This is a guest post by Igor Cerjan, Director of Perceptiv Digital.
Here’s a thought to get us started:
If the medical or dental profession never had reliable feedback from patients, or never reviewed results from trials and experiments, would the industry be as advanced as it is today? Would it be as good at what it does or can do?
I think we all know the answer to that question, but here is the point, your website is a goldmine of useful information about how to serve your audience better, and if you are not listening, watching and reviewing, is your business better off or worse off as a result? I think you also know the answer to that question.
Analytics provides an avenue for feedback on how your website is performing.
Analytics provides an avenue for feedback on how your website is performing. It identifies what works and what doesn’t. It reveals what visitors are doing and where they are coming from. Most importantly, by observing this data, you can learn how to improve your website’s effectiveness and ultimately how to grow your business.
Here is what is most likely happening on your website: A potential patient is visiting your website and they aren’t able to find exactly what they are looking for, or maybe due to mobile responsiveness issues, they are not able to make a booking or contact you. This potential patient then leaves dissatisfied and will most likely look to have their needs met elsewhere. This is just one example out of many that could be affecting your business growth, and this is happening every day to thousands of practices.
There is a cost to not knowing how your website performs. At Perceptiv Digital we look at hundreds of analytics indicators, but it doesn’t have to be that overwhelming. Here are the key insights that you need to know (about your website performance) that will help you maximise your website’s effectiveness.
1. What is (and who makes up) your current traffic?
Knowing your current level of traffic and identifying trends is the best place to start with analytics. You want to be able to answer the following questions:
- Is the number of visitors growing or shrinking?
- Where are the visitors mainly coming from?
- What sort of demographic is my audience?
- What channel is working best, organic (search), social or paid (if relevant)?
These are metrics you want to keep an eye on at least monthly, but we recommend weekly. Why? You want to be able to react quickly to new information, not one month later, when it may be too late. The quicker you can react, the better.
Understanding your traffic source will help identify lots of opportunities for your business. You will quickly identify what inbound channels are working and what may be lacking. Successful online brands will have a good mix of traffic from several marketing channels.
Takeaway: Keeping track of your traffic and understanding where your visitors are coming from will help you identify what marketing channels are working, what channels need attention, or which ones should be dropped altogether.
2. Is your website optimized?
People consume content differently, so it’s more important than ever to have all your bases covered. Furthermore, with so much information available, and with decreasing attention spans, you only have a few seconds to give your visitor a positive experience.
Every website has a purpose, otherwise it wouldn’t exist. The key to an effective website is to identify the goals you want your users/visitors to perform. This can be anything from making an online booking, filling in a contact form or staying on the website for longer than 5 minutes.
Every time a visitor completes a goal on the website, that visitor has completed a “conversion”. This could be a micro conversion (partial completion of an end goal) such as filling in a contact form, or a macro conversion, such as making a booking.
Optimisation also applies to your website’s performance:
How fast does your website load?
Google use page speed as a ranking factor and recommend your website should load in less than 3 seconds! Is yours? 39% of people will stop engaging with a website if images won’t load or take too long to load. (Source: Adobe)
Does your website look great on mobile devices?
This is another important Google ranking factor but more than that, it’s crucial to your target audience, the majority of whom would be browsing your website on their mobile. Mobile devices now account for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online. (Source: comScore)
Is your website effective and appealing to your target audience? How long are they spending on your website, what exactly are they looking at and is the design/layout driving the desired behaviour? 38% of people will stop engaging with a website if the content/layout is unattractive. (Source: Adobe)
Takeaway: Invest time and money in knowing the answers to the above questions. Once the conversion rates are understood, efforts can be made to increase the conversion rate, this is called conversion optimisation. Optimising for conversions is a great way to boost the number of new patient bookings and reduce your average cost to acquire a customer.
3. What are visitors doing on your website?
Knowing what visitors are doing on your website, and being able to respond, can bring about massive growth for your business.
It’s important to be able to identify if visitors are coming to your website and leaving immediately (called Bounce Rate). You should also be aware of what pages your visitors are reading, how long they are spending on your website, and whether they are having any technical issues like slow loading times, or forms that aren’t working correctly.
Today, customer service often starts online, so you want to invest in:
- Tools that let you record what visitors are doing on your website (e.g. HotJar)
- Live chat to answer any questions at the customer’s convenience (e.g. Tidio Chat)
Takeaway: Understanding what your visitors do on your website can help you identify issues that need to be addressed. These quick wins can have a big impact on your bottom line.
Igor Cerjan is the Director of Perceptiv Digital. Perceptiv Digital is backed by professionals with experience in premium web design, high converting websites, SEO, PPC, analytics and copy (that works). Everything we do is measurable and results driven.