When we don’t get the result that we expect, we often draw the conclusion that “it’s not working.” But understanding why something isn’t working can often be much more complex than merely recognizing that it isn’t working.
For example, your car doesn’t start in the morning. Is your battery dead? Do you have gas in the tank? Do you need new spark plugs? Is the starter out?
When stuff doesn’t work, there can be a variety of potential causes. It may also be a combination of potential causes working together.
The same is true for web strategy.
Whether they have been doing it themselves, or working with someone else, we frequently get calls from lawyers that complain that their websites, blogs, SEO, paid search, etc, aren’t working. They usually draw this conclusion because they aren’t seeing the results that they initially expected. Sometimes, this is a result of having unreasonable expectations. Usually it is a result in a break down somewhere in their web strategy chain.
Before you “throw the baby out with the bath water,” you should try to identify where this break down is occurring. Here are some basics to think about:
- Audiences / Eyeballs / Visitors – Are the right people seeing your web presence? If not, perhaps you aren’t focusing on the right audiences. Are you developing content that is valuable to the people that you are trying to attract? Are you providing them answers to their questions, helping them solve their problems, or entertaining them? Are your web properties technically sound? Are they getting properly crawled and indexed by search engines? Do you have tracking tools in place to measure impressions, click-throughs, and visitor traffic? If you’re not getting eyeballs, you’re never going to get new business.
- From Eyeballs to Action – If your problem isn’t eyeballs, perhaps you’re not turning eyeballs into action. This is what many call a conversion problem. Before you assess how to turn eyeballs into action, you have to think about what actions you want people to take. Do you want them to contact you? If so, how? Phone, email, web form? What are you offering them to contact you? A consultation? Information? Some form of assistance? If you don’t give people a reason to contact you, they won’t.
- Action to Revenue – Maybe you’re getting tons of traffic that’s contacting your firm but isn’t turning into new business. Now you might have a more complex problem. Are you priced correctly? Does what you’re publishing online match up with your offer? Are you delivering on what you’re promising online? Don’t be afraid to ask lost opportunities why they’re not signing up.
In the end, understanding why something isn’t working is the only way to get it to work. If you tossed your car every time it didn’t work exactly as you expect, you’d waste a lot of money on cars. More often than not, fixing your car is less expensive than replacing it. And the same is true with web strategy. But before you can fix the problem, you have to identify it.