There are countless companies for Attorneys and legal professionals to spend their advertising budget. With many different legal marketing companies offering very different services and focuses, it seems like an easy way for attorneys to track results is by website traffic. The problem is that even though this is an easy number to compare month to month and year to year, traffic doesn’t accurately measure your end goal – revenue.

Our team has worked with many legal industry firms and there seems to be a common disconnect. People expect to pay and they want their phone to start ringing over night and they want their website traffic to double instantly. The truth is detailed and dialed optimization programs can take time and even though they can increase revenue, there could potentially be no change in call counts and website traffic.

Website traffic and analytics is a way to see visitors to your website as well as information about their behavior on the site. It provides information about their experience and how the general public interacts with your online presence. What is hard to track with traffic and analytics is conversions, price per acquisition, return on investment and more important numbers that display a business and its net profits.

When determining if your web optimization efforts are doing their best, or at least moving your online presence in the right direction there are some easy numbers to know to determine if you’re in good hands. Below is a short list of some top level items to dig into your advertising efforts.

My Website Traffic has cut in half – Is it time to fire my SEO?

The answer seems like it would be yes, but actually lower traffic could be a good thing. In many cases, when our team starts a project our goal may be to decrease traffic. Sounds crazy right? Below I will explain some reasons we target a decrease in website traffic and why it is actually beneficial to the bottom line of a business.

Cleaning and removing old outdated pages and services on the website.

Maybe an attorney has an old website from when they were general practice and currently they only do family law. Much of the traffic to the site may be for civil, personal injury or more services not offered anymore. This would also result in fewer calls to office, but this reduction in traffic and calls were not generating business and actually saves the office time. When we start a new project we always like to address out dated and other website aspects not relevant to the current business model. They may have driven traffic but traffic doesn’t always mean money.

Focus efforts on services with higher price points could drop traffic but drastically increase revenue.

This is an easy one to explain. Any good SEO will talk with a client about their highest price point service prior to starting a project. They will determine the best return on investment service factoring cost of acquisition and typically spend some time and efforts on that service. A recent example would we had was a civil attorney who previously marketed name changes because they are fast and easy to complete and have little time investment with the court and clients. After our team did some research we found that within the County our client worked, there were only about 4 name changes a month being filed, of which only 2 used an attorney. This meant that there were only 2-3 potential clients a month at their very affordable rate. They had good traffic to those pages for name change but no real conversion. Their civil answer/response service was about the same investment of time and cost, but they hadn’t really marketed it. We found that there were hundreds and hundreds of suits filed each month in their local courthouse and only a handful of their competitors marketed for them. The plan was to stop efforts for name change and move to answer/responses. During the ramp up process traffic for the name changes dropped, but ultimately that traffic decrease had no change on their revenue.

Refine or Delete outdated and under-performing paid ads.

With many legal professionals, paid internet ads are a large portion of their monthly budget. The problem is that just because you’re showing up for every search term it doesn’t mean you’re converting those clients, and you did pay for them. When choosing what search terms and services to pay for clicks, it is essential that research to determine a potential return on investment is. It is equally important to evaluate conversions and cost every few months. If you have low performing ads and see little to no conversion they should be addressed or eliminated. This could be way of refining the ad program or deleted it. This would cause an immediate decrease in traffic, but would result in lower overall costs by way of lower investment, higher return on investment and a lower cost of acquisition.

Stop tracking junk traffic.

We all know that everything online is there for everyone to see. This means spammers. Most attorneys are familiar with spam email, but if not engaged in their own website tracking may not know tracking analytics are often spammed. Spammers visit and drop data in the tracking that raises the total traffic numbers, but it isn’t actually real traffic. Another common artificial inflation of tracking numbers is self visiting. These are visits by yourself or your team. If you work or own a large office many employees may be using your website for reference for providing prices, contact and address details and more. Telling your website to exclude these visits is easy, but often overlooked. A one-time flipping of switches on your website tracking can immediately stop tracking spam and employee traffic. In some cases we have seen this drop website traffic numbers in half, but they were all junk visitors who didn’t accurately reflect potential clients.

To recap, these are just 4 common reasons why website traffic could go down while actually helping refine the overall optimization process. As seen in each example the traffic resulted in a better bottom line. Don’t judge your efforts or the efforts of your SEO service by traffic alone. To learn more about what you can do to help your SEO and your responsibility has the business owner, check out our article “Your Responsibilities As An Attorney to Your SEO Company” Questions about your SEO efforts or if you’re getting the most, our team is always available for questions. You can reach out on our contact for for business owners and as always, don’t forget to add your legal business to Legallistings.org, a free legal directory.