Data is important. In fact, in the world of dental marketing data is your best friend. Data supersedes what you think or feel by providing you with tangible evidence that can either support or debunk your theories on how your site is performing. How many times have you been in a meeting brainstorming dental marketing ideas when someone proposes an idea because they feel it’s the right thing to do.
Sure, sometimes your gut feeling is right, but backing up what you think will work with data is the only way to take action that you know will be effective.
Understanding how to collect and interpret the data you get can help you create a website that meets and exceeds the expectations of users. When you meet the needs of your users, you’ll find that their experience is spectacular, you get an increase in leads, and ultimately an increase in business.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is an incredibly robust freemium service offered through Google. Analytics tracks and reports on web traffic, including where people are coming from, page they’re visiting, time spent on pages, and conversions.
The longer you have Google Analytics on your website the more data you have and the better for you. Data can be segmented by day, month, week, and year. Each perspective can help you gain insight into how people are using your website and develop a medical marketing plan that’s truly effective.
What’s Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is one of the main reasons people love Google Analytics. High-quality organic traffic will lead to a successful dental marketing strategy. GA will tell you how many users are coming to your website via organic traffic sources like search engines. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo use a variety of factors to rank websites. Top ranking websites, those that appear at the top of the search engine results page, tend to get clicked the most. As a result, a top ranking spot is highly coveted and take much SEO work to accomplish.
Organic traffic is the traffic that comes from people clicking the results in the search engine results pages. That traffic is free and the payoff is often much higher than that which you get from paid traffic.
Google Analytics can show you which keywords are bringing traffic to your website, along with trends. This will tell you the type of content you need to be creating and the type of content people want to see, which ultimately makes medical marketing much easier.
Google Analytics Can Tell You About Engagement
Engagement is the amount of time people spend on your website, how they navigate it, and whether they share it on social media. A website designed to meet the needs of the user through quality content, a well laid out navigation, and an overall flow will engage users. Engagement is one of the metrics that Google uses to rank websites. The more people interact with your website, the more signals will be sent to Google that indicate your website is relevant and useful to users.
The audience section of your Analytics dashboard will give you these engagement metrics. Time spent on site is an important one to pay attention to. You want to aim for people to spend 2 to 5 minutes on your website. This indicates that they’re looking around, thoroughly browsing and skimming content, and getting the information they need.
Bounce rate is another indicator of site engagement. The bounce rate is the number of people who leave your website after landing on just one page. When someone leaves after viewing a single page, chances are they haven’t found what they’re looking for and don’t want to waste anymore time on the site. People with a higher bounce rate will typically have a lower “time spent on site” number.
Google Analytics provides a list of the pages on your site and ranks them in order of sessions/visits. In our experience with dental websites the homepage, dentist bio[s], contact page, about page, and services page are typically in the top 5 of the site. Look for this trend when examining your top pages as these are the pages prospective patients want to see. If they aren’t in order, take a look at various marketing strategies for dentists to determine how you can move them up.
Once you have the data in front of you, the next step is to analyze. After all, looking at the Google Dashboard is really just looking at a data dump. Parsing through it will allow you to take measurable actions that impact your website’s performance in the long run.
Let’s take, as an example, the home page of your website. If you had 500 visitors on your home page, which is a good amount of prospective leads, you might think you’re doing alright. But dig a little deeper and you might find that 80% of people bounce from the home page and there’s an average of pages per session is less than 2. Add to that the fact that people are spending less than a minute on the site and you now have a lot of information that can help you make decisions.
Each of factors can lead you to a couple of conclusions. First, we know people aren’t finding what they need on your website. This could be the result of a poorly designed navigation, an unresponsive website (you can look at the behavior of mobile visitors to better understand if that’s the case), or an overall bad design.
The good news is these problems are easy to fix. You can easily clean up your navigation and make it simple to move through. If the signs point to poor content, look through the analytics to understand what people are looking for. Be sure to check your internal site search as well as organic search terms. The internal site search can tell you what people are looking for once they get on your website.
Through a process of elimination, you can begin to explore which fixes would work best for your medical website.