Google Analytics and Google Search Console are important tools to track and analyze how well your law firm’s website contributes to content marketing efforts, brand recognition, and overall business goals. They offer in-depth data and customizable reports related to website performance, user engagement, functionality, and optimization.
With a strong understanding of how to use and connect Google Analytics and Google Search Console and how to interpret and act on what’s learned through the two tools, lawyers can ensure their website is positioned for success. But in order to get the most from them, you need to know how they work.
We’ve already covered why Google Analytics and Google Search Console are important. Here we’ll explain what the tools are and how to use them.
What is Google Analytics?
The simplest explanation of Google Analytics is that it’s a free website performance tracking tool. It gathers data that can be customized, filtered, and organized in reports. With Google Analytics, law firms can see how many people visit their site and what pages they view. You can learn how long visitors stay, their behavior, audience characteristics and demographics, and other performance and activity data.
While digital marketers use custom and saved reports in Google Analytics, the default reports provide relevant information and are a good place to start if you’re new to using this tool. These default reports are broken down into Real-Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior and Conversions.
The good news is it’s fairly simple to set up Google Analytics on your website. If you don’t have an in-house developer, get your web team to add the code. Once it starts tracking, you’ll have access to a ton of data, but knowing how to analyze and interpret it is another story.
Google Analytics Features for Lawyers
Google Analytics should have a prominent role in every lawyer’s content marketing plan. Being data-driven allows you to measure the results of campaigns and your overall strategy to keep you focused and on track. Whether you want to raise awareness of a legal issue or topic or are looking for new clients, Google Analytics should guide your efforts with website data that is tracked and compared over time.
Some of the website and blog analytics that are available should be used as key performance indicators, and often a combination of data is used to measure success. Google Analytics can show where you are in achieving your goals and objectives, and customizable functions show how your legal content is performing.
Core data it tracks includes the length and average length of site visits, number of pages visitors access, leads and conversions, engagement with calls to action, page load times, bounce rate, and more. There’s even the ability to set goals in Google Analytics, offering one spot to define what you want to achieve and review and analyze website performance data.
Many times, we’ve said that once you get high rankings on Google, your work isn’t done. Keeping your spot is an ongoing process, and what’s learned in Google Analytics can help maintain and improve rankings. Data that can help with search engine optimization (SEO) strategies should be prioritized to make sure your law firm’s content marketing plan excels.
For example, the top landing pages area clearly shows which pages are performing best on your website or blog. Once you know what’s doing well, reviewing the content on top-performing pages is an effective content marketing strategy. Refreshing content by adding new or timely information to stay relevant is one option. Repurposing it into new pages, videos, guides, topic clusters and other quality information is another. But if you don’t regularly track top-performing landing pages with Google Analytics, you won’t know what areas to focus on, nor what’s underperforming. If none of your practice area pages, or their supporting pages and blog posts, are doing well in Google’s eyes, that needs to change.
Conversion Tracking and Google Ads
Google Analytics has so many functions that it can be difficult to prioritize and focus on what matters most to your law firm. But some features and reports are crucial for lawyers to use, and site conversions are one of the most relevant.
Through the Goals function, you can define the type of website conversion you want to track. For example, say you’re trying to attract new clients who were injured by a specific product. You’ll need to drive traffic to a relevant page on your website that offers valuable content to your target audience. On that page should be a call to action that gets the visitor to engage with your website. This could be a form to request a free consultation or a link for an e-book covering legal options for product injuries and how you can help.
Possible conversions in this scenario are to get people to fill out the form or download the e-book, and Google Analytics can directly track how often this happens. Being able to measure more than just traffic on important pages can clearly demonstrate how well or how often your audience engages with your site and whether your content marketing campaign is generating leads.
With so many competing law firms, lawyers need to ensure their messages and calls to action deliver results, and Google Analytics offers quantifiable data to do so. In addition, there’s a great benefit to tracking data to identify trends and traffic spikes during planned campaigns and combine different data to see a complete picture of your law firm’s efforts.
Google Ads data is another area in Google Analytics that can paint a clear picture of how well your ad is doing, including what keywords are most effective. Knowing the benefits of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for content marketing and tracking and analyzing their efficacy is important, so it’s a key feature in Google Analytics that lawyers should leverage. The Google Ads data should also influence and guide when you schedule ads to display based on the days and times that get the best results.
Using many of the features, reports, and other functions in Google Analytics can help your law firm analyze the results of digital marketing campaigns and your overall content marketing plan.
What is Google Search Console?
Google Search Console is another tool that should be used in a content marketing plan for lawyers. Unlike Google Analytics, which focuses on website performance data, Google Search Console is used to understand and evaluate your website’s functionality and how well it’s optimized. Formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools, it can directly reveal what’s causing pages to perform poorly and even guide how to fix them.
Google Search Console goes deeper than Google Analytics, gathering data about not only search result impressions (number of times your site shows up in searches) but also what keywords led to those appearances. This organic traffic information is invaluable to SEO and content marketing plans because keywords with high conversion rates are revealed during analysis. Integrating what’s learned about how your audience searches will improve the impact of your legal content.
The features and data available through Google Search Console complement what’s offered through Google Analytics. The two tools can and should be connected, and the combination of specific data can be leveraged to improve the content lawyers create and distribute. Set up Google Search Console and keep reading to learn how it works and what it brings to the table.
Google Search Console Features for Lawyers
We talk a lot about SEO, and with good reason. If lawyers don’t properly optimize their content and measure and analyze how it performs, the results of content marketing efforts will never reach their full potential. That’s why being data-driven, tracking performance and functionality over time, and determining clear metrics when setting goals are so important.
Google Search Console measures whether your keyword targeting contributes to success, from gaining new clients and getting referrals to developing topic authority and brand recognition. The data it collects covers extensive search patterns, and putting resources towards analyzing this information will deliver results when you have the knowledge and skills to do so. Since the tool also identifies page errors and functionality issues, lawyers can find problem areas, fix them, and improve how Google sees their site.
Digital marketers love the Performance report (Search) in Google Search Console because it tracks all you need to know about how people get to your website and how it performs on Google. It identifies the terms and keywords that get your website to appear in search results, average position in results, and impressions – the number of times your site shows up in searches. You can learn about less common but highly engaging search terms, setting the stage for new or refined target audiences.
The search performance report goes even further by tracking clickthrough rate (CTR) – the percentage of people that clicked your link from the results page – and the search query they used. Lawyers should strive to have a high clickthrough rate because showing up on Google for important search terms means little if the audience doesn’t go to your site. Analysis of CTRs can direct improvements to a page’s meta data and lead you to review and reconsider keywords on specific pages; often, a page ranks well, but it’s not optimized with the right keywords or search terms.
Lawyers can see how visible they are on search engines with the Average Position data in this section too, which reflects your average position rankings for specific keywords and search terms. The combination of knowing what keywords led to clicks and average rankings data can be used to drive revised content, new content clusters and blog series, social media messages, and more.
When a lawyer builds topic authority and credibility online, other websites are more likely to link to their law firm’s website. While showing up in search results is important, getting others to link to you is a positive factor for SEO. Google Search Console tracks these external traffic sources and is a valuable function that should be used. This information can be leveraged to further build relationships with relevant people, businesses, or organizations. Lawyers could be rewarded with more links from them in the future, not to mention get their brand and content in front of the other source’s audience.
Website Functionality Features in Google Search Console
All professionals need to produce quality, relevant, and timely content to fight for high Google rankings for the appropriate keywords. Unfortunately, sometimes the URLs that matter most to your law firm don’t show up on Google or have really poor rankings. The Coverage report available in Google Search Console outright identifies underperforming or unindexed pages. But its capabilities go even further: they list page errors that are keeping you out of those high-value results and positions.
Have you ever wondered how Google views your site? Hopefully, the answer is yes. Google Search gives clear insight and actionable data to improve how Google rates the functionality of your law firm’s website. The URL Inspection Tool shows if pages are indexed and when a page was last crawled. Lawyers should check this information when they make page changes and improvements. Once complete, URLs can be resubmitted so that Google crawls the best and most recent page versions.
Google Search Console gives you the nitty-gritty problems and gaps in your website content design and layout that are limiting success. Readability, including font size and mobile-browsing shortcomings, are both factors that Google considers when indexing and ranking pages.
Given the importance of websites being easy to use and displaying properly on cell phones, the Mobile Usability Report in Google Search Console is a feature that lawyers should pay attention to. The report tells you whether Google sees your site as mobile-friendly, and if not, what’s wrong with it. It even goes a step further and tells you how to fix what’s wrong and how to resubmit your site for review once the problems are fixed.
Identifying URL errors and functions like finding and fixing issues affecting site speed is invaluable to making website improvements. Lawyers can greatly benefit from website diagnostics to ensure your site is positioned as an effective platform to reach, engage, and influence target audiences.
Analyze Content through Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Lawyers should invest in all parts of content marketing, including regular website analysis and tracking. When you create and distribute quality content at the right time, to the right audience, and with strategic purpose, significant effort should also be put towards analyzing its impact. Google Analytics and Google Search Console can show how well your website functions, its visibility, and if it’s properly optimized.
A strong online presence takes time. Meeting the needs of your target audience requires understanding their search patterns, what they look for, and how they respond to website content and functionality. Understanding how Google works, how URLs are ranked, and the type of performance they demand to do well are core strategies of effective content marketing for lawyers. Leverage Google Analytics and Google Search Console for invaluable information – you won’t regret it.