Everyone wants to be on page 1 of Google; there’s even a rap song about it. But what does it mean to spend time and money investing in search engine optimization (“SEO”) if people leave your site after visiting the home page?
High Bounce Rates = Worthless SEO
Back in January 2010, I posted “Quality Time, Not Quantity Time: The Power of Links from Martindale.com to Your Law Firm Website,” and even included a picture of my own family to show just how important it is to get quality traffic to your website, traffic that clicks through multiple pages on the site, spends time there, and even fills out web forms for referrals. It’s that quality traffic that gives you a low bounce rate (low bounce rates are good); you want to avoid the quick hit traffic that just takes a peek and goes to the next site giving you a high bounce rate (high bounce rates are bad).
The post was my response to the Law Firm 4.0 Blog writing about “Martindle.com as a Referrer to Your Website,” in which Deborah McMurray concluded that links from Martindale.com could be more valuable than links from Google for your law firm website.
Being Better Than Page 1 of Google
In looking at the bounce rate question, we wanted to know more. Did lower bounce rates mean more clients from your law firm website? What search tool really provided the lowest bounce rates? Can anyone even hold a candle to Google?
Enter PaperStreet, a team of SEO and design gurus who were curious to answer these questions too. They commissioned a survey on our behalf to find out what was really going on in the world of law firm website referral traffic and determine once and for all where a CMO or other decision maker at a law firm should spend those hard earned marketing dollars. This is what they found out about bounce rates for law firm referral sites.
- The average bounce rate was 30%. I guess we build solid web sites, heh.
- Martindale.com had the lowest bounce rate with an average of 10%. This is a very low bounce rate for referring sites. (Emphasis added)
- Google.com passed over the most traffic and had a decent bounce rate of 30%. This is really a “no brainer” for most web design teams, as Google has a 70% market share of search and provides a ton of traffic to many web sites.
- Findlaw.com came in second with a 15% bounce rate – not too shabby.
- Superlawyers.com came in third with a 17% bounce rate, but did have very low overall traffic volume.
- Social media sites such as Facebook and Linkedin had a very high bounce rate at 47%. Also in the high mix was Avvo.com.
Check out the original post to see their other findings and get a full explanation of what these results mean for your site.
Get Qualified Traffic and Rank High in Google
It’s important to spend your time where you will get the most return. Contributing legal articles and blogs, building relationships with in-house counsel or other lawyers who can refer clients to you, and demonstrating thought leadership on Martindale.com Connected are just a few of the ways to get qualified traffic to your site. As we move towards a redesigned Connected there will be many opportunities for firms to boost their “Google Juice” while contributing quality information to the legal field, but more on that in the coming months.