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How to Maximize SEO ROI

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has evolved from a mysterious buzz phrase that savvy business owners used to seek out to be cutting-edge results, to an everyday effort used by most website owners. Today it has been formulated into a-la-carte programs offered by all sorts of marketing agencies (both reputable and not-so reputable), but how do you know what you are paying for and whether it is returning an acceptable Return on Investment (ROI)?

Your SEO program should be aligned with your business goals. You may have received a negative review that you want to push down in search results, you may have competition that you want to outrank, or you may just be a law firm owner who wants more clients. Whatever your goals are for your SEO program, they should be identified from the beginning so you can define success.

A typical law firm’s goal for a website is to rank on the first page for a specific set of keywords that produce a high volume of searches. For example, “personal injury attorney” or “criminal defense attorney”. Ranking highly for these keyword phrases will be difficult because they are so generic and because the sites that typically rank at the top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) for these keyword phrases are often nationally recognized legal directories like findlaw.com or lawyers.com. Still, if you do your best to at least improve your rankings for that keyword, say from the fourth page (position 35) to the second page (position 15), it is likely that you will also improve for other keywords even more significantly. For example, “personal injury attorney in Mobile, AL” or “criminal defense attorney in my area”.

If no business goals are clearly defined the default goal is to increase overall organic traffic. This is a good goal to have because it also produces good return on investment since organic traffic often turns into conversions. These people may watch a video, call the firm, fill out a form, ask a question, etc.

Still, it is beneficial to have clear goals so that you can target your traffic increases for one lucrative segment of your prospective clients. Sometimes an agency will make recommendations on which keywords to target based on current rankings of the website. At Sundown Legal Marketing, we do this for our clients through the use of a tool called SEMRush. This process is outlined in our article on “Striking Distance Keywords”.

Once keywords are identified, and SEO work has been done to the website, you are ready to start reviewing results. Any improvement in ranking has value even if it is just an incremental change (i.e. moving from page 4, position 38, to page 2, position 12). However, value is in the eye of the beholder, so how much you should pay per keyword at this stage is difficult to say.

However, once the keywords move into the top 10, or page 1, then you can very easily place a dollar value on the keyword because you can compare it to the cost of purchasing a Google ad for that keyword.

To calculate the value of a keyword, look up the average volume for that keyword by utilizing a third party tool (we use SEMRush), then multiply that by a typical Click Through Rate (CTR) of 2%, then multiply that by the average cost of that keyword according to the Google Keyword Planner. So if SEMRush says the keyword receives 2,900 monthly visits, and the Keyword Planner says your keyword costs $5/click, and you factor an industry standard 2% CTR, then a keyword that is showing your website organically in the top 10 spots could be worth up to $290 per month. You could take a little bit of value off each position as it goes down. For example, $290 for position 1; $260 for position 2, and so on.

This is all just to put a value on a keyword. Doing things like this help us determine the return on investment of our SEO programs. It is essentially the method that paid search managers use and it is a way to help you understand where your money is going when you have a Digital Marketing campaign.

At Sundown Legal Marketing we like to take the smoke and mirrors out of our campaigns and be as transparent as we can. If you are unhappy with the service your current marketing agency is providing, or feel that they are not returning an acceptable ROI, please call us for a free initial consultation! Our team of legal marketing experts is ready to help you craft an internet marketing campaign for your law firm. We can be reached at (800) 864-1764 or through our website contact form.

Your website…. it’s your baby! It’s a living breathing thing. You invest your time and money into having it designed and developed to spotlight your firm and help you achieve greatness. Or, so you thought….You launch your pride & joy and wait for your new clients to break down your door. So, your phone begins to ring, occasionally.

Things improve slightly, over time, as you invest more and more time on Search Engine Optimization, blogging and whatever else the latest article implores you to do. You add content, additional pages, more blog posts. You think you’ve done all you can.

Well, maybe you haven’t. The firms with the highest conversion rates have a little trick that works in every situation, live chat!

It’s no secret, our society today is accustomed to instant gratification, in fact most of us demand it. When someone visits your site, you have less than 3 seconds to give them a reason to stay and really check out your site. If that’s not pressure, I don’t know what is.

Many studies have been done investigating why website visitors (potential clients) interact with certain websites more or longer than others. The top two elements are engaging content and ease of use.

One engaging element that is extremely easy to use is live chat.  A live chat tool allows website visitors to communicate with you and your firm instantaneously.  In this world of texting and social media, that is what more and more people want.

A recent study done by Forrester Research showed that 44% of online consumers say that having questions answered by a live person, while on a website, is one of the most important features a web site can offer (aside from videos, which is a topic of another discussion).

Nearly half of online consumers want to engage with you and they want to do it now!

Another compelling reason and maybe the most important reason to consider live chat for your website, is to keep pace with your competitors. We recently completed a study, reviewing the sites of the top injury firms across the country. The study reviewed over 1,000 sites in the top 100 markets across the United States. Over 89% of those top marketing firms employed some type of live chat tool. Potential clients want it, your competitor’s offer it and you need to have it.

So, we’ve helped you decide you need a chat program. Now what? We have the answer – LegalChatNow. Why LegalChatNow? Because it is a live chat product that is extremely unique in a crowded and sometimes boring marketplace.

What makes Legal Chat Now different?

It sends chats to your phone, utilizing text functionality (SMS), while a potential client is on your site. Don’t wait to get a copy of the conversation between the client and an operator, after it has taken place. LegalChatNow allows for real time communication between a website visitor and up to four members of your firm, simultaneously, utilizing a technology that you use every day.

LegalChatNow is so simple:

1. A website visitor clicks on the chat box on your website.
2. You and three other members of your firm are instantly made aware of their presence.
3. You have the option of engaging with the potential client immediately or you can wait until they’ve completed answering the customized intake questions that you created.
4. Once you’ve determined there is value, you can instantly engage with the potential client to schedule a phone conference or a face to face meeting.
5. You can take advantage of this powerful tool anywhere in the world. As long as you have cell phone service, you are connected to your website.

Why is this important to you?

LegalChatNow allows you to capture a potential client before they disengage from your website and move on to a competitor’s website. And, in a world of instant gratification, this is one of the most important things you can do for your practice.

You’ve invested a great deal of time, effort and money into your website and web presence. Why not utilize every tool at your disposal to secure potential clients when they visit your website. Give LegalChatNow a try and start converting website visitors into clients today.

Any questions, click on this link to chat with me NOW, via LegalChatNow.

Check out our website at www.legalchatnow.com or call at (800) 649-1764.

So…… you’ve invested all this money into a brand new website, Search Engine Optimization, local search, Pay Per Click and all manner of things that are supposed to increase your caseload. You’ve seen the traffic reports and they look great, but your phone still isn’t ringing.

Well, you’re not alone. That is the concern, by far, that most law firms have with their internet marketing program. Let’s be honest, if your investment paid 10 times what it cost you would probably be satisfied. In fact, you would probably be satisfied with 3-5 times your investment.  And, there are a lot of law firms that would like to just stop losing money on their internet marketing program.

That is what I would like to discuss with you today. After 14 years of listening to law firms discuss their internet marketing programs, examining the highs and lows, I have come up with a few tips that could really help.  Here are the Top 5 simple steps you can make to your website that will get you more cases.

Step #5 – Make your website inviting and colorful

Appearance means a lot. When you look at someone getting out of a $40,000 car your first instinct is to assume the person is successful and intelligent, unless they are wearing a valet uniform, of course.  On the flip side, the most successful person you may ever meet could exit a fixer upper (which could simply be a restoration project of their first car) and you would assume that was all they could afford and were probably not successful.

It is human nature to be attracted to people or things that make us feel better about ourselves and success is one of those factors.  Your website should look successful. Use high quality pictures, graphics that depict your practice areas and success stories, right on the home page.

Step #4 – Don’t be afraid to advertise your success

Potential clients are going to be attracted to your success, so show it. Talk about the types of cases your firm has one and make it easy for them to find them.  Instead of mentioning a lot of midsize verdicts and settlements, combine them together to say “Our firm has successfully negotiated more than 20 Million dollars for our client’s in the past 5 years. Let us see what we can do for you.”  That statement alone may drive more phone calls.  Potential clients want to hire a winner.

Step #3 – Display your contact information prominently on your home page

Your Firm phone number, Live Chat, e-mail addresses must be up front and obvious on your website. They’re interested in talking to you, so why make it hard. They most likely had to work hard to find your website in the first place, so make it easy for them to contact you. They want to communicate with someone and the more quickly that someone is you, the better!

Step #2 – Have a good marketing message

Your marketing message is critical and must be on the top half of the home page.  An example of a good message is – We help Accident Victims. Period.” Or “Big Firm Resources, Small Firm Approach to Our Clients.  People want to know who you are and what you are about. Remember, you have less than 4 seconds to get their attention and encourage them to read on. So, be bold!

Step #1 – Have a live chat program

This could end up being the most important thing you could do, especially since you can actually do it today. Changes to your website can sometimes take a while.

People don’t visit law firm websites because they are looking to learn about the law. People visit law firm websites because they have a problem and it is probably one of the most stressful times in their lives.

You may not know it, but law firms and attorneys themselves, can be very intimidating to the general public. Your education, your success and your “don’t back down” attitude can make even the most polished individuals a little nervous, when they are feeling vulnerable.

A phone call can be a scary thought. That is where live chat programs have taken law firm marketing to the next level. Some studies claim that live chats can increase your intakes by 40% or more.  We recently completed a study of the top 1000 websites for the top marketing law firms around the country and 87% of those firms employed a live chat tool.

This, in itself, should be validation enough that it is working. Even firms with money to burn, so to speak, don’t want to waste it and are always looking for that extra edge over their competition. You should too.

The reason this option is appealing is its anonymity, its convenience and the instant response. And, considering more and more law firm searches are being done via mobile devices, it makes sense.

I don’t know what 40% more potential conversations could do for your firm, but most attorneys tell me, it’s worth it.  And, your most successful peers are doing it, so don’t get left behind.

There are lots of chat programs to choose from, so it’s important to find the one that’s right for your firm and your attorneys.

If you would like to know more about our live chat program, LegalChatnow and how it could increase your business, call or email us today; (251)513-0543 or dm@legalchatnow.com or just visit our website, www.legalchatnow.com.

If you have questions or comments about this article, click here to chat with us live.

Our program utilizes live chat and text messaging to maximize the potential for website visitor interaction. Call us or chat with us today.

We are the experts, so you don’t have to be.