When attorneys look at the data associated with their law firm’s website, they may be curious about “bounce rates” and “exit rates.” Below, we’ll explain what a bounce rate is and what an exit rate is, and what you can do if your law firm website bounce rate is high.
What is a “bounce rate”?
Your law firm website’s bounce rate is measured by the percentage of people who visit one page on your website without clicking on any other page before they leave (or “bounce” back to search results or the website they came from).
For example, if someone clicks on a blog post you’ve written and then navigates away from your website without looking at any other blog posts or substantive pages on your site, that’s considered a “bounce.”
Is an exit rate the same thing as a bounce rate?
Bounce rates and exit rates are slightly different. An exit rate includes the percentage of people who leave your website from a certain page, but, unlike a bounce rate, it’s not necessarily the only page they’ve visited. The page that a visitor exits from could be the last page in a string of page visits.
For example, if someone clicks on a blog post you’ve written, then reads three or four more blog posts, then looks at your attorney bio and your case results before they navigate away from your website, this would be counted under an “exit rate.”
What does it mean if my law firm website has a high bounce rate?
If a page on your law firm website has a high bounce rate, there may be something worth investigating.
People are viewing that page, and that page alone, and then clicking away from your site for some reason.
How to lower bounce rates on your law firm website
If a page on your law firm website has a high bounce rate, it’s worth examining the page and assessing why that’s the case.
A bounce rate only indicates that a person visited a page on your site and left without visiting any other page. It could be that the page in question doesn’t have meaningful content, or maybe it’s confusing. However, that’s not always the case.
Here are a few things to check on before you make any drastic changes to the page with the high bounce rate.
Is your law firm website responsive?
There’s a good chance that your next potential client will find your website from their smartphone.
More and more people are using their mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to access the web, and that means having a site that’s not only mobile-friendly — but also responsive — is a must.
Note: For a while some marketing agencies were trying to sell AMP pages (which are different than responsive) as the best option for mobile compatibility. By mid-2020 it became clear that AMP was likely just another one of the many abandoned Google experimental features that agencies have jumped on to try to sell an “advantage.”
Do your law firm website pages load too slowly?
Site speed isn’t the most important thing about your law firm website, but a very slow site can cause people to turn away from a page that they otherwise might visit. Avoid too many bells and whistles that may slow your site down.
Is the page distracting?
The pages on your law firm website are the most useful to potential clients when they’re highly focused.
They should provide your potential clients with the information they need to know about their case or problem. Sometimes, a page is too distracting to keep the interest of the person viewing it. Or, advertisements and pop-up messages frustrate them.
Take a landing page as an example.
A good landing page provides your potential clients with specific instructions that guide them with what to do next. For example, a divorce attorney might write an ebook on “10 Things You Need To Know Before Getting A Divorce In Arizona.”
If your goal is provide their contact information in exchange for the ebook download, that should be made very clear, and that should be the only purpose of that page.
Eliminate any outside distractions that could keep your potential clients from achieving the goal.
Is the content on your law firm website appropriate, sufficient and engaging?
Let’s say a potential family law client conducts a Google search for “What do I need to know about community property law in Arizona,” and they click on a link in their results page that goes to your family law website.
What should they expect to find there?
Hopefully, they’d find lots of relevant, useful content about that particular subject.
If potential clients find thin content that doesn’t answer their question sufficiently, or the information is misleading, there’s a good possibility that they’ll bounce from that page.
People often use Google to ask questions and they’re looking for specific answers. If they land on a page that doesn’t have useful information, or the information isn’t relevant, they’re likely to go back to the results page to look for something more useful.
That’s an opportunity to engage a potential client that your firm may miss.
For example, someone might click on a Google result which says,
“What You Need To Know About Community Property In Arizona.”
But if the page they visit says only this:
“If you have questions about community property division or other family law questions, you need a skilled Arizona family law attorney. Contact our firm at…”
There’s a good chance that a page like this might have a high bounce rate.
A potential client likely clicked on the page expecting to learn more about their question. Instead, they see an advertisement without any substance.