Every year I write a set of goals down in my bullet journal. (Yes, I’m a tech junkie with a flair for the analog.)  It started a few years ago when I saw a friend post her “16 in ‘16” list on Facebook and I decided to join in. My goals are a mix of personal and professional, and I have yet to have a year when I achieve all of them. That’s ok – they’re goals. Not assignments. But goal setting is important to keep me motivated and working to better myself.

Goal setting is important when it comes to your digital marketing efforts too. Goals keep your campaigns and marketing activities aligned toward achieving a common objective. They also help you determine what is and isn’t attainable based on the resources available. Plus, complacency stifles growth, and goals help keep your marketing from being complacent and growing stale and out of touch.

There’s a lot to consider when planning your digital marketing goals. Do you have the staff, resources, and time to invest? What about the knowledge and expertise to accomplish the task at hand?

The most important thing about the exercise is identifying where you are today and understanding where you want to be and how to get there. We all know about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.) So, with that in mind, below are my top 20 suggested digital marketing goals for 2020 and some thoughts on how to achieve them.

By the end of Q1:

1. Conduct an SEO audit of the practice group and/or industry pages of your website and analyze how your title tags and keywords are performing.

If your firm isn’t performing well in search engine results, you are losing business. Plain and simple.Does your firm have practice areas that compete against other firms with the same or similar practices? (Hint: the answer is yes.) How does a potential client searching online for an attorney decide whom to call? A good bet is the higher your firm appears in the search rankings, the more likely you are to get that call. There’s just something confidence inspiring about searching for what you need and seeing a business rank toward the top – it confirms for the searcher the result is the most relevant provider for what they are seeking.

2. Evaluate and update at minimum three of your website visitor personas.

How do you do this? Dust off the plan that was developed when you launched your current website. Review the personas that were defined in that process to 1) confirm they are still accurate and 2) marry the personas to your google analytics or other reverse-IP monitoring service to see if you are getting the traffic you intended when you designed the site. If they are working as intended – great! If they are not – it’s time to reevaluate who your intended audience is and how best to reach them.

3. Review and confirm your firm’s presence in local search results.

Mentions of your firm’s name and address, also known as local citations, are a key component in search engine ranking algorithms. It is vital to your organic ranking success that your local citations are listed accurately and that your local business listings are claimed and verified.

4. Review and analyze what your top five competitors are doing online.

Benchmark your firm against the following metrics:

  • What is their social reach? (Followers on LinkedIn and Twitter are particularly important)
  • What are their conversion funnels?
  • What are their calls to action?

5. Review and analyze relevant online reputation mediums for what people are saying about you. 

Are there negative posts or comments on the internet about your firm or lawyers? Whether yes or no, it’s important to have a strategy for dealing with these things, so now is a good a time as any to set up your strategy for managing your firm’s online reputation.

6. Test your website and identify broken links and “page not found” errors.

We at LISI highly recommend Site Improve to make this process easier, but there are various online checkers to get the ball rolling, such as:

7. Create a content calendar.

Preferably one that overviews your integrated marketing strategy across all channels. There are plenty of online tools to help manage your content calendar across all digital platforms, but sometimes keeping it simple is a good way to start. Download our excel 2020 content calendar template to get the ball rolling.

Ongoing:

8. Write at minimum two blog posts per month.

Articles should be on topics that are timely and relevant to your clients and prospects.Studies have shown that people consume 3-5 pieces of content before they make a buying decision. If you are actively and consistently delivering relevant content, you are creating more opportunities for prospective clients to gain first-hand knowledge of your firm’s and attorney’s knowledge and experience. Providing visitors with consistent and quality content will also help to build awareness of your firm by making your site an authoritative voice in the communities they serve. If you or your lawyers don’t have time to write consistently, hire a ghost writer – it is well worth the investment!

9. Plan, execute, and launch at least one video per month for use in your social media and e-marketing efforts.

One statistic I recently saw said 63% of businesses use video for online marketing, and 83% of those who use it believe it provides significant ROI. In case you need convincing, here are some important facts to consider:

  • Search engines LOVE videos. Videos keep visitors on your site longer, signaling that your site has good content, ultimately helping boost your organic rankings.
  • Adding a video describing your services on your landing page can increase conversions by 80%.
  • Videos are inherently optimized for mobile viewing. With the rise of time spent looking at information online via mobile devices (nearly 2/3 of all sessions in 2019), this would appear to be a no-brainer. Create content that is best viewed on the device people prefer to use.
  • Videos build trust, which is the cornerstone of content marketing – create long-term relationships by letting customers come to you because you provide interesting and useful information.
  • Video encourages social shares and social shares can increase traffic to your site.

10. Show the human side of your firm.

Use your Facebook and/or Instagram pages to highlight information about your firm’s special initiatives, such as a women’s group, diversity+inclusion, or LGBTQ. Highlight the pro bono cases your attorneys handle and how they are involved in the communities in which they live and work.

By the end of the year:

11. Increase website traffic by 10%.

You may notice that we’ve been building to this point. The efforts each quarter should help lead to increased visits to your website by decision makers in your target market.

12. Increase lead capture through web forms by 10%.

This will require that you take stock of and update your lead capture forms. Benchmark their performance by analyzing the past 12-months’ worth of data to see if they are performing as desired. Are you getting consistent subscription submissions? And if so, are they from the client personas you are seeking to engage?Do some housekeeping here to evaluate if these can and/or should be updated. Here are some tips to creating high-performing lead-gen landing pages:

  • Reward a prospect for trusting you with their contact info. Offer a white paper, ebook, checklist or other high-value content that makes someone want to give you their email address.
  • Define the minimum amount of information you *must* get from the prospect. Don’t ask them to give you more than they need to, or they will likely opt not to at all.

13. Make sure your message matches the call to action (CTA).

If your CTA tells your prospect if they click the button they will get an “ADA employer compliance checklist,” don’t drop them on your employment law page and expect them to dig around for the content. Make the journey simple and streamlined.

14. Increase revenue attributable to online efforts by 5%.

This is a big goal and requires that you have a mechanism in place to track such things. But in reality, if you aren’t tracking where your business is coming from and investing increased effort and dollars in your high performing revenue streams, you’re missing the boat. So if necessary, take stock of what data you have captured and are able to capture and analyze how new business comes to you. That will give you a starting point. From there, if possible, analyze how it has (or has not) increased annually over the past five years in each of those streams. Identify your starting point and what a realistic goal for increasing revenue in each stream would be and set to work implementing the strategic tactics to get you there.

15. Increase your LinkedIn reach by 25%.

Your reach on social media refers to the potential audience for anything you post. Reach counts the size of your unique potential audience and is essential because it will help you understand the possible impact and success of your message. So the bigger your potential audience, the more opportunity you have to have your message seen by a key decision maker or potential client. (And if you’re not already, I highly suggest you follow LISI!).

16. Increase email open rate by 2%.

This is going to take a little bit of art and science. First, you need to make sure you are sending your emails (newsletters, legal alerts, etc.) to the right audience, which takes some dedication and focus on segmenting your list(s). And once you’re sending it to the right people, make sure you’re sending the right stuff. Craft subject lines that engage the reader and if you can, do some A/B testing to see what works. Don’t just “spray and pray.” Be diligent about getting the right content to the right people.

17. Review and update your contact database – and update contact info for 100% of the hard bounces (no longer at company).

Data degrades at 20% annually. If you are not paying attention to the contacts in your database, you are truly wasting time, and probably money. Since many email campaign management tools typically charge by email volume, every email you send to the wrong person (see #14) or to someone who isn’t even there anymore is costing your firm money. Sure, it might be pennies on an individual basis. But it adds up.

18. Update your website for ADA compliance and accessibility.

The requirement to make websites accessible to wider audiences is sure to increase significantly over the coming years. Optimizing content for accessibility ultimately creates a more satisfying online experience for a wide range of audiences. Plus, if your website is hard to read or the design is poor, it is not just those with specific accessibility needs who will have trouble viewing it.

19. Share at least two client successes as part of an integrated cross-platform marketing campaign (with client permission of course).

Your lawyers do great work, you know they do. And often that work is for really great clients who have a great story to share. It may be challenging to get all the details without some pestering, but the effort will be worth it.

20. Build an analytics program that will help you maintain success for the long-haul.

All of these goals are great (clearly), but they don’t mean anything if you can’t measure where you’ve been and where you are going. Having a strong framework for collecting the data and sharing it across your teams in all areas of the business creates a great foundation for cross-functional collaboration. And that’s a recipe for long-term success.

These goals may seem daunting. They aren’t meant to be easy – if it was easy, we’d be doing all of these things already! The biggest takeaway here is the need to benchmark where you’re starting so you can measure where you end up. And the more you do these things, the easier it becomes. So, what’s your 20 in ’20?