Aderant: Searching for leads online

For legal firms, tracking time is essential to billing and profitability. By now, most attorneys have moved from paper timesheets to automated time tracking and rely on technology for documentation, scheduling, and billing.

Law firms considering new software usually start their search online. So, the marketing team at Aderant – the world’s largest independent provider of legal software – was concerned their website was not “ranking” – displaying near the top of the page – in Google’s search results. Not being seen could mean not being shortlisted and a loss of sales.

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HOW WE DID IT

To tackle their Google visibility challenge, Aderant cavlled in Arketi. Our digital marketing team started with basic SEO techniques, such as optimizing title tags, description tags, and strategic internal linking Using a proprietary tool, we generated a list of all keywords and phrases prospective buyers might use when searching for legal software, and analyzed how frequently each term was being searched for.

CONTENT OPTIMIZATION We then reviewed Aderant’s website to find pages with content containing or related to those potential search terms. A search term with no obvious page of content indicated a missed opportunity to appear in Google’s results – so we wrote new content specifically to target users searching for these terms.

We also worked to optimize existing pages that had the potential to rank better for frequently-searched terms. One tactic was to embed product collateral into the pages. This enriches the site for visitors who might find it convenient to download a fact sheet. And when “structured data” mark-up is applied, this content also helps search engines better understand what the page is about.

LINK-BUILDING Google’s algorithm assigns particular weight to web pages with many incoming links from other sites, so developing more links was key to boosting Aderant’s rankings. We approached link building in classic PR fashion – strategically “pitching” great content to relevant, industry sites.

Fortunately, Aderant already had strong collateral, which we supplemented by creating additional compelling “linkable assets” – distilling an existing whitepaper into a catchy infographic, for example, or a graphical report on the results of an industry survey. We then pitched this content to influential legal industry bloggers and sites, many of which embedded our assets – along with the all-important backlink to Aderant as the source.

Search terms on Google’s first page

Search terms on Google’s first page

Site visitors per month

Site visitors per month

Referral traffic from other sites

Referral traffic from other sites

THE RESULTS WE ACHIEVED

Organic SEO is not an overnight process, but within a few months, the Aderant site showed ranking improvements. At the start, the site ranked on the first page of Google for four of its target terms; today, it ranks for more than 20. On Bing, Aderant was not on the first page for any target term; today, it ranks for 18.

This bump in search visibility has paid off in site traffic. Initially, the site was receiving 5,200 visits a month, from some 3,700 unique visitors (some visitors come more than once). In recent months, those numbers averaged almost double.

As a result of our link-building strategy, “referral traffic” – that is, visitors arriving on the site by clicking a link on another site – increased 34 percent year-on-year.

RECOGNITION In addition to the increased visibility – and the business benefit this delivered – Arketi’s search marketing initiative work for Aderant was honored with a Platinum Hermes Creative Award.

“Looking back to where the site was a year ago compared to its performance today, it’s clear the search effort has paid off.”

Ian Oxman, Vice President, Marketing, Aderant

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