We do get this question occasionally, but we are including this in our “Should Ask Questions” list because everyone should be thinking about this.
We cannot stress enough how important this question is.
You cannot compare the different areas you are investing your marketing dollars if you are unable to track the campaigns where your prospective clients are being generated.
One of the first questions we ask law firms who sign up for our consultation calls is to define all of the marketing efforts they are currently investing in. We want to know everything; the online marketing efforts, billboards, TV, Yellow Pages, and even direct mailers. Without the full picture, you can’t begin to have productive, sometimes hard-hitting conversations around the return on investment (ROI) for your marketing.
You are probably like most of the firms we talk with—investing your marketing dollars into a few different channels, both online and offline. During our conversations, law firms have a hard time articulating the success of these marketing efforts, which makes it very difficult to know the right horse to back in your race for more clients.
The main reason for this inability to understand the success of one campaign vs. another revolves around poor, incorrect, or non-existent tracking efforts.
In order to properly track your prospects back to a marketing channel, you must do the following:
1. Clearly define all of your marketing efforts.
In order to start tracking where your prospects are coming from, you need to know where your marketing dollars are going. Go through your business credit card statement, Quickbooks, and invoices in emails to catalog all of your marketing efforts.
When going through this effort with us, many law firms find they’re paying for services they didn’t realize they were still signed up for!
Go through your recurring charges and make a list of each service you’re subscribed to and how much you’re paying. If you’re receiving multiple services from one company, such as both SEO an SEM from a marketing agency, be sure to denote the spend in each category. This will help you calculate your ROI later on.
2. Set up Google Analytics
The basis for every decision made in marketing is data. Data is king. Google Analytics gives you access to all of the data you need to make informed decisions for your marketing efforts. Yes, even offline marketing! The best thing is, that Google Analytics is free!
Setting up Google Analytics is easy. (and did we mention free?) For more information on how to set up Google Analytics, you can read more here.
Once you set up the basics of Google Analytics, you can track and get reporting on all kinds of data about your website traffic.
For example, you can see:
- Which devices are people using, mobile, tablet, or desktop.
- What part of the country your traffic is visiting from.
- What the top pages are that people are visiting
- How much time they spend on those pages
- What the source of the website traffic is: Google, social media, paid advertising, etc.
- and much more
That is just for “out of the box” Google Analytics.
But there is one thing you must add to make it relevant to tracking and comparing the success of your campaigns.
The most important addition you should make to Google Analytics is to add Goals, which allow you to track conversions on your website.
By default, you should track form fills, phone calls, live chat, and any other conversion elements on your site.
3. Set up call tracking numbers and web forms
Regardless of the type of marketing effort, you have the ability to set up call tracking numbers for each channel. These call tracking numbers all forward to your main office number but allow you to see which marketing efforts are producing the most phone calls.
Note, if you are adding tracking numbers to online marketing efforts—more specifically your website and directory listings—please ensure that you or your marketing team are doing it properly. Make sure you are using Dynamic Number Insertion on your website in order to avoid issues with your local search. It is imperative that Google and other search engines not get their hands on a tracking number, as this could lead to incorrect information on the web, hurt your local search presence, and can even lead to missed prospects down the road.
You should also have web forms on your website in which you can capture a prospect’s basic information. These web forms can be hooked into Google Analytics, which allow you to view the funnel that a prospect took to fill out a form.
For example, you can see where they came from (like Google, Facebook, Avvo, etc.) which page they landed on, which pages they went to after they landed on your website, and finally what page they were on when they filled out the form.
This not only allows you to identify where the prospect came from, but which content on your website converts at the highest rate, allowing you to direct more traffic from your marketing channels to those higher converting pages.
4. Alter your intake process
Oftentimes, the number one missed step in prospect attribution lies with the intake process itself. This is also the easiest problem to remedy.
Be sure that your office administrators, your intake specialist, and even attorneys themselves ask the prospect where they found you.
It is common for people to simply say, “online” or “your website.” Be sure to ask them specifically where they found you. If they simply said “online,” ask them if it was a Google search, social media profile, Avvo, etc.
It is important to understand that each marketing effort does not live in a vacuum. The reason you diversify your marketing efforts is to be able to not only be front and center in your prospects preferred marketing channel, but to be able to reach them across channels.
If you look at the data on the surface, it may lead you to stop investing in marketing channels that are contributing to your success. This is often called last click (or last channel) attribution. It means giving undo weight to the last click before someone became a lead and ignoring other things that got them there.
For example, let’s say a prospect calls you using one of your tracking numbers. The tracking number says that they found you on Facebook. On the surface, it would look like they are on Facebook, did a search for a legal service, and found you.
However, without proper tracking and proper intake, you could miss out on a couple of important steps.
In this case, the prospect was actually a referral. If you have all your ducks in a row, you would see that the person initially visited your website from Google search, where they saw a lot of great reviews about your firm and then clicked onto the result of the attorney they were referred to. This tells you that the person was searching for a specific attorney, not the law firm. They spent some time on the site, but never called. However, since you have a Facebook pixel installed on the website, you were able to cookie their computer. Your law firm is running Facebook remarketing ads and this person, who had the intention to call you originally but didn’t, saw your ad on Facebook, went to your Facebook page, then called you.
So, what marketing channel was the most important? Was it the word of mouth, Google, the website, or Facebook? The answer is all of them.
When you have a cohesive marketing strategy, a strong brand presence, a well-built website, and paid advertising channels, you will succeed.
Had your attorneys not provided excellent results for a client, this lead would have never searched for you in the first place.
Think about what had to go right for this prospect to contact you:
- Without a strong branded presence, the client will have had a hard time finding you on the web.
- Without some good reviews, a quality website, and a meaningful attorney bio, they might not have thought you were a quality firm and you may have lost that referral.
- Without proper tracking and tagging of the visitors, the prospect may have completely forgotten that they were going to call you and may have resorted to searching for an entirely different attorney on Google.
- Without Facebook remarketing, the client wouldn’t have seen you and would have continued to look at pictures of family members, friends, and puppies.
- Finally, without the tools to put them all together, you would have missed out on one of the critical actual stages of this prospect.
This happens all the time, from paid advertising to organic search optimization, to social media, and even billboards and print advertisements. These all work together to form a cohesive brand.
It is important to track the data about your leads. Some marketing channels will outshine others and you can move investment dollars to the better performing campaigns. If you constantly monitor this and adjust your marketing mix you will be able to grow your leads with the same marketing investment amount.
In our process “The GNGF Way”, setting up tracking is one of the first four things we work on with law firms. Then once you have tracking in place, you can set your goals and test different strategies to see what works best in your local area.
Once you set your goals and initiate your marketing campaigns, you should give the campaign no less than 3 months and up to a year to be able to appropriately compare it’s ROI against other marketing campaigns.
If you have any questions, about tracking your campaigns and measuring your Legal Marketing ROI download our Know Your Legal Marketing ROI guide.
If you have already started and want to know if you have your Google Analytics set up correctly, set up a short phone call with one of our Legal Marketing Experts today.