118% increase in ROI for personal injury law firm An analytics and data science case study for the legal sector


increase in ROI


increase in case value from online marketing


reduction of cost per case

Search Laboratory helped Hudgell, a law firm specializing in personal injury cases, achieve a 118% increase in ROI by joining offline outcomes with their online sources.

The Brief

Search Laboratory was tasked to develop a tracking and data analysis solution to understand which traffic sources and keywords were driving winning cases and revenue.  Initially, Hudgell had a website that was very effective at driving leads, whether via a form or phone call, but once the lead was acquired there was no further visibility to link the traffic and leads to the actions that occurred offline that represented true value.  The client, therefore had to make an educated judgement about the value of leads generated via different campaigns.  This was a judgment that turned out to be hugely inaccurate and correcting this not only improved campaign ROI, but changed the future strategy of the business.

The chain of events that occurs in a typical case would be as follows:

  1. Website visit – online
  2. Unqualified lead (form-fill or phone call) – online
  3. Accepted inquiry (a qualified and valid inquiry) – offline
  4. Accepted case (when the company is happy the case can be won) – offline
  5. Case won or lost (along with any revenue) – offline

Hudgell Solicitors Analytics & Data Science

Hudgell currently uses Proclaim, a specialist legal case-management CRM that holds information about the case as it moves from inquiry, to case, to close.  They also have a basic implementation of Response Tap, a phone tracking solution that allows the tie-up of a phone call with an online session. 

We developed a brief to gain visibility of the full chain of events presented above within their standard Google Analytics (GA) solution. This involved developing a detailed understanding of the different conversion rates between the different stages presented above, and the final values of these won cases.  Ultimately, we were aiming to develop an understanding of the ‘value per visit’ right down to the most granular level of keyword or specific marketing campaign.  Knowing this we could be much more effective with how we bid for keywords or manage online campaigns, something that is critical in such a competitive market where click prices can be up to $125.

The Solution

The solution Search Laboratory implemented had several distinct stages but the underlying concept was that it needed to create a method to ‘link’ online and offline, and then develop a method of pushing information, about what happens offline, back into Google Analytics. 

  • The ‘link’ - to link the offline and online data we used the underlying ID generated by Google Analytics.  This seemed the simplest and cleanest solution given the one-way nature of lead generation (i.e. online to offline) in this market.  We implemented code in Google Tag Manager (GTM) to extract this ID ready to be presented to their CRM when a lead was sent.
  • Passing the ID to the CRM - this was fairly simple for form submissions as we simply added a hidden form field and populated it using code placed in GTM. However, for phone calls we were required to implement advanced functionality that sent this ID to Response Tap where it would sit against the phone call record, should one be made.  Again this was possible using GTM.
  • CRM development - we amended the inquiry record when it was created to hold the ID. We then implemented the Google Analytics measurement protocol. This allows pushing hits into GA directly from any networked system and not just a web browser or App.  We pushed information on the action of an inquiry being accepted and when a case was accepted.  These hits contained the ‘link’ ID that joined these hits to the user’s records in GA and the case value (prospected or actual).

Hudgell Solicitors Analytics & Data Science

Once we had this data in GA we set up the appropriate goals which would allow us to do analysis on which channels and sources were driving these offline actions and therefore the highest value. For more information on the theory behind this solution, please check out our blog post on how you can link offline conversions to online clicks

The Results

Overall the results of this project have been exceptional.  The insights gained not only improved overall marketing ROI but it also changed the company strategy.

Prior to the analysis, it had been decided that the company would focus on high-value claims such as medical negligence and avoid marketing to gain lower-value claims such as slip and fall injuries.  The website and company branding was to be redeveloped with this goal in mind.  The reasoning behind this was that the clicks for the cheaper claims were still expensive, yet the medical negligence type keywords were massively higher value when the case was won.

The analysis showed that while the medical negligence claims were higher value, the data on the drop off from click to inquiry to accepted case to won case and revenue for Hudgell, allowed us to realize that the other areas that had less drop-off but lower case win values were a lot more valuable than previously thought.  This allowed us to bid higher and reconsider company strategy.

As a result, the company strategy changed, the learnings from the analysis allowed us to bid appropriately on all keywords, display advertising and target SEO correctly.  It also guided offline advertising.

In summary, the data analysis allowed us to:

  • Value traffic accurately
  • Bid higher and enter keyword markets we were not previously in
  • Bid lower and stop wasting money
  • Eliminate guessing what various campaign types delivered
  • Increase case value by 57% from online marketing
  • Reduce cost per case by 28%
  • Increase ROI by 118%