One of the hallmarks of an efficient attorney is the ability to comprehend raw data and use it to support your arguments. But for some reason, too many attorneys let this skill fly out the window when it comes to using the many excellent free tools available online to track their legal practice website.

Why Google Analytics?

The granddaddy of all web analytics tools is Google Analytics. This platform gives users of all comfort levels a free and straightforward way to track and analyze visitors and their activity on your website. The number of hits you get on your site doesn’t mean very much if you aren’t paying attention to who they are and how they are interacting with your content. By harnessing the power of Google Analytics, you can turn bystanders into buyers.

But Google Analytics is much more than a tool to track the number of visitors who come to your website. It also gives vital insights into how your site is performing and ways you adjust to meet your goals. From monitoring the volume of traffic your website gets to identifying the sources where that traffic comes from and how visitors behave when they pop up, Google Analytics puts the tools for success in your hands. As you become proficient in understanding your analytics data, you can move on to more complex topics such as monitoring social media activities, tracking traffic on your mobile app, identifying new opportunities and integrating the data into the everyday business of running your law firm.

Hands-On: Getting Started

Here’s how to use Google Analytics to monitor your law firm’s website activity:

  1. Sign in to Google Analytics with your Google account
  2. Click the button labeled ‘Admin,’ which is on the bottom left sidebar of your dashboard
  3. Select an account or create an account (don’t worry it’s free!)
  4. Click on the drop-down menu to create a property
  5. Click on ‘Website’ and add your site’s name and URL
  6. Choose your industry and time zone
  7. Click on ‘Get Tracking ID’

Once you get your Tracking ID, you are going to need to install it on your website. Depending on what platform your site uses, this can be smooth or a little sticky. WordPress makes it simple to use Google Analytics; some themes have a built-in place in the setting to merely input your tracking ID, but if your theme doesn’t you can download any number of free WordPress plugins to handle the job. Once you type in your Tracking ID, WordPress takes care of the rest.

If you are using a different platform and it isn’t readily apparent where you should put your Tracking ID, you can always insert the code snippet into your website header. If we’re drifting into “too complicated for my blood” territory, just send the code from the Google Analytics site to whoever created or maintains your website. Any web designer should be able to install it for you in a matter of minutes.

Your Google Analytics dashboard should let you know when your Tracking ID is live; remember, if the Tracking ID isn’t working, then nothing is working.

I’m Up and Running. Now What?

Assuming you’ve successfully set up your Google Analytics account, now it’s time to dive into the data for your site. But remember, the data will only start to accumulate from the moment the Tracking ID goes live, so you will probably need to wait until you have data to analyze.

You will see all sorts of different reports, and it may be a bit overwhelming at first. If you don’t know where to look, start with some basic reports like Acquisition, Keywords, Conversions, and Lifetime Value. If you don’t understand something, take the time to click on the information Google provides on the Analytics site too and learn about what you are seeing.

Final Thoughts

Some of the data provided by Google Analytics will be incredibly useful; some will be superfluous. If everything is reading like it was written in Sanskrit, you probably should think about hiring a professional to monitor and interpret your marketing and analytics. But with its reasonable learning curve and custom interface, you should be able to start harnessing the power of Google Analytics for your law firm in relatively short order.

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