A beginner's guide to web analytics for law firms

Want to know more about web analytics? Then this article is for you. Here is a short introduction to the topic for lawyers. It looks at web analytics and how law firms can use them as digital legal marketing tools.

What are web analytics?

Web analytics are tools which generate wide ranging statistics about your website. It offers detailed information on web traffic, which in effect means information about who is visiting your site.

Information gathered includes where traffic to your website comes from or how long people stay on your site. Things like whether hits to your website click through onto further pages or exit immediately (this is known as a “bounce rate”) can be assessed using analytics too. These tools collect this information day-by-day, providing you with aggregate data that can be broken down to find out how the world is interacting with your site. 

How can I use web analytics to improve my digital legal marketing?

Web analytics allow you to track the effectiveness of your website. You can analyse the types of traffic that your site is receiving and understand where most of your hits are coming from. This information provides you with hard figures to show returns on marketing investment. Overall, web analytics provide you with the answers to questions like:

  1. how much web traffic comes from Google or other search engines?

  2. what kinds of keywords do internet users follow to reach you?

  3. what keywords are missing from the phrases that search engines use to connect to the website, and which can be better optimised?

  4. how much traffic comes from social media?

  5. are you using Twitter effectively to help your website?

  6. what are the most popular pages on your website?

  7. what time of day do people visit your website?

  8. how good is the experience on the website?

  9. do people bounce straight off your pages or do they stick around and browse the site?

  10. what are the “exit” pages that people are most likely to leave my website from?

  11. what trends exist in the times, days and sources people use to access your website?

  12. how many people are contacting you through website forums?

What web analytics tools are out there for legal firms?

By far the most popular web analytic tool on the market is Google Analytics. It offers a wide-ranging data collection and analysis tool, which can provide you with the answer to all the above questions and more. It is easy to register on and link to your website and is also free.

If you use pay-per-click advertising or Google Adwords to market your website, it is a good idea to make sure you use Google Adwords to understand what kind of results you are getting for your investment.

Alternatives are Coremetrics, the highly rated paid-for web analytics tool from IBM. There is also Adobe Ominture, another paid-for data analysis service targeted at enterprise level websites. Free web analytics tools include Clicky, a service with an advantage over Google Analytics in that it updates in real-time rather than showing data with a time lag, and it even allows you to track user behaviour while on your site.

Whatever your data needs may be, there are plenty of options to choose from. This may seem irrelevant to the world of legal services, but more and more consumers are relying on the internet to access their services. The legal profession is no different, so understanding how to maximise the benefit your website can gain from the use of analytics is a key tool to help you engage with the modern client. 

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