Today’s analytical tools for websites are impressive. You can dig in and get granular, view reports in a variety of graphic forms and find extremely specific data to help you analyze what’s happening with your law firm’s web traffic.
The question is, who has time for that? If you have a dedicated marketing team, it may be possible to spend the time necessary to monitor and interpret these complex reports, but for sole practitioners and smaller law firms that lack internal marketing staff, it’s just not feasible. Even a firm’s Marketing Director may find that delving into complicated analytic reports takes time that could be better directed to other projects.
While you’ve got access to in-depth analytics, you may not actually need to look hard to find the data you need. There are some very simple metrics that will tell you quite a bit about the performance of your website without demanding too much time to explore. If you’re pressed for time – and what attorney isn’t? – consider focusing on these three key metrics:
- Bounce Rate: If you want to discover weak points on your website or a more widespread problem, the first thing to check is bounce rate. This number tells you how much of your traffic comes to your site and turns right around to go somewhere else. Google explains, “Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page and triggered only a single request to the Analytics server.” For a multi-page website, a high bounce rate is a sign that you’re not providing the information visitors need, or that they’d rather look for it on another site after seeing the page they landed on. If one of your pages has a higher bounce rate than others, you may want to revisit the copy, graphics, layout or other elements on that page. If bounce rate is high everywhere, consider issues like load time as well as the quality of content and design throughout the site.
- Page Views: This metric is important to identify which of your pages are getting the most traffic. Higher view counts can be based on function or quality. For example, you’d expect your blog to get more hits than a sub-service page, in most cases. But for pages in the same category, variation in page view numbers yields valuable information. You can use this insight to discover the services more visitors are interested in, or identify which blog topics inspire the most clicks. Also consider the possibility that some low page view rates might reflect a navigation issue.
- Unique Visitors: This is one of the most basic metrics you can use, and one of the most valuable. How many different people are coming to your site? Use this data to measure trends and gauge the effectiveness of other marketing efforts. Do you get more visitors after sending your newsletters (with article teasers that link to the site) or when the firm is active on social media or after a press release? Watching the number of unique visitors you get can show which strategies are most effective and which you shouldn’t necessarily invest time to pursue.
Keep a close watch on these three metrics and you’ll have a good idea of where you should turn your attention, both in your overall marketing and on your website. Then you can take a deep dive into the fancy graphics and detailed reports when you’ve got plenty of extra time to explore – like after you’ve retired.