Every law firm has a website, but not every law firm gets value out of its website, i.e. effectively converting website visitors into clients. In order to optimize a website for conversions, the first step is to thoroughly understand how visitors are interacting with it, which requires the use of website analytics. In this post, we explain how to set up Google Analytics on your law firm website in 4 steps.
We’ve discussed the power of Google Analytics before. The short story is, Google Analytics is one of the most powerful website analytics platforms in existence, and best of all it’s free to use.
It’s an amazing tool and it helps you keep track of vital website stats, including:
- where your website visitors are coming from
- what links they are clicking
- what pages they are visiting most
- how long they are staying on each page
- what type of device they accessed your site with, and
- much, much more.
How to Set Up Google Analytics on Your Law Firm Website
Below are the 4 steps to set up Google Analytics on your law firm website:
1. Make Sure You Have Access to Your Website Code
First of all, in order to install Google Analytics you will need some means of accessing your website’s code. This is one of the reasons why we recommend DIY websites for lawyers, and particularly for smaller firms on a tighter budget.
If you have a WordPress website or you use any other DIY platform, you’ll be fine. If not, you may need to reach out to whoever built your website, and ask them for access to the code, or check with your hosting provider and find out about FTP access.
2. Create Your Google Analytics Account
Once you have access to the code, you will need to sign up for a free Google Analytics account. If you already have a Google Account (e.g. if you use Google Apps for Work) you can use your same login info to access analytics.
After you have signed in to your Google account, just click the “Sign Up” button at the right side of the screen to create your analytics account.
Next, fill out all the required information about your website. It’s pretty self-explanatory. When you are finished, click the “Get Tracking ID” button at the bottom.
Finally, you will be presented with your Tracking-ID and website tracking code.
At this point, you’re all signed up and ready to install the tracking code on your website.
3. Install the Tracking Code
The sign up and account creation process should’ve been extremely quick and easy, but this is the part that gets a little intimidating for some people. However, it’s really pretty simple, so don’t worry.
Depending on what type of website you have, the steps will vary slightly.
Steps for WordPress
There are several different ways to accomplish the task on a WordPress website. Some WordPress themes come with a Google Analytics field by default, in which case you can just copy and paste the Tracking-ID or tracking code (shown above in the 3rd screenshot), and you should be ready to go.
If your theme does not have a Google Analytics field, the easiest way to set it up is to use one of the free Google Analytics WordPress plugins. We recommend this one from Yoast. (They also make an excellent SEO plugin that you should check out).
With this Google Analytics plugin installed, you simply login to your Google Analytics account from the plugin page on your WordPress admin dashboard, and then select your website from the dropdown menu. Easy as pie.
Steps for Most DIY Websites
Many popular DIY website platforms, such as Squarespace and Wix, are built to work with Google Analytics right out of the box. If you use one of these website builders, just look around for the Google Analytics integration (often it’s in a “Settings” menu).
When you find it, all you have to do is copy and paste the Tracking-ID (the “UA-XXXXXXXX-X” number) or possibly the full tracking code (below the Tracking-ID in the above screenshot) into that field and you’ll be off and running.
Steps for a Custom Website
If your site was built from scratch, you will have to do a bit more work to install Google Analytics.
First, you need access to your code, as explained above. You will likely have access to the files via either a cPanel interface or FTP (file transfer protocol). Check with your web hosting provider to find out.
Once you locate all the files, you need to update the html file for every page of the website that you want to track. When you open up each html file, you should see tags that say <head> and </head> near the top. Paste in the full tracking code snippet from your Google Analytics account in between these two tags, just above the closing </head> tag. Save the files when you’re done, and you’ll be tracking in no time.
Filter Out Your Own Traffic
Once you’ve verified that Google Analytics is working and collecting data, you’ll want to filter out your own IP address from the analytics. You don’t want to skew your data by counting your own visits and clicks.
To do this, navigate to Admin from the top navigation bar, and then click “Filters” under the View column.
Next click “New Filter” and then fill out the fields to create your filter. You should give it a name, and select filter type “Predefined.”
Then from the three dropdowns below, choose 1) “Exclude” 2) “traffic from the IP Addresses” 3) “that are equal to.” Finally, input your IP address into the field and then click save (you can Google search “what’s my IP address” if you aren’t sure how to find it).
You will probably want to repeat these steps to create a separate filter for each place where you access the internet (home, office, etc.).
4. Start Analyzing
Now that the hard part is over (it wasn’t that hard, was it?), the fun begins! Google Analytics is very powerful and highly customizable, but even without any further modifications, you’ll be able to start tracking a wealth of powerful, actionable data. Here are some of the cool things you should check out:
Audience Tab (who they are)
- Total Traffic: find out how many visitors you’re getting over time
- New vs. Returning: compare the number of new visitors vs. returning visitors
- Pageviews: find out how many different pages visitors are looking at in a given visit
- Bounce Rate: this is the likelihood that a visitor exits your site from the same page they land on, without clicking around or visiting other pages (an important figure for search engine optimization)
- Browser & Operating System: find out whether people are visiting from desktop or mobile, and what browser they are using to make sure your site is optimized for all screens and devices
Acquisition Tab (where they come from)
- Channels: find out which channels are sending the most traffic to your site (social media, direct visits, search engines, or referrals)
- Social: breaks down each major social network and how it’s driving traffic to your site
- Direct: shows which URLs to your site people are typing directly into the browser
- Search Engines: shows which search engines people are using, what pages they are finding most, and some keywords that are driving you traffic
- Referrals: shows what other websites are driving traffic to your website (if you didn’t know before, you now see why link building is really important)
Behavior Tab (what they do)
- Pages: shows which pages are most popular with your web visitors
- Time on Site: breaks down how long visitors are spending on each page
- User Flow: find out what other pages are they visiting after they land, and in what order
- Landing/Exit Pages: shows which pages do people usually land on first, and which pages do they exit from (hint: you don’t want them to be exiting straight from the landing page)
Once you understand this type of data, you can really start to optimize your web design to convert more visitors into paying clients. Be sure to check out our other post about modern web design tips for law firms too.
Although this guide barely scratches the surface when it comes to Google Analytics, we hope it will help you install Google Analytics and utilize it to optimize your law firm website to get more conversions!