the other day i was talking to john feeney about how the seo project is going. here are some of the more interesting points we discussed:
john: is it me or does every conversation with a lawyer about their website start and end in 10 minutes? do they even know if they have server records? how do they keep track of their website?
your humble blogmaster (me): maybe they just don’t know. so what?
john: there isn’t much we can do for them if they don’t have access to their own website records. we have to base our opinion on something. and lawyers pay a ton for those sites, don’t they?
me: you bet. i clearly remember representatives from findlaw and lawyers.com telling me that all i had to do was pay a lot of money and they would build a website everyone would visit. a lot of money.
john: are you serious? how about traffic? how were they going to generate that? or did you even ask?
me: sure i asked. it’s just that their answers were kind of double-talk. but they put up the websites for us alright.
[another satisfied customer]
john: sure they did. they gave you a template that was more or less like everyon else’s. you went for the’build it and they will come’ approach. how’s that working out? wait, you don’t know because you never tracked your traffic, right?
me: for what i was paying, shouldn’t they have guarantied traffic and lots of it? besides, isn’t it enough just to have a website?
john: look, everyone is online these days. i guaranty that if your high-priced provider were doing you any good they would be the first ones to trumpet their success. if they make it hard to figure out where you stand it’s because they don’t want you to know.
me: okay, so what do we as lawyers do about the situation?
john: well, there a couple of things but i would start with an effective, free solution:
first, download and install the tool at www.statcounter.com. we can do it for you too if you don’t want to bother or whatever. you can then use the application to find out
total page visitors/returning visitors
where visitors came from/are going to
who is referring people to your website
second, use this information to provide more of whatever got people coming in the first place, zero in on websites and links that generate traffic (and avoid the ones that don’t), identify practice development opportunities, etc.
third, there are a few definitions to keep in mind as you’re looking at that information:
keyword analysis: what words are being used to find you. try it yourself — describe your practice and look in a search engine. see if your website comes up. bet it doesn’t. that’s why we need to optimize the search process (seo). we talked about this in our last post.
visitor paths: what are visitors doing before, during, and after they are on your site? while there, where did they dwell (popular pages)? where did they come in (entry pages)? what was the last thing they looked at before leaving (exit pages)?
using just the above information (which is free, remember) you can tweak your site to get the most out of it. and that’s not even counting premium tools such as mylawfirmlive that can turn browsers into live callers and eventually office visits 24/7/365.
in the end john and i agreed — if we lawyers don’t keep an eye on our web logs and take the time to analyze that traffic, we’re missing out on invaluable opportunities. and at the end of the day, it’s all about the money. so show me the money already john.
[seo – it works]