If you’re not yet familiar with Google Analytics, it’s time to get comfortable because it’s a powerful tool that you can use to track the success of your practice’s marketing.
If you want to better understand your audience and strengthen your dental marketing strategy, you need to know how to best utilize all the data available to you inside the Google Analytics platform.
If this is your first time checking in with Google Analytics, you may feel overwhelmed with the data–not knowing which sections to look at and focus on. Rather than spend hours digging through the data, we’re going to walk you through what data to focus on and how to measure the success of your practice’s marketing using Google Analytics.
When leveraged correctly, you can gain valuable insight into who’s visiting your website, how they got there, and what pages they’re spending the most time on. You can use all of this data to understand your current marketing situation and how to enhance it.
What is Google Analytics?
Before we begin discussing how you can use this data to improve your dental marketing, let’s talk about what Google Analytics is. It’s a powerful, free tool for businesses that allows you to uncover a tremendous amount of data about your site and the people that visit it so that you can analyze it to boost your dental marketing strategies.
There are eight main sections to this platform: Dashboards, Shortcuts, Intelligence Events, Real-Time, Audience, Acquisition, Behavior, and Conversions. All of these sections contain sub-sections that provide a ton of data. But don’t worry, not all sections are vital.
Terminology to Know
Here’s some important Google Analytics terminology to understand so that you can get to know the platform and what you’re looking at:
- Users: This indicates the people who have visited your site at least one time within the selected date range. This includes both new and returning visitors.
- Dimensions: This refers to the descriptive characteristics of an object. This includes the browser, exit page, session duration, and more.
- Metrics: These are the individual statistics of the dimensions. For example, this would refer to Screenviews and Average Session Duration.
- Bounce Rate: This is the percentage of people who entered your site and exited it from the same page which they entered. This means that they didn’t interact with your site—they landed there and clicked back off.
- Sessions: This is the period of time that a visitor is actively engaged with your site.
What Numbers Matter the Most to Dental Practices?
You’re going to see a lot of numbers on this platform, but here’s what should matter the most when it comes to your dental marketing strategy:
The Acquisition section gives you data regarding how people arrive on your website. Methods of arrival can include search engines, social media, a blog that you contributed to, and more. If you take a look at the “All Traffic” tab you will see a breakdown of this information.
The Audience section provides you with a whole wealth of information regarding the visitors on your website. You have the ability to see the age, gender, and location of your visitors and even their interests and what device they used to navigate to your site i.e. desktop or mobile device.
The behavior section will tell you exactly how people are interacting with your site. You’ll get to see what pages of your site are the most popular.
Conversion is what tracks the effectiveness of your website in persuading your visitors to take the action that you’re asking them to take i.e. call your office, fill out a form, etc. This metric is arguably the most important because it’s directly related to the number of leads and sales you’re getting for your dental practice.
Focus on the Data That’s Going to Help Move the Needle Forward in Your Business
By focusing on these four key sections, you’ll be able to save yourself time by not wasting it trying to decipher other data that doesn’t have such a massive impact on your marketing strategy. When you can successfully use all of the data from these sections together, the information will help you to determine which marketing efforts are driving the most traffic to your site.
With this information, you’ll be able to make smart marketing decisions about the type and placement of content on your website. The bottom line is, you figure out what’s working and do more of that and less of what isn’t working so well. Next, we’ll get into some of the intricacies of the numbers.
Behaviors and KPI’s
Behaviors are the path toward a goal and behavior KPIs let you know what the users’ behaviors are when on your website. Having this insight is critical in understanding optimal user experience and working to improve it over time to maximize your conversions. Here are some of the most basic behavior KPIs you should track:
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the bounce rate is the metric that shows the percentage of single-page visits, aka the number of people who exit your website quickly after landing on it. These visitors didn’t take any action after landing on your site. This number should be as low as possible. If you have a high bounce rate, it usually means one of two things:
1. Your website isn’t effective at capturing and engaging visitors. It may not be user-friendly, the copy could be bad, the visuals may be lacking, and the site speed may be slow. Any of these scenarios will cause a visitor to extra your page just as fast as they landed there. Does your dental practice’s website include these 10 must-have elements?
2. You’re attracting the wrong audience. If your website isn’t set up to attract the right people, you may end up with visitors who were seeking something else and realized you weren’t the answer as soon as they landed on your site.
Pages Per Session
This section will show you the average number of pages people view on your site during their visit. The higher this number the better as it shows that your website is effectively promoting the viewing of additional pages and information on your site–which helps to build brand awareness and trust.
Average Session Duration
This will tell you the average amount of time that visitors spend on your site per page. This is a metric that you really have to take some time and consideration for. For example, if you have a high average session duration, it could mean that visitors are taking the time to read through your blog posts or it could mean that there’s a problem—like they are spending a lot of time searching what they are looking for. Given this information, it’s important that you analyze this metric in the context of your site and what pages these sessions are occurring on.
A conversion is the successful completion of an activity on your website that’s important for your practice’s growth. Tracking your conversions ultimately measures your site’s overall performance and effectiveness. In order to track your conversions through Google Analytics, you’ll need to set up a function called ‘Goals’. This is where you’ll identify what’s considered a conversion for your practice and how you track it.
Start Using Google Analytics to Understand Your Dental Marketing Strategy Better Today
If you aren’t already using Google Analytics, or you previously took a look and didn’t understand where to start—we hope that this article brings you some clarity.
Harnessing this free tool is one of the best ways to stay on top of your dental marketing campaign and get in tune with what’s working and what’s not. At the end of the day, knowing and understanding the important metrics and KPIs will help you save time and maximize your conversions, which is the exact goal you should be striving for.
If you need additional information or would like assistance with Google Analytics and your dental marketing plan, get in touch today for your free consultation!
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