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The Digital Gap for Conveyancing
Digitization of land and property transfers is happening right across the country. On the 11th of October 2021 changes to the land titles system in NSW were introduced to transition NSW to a 100% electronic lodgment of land transactions.
It began in 2010 when the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) formed the Property Exchange Australia (PEXA).
PEXA worked closely with the industry and aimed to provide a national e-conveyancing platform that enabled a fast, convenient and streamlined process to complete property transactions. By 2014, PEXA had developed a robust and safe system, and processed its first full property settlement online.
Today, the system is live in five Australian states, and has begun extending full functionality. This means adding support for new mortgages, discharges, refinances, notices, caveats, and transfers on a state-by-state basis.
New Systems = New (Digital) Opportunities
Leading Legal Practice Management Software companies are extending their software features to combine with the new PEXA System. The incorporation of the new digital processes will improve the experience for conveyancers and their clients.
What I find fascinating is that while investment pours in to transform the operational side of conveyancing, the same can't be said for the way in which conveyancing practitioners digitally market and sell their services. I will note that my comment is a generalisation and there are certainly some firms doing a great job, but the industry as a whole is for the most part lacking in the digital marketing space.
Proving the Digital Gap Theory (with a little keyword research)
I wanted to test my theory, and provide some real data that can support my view, so I jumped into one of my favorite keyword search tools Moz. Moz provides digital agencies and marketing professionals with SEO tools and insights through a freemium SAAS model.
For my research, I used the Moz keyword explorer tool and typed in the term “conveyancing Sydney”.
The Moz tool then provides me with a detailed list of the search results page and the quality of the pages that are ranking on the first page. The way that Moz analyses this is by judging the page on the relevancy of the content of the website, along with ranking indicators such as quantity and quality of 3rd party domains that link to the respective page.
I ran a number of search terms through the tool to explore both the search volume as well as the quality of the website ranking for each of these searches.
Page Competition Score - The Gap Revealed
One of the big standouts in the research is the lack of competition when it comes to page competition score. The Competition score checks out at 56% which is relatively low. For the purpose of perspective here are the scores for some alternate business search terms:
- Online digital marketing courses - 86%
- Holiday packages NSW - 82%
- Mens business shirts - 99%
So why do the websites ranking for conveyancing terms perform so poorly? Is this perhaps the outcome of marketing neglect by those in the conveyancing industry? Perhaps - but how do we know which search terms are important?
For example, if I make a general Google search for a term such as "conveyancer near me" the range of experiences that I find as a user for both paid and organic search results are dramatic.
Some of the organic searches go to directory sites with additional lists of 3rd party or directory sites. Many conveyancer sites are represented by both paid and organic search ads.
The huge variance between good and bad results for this search presents inconsistency for the user experience. Conveyancers ideally, should consider the “near me” search an important element of their online marketing, as their local expertise is one of their best marketing tools.
The bottom line is that there is an opportunity for conveyancers in the digital marketing space.
So, Why Is This So Important?
Currently, the ways in which people find, connect, and buy conveyancing services are generally limited to three methods:
- Be referred by close contact or word of mouth
- Be referred or recommended by their lender or real estate agent.
- Conduct a search through a search engine.
Online, conveyancing (or more specifically the methods people use to obtain conveyancing services) generates a large volume of search traffic; almost 40,000 searches happen in Google every month in NSW.
Searchers for conveyancing services have an above-average buying intent. That means, if I was to search for "conveyancer near me", there is a very high likelihood that I need a conveyancer, and that need is immediate.
Even when people get recommendations for conveyancing services from a friend or their realtor, more than 60% of those people will search for options available or to validate the recommendation.
That’s why it’s important to be present and engaged in the digital space with your firm’s marketing.
Presenting a professional and credible presence via your website and other digital media and socials puts you in front of searches who need your services. It also enables those clients that do use your services to publish testimonials that offer your conveyancing services credibility (or expertise, trust and authority) for future potential clients that land on your website.
NOTE: This blog was drafted by Tom Pritchard, and edited and published by Deb Turney for Skypoynt.
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