This is the next post in my discussion on how to build the best website for a law firm. My last article discussed why attorneys must consider their website’s user experience. Way, way, way, way, way (way) too many lawyers build a website which they think looks cool but do not stop to consider how easy the site is for potential clients to use. Firms which focus on a clean and easy to navigate UI, and who focus on keeping it simple, will wind up looking like this woman:
While their competitors wind up having to raid the piggy bank like this poor guy:
I’m assuming you’d rather look like the former. In this article I’ll discuss the importance of leveraging data when deciding what to include on your website. Let’s get to it.
My last article discussed the fact that your website must make it as easy as possible for potential clients to find and access the information that they are looking for. In order to do that you must understand what it is that people are actually looking for. This is where the need for data comes in. If you know what people are likely to click on, and what they are not likely to click on, then you can make sure that your website’s real estate is being devoted to those things that are going to get ‘da clicks. In other words, you should only be taking up space with things that add value to the experience of potential clients. In spite of this seemingly simple fact, I regularly see law firm websites which are littered with things that add no value to the user experience or, worse, make it likely that someone will leave the website and visit that of another law firm. When looking at your website, which should be providing the same UI from every page, ask yourself whether the data supports the presence each and every item or link you have. Let’s talk about an example of this and then let’s look at where you can get the data you need to make the right decisions.
How many law firm websites do you see with a page which lists testimonials of former clients? Seems like something that’s important to have right? Well………..NO! I just looked at the analytics of a website which has a “client testimonial” page. From October 1st through October 25th of this year the website’s pages received a total of 1,302 views. Of those views, the testimonial page was viewed four times. Yes…only four. This is in spite of the fact that testimonial page has a prime piece of real estate in the navigation menu. That’s real estate which could be used for a link to something which people are actually going to click on. Instead it is essentially wasted real estate. This is akin to owning a store and using some of its limited shelf space to display items that people aren’t buying.
We regularly see the types of statistics I just mentioned when it comes to testimonial pages. I have a theory, which I’ll spare you, as to why this is. The point is that attorneys put them on their websites because they want potential clients to see them. If those attorneys were leveraging data they would realize that no one is looking at them and that their website is under performing as a result. This is just one example of law firm’s littering their pages with things that potential clients don’t find valuable.
To get data on what clients are finding valuable simply look at your analytics. In Google Analytics, under the “Behavior” tab, click on “site content” and click on “all pages.” This will give you a breakdown of which pages are being viewed the most on your website. This is your most popular content and it should be easy for people to access. Things which don’t add value to your site shouldn’t be included and certainly shouldn’t be taking up prime real estate. Also, if you’re using the Chrome browser, install Google’s Page Analytics extension. This will allow you to view your website with a heat map placed over it so that you can see what’s being clicked on and what’s not. This can give you some additional insights as to what’s not working/adding value in your website’s layout.
When building out a project for our attorney web design and SEO services, we always advise clients as to what should or should not be on a website. This is advice you should be receiving from your web designer. If your current provider simply says “ok” every time you want to add something to your page then you may want to wonder why they’re not giving you feedback.
Why do you feel so many attorneys don’t leverage data when deciding what to put on their website? Please chime in through the comment form below.