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Chapter 7

SEO Metrics

How To Track Law Firm SEO Metrics

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10 Mins

Last modified: March 8, 2024

You’ve put in the work to build an SEO campaign for your law firm. Now what? For any successful project, you need to know more than how to do the work. You need to know how to evaluate progress to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and how you can improve your results moving forward. In this chapter, we will discuss what SEO tracking is, what metrics and KPIs are and why they are important, and what tools you can use to track your results and find ways to improve over time.

Top takeaways from this chapter

  • Learn what SEO tracking is and why it matters to you
  • Learn what metrics you can use to track your SEO campaign
  • Learn what KPIs are and how they use metrics to give an accurate picture of the success of your SEO campaign
  • Learn which tools you can use to track your metrics and KPIs

What is SEO tracking?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a process that, once put into place, can help your law firm’s website perform better in the search engines, meaning more people find you. To be effective, we have to monitor it and, over time, adjust strategies to ensure you are on the right track. SEO tracking is one way of evaluating the success of that SEO strategy.
There are two measurements you can use for this evaluation. Metrics are measurements of specific processes, like the number of visitors to your site or the average time a visitor spends on the website. Key performance indicators, or KPIs, are a way to track the progress toward your business goals.

  • Metrics measure one particular process.
  • KPIs evaluate how those actions and processes collectively move your firm towards a larger goal, like improved brand visibility or increased client conversions.

Though different, both are critically important in digital marketing. KPIs are a high-level evaluation that relies on metrics, but metrics have a more day-to-day focus on them. All KPIs rely on metrics, but not all metrics are KPIs. It may seem a bit confusing initially, but once you see how they use them in your SEO strategy, you’ll be able to see the value they provide to you. Ultimately, you want to get potential clients, but to get the best results, we need to find the best strategy, and that means measuring as we go.

Do I need to track my SEO metrics for my law firm?

The short answer is yes, you absolutely should track your metrics. After all, you’re paying for the services, either with your time, your money, or both. Let’s make sure we are getting the most return out of those investments.
You should evaluate your strategy on a regular basis to be certain about its effectiveness. If you’ve worked with another SEO agency in the past, they may not have shared those metrics with you as often. That isn’t a good thing. When it comes to executing a lawyer SEO strategy, things can change quickly, and without constant oversight in monitoring metrics, you have no idea how far your money could be going. We want to know what’s working and what isn’t. This way, we can optimize the strategy applied and avoid wasting time and, more importantly, in some situations, money that could help to build your business.

How long does it take to see results from SEO services?

At this point in the guide, you are well-aware that SEO is a long-term investment. This marketing strategy will produce results, but it can take months to see those effects. Think of it like this. Pay-per-click, or PPC, advertising is a one-time purchase. Every time you launch a PPC campaign and someone clicks that ad, you pay a fee. Your SEO campaign is like a savings account with compounding interest. It takes more time to see the results, but they will keep improving with continued investment. Additionally, SEO requires less upkeep than PPC. Once you publish a piece of content and it ranks well, it can hang on to those high rankings for over a year before needing a small refresh. Throughout that time, it continues to work for you, building leads.
Over time, your efforts compound (like the analogy above). Your site will have multiple pages that are ranking well thanks to your law firm SEO strategy. Every page continues to build onto your strategy and potential clients. Your site will see more traffic coming in even without daily oversight.
Depending on the level of competition you face and your firm’s pre-existing website and content, it can take an estimated four months to one year to start seeing SEO’s impact on your business. The more competition you face, the more difficult it will be to rank for high-value keywords.

6 metrics to track for your SEO campaign

Start with a simple Google search of your website. Are you happy where it is right now? Chances are good you want to perform better on the search engine results pages, which is why you are investing in this process. How do we know that, while we wait to see leads come in, our efforts are working? No one wants to wait months before seeing any change.
That’s where monitoring these metrics on an ongoing basis can help you. They show you the SEO success you are having, and often it means watching your website grow and inch up in traffic. These are the most important metrics to watch for lawyer SEO. Keyword improvements

#1: Keyword ranking improvements

Keyword research is one of the most important investments you will make when it comes to ranking factors. However, how much insight do you have on the keywords you are ranking for now?
What keywords are you trying to target? Track what keywords you are ranking for already. Then, monitor for changes in their ranking positions. Find out if you are gaining or losing keywords, too.
This helps you assess which content is performing as intended. You may notice that one of your pages is losing keywords, or your keywords are dropping in the rankings. This gives you insight into what your next step is, generally to refresh the content to try to regain or even surpass your earlier rankings. There are a number of tools you can use to track keyword rankings:

  • Ahrefs: This easy-to-use tool (after an initial learning curve) allows you to keep track of your keyword rankings. You can see all of your keyword movements. It shows you which new keywords are coming on the map and helps you recognize all of the organic keywords your law firm website is ranking for on an ongoing basis.
  • Ubersuggest: Another keyword tracking tool is Ubersuggest, which is less expensive to use than Ahrefs. It shows monthly search volume and provides good insight into your placement in the search engine rankings.
  • Google Search Console: For those who are brand new to tracking keywords, this is the easiest tool to begin with (and it’s free). You can pair it with Google Analytics to track keyword rankings for your website, giving you a more thorough analysis of the keywords that are getting traffic to your website. It’s great for showing you where those clicks are coming from as well.
  • Semrush: One of the most popular tools, it tracks your keywords while also telling you which keywords you want to aim for based on things like monthly search volume and keyword difficulty.

High-quality tools like these can provide you with valuable information about where you are and where you could be going to rank better on the search engine results pages or SERPs.
Not all tools are free. Some of the best will cost a good amount of money. Some have free versions, like Ahrefs, but when you work with Array Digital, you don’t have to worry about paying for the best. We do that for you.

#2: Click-through rates from SERPs

Now that you are ranking for search terms, we need to track which queries are resulting in click-throughs from the SERPs. That is, just showing up in the SERPs isn’t enough. We also need to see how many people are clicking your link to get to your website. Otherwise, your attorney SEO marketing is falling through the cracks. Click-through rate, or CTR, is calculated by dividing the number of people who click your website’s link by the number of people who see the link. In sum, it’s clicks divided by impressions. Let’s say that 100 people saw your website’s link when they inputted certain search terms. However, out of those, four people clicked on the link to your site. In this case, your CTR is 4%.
Average click-through rates vary depending on your position in the SERPs, with the first organic result averaging around 27 percent of the clicks for keyword searches, according to a 2022 survey conducted by Backlinko. As you gain traffic and clicks, track the average CTR of your site. See which pages are underperforming and evaluate what might be creating that issue.
CTR is a very valuable metric. We want to use it. However, you should use it alongside other metrics for a more accurate picture. Just because someone clicks your website doesn’t mean they are going to become a paying client for your firm.

#3: Average time spent on page

So then, the next step is to understand what happens when someone gets to your website from that click. This gives you more insight into the effectiveness of your SEO efforts based on what happens on your web pages.
Average time spent on a page is a metric that determines how much value your visitors are getting from your site. Are they staying around long enough to get answers to their questions from the content of your web pages?
It’s easy to see the value of this legal marketing metric, but be careful with it. Longer time spent on a page does not always translate into a higher value. Sometimes users will linger on a page because they’re struggling to locate the answers they want. User experience is an important factor to consider here. On the other hand, it could mean that the content on your web pages is very engaging, so they require more time to discern the data.
How do we know how well that quality content is doing? To track this key component, we’ll use Google Analytics.

#4: Referral traffic

Backlinks are something that we talk about many times when discussing everything from content marketing to the use of legal directories. That’s because it is essential. Referral traffic refers to the traffic that comes to your website from the backlinks to your website. This is a great metric to track because it tells you which of your backlinks is generating new traffic to your site. Though we spend a lot of time focused on organic search results from the typing of a search query by a potential lead, backlinks are a very different but valuable source of traffic to your site, too. When we look at where these referrals are coming from, we can learn which networks you are successfully tapping that you would not through organic traffic on its own. It can also help you track your brand exposure and whether users are confident in the relevance of your site’s information.
To find out how well your backlinks are working for you, we can use Google Analytics to track this metric. We can then use it to inform your link building strategies going forward.

#5: Organic web traffic

Year on Year SEO performance Comparison

Organic traffic is a measurement of the number of people that visit your websites from some type of click on an unpaid link that lands them on your site through the search engine. We use this metric to determine which keyword searches are driving the most traffic to your web pages. We can use this for:

  • Learning which keyword searches are getting the most people to your site
  • How traffic changes like these are impacting your rankings
  • What is causing the changes in your traffic, such as from being a featured snippet in Google or other rich results that end up driving up click-through rates

We need more than just to look at target keywords here. To gauge what’s happening here, we use a variety of tracking software.

#6: Web conversions from organic traffic

As noted, we can’t just gauge the success of a legal marketing campaign from where your Google rankings are or how many people get to your website. We want to know if the users who did get there through organic search are engaging with your site. Web conversions are any type of measurable action that a person takes when they are on your website. This could include completing an online contact form, downloading a report, or starting a live chat.
This data helps us to determine if your site’s calls to action are effective at turning website visitors into potential leads. If there’s some component to your landing pages that isn’t performing well, including those CTAs, we can make adjustments to improve the outcome for the searcher.
There are various ways you can use Google Analytics to track this type of metric. We can track various types of conversions using this tool, in fact.

How do I know if my SEO strategy is working?

All of those metrics look interesting, and it’s certainly pretty cool to watch your numbers tick up month after month as you build your legal SEO strategy. But how do you know that it’s really working to help you grow your client base for your legal services?
It ultimately depends on your goals for your SEO campaign. Before you engage with SEO, you should define what those goals are. What do you want to get from your SEO efforts? To do this, we need to define which KPIs will help you to measure the progress towards those goals.

6 KPIs to evaluate your SEO strategy’s success

Establishing KPIs to monitor allows you to visualize how you are getting from where you are starting to your goals. These are the most important KPIs to track for most legal SEO strategies.

#1: Content Efficiency

This KPI helps you evaluate which pieces of content are performing as intended. For each piece of content, we need to figure out what your goals are for its performance. In the ideal situation, your written content should help your site to pick up keywords. If you notice that no new keywords or no valuable keywords are coming out of the content you are writing, you can figure out what isn’t working as expected. Then, you can make adjustments to the content to remedy the issue.
If you are a personal injury lawyer, you may have content on your website that explains core concepts of things like settling with the insurance company or pursuing car accident claims. However, if you do not incorporate the right keywords into this mix, that leaves your content lacking effectiveness.
Once we take this step, we can measure the extent to which each piece is performing its intended purpose. If a piece is not reaching the specific goal you set, we can then spend some time trying to improve its performance. Using certain SEO software, you can see how much a keyword would cost to pursue with PPC advertising.
Over time, as you gain keywords organically, you won’t need to spend as much on PPC. You can also look at this in relation to the cost of creating each piece of website content. This will show you your return on investment (ROI) for individual pieces and help you evaluate what is working and what isn’t.

#2: Average engagement time

It’s great to see your link on the first page of Google, but what happens next? Do people visit your website, get your phone number, and become new clients? That’s not that easy.
Rather, what happens after they click can give us some insight into the effectiveness of your efforts. How much time are people spending on your website on average? This combines the metrics of the average time spent on your site and the average number of pages visited. This helps to show if users are engaged with the content and clicking through to other pages on your site. A good on-site link building campaign enables this to happen — they can learn, move on to the next page, and dig deeper to get more information until they finally fill out a content form.
Google Analytics is a useful tool for this KPI. You can examine each of the metrics related to how long users spend on your site to evaluate how engaging your content is.

#3: New and returning users

Sometimes, the process of getting new clients isn’t linear. In other words, with a good SEO ranking, your site shows up in the search engine results. They click on your link and come to your site. But even the best SEO expert will tell you that sometimes well-qualified clients — who are within your target audience — may not become a client that first time. They may want to scope out another personal injury law firm or need more time to think about it.
Not retaining a client the first time they click on your site is completely normal. Think about the last time you made a large investment. You likely revisited certain websites repeatedly before making a decision. You can break down your website traffic into new and returning users with Google Analytics. You can use Google Analytics to figure out the pages most frequently visited by each group to determine which pages add the most value for each group. By understanding which pages are valuable to each group, you can also evaluate which group (and which pages) are generating the most conversions and bringing in the most revenue to your firm. Most of your web traffic will consist of new users, but returning users usually have a higher conversion rate.

#4: Cost per lead

Cost per lead is a calculation of how much money you spend on marketing in order to turn someone into a contact. This will show you which parts of your marketing strategy are working and which are not.
Ultimately, you want to generate new clients for each of your practice areas. It will cost money to get people to your firm’s site. What this key feature tells us is how much it costs to get that lead.
If you are just beginning your SEO marketing efforts, this number will not be as useful to you. SEO is a slower investment that has compounding value over months and years. It typically takes between six and 12 months to start seeing returns from your SEO investment, possibly longer if you are in a competitive market.

#5: Client lifetime value

Here’s another valuable figure to monitor that really may not seem like it relates to Google’s algorithm. Ultimately, though, we want to bring in high-value leads, not just people looking for a free consultation but those who are going to lead to revenue. This KPI measures the revenue that each client brings into your firm. This is a great way to measure which of your marketing efforts results in the most financial benefit to your firm. Some practice areas will yield more leads, but that does not necessarily translate to significant revenue. In contrast, some practice areas will yield a smaller number of leads, but those leads turn into clients who generate significant earnings for your firm. Calculate client lifetime value and compare the numbers to your marketing efforts to ensure that you are investing in the most profitable avenues for your firm.

#6: Local SEO presence

When a searcher is looking for an attorney near them, they may use a term like “car accident attorney near me.” This search has local intent. It will bring up local attorneys who match that description.
The local searches are heavily influenced by the physical location of the searcher. In that way, just searching for your firm on Google does not give you an accurate picture of your local SEO presence.
You can use a local map SEO tracker to more accurately determine where you rank from various locations in your firm’s area. This gives you a stronger sense of where you rank prominently around your practice area and where your competition is outranking you.
There are a number of tracking tools available that you can use to find out how well you are doing with your local SEO efforts:

  • Local Falcon: This tool can help monitor the strength of your Google Business Profile (GBP), which was formerly called Google My Business (GMB), and other aspects of local SEO in various ways. It takes a bit to learn, but once you do, this paid service enables you to gain good insight into the areas you need to “fix” to see improvement.
  • BrightLocal: BrightLocal offers audits to standardize your NAP (name, address, phone number) across citations. This pay-to-use tool can provide you with an excellent way of tracking your local SEO performance.
  • Semrush: Listing Management Tool is an excellent resource from Semrush that allows you to publish data across numerous directors, including Google, Facebook, Bing, Google Maps, and many others. It allows you to see the status of your listings, shedding light on your local SEO efforts. It is a paid service, however.
  • Local Viking: A GBP management tool, it makes it possible to publish posts to your profile, gives you local pack rankings, and enables you to manage reviews, among other things. It’s more affordable than other tools, too.

There’s much more you can track as well. It’s often beneficial to look at details like:

  • Social media online presence and tracking
  • Your GBP profile and how it performs in the local pack
  • The headings, title tags, and meta descriptions your webmaster includes (or the updates to your technical SEO and website design that you may need!)
  • Other types of off-site SEO efforts

This is just the start. The key isn’t to get bogged down by tracking but to use these tools as a powerful instruction manual on how to get the best traffic possible to your site.

Why work with Array Digital?

Winning isn’t everything, but it is one of our core values. So is quality. That’s why we track our clients’ metrics and use them to design winning SEO strategies. We also believe in transparency, which is why we teach our clients how to read their own metrics and judge their progress for themselves


“Kevin and his team at Array Digital are the proverbial Pros from Dover […] His digital marketing team is also top notch — they’re growing firms by leaps and bounds.  In the digital age, digital marketing is no longer optional, particularly in certain fields like PI law, criminal/traffic law, and family law that are volume practices.  Kevin and Array Digital are uniquely positioned to help firms practice in the 21st century of tech.” -Rob B.


year on year comparison in Google Analytics 4

This client nearly doubled their organic traffic in the last year!

Keep track of what matters

We’ve talked about a lot of details here, and that’s just the start of all that you need to keep track of in order to know how your law firm’s SEO is performing. When you work with our team at Array Digital, we go deeper and provide you with information that matters.

Are you ready to learn more about how our SEO company can help you? Call Array Digital at 757-333-3021 or fill out our contact form now.

Related Links

8 top tools lawyers should have in their SEO arsenals: Want to start tracking your own metrics? Here are eight of our favorite SEO tools.

“The metrics are great, but I’m not getting leads.”: Learn what to do when your site is growing, but the phone isn’t ringing.

How our clients benefit from our SEO audits: We regularly audit our clients’ sites to improve performance. Learn why (and why you should schedule yours today!).