Online Legal Marketing – 6 Ways To Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Legal Marketing And Website Bounce Rate

You’ve committed to marketing your law firm online. Your bankruptcy website is getting 10, 20, 50, 100 or more unique visitors each day, which is pretty good.  After all, the site hasn’t been touched in months (if not years) and it doesn’t cost much to keep it online.  Even if you’re a regular legal blogger, it still doesn’t take anything but elbow grease and some time to maintain your site.

Any clients who come to you from your online legal marketing efforts are freebies, so you’re not paying much attention to the disparity between visitors and clients.

Let’s step back for a moment and say you’re getting 25 unique visitors per day.  Not a ton, but still 750 people each month.

Out of those visitors, you’re getting 20 new clients from your online marketing efforts.  If you’re charging $1,000 for an average case, that’s $20,000 a month.  Cool, right?

Not so much.  How about all those people to surf to your website and leave, vanishing into the ether?

They’re gone, off to another lawyer.  Worse yet, they’re off to no other lawyer.

Maybe people are getting to your website and realizing that there’s no compelling reason to stick around.  Maybe they read a bunch of pages and then go elsewhere.  How do you know?

The key is to studying your website’s bounce rate.  To my mind, it’s a critical aspect of the data you should be looking at closely.

What Is The Bounce Rate?

Avinash Kaushik, the Google employee who lives website analytics, defines bounce rate as, “I came, I puked, I left.”  More technically, he defines bounce rate as, “single page view visits divided by entry pages.”  Avinash goes into a bit more detail on the Official Google Blog.

In other words, the percent of people who land on your site, do absolutely nothing whatsoever, and then close the window and head for somewhere else.

I call it the failure rate.  Someone came to my website, took one look at what I was talking about, and decided that is had absolutely ZERO value.

Bounce Rate For Law Firm Websites

The Intersection Of Bounce Rate And Online Legal Marketing

When you’re marketing your law practice online, you are looking to create a connection with your audience.  Whether it’s a blog or a static website, you understand (at some level) that it’s tough to make any lasting positive impression on someone if they stick around for only a few seconds.  therefore, one of your goals is to give people a reason to stick around as long as possible.

What’s A Good Bounce Rate?

The short answer is, “I have no clue.”  Do you want people to come to your site and surf for a bunch of information?  Do you want them to land on the site, get your phone number and call you?  Do you want them to get lost in your site, delving deeper and deeper?  Or do you want them to log on, find your Facebook page, and then go there to become a fan?

Your ideal bounce rate will depend based on your motives.  But suffice to say, if you’ve got a 60% bounce rate then you’re definitely not engaging your visitors.  It probably explains why you’re getting 20 visits per day and only 1 phone call from a new client.

6 Ways To Improve The Bounce Rate On Your Law Firm Website

  1. Know What You’re Dealing With.  Figure out the bounce rate per referring site and keyword search term.  You will find that some sites give you good traffic (i.e., traffic with a low bounce rate) and others not so much.  In addition, you’ll find that some search terms result in a high bounce rate.  This means that your content may be optimized for the search engines (i.e., people see your site when they search for a specific term) but not for visitors (i.e., once they get to your site they realize they’ve been short-changed).
  2. Next, concentrate on getting more referrals from the good sources.  Maybe people who come to your site from Facebook stick around whereas people who visit from Twitter bounce out a lot.  Send more of your links to Facebook and take the time to test what other types of tweets might encourage more people to visit and stick around happily.
  3. Spruce Up Your Site’s Navigation.  If people can’t figure out how to navigate around your site, they’re going to leave fast.
  4. Update Your Website Content.  If I come to your site today and see the same stuff I saw yesterday, I’m not going to have a reason to stick around.
  5. Create More Internal Links.  Internal links are hotlinks on a page that go to other pages on your site.  When you create internal links it encourages visitors to move from one page to another more easily.  A good thing to do is create a link from legal terms to pages with definitions (in other words, link the word “discharge” to another page that has a definition for that term).  It’s good for users to get clarification when they don’t understand something.
  6. Use Visual Cues To Draw In Visitors.  Eye-catching pictures and video content encourages people to stick around for awhile longer.

Your law firm website’s bounce rate is important, and tells a lot about what appeals to your website visitors.  Work on reducing your bounce rate and you’ll find that your site’s effectiveness rises exponentially.

Photos courtesy of Kevin Steele and p@r@noid.