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Not All Clicks Are Created Equal!

The other day, I realized that one of my most social media savvy clients thought that all web clicks (AKA web visitors) were created equal – that web statistics are just a numbers game. Based on the numbers, he said that LinkedIn was not particularly important to his firm’s online business development campaign, except as a way for potential clients to message him, if necessary.

I was amazed because I thought the inequality of clicks was self evident. Yes, there are 250 weekly clickthroughs from Google and about 20 from LinkedIn. Given the 90% bounce rate, guess which clicks are better? [see below for explanation of bounce rate]

The LinkedIn clicks are driven by the firm attorneys posting links to blog posts and firm articles to their profiles. Their collective network is clicking on those links and visiting the blog. Every one of those clicks is an existing client, potential client, referral source or attorney colleague. In other words, all 20 of the LinkedIn clicks are people we are trying to reach.

I mean no disrespect to Google, because this same client landed a seven-figure client through a Google search. Still, that 90% bounce rate is from people who came to the client’s site and visited only one page. Perhaps they read the whole blog article and then left, but many of them were no doubt unqualified, mistaken clickthroughs from people who aren’t potential clients of this firm and aren’t interested in their content. Those “bounces” are most likely generated by Google, not by LinkedIn.

Next let’s look at the 30% of “unattributed” blog or web visits that show up on most of our stats every month. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists (i.e. people who know a lot more than me) theorize that this 30% that can’t be measured is really just links that were typed into the search bar or shared the old fashioned way – via email.

Given the recent obsession in law firms for ROI, we tend to obsess about what can be “measured” and we tend to ignore that 30% of unattributed clicks. But one-third of our clicks shouldn’t be disregarded, particularly if those clicks are potentially coming from people who were specifically sent a link by someone who thought they might be interested.

What can we do with this information?

First, don’t be so focused on ROI that you only gravitate to the large numbers on your web stats. It’s a quality game, not a numbers game.

Second, do not become so enamored of social media that you forget the obvious. If you write an article, put it into the body of an email, come up with a decent subject line and send it out to your contact list. An email comes with the magic Forward button and that can ultimately account for a substantial number of your clickthroughs and readers.

* Bounce rate indicates the number of people who visit your website from another site like Google and then leave after having visited only that one landing page. Your bounce rate can be a very good measure of the quality of your clicks because we assume that visitors who click through to different pages were interested visitors who could be potential clients.