Charting a path toward company growth and other goals should be mapped out at least each year and regularly revisited. To ensure your law firm succeeds, Gladiator Law Marketing recommends identifying your top three search engine optimization (SEO) goals as part of this exercise. Whether you are familiar with SEO or a newcomer, it is crucial to your firm’s growth that a strategy exists. There is a three-step framework to help your company identify and set SEO goals then create a plan on how to reach them. These steps include:
Step One: Assessing TargetsThe first step toward setting your goals is assessing and measuring the targets. This step involves reviewing revenue growth from existing customers, new customers, retention rates, and client expansion. Those involved with SEO and marketing planning for the upcoming year must learn and understand the firm’s targets for expansion.
Revenue targets are the most common goal to set since financial figures can be translated into the required number of new customers that must be added each month. Once this number is determined, it is easy to work backward and calculate the number of opportunities, website visitors, qualified leads, etc. required to reach the firm’s goal.
Step Two: Forming Benchmarks
Once you have successfully identified and measured the target growth requirements, Gladiator Law Marketing recommends establishing benchmarks. This step involves identifying the percentage SEO is responsible for. Your firm’s ability to meet the SEO goal is measured based on several benchmarks including:
With competitive ranking, you can pull all the keywords used on your website as well as those used on your competitor’s site within a search. There are numerous tools available on the Internet that provide this exact function.
A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors to your website that result in new leads which turn into paying customers. Acquiring new customers is the goal for all law firms so benchmarking conversion rates is especially important. While conversion for acquiring new clients is not as simple as converting a visitor who is directly purchasing a product, new clients can be traced back to how they found your law firm.
Customers, Leads, Opportunities, and Traffic Per Channel
This benchmark helps determine how organic traffic performs compared to referrals, paid advertising, and other types and helps identify the growth year-over-year. Most importantly, it shows your firm the potential for scaling next year, which is an essential part of any growth strategy. If you have marketing analytics platforms, this information can easily be calculated, or a hired marketing agency will track it for you.
The typical report benchmarks the number of keywords your website ranks for when compared to the competition. You can export this report and categorize the primary keywords based on the topic. This helps provide a benchmark on the topics that you hold an “ownership” of during a search and shows the amount of work that must be taken to beat your competitors with the other keywords.
The best way to remain competitive with underperforming keywords is to beef up your content around that specific word or phrase. The more quality information provided on your website, the more authoritative you appear, and the higher your rankings.
SEO Share of Voice (SOV)
An SOV highlights how well your brand is ranking on several keywords or topics. It is a good metric to determine the percentage of keywords or topics that rank on Google’s first page. SOV provides a competitive benchmark and helps you determine the content formats that are ranking the best for specific keywords. SOV will identify new content channels to reach your customers which could be social media, videos, etc.
Step Three: Creating an Action Plan
There are six focus lenses to help you create an action plan during the final step. These include:
- Increase traffic, customer, and lead volume.
- Increase customer quality.
- Improve traffic and lead quality.
While this is a simplified list, it will help prioritize your investment into SEO without attempting to focus on all six at once. Instead, your law firm’s SEO plan must be based on your available budget, the competition’s actions, benchmarks, and search demand.
To create a successful plan, work in the following:
Increase Click-Through Rates (CTRs)
CTRs are the percentage of customers who click onto your website link in a search engine. Low CTRs can be attributed to poor optimizations or meta tags and titles, or poor reviews from clients. This is where the experiences in the physical world can impact your digital world – positively or negatively.
Reduce Rank Loss
Technical issues on your website are an SEO killer! If Google or, even worse, a user is attempting to access a function that does not work, your search engine rankings will plummet, and the client is unlikely to ever return. Therefore, it is important to prioritize critical errors during the action plan. These errors typically appear during a website re-design or even touch-up, so it is important that they are identified and fixed quickly.
SEO Footprint Expansion
From your benchmark review, you have identified new topics and new formats with which you do not rank and the competitors who are vying for those rankings. Focus on these areas with your action plan to expand your SEO footprint using new content or focusing on non-ranking supportive topics.
Gladiator Law Marketing identifies the greatest factors that will impact your goal setting are budget, available resources, and timeline. For these reasons, may law firms opt to outsource their SEO and marketing efforts to an agency that can help meet these objectives!