- Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page
- This metric helps measure visit quality and relevance
- Exit rate is a metric that identifies the number of exits from your site, and, as with entrances, it will always be equal to the number of visits when applied over your entire website
- Use this metric in combination with particular content pages in order to determine the number of times that particular page was the last one viewed by visitors
- Pages that fail to meet visitor expectations, don’t provide clear navigation, talk about features rather than benefits, and content that’s not actionable all increase bounce rate
Google Analytics provides valuable intelligence into how visitors find, interact with and leave your website. This intelligence is central to improving both user experience and the profitability of your website. Google Analytics provides many useful metrics that help you do this and two of the most useful are the bounce rate and exit rate.
The difference between a bounce and an exit can be confusing, especially if you are new to analytics. The goal of this article, then, is to demystify the two and explain why they are important. It also acts as a guide to interpreting bounce and exit data and how to lower them in order to improve the performance of your website and increase conversions.
Making an entrance that counts
Before you can understand and calculate bounce rate you need to know a little about entrance pages, also referred to as landing pages and entry pages. Google defines an entrance page as:
This metric identifies the number of entrances to your site. It will always be equal to the number of visits when applied over your entire website. Thus, this metric is most useful when combined with particular content pages, at which point, it will indicate the number of times a particular page served as an entrance to your site.
In short, an entrance page is the first page a visitor lands on when visiting a website. Entrances are, as we will see, a key factor in calculating bounce rate.
How to view your entrances?
In Google Analytics, you can easily view your entrances by following these simple steps:
- Go to “Behavior,” under “Reports”
- Click on “Site Content”
- Click on “All Pages”
- View your “Entrances”
Entrances are particularly helpful since they can show you which pages are bringing the most visits to your site. They can also tell you the opposite and help you identify the weakest pages with lower bounce rates.
Well, what is a bounce?
A bounce is a single-page visit. A bounce occurs when a visitor enters and exits a website viewing no other pages other than the entrance page.
And, what is bounce rate?
If, for example, 100 visitors enter your site via Page “A” and 20 of them leave without clicking through to any other page, page “A” would have a bounce rate of 20 percent.
The above figure shows site-wide averages.
Some of the reports Google Analytics generates will give site-wide averages. The screen grab above has been taken from the ‘Top Content’ report which can be found by clicking the Content tab in your Google Analytics dashboard.
The first thing you might notice is that when you add the average bounce rate and the average exit rate together the result is greater than 100 percent. If bounce rate and exit rate are measures of how many people leave your site, how can the total be greater than 100 percent. The answer is that it can’t.
You might be fooled into thinking that bounce rate is calculated as a percentage of Pageviews. This is a logical thought since it is figured in the report. However, when added together, bounces and exits would again be greater than the total Pageviews.
Bounce rate is not based on the number of visitors or the number of page views it’s based on entrances.
Why do people bounce?
People bounce because of many reasons the key to reducing your bounce rates lies in identifying and addressing the most common ones:
1. When pages don’t meet expectations
Let’s say, for example, that you are looking for a new air fryer. So you Google “buy air fryers free shipping”. You see an ad that says “air fryers With Free Shipping”. So you click on it. But when you click on the ad, instead of a landing page about different air fryers, you’re on the site’s homepage. What are you going to do? Bounce back to Google and make a new research to find a page that is 100% about air fryers.
2. When design is ugly
3. When the page gives users what they’re looking for
Yes. Not all bounces are “bad”. A bounce can be, in fact, a sign that your page gave users exactly what they were looking for.
For example, I have been looking personally over the last few days for a low-carb chicken soup recipe and I landed on this recipe page. This landing page had everything I needed to make the recipe: ingredients, detailed instructions, and pictures. So, as soon as I got my soup to simmer over medium-low heat, I closed the page.
Despite the fact that this single-page session is “technically” a bounce, it is not because that website suffered a bad UX or an ugly design. It’s just because I got what I needed.
Identifying pages with high bounce rates
Notice the figure below that shows sitewide entrances and bounces.
To get at the real numbers that contribute to bounce rate you need to dig a little deeper. The screen grab above has been taken from the ‘Top Landing Pages’ report which can also be found by clicking the Content tab in your Google Analytics dashboard.
As you work your way down the report you can also view bounce rates for individual pages.
The above figure shows the bounce rate at a page level.
The ‘Top Landing Pages’ report helps identify pages with high bounce rates that might require further investigation.
You can clearly see from Figure three how the bounce rate is calculated for a single page: (283 bounces / 303 entrances) * 100 = 93.39939939934% which analytics has rounded up to 93.40%. As interesting as this is, it tells us nothing about what is driving the bounce rate and what steps to take if any are required to lower it.
Bounce rate through poor user experience
Pages that fail to meet visitor expectations, don’t provide clear navigation, talk about features rather than benefits, and show content that is not actionable – all increase bounce rate. Not all visitors on your site are using desktop machines with ultra-fast connections and will abandon your site if a page takes too long to download. If you have been over-zealously linking to your site, links from pages that are not closely related can also increase the bounce rate. These are all things you can test for and fix to a degree.
Missing timestamps and the pages time forgot
Google Analytics reports the time visitors spend on pages by comparing timestamps. When a visitor lands on a page a timestamp is created which records the precise time they arrived.
If a visitor arrives at page “A” at 13.45 and clicks through and lands on page “B” at 13.47 two timestamps will be created. By subtracting the time the visitor lands on page “A” from the time they land on page “B” you arrive at the time spent on page “A”:
13.47 – 13.45 = 2 minutes spent on page “A”.
If at 13.50 the visitor leaves your site completely no timestamp is created and there is no way to tell how long the visitor spent on page “B”.
Why was no timestamp created? If the page was outside the scope of your analytics account, on another domain for example, the timestamp can’t be accessed by your analytics account. Therefore, the time spent on that page can’t be determined for that page view.
Similarly, the time spent on a page by visitor who enters a site and bounces without visiting any other page cannot be measured either.
Cookies, sessions, and timeouts
Every bounce or exit is the result of a session timeout. In Google Analytics, a session will timeout after 30 minutes of browser inactivity. If a visitor navigates to another website, the session will still continue for a maximum of 30 minutes before registering a bounce or exit. As long as the visitor returns before the session times out and clicks through to another page of your website, it will not be considered as either a bounce or an exit.
- Each and every visit to your site culminates in a session timeout
- A session that times out after a single page view is classed as a bounce
- A session that times out after multiple page views are classed as an exit
Have a look at the tabs open in your browser right now – how many have been open for more than 29 minutes without any activity? Despite the page still staying open in your browser, some of the sessions associated with individual pages might have already timed out causing an exit or a bounce. Also closing your browser, disconnecting from the internet, or hitting the back button will all cause a session to time out which will likely be recorded as a bounce or an exit in someone’s Analytics.
How to Achieve 7-Figures with Your Law Firm Website
Many law firms are simply leasing space when it comes to their online marketing.
Your website, on the other hand, can be a 24/7 selling tool for your law firm practice. It can effectively become your greatest asset, getting leads and cases while you sleep.
In this guide, we’ll talk about how to turn your website into the ultimate marketing tool for your law firm practice and generate seven figures in revenue for your business.
A Well-Optimized Law Firm Website Can Yield Huge Results
With your law firm’s website, you can use content marketing to your advantage to generate lucrative results for your business. Content and SEO allow you to attract users organically and convert traffic passively into new cases for your law firm.
As an example, a high-ranking webpage in a competitive market getting 1,000 users per month can get huge results:
- Convert visitors at 2-5% = 20-50 leads.
- Convert even 10-20% of leads = 2-10 cases.
- Average $8000 revenue per case = $16,000-$80,000 monthly revenue from one page.
Over the course of a year, this could lead to high six-figures to seven-figures in revenue!
The Foundations Of A Revenue-Generating Law Firm Website
At its core, your law firm website should serve to speak to the needs, struggles, and interests of your target audience. It should be laser-focused on your practice area, who you serve, and what you have to offer.
With this in mind, a well-crafted website content strategy should define:
- Your business goals (the cases you want).
- What competitors are doing.
- What pages to write and keywords to target.
- How to use your content budget.
- Your editorial calendar.
- The purpose/intent of each page.
- PR and backlink strategy.
Below, we’ll dive deeper into how to develop this strategy, build out amazing content, and achieve your seven-figure revenue goals.
1. Define The Cases You Want
The first step to developing a successful website marketing strategy is to define the types of legal cases you want.
This activity will help you determine the types of people you want to reach, the type of content you should create, and the types of SEO keywords you need to target.
That way, you end up marketing to a more specific subset of potential clients, rather than a broad range of users.
Not sure where to set your focus? Here are a few questions that might help:
- Which of your cases are the most profitable?
- What types of cases are you not getting enough of?
- In what markets are you strongest?
- In which markets do you want to improve?
- Are there any practice areas you want to explore?
At the end of this activity, you might decide that you want to attract more family law cases, foreclosure law cases, or DUI cases – whatever it is, getting hyper-focused on the types of cases you want to attract will only make your website marketing even stronger.
2. Identify Your Top Competitors
One of the best ways to “hack” your website marketing strategy is to figure out what’s working for your competitors.
By “competitors” we mean law firms that are working to attract the types of cases you’re trying to attract, at the same level at which your law firm is currently operating.
I say this because I see many law firms trying to out beat and outrank the “big” fish and this can feel like a losing battle. You want to set your sights on your closest competitors, rise above them, and then get more competitive with your strategy.
Here are a few ways to identify your closest competitors:
- Conduct a Google search of your legal practice area + your service area (e.g., “family law Kirkland”, “DUI lawyer LA”, “Denver probate attorney” etc.). Take note of the top-ranking domains (i.e., websites).
- Use SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to search your domain name. These tools will often surface close competitors to your domain.
- Using the same tools above, conduct organic research on your domain to see what keywords you are already ranking for. Search these keywords in Google and see what other domains come up.
- Use these tools to determine the domain authority (DA) of your domain. Compare this to the other top-ranking domains to see which domains have an authority score that’s similar to your own.
Be sure to look at your known business competitors as well.
These may or may not be ranking well in Google Search, but it’s still worth a peek to see if they are targeting any high-priority keywords that your website should be targeting.
3. Conduct A Content Audit Of Your Website
Your next step is to conduct an audit of your current website. This will allow you to take stock of what content is performing well, and what content requires improvement.
First, start with your main service pages.
Use SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs again to review the rank (position), performance, and keywords of each page. Identify any pages that are ranking low, or not at all.
Then, find “low-hanging fruit” pages. These are the pages that are ranking around position 5-10. They require less effort to optimize to reach those higher rank positions – compared to pages ranking at, say, position 59.
This compares your website’s performance to that of your closest competitors. It will show you a list of keywords that your competitors are ranking for that your website is not ranking for at all.
Finally, create an inventory of what pages you already have, which need to be revised, and which you need to create. Doing so will help you stay organized and stay on task when developing your content strategy.
4. Plan Your Content Silos
By this step, you will have a pretty good idea of what pages you already have, and which pages are “missing” from your strategy (based on the list of keywords you are not yet targeting).
From here, you will plan what’s called “content silos”.
Here is the basic process:
- Review an existing service page (if you have one) and optimize it as best you can. Ideally, this is a page that’s already performing well and is otherwise a “low-hanging fruit” page.
- If you don’t have any existing service pages, create one based on one of your high-priority keywords. Again, these should be a keyword that is meant to attract your preferred type of cases.
- Next, build a “silo” of content around your main page. In other words, create new pages that are topically related to your main service page, but that target slightly different keywords (ideally, “long-tail”, lower competition keywords).
- Add internal links between these pages and your primary service page.
- Over time, build backlinks to these pages (through guest posting, PR, content marketing, etc.)
Below is an example of a content silo approach for “personal injury:”
5. Identify Supporting Topics
As part of your website content strategy, you’ll then want to create other supporting content pieces. This should be content that provides value to your potential clients.
FAQs, blogs, and other service pages can support your main pages.
For example, if you are a DUI lawyer, you might want to publish an FAQ page that addresses the main questions clients have about DUI law, or a blog post titled “What to Do When You Get a DUI.”
There are a few tools you can use to research supporting topics:
- Semrush – Use this tool to identify untapped keywords, content topics, and more.
- AlsoAsked – Identify other questions people have searched for relevant to your primary topic.
- Answer the Public – Use this search listening tool to identify topics and questions related to your practice area.
Below is an example of how the full content silo can come together for “Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer:”
6. Build An Editorial Calendar
Once you have all of your content ideas down on paper, it’s time to develop your editorial calendar.
This is essentially a plan of what content you need to create when you want to publish it, and what keywords you plan to target.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Always prioritize main pages. These should be the first content pieces you create on your website.
- Create or revise your main pages and monitor their performance. Use Google Analytics and other SEO tools to keep your eye on how your content is performing.
- Depending on budget and urgency, you might start with all main pages, or go silo by silo. Determine which service pages are most important to you. You can create all of your main pages at once, or develop the entire silo as you go.
- Keep a record of your target keywords. Just because you “optimize” for them doesn’t mean your content will automatically rank for your target keywords. In your editorial calendar, keep track of the keywords you wish to target – by page – so you have a record of your original SEO strategy.
What Makes A Winning Law Firm Website Strategy?
The key to achieving seven figures with your law firm website is content.
Content allows you to target your ideal clients, attract your preferred cases, engage your audience, and so much more.
A well-thought-out content strategy will empower your website to achieve more for your business than any other marketing channel could!
Above, I outline a few steps to developing this type of winning strategy. But, achieving excellence takes time.
I recommend keeping your eye on the prize, monitoring performance, and making updates as you go along.
This will help you reach your desired result.
Featured Image: PanuShot/Shutterstock
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