What the Sunsetting of Google’s Universal Analytics Means for Law Firms


Mark your calendars: on July 1st, 2023 Google will stop registering data with Google Analytics version: Universal Analytics. (Note if you are using Google 360 – you have till October 1, 2023 to make the switch.) While it’s not time to panic (yet), there are very very significant changes coming – primarily around an increasingly lack of specificity with regards to both traffic sources and (more importantly) conversion metrics. Google is making this change ostensibly due to increased privacy concerns by the general public. You may have even heard those radio ads from long-shot Google competitor and vocal privacy advocate Duck Duck Go – whose market share has grown to 2.5% of the US market.  The new version of Google Analytics (unimaginatively titled GA4) is heavily focused on privacy and instead of enabling individual linear tracking, it uses machine learning to model consumer behavior across multiple platforms, devices, and platforms for attribution.  Put differently, Google is going to provide GA4 users with their best guesses of how consumers behave instead of actually tracking (and exposing) that individual behavior. This isn’t the first time Google has reduced visibility into consumer behavior under the veil of increased privacy concerns… if memory serves correctly in 2013, Google replaced most of the very granular keyword data in Analytics with “not provided” – driving internet marketers who had been obsessing over individual keyword performance crazy.

The obvious elephant in the room concern here is that the vast majority of marketers are now going to be fed a steady stream of what Google believes (or would like you to believe, depending on your level of cynicism) is generating consumer interest and behavior across multiple platforms. For example, you may now learn that Google tells you that watching YouTube videos is responsible for driving a portion of your website traffic that formerly was entirely attributed to SEO. This can be viewed as a genuine attempt to inform marketers about the effectiveness of cross-channel promotion and/or a craven flagrant bid to drive more YouTube advertising revenue. This becomes increasingly complicated when you consider the platforms for which Google does not ostensibly gather data. How does the password-protected community on Facebook play into website traffic for example? (See my post on Dark Social for more on attribution issues that already exist and are only going to get more complicated). The less cynical reader may also accept the marketing positioning coming from Google – that seamless cross channel reporting integration will provide greater insights and therefore better ROI. Which, of course, assumes that your advertising uniquely has access to this tool, but frankly, that same tide will be rising for everyone so…

How Does This Affect Marketing Efforts for Law Firms?

In legal, some marketing channels are extremely linear, direct, and trackable – think PPC for traffic tickets as an example, in which users typically search, click, call, and hire in a single session. Other hiring decisions are much more indirect and take place over time – think divorce where many users research options over time through a variety of offline and online channels and referral sources before connecting with (typically multiple) law firms. Obviously, this linearity (or lack thereof) differs dramatically by practice area as well as marketing channel. The less linear the consumer’s behavior, the more real, actionable data is removed from a law firm’s analytical review.

Additionally, the modeling is limited to Google’s visibility into the world, which is (almost) entirely online. How is Google going to model consumer behavior for law firms that rely heavily on offline promotion – TV, Radio, Billboards, etc.?  What of those firms who have a significant portion of their business driven by industry referrals? While the volume of brand searches may provide some layer of online insight into the offline experience, I suspect the accuracy of machine learning in modeling non-machine behavior is limited at best. Finally, I also suspect there will be even further restrictions on retargeting advertisements – making the importance of gaining permission to continue to connect with a prospect during their first trip to your site a huge priority.

What this Means for Mockingbird Clients

To be frank, this switch is going to more dramatically impact Mockingbird clients than most other legal market agencies, simply because we’ve gone further at reporting into the sales funnel, instead of just stopping at leads (i.e. how many consultations and clients are attributed to which marketing channels generating instead of just leads.) My blunt take is that this increases the value of our Full Funnel Reporting because leads-only reporting is going to get murkier and less directionally accurate. Yeah, that’s a back-handed self-promotional statement, but it’s also true. Since Google’s announcement, we’ve added GA4 tracking code to all clients on Standard (formerly Starter) and Full Funnel (formerly Aggressive Growth) reporting infrastructure. We’re currently rolling this out to all clients on the legacy reporting infrastructure and those on our simple hosting/maintenance. This means our clients will have at least a years worth of legacy data populating the new system and we’ll have a solid period of time to explore limitations and find workarounds for the new platform.

Our next step is to see what gaps we have in our reporting that cannot be filled with Google’s machine learning as well as integration problems. The most concerning (for us and many firms) is how this will impact the very personal, private data collected by dynamic phone tracking services such as CallRail, as well as automated source attribution for many of the more sophisticated Intake Management CRMs (HubSpot, Lawmatics, Litify, Clio Grow, LeadDocket, etc.). A known issue is that conversion data (like that from very useful CallRail does not Pass through to GA4. We are actively working with CallRail on how to handle this. We are exploring alternative analytical packages that may either replace or supplement GA4 – Adobe Analytics, Fathom, and Adverity. Finally, some of the CRM systems have analytics built directly into them – including two of our go-to favorites, Hubspot and Lawmatics. Stay tuned, I suspect over the next 10 months dramatic changes from other analytics providers as they seek to swoop in to fill this data vacuum.

Dark Social and Lawyer Marketing

UPDATE: Register for the Webinar – WTF is Dark Social – May 11 at 11:00 PST.

Dark Social isn’t a sinister form of social media; put very simply, Dark Social is everything that happens both online and offline that is unattributable through traditional online reporting infrastructure but still drives Leads, Consultations and ultimately Clients. It is widely championed by Chris Walker of Refine Labs in the SAAS world, where teams of social media marketers, advertisers, and thought leaders combine multiple marketing channels to drive inbound interest among prospects.  Those prospects (Marketing Qualified Leads in the SAAS vernacular) are vetted, qualified and shepherded through the early prospecting process by hoards of Sales Development Representatives with highly qualified, informed and prepped leads eventually landing as Sales Qualified Leads on the desks of eager Account Executives salespeople. In this world, there are a huge number of potential customers and the lifetime value of each of them is high.  Prospects conduct a ton of research, sales cycles are long and touchpoints are numerous. Consider Dark Social for legal SAAS player Clio, whose lifetime value of a client ranges from 4 figures to well into the healthy (for Clio) 6 figure range. Replacing Matter Management Software is a complex, difficult proposition, impacting the very way the law firm conducts business so law firms switch slowly and carefully. Deliberate (and trackable) Clio direct touchpoints to prospective purchasers at law firms are numerous. As are those indirect touchpoints of Dark Social – the YouTube video shared on a firm’s Slack Channel of the enigmatic Jack Newton talking about customer centric law firms, the podcast covering data points from the annual Clio Legal Trends Report (sidenote: read it, every single year), the law school friend’s email vendor who touts their Clio integration on LinkedIn which then shows up in your feed because the LI algo gave it wider distribution because she and two other people you are secondarily connected to commented on it. Last step, an interested lawyer fires up Google, searches for “Clio Matters”, clicks an Google Ad and then calls Clio.  

In the (overly) simplistic attribution world of internet marketing, that last step would be carefully tracked, automagically added to “Source” field in a sophisticated CRM or IMS system and the sale would be attributed to Google Ads. For more complex multi-touch sales cycles (like retargeting followed by a lead magnet, and email campaign), we could have debates around first vs. last touch attribution, or sophisticated attribution weighting models like 40/20/40.  Yet Google Ads and all of these easily trackable online activities did nothing to drive the initial demand. The amazing magic of the marketing required to generate inbound interest is completely overlooked. The firm’s marketing reporting is limited to what is trackable and Dark Social is untrackable by definition.

I’ve long railed against the “and how did you hear about us?” method of identifying marketing channels that are driving not just leads, but actual consultations.  It’s messy, inaccurate, invasive, simplistic and frequently a skipped step by a well-meaning front desk. Yet, with an increasing volume of leads showing up in the ‘unknown’ bucket; my thinking has evolved. Sidnote: expect the “unknown” number to get larger as privacy restrictions continue to make the attribution of leads much more difficult. Tracking Dark Social requires asking that question… aka self-reported attribution. 

To be clear, prospect purchase behavior in the legal field doesn’t regularly follow a typical SAAS sales cycle. That’s why unbranded PPC campaigns and (frequently) SEO often have a much more direct and immediate purchase path than these complex SAAS sales cycles.  And are therefore much more accurately trackable. For example: Walk in on spouse with pool boy -> Google “divorce attorney” -> Click Ad -> Call Lawyer -> Hire. Further, it’s ​​It’s also important to note that law firms are marketing primarily to individuals who don’t want to use their services at all. Consumers don’t want to face catastrophic injury, get pulled over for drinking too much while driving, etc. Yes, in areas like family law and estate planning, more due diligence is usually required, and the client journey starts much earlier and is more complex.  But in both of those cases, Dark Social can have a massive impact on who that end client decides to seek out for their legal needs.

Dark Social plays a part in some (many?) legal purchase decisions. Enter the imperative of recognizing the impact of Dark Social and the importance of the “how did you hear about us question”, which I frankly like to ask differently: “we get lots of referrals from the community and we send them a thank you note for that word of mouth endorsement…. Did anyone recommend us to you?” This positions the firms as a recognized leader, demonstrates a level of gratitude and gives firms an opportunity to send that referral source a thank you gift (a step most firms fail to deliver on, despite the best of intentions.)  You’ll get an answer to the “how did you hear about us?” question without coming across as a craven marketer.  And that answer can and should be tracked in your CRM system, in addition to another field capturing your automated source attribution (SEO, PPC etc.) Frequently the answer to that question is some amalgam of Dark Social tactics which have reinforced the brand of that law firm repeatedly to the end prospect.   

Traditional Social Media Marketing and Dark Social are Different Things

Succeeding in Dark Social for law firms requires a strategic mindset that goes well beyond the facile tactics and metrics deployed by legal marketing social media experts mavens ninjas scorpions consultants. Sharing your “Top 10 Things to Do After a Boise Idaho Car Accident” blog post on Facebook isn’t going to cut it. Neither is posting your “Congratulations to Susan for Being Named Superlawyers 2022 in Lincoln Nebraska” on LinkedIn. Nor your Twitter follower count inflated by thousands of followers from WhoKnowsWhereItIsistan.  There’s so much more to doing this in a way that drives business for a law firm… 

The key for law firms in succeeding in the Dark Social game is to leverage the network-effect reach of technology through in depth, engaged community outreach and  and has very little nothing to do with the practice of law, tips about law, analysis of changes to laws, lawyer directory superlative announcements or law firm settlement amounts. Put simply – connect genuinely and deeply within the community in which you serve. It’s indirect, yet amazingly impactful when done consistently, deliberately and over time. It’s also a long term commitment – not something to test out for a few months. It’s the way Social Media marketing really, deeply and genuinely builds a positive brand. 

There are a smattering of examples of law firms executing on Dark Social very well.  Ken Levison out of Chicago who has leveraged his love of food to profile (and therefore market) local restaurants. Josh Hodges using TikTok to tell the history of the numerous small towns northeast of Cincinnati. Morris Lillienthall, leveraging multiple channels and his avuncular personality to highlight the movers and shakers in and around Huntsville, Alabama.  Each of these brands are built by showcasing others and building a social network by distributing that content widely. These activities (and the focus on others, instead of the law firm) have built genuine positive awareness more cost effectively and genuinely than any TV commercial can. For more on this mindset, I recommend reading Gary V’s seminal book, Jab Jab, Right Hook – perhaps with the lens that Gary’s “right hook” may never even be necessary in Dark Social and the marketing of a law firm, because the jabs generate demand in and of themselves.

Using Google Analytics to Improve Page Speeds

The uses and functionality of Google Analytics can sometimes feel endless. On that note, let’s break into page speed insights.


Finding Page Speeds

Behavior → Site Speed → Page Timings

Behavior → Site Speed → Page Timings

Knowing which of your pages are slowing your site down is key in optimizing your entire website. You can find individual page loading times under “Page Timings.” Within this dataset, you can toggle page views, average load time, and bounce rate.

By selecting a comparison view for the data visualization you can see which of your pages are taking longer than the site average. 

Once you know which pages are being problem children, you can begin to fix them. 


Fixing Page Speeds

Behavior → Site Speed → Speed Suggestions

Behavior → Site Speed → Speed Suggestions

Not only does Google Analytics tell you which pages are slow, they give suggestions on how to fix them. When you go to “Speed Suggestions” you can get suggestions on pages that aren’t even below the average site speed. 

Clicking on the suggestions will take you to a page that gives you the diagnostics on both your desktop and mobile pages. Since Google indexes on a mobile-first basis, neglecting your mobile site-speeds is probably a bad idea.

When you scroll down on the page you can see suggestions and how to implement them. Many of them can be solved using plug-ins, some of them can be solved by just reducing image sizes, and some can be ignored. These decisions are up to you as a webmaster. Or they’re up to us if you’re paying for on-site optimizations.

No matter what you decide to do with this information it’s good to have. Knowing what’s happening with your website is key to knowing what’s happening with your business.

Finding the Secret Pages that Drive Conversions

A lot of value is given to landing pages and top converting pages, and a lot of value should be given to them. They’re what hook consumers in and eventually turn them into clients. 


But that isn’t always the whole story. Users tend to spend some time on the website before picking up the phone or filling out a form, so how can you know the full story? Which pages are consistently convincing clients halfway through their journey?


Luckily, Google Analytics can help show you exact user paths and accurate conversion assists.


What Won’t Help

Goal URLs


The Goal URLs tab in GA seems useful until you open it up and see that most of your conversions occurred on your “Thank You” page. Unless Ernest Hemmingway is writing your thank you page, it is unlikely that this is the place where consumers were truly convinced to become a client. 



Assisted Conversions


Assisted conversions are a step above goal URLs, but still fail to tell the whole story. I set up my assisted conversion page to show landing pages, but the default for GA is to show sources. This is great for knowing if your site is driving conversions through SEO and content or through ads (it should be some combination of both), but it isn’t great for knowing user paths once they’re on your site.



What Will Help

Reverse Goal Path


Your reverse goal path tab is your friend. It will show you the three pages the user visited prior to converting, giving you some idea of what pages visitors find intriguing without yet fully convincing them to convert. They gain trust, build interest, and lead the user towards the last-click pages. Remember how a good chunk of our Goal URLs were thank you pages? Check out how many of our goal completion locations are thank you pages, and how many different paths the users took to get there. 



Another benefit of looking at reverse goal paths is that you can see how well specific pages are doing. The page might not show that it assisted in any conversions, except it might show up in goal paths. If you’re curious, you can search for the page name and see how many conversions it actually assisted in:



Why You Should Know This

Knowing the path your users take is vital for designing your website. Think of the natural flow provided by internal linking, design, and access to contact info and forms when building your website and adding content. Your users’ goal paths, especially the successful ones, will tell you where to invest your time and energy.

If you feel as though you aren’t getting enough information from your Google Analytics setup or that your website could be improved, contact Mockingbird.

What do you REALLY need in your marketing mix?

We’re frequently contacted by clients who already have a clear idea of what they want from their online marketing firm. Sometimes they’re dialed in to the point where they already have a list of items they need help with and a clear roadmap for where they’re heading. However, this is far from the norm.

More often than not our prospective clients come to us either having previously worked with an agency (or multiple agencies) or as a blank slate looking to create an online footprint and start marketing their practice online.

In most cases, the bulk of our initial conversation is spent talking through the client’s goals and identifying which channels and tactics make the most sense in order to get them where they want to go.

For anyone asking, “what do we need to do in order to be successful online?” the response is always the same: how are we defining success?

In our experience, there are a few ways clients typically define success:

Success = Profit
I want to make money. If revenue is climbing I’m going to be happy.

Success = Specific Case Types
I want to target a specific type of case. Inquiries from other practice areas are a distraction or a bonus.

Success = Flexibility
I want to pick and choose which cases I can take. I want a high volume of inquiries and will pick which ones I want.

There’s merit to all three of these approaches, and each one necessitates a different set of tactics. This is one of the few aspects of our client’s practices where we can’t make an effective recommendation or provide any useful guidance. It’s up to each individual attorney to decide how they’re going to measure success and then let us adopt a plan that will help them achieve those results.

Stay Focused on the Big Picture

Once you’ve clearly defined what a successful marketing campaign looks like, it’s important to benchmark against your most relevant metrics (revenue, signed cases, or total inquiries) and make sure the tactics you’re prioritizing will help you achieve your overarching goal.

As an example, if your primary goal is to drive revenue, you shouldn’t get bogged down worrying about whether you’ve published any new content in the past month unless you’ve firmly established that new content is the best way to generate revenue.

Similarly, if you’re making a huge push for DUI cases it’s not worth obsessing over your site’s organic rankings for the more generic term “criminal defense attorney.” You’ll be better served keeping your eye on results directly relevant to the cases you’re trying to generate.

This isn’t to minimize the value of setting intermediate goals or looking at multiple trends, it’s merely a reminder to stay focused on what’s most important instead of getting paralyzed by the massive amount of data available on a monthly, daily, and even hourly basis.

So, what’s the most important thing in your marketing mix? Reliable data.

Measure What Matters

Almost no one comes to us specifically asking for business reporting, yet it’s arguably the most valuable service we provide. With all the data available through Google Analytics, AdWords, CallRail, Search Console, and countless other tools, it’s easy to identify which pieces are contributing to the success of your business and which ones are distractions.

Did you publish 5 blog posts and get zero clients and zero backlinks as a result? That’s probably not something you need to keep doing?

Is one channel driving 75% of your inquiries for car accident cases? You might want to expand your budget there…assuming your goal is either more PI cases or more revenue.

There’s no substitute for knowing what’s actually working. Gut feelings or informally polling your new clients about how they found you is unreliable at best and comically misleading at worst.

If you want to win at search, you should do the things that work and ignore the ones that don’t. That may seem simplistic—because it is—but it’s not possible if you don’t clearly define a goal, configure your infrastructure to accurately track everything you’re doing, and then allow data to guide your marketing efforts.

Why Does Scorpion Think Your Data is Theirs?

I received a disappointing email today from a law firm who I’ve been helping assess the efficacy of their current marketing efforts with Scorpion.  Our discovery process centers around performance through Google Analytics and I find again and again agencies who have failed to a) add GA to their clients’ sites (FindLaw is notorious for this) b) refuse to provide any access to the account or c) fallaciously believe that the law firm’s data actually belongs to the agency.  The latter is the case we are dealing with for this Scorpion client.

But let’s stop first and make these points very clear.

  • Your site’s data is your data. Not your agency’s.
  • You should control how it is configured (even if they do it for you).
  • You should control who has access to it.
  • You should be able to take it with you if you leave your agency.
  • You should be able to kick your agency (or ex-agency, or ex-employee) out of the data if you want.

And if anyone is hesitating in any way to provide you with access to your site’s performance you must ask yourself:

What are they trying to hide from me?

Imagine investing in a 401(k) plan without knowing what your annual rate of return was?  Well that’s what you are doing if you don’t have access to your GA account.  And don’t rely on your agency to tell you how well your agency is doing with your agency’s proprietary reporting platform.  Everything you need to know can (and should) be housed in GA – putting you in full control of both the data and the analysis.

Now back to my client’s email:

You told me that I needed to get control of the Google Analytics account. I made the request to Scorpion and they provide “view access” for my gmail user account.  They said that they cannot transfer G.A. because it is a mixed account.  Ignoring the technical feasibility of the transfer, it doesn’t appear that they are willing to transfer the account.
My question- is view access to G.A. account sufficient to obtain valuable information for future effort?  Unfortunately, I don’t have permissions to delegate views to others.
And to the law firm’s last question…. is view access to GA sufficient?  The answer is usually no….  because depending on the configuration of the account, you can’t even view all of the data.  But would Scorpion really hide critical information from you through their configuration of Google Analytics?  You bet they would.  In the graphics below (taken from another Scorpion client), note how the limited Client Access doesn’t show data on things like….. conversions.
Kind of important if you are dropping $75,000 monthly on Google Adwords don’t you think? Wouldn’t you want to be able to see if people are actually calling? filling out forms? chatting?  Without that conversion data, you just have to rely on what your agency tells you.
As far as Scorpion’s explanation that “they cannot transfer G.A. because it is a mixed account” goes… remember, we put a man on the moon in the 70s, we should be able to provide appropriate access to a simple website tool. And Google Analytics has had this functionality for years.  Mockingbird does this for all of our clients, as have most of our reputable agency cohorts.  And Scorpion, if you are stuck…. here’s Google’s guide to their User Permissions.

6 (not scary) Steps to Setup a Google Account [Gmail] with an already existing Email.

Be honest: how many email accounts do you have? Now actually be honest: How many email accounts do you use? If your answer is “one” to both questions, congratulations! You win at the internet! If it took you a while to count, please read on.

Logging in to tools is a major reason why many of us have multiple email accounts. Things like Google Analytics, Search Console, Google My Business, Google +, and Bing Webmaster tools all require emails registered with either Google or Microsoft to gain access. Nobody has time to keep track of all of this (unless we are your VP of Marketing).

I’m about to share with you a step by step guide on how you can clean up your logins and use a single email account with these tools. It’s as simple as setting up an already existing email account with Google. There’s a very similar process to setting up a Microsoft account with a non-Microsoft email that I’ll cover in a different blog someday.

I highly, highly, highly (did I say highly?) recommend that you create/dedicate an email on your company’s domain name rather than using a free Hotmail, yahoo or inbox account. If you don’t have an email on your firm’s domain give us a call so we can help.

Please note: if your firm’s email is hosted through G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Business), then you’re already registered with Google! If your firm’s email is hosted through Exchange or Office 365, then you’re already registered with Microsoft!

Quick Steps to Setup a Google Account with a non-Gmail Email:

Step 1: Log out of any Gmail account(s) you’re currently logged in to, then open https://accounts.google.com.

Step 2: Click the Create Account link below the gray “sign in with your Google Account” box.

Step 3: Below the “Choose your username” field, click I prefer to use my current email address link.

Step 4: Enter your non-Gmail email address you would like to register with Google.

Step 5: Finish filling out the new account form and accept Google’s Privacy Policy and Terms.

Step 6: Confirm your new account with the email address you provided.

Longer Explanation and visual guides for Setting up a Google Account with a non-Gmail Email:

Step 1: Log out of any Gmail account(s) you’re currently logged in to, then open https://accounts.google.com.

If you’re already signed in to a Gmail account and this is the same address that you’d like to use for Google’s suite of tools, you’re done! You address is already associated to Google.

Step 2: Click the Create Account link below the gray “sign in with your Google Account” box.

google account create new account login

Step 3: Below the “Choose your username” field, click I prefer to use my current email address link.

prefer to use current email for gmail

Step 4: Enter your non-Gmail email address you would like to register with Google.

Once you’ve clicked this link, you’ll be able to enter your current (non-Gmail) email address for this setup process. This is the most important step in this process. As mentioned, I highly recommend setting up or dedicating an already existing email that is on your domain (example: admin@bestlawfirmever.com).

fields for creating google account with current email

Step 5: Finish filling out the new account form and accept Google’s “Privacy and Terms.” This includes:

  • Name (first and last)
  • Password & confirmation of Password (don’t make it the same as your luggage combination)
  • Birthday
  • Gender
  • Mobile phone (use a number that accept texts messages for recovery purposes).
  • Default homepage (as if your homepage isn’t already Google.com)
  • Location

google privacy terms

**Google’s Privacy and Terms are likely to change**

Step 6: Confirm your new account with the email address you provided by following the final instructions given (normally this is to simply click accept in the email you’ve received to the email address you’ve just registered).

Now that you’ve registered your email address with Google, you can give access/ownership of Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google my Business and any other Google tools that you use to this email account. If you’ve taken my recommendation of using a dedicated email that’s on your domain, you’ll never have to worry about the temporary front desk/law student/in-house marketer from leaving and taking all your data with them.

Now Celebrate. You’ve just made your life a whole lot easier.

A/B Testing: How To Improve Contact Page Conversions Using Google Analytics

What Is A/B Testing?

In our context, an A/B test is an experiment that tests two different variants of a webpage against each other to determine which one will deliver better results (more form-fill submissions, more phone calls, longer session time, etc.) The two different versions of the page will be randomly served to users on the website to determine the winner based on statistically accurate data.

How Can I Use A/B Testing On Your Website?

One of the best, most impactful ways to use A/B testing is on your website’s contact page. Currently, we’re running A/B tests across all of our client’s contact pages to see which page format is delivering the highest conversion rate. We’re testing the placement of the contact form — middle of the content versus before all other contact info and content.

How Do I Set Up A/B Testing?

There is a multitude of companies that offer A/B testing software (one of Mockingbird’s preferred: Optimizely), but in this post, we’re going to explain how to use Google Analytics “Experiments” feature to test your contact page.

Important note: the following process is for any website that is set up on WordPress and has Google Analytics installed on the site.

Step 1: Create an alternate page to test in WordPress and make sure the following Yoast SEO settings are set:

  1. Index
  2. Follow
  3. Set canonical to original page you’re testing

Yoast Seo Settings

Pro tip: I also like to make the URL the same as the page you’re testing but with “alt” at the end (ie: example.com/contact-alt/) but feel free to make the URL whatever you please.

Step 2: Install and activate WordPress plugin “Simple Google Content Experiments”

Step 3: Open Google Analytics and navigate to > Behavior > Experiments

Step 4: Create a new experiment and use the following settings:

  1. Name your experiment appropriately (ie: Contact Page AB)
  2. Assign 100% of traffic to experiment (assuming it’s not something extremely drastic)
  3. Email notifications to yourself
  4. Set 2 week minimum time to run
  5. Set a confidence threshold of 95%

Contact Page Google Analytics Experiment

Step 5: Configure the experiment



Step 6: Set up your experiment code

  1. Select “Manually insert the code”
  2. Edit the WP page and create a new custom field labeled “google_content_experiment_code” and insert copied code as value

AB Test Experiment Code

Step 7: Validate your experiment code and launch experiment.

Step 8: Sit back and wait for the results to roll in.

For more information on Google Analytics Experiments, view this help article: https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1745216?hl=en.

Top Announcements From Google Ads & Analytics Innovations Keynote

This morning, we tuned into the Google Ads and Analytics Innovations Keynote at the Google Performance Summit. The theme, overwhelmingly, was a focus on mobile;  “mobile is everything” and we’re living in a “mobile-first world.” Here’s what we learned:

Upcoming Changes to Google AdWords

  1. 50% more ad text. Ads will soon be made up of two 30 character headlines and an expanded description (up to 80 characters).
  2. Display ads. Where as currently you (or your designer) must create different ads in different sizes for each device, the process will soon be made much easier. In the future, you will only need to submit an ad headline, description, and image, and site URL and Google will create responsive ads for you.
  3. Individual bid adjustments for each device type. Instead of desktop being the default, you’ll be able to choose a base keyword bid for whatever device matters most to you, and then adjust for the others accordingly.

Location-Based Advertising Changes

  1. Location Extensions Expansion. Location extensions will be richer and more expanded, and will be shown on google.com, the maps app, and Google Maps.
  2. Promoted Pins in Google Maps. Promoted pins will display to users as they’re navigating. For example, on your walk to the bus stop, you may see a promoted pin for a nearby Starbucks.
  3. Enhanced Accuracy. Using Beacon signals, accuracy will be improved allowing advertisers to better track in store conversions after a user clicks a mobile ad.

New Features for Display Advertising

  1. Similar Audiences for Search. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads currently allow advertisers to target users who have already been to your website. Using Similar Audiences for Search, you’ll be able to create a list of Google users who have not yet been to your site, but have similar demographics and interests to users who have visited your site.
  2. Demographics for Search Ads. This update will allow advertisers to adjust text ad bids based on age, as well as other user demographics.
  3. Extending reach of Google Display Network. The GDN will be expanded by giving advertisers access to Cross Exchange Inventory.

Finally, in the more distant future, advertisers can expect a complete overhaul to the AdWords user experience. There will be a new homepage dashboard, and a new campaign creation flow, among other updates. For a complete list of all changes announced, check out Search Engine Land’s coverage.

What do these changes mean for law firms?

The announcements, while exciting, have ambiguous release dates ranging from “in the next few months” to “2017”. So while you can’t implement these new features now, it’s a good time to make sure your advertiser is on top of these changes. If you run your own advertising, make sure you’re staying on top of release dates. If that sounds unrealistic, think about if now might be the right time to bring someone else in to help you out.