Key Performance Indicators For Dental Websites
Analytics for your business website – what you need to know to maintain and improve results
Do you rely on your website marketing agency to advise how your website is performing; do you check it yourself or perhaps you don’t check it at all?
What we tend to see when new dental clients come to us is that most of them don’t really know too much about how their website is working and they either don’t check it all or rely on minimal information from their design and marketing agency. The latter tends to be an automatically generated report which shows a few trends but little else.
So what should you be doing? Given that your website is perhaps the most important asset in your digital marketing tool-bag, it makes very good sense to ensure that it is performing optimally. This doesn’t mean just relying on your web team, there are some important elements you can cross-check yourself. In today’s blog we will look at six key performance metrics which you can check monthly within Google Analytics and Search Console – two free and powerful pieces of software which you can easily install on your website.
This is clearly an important “high level” metric to help you understand how your website is growing, however it’s not quite as simple as looking at the overall traffic to your site. You need to look into Google Analytics to segment the traffic by channel so you can see how many visitors are coming from paid ads, from organic Google searches and so on.
It is also important to understand if the traffic is “good” i.e. is it leading to new enquires and treatments. This leads on to perhaps the most important measurement known as conversions (or goals).
If your web agency is diligent and genuinely wants you to know how well your website is delivering, they will have set up conversions (or goals) in Analytics for you. These are recordings of specific events, for example where a contact form has been completed to contact the practice. Understanding your traffic stats is all well and good but you also need to know how conversions are running in conjunction with this. For example, it could be the case that your marketing agency launched a poorly targeted social media campaign which has resulted in website traffic, but that traffic isn’t converting into meaningful enquiries – careful analysis of your data will reveal this.
There are all sorts of tools within analytics which allow you to dig deep and see how conversions resulted, for example you can track a user’s route through your site from their entry page to the point at which they contacted you. Similarly you can also analyse where users left you site without contacting you. This can be really useful to help optimise your website content to improve performance.
Here at Dental Media we always insist that website growth is all about traffic (the right sort) AND conversions.
A quick way to see how well your website is engaging and converting new patients is the conversion rate metric. Increasing conversion rates mean that your web content is working harder to encourage potential new patients to contact you, whereas decreasing rates implies the opposite.
We tend to see conversion rates falling away as website content becomes stale and it’s at this point that a content refresh or potential re-build of the site becomes necessary. As a rule of thumb, if your conversion rates are much below 3%, it’s time to dig deeper to see what might be going wrong. Conversion rates in excess of 15% are possible on high-performing sites but that’s quite a high bar and one to aspire to as the website develops.
Analytics also allows us to see how much traffic came from different types of devices, PC, tablet, mobile ‘phone etc. You will likely see that 65% or more of your traffic is coming from mobile devices and it’s why we tend to talk about “mobile first” web design these days. This means that we prioritise the user-experience on mobile devices first before moving on to optimise for desk-top users. Of course your site needs to look great and work well on all devices, but it’s important to understand the “mobile first” concept.
Did you publish some new content, perhaps on your implants page or maybe your latest ortho service and need to know how it’s being received?
One way to achieve this is to look at the dwell time for those pages i.e. how long users stayed on the page after they landed. Technically speaking, it’s actually the time they spent on your website after clicking on a search result and then clicking back to the search results i.e. finding your content, reading it (or not) and then leaving your site again. Industry rule-of-thumb is around 2 – 4 minutes but this can vary by sector.
Using this type of information alongside metrics like conversions can be extremely powerful to assess how your content is performing.
This is very useful to determine the exact search queries users are typing into Google to find your website. For this you’ll need to set up and monitor Google Search Console, another free tool from the search giant.
Agencies will often sell SEO to dentists based on a keyword list, but this is very outdated as we’ve discussed elsewhere in this blog. Keywords are useful indicators but ultimately you need to know how your traffic and conversions are developing. That said, in Google Search Console you can see which queries searchers actually used and where your website was positioned in the search results for that particular query. This handy to show if you are prominent in the search results for the main keywords people tend to use, but also for lots of other interesting keyword derivatives too.
Your website is a key tool for new patient acquisition and it really does pay to ensure that it performs well and maintains/improves that performance over time.
The six metrics discussed above will really help you to gain the insights you need to ensure your website is being managed and promoted effectively. There are many more measurements available within Google’s web tools, but by getting the basic data set up correctly, monitored and acted upon, you’ll be well on your way to excellent website performance.
Need help? Please get in touch with the digital marketing team at Dental Media to discuss any aspect of your practice website and how to improve it. You can reach us for a no-obligation discussion on 01332 672548.