“How do I use Google Analytics for SEO?”
It’s a question that every law firm must face at some point. At least, it’s the case for law firms interested in improving organic traffic flow from their content marketing and social media efforts. Search engine optimization requires consistent effort and a solid strategy.
Do you ever wonder about the traffic quality you’re getting from your Google Ads or from social media ad buys? Have you thought you might get better results from your own SEO efforts but have no idea where to begin?
SEO is not something you can afford to ignore or overlook. Fortunately, Google Analytics can play a critical role in the success of your SEO strategy. If you know how to use its metrics, you can apply what you learn in all aspects of your SEO strategy, from choosing critical keywords to match relevant search terms to narrowing down your targeting for Google ads.
Why does Google Analytics matter?
In short, it allows you to see how people are finding their way to your website. More importantly, it allows you to see how visitors to your site interact with your law firm’s website. You can see which information or pages are getting the most traction, which ones are gathering clicks, and which ones are turning people away. It can be instrumental in helping you reduce your bounce rates and improving conversion rates for your practice. In other words, you’re not just throwing spaghetti at the wall hoping something will stick. With Google Analytics, you know what is working, so you can capitalize on that and identify which strategies you may wish to abandon or tweak for more favorable results.
At Array Digital, we understand the unique needs attorneys face to stand out in crowded marketplaces. More importantly, we understand how to use Google Analytics to help your firm do exactly that. We can help you improve your site traffic tremendously so that you know your SEO efforts are paying off for your firm.
Array Digital will work with you to develop an effective SEO strategy, creating landing pages that deliver for your firm repeatedly. Even better, we will help turn your law firm into a legal powerhouse in your local market thanks to better organic search rankings and a greatly improved user experience for your audience. Let’s start by explaining the importance of using Google Analytics to enhance your SEO strategy.
Google Analytics is free to use. However, you may need a little help to get started or for developing an effective strategy for using it to your best advantage. Many of the metrics you will see may not make sense to you. The web team at Array Digital is happy to help! We are here to help answer all your questions about Google Analytics reporting and how you can use this knowledge to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level. Call us today at 757-333-3021 or visit the Array Digital website to learn more about Google Analytics data and what it can mean for your firm’s continued success!
Essentially, Google Analytics is a tool you can install on your website that allows you to track performance. However, the benefits are so much more than surface deep. You can use Google Analytics data to determine how people find your website and how successful your website is at converting those visits into clients for your law firm.
For instance, you can use this tool to determine key information you can use to improve your website traffic and results. Information like the following:
Of course, this is only the beginning. The more information you have access to, the better-informed decisions you can make when it comes to your own SEO efforts. The best thing about Google Analytics is that this tool is free to use. Array Digital can help you learn about both the basic and advanced features of the platform.
When it comes to SEO, data is critical. The Google Analytics platform provides data and key metrics about all traffic to your website and can help you improve the functionality of your website when it comes to converting organic traffic into paying clients for your law firm. More importantly, the right data can be instrumental in your efforts to improve SEO, but understanding how to analyze data is key.
For example, when we sign new clients who have had negative experiences with other agencies in the past, they tend to view their analytics every single day. This gets them nowhere. Our agency understands that the nature of website traffic for legal clients changes from season to season and even on a daily basis. Your traffic on the weekend will likely be much lower than your web traffic on Tuesdays. That’s because most people assume that all firms are closed on the weekend, so they hold their inquiries until the beginning of the work week.
If you compare your Sunday traffic to your Monday traffic, you will continuously try to fix something that is not broken. You must widen your data set. Compare your traffic year over year, rather than day-to-day or month-to-month. This way, you will then see great improvements. When we help clients adjust the way they view data in Google Analytics, they then realize that their website traffic has increased 50%, 100%, or even 300% a year. Just look at the image below of one of our client’s accounts.
From the ability to measure various SEO metrics when testing out new content marketing efforts or creating new web pages to determining which of them are generating the most search traffic for your website, this tool can help.
The reason it is so important for active SEO campaigns, though, is that you receive the analytics data in real-time. This means that once new changes go live, you can get a glimpse as to how effective they are. This is most applicable to web design, social media, and paid advertising, which can produce results almost immediately. Proper search engine optimization is a long-term strategy that can take time to accumulate data in Google Analytics. Still, using the platform as an overall digital marketing tool is essential for your law firm.
With Google Analytics, you can see, at any given time, how many of your visitors are viewing your website from a desktop computer and how much of your traffic is from mobile devices. Comparing the two is key. If you notice that your desktop site receives far better metrics than your mobile site (i.e., significantly lower bounce, higher conversions, more new users, etc.), this can signal technical SEO issues like slow load times, abysmal site speed, or broken links.
In order to get the most out of Google Analytics, you’ll want to pair its metrics with those of Google Search Console. Google Search Console (GSC) is incredibly useful for determining which search query people are using to find your site through organic search methods. This can include standard keywords (i.e., Manhattan personal injury lawyer) or long tail keywords (i.e., Will my insurance go up after a car accident in Manhattan?). When used in combination with each other, you have key insight into the progress of your SEO efforts. You will gain a deeper understanding of your content marketing performance while also finding improvement opportunities for things like better page speed, more intuitive web design, implementing site search and accessibility options, and strategic geographical targeting for avatars.
Think about it this way. More than 90 percent of all global search queries are made via Google. Google is offering a free tool to help you maximize your SEO performance. This tool is a gold mine for law firms that have the time, energy, and are willing to make the effort to use it as one of your primary SEO tools.
While the precise algorithms Google uses to rank webpages in the SERPs are not always clear, Google is upfront about many other things. They have made it as simple as possible to set up a Google Analytics account for your website and provided the instructions themselves. One of the most important things to do is to make sure you install the tracking code you receive when signing up for your analytics account on every page of your website. This is the code that tracks every visitor to your website and each of your web pages. It is what Google uses to gather the data they provide on your Google Analytics dashboard.
If this is your first time installing Google Analytics, you will want to create an admin account. If you are a law firm with multiple practices or branches in different cities, you may consider creating separate accounts for each practice rather than having all data for all practices running onto a single account. This gives each practice greater autonomy when it comes to SEO while allowing you to use the analytics from each when making decisions about other web properties within your organization.
Once you’ve set up your Google Analytics account and installed the tracking code on all your web pages, it is time to dive in and learn about what the various data points mean for your practice and your overall SEO strategy. Google offers many different reports about your account. Those listed below are among the most important when it comes to search engine optimization and your law firm. Here’s how you’ll want to make use of the information.
The audience report tracks active users in increments of 1, 7, 14, and 28-day intervals. However, you can choose a custom date range. This allows you to monitor how enthusiastic visitors are about your website. Additionally, analytics evaluates the potential lifetime value of different users based on how they were acquired. For instance, you can determine if they were required through organic search, paid search, email, or other means to decide whether or not your marketing efforts have been profitable for your firm.
You can also further break down your audience into demographics or affinity categories as well as geographic locations. For instance, if you have a practice in Viginia and you notice an excessive amount of traffic from Texas, you might want to tweak your SEO to focus on more local search terms or create negative geographic locations within Google ads (to “negative” a location means to exclude your ads from appearing for searchers within that area). Alternatively, you may even consider partnering with existing firms in the other state (or within other practice areas) to send referrals for people who need services you do not provide or live in locations your firm does not currently serve based on the audience information you receive from Google Analytics.
Google Ads reports offer post-click performance metrics providing insight about users who came to your website after clicking on an ad.
Why does this report matter?
It provides information about the behavior of users on your website properties, identifies how you come by these users, and informs you about which advertising strategies are getting the best results — especially in terms of click-through rates (CTR) and conversions.
In contrast, it also lets you know which advertising efforts need improvement or should be abandoned altogether. Other information you may ascertain from using your Google Ads reports include the following:
The bottom line is that these reports provide vital information about your overall return on investment when it comes to your advertising dollars. Whether you are a beginner with Google Ads or a seasoned pro, using advertising reports can be instrumental in determining where to put the most money and effort. Let the data drive your decisions.
These reports are all about the ABC (acquisition, behavior, conversion) cycle. In short, they provide key information about how your website acquires users, how those users interact with your site, and the conversion patterns of users on your site. The better you understand the behaviors that drive conversions, the better you can drive traffic so that visitors to your website become customers for your firm.
Customer behavior is something many experts spend years trying to understand, predict, and enhance. Google has the analytics of these behaviors down to a science, leaving you to make of the data what you will. However, the data delivered about customer behaviors can be important indicators of potential problems with your website’s performance — or even the performance of a single web page on your site. For instance, while site speed is important for reducing bounce rates and complete exits from your website, a single page that is slow to load can indicate a problem unique to that page on your website that requires further scrutiny.
The behavior reports Google provides offer information about how people flow from one page to another on your website and at which point users leave the “flow” completely. In other words, they can help you find pages that seem to invite contact from visitors or other favorable actions as well as those that seem to terminate action or disengage your audience so you can address these issues for a better flow that may create higher conversion rates for your firm.
Obviously, conversions are the ultimate goal for all your SEO and other digital marketing efforts. Whether conversions result in customers filling out a contact form, signing up for your law firm’s newsletters, or calling your firm for a consultation, these reports allow you to see how all your channels work together to help you accomplish your conversion goals and where you need to make improvements.
Our agency knows the exact science to increase website traffic. However, our clients must work to build their brand and uniqueness first. If a law firm offers nothing different from the other firm down the street, there will be no incentive for a site visitor to convert. Make sure that you effectively outline your firm’s exclusive benefits before starting an SEO campaign.
While it’s not all about simply getting traffic to your website’s homepage, the truth is that sales and conversions do not happen on the web without significant SEO efforts. To be successful, you must first have an outstanding SEO strategy. Google Analytics can be instrumental in helping law firms, like yours, fine-tune your SEO strategy armed with various SEO metrics and other tools to net better results for all pages of your website. It doesn’t matter if you are currently at the top when it comes to keyword rankings or if you still need a little help. These tips can help you get more mileage from your Google Analytics information paired with your Google Search Console Account.
The good news is that Google makes it easy to do this. They have provided detailed instructions to help you enable Search Console data sharing.
Why is it necessary to connect the two?
Simple. Google Analytics helps you learn about traffic data and user behavior. Google Search Console helps you learn more about your website’s performance in the SERPs and your top keywords. Connecting the data allows you to better understand how the two work in concert.
Many times, old pages begin to lose rankings, which results in less traffic. It happens. If your site has not undergone meticulous rounds of technical SEO, your ranking can plummet suddenly and unexpectedly.
In fact, we see this happen with prospects all the time. They will have ten thousand site visitors each month consistently. Then, within a month, their traffic plummets to a few hundred. This certainly causes rightful panic. Nine times out of ten, it is because their website did not meet the standards outlined in the latest Google Core algorithm update, and they lost thousands of ranked keywords as a result.
While you can use other tools to determine traffic data, Google Analytics offers the most accurate data to help you determine your website’s SEO performance. You can use Google Analytics to understand which of your web pages have lost substantial amounts of traffic over the last six months to help determine which may need to be updated and resubmitted to Google Search Console for fresh indexing.
Remember the importance of large data sets we previously discussed? These help us see trends. Recognizing trends through large data segments helps law firms better discern possible reasoning for dips and spikes in traffic.
One great thing about using Google Analytics with Google Search Console is that you can automate custom alerts for these data dips and spikes to track the natural volatility of your law firm’s website.
Interactions with your website are important for law firms that do not necessarily make sales on the website but need to track accomplishments. You can do this by creating “goals” in your Google Analytics account. How do you set up these “goals?”
Your goals can be various things that help you determine engagement such as filling out forms, buying products, moving to another page, etc. Tracking the number of people who make specific interactions on your website provides a measurable proof of your efforts.
It doesn’t look good for your law firm or your website when users can’t navigate to certain pages due to 404 or “page not found” errors. Unfortunately, most law firms are unaware of the problem until someone brings it to your attention. Fortunately, there is something you can do to make sure you find out quickly whenever these errors occur.
You can use Google’s tools to monitor and notify you if there are 404 errors on any of your web pages. Knowing quickly means you can promptly resolve issues and get your pages back up and running to benefit your law firm’s reputation, ensure visitors get the information they’re looking for, and help improve conversions for your practice.
First, what is a bounce rate? This term refers to the number of visitors to your website who leave without viewing additional pages or otherwise interacting with your site. The average bounce rate for web pages is somewhere between 26 and 70 percent, with optimal ranges hovering between 26 and 40 percent. A high bounce rate would be a rate above 60 percent though you might consider looking for signs of trouble if your bounce rate is greater than 50 percent. Additionally, a bounce rate that is too low, suspiciously below 20 percent(5), for instance, maybe a sign of other problems and needs to be investigated as well.
Why do bounce rates matter?
The bottom line is that high bounce rates means you’re leaving money on the table. You’re making the effort to get visitors to your website. That’s great. Unfortunately, you’re not engaging them once they’re there. That isn’t so great.
Solving the problem and improving engagement can be instrumental in helping you get a better return on investment for your SEO efforts.
While you can certainly use Google Analytics with your Google Search Console account to determine which of your web pages are gaining the most conversions for your practice, you can also use Google’s tools to optimize your pages for even greater success. Once you’ve identified your best-converting pages, you should do the following:
As an added bonus, you can use this information to determine which topics are converting best for your practice so you can revisit them in other forms, such as videos, blog posts, graphics, and more.
Backlinks, sometimes called referral traffic, are critical for SEO and conversions. Did you know that Google Analytics can help you identify these referral sites? Why does it matter? It’s part of the relationship-building process. By learning who has already linked to your web pages, you can encourage interactions and build relationships with the owners of these web properties and their audiences to capitalize and, hopefully, gain new traffic in the future.
If you’re looking to track the full effect of your SEO efforts, the multi-channel funnel report is your best source of information. Why? Because it will show you when SEO played part in creating conversions, even when it wasn’t the last click in the chain. Ultimately, it shows how different channels work together to create the conversions you want from your website.
Keeping up with performance is the best way to know what is working well for your website and your overall SEO strategy and what needs improvement. The content drill-down report is one of the most useful tools for explaining specific performance metrics for individual web pages on your firm’s site. Because law firms do not make sales directly on their web pages, performance metrics like these maybe the most important tools for determining how effective your SEO campaign has been. These are a few key things you can learn from the content drilldown report.
You can use this information to determine how your audience responds differently from one page to the next, even if they cover the same or similar topics. Essentially, it is a tool that helps you determine how successfully different URLs perform for accomplishing various goals.
Done properly, SEO is a marathon. Not a sprint. It can take several months (or even years in super competitive markets) to see SEO results from your efforts. Don’t get discouraged. This doesn’t mean your SEO isn’t working. It just means that your firm needs to establish authority with GoogleWithout proper documentation or annotation, it can be nearly impossible to determine which of your efforts are achieving great success and which are underperforming. The annotation feature on Google Analytics helps provide important benchmarks so you can measure improvements based on specific SEO changes and efforts.
It takes hours of training and practice to understand how to properly use Google Analytics and Google Search Console for SEO. Hiring an SEO specialist from Array Digital can take all the guesswork out of the process allowing you to have a fully optimized website without taking your attention away from what you do best. Call 757-333-3021 today or fill out the Array Digital online form so that we can provide you with a detailed overview of your website’s problem areas and ways to quickly resolve them.
“Erik and the Array Digital team are top notch in the digital marketing spaces, particularly for SEO. Their understanding of Google, the algorithms, and the work involved to get websites ranking on the first page is unparalleled. Thank you Erik!!”
“I had a chance to consult with Kevin Daisey for my law firm’s marketing needs. He is knowledgeable, kind, and helpful. He provided me with a great marketing analysis. He also invited me to their podcast as a guest speaker. Thank you Array Digital!”
“Since starting with Array Digital in November 2020, I have more than tripled my intake. I added two attorneys and have added administrative staff to handle all the new business being generated. And, we are in the process of moving into a larger office suite to accommodate the growth.”
“The legal profession needs more architects and designers…folks who are thinking about the future of the profession and who are assembling a tribe of like minded lawyer leaders. Erik and his team are certainly ‘that’.”