Digital Marketing, specifically SEO, has had a reputation for being proprietary, overly technical, and off-limits to anyone on the outside for decades at this point.  The veil of mystery has all means of being pulled today (and in reality, at least the past 5 years), with tracking tools such as CallRail, Google Analytics, and transparency in Chat and Texting platforms.

The following metrics, normally referred to as “Key Performance Indicators” (KPIs) are generally provided by your digital marketing agency or consultant:

  • All Website Traffic
  • Organic Traffic
  • Time on Site
  • Bounce Rate
  • Keyword Rankings

They’re meant to be metrics used to show if you’re on track for having success.  They are by no means an actual measure of success. Those metrics would be the following, and are the priority in what’s communicated by your marketing partner:

  • Qualified Contacts

What is deemed a qualified contact is generally the lowest portion of the funnel a marketing agency will have access to, without accessing anything your firm has internally, such as a Customer Relationship Management tool (CRM), or your own methodology of tracking lead-to-client conversions. If you can sync up an established dollar amount, that’s even better, but the most important metric will always be the confirmed leads you bring in from your marketing efforts, and individually based on channel.

How Transparent is Transparent?

At some point, the excess of the details may stymie progress or take time away from execution, and not out of spite, simply out of reality.  It’d be similar to a client calling you everyday asking about the status of their case and for you to go into detail on every motion you were filing, front to back.  Even so, there should be no limit on the amount of data you receive to determine your Qualified Contacts. Speaking of what we considered qualified (in all transparency) would be the following:

  • Leads that aren’t solicitations from marketing companies, or spam.
  • Leads that have already come in, in the past.
  • Leads that aren’t from medical offices, or other law firms.
  • Phone leads that are longer than a few minutes in duration.
  • Leads that aren’t duplicated by attribution from multiple marketing sources.

These steps should be on a marketing company so they can provide much more accurate insight into campaign performance.  By not taking any of these steps and providing all raw data, you may easily see 50%+ of your supposed qualified contacts as non-qualified, heavily skewing the perception of your marketing performance.

The Proper Level of Transparency

In summary, an appropriate balance of transparency from your Marketing Partner should look like the following:

  • A thorough, documented scope of work being done on a monthly basis with the comfort of knowing you can ask questions about anything you don’t understand.
  • Continual access to KPIs so you are always aware of intramonthly progress. It should be in the form of a dashboard you have access to at any time and mention many of the metrics included in the beginning of the article.
  • Qualified contacts/leads provided at least on a monthly basis, scrubbed/cleaned in advance for accuracy.

If one of these key points is currently missing, it wouldn’t be alarming, but it would be encouraged to get on the same page about having it provided.  If two are missing, I’d be considering why so much information and transparency is being withheld and consider this a fairly big issue.  If all are missing, it’s time to start looking for a new partner yesterday.