How successful is your law firm’s website?
It’s impossible to answer this question without tracking analytics. Sure, it might look good, and you might even get some new clients that came from your website, but this doesn’t tell you much about the actual performance.
I’ve identified the top website analytics that must be tracked on every law firm website.
Based on this information, you’ll be able to make crucial marketing decisions, improve your web design choices, and adjust your content creation strategy accordingly.
1. Total Traffic (Sessions)
First and foremost, you need to analyze your traffic. How many people are visiting your website? For the most part, it’s best to look at your traffic sessions by month.
With that said, you can still look at daily or weekly traffic reports to see if something caused a sudden spike or drop in traffic. For example, it’s possible that your web hosting server went down, and you weren’t notified. A significant decrease in traffic could help you identify that.
While you’re analyzing your traffic, it’s also important to keep an eye on your page views.
Your law firm might have 20,000 sessions per month, but it should (hopefully) have much more than 20,000 pageviews. A higher ratio of pageviews to sessions is a good indication of engagement.
2. Number of Visitors and Percent of New Sessions
Although often confused, visitors and sessions are not the same things.
Your law firm website could have 1,000 sessions per day, but it’s useless if it’s coming from just a handful of people. In addition to the number of users, Google Analytics will also show you the percent of new sessions.
There are a couple of different ways to analyze this information.
A low percentage isn’t always a bad thing, not if you’re still getting lots of sessions from a high number of users. This means that your site offers enough value to warrant returning visitors.
However, if the goal of your law firm website is to attract new leads and convert those leads into new clients, you’ll want the percentage of new sessions to be high.
3. Bounce Rate
A bounce is defined as a single-page session on a website.According to Google, if a user lands on your website and exits without triggering any other request to the analytics server, it’s a bounce.
Let’s say someone lands on your law firm homepage. It would be considered a bounce if the user:
- Clicks the back button
- Exits their browser
- Navigates to another site from the URL
- Has a session timeout
Here’s an overview of bounce rate averages by industry, based on a study of websites with 500 to 999 daily sessions.
As you can see, the average bounce rate for law websites is about 60%. This is a bit high compared to other industries.
You should aim to keep your bounce rate below 40%. It’s considered excellent if a website is able to achieve bounce rates in the 20% range.
It’s also worth noting that websites with higher average daily sessions typically have lower bounce rates. Sites with 100,000+ sessions have an average bounce rate of 35.66%, whereas websites with 0-99 daily sessions have a 52.23% bounce rate.
So, as a rule of thumb, when your sessions increase, your bounce rate should decrease. If that’s not happening on your law firm website, you need to figure out what’s causing people to bounce.
4. Traffic Source Channels
How are people finding your website? Monitoring your traffic source channels will tell you this.
By default, this is how Google segments the traffic sources for your law firm website:
- Organic Search
- Paid Search
- Other Advertising
Knowing how people are coming to your site will be one of the most important pieces of information for law firm marketing. You’ll learn two vital things based on these analytics:
- Best traffic sources.
- Worst traffic sources.
For example, let’s say your worst traffic sources are coming from your most expensive marketing campaigns. You now know that those campaigns aren’t working.
If your organic search traffic is low, then you need to improve your SEO best practices. Check out my book, Content Marketing and SEO for Law Firms, if you’re looking for an in-depth guide on getting more organic traffic.
5. Average Time On Page
Average time on page is an excellent metric for tracking engagement. You can assume that visitors who spend more time on a page are more engaged.
Here’s an overview of the average time on page for blogs.
If you’re writing blog posts that are 2,000+ words, visitors should be spending at least five minutes on the page.
People won’t have time to digest your content if they’re leaving after one minute. This tells you that your law firm needs to find more ways to keep visitors engaged.
6. Click-Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is a critical metric for those of you running PPC ads through Google’s advertising network.
To calculate CTR, Google divides the number of clicks on your ad by the number times the ad is shown:
CTR = Clicks ÷ Impressions
A high click-through rate indicates that your ad is useful, relevant, and well-placed. Lower CTRs need to be re-evaluated.
Here’s a look at some industry benchmarks for CTRs on Google.
The average CTR for legal ads is 1.35% on the search network, and 0.45% on the Google display network. Both of these are relatively close to the overall averages for every industry, which are at 1.91% and 0.35%, respectively.
Your legal website should have a call-to-action on every page. This critical button is designed to get visitors to do something, whatever that may be.
CTAs will likely vary by page. A good law firm website shouldn’t try to turn everyone into a paying client at every given moment. Yes, there will definitely be dedicated landing pages for things like that. But there are plenty of other actions that signify engagement.
- Email subscribers
- Whitepaper downloads
- Lead generation forms
- Social media follows
All of these are viable examples of different conversions that you can track.
For example, the CTA on your blog posts can be as simple as, “subscribe to our legal blog” or something along those lines. Not everyone viewing your law firm website is necessarily seeking immediate legal consult. They might just be looking for some valuable insight or quick answer.
Measuring conversions is a significant component of identifying top-performing content, which we’ll talk about in greater depth shortly.
8. Keyword Rankings
As I’m sure you, keywords are the phrases that users enter into search engines to find what they’re looking for. You must know which keywords are bringing you the most traffic, so you can focus on what’s working and strategize for what isn’t.
It’s always in your best interest to target long-tail keywords. I like to think of these as the low hanging fruit. The more specific you get, the easier it is to rank. Here’s why.
If you search Google for “lawyers,” you’ll see 1.4 billion results.
I don’t usually like to use words like impossible. But trying to rank organically for this keyword is about as close to impossible as it gets.
Now, let’s say someone searches Google for “lawyers in Boston.” This more specific.
There are 260 million results.
It’s drastically reduced from the first example, but still a large number to wrap your mind around. Getting traffic from this keyword is still going to be challenging, to say the least.
Last one. Here are the search results for “medical malpractice lawyer Gloucester MA.”
303,000. This is much more reasonable to work with.
Google Analytics will tell you which keywords are driving the most traffic to your website. It then becomes your job to compare those results to your SEO strategy, to see what adjustments need to be made when you’re creating content.
9. Top Performing Pages and Content
You should always identify which pages on your website are the most popular. There are two main reasons for this.
For starters, your pages with the most traffic should have your most important CTA on them. If your goal is to get visitors to request a consultation through a lead-gen form, make sure that button is on all of your top pages.
Second, this metric will help you identify if there is a pattern in your top-performing content.
For example, let’s say you publish three blogs per week, each on a different topic related to your law practice. If you’re a personal injury lawyer, you might do one blog about car accidents, another about construction accidents, and a third about dog attacks.
Tracking your top-performing pages will tell you if one subject is generating more traffic than the others, which means one of two things:
- This is your best content, and you should double down on it.
- The content in your other categories needs improvement.
Either way, the only way to figure this out is by tracking your most popular pages.
10. Exit Pages
Exit pages always seem to fly under the radar. Although often overlooked, this is still a metric that needs to be tracked at every law firm.
Google Analytics will show you the number of exits on each page, and the exit percentage for that page as well. This is the last page a user was on before leaving your legal website.
If certain pages have an unusually high exit percentage, you need to figure out why. It’s possible that the information is lacking, or maybe the CTA button isn’t visible enough.
It’s worth noting that some pages will always have a higher exit intent. For example, if you prompt a “thank you” page after someone subscribes to your legal blog, it makes sense that they’ll exit the browser.
You can’t make assumptions about your law firm’s website.
On the surface, you might think everything is running smoothly. But it’s impossible to have an effective legal marketing strategy without tracking various website analytics.
There are dozens and dozens of metrics that you can be tracking depending on your campaigns, goals, and strategies. But these ten are the most crucial for every lawyer.