For your business to gain clients online with search (paid or organic) – they (the new online visitor) must be searching for what you are offering. There are a ton of SEO companies that will tell you about all those obscure search terms that they are ranking for. But, the bottom line – is the bottom line. Your bottom line is of course more business for your firm. You must be where those clients are searching online “at the moment” when they start their search if you want to excel online.
Capture + Convert = New Clients
How to capture new clients and customers?
First and foremost – if you want to capture new clients for your firm, you have to find out where they are looking? Where are they getting the information to make a decision about an attorney or firm? Are they going to the phone book (they probably don’t have one). Are they asking a friend or associate? Are they reading books on the subject? Driving around looking for bill-boards or possibly calling your number from those catchy ads you were coaxed into buying on the 11:00 local news?
Every business is unique in where it acquires new clients. Most are finding new business from multiple streams and some rely much more heavily on the web than others. For most of us the internet offers the best opportunity today for growing your business. Here is an example of where a law firm fits into the internet and digital marketing world:
Much more specifically, do individuals looking for attorneys search online?
(Study performed by AVVO of 1000 respondents)
As you can see by the chart above. The trend has moved overwhelmingly toward online referrals for individuals seeking attorney services. Perhaps Google is aware of the facts above and this is why they charge fees as high as $100.00+ for some AdWord CPC’s in many markets (CPC – Cost Per Click, not a lead or a client – just for clicking on your ad). All this combined with very high client value has caused a feeding frenzy from SEO’s that target attorney firms with promises of high search engine results.
(Client Value, simply explained: A pizza parlor’s typical client value might be a few dollars in revenue. A Physical Injury case for an attorney or a “mommy makeover” from a plastic surgeon, could result in thousands in revenue.)
Keyword Research and the Phrases that matter for your Firm.
There is a pattern to human nature and therefore a pattern for the top keywords across different market areas. Example: more searches for DUI attorneys compared to Divorce attorneys in resort markets with a more transient population that may be drinking a bit more than normal. But, the overall search term patterns are still there.
Commanding a major segment of the organic or paid search for your business or practice in search engine result pages (SERPs) requires a much more targeted approach if you hope to gain access to those clients searching for your services in the highly competitive market such as attorney services. Finding the high value keyword is an important first step and the simplest approach, and a very effective one, is using Googles AdWords tool and planner. It’s free and you haven’t done so already, it’s easy and there are tons of tutorials online. Or, if you have a marketing team or firm you work with, they can give you the information and I would hope that they have already.
Organic vs Paid Ads
I’ll not labor this point – so briefly here are the stats:
- Close to 80% percent of links that search users click on are organic results!
- 70% – 80% of search users polled said they almost always ignore paid search ads.
- 75% of search users are not clicking past the first page of search results!
- On average, organic search traffic produces 25 percent higher conversion rates than traffic driven by equivalent paid search traffic!
Mobile Ready or Phone Apps Matter!
Internet Search on mobile and tablet devices is quickly gaining as the primary usage of internet information. If your online marketing team is not telling you that you must be mobile ready first then they are probably wasting your money!
Google, the world’s largest search provider, is openly punishing websites that are not mobile ready in both organic and paid search. Our own research has shown from as high as 1/3 of our searches are happening on smartphones or tablets. But, even more impressive are the click thru rates for those clients. As you can see in the example from one of our attorney websites below just how high the CTR is at over 8 times that of PC users. Surprisingly, in this attorneys market, only 7% of the total search volume accounted for 57% of the actual site traffic.
Mobile matters and ranking high in mobile requires high phone usability. Make sure you make it a priority to get your firm’s website phone friendly. (click here for how to score your websites phone usability).
Proof: While writing this post one of our new Personal Injury firms just got there 2nd online lead from a phone call and iPhone search from the hospital room. Now that is “The Bottom Line”!