How to Be Sure Which Web Vendors Share the Data Your Firm Needs

by Kalin Dudley | May 9, 2022

Advancements in technology have changed every aspect of our lives, including allowing us to develop tools to make our work lives easier and more productive. However, it has also created an influx of new web vendors, making it challenging to know which will move your firm’s business forward and which might cost you more than they provide utility.

Do You Know If Vendors Are Speaking Your Industry’s Language?

Vendors often choose the metrics and the reporting platforms that fit the narrative THEY want to convey to prospective clients. For example, a website audit can vary greatly depending on which tool a vendor uses, and they’ll typically pick the one that best fits their narrative.

It’s not surprising that one would assume a web vendor is privy to the needs of your specific industry. That’s why we are sharing what we know about potential vendor pitfalls with you today.

Here are a few key things to remember about the possible vendor/PI Industry language barrier at future presentations and proposals:

  • The most important website metric for law firms is the number of conversions they receive. Many web vendors, especially those with an SEO focus, concentrate primarily on organic (non-paid search engine) traffic. This metric is important, but it doesn’t automatically correlate to increased conversions.
  • Even the term “conversions” can be misleading if not properly defined and understood. Popular data analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics, allow users (and vendors) the opportunity to define “conversions” however they choose. This means a vendor could count video views or multiple pageviews as conversions, then report an increased number of monthly conversions to a firm, even when the number of leads generated have declined.
  • Note that we use the term “interactions” in our monthly web reporting, as it specifically refers to web visitors who have contacted the firm via phone, form completion, or chat. We also report on each of those interaction types when they’re being tracked by the firm.

Watch Out for Vendor Scare Tactics.

Often vendors will use scare tactics by focusing on metrics without providing context for you. Not very nice, huh?

An example of one of their tactics is that they might claim your website’s “bounce rate is too high,” even though bounce rates can be affected by factors unrelated to leads generated. To properly understand this claim, it must be put into context like how the bounce rate could be high because they are finding the information they need right away.

You might also see audits with “alarming” information about the length of title tags and meta descriptions. While helpful information can be gleaned by exploring those numbers, vendors often provide this information without context. And it’s extremely misleading to law firms. Make sure you always demand context or explanation if you are unsure about what any of the data being presented to you actually means.

Protect Yourself. Know Your Metrics.

When you’re approached with a too-good-to-be-true presentation, here’s how to know if the service will really move the needle or if it’s just more smoke and mirrors:

  • Know your numbers. Before you test any new service, make sure you pay attention to the number of leads generated on your website. At cj, we call these leads “interactions,” and we list the number of leads generated in each of these categories: phone, forms, and chats. Being able to compare how many leads you got before the service and how many came in after is vital.
  • Make sure all marketing efforts are taken into account. If you’re with cj, you’re a multi-platform marketer. But some third-party vendors will seize upon any uptick and take the credit. However, a good vendor with a valuable service will consider ALL the assets your brand has going for it.
  • Vet any new opportunity through cj. We’ve seen it all and we’ve tried even more. We’ll be honest with you and we’ll tell you if we think a plan will work. If you’re already a member of the cj family, you know that we’re part of your team and your success is our success.

If you have a new third-party opportunity in your pipeline and you want an objective opinion from those who care about your brand, we’re here for you. We’ll let you know true value vs. cost.