How to Upgrade Your Website
Last month in the December 8 column, I suggested you use Google Analytics to assess how well your website is performing. After just a few clicks, you should be able to determine how many people visit your website, who they were, what action they took, and how long they stayed.
One key statistic to look for is the bounce rate, which tells you the percentage of people leaving your site after just one page. If your bounce rate, for example, is 75%, it means that ¾ths of your visitors left after one page. A bounce rate of 50% or less is good. Another useful statistic is pages visited per session, which measures how many pages visitors navigate to within your site. Those figures help you determine how informative and engaging users are finding your website.
If your site isn’t as active as you’d like, these tips could help.
- Keep your design clean and simple. Overcrowded websites with lots of visuals are distracting, causing visitors to turn away. Your home page should be clean and easy to navigate. If the reader wants to know about you, the link to that page should be easy to find and your contact information should be front and center.
- Provide high-quality, informative, and interesting content. Over the past few years, Google has moved away from being impressed by a lot of short content to longer, more informative content. Your posts should be longer than 400 words. Readers are looking for information that is complete and understandable. For example, rather than posting twice weekly with a short post, start posting once a week with a longer post.
- Your website should be mobile friendly. This has been said many times before, but we’ll say it again. Make sure your website looks good and functions well on a phone, tablet, laptop, and desktop. Your reader may be browsing at night in bed on a phone—the websites that need to be pinched to be seen will be ignored.
- Write about yourself. Lawyering is a service, meaning that clients want to know about the person who provides that service. They want to know what you stand for, why you practice law, why you selected this area of practice, and how you can help them.
Finally, take the time to find a web designer to help with your site. If you need suggestions, start by looking at other lawyer websites and scan down to the bottom to find the name of the designer when you find one you like. Setting up a legal website is different from setting up an online marketplace, so select a designer who understands the legal world and the ethical rules that guide it.
Roberta Gubbins has served as the editor of the Ingham County Legal News. Since leaving the paper, she provides services as a ghostwriter editing articles, blogs, and e-blasts for lawyers and law firms. She is the editor of The Mentor, SBM Master Lawyers Section newsletter.
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