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Signs Your Marketing Plan Isn’t Working

Signs Your Marketing Plan Isn't Working

You've created a marketing plan and have been following through with the points of the plan perfectly.  Just the same, you're not sure whether it's actually successful or not.  The results that you're seeing are questionable, open to interpretation.  What signs actually mean that a marketing plan is doomed?  In this guide, we'll look at several signs that can tell you that your marketing plan is in need of serious revision. 

#1: The Phone Isn't Ringing

One of the most obvious signs that the marketing plan you're using is failing to achieve results is when the phone is dead.  If there isn't new business coming in, eventually your firm is going to have trouble keeping the lights on—and that means that no matter how innovative or groundbreaking your marketing campaign seemed when you started it, whatever led to the silence in your office is something that needs to be changed.

If you're not getting new business, keep in mind that this isn't necessarily because of any one cause.  While this is definitely an indication that you need to change something about how your firm is handling its marketing, it's not much of an indication about what needs changed.  It's important to check every step in the process: are people clicking on your website?  Are people able to find your site, and is it usable?  Do they click away quickly, or stay and look at a few pages, then simply don't call?  Later in this guide, we'll cover some of the specific issues you may be having, with more specific solutions.

#2: You Can't Get People to Leave Good Reviews

Today, reviews mean a lot to people looking for an attorney.  In fact, the majority of internet users seeking legal services now check attorney review and rating websites before making a phone call to schedule their first consultation.  If you can't get people to leave good reviews for your law firm, it may be because your conception of marketing ends when the client walks in your door for the first time.

While marketing to get new clients is one of the things you should be doing, it's not the be-all, end-all of marketing.  Once clients come in, you need to stay focused on not only the law, but also your branding and keeping the client's image of you positive.

To make it more likely for people to leave you good reviews, you should also follow up with former clients, especially the ones who have had the best experiences with your law firm.  Follow-up is an important part of marketing, and if you use it correctly, your old clients will be your best advertisements to help you get new ones.

#3: People Aren't Clicking On Your Site

Sometimes, the reason that your phone isn't ringing is that people just aren't finding your website in the vast wilderness of the web.  If you suspect that people aren't able to find your website, you should be checking the traffic numbers.  First, check them over the long term: is it that your website has never really been generating much traffic, or has there been a precipitous drop?

If your web traffic seems to have dropped all of a sudden, check where the traffic was coming from and where it's no longer coming from now.  It may be that you have been de-listed on one or more search engines.  Typically, this happens when a search engine believes that your website is low quality or spam.  If you believe that you have been de-listed in error, search engines give you the opportunity to appeal, or to show that you have revised your website so that it is now in accordance with the webmaster guidelines set forth by the search engine.

If you have a relatively new website or one that has simply never had many visitors, you should consider search engine optimization.  This doesn't mean turning your website into spam—see the paragraph above for what happens to websites that try that technique.  Instead, search engine optimization today mostly works by making sure you have some, but not too many, keywords in your text and that you're getting backlinks from people with a good reputation.  Look for backlinks articles on lawfirms.laws.com for more information about how you can generate quality backlinks.

#4: People Are Clicking—Then Not Converting

If people are coming to your website but aren't filling out an online form or calling your office for a consultation, you have a problem: a low conversion rate.  Low conversion rates usually mean that some part of your website's content simply isn't working well.  In some cases, this is very literal: it could be a problem as simple as one browser having a difficult time rendering your website. 

If you've made sure that your website is viewable in all browsers—including browsers used on major smartphones—then the problem may be that you're not answering the questions that your visitors want answered as quickly as they hoped.  Your website design may also be unattractive to viewers.  You can check how people move through your website using a tool like Google Analytics, which will help you see the way people click through your site and where they leave.  By using this information with a bit of common sense, you'll be able to pinpoint where you're losing clients and fix the problems.

#5: You're Finding The Wrong Kind of Clients

Maybe clients are calling your office, but they aren't the right kind of clients.  They're not bringing you the kinds of cases you normally take, or they are almost always seeking pro bono representation when you really need paying clients—these situations can be frustrating for any attorney.

When these situations happen, you should consider that your marketing may be incorrectly targeted.  Consider making targeting the focus of your next marketing initiative, and if you're using pay per click ad words, make sure you're also using so-called “negative keywords” as well—in other words, search terms that, if a user uses them, make it so your ad will not appear to them.  For instance, you may want people to find your website when they search for “criminal defense attorney Denver,” but not “criminal defense attorney Denver pro bono.”