Atticus Clients Doubling Traffic

This is the first marketing post I’ve written – granted it is in the guise of an analytical review – but let’s be honest, I’m showing off results here.

Every four weeks I report traffic growth numbers to my clients and I use those numbers to extrapolate an annualized growth rate.  (I use a straight line forecasting – in simple math terms, if you averaged 5% growth during a quarter, your annualized growth rate is 4×5% = 20%.)  Depending on the client, Atticus’ job is to exceed a 25-33% growth over pre-engagement traffic.

Through the end of September, Atticus clients are on track to more than double their traffic with a 103% annualized growth rate. Individual site performance ranged from -7% to 241%.

Q3 Growth Rate

How?

There are a few factors that contribute to this.  First and foremost, I carefully select clients that I’m confident I can make a solid impact for.  Ideal clients have either ignored their website or have worked with large legal focused SEO vendors who have been hammered by Google SPAM penalties.  I flat out refuse to work with clients who have previously worked with one of the few good SEO vendors in the legal industry – as frankly, my improvements on a site that is already well maintained will be small.  Secondly, I work first on those tactics that will deliver the biggest bang for the investment – ideally, this is a technical tweak that has an immediate, large and persistent impact on traffic.   (See an technical fix example here.)

If you are still reading my marketing puff piece, thank you – as David Lobdell  said:

“He who tooteth not his own horn, same shall remain in a state of untootethness.”

Why (most) Americans Hate the Legal Profession

Let me start by saying, as someone whose company works exclusively with lawyers, I thought long and hard about posting this. . .

Today the legal industry suffered another self-inflicted wound to an already tarnished image in the way of an editorial on CNN’s homepage by attorney, Danny Cevallos.  In his post, Cervallos questions the brave actions of Matthew Cordle – the young Ohio man who posted his heartbreaking story about killing someone because he was driving while intoxicated.

First Some Background

Over the past 7 years, I’ve had the privileged and unique opportunity to view the legal industry from within.  I sat at a PILMMA event and saw a demonstration of how the legal industry has pushed automative safety.  I’ve met lawyers like Jonathan Stein who has dedicated his career to battling the bottom of the corporate ethical barrel – Collection and Insurance companies.   I met Anthony Colleluori who fights tooth and nail on behalf of individuals who have no where left to turn.  I met Bruce Johnson who has done more to protect the first amendment than anyone alive.

Big picture – I’ve learned that the legal profession offers the largest counterweight for individuals when dealing with injustice from large entities – be it the police, corporations or the government.  Few non-lawyers ever get exposed to this perspective and part of my professional mission is to help improve the perspective of the legal industry among the general populace.

Cervallos Paints Lawyers as Morally Bankrupt

So it was very disheartening to read an editorial on CNN today damning the actions of Matthew Cordle.  Matthew’s powerful video has gone viral because he fully accepts responsibility for his action. Even while Cervallos recognizes the moral bravery in Matthew’s actions, he writes:

“Bravo right?  Wrong.”

And goes on to pick apart the legal ramifications of the video.

“In making this video, it clearly appeared he was not coerced. He was not being interrogated or even interviewed by police. In fact, he volunteered this admission, stating that he was fully aware of the consequences.”

“Cordle’s voluntary mea culpa actually eliminated his strongest bargaining chip.”

Cervallos is unfortunately speaking for the entire legal industry when he prioritizes legal tactics with, in his own words, “doing the right thing.”  This is the root of why lawyers have such a persistently tarnished reputation.  The fact that Cervallos is most certainly correct from a legal perspective is irrelevant to almost everyone outside of the legal profession.  Step outside of the legal world for a minute and think about how non-lawyers would respond to this statement from Cervallos:

“While this may have appeared a morally correct thing for Cordle to do, our justice system can actually penalize those who “do the right thing” and volunteer admissions.”

Fighting drunk driving while recognizing the legal ramifications of sharing a gutwrenching story “may have appeared a morally correct thing”!  The editorial unfortunately doesn’t offer any suggestion for what would have been a more moral action and completely misses the point that Cordel clearly was placing his priorities above the legal system.  And this is where Cervallos misses the forest for the trees.  Cordel’s video will educate and certainly save lives from drunk driving accidents.  Suggesting that the legal industry as a whole views this as a mistake sends a very wrong message: that lawyers are always available to supplant morality and courage.

Unfortunately the actions of the Stein’s, Colleluori’s and Johnson’s of the legal world rarely get this kind of coverage.  But they should.

Why I Started Atticus Marketing

Atticus Marketing - Online Search Marketing for LawyersWhen I left Avvo to run Urbanspoon’s marketing in 2011, I thought I was saying goodbye to the legal profession forever.  Instead, I found myself tugged back by attorneys looking for search help who I couldn’t work with while at Avvo.  What started out as occasional free SEO advice grew into moonlighting consulting gigs.  Working with these firms exposed me to the gross overbilling and outdated, ineffective and self-serving tactics employed by (some) legal industry marketing agencies.  I was now experiencing first hand the anecdotes I heard about during my days at Avvo.

Eventually I decided it was time to leave restaurants behind and go full time with Atticus Marketing with the following guiding principles:

  • Value – We deliver value NOT hours.  Value = traffic growth.
  • Transparency – We deliver good and bad news to our clients.
  • Targeted – We only work with clients we can cost effectively help.
  • Persistence – We create value that persists should the client choose to disengage.

Over the past year, I refined a process and set of tactics that are cost effective in driving traffic improvements for my moonlighting clients. This experience guided the development of a product called Simple Search to help a very specific subset of the legal market. Simple Search delivers a targeted, quantifiable improvement in website traffic at a regular, predictable cost and is designed for:

  • Small to medium, consumer facing firms.
  • Moderately competitive markets (by practice area and geography).
  • Firms who would rather work with clients than work with Google.

 

It’s nice to be back.

Outsourced VP of Marketing

Isn’t it time your law firm had a Vice President of Marketing?

Your marketing spend is currently managed by one of your attorneys, or perhaps the front desk person who took an interest in the website.  The budget is enough to cover a full time attorney salary, yet you don’t know if the money is being spent wisely. You’ve tried lots of different marketing vendors but still can’t tell which ones are worth it.  You know there’s a better way to justify these decisions than the salesperson’s refrain: “if you get just one client, it will pay for itself . . .  ”

Atticus delivers a part time, lower cost VP of Marketing to maximize the return on your marketing investment.

Through the implementation of strict controls, we constantly monitor cost effectiveness across all of your paid marketing channels.  We develop the business metrics – cost per lead, cost per qualified lead and cost per contract – to hold your vendors accountable for their performance.  This data is used to shift your spend to most cost effective channels – delivering more clients at the same (or even reduced) spend.