This is part three of a four-part article. For complete article, see link below.
“Not only does the Internet facilitate the wide distribution of content,” said Casey, “it also allows lawyers and law firms to closely track distribution – to know how many visitors click on the content; how much time they spend reading, listening or viewing the content; and where (your website, search or some other site) they found the content.”
Web analytics is a process for collecting visitor or consumer data, analyzing those data and generating reports on the overall performance of these different channels. It extends well beyond your website into virtually every online channel your law firm might be using.
“In the early days, web analytics programs focused on the simple measurement of activity on a law firm’s web site,” said Casey. “Today, a good law firm website still contains useful information about the firm and its services, but the site functions more like an interactive hub to which all of the firm’s online content distribution efforts are tied.”
In addition, most social media sites have their own built-in analytics programs that can be accessed for more details about activity on your accounts on those sites.
The popular Google Analytics program is free and yields information about site visitors, including number of visitors (unique, new and repeat), page views, repeat rate, visit length, page view length, page view per visit, bounce rate (those who leave quickly from a given page), entry pages (where visitors enter you site), exit pages (where visitors leave your site) and referral sources (direct traffic, search engines and other referral sites).
Among other things, Google Analytics can chart data over time, compare data month-by-month or year-by-year, and internally compare different sets of results.
“Other commercial web analytics programs allow the site administrator to ‘dig deeper’ into the data,” said Casey. “Most analytics programs will record detailed information at the user level, allowing administrators to track the number of times a given user came to the site, which pages he or she viewed and, in some cases, the location from which that user is connecting.”
“At Tenrec, we combine basic Google Analytics with a program called Urchin (essentially, Google’s commercial analytics product) to obtain different levels of results for our clients,” said Casey. “There are many programs out there. The one you select should be determined by how you plan to use the results.”
It is important to remember that no performance metric is inherently bad or good. A limited number of the right kind of people visiting your content and reaching out to your firm is a better result than hundreds of visitors who take no action.