Hold up. You’re spending time and money on web marketing without setting goals? Are you frakin’ nuts?

How do you know whether any of this “stuff” is working? And by working I mean meeting your goals. Oh wait…

In my experience, when most lawyers think of web analytics they think of “hits” to their site.

But as Aaron put it in The Lab:

“Traffic for traffic’s sake will not grow a law practice.”

Conversions & Goals

Hopefully, you’re setting a bunch of goals (there’s an app for that).

Form healthier habits. Hit the gym more. Lose weight. You probably also have some marketing goals, like providing better client service.

When we’re talking web marketing, we need to talk about conversion.

No, not that conversion; this conversion:

In Analytics, a conversion is the completion of an activity on your site that is important to the success of your business. For example:

  • a completed sign up for your email newsletter (a Goal conversion)
  • a purchase (a transaction, sometimes called an Ecommerce conversion)

And specifically in Google Analytics:

Goal conversions

You must define Goals in Google Analytics in order to track Goal conversions. Goal conversions are the primary metric for measuring how well your site fulfills business objectives. A Goal conversion occurs once a visitor completes a desired action on your site, such as a registration or download. You’ll be able to see the conversion rates and number of completions for each Goal you set up. If you set a monetary value for each Goal, you’ll also see the value of your conversions.

Notice that we’re not talking about just any website activity. We’re talking about activities that are important to your business. Yes, I called your practice a business.

Do you know what these activities are? At the risk of stating the obvious, they vary from one firm to the next. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Phone Call
  • Email
  • Form fill request for consultation
  • Signed retainer

Signed retainer? You can track that in Analytics? Yes, you can (disclaimer: you’ll need a CRM).

But let’s start with the relatively simply task of setting up a form fill goal in Google Analytics.

For this example, let’s assume you already have Google Analytics installed and configured, you’re using WordPress and Contact Form 7 as your form solution.

First, configure your contact form to redirect to a “thank you” page upon submission.

You’ll need to create a new page called “Thank You.”

Next, in your WordPress dashboard navigate to Contact and click “edit.”

contact-form

Scroll to the bottom of the contact form edit screen to “Additional Settings” and enter:

on_sent_ok: “location.replace(‘http://www.YOURSITE.com/thank-you’);”

Next, head over to Google Analytics to set up your goal. Click Admin, Goals, Create a Goal. For this example, we’re going to create a Destination Goal.

Name your goal. Then set the Destination to “Begins with” and enter “/thank-you” (or the page slug for your thank you page).

You can also configure a funnel, but that’s optional.

You’re all set. Now when someone fills out your form you can track the form fill under Conversions -> Goals.

As you might suspect, this is a really basic implementation. You might decide that there are a variety of other activities that you want to track. You should also set up some actionable SEO dashboards to better understand what search traffic, keywords, etc, are converting.

If you pay someone to do web marketing for your firm, you should definitely be asking about goals. Setting, measuring and meeting specific goals is critical to tracking the effectiveness of your web marketing activities and campaigns.

If you’re handling the analytics for your firm, I suggest you become familiar with the following resources:

Have you implemented goal conversion tracking at your firm? What activities do you measure?

(Photo by: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wounded/4743326021/)