The Web Marketing Ecosystem

Paul Carpenter has created one of my favorite depictions of how search engine optimization works for a business. It is a clear illustration of how each of the core components of the “web marketing ecosystem”, work in harmony to generate new business through the web.


You have probably heard the expression, “content is king”. But what does it really mean? How does your firm’s website content fit in the broader web marketing ecosystem?

Obviously, without content, you do not have a website. ¬†Your site’s content serves two important purposes.

First, it carries your firm’s marketing message. The words, images, and other on-page components of your website are the means by which you communicate to your prospective clients. How these components engage your audience will play a large role in the effectiveness of your web marketing efforts.

Second, you want content that is “link worthy”. Keep in mind that the initial purpose of the internet was to be a platform for academic citation. If your publication was good, it got cited. Over time, these citations became known as links. The more link-worthy your content, the more links you will attract.


Links are basically votes for a web page. Links generate traffic in two important ways.

First, links provide outlets for visitors to click through to your web pages. When a link appears on a highly trafficked web page, visitors will click the link and navigate through to your page.

Second, search engines view links as votes for a page. Increasing the quality and quantity of links to a page, increases the page’s search engine visibility, which in turn will increase traffic from search engines. It is worth noting that not all links are created equally.


Traffic, or visitors, are the people who visit your site. Like links, not all traffic is created equally. Some traffic will be extremely un-targeted. For example, if you are a criminal defense attorney and someone who is looking for 12 Angry Men happens on your site, the likelihood that they are visiting your site to retain your services is probably pretty low. Un-targeted traffic is less likely to turn into some actionable event (i.e. phone call, consultation request, email, etc.) on your site.


Conversion is the percentage of total traffic that turns into some actionable event on your site. Targeted traffic converts at a much higher rate than un-targeted traffic. The higher your conversion rate, the more efficient your web marketing efforts will be.

New Clients

A portion of your converted traffic will turn into revenue for your law firm. Some of this revenue will be profit for your law firm. Some of it you will choose to invest back into your web marketing, a portion of which will be for new content (whether it be professional writing time, or hired content production).

When any of these components is poorly executed, or ignored, the ecosystem falls out of balance and your web marketing will not produce positive results.  However, when this cycle is balanced, web marketing can be one of the most efficient and effective means by which to generate new business for your firm.

(image: Paul Carpenter)

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