This best practice benchmarking study of 167 legal services websites was conducted in December 2016. The results were presented on January 11th, 2017, at the Legal Services Corporation 2017 Technology Initiative Grants Conference in San Antonio, TX.
Best practice benchmarking is "the process of comparing one's business processes and performance metrics to...best practices from other industries" or in relation to "a peer group defined for the purposes of comparison." (Wikipedia).
- Half of web traffic to legal services websites comes from mobile devices
- Growth in web traffic is due to more mobile traffic
- Open source platforms power half of legal services websites
- 62% of legal services websites use responsive design
- 32% of legal services websites offer faceted search
- 63% of legal services websites use social media
- 27% of legal services websites use Open Graph
- 16% of legal services websites use Twitter Card
- 16% of legal services websites use Schema.org
Half of web traffic to legal services websites comes from mobile devices
Historical data available for eight websites shows the increase in traffic from mobile devices over the last five years.
Based on a survey of 23 legal services websites, in 2016, half of the traffic to legal services website is from smartphones and tablets (Median = 50.1%, Mean = 46.2%).
Growth in web traffic is due to more mobile traffic
Web traffic to surveyed legal services website continued to grow in 2016 and the growth seems to be driven by more users using mobile devices. For example, web traffic to the Legal Services corporation of Delaware (lscd.com) website has continued to grow dramatically. While traffic from desktop users remains mostly flat, the source of the growth has been exclusively from mobile devices. Web traffic in 2016 to Idaho Legal Aid Services (idaholegalservices.org) and Kansas Legal Services (kansaslegalservices.org) also recorded similar growth.
Open source platforms power half of legal services websites
Legal services websites continued to adopt open source content management systems. Drupal remains the top platform of choice powering 26% of websites surveyed (16% Drupal and 10% Drupal-based OpenAdvocate). WordPress powers 22% of the surveyed websites.
62% of legal services websites use responsive design
Responsive web design is an approach for building a website that adapts its presentation to the device on which it is being viewed. Legal services websites with responsive design increased by 20 percentage points in 2016.
32% of legal services websites offer faceted search
Faceted search enables users to search a website by applying filters to generate focussed search results. Thirty-two percent of surveyed legal services websites offer faceted search. While 37% offer basic website search and another 5% use Google Search, 26% offer no search capabilities on the website.
63% of legal services websites use social media
The percentage of surveyed legal services websites with some social media presence on either Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn increased by 2 percentage points in 2016.
27% of legal services websites use Open Graph
Open Graph markup enhances integration of a website's content with Facebook. Use of Open Graph by surveyed legal services websites increased by 6 percentage points in 2016.
16% of legal services websites use Twitter Card
Twitter Card markup added to a page embeds a "card" with additional media when someone tweets a link to a web page. Use of Twitter Card on surveyed legal services websites increased by 5 percentage points in 2016.
16% of legal services websites use Schema.org
Schema.org is a way to markup HTML pages to make web content more structured for major search providers. Use of Schema.org on surveyed legal services websites increased by 2 percentage points in 2016.
- Data for web traffic analysis was collected from 23 websites via a survey posted to an email list of legal services professionals and on Twitter.
- Data for the rest of the report was collected by inspecting 167 websites listed on the website of the Legal Services Corporation and LawHelp.org.
- To determine a website’s platform we used Wappalyzer and Built With.
Special thanks to Cathy Hwang for additional research.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International