One Law Firm's Story of Success That Starts With Digital Marketing Gone Wrong

When you work with the wrong marketing partners, getting anything done can become a nightmare. No matter how much work and care you put in on your end, you know that it will come back up again because someone didn’t do their share (or didn’t do it right).

It can be maddening. Even worse, it can be hard to spot that you’re being taken advantage of if you’ve never worked with a team that is the right fit.

This is essentially the situation Simone DeLoach found herself in when she became Director of Marketing at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A.

Simone had just joined the staff at the firm when she attended the Great Legal Marketing Summit in 2015, and she already knew the firm needed to make a change from their old marketing provider.

At the Summit, she started talking with our team at Foster Web Marketing about the firm’s challenges, and the seeds of a truly effective marketing partnership were planted.

How to Recover From the Wrong Fit in Digital Marketing Providers

Like we said above, Simone had already identified that the firm needed a new website and digital marketing provider. The firm’s old website was unattractive and not very functional. It was very difficult to make changes, and Simone regularly had to follow up with the provider to make sure tasks were completed and changes were made. If something went wrong, it was a long process to get it resolved.

The company offered no data or lead tracking, and it was very clear to Simone that the provider wasn’t working well for the firm. The challenge was that the law firm’s partners had relied on that company for all their marketing needs for a long time, and they didn’t necessarily recognize that the company was using a lot of ineffective and predatory practices.

In the search for a new provider, Simone knew she was looking for a law firm website design company the firm could trust and work with for the long term. It was important to her to take the time to find the right fit so that the firm’s partners wouldn’t have to go through the vetting process over and over or risk getting burned by another wrong-fit company.

That search for integrity is what attracted her to FWM’s message and methods.

“I trust FWM because of their integrity, honesty, and the peace of mind that comes with it.”—Simone DeLoach

When she met and eventually started working with the team at FWM to improve the firm’s digital marketing strategy, Simone says, “it was like a breath of fresh air.”  

Designing a Website Is Better With a Better Marketing Partner

For DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, regaining control of their marketing started with a new website. Simone met with Business Development Strategist Chad Foster to talk through different options, and they worked together to educate the firm’s attorneys about the problems with their prior provider, as well as how to solve those problems.

Simone is grateful that she had Chad as a partner through the process, especially after her experiences with the firm’s prior provider. “We went through a much slower decision-making process since we had been burnt in the past,” Simone says. “Chad was knowledgeable, patient, and understanding, and he took it at our pace.”

Once the partners agreed and a decision was made, though, Simone remembers that they were “off and running.” Simone next met with Chief Business Development Officer Gretchen Upright to start building the law firm’s new website.  

“The design process was great,” Simone says. “It was enjoyable! I like to participate and know how things work. It was a very efficient system.”  

Simone chose the designs she liked, and she and Gretchen walked through questions about the firm’s goals, perfect clients, and needs for the site. “In print and online,” Simone says, “I try to position the firm as approachable and kind. I want to let people know they’ll be taken care of, but—at the same time—that we have authority and expertise.”

With Gretchen’s guidance and Simone’s proactive input, the firm ended up with an attractive, functional website that they and their clients love. They now get lots of contacts through the website and live chat, and they can capture more leads online.

“The design process was very straightforward and easy,” Simone remembers. “It moved quickly, and that was exciting!” Overall, it was a good learning experience for Simone, and the new website was a positive change for the firm.

Improved Marketing Services Undo the Harm Done by Prior Digital Marketing Providers

Once the website launched, Simone started working with Digital Marketing Strategist Cody Moulton to start undoing the damage done by the firm’s prior marketing providers.

Simone found the one-on-one communication refreshing, and Cody’s attorney SEO expertise was exactly what she needed to develop and support her marketing goals for the firm. “Cody is very talented and very nice,” Simone says. “We have a great rapport in our monthly strategy meetings, and we frankly have fun—but we get the work done.”

Together, Cody and Simone created and implemented strategies that prioritized the firm’s biggest roadblocks:

Local Citations

“The local business citations needed a lot of work,” Cody remembers. The firm had different citations set up in different accounts that didn’t seem to be tracked or organized, and the firm didn’t have control of the Google accounts associated with the firm’s local listings. With Cody’s help, the firm’s accounts were eventually unlocked, giving Simone access to a ton of prior information. Simone and Cody also developed a new strategy to make sure that they won’t ever get locked out of critical accounts again.

Many local citations needed to be optimized and updated with current business information, and there was an extra challenge level because the firm had also changed its name and website domain. Cody worked to manually claim and update many local listings, and Simone helped work through the verification processes.

Yext and FWM’s Local Listing Builder and Listing Distribution tools were a major help in the citation cleanup, and that freed up more time to work on more valuable projects.

Reviews

Cody and Simone had lots of work to do to improve the firm’s reputation on Google, Facebook, Avvo, and other popular review sites, and the firm’s incredible success with their innovative review strategy truly deserves a story of its own:

Check out the story of DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis’ journey to reputation mastery.  

Legal Directories

Marketing a firm that has one main office, an appointment-only office, and six attorneys can be a challenge at times, and it showed most keenly in the firm’s directory profiles. Cody and Simone worked diligently to update profiles on Avvo, Justia, FindLaw, Lawyers.com, HG.org, HireMeLegal.com, and other legal websites.

With fresh and optimized profiles, these directories now help increase visibility for the firm and its attorneys, drive more referral traffic, and provide valuable backlink benefits.  

Content

DSS has made a big difference for the firm in many areas, but Simone especially loves the control it gives her over the firm’s content. “We felt held hostage with the old company because it was so difficult to make changes,” Simone says. “It was a lot of back and forth, almost like I had to babysit them.”

“With DSS, I make the changes. It’s very liberating—a real game-changer. You get your time back.”—Simone DeLoach  

Overall, the firm’s old site lacked quality content because it had been so difficult for them to make content updates and edits with their prior provider. Cody and our team optimized the existing content from the old site, including converting old content out of PDF form, to make it more “search friendly.”

Cody also worked with Simone to create and promote free books and offers, which are a great way to convert site users into leads. They also set up email drip campaigns to automatically follow up with users after they download offers on the site.

Simone loves the ease of adding new offers in DSS, and she also loves the way FWM fits the firm’s differing needs for content.

“We have five attorneys and six practice areas to create content for,” Simone says. “Everyone is different.” For example, one of the attorneys prefers to write his own content for his practice areas, but the firm’s other attorneys aren’t as excited about writing. Simone and Cody created a content plan that has our FWM writers fill in the gaps with monthly content for those practice areas, while the firm continues to add its own content.

Cody credits the consistent, high-quality content on the site as a huge component in traffic increases for the firm over time.

“You have to be honest with yourself and your team,” Simone says. “It still has to get done. FWM is flexible and fits our needs.”  

Lead Tracking and Data Analysis Show That the Effort Is Worth It

The law firm’s prior marketing company gave them no way to track leads. Although they had Google Analytics set up, the firm didn’t really understand or use it. Now, DSS helps them keep tabs on their leads and data, and Cody is there to help them understand and interpret the results in Analytics. “Cody’s a wiz at that,” Simone says.

Since they had no data from their prior provider, it was initially difficult to track their performance in hard numbers. However, Simone remembers noticing a difference right away.

“This may be anecdotal,” she says, “but staff reported that the phones blew up after the new website went live!”

Once they were able to see the hard data coming in, there was no doubt that our mutual hard work was paying off.

The data showed a 40.49% increase in organic sessions during the first year after launch, although it took a little time for their traffic to really take off. The firm’s FWM site launched on August 30, 2016 (red arrow):

DeLoach and Hofstra Increase in Organic Sessions

Looking at organic traffic so far in 2018 versus the same time in 2017, there was a 232% increase in organic sessions, as well as a higher percentage of new users, lower bounce rate, and longer average session duration:

DeLoach and Hofstra 232% Increase in Organic Sessions


Although call lead numbers weren’t consistently tracked year over year, the results for goal completions in 2018 compared to 2017 were impressive, with total goal completions increased 400%, site conversion rate increased 93%, contact form completions increased 49%, chats increased 72%, and report downloads and offers increased 870%:

DeLoach and Hofstra 400 Percent Increase in Total Goal Completions

Cody believes that this success in goal completions was highly influenced by the launch of the firm’s VIP Program for Clients.

Overall, organic visibility for the new domain shows continued growth since the firm changed names and domain in May 2017:

DHCLaw.com New Domain Organic Visibility Increase
 
Organic visibility for old domain showed continued growth until the launch of the new domain:
DHCLaw.com Old Domain Organic Visibility Growth


Now, there’s no doubt that the law firm’s digital marketing strategy is working.

“We have never been this busy before. It’s even a joke around the office: ‘Stop the marketing! We’re getting too busy!’ Busy in a good way, though.”—Simone Deloach

“We Love Working With FWM!”

Simone loves working with our team, and she is truly appreciative of the relationship we’ve developed over the years. “It feels like a partnership,” Simone says. “I know I can count on Cody, and I know the website will be on point.”

The feelings are mutual at FWM. “Simone is fantastic to work with,” Cody says. “She is responsive, collaborative, very savvy in all things marketing, and—more than anything—a friend I enjoy working with. Our projects are very fast paced. Simone is always working on events, new initiatives, pushing boundaries, and exploring opportunities to expand marketing efforts.”

“We’ve catered the site toward making it a useful tool for educating potential and current clients,” Cody says. “We just keep finding ways to make the site more helpful for people!”

Simone also loves the new website because it benefits the people who work at the firm, as well as their clients and potential clients. “I care about the staff,” she says. “I don’t want anyone in the office to overwork, so I put a laser focus on the kinds of clients and cases they like to take.” With that focus, they are able to get great clients, do more of what they want, and still help the target audiences they want to help.

The functionality of their new website and the flexibility of DSS has inspired a number of upcoming projects, and Simone is excited about the firm’s plans for the future.

“I have a list of initiatives that will keep Cody and I busy for very, very long time,” Simone laughs, “and I know he has a list, too.”

It also means that she can get creative and have fun with the firm’s marketing, like when she surprised Cody by featuring his yellow Labrador Charli in the firm’s Legal Beagles program:

Attorney Marketing DHCLaw.com Legal Beagles Program


Overall, Simone has been so happy with DSS, the Reputation Management tool, and her partnership FWM that—along with our ongoing work for DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis—we will also be launching a new website for their title company.

“We’re going to keep working hard and seeing great results,” Simone says, “and we’re going to do it together.”

What Other Law Firms Should Know About DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis’ Experience With FWM

“For attorneys,” Simone says, “there are so many vultures out there that use fear tactics and manipulation. I get emails and phone calls all day long from these companies. You can save yourself the time, money, and frustration of dealing with it.”

When asked what she would say to other law firms about FWM, Simone had no hesitation:

“Don’t wait! There is no time like the present. FWM will do a site that gets you clients—the ones you want. They’ll help you build a strategy to attract your perfect clients. They can do it all for you, or they can do some. You just have to be honest about what you like to spend time doing.”

“FWM helps you feel confident about the work that needs to be put in,” Simone says, “and sets the roadmap for you to get there.”

If you are searching for a better marketing partner for your law firm, let us show you how our team excels. Learn more about how your current website is performing with a website snapshot analysis, or reach out to us at 888.886.0939.

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