From Clicks to Clients: How To Implement Call Tracking

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Most lawyers understand the value of knowing where their clients come from. Unfortunately, the way most lawyers track this information is merely asking a form of the question, “How did you hear about us?”

While I encourage you to make this question part of your process, it is not sufficient.

In the best circumstances, you will receive responses like, “Bob Smith gave me your card.” In the worst, you’ll get, “The Internet,” or “I can’t really remember.”

Fortunately, with very little technical know-how and a little software assistance, you can gain deeper insight into how clients are finding you. Armed with this information, you can make informed decisions about what is working in terms of growing your practice.

It is worth noting there are many ways to implement systems that help lawyers track from clicks to clients. This is just one example that is fairly affordable and straightforward to implement. However, it is certainly not right for every firm. At the very least, this will illustrate the power of tracking and how you can use it at your own firm.
What you will need:

  • Administrative access to your web pages.
  • A Google Analytics account.
  • A CallRail account.

From Somewhere to Clicks

The ways in which clients find your web pages is limitless. However, even today, most people searching for a lawyer still rely on friends. Still, even people who are referred to you by a friend will probably look you up online. In doing so, they will probably click on one of your web pages.

Once they click, your web analytics software can capture a lot of information about them, including the visitor’s referral information. In other words, the visitor’s origin.

All-Traffic-Sources-Google-Analytics-Gyis-Blog

Tracking “from somewhere to clicks,” is as easy as properly installing and configuring Google Analytics (GA). After that, you ought to spend some time understanding the various reports, particularly the Acquisition Reports (i.e. Source/Medium, etc). You may be surprised to learn how many different ways people find your pages.
The next step in the process involves tracking visitors who inquire about your services, and it requires a little more work. For this example, we are going to focus on tracking visitors who call from your website.

From Clicks to Calls

Effectively tracking phone calls from your web pages can be a source of consternation. There are a variety of implementations that work. For our purposes, I’m going to focus on one simple, affordable, and effective way using CallRail.

Warning: Improper use of call tracking numbers might impact your visibility in local search results.

In fact, even “proper use” might have an impact. Before you go changing all the numbers on your web pages, I encourage you to read Mark Sullivan’s, What You Need to Know About Call Tracking & Local SEO, as well as, Mike Blumenthal’s, Guide to Using Call Tracking for Local Search. If you are still confused, consider contacting a local search marketing company.

DIY Call Tracking

First, add your “official” name, address, and local phone number (NAP) to your site. Include this information on an office location page, a contact page, or in the footer of your website. It is imperative this NAP information is consistent across the web. Typically, for single location law firms, I prefer to add NAP information to the footer of every page of the site.

For this example, assume we are dealing with a single location law firm that is using a toll-free phone number as its primary website call-to-action (i.e. toll-free number is placed prominently near the top of every page).

Second, create a CallRail account. Follow their Five-Minute Guide to getting started. Add a tracking phone number. Select the “online” option. Select the “use on website” option. Then, select the “track each visitor” option.

All Numbers CallRail All Numbers CallRail 2 All Numbers CallRail 3

Set the Swap Target to your existing toll-free number located at the top of your website. Now, it is time to install Dynamic Number Insertion. If you use WordPress, CallRail offers an easy-to-use plugin. If not, you will have to install JavaScript.

With this configuration, CallRail will will automatically detect how visitors find your website and display the appropriate tracking phone number.

You should thoroughly test your configuration to make sure it is working properly. Once configured, you will see call data in your account like this:

AttorneySync Dashboard CallRail

If you would like to see your call data in Google Analytics, configure CallRail to integrate with your Google Analytics account. Be sure to add call goals to your universal GA account.

Congratulations, you can now track web page visitors to phone call inquiries by source!

From Inquiries to Clients

There are a variety of ways to track phone call inquiries to clients. Again, I am going to show you one very simple way using CallRail’s Value and Tag fields.

First, customize your call tags to fit your intake process. You may want to create tags for:

  • Existing clients
  • Opposing counsel
  • Courts
  • Referring attorneys
  • Potential clients

After completing an incoming call, you can update the Tag field. For calls that become paying clients, you can enter the fee generated into the Value field. Now, you can track how people are finding your web pages and becoming clients.

Putting the Information to Work

If it is not immediately obvious, here are a few ways to use this information:

  • Calculating Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). If you pay for advertising, you ought to have a target return on ad spend. For many campaigns, meeting a target ROAS is the answer to the question, “Is this working?” It is the measurement of whether your advertising is directly and profitably resulting in new fees.
  • Calculating Cost Per Client. Over time, if you’re paying more to acquire new clients than the value they bring to your firm, your firm’s P&L statements aren’t going to look very good. Advertising that doesn’t fit into your firm’s target cost to acquire a client should be cut.
  • Calculating Return On Investment (ROI) of Marketing Agencies. If you are working with a marketing agency, you should define success metrics that can be tied to firm revenue.
  • Calculating ROI of Activities. You can also use this information to connect the effectiveness of various activities. For example, you can see what specific web pages are generating phone calls that lead to clients. That way, you can begin to identify characteristics of those pages that are working and create more of them.
  • Understanding the Value of Referral Sources. Which referral sources are sending you the best new clients? What can you do to solidify these relationships? Are there other similarly situated people you ought to connect with?

If you are tracking clicks, calls, and clients at your firm, share what you have learned.

Featured image: “ Hand of an operator dialing a phone number. Isolated over white background.” from Shutterstock.

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  • chrismccreery

    If you’re tracking your leads based on the sources CallRail is displaying in GA do you also ask clients as well to validate the data?

    • If it’s not obvious from the intake conversation, I think it’s a good practice to ask folks how they found you. Unfortunately, unless it’s a word of mouth referral, you might get responses like, “the internet,” which aren’t very useful for validation.

      • chrismccreery

        Yes for sure. I just don’t want clients to assume that a call from source (organic) means that was the first touch point and attribute the credit to it. When in fact, it was a word of mouth referral who then searched to find out more about the client.

        • That’s a good example. I might tag such calls as referrals. I think it’s also important to help people understand the interplay between offline referrals and the web (i.e. the example you provided). There’s a balance between going down the rabbit hole of multi-channel attribution and the usefulness of understanding how channels assist one another.

          • chrismccreery

            Exactly! Most organizations don’t even get into the data in GA, let alone attribution :).

            Another question I have is how do you manage those incoming calls that would’ve been users calling a number they’ve found on a directory listing or Facebook/Yelp etc? Do you tend to log calls and then cross reference them with intake interview data each month to get a rough idea of which calls were from which source?

            • A great question that’s tough to answer. Because of the need for NAP consistency, we’re limited in our ability to track calls originate from a directory listing (i.e. can’t use call tracking number on directory listings). However, I would certainly annotate those calls based on information from the intake. Many times, you can also get a sense of the “source” based on the nature of the conversation (i.e. I read your such and post/article on such and such site).

              • chrismccreery

                Thanks Gyi!

  • I wouldn’t discourage people from asking “how did you hear about us?” but long years in the advertising business (mostly radio) tells me that it’s not very accurate. Put yourself in your client’s position. You call and they ask you how you heard about them. Hell, you have no idea but you want to tell them something that sounds good so you say “the sign out front”. I once had a client tell me that if he included “sign” in a multiple choie survey, “sign” won every time. My guess is that people don’t like to admit they are influenced by advertising and they don’t perceive a sign as advertising. I also learned that “TV ad” is a popular response even when the business never advertised on TV. Quick, what’s your favorite restaurant? Now, how did you hear about it? You probably have no idea.

    • Well, the path from referral to phone call is usually a little shorter in the case of law firm clients. Usually the person got a personal referral moments ago, or a couple of days at most.

      Although it can get muddled. I used to hear “your blog” a lot, but the way most people found my blog was through a Google search. And then sometimes some got a personal referral from a regular reader of my blog. Or in one case, a waitress recognized the name on my credit card because she was a regular reader of my blog, which reminded her that she had a case she wanted to talk to me about.

      Like I said, it can get a bit muddled.