Website analytics can tell you a lot about your family law website and how well suited it is to driving business for your firm. Here’s a guide that will show you exactly which metrics you should be tracking, specific instructions on how to track them in Google Analytics and why you must be tracking them.
Users (under Audience>Overview on the left menu) – Users are simply people who came to your website. Each user is counted once during the selected time period. Users are the people who can hire you so this is an important metric to track.
Pageviews & Pages Per Session (under Audience>Overview on the left menu) – Users can visit multiple pages during each session. When looking at the number of page views, we like to look at the number of pages per session. You should track this number over time to see if it goes up or down.
A higher number here doesn’t necessarily mean more site engagement. It could mean that people couldn’t find what they were looking for. In general, just keep an eye on this number and see if it makes a big shift in either direction. If you see big movement, you should likely dig deeper to see what else you can learn about this change in analytics.
New Visitors Vs Returning Visitors (under Audience>Overview on the left menu it displays as a green and blue pie graph on the right side of the page) – Generally as a family practice you will have more new visitors than returning visitors. The percentage of new could be as high as 80% or 90% especially if you are regularly adding keyword targeted blog posts to your site.
If your percentage of new users is below 80%, you should re-evaluate your content strategy or start one if you don’t have one.
Devices (under Audience>Mobile>Overview on the left menu) – This report shows you what percentage and number of your website visits were from computers, tablets, and phones. If most of your visits are made on phones, you should pay very special attention to how your website looks on a phone. Even today where most family law websites are mobile-friendly, the layout of your site may not be as good as you think it is on the phone.
You should regularly check your site’s layout on the phone to make sure all of your calls to action, phone numbers, and forms all look good and work well. You also want to make sure images and text layout well.
How your family law website looks on a phone is much more important now for a couple of reasons. You’re probably getting a large amount of traffic from phones. Plus, Google announced that is algorithm is now mobile-first. If it’s a focus for Google it should be a focus for you.
Traffic Source (under Acquisition>All Traffic>Channels on the left menu) – This shows you where people were before they came to your practice’s website.
Google breaks down traffic sources into the following groups:
- Organic Search – These are people who clicked on a non-ad search result in Google or another search engine and then came to your site. Organic traffic is important to track if you want to see how well you are doing in terms of search engine visibility. These people are finding your website pages and blog posts in the search results. This source is especially important if you are executing an ongoing content strategy. An ongoing content strategy is one that pays off long term because content that has high search visibility often maintains that visibility for a long time.
- Direct – This is Google’s catch-all bucket where they stick people when they don’t know where they came from previously. Direct traffic is people who type your URL directly into the browser and a variety of other sources that Google can’t track.
One big culprit that makes up this source is traffic from email newsletters. If you see large numbers in direct traffic, see what kind of clicks you’re getting on email newsletters. You also can track email newsletter traffic using UTMs. Here’s an explanation about UTMs and how to use them for email newsletter traffic tracking.
- Paid Search – This is traffic that comes through advertising on Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other advertising platforms. If you’re running advertising campaigns online we recommend that you check your campaigns and tweak them weekly. You can see the individual ads and campaign data in the ad platform themselves, but Google Analytics will show you the total number of visits you received through advertising as a whole.
- Social – This is organic traffic from social media sites including YouTube and LinkedIn. Unless you have a very active social media presence and are creating content of high value, it’s very hard to move the needle on social media.
However, social media ads can be very effective for family law practices.
- Referral – This is traffic that comes from another site where there is a link to your site. Some examples of this may be local news sites that did stories about your firm or directory sites like Super Lawyers or others. For most family law websites, the referral traffic will be amongst your smallest sources. While it helps your search visibility to get links on other sites that point to your site, in reality, not that much traffic will come through those links unless they are on very large sites.
Events (under Behavior>Events>Overview on the left menu) – Events are actions that users take on your website. You can track things like downloads, link clicks, form fills, and video plays.
You should think strategically about what you’re trying to achieve with your website and understand that turning visitors into clients is often not a quick process. People will often interact with your family law practice site multiple times before they hire you. Think about which events would be an important part of that process and track those first.
Campaigns (under Acquisition>Campaigns>All Campaigns on the left menu) – Campaigns are where you will see data if you are tracking email clicks to your site with UTMs (as mentioned above). You can also see data about your visitors from Google Ads campaigns that you are running. This is a good way to see how many people from your ad campaigns have ventured beyond your landing page to other parts of your site.
Conversions (under Conversions>Goals>Overview on the left menu) – To be able to see conversions, you have to set up goals in the Google Analytics Admin. A goal could be any page destination, like a thank you page after a download or specific page views, like a pricing page or another important page, or even a series of page views or the time spent on your website. Goals can also be triggered by events.
You also have the ability to assign a dollar value to a goal. This can help you determine an ROI for the activity that leads to the goal.
Once you have goals set up you can see reverse goal paths, i.e. where were they before they completed the goal. This can be helpful if you see a goal path being repeated by multiple people. You can better understand the actions people are taking that get them to your goals.
Google Analytics also includes Goal Funnel Visualization reports that give you a graphical way to see the paths through your conversion funnel.
The conversion is where the rubber meets the road for family law practices so it’s important to set up, track and analyze goals in Google Analytics.
If you need help in any aspect of Google Analytics or any website metrics that help you drive business from your website please reach out to us at Peak Inbound Marketing, we help family law practices get clients online.