Google Analytics for Law Firms: The Ultimate Guide
Here at Moore Legal Technology, we don't just act on instinct. We use data and analytics to ensure our approach is working, and to help us plan where to go next. Every website Moore Legal Technology builds has three main objectives:
- To generate enquiries via telephone, email & contact form.
- To increase interaction & return visits
- To drive engagement on social platforms
We understand that it is important to our clients to improve their rankings and their traffic, but we use Google Analytics to inform how we can achieve these three objectives, and whilst rankings are a key part of this, making your phone ring is more important to us.
If you require an expert opinion as to your current website and online marketing analytics (compared with some of the industry-leading options available) or if you aren't getting enough enquiries from your existing digital marketing, give us a call and we'll carry out a free analysis over the phone - 01413548862 or fill out our online enquiry form here.
Analysing rankings and traffic is important as a measure of the site’s overall health, and can also help inform your business decisions. Analytics will only give you data relating to very defined questions such as ‘how many people visited my site?’ and ‘how does the page rank for a single term among the myriad possible configurations of text on the page?’ but in order to really use analytics, and to generate more and better quality leads, lawyers, law firms and anyone else marketing themselves online need the answer to these questions:
- How long does it take for someone to make an enquiry?
- Why DON’T people make an enquiry?
- Which parts of the internet do users come from?
- What parts of the site are most popular? Which parts aren’t used?
- What is the lifetime value that I can expect from different groups of users?
- How is user behaviour changing over time?
- How do individuals behave on the site? Are there any trends?
The easier a metric is to assess in e.g. Google Analytics, the less utility it has. The basics, things like visits, Page views, bounce rate and so on offer little a priori information. Making sense of this data requires a little digging or a lot of assumption.
The next level of analytics for law firms is to assess the user’s transactional and interactive activity. How do users navigate the site? Which pages do they most commonly visit? Which pages are driving enquiries and which pages are not? Obtaining a detailed picture of user behaviour and their behaviour before they make an enquiry.
Creating an Analytics Strategy for a Law Firm
Like your content strategy, your analytics strategy should be informed by your overarching business goals.
The first step is to identify your business objectives in the broadest sense. This is primarily done at senior executive level in most firms, and should be broken down into quarterly, 6-monthly and annual goals.
Once you have determined the overall strategic direction your firm is taking, you should identify and quantify your goals. Make sure they are measurable – what gets measured gets managed.
The next step is to work out what success looks like for your site – what KPIs are you going to use to track your efforts?
Key Performance Indicators for Law Firm Websites
First & foremost, KPIs MUST be aligned with your business objectives. The most important metrics are those which contribute most strongly to your bottom line. These include:
- Total conversions
- Overall Conversion Rate - Calls & Enquiries per month.
- Step-by-step conversion/site journey analysis
- Conversion by campaigns (e.g. Social, Newsletter)
- Drivers to registration/conversion process.
- Analysis of conversion process dropouts.
- Conversion of leads to actual customers (to be gleaned from client)
- Value per lead based on conversion page
These should be tracked based on a REAN structure – Reach, Engagement, Acquisition, Nurture.
An overall picture of how many potential clients the site has reached over the reporting period.
- Unique Visitors
- % Organic Traffic
- Page Impressions
- Average no of pages viewed per visit
- Cost per visitor
An overview of the activity of users on the site.
- Number of Returning Visitors
- Number of New Visitors
- Average Number of Visits per Visitor
- Average Number of Page Views per Visit
- Average Pages Viewed per Visitor
- Percent of Visits under One Minute (n.b. this replaces bounce rate. Default Bounce rate is set to 30 minutes inactivity.)
- Percent of Visits That Are 1 Page
- Search Results returning Null results
The key metric. The number of enquiries.
- Total Goal Completions by page
- Goal Completions by ‘stream.'
- Goal Completions by medium
- Cost per Goal Completion
- Quote requests
- Newsletter subscriptions
- The lifetime value of users. How the site is performing as a resource for the client.
- Newsletter subscriptions (with associated data e.g. clickthroughs, etc)
- Frequency of Visits (Days between 1st and 2nd visits)
- Days since last visit
- Site ‘Value’ – Frequency of visits multiplied by average duration multiplied by number of unique visitors for the period.
- Social Engagement (with associated data)
Tracking of individual pages
Tracking individual pages, especially if you are focusing on a particularly time-sensitive issue (such as particular police investigations, for instance). Google allows you to track:
- Individual page bounce rate
- Conversion rate
- Next page flow
- Exit pages
All of these let you see how a particular page is performing and allows you to make decisions based on the information gathered. A high bounce rate, for instance, is indicative of content that isn’t engaging to the user or that doesn’t encourage them to take further action on the site. A low conversion rate, similarly, indicates that a page isn’t giving users enough of a ‘push’ to make an enquiry. Next page flow and exit pages let you see how a user behaves which is valuable in modelling a ‘user journey’ through the site.
Goal Tracking in Analytics
Google analytics allows the setting up of “goals”. These can be configured so that every time a potential client makes an enquiry, Google registers that as a “goal” completion. This allows you to monitor how many enquiries are coming through the site and from where. Not only that, you can set a goal ‘value’. This applies a £ figure to the enquiry. This gives you an invaluable insight into your RoI.
Using this figure, you can also report on “Page Value.” By assigning a value to a goal, you can track the value of each page in analytics using an estimated value of an open file for a client. i.e., if your average fee is, say, £1500, this can be added to the value of a goal. Google will then generate a picture of the ‘worth’ of each blog post, article & individual social media interaction based on the enquirer’s behaviour. This gives a detailed picture of what is generating money for the and, just as importantly, a picture of your return on investment.
At a more advanced level, you can implement a weighted attribution model across your site that accords weight to ALL of your activity – this includes visitor interactions such as previous visits, social media shares, blogs read and so on. Tying this in with a concrete financial value (as described above) allows you to further determine the value of your individual services, the value of each activity you carry out in respect of the website and to allow you to marshall your activity to foster awareness, engagement, interest and eventually action in the end user.
Using Google’s Custom URL builder, you can create ‘tagged’ campaigns. This works by setting up a custom URL, which you can share. Google then includes all clicks of this URL in a report, allowing you to see how successful your campaign has been. You can tag things like Email marketing campaigns, Newsletters and, most importantly Social Media.
Tagging campaigns gives insight into:
- Which keywords generate conversions;
- Which ads/tweets/mailshots generate conversions;
- The value of a clickthrough from a specific tweet, post, ad or keyword
- The length of the average visit from that ad/keyword/campaign
- The overall value of your social media activity
Tagging campaigns is of most use across social media campaigns. Again, campaigns should be aligned with your business objectives, for instance, a Wills campaign or a campaign designed to promote Road Traffic services.
Rank Index is an interesting way of tracking your sites rankings. Google themselves don’t allow this (indeed, scraping such information has to be done manually or using a third party tool). Generally, we don’t recommend placing too much reliance on your sites rankings as these are a snapshot of a quite fluid metric. Google takes into account a user’s location, search history and other factors when displaying results so they are seldom the same for a number of users.
Tank Index tracking requires a few technical changes to be set up, but when it is it provides a useful barometer of the overall health of a site by showing how well it performs across short and long-tail searches.
Google Analytics for Law Firms
This is just a guide to some of the things you can track in Google Analytics. Google provides as much data as one could possibly require, and it can be difficult to make sense of it and to decide what is relevant. To discuss how to optimise your sites web analytics for maximum insight, contact Dave.
One of our key values is transparency – we want you to know what we are doing on your behalf and the results we are achieving. Many people are reluctant to do business over the internet, or with internet marketing firms, as they are unsure of what they are getting themselves into.
Open and transparent business generation
We provide all our clients with monthly reports, tailored to their needs. These reports let you, and us, know how we are performing. Our reports provide a detailed overview of rankings for your chosen key terms, a summary of our activity relating to your account that month as well as detailed metrics on social media, blogging and any other aspects of our service you have chosen.
In addition we provide a detailed report of the amount of traffic your site has received, how these visitors behaved on your site and most importantly, how many of these visitors contacted you through the site.
Like any investment, investing in online business generation is only worthwhile if you can measure what it is worth. Providing measurable value for our clients is at the centre of what we do.
SEO is as much art as science and as much a process as it is an event. As such, it is necessary to monitor your site on an ongoing basis to ensure that it is compliant with the latest search engine policies and algorithms and that it is delivering maximal returns. SEO or web development companies who offer a ‘one-off’ service can’t and won’t provide ongoing assistance in achieving consistent results. The services these companies offer can be beneficial in the short term, but are likely to suffer from diminishing returns.
When you engage Moore Legal Technology you are engaging a digital partner who will work with you to ensure that your website works for your business as best as it possibly can. Click here to get in touch.
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