Many lawyers feel overwhelmed when they first dive into using Google Analytics….and with good reason. The amount of information, data, charts, reports, etc. is staggering. If you don’t know how to parse out the data that matters, you can get lost in a sea of numbers. While there are many uses for Google Analytics depending on your situation, for lawyers who are just getting their feet wet there are 2 reports I recommend using.
1. All Traffic Sources Report
The all traffic sources report provides an overview of the different kinds of sources that send traffic to your website. This is important because you need to understand which of your online marketing efforts are resulting in new visits. Did that email newsletter send over visitors? Are people finding you through your LinkedIn and Twitter activity? Did that directory listing you paid for result in clicks to your site? Are your search marketing efforts sending traffic your way? This report offers insight into these questions.
In order to view the all traffic sources report you will login to Google Analytics and click on “Traffic Sources” on the top, left hand side of the screen:
Next, select “All Traffic Sources”:
From here you can view all the traffic sources sending visitors to your site:
Let’s take a moment to define each of the columns on this report so that you know what you are looking at:
- Source/Medium – Every referral to a web site has an origin, or source. Examples of sources are the Google search engine, the AOL search engine, the name of a newsletter, or the name of a referring web site.
- Visits – Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original session.
- Pages/Visit – This is the average number of pages a visitor from a particular source looked at after visiting your site.
- Avg. Time On Site – This is the average amount of time a visitor from a particular source spent on your site.
- % New Visits – So when somebody visits your site for the first time, the visit is categorized as ‘Visit from a new visitor.’ If this user has browsed your website before, the visit is categorized as ‘Visit from a returning visitor.’ This tells you the percentage of visitors from a particular source that are new visitors.
- Bounce Rate – Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. In other words, they came to your site, arrived on a page, and then left without visiting any other pages.
2. Keywords Report
The keywords report shows you the specific keywords that an individual searched for and then subsequently clicked through to your site after performing the search. This report is important because it allows you to see the makeup of the search traffic that is visiting your site (ie: how relevant and targeted your traffic is) as well as how your search engine rankings for individual keywords are translating into visits. I use this report to help our clients bridge the gap between rankings and traffic increases. Many attorneys are obsessed with their rankings but they don’t bother to understand how those rankings are actually effecting traffic to the site. This report can help.
To view this report, you will once again click on “Traffic Sources” in the navigation on the top left of your screen. Next you will select “Keywords” to view the report:
The resulting report will give you a breakdown that looks very similar to our “All Traffic Sources” report above. However, the first column will reflect the specific keywords that an individual searched for to reach your site.