Digital marketing has become crucial to most organizations, as it has become an ingrained part of the modern consumer experience. To help your organization reach your marketing goals, it is essential to understand how your medical practice website works. But where to start?
There is so much potential data it’s difficult to know what to track, and what your benchmarks should even be. Today, medical practice website management is more about easy to understand content and user-friendly navigation.
Without diving into your analytics, it’s impossible to tell if your website — or websites — are performing as they should for the results you want. To make it simple, here are the top 10 metrics you should track for your medical practice website to ensure it’s working towards your organization’s goals:
- Unique Visitors: If you build it, they will come — unless it’s a website, in which case if you build it, they might come, if they can find it. This metric measures how many unique visitors reach your site each month, and how they got there. Was it a referral? A Google search? Social media? Your analytics will let you know. With this information, you can plan more optimal ways of attracting visitors, stop advertisements that aren’t attracting anyone, and see if you need to get more exposure. You’ll also see trends, which might show whether specific times of the month are more popular than others, and give you tools to help keep visits steady.
- Overall Sessions: How long do people stay on your site once they’re there? There’s no “best” answer for this metric, and you must understand what you want users doing on your site before looking at the numbers. If you want them to interact with the content — reading, watching, etc. — then you’ll be looking for long session times. If you want people to just find out enough to make a booking, you’ll be seeing shorter session times. Set your expectations for this metric realistically.
- Bounce Rate: Are people’s attention being grabbed by your content, or are they trying to get away from it as fast as possible? This metric lets you know whether your visitors linger on a page and dive deeper within other pages — or leave your site quickly by whatever means (clicking back, closing the window, entering a new URL). A high bounce rate is usually a good reason to re-assess your current content strategy and layout. It might be that the content is dull, irrelevant — or the site itself is unpleasant to look at, difficult to navigate, etc.
- Average Page Views Per Session: This metric gives you an insight into a user’s visit and their level of engagement. Like session times, you need to look at this data with your goals in mind. The average page views might be 2, for example, but those pages might be the landing page and the “contact us” page. If you want people to interact with the site, you’ll want to see higher average page views if you just want them to use the site to contact you.
- Average Time on Page: This metric is useful for checking how engaging your content is. If you have a 6 minute video, but users are leaving after 2 minutes, your video isn’t working. Same with blog content; if you’ve got a 2,000 word article but people are leaving after five minutes, there’s a good chance they haven’t read it all.
- Top Landing Pages: Your medical practice website likely uses multiple landing pages for different campaigns; this metric allows you to monitor landing page campaigns in real time. Which of your landing pages are the most popular entrance pages for your site? How well do specific landing pages perform, at least compared to other pages? By tracking trends over time, you can adapt your campaigns to be as effective as possible by mimicking your popular page strategies.
- Click Through Rate: Click through rate (CTR) isn’t a useful metric for every page; pages that don’t have a measurable form or button to click on, such as a data form, won’t give much information. But it can be useful to see which pages, or types of pages, offer the most meaningful interaction on your site. You can back into CTR by calculating the opposite of Bounce Rate, and you’ll be able to see things such as whether your provider directories are leading to people reading about your staff, or if your Children’s Services landing page needs a content refresh with a better linking strategy.
- Onsite Search Queries: This is obviously only going to be useful if your website has its own search bar. This metric tracks the number of times users click your website’s search button, and can give you an idea of whether people can easily find the content they need. Generally, a high usage number means your website isn’t as easy to navigate as users would like, and low usage means people are able to find what they’re looking for organically by just using the website.
- Top Exit Pages: This lets you see what the last page someone visited was before they left your site. There are some pages you obviously want to see here — contact forms, downloads, etc. But if you see people are halfway through reading content when they disappear, it could mean you need a content overhaul. If you notice common trends — or even, no common trends — it could also indicate that the site itself is just too difficult to navigate, and they’re giving up.
- Conversions: Everyone needs conversions, whether it’s a hospital or a mechanic or a grocer. Conversions measures passive visitors turn into identified leads or consumers who “purchase” (schedule). This is arguably the truest measure of your site’s success, as it should be the main goal of the website. Conversions can measure many things; visitors to leads, email sign-up conversions, landing page conversions or leads to customer conversions. Whatever it is, making conversions is crucial to both revenue and bringing in consumers. With Google Analytics, all you need is a defined goal and a special URL that reveals the source of the click.
Tracking these metrics can and will provide critical information about the effectiveness of your organization’s website and how your audience engages and interacts with your content. Tracking and responding to data when necessary is the benchmark for determining the success of your medical practice website.
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