If you’ve hired an agency or SEO specialist to help your law firm build a strong presence in organic search results – good job! You’ve taken the first step towards reaching new clients in an effective and cost-efficient way.
But how do you know if you’re getting a good return on your investment? Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technical area of marketing. Some of the terms and metrics used by specialists may sound intimidating if you don’t have a background in SEO. And without a good understanding of metrics and KPIs, you may have trouble understanding what you’re getting out of your SEO strategy.
That’s why I put together a list of common metrics you will find in most SEO reports. One by one, I explain what each metric stands for and how it relates to the overall goal of SEO, i.e. growing your business online.
For more information on building a sound SEO strategy, check out our SEO essentials:
- Search Engine Optimization: SEO Setup Checklist
- Search Engine Optimization: Keyword Research and Competitive Analysis
- Search Engine Optimization: Content Strategy
- Search Engine Optimization: Local SEO and Google My Business
- Search Engine Optimization: Backlink Strategies
Now, let’s get to it.
SEO metrics you should know
Every SEO report should include these key metrics and performance indicators. If you don’t see these in your reports, check in with your digital marketing agency or SEO specialist!
Keyword tracking audit
This section should take up a lot of space in your report. It showcases how your website is doing in search results related to specific keywords.
Your SEO specialist or agency should be using a tool to track selected keywords that relate to the specific area of law that you practice. These keywords should reflect what potential clients type into Google when searching for legal services. The keyword tracking audit in your report will show you whether you show up in search results related to those keywords and how you rank.
When reading this section of the report, focus on two things:
- Position – reflected as a number from 1 to 100, this metric tells you where your content shows up on the search results page. Number 1 means that you are the first organic search result for the given query. Note that there are about 10 organic results per search results page, so positions 1-10 mean you are on the first page, positions 11-20 are on the second page, and so on.
- Volume – this metric tells you how many times, on average, the given keyword is looked up each month
Note that both metrics relate to a specific location your specialists are tracking. For example, if you are targeting Phoenix, AZ with your SEO strategy, your report will show you your position in local search and the volume of local searches in Phoenix.
This section of the report explores the volume and quality of website traffic you get from organic search. If your website consistently shows up on the first page of search results but gets no traffic, your strategy isn’t working – which is why this section is such an important indicator of success.
Here are the metrics you should focus on:
- Sessions – the total number of website sessions that came from organic search (e.g. someone searched for ‘family law’, saw your website in search results, and clicked through)
- Pages/sessions – the average number of pages visited per session; a higher number indicates that your content is engaging and effective in moving leads down the sales funnel
- Average session duration – the longer users stay on your website, the better – longer sessions signify that visitors are interested in your content and services
- Goal completions – this important metric tells you how many website visitors completed a goal, e.g. filled out a contact form
The bread and butter of any SEO report. This section shows how Google users interact with your content in search results. Again, if you rank high in organic search, but no one clicks through to your website, something is wrong. Understanding this part of the report will help you come up with an action plan to improve your organic visibility (e.g. re-optimize your meta tags or come up with catchier titles for your pages and blog posts).
Search performance can be divided into two major categories: branded and non-branded search. Branded search relates to search queries that include your brand name. Non-branded search relates to search queries that include keywords related to your services or industry, but not your law firm specifically.
As much as you want to do well in branded search (if people are looking for your law firm specifically, they should be able to easily find it by typing your firm’s name into the browser), high performance in non-branded search is what’s truly important. That’s because most new users will look up general services before searching for specific law firms.
Here are the metrics you should be analyzing:
- Total clicks – the total number of times someone saw your website in organic search results and clicked through to your website; a high number of clicks means that your meta tags do a good job attracting potential visitors
- Total impressions – the number of times your website appeared in organic search results viewed by a user
- Average CTR – the proportion of clicks to impressions in organic search results
- Average position – your average position on the search engine results page (SERP)
Backlinks are an important SEO factor. The number of backlinks (inbound links to your domain from third-party sources) determines your authority score, which, in turn, can affect your visibility in organic search results.
Here are the metrics that should be featured in your SEO report:
- Total backlinks – the number of inbound links pointing to your domain
- Referring domains – the number of individual domains that contain links to your site
- Authority score – the strength and popularity of your domain on a scale from 0 to 100
Need help with your SEO strategy?
If you need help optimizing your website for visibility in local search and getting tangible results, our agency is here for you. Our team of leading SEO experts will help you develop a bespoke SEO strategy and outrank competitors in Google’s rankings.
Soulpepper Legal Marketing has helped numerous law firms of different sizes and budgets succeed, and we look forward to helping you grow your firm. Give us a call or get in touch via our contact form to see what we can do for you.