Keeping focused with analytics will keep you on the fast track to getting more sales. Avoid getting overwhelmed by looking at too much web analytics data and focus instead on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your law firm.
We like to collect the following in an Excel spreadsheet: key Google analytics data, user experience elements like pages with high bounce and exit rates, SEMrush ranking reports, and some important data from Google Search Console such as click-through rates and broken links. This helps us keep it all in one place so it can be tracked each month.
On the first spreadsheet tab you can list highlights like these:
Traffic and Rankings Overview:
– Your site generated 1,976 organic visits in October 2018, up 10.02% from the previous month. Organic traffic is up 214.14% year-over-year and currently accounts for 75% of your overall site traffic.
– There are 63 keywords ranking in the top 30 search results of Google that we are currently tracking (with 36 keywords ranked on the first page of Google).
– The keyword “neighbor’s dog bit me on my property” delivers about 16.73% of traffic to your site from organic search, according to SEMrush data, followed by “neighbor’s dog bit me” (12.74%).
– Besides the podcasts dog-bite-example-URL, the home page was the most viewed page on the website in October, driving 461 visits.
Goals and Conversions Overview:
– Your site generated a total of (35) organic leads during the month of October, up 105.88% from the previous month.
Technical / User Experience Overview:
– 13 broken links have been identified that we recommend are fixed using 301 Permanent Redirects
– Your website home page bounce rate is at 58% with average time on site of 0:01:59.
Then we include some nice charts and graphs like these:
You can even customize a Google Analytics dashboard — if you want to keep it simple — to include these key performance indicators (KPI’s) and get quick daily or weekly views of how your marketing efforts are performing. Here are our top nine KPIs for law firms.
- Tracking Types of Leads / Total Number of Leads
- Cost Per Lead
- Types of Web Traffic / Channels
- Overall Website Conversion Rate
- Bounce Rate and Exit Rate
- Tracking Trends in Quality Visits with Average Page Views
- Top Pages
- Traffic Growth or Decline from Organic Search
- About Us and Bio Content
- Sign in to Google Analytics.
- Navigate to your view.
- Open Reports.
- Click CUSTOMIZATION > Dashboards.
- Click +New Dashboard.
- In the Create Dashboard dialog, select either Blank Canvas (no widgets) or Starter Dashboard (default set of widgets).
Marketing for law firms is typically based on generating leads. This KPI tracks the total number of leads and should be broken out by the various channels with an associated conversion rate. The insight from this KPI will help you decide if increasing your attention (or spending) on a particular marketing channel will create more traffic and leads.
Here’s how to get a full picture of where your leads are coming from. Make sure that you have tracking set up for each type of lead. Track phone calls with a tool like Call Rail, and form submissions via the amount of thank-you page visits. Consider adding live chat with a tool like Ngage Live (which is highly focused on law firms), and track email sign-ups and e-book downloads.
If you have an unlimited marketing budget maybe you don’t care how much each lead is costing you. For most firms, however, understanding the right marketing channel to focus on is using your marketing team’s time and money wisely.
Google Analytics will even automatically link this data from their Google AdWords PPC to report the cost per lead as a summary report or by an individual campaign. And with a little customization you can even assign a specific lead value for organic search or other channels such as social media.
Much like a well-balanced diet, a good mix of the type of visitors to your website will also indicate a healthy marketing effort. Make sure to review the percentage of visitors coming from various sources such as organic search, direct, PPC, email, display ads, or social media.
If you’re actively doing conversion optimization projects for your website, an overall conversion rate KPI will help you see if your changes are improving sales. Even if you are not doing conversion rate optimization, it’s important to track any upward or downward trends, as this affects your lead volume.
It’s also not uncommon to see changes in various marketing channels such as PPC, where sudden drops or increases in the number of leads occurs without any changes made by you. Many businesses have seasonal aspects to their marketing efforts, so don’t overreact to a dropping rate without considering other external factors.
When somebody lands on an individual page right from the search engines and then never visits another page on the same site, that is considered a bounce. You need to look at the pages that have the highest bounce rates and figure out how to make them more engaging.
The same is true for exit rates. You need to look at the pages that people most commonly exit from and add something to keep them engaged. Again, adding links to and from blog posts and to multimedia content like video, infographics, and podcasts are great ways to keep people interested.
Google Analytics is only useful if you use it to take action, such as reducing the bounce rate of your pages.
Not all visits are created equal in the online world. A visitor who bounces by leaving the website after just looking at a single page is not a quality visit. If you are modifying or creating new content for your website, this KPI that compares average page views against website visits is a way to indicate improvements on your website relevancy as you improve it.
Having a blog with quality content broken out into categories by your different practice area experts is a great way to deepen site visitor engagement. You can highlight blog posts that people might enjoy when looking at practice area pages. Conversely, you can make links from blog posts about specific practice areas into the main service level pages.
Looking at the top content on your site will help you determine what content is getting viewed the most. Go to the “behavior” section in Google Analytics and click on “site content” and then click on “all pages.” This will highlight all of your content and the total page views that content has received.
If your top content is not converting or driving people deeper into the site, here’s your chance to know where to start adjusting to increase visitor engagement.
Consider repurposing content (such as a top-performing blog post) and spinning it off into videos, podcasts, or other types of additional content.
It’s a joy to see on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis when we are dramatically increasing the number of visitors from organic search for our law firm customers. If you don’t go into Google Analytics and look specifically at the segment of traffic coming from organic search, and compare different date ranges to rule out seasonal fluctuations, you won’t know if your website is winning significant visitors from increases in total keywords ranking.
Look at the about us and bio pages on your website to see how many visits they get and what the bounce rate is. If the pages seem overly stiff or formal, add some personal images — like photos of you and your colleagues at a charity event — or thought leadership videos and podcasts to spice these pages up.
Your about us page and bio pages will often be the second- and third-most visited pages on your website. Leaving it up to chance whether or not these pages drive people deeper into your website is not a winning strategy.Now that you have a few key performance indicators to review in your website analytics, make sure someone at your law firm and/or a subcontractor is assigned to check on these things at least on a monthly basis. Great websites are made through constant improvements based on analyzing critical data.
Creating dashboards is easy
Here is the information Google support provides on how to get started creating dashboards.
To create a dashboard:
What your dashboard should contain
At the very least you need to track how many leads you are getting. Of course you want to look at the total number of visitors, the channels that are driving traffic, some metrics for organic search like the number of visitors, etc. But without looking at the number of leads on a monthly basis, you won’t be tying your digital marketing directly to your business goals.
You can play around with different date ranges for your dashboard and send the results as often as you like to your email.
While analytics are critical to tracking ROI and website changes, having a sound strategy that factors in how all the tactics go together will take you to the moon and back. Here is where symbiotic relationships help make or break your ability to do
the most with the time and budget you have.