This is a review of a Benchmarking study I conducted for the American Bar Association quantifies the question:
How much business does SEO generate?
This has been an oft disputed theory – although frankly I’ve never understood the dispute – but there are certainly factions within the legal online marketspace who argue vociferously that SEO traffic should not be a law firm’s objective. And we’ve certainly seen many examples of low quality traffic; however, my personal thoughts echo SEO audit superstar, Alan Bleiwiess who commented on this issue:
Wait. Who says traffic from search doesn’t lead to sales? I need to meet such people. If for no other reason, than to laugh. Uncontrollably. In their faces.
So instead of letting theories clash (and to see if Alan is right)… I thought I’d actually look into the data. Turns out, SEO traffic generates inbound phone calls at a pretty consistent and strong rate. Utilizing call tracking software and and only counting first time callers we found:
SEO generates 3.35 calls for every 100 visitors.
Granted its a small sample size – and these are mostly long standing clients of mine – so they are well taken care of from an online marketing perspective (yes, I’m biased). For the most part, we’ve pruned out garbage content; focused traffic on local traffic instead of global traffic and heavily invested in high converting terms from a content perspective. You will note, from the graph above, there still is a wide array of success here – from about 1 call/100 session to 6 calls/100 sessions. (And yes – we are digging deep into each of these firms to understand what those differences are – but that’s a study I’m keeping just for my own clients.) We also found, those firms in the study who were PI firms – that average rose to 4.5. And if you really want to nerd out and go back to your graduate stats course – the correlation coefficient between the two was .70.
Now of course, not all of these inbound inquiries are prospective clients – it may very well be someone’s spouse looking up his wife’s number to coordinate picking up the kids from soccer – or more frequently a PPC salesperson prospecting for clients. BUT…. overall there is a clear and solid line between search traffic and prospects.