Online metrics tracking is a powerful tool to have when it comes to your online marketing campaign. You can’t expect to analyze how well your efforts have been faring without a long, hard look into the metrics that define your law firm’s success. Forbes put it best: “Measurement is what makes marketing a science, rather than a superstition.”
Marketing shouldn’t be an afterthought or something you do only when there’s extra room in the budget. Your ROI depends on a solid, consistent approach to marketing. Part of that approach is to find out where your clients and potential clients are coming in, what they’re doing when they get there, and why they may be leaving. All of these aspects can be unpredictable, leaving you scratching your head as to how it happens, and why.
Listed below are the top five online marketing metrics law firms should track to stay ahead of the game.
TRAFFIC BY SOURCE
Before you do anything else, set up the free tool Google Analytics. It’s powerful, free to use, and user friendly, too. All you need to get going is a free account with Google and the addition of a snippet of code in your website’s header.
Once up and running, take a look at the sources of your website traffic. Not only can you find out where it’s coming from, you can determine how well each channel converts.
This is where you can segment your traffic in terms of point of origin, perfect when you need more than just a “total visits” number to gain insight into which channels are outpacing others. There are four main channels to watch:
- Direct: how many clients and potential clients who came to your website directly
- Referrals: external links from other websites
- Organic: visitors who located you after a general search
- Social: those who landed on your website through social media
- Organic search traffic is typically the most valuable traffic for any given industry, and legal is no exception. But if organic traffic doesn’t convert as well as, say, paid traffic or referral traffic, it’s worth investigating why.
You can see in Google Analytics where on your website different traffic types tend to go. Referral traffic and paid traffic tend to land on pages designed for conversions. How well do your organically-ranked pages convert? (Take a look at Channel-Specific Traffic, which you can find in the “Acquisition” section of Google Analytics.)
AVERAGE TIME ON SITE
This falls under a category called Visitor Engagement, which involves how much time each visitor spent on your site. But it also measures how satisfied they were with the value of your content. According to Entrepreneur, this can be measured in many ways:
- Average time on site (higher the number, the better)
- Average pages per visit (again, a high number is desirable)
- Social media shares (strive for a high number here as well, which shows your visitors found value in your content and decided to send it to friends)
- Bounce rate (measures how many visitors don’t go beyond the first page of your site; more on this below)
- If your visitor engagement metrics aren’t where you want them to be, isolate the weaker areas of your site and improve upon them for increased conversions and higher search engine rankings.
The bounce rate refers to the percentage of visitors who leave without checking out the rest of your website. A visitor will have “bounced” if they come to your page after a search but then leave right away without clicking other links within the site. As such, you want to see as low a bounce rate as possible.
Of course you want someone to stay as long as possible with the hopes of converting to some kind of action, such as calling you for a free consultation. But in addition to the duration of their visit, you want users clicking around and engaging with your site.
- Take a deeper look: average time on site and average bounce rate are good metrics, but don’t just get an average. Go to the page data itself (Behavior > Site Content > All Pages) and find your most important pages, looking at the bounce rates and times there.
- Next, take a look at blog posts. Are readers leaving from these pages, contributing to your exit rate?
- Set up goals for tracking web leads; if your contact forms redirect users to thank-you pages, track the thank-you pages as goals.
- It’s not a bad idea to set a visit to the contact page as a goal. This is where a lot of people make final decisions, and many customers will view the contact page and NOT reach out, but still visit the law firm.
SEARCH ENGINE CLICK THROUGH RATE
Even when your website ranks on search results pages for certain key phrases, are your competitors getting the clicks anyway?
Your meta titles and descriptions may need improvements, as they can greatly impact your SEO and visitor experience. By optimizing your titles and descriptions, you can vastly improve the value of your site to the search engines and your visitors, boosting the amount of people who visit your site. In turn, you get more opportunities to monetize your web traffic and gather leads for your law firm.
You can find your search engine click through rate in another free tool: Google Search Console. Like Google Analytics, Google Search Console is robust and relatively easy to install on your site. It has a lot of other useful information you can use while you’re at it, such as how to create and monitor content that delivers visually-appealing search results.
Phone calls are a critical element of the law firm website. Usually, the primary call to action encourages visitors to convert to clients by picking up the phone to discuss their potential case.
Services like CallSource or CallTrackingMetrics are inexpensive to use, and will give you an accurate measurement of the quantity of phone calls your website is producing.
What’s more, you can even listen to recorded calls, which will come in handy later on. Some things to consider:
- Are your clients getting put on hold for too long?
- Are they receiving accurate answers to the questions they have?
- What is the follow-through?
- Are those answering the phone able to get the information they need?
- Are they asking how the caller found you?
Remember, converting more callers to clients is the name of the game. Tracking these metrics will help you see areas where you can improve your online marketing measurements. Implementing and tracking strategies to measure and analyze data are important to growing your law firm’s ROI.
Rahul Alim is the founder and CEO of Custom Creatives, a digital marketing agency in Agoura Hills that specializes in attorney marketing and website design.