Everything About Web Analytics Strategy
Up to 90 percent of law firms today have web analytics available for their use. Getting the most out of web analytics reporting, though, requires creativity and experimentation. Designing your firm's web analytics strategy can help you to get more clients and a better overall return on investment for your marketing budget. In this guide, you'll find out how to use web analytics reporting to change your firm's website, and how strategies for web analytics have changed over time.
Web Analytics Strategy: An Art Becomes Science
The first websites ever designed were implemented in the early 1990s. These primitive websites contained mostly (sometimes exclusively) text, and had very few ways of tracking visitors. By the mid-1990s, traffic counters had begun to track how many hits a website had received, but the science of web analytics reporting was still in its infancy: usually, all that a website owner knew about his or her site was how many visitors had arrived in the last month or even year.
Because so few statistics about visitors were tracked, trying to figure out what made one website successful while others failed was considered more of an art than a science. Websites were viewed as creative projects, and heavy data analysis and number crunching were nearly absent. However, as search engines became more robust, a number of web analytics reporting tools became useful.
Perhaps the biggest change to web analytics strategy came when Google announced that it had bought a web analytics reporting company and would now host free analytics software for websites. Google Analytics brought hard numbers to websites that had previously been designed based on guesswork, and within a few years, hundreds of other web analytics companies had sprung up all over the world. What had once been a purely artistic endeavor now required statistical analysis to understand.
The Scientific Method and Web Analytics Strategy
Because web analytics reporting has, indeed, become a science, it's critical to look at your website in the way a scientist would: hypothesizing, then testing hypotheses. When you develop your web analytics strategy, it's not enough to just look at your most successful pages, then designing the rest of your website to look more like them.
When you're doing scientific experiments, it's absolutely critical to change only one variable at a time. When you change more variables, you might change the result, but you won't know why. Learning why one part of your website works while another doesn't is the most important part of web analytics strategy.
Your web analytics reporting tools can only go so far—if you change too much, too fast, you won't be able to identify what made the biggest difference. While it may be hard to wait for results, the best web analytics strategy involves making slow, gradual changes and carefully analyzing what works. Keep in mind that even if one of the hypotheses you develop doesn't work, you still know more than when you started. Not every experiment pans out—that's part of the science of web analytics reporting, and it's perfectly okay.
Strategizing for Continuous Improvement
Every experiment you do can help you to optimize your web analytics strategy. If the results of a test show that a new type of landing page is dramatically lowering your bounce rate and you've done your experiment right, you'll be able to duplicate the results with several different landing pages. Once you've got the bounce rate down, though, what about conversions?
Whenever you've hit one goal, it's time to revise your web analytics strategy to seek new goals. What's critical about these new goals, though, is that they directly relate to the results of your previous experiments with web analytics reporting.
Web Analytics Strategy For Visitor Segmentation
Your web analytics reporting may reveal some interesting things about your website visitors. For many law firm websites, different types of visitors are looking for very different things. If your attorneys have several different practice areas, for instance, the content that would be relevant to a visitor looking for an attorney to represent them in divorce proceedings would be quite different from what a prospective adoptive parent would be looking for.
When two groups of clients want two different customer experiences, you can use web analytics reporting to figure out traffic flow and keep them looking at different pages. This web analytics strategy is called visitor segmentation, and may even involve creating multiple websites for different aspects of your law firm. Visitor segmentation isn't just useful for large firms—you may be able to increase key performance metrics for your web analytics reporting even if you're a solo practitioner, just by making sure different types of clients see different sides of your practice.
Web Analytics Strategy For Mobile Content Development
One way to get ahead of competitors in today's web searches is by developing a mobile-friendly website. Many law firm websites are not easily viewable by visitors using smartphones, and if your site requires a potential client to scroll or zoom for good information, it's likely that they'll fly directly into the arms of your competition.
When you check out your mobile site, it's important to make sure that it's compatible with all types of phones. Remember that you can redirect mobile users to a separate, mobile-friendly site, so there's no need to abandon your main website if it's meeting your current goals. You may want to engage in different web analytics strategy for your mobile site, especially because it can be much easier for mobile users to make a phone call than to fill out an online form, making it harder to keep track of conversions.
Listening To Your Clients
Don't get so wrapped up in the website analytics reporting numbers that you lose sight of your clients and their stated needs. Some of the best website analytics strategy can come from really listening to client feedback about your website. For example, if you keep hearing that clients want more information about a particular topic before they call, you may have a new experiment to try.