Most law firms have websites, and most track their website analytics. If you do not, stop reading right now, and have the person in charge of your website immediately add Google Analytics.
It is hard to measure the effectiveness of your law firm website without set benchmarks to compare it against in your industry. So, what are the legal industry standards for good website activity?
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after only viewing one page. The greater the number of visitors viewing your law firm website and leaving after only viewing one page, the higher your bounce rate. Your goal is to create a website with such compelling and/or useful content that visitors click to a second, third, and fourth page on your site.
Legal Industry Standard
Excellent: 35% or lower
Poor: 80% or higher
A bounce rate of higher than 80% can indicate a variety of website issues, including: (1) Your law firm website content isn’t compelling enough, (2) Your website is not properly optimized for search engines, and/or (3) Your paid search advertising campaign is driving traffic to the wrong website landing pages.
If your website is blog-driven, your bounce rate will probably be a bit higher because a significant percentage of inbound visitors enter your website to view a particular blog post and then exit the site. A view of the website’s overall bounce rate without the blog included will give you a good idea of how your main website pages are performing.
NEW VISITORS/RETURNING VISITORS
The main dashboard of Google Analytics provides a pie chart breaking down new visitors versus returning visitors. Google gets this information from visitors’ IP addresses.
Legal Industry Standard
The industry standard for new versus returning visitors varies depending upon whether or not your website is blog-driven. If your website is blog-driven, then monitor returning visitors. If your website does not have a blog, then you should focus on new visitors.
A blog-driven website set a realistic goal of obtaining 25-35% returning visitors. A higher percentage of returning visitors could indicate that you are not reaching new viewers with regularity. Consistently receiving 17-25% of returning visitors is good, as 1 in 5 visitors returns to read your blog and website.
If your law firm website is not blog-driven, focus on keeping new visitors above 70%. A website that is not content driven should expect to have a low rate of returning visitors because there is no new content for them to view. If your new visitor percentage falls below 70%, that could indicate visitors are looking for fresh content and you should consider incorporating a blog, or that you are not reaching new visitors due to website design or development problems.
AVERAGE VISIT DURATION
Average Visit Duration is the average amount of time visitors remain on your website. Analyze blog post average visit duration separately from your main pages.
Legal Industry Standard – Blog Posts
Excellent: 1:30 or Higher
Poor: 0:30 or Lower
As long as your law firm’s blog posts meet the legal industry standard of 300 words or more per post, it should take 30 seconds or longer to actually read the entire post. If the average duration of visitors falls below the 30-second threshold, visitors are not reading entire blog posts, and you should consider spicing up your content with images, infographics, or videos.
Legal Industry Standard – Main Web Pages
Excellent: 1:00 or Higher
Decent to Good: 0:30-1:00
Poor: 0:30 or Less
Main web pages, including attorney bios, should be fairly short and succinct. Time spent viewing these pages is often shorter because most visitors view these pages for specific reasons such as contact information.