2018 Winners – Technology Management: SEO / Analytics
Thompson Coburn LLP
Transforming the Marketing Department Into an Internal Digital Marketing Consultancy
Summary: When Thompson Coburn's new site launched in 2016, the firm took steps to rebuild the site in an SEO-friendly manner, baking in features preferred by search engines. The firm was then able to create achievable SEO-related goals, including:
- Nurture a population of SEO-intelligent content creators who generate content that ranks highly for search terms the firm is interested in
- Develop a robust data analytics program that measures progress and reveals business development opportunities
- Increase Thompson Coburn's domain authority (DA)
Thompson Coburn first had an SEO consultant educate all attorneys. The firm then developed a presentation that was given in multiple cities on how its new site would promote good SEO practices and how content creators (attorneys) could contribute. The firm then created an internal, four-part SEO article series and a document illustrating different types of content. It developed a worksheet for attorneys to complete prior to content creation that asked for targets, desired keywords and competitors, which the firm use for research and to determine how it would best fit into this space digitally. Monthly dashboards were created for each of the firm's 11 blogs, industry groups and some practices. These reports, designed to engage non-savvy users, measured only relevant data. They also listed new subscribers and any subscribers who had spent a significant amount of time on content (warm/warmer leads). Efforts were supported by work on the back end of the firm's site, including H-tag and duplicate content management.
Thompson Coburn's attorneys, practice leaders and management now know the firm is SEO-savvy and at the forefront for best practices. The SEO worksheet helps the firm's attorneys narrow their focus and connect content to business development (BD) goals. The firm is now consulted ahead of time when an attorney or group wants to embark on a content marketing effort, and can help guide them. Dashboards generate interest among attorneys and are often shared with those outside of their group. Thompson Coburn can point to data showing the benefits of careful content creation and SEO best practices. Attorneys better understand the factors that play into their web performance and how they can be discovered as thought leaders, which informs not only their content strategy, but also their overall BD efforts. Warm leads are entering the BD pipeline, setting the stage for tying content to ROI. Data analytics (DA) has increased six points since launch, and the firm is currently fighting “above its weight” when ranking the DA of all AmLaw 200 sites.