what works to build a solid foundation that attracts potential clients and generates revenue for your firm without wasting time or money.

If you’re ready to use a system that makes online marketing easy, LawLytics is here to help you build a sustainable and effective web presence. Call us at 800-713-0161 or schedule our call.

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