I’ve always been a fan of the saying “What gets measured gets managed” – especially when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). That’s because the success of your organic marketing campaigns depends on your ability to track progress, monitor success, and optimize accordingly.
That’s where SEO metrics come into play, as these are the “numbers” you need to analyze in order to determine whether your SEO efforts are paying off (or not). As a law firm business owner, you can’t afford to just be throwing money into the wind without seeing a return!
In this guide, I outline the essential SEO metrics every law firm should be tracking in order to monitor (and improve) their SEO results. And by “results”, I mean traffic and new clients!
What are “SEO Metrics”?
As the term likely implies, “SEO metrics” refers to the numerical values used to assess the performance of your SEO campaigns and strategies. The most commonly known SEO metric is “traffic”, but there are many more metrics that are relevant to law firm businesses.
“Traffic” is not always the best indicator of SEO performance.
For example, your website could get a lot of traffic, but perhaps that traffic is not targeted for your services. This could mean a lot of “hits” on your website but very few new leads. On the flip side, you could be getting very little traffic but your conversion rate (another SEO metric) could be quite high, resulting in more law firm clients.
Tracking SEO metrics is essential when it comes to any law firm SEO strategy, as these numbers will inform the direction of your campaigns. You’ll see what SEO strategies are working and which ones aren’t.
Why SEO Metrics Matter for Law Firms
There are many reasons why tracking your SEO metrics is important for your law firm, and these extend far beyond just traffic generation. It’s simply true that the more (accurate information you have about your campaign performance, the better you will be able to make decisions about how to optimize your website.
Here are just a few of the many reasons why SEO metrics are important:
- Increased online visibility: SEO metrics you understand how your website performs in the search engine results. Higher visibility in search engines means that more potential clients can discover your services.
- Competitive advantage: SEO metrics allow you to assess how you stack up against your competitors in the search engine rankings. Understanding your competitors’ strategies can help in refining and improving your own SEO tactics approach.
- Measuring ROI: Monitoring SEO metrics allows you to track the effectiveness of your digital marketing. By analyzing SEO metrics such as traffic, conversions, and leads, you can then calculate the return on investment (ROI) from your SEO strategies.
- Improving user experience (UX): Many SEO metrics, such as bounce rate, time on page, and page load speed, reflect user experience. By analyzing these metrics, you can identify areas for improvement on your website and ensure a better user experience for your visitors.
- Brand credibility and authority: A well-optimized law firm website that ranks high in search results tends to be seen as more credible and authoritative than the competition. Monitoring SEO metrics (and consistently improving them) helps in establishing your firm’s online reputation and can increase brand awareness.
The 10 Metrics You Need to Be Tracking
Want to track (and understand) the success of your SEO strategies? Then you will want to track these law firm SEO metrics. While there are many others, these are the primary metrics you should pay attention to if you want to assess your SEO performance and ROI.
1. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic is usually the SEO metric that businesses care about most, and this makes sense. After all, an influx of traffic to your website can result in more leads… but not always.
That’s why organic traffic is just one of several metrics you should be tracking. While it is a measure of how many users visit your website, it does not include your rate of conversion or number of leads.
Mainly, organic traffic reflects the effectiveness of your website in attracting visitors from search engines.
Want to track your organic traffic? Google Analytics (GA) is an excellent (and free) tool for that. GA provides detailed insights into the volume of traffic coming to your website – from search engines and even from other channels.
2. Keyword Rankings
Keyword rankings refers to the ranking position of your website in the search results for the keywords/terms that matter for your business. For example, if you are a family law firm in Dallas, you’ll likely want to rank high for keywords like “Dallas family lawyer” or “divorce attorney in Dallas”.
The higher you rank in the search results, the more likely you are to drive traffic to your website (as a general rule). So, you don’t want to only track organic traffic, but also monitor your keyword rankings as they rise (or fall) in the search results.
To increase your rankings, focus on both broad and long-tail keywords that potential clients might use when searching for legal assistance. Try to target keywords that have monthly searches but relatively low competition (especially if you are a small business).
Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Search Console are valuable for tracking your keyword rankings. They offer helpful keyword data, including your ranking positions, associated search volumes, and competition levels.
3. Website Bounce Rate
“Bounce rate” indicates the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate might indicate that your content is irrelevant to users’ interests, that your site is loading too slowly, or that your website has a poor user experience.
The goal is to have a low bounce rate, as this shows that people are continuing on to other pages of your website. You can improve bounce rate by optimizing your site speed, adding internal links to relevant pages, and adding calls-to-action for people to check out your services.
Google Analytics measures bounce rates effectively. It provides information about the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page, helping you to assess user engagement.
4. Pages Per Session
Pages per session is a measure of how many pages visitors typically view during a single session on your website. Higher numbers (i.e. more pages visited) generally indicate engaging content and a positive user experience.
You want people to visit other pages on your law firm website in order to check out your services, read client reviews, read your blog posts, and contact you. Again, you can encourage this by adding internal links to relevant pages. Also, make sure that your content is interesting, accurate, helpful, and engaging.
Google Analytics also tracks the number of pages viewed per session, indicating user engagement and content relevance. If you can’t tell, GA is one of the best tools for tracking most of your SEO metrics!
5. Conversion Rate
Conversion rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who take the desired action on your website, such as completing a contact form, scheduling a consultation, or signing up for your newsletter.
Tracking your conversion rate allows you to assess the effectiveness of your website in converting visitors into potential clients. After all, what use is it to get a bunch of traffic if those people don’t actually take the action to contact you?
Conversion rate can be improved by implementing a modern and user friendly design, publishing valuable content, including enticing calls-to-action, and adding trust-building client reviews.
Use Google Analytics to set up “goals” and track your conversions. You can tag actions such as form submissions, appointment bookings, phone calls, email signups, or clicks.
“Backlinks” are links to your website from an outside website or publishers. They are essentially votes of confidence from other business or website owners that your website is helpful and legitimate.
While not a direct influence on traffic or leads, backlinks do play a role in the overall authority of your website. Higher site authority can influence your search engine rankings, though, which in turn can influence your organic traffic.
You can monitor the quality and quantity of backlinks to your site from authoritative and relevant sources. Tools like Ahrefs, Moz Pro, or SEMrush offer detailed insights into your website's backlink profile, including the number of backlinks, their quality, and referring domains.
7. Local SEO Metrics (Misc.)
Here, I refer to a category of SEO metrics that are most relevant to local businesses (i.e. law firms targeting a specific region, state, or city). There are several local SEO metrics to consider, including but not limited to your Google Business Profile (GBP) performance (such as Views and Clicks), local keyword rankings, and local directory citation consistency. These metrics help enhance your visibility in local search results.
To monitor local SEO performance, tools like BrightLocal or Whitespark can be useful. These tools help in tracking local keyword rankings, managing citations, and analyzing your local search visibility.
8. Page Load Speed
No one likes a slow website – especially when they are in a hurry to find an attorney! That’s why page load speed is such an important metric for lawyers. A slow website could lead you to miss out on new clients!
A fast-loading website is absolutely essential for user experience and SEO. Slow-loading pages can negatively impact rankings, user engagement, and conversion, basically turning away potential clients.
Google's PageSpeed Insights tool lets you assess your website's loading speed and provides suggestions for improvement, leading to better user experience and SEO performance.
Somewhat related to page load speed, mobile friendliness is another SEO metric that matters for user experience. With so many people using Google on their mobile devices, it’s crucial that your law firm website is fast, accessible, and responsive.
Google's Mobile-Friendly Test is a tool specifically designed to check a website's mobile responsiveness and ensure it is optimized for mobile devices. If you aren’t sure how to optimize your website for mobile, consider reaching out to a professional website designer and/or SEO specialist.
10. Click-Through-Rate (CTR)
CTR is one of the remaining SEO metrics that matters most for law firms, as it is a measure of how many users click “through” from the search results to your website. It’s not enough to rank high; you want people to click on your website link as well.
A CTR of around 2-5% is considered average when it comes to Organic search. You can monitor your organic CTR using Google Search Console. One way to improve CTR is to write page titles that entice users to click. For example, “Trusted Family Lawyer in Dallas | Bob’s Law Firm” is much more click-worthy than a generic “Family Law Services” title.
Remember, by regularly monitoring your SEO metrics – and making the necessary adjustments to your law firm website – you can improve your organic visibility and attract even more relevant traffic. This will ultimately help you acquire more clients online!
Check out these additional articles about law firm SEO!