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Best Practice Benchmarking for Legal Services Websites 2018

Abhijeet Chavan
Chief Technology Officer

This best practice benchmarking study of 167 legal services websites was conducted in December 2017. The results were presented on January 10th, 2018, at the Legal Services Corporation 2018 Technology Initiative Grants Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Summary

  • Open source platforms power 59% of legal services websites
  • Over half of web traffic to legal services websites comes from mobile devices
  • 76% of legal services websites use responsive design
  • 32% of legal services websites offer faceted search
  • 63% of legal services websites use social media
  • 35% of legal services websites use Facebook Open Graph
  • 25% of legal services websites use Twitter Card
  • 17% of legal services websites use Schema.org
  • Median Woorank SEO Score for legal services websites is 54

Open source platforms power 59% of legal services websites

Legal services websites continued to adopt open source content management systems. WordPress is the top platform of choice powering 29% of websites surveyed. Drupal is a close second at 28% (17% Drupal and 11% Drupal-based DLAW/OpenAdvocate).

Legal services websites by platform

Over 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 six years.

Percentage web traffic from mobile and tablet devices to DLAW/OpenAdvocate websites 2011–2017

Based on a online survey of 34 legal services websites conducted in January 2018, over half of the traffic to legal services website in 2017 came from smartphones and tablets (Median = 53%).

Percentage of Web Traffice by Devices 2017

76% 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. Three-quarters of legal services websites now use responsive design.

Legal services websites with responsive design

32% of legal services websites offer faceted search

Faceted search enables users to search a website by applying filters to generate focused search results. Thirty-two percent of surveyed legal services websites offer faceted search, the same as last year. While 41% offer basic website search and another 4% use Google Search, 24% offer no search capabilities on the website.

Legal services websites with faceted search

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 remained unchanged since the last year with Facebook as the top social media choice.

Legal services websites with social media

35% of legal services websites use Facebook 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 8 percentage points in 2017.

Legal services websites using Facebook Open Graph

25% 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 9percentage points in 2017.

Legal services websites using Twitter Card

17% 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 1 percentage point in 2017.

Legal services websites using Schema.org

Median Woorank SEO Score for legal services websites is 54

Woorank conducts search engine optimization (SEO) analysis and provides an overall SEO score for a websites. Score above 70 are considered to be excellent while scores below 50 are considered poor. The median SEO score for all surveyed legal services websites is 54.

Legal services websites by Woorank SEO score

Legal services websites’ Woorank SEO scores by platform

Notes

  • Data for web traffic analysis was collected from 34 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-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.