Peter BoydIs your Web Site a Revolving Door? Who is Leaving your Site? Bounce Rates of Web Site Referrals for Law Firms

I can just see the bounce rate increasing on our blog from this long headline.

Give us a few minutes, though, and you will find this is important data to share for any legal marketer, firm administrator, or lawyer who runs their own site. We will make a case for where you can get the most traffic, which directory or search engine has the lowest bounce rate, and how you can improve your site.

Our Study of Bounce Rates

According to Google, Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Basically, it is how many people leave your site because it’s ugly, poorly designed, or not relevant to their needs.

We previous have mentioned that there are good and bad bounce rates. We have also mentioned that slow loading sites raise your bounce rate. Today this study is a review of 10 law firm web sites to determine the bounce rates of traffic referrals. We will determine which sites pass over good traffic and which pass over visitors that tend to leave quickly.

Bounce Rates are a Key Indicator of How Your Web Site Performs

Think of it this way: If 100 people visit your web site, and 75 of them leave without clicking on any page, you would have a 75% bounce rate (75/100 = 75%). That is poor.

In fact, that is a waste of your money and time. Your site should be redesigned. Imagine if 75 out of 100 people left your office without even making an appointment. Yikes; you would want to change something.

If only 50 leave, then that is doing a little better. You can probably make layout changes to improve usability, along with calls to action and copy changes. Minor changes can dramatically decrease the bounce rate.

If only 30 leave when they hit your home page, and 70 stay on your site for more pages, then you are doing a good job and should further refine with conversion testing. Finally, if you get your bounce rate down to 10%, you are doing spectacular and should work on expanding your site into new areas to gain more traffic.

Back to Our Study

For our study, we compared the bounce rates of 10 random law firm sites in our portfolio. The firms ranged from 15 to 200 attorneys, were located in 6 different states, were in major metro areas, and practiced in a variety of areas. So we covered small, mid-size, large, plaintiff, defense, and boutique firms across the country.We compared the bounce rates of each site for Google, Yahoo,,, and other major legal directories. For you geeks, you can see the underlying data here – Bounce Rates Data for Law Firms.

What did we find?

Bounce Rate

  • The average bounce rate was 30%. I guess we build solid web sites, heh.
  • had the lowest bounce rate with an average of 10%. This is a very low bounce rate for referring sites.
  • 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.
  • came in second with a 15% bounce rate – not too shabby.
  • 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

Time on Site

  • The average time on site was 2 minutes, 28 seconds.
  • The average time on the web site was highest with Findlaw at 546 seconds or nine minutes per visitor. That data was skewed by one web site that had a really high 1,000+ second page view time. However, even removing that data, the time on site was at 239 seconds, or nearly four minutes.
  • Martindale and also had the second and third most time on site with over two and half minutes each.
  • Google and other search engines all averaged a bit over two minutes.
  • The lowest time on site was from Facebook and Avvo.


  • The average number of visits per site during the month was 203.
  • Search engines were the top three traffic providers with Google leading the way, followed by Yahoo and Bing. Google had the lion share with on average over 40 visitors per day, per site. Yahoo and Bing were on average 4 visitors a day.
  • and brought in on average a visitor per day, per site.

Pages Per Visit

  • The average number of pages per visit was 5.59.
  • Findlaw led the way with an amazing 11 pages per visit. Again, this number seems a bit skewed by one site that had 34 pages per visit. With the one site removed, the page per visit dropped down to 4 pages per visit.
  • had the second highest, or highest if the one Findlaw site was removed, pages per visit with over 7 per visit.
  • Google and the other search engines had about 5 pages per visit.

So what does this Mean?

  1. If you want a lot of traffic to your site, then get ranked high in Google. They provide the lion share of traffic and the bounce rate is pretty solid. Not only do you get a ton of traffic, but people stay on the site for awhile. I recommend a search optimization, Google local search, pay-per-click, and social media campaign to drive traffic.
  2. and provide the next boost of traffic. Their bounce rate is about the same, but is 4% points higher at 34%. Also very solid boost in traffic.
  3. The legal directories of,, and provide extremely low bounce rates and high page views. All of them had a below 22% bounce rate, which having a super low 10%. People who visit from those sites are highly qualified individuals looking for attorneys, so this does make sense.
  4. Social media sites such as, have higher than average bounce rates. Also fell into a higher bounce rate category too at 47%. This is to be expected, as many social media sites are driving visitors to individual articles on the site and perhaps one-time reads (just like this article). Avvo was a bit of a shock being that high, but the data was only 46 total visits across 10 sites, so not a huge data set to rely upon.
  5. Finally, if you are interested in other bounce rate articles, you can read my articles here:
    1. Slow Speed Kills your Sites Bounce Rate – Summarizes the fact that a slow server is death to your site.
    2. Bounce Rate: The Good and the Bad – Summarizes the fact that there are different reasons for bounce rates. In fact, a very high bounce rate on a technical article may be a good thing, as it answers the persons question on one page.

Metrics:”  Comparison of Referral Sites

  • Other Directories
  • 10 Web Sites Reviewed, Firms between 15 and 200 attorneys.
  • Practice Break Down

Metrics:”  Methodology

  • 10 Web Sites Reviewed, Firms between 15 and 200 attorneys.
  • 1 – Plaintiff Only
  • 1 – Defense Only Firm
  • 8 – General Practice (Just about all practice areas covered)
  • 1 – Defense Only Firm
  • Area Breakdown
    • 5 – Florida
    • 1 – Illinois
    • 1 – New Jersey
    • 1 – Atlanta
    • 1 – Texas
    • 1 – Washington
  • All in Major Metro Areas
  • Mean number of attorneys is 54.9
  • Median number of attorneys was 25
  • Mode number of attorneys was 25
  • All firms had at least one partner A/V Rated 5 out of 5
  • All firms were listed in Martindale
  • Data was from Google Analytics
  • Data was from February 14 to March 16
  • Data was taken from Traffic > All Referring Sites Report
  • Sites were designed and maintained by PaperStreet
  • All sites are part of an active SEO campaign
    • Proper Title Tags
    • Proper Site Architecture
    • Substantial Content
    • Substantial Number of Inbound Links

Final Disclosures

We were first approached by Lexis-Nexis (i.e. and to review the study on bounced rates of our clients based on Deborah McMurray’s original blog post at her blog. Basically the idea was to see if her study was accurate on a larger sample base.

The study was done on my own time and dollar though, so no shenanigans. I am just a stats geek and found the subject interesting as I have blogged about it in the past. If you want to read some more articles, check out Slow Speed Kills your Sites Bounce Rate and Bounce Rate: The Good and the Bad.

Final Thoughts

If you are in need of an analysis of your bounce rate and how to improve your web site, give us a call at 954-523-2181 or contact us. We often do free analysis of web sites to get our foot in the proverbial door.

Comments? Let us know your thoughts.

One Response to Is your Web Site a Revolving Door? Who is Leaving your Site? Bounce Rates of Web Site Referrals for Law Firms

  1. Czeslaw
    12:18 pm on May 16th, 2010

    I think it's not so easy at all! It take some time to choose whisely a good name.

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