Your law firm's website is one of your most powerful marketing tools. If you are in charge of marketing for your firm, you most likely have a Google Analytics account to track data - but you might not know the ins and outs of how GA works and how to make sense of all the data.
There's a big difference between installing Google Analytics and actually reviewing the data and using it to make better decisions. It is a crucial part of analyzing your marketing efforts and coming up with future strategy and planning in your marketing.
Sure, it can be a little daunting at first. However, without knowing what sections to pay attention to, you stand to gain very little from the platform. But without analyzing the traffic on your site, you're kind of spinning your wheels when it comes to your marketing strategy. Here are five simple ways you can use Google Analytics to help make better marketing decisions today.
1. Identify Traffic-Driving Content
First things first, you want to know where your traffic is coming from. To get to the bottom of this, head to the Acquisition section. It provides detailed information on how people arrive to your site.
The Overview lets you see things at a glance but if you head to the "All Traffic" tab, you can get an in-depth look at where your current visitors are coming from. It shows you exactly how many people are arriving at your website and what directed them there. The sources could be any of the following:
This is traffic that's coming to you "organically" - such as people who discover your site via Google searches.
This is when people type in your direct link to visit your site, which means they have heard about you already or have visited your site before.
When you type in a search term in Google, you'll often notice that there are results at the top of the page with a little "Ad" icon. These are paid ads that are connected to a search term in order to help you pop up at the top of the results list. If you have a paid campaign for your law firm, you'll be more likely to pop up when people search for certain things that your firm specializes in.
Social is traffic coming from different social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
Referral traffic means visits that come to your site from sources outside of Google's search engine. This could be a hyperlink to your page from a different website or an ad, etc. This is a great way to find industry blogs and websites (including news outlets) that link to your content within their articles and posts.
All other forms of traffic get bulked into the "Other" category.
It's helpful to know where your traffic is coming from because you can figure out where to direct the most resources and attention to in the future. If you're getting thousands of visits from a particular Facebook post, that tells you something about what appeals to your audience. Likewise, if you have tons of traffic coming from an influencer's blog, you know they might be a good person to partner up with more often.
2. Measure the Impact of Your Content
You can use GA to find out which pages your visitors are spending the most time on - and the least. Head to the Behavior tab and click on the Site Content dropdown. The section entitled "Content Drilldown" is an overview of the pages on your site that are visited the most.
... you have more insight into what is working and what isn't.
Content Drilldown can help you fine-tune your marketing strategy because you have more insight into what is working and what isn't. It can give you direct insight into what people are reading on your blog or what service pages get those most traffic.
3. Understand Your Audience
The Audience section offers you an amazing amount of data regarding your website visitors. It has multiple subsections that give you information about the gender, age and location of people who are visiting your site. You can even find info about their interests as well as the browsers and mobile devices they're using to access your site.
All of this information can help you tailor your site to suit their interests and preferences and boost your future traffic. It's impossible to know how to capture the attention of your audience when you're not sure who they are. If a large percentage of your visitors are women, you could create a tailored message on your About or Welcome page that mentions women, for example. If a large percentage are seniors over the age of 65, you'll want different messaging than if they are mostly millennials.
4. Gauge Reactions
How are visitors reacting to your site? Google Analytics can give you a good sense of how visitors are responding to different elements of your website. Head to the Behavior section for help in understanding how visitors are interacting with your site. You can get a sense of which pages are the most popular so you know what is working and what could use a little improvement.
5. Set Up Goal Tracking
Finally, why do you have a website? More than likely, it is to attract new clients. Goal tracking is essential to knowing how – and more importantly, if – people are contacting your firm through your site.
Google Analytics gives you four ways to track goals:
To start setting up your goals, go to your GA standard reports. Click on the "Admin" button and then click on "Goals." Then you can start adding goals.
Some goal examples:
Contact form submissions
Phone calls (if you use call tracking)
Time on site or pages per session
Give each goal a distinct name. URL goals track when someone visits a unique URL. Time goals track how long a person stays on a certain page. Pages/Visit goals track the number of pages each visitor sees before they leave. And Event Goals allow you to track pretty much anything that happens on the page, such as when visitors click out to external links, downloads, videos, social media buttons, etc. Tracking these goals will help you better monitor the essential metrics of your site.
Google Analytics is an awesome (and free!) tool that law firms can use to create better content and imagery that appeals to your audience. If you're not using it already, get started today!
[Brian Haas is a digital marketing consultant to a range of B2B and B2C clients across the U.S., including law firms.]