Cute cat pictures rule the web, but real life stats are even more important.

Website Stats That Will Make Your Jaw Drop

July 26, 2016

When building a case to redesign your site, it's helpful to know how people actually use the web, what they think is important and why you (and your boss) should care.

Key points:

  • Your website can either work for or against you. What is yours doing?
  • Design is the single biggest factor in establishing credibility with your website
  • Mobile matters (it is 2016 after all)
  • Scrolling has worked well since the mid 90s
  • Bios matter (even to existing clients)
  • What you put in bio matters more and is seldom client-centric
  • It's way more profitable to provide additional services to an existing client
  • Security is a nightmare


Is your website working for you or against you?

  • 46% of website visitors say that website's design is the most important factor in establishing credibility, but only 35% of law firm websites designs have been updated in the last 3 years
  • 96% of people seeking legal advice use a search engine and 65-75% of all law firm website traffic bypasses the home page (goes from Google/Bing directly to an interior page: bio, news article, etc.), but only 3% of law firm websites deliver any kind of personalized content and even less provide easy links to discoverable content.
  • More than 50% of all searches on Google come from a mobile device, but only 1 in 3 law firm websites are optimized for mobile devices.

Internal aggregate statistics


Is Website Design Important?

46% of website visitors say that design is the most important factor in establishing credibility.

BJ Fogg, of Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab, conducted a study in which they collected over 2,400 participant comments on the credibility of 100 different websites.

The top 5 categories:

  • Design Look: 46.1%
  • Information Design/Structure: 28.5%
  • Information Focus: 25.1%
  • Company Motive: 15.5%
  • Information Usefulness: 14.8%



Mobile Experience

If you don't have a mobile strategy and your site doesn't work well on a handheld, you're missing opportunities.

More than half of all searches on Google come from a mobile device.

91% of mobile users say that access to content is very important. (Wolfgang Jaegel, 2015)

Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead. (MicKinsey & Company, 2014)

57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report, 2015)

79% of people surveyed use their smartphone for reading email -- a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls. (Email Monday, 2015)


Scrolling and "the digital fold"

Terms like "above the fold" and in contrast, "below the fold" are old print/newspaper terms. The online equivalent "digital fold" has not mattered since about 15 minutes after the browser was first invented and people discovered there was more content down the page that they could get to by... here it comes... scrolling

There are plenty of heat maps and research to back that up. Even so, people still try to jam everything at the top of the page! Why?! We know everyone scrolls and has for two decades.

In fact, visitors tend to disregard content at the very top of websites because that area is either full of ads, company spin, fluff or is purely utilitarian (search, navigation, etc.). They know that in order to get to real content, one scrolls (counterintuitive until you think about it). This has become even more prevalent as touch devices have become ubiquitous and "swiping up" is the first someone does when they hit a new page.

This is best heatmap ever made about actual user engagement (thank you Chartbeat)!

Sources: Chartbeat


Why a good bio matters

According to the 2011 BTI study (still relevant in 2016) “How Clients Hire”, 80+% of in-house counsel use a directory or the attorney's bio to identify potential candidates when a referral is not available, 77% use it to validate even when there is a referral and 45% periodically review attorney’s that have already been hired.

96.5% of in‐house counsel and staff access an online lawyer profile or legal directory at least once a year—for any reason.

56.1% of legal decision makers turns to online lawyer profiles or legal directories at least monthly

  • Monthly (28.5%)
  • Weekly (22.4%)
  • Daily (5.2%)


BTW, I checked with BTI in early July '16 and they have not updated the report. We suspect these percentages have trended upward in the last 5 years.


With that in mind, this brilliant graphic kinda nails it

When writing bios which side of the diagram are you paying attention to?

Matthew Homann


Client Retention and Profitability

This is targeted to law firms, but probably applies to most professional service firms (including us).

According to Lexus Nexus:

  1. 33% of clients have dropped at least one law firm in the last year, or the average in-house counsel terminates two long-term firms every year.
  2. Market share won, is not market share retained. 35% of law firms have seen an erosion of market share.
  3. The cost of winning a new client is 10 times greater than the cost of retaining an existing customer.
  4. Client retention is more profitable. A 5% increase in client retention can increase profits between 25% to 125%.
  5. Clients buy from firms they already know. The chances of selling to a new customer are between 5% and 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is between 60% and 70%.
  6. Risk of client attrition. When a law firm serves a client in just one area of law the risk of attrition is 35%; when a law firm serves a client in 4 or more areas of law, the risk of attrition is less than 5%.
  7. How to reduce client attrition. When five or more law firm partners are involved with a client, fewer than 10% leave the firm.



I didn't really touch on security, but that matters too and is pretty frightening.

Best stat on that front: the most common password is: "password", second most common is: "123456." Here's the full list. 

Been hacked lately?...


Additional stats that may be useful:


If you have any comments, questions or just want to say hi, please email me at

P.S., the web actually is ruled by cats.