It’s a good idea to review your web analytics each month to make sure your website is meeting your goals. One way to do this is through Google Analytics, a free service that tracks and reports website traffic; you will have to set this up and connect your website if you’re interested in getting this data. You can conduct an internet search for easy-to-follow instructions on how to do this. It shows where visitors are coming from and what they’re looking at when they visit your website. You, or someone on staff, can gather this information directly. Or, if you’re working with a marketing consultant, that person can collect the data and see if it’s possible to determine why visitors abandoned a page as well as other valuable information.
No matter which approach you use, some of the information you’ll want to track will include:
- Bounce rates. This is the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. Bounce rates matter because longer stay times boost a site’s SEO ranking. A bounce rate between 40-60% is acceptable. Consider redesigning your website or marketing plan if your bounce rate is higher than 60%. Of course, there are reasons why someone might leave your website after viewing only one page: maybe they found the information they needed, such as the practice’s phone number or address, or maybe they decided to look somewhere else.
- Traffic increase. Traffic to the website, particularly through search engines, should grow slowly over time. Websites that plateau or lose traffic might need to be updated or supported through different marketing tactics. Keep in mind that it can take several months for a search engine to fully index a website, or add each page to its database, and register changes.
- Time on site. The average time on site for a user is two-to-three minutes. Take an objective look at your website if visitors are leaving sooner than two minutes since it’s possible that the website is not engaging them.
- Visitor location. Determine where your traffic is coming from: are most visitors local, out of state or even out of the country? If the majority of your traffic isn’t local, you may want to adjust your marketing plan so it targets prospective patients in your community.
- Heat maps. Heat maps indicate where on a web page visitors rest their cursors. This allows you to know what sections of your website tend to get the most traffic by identifying where visitors are focusing their attention. It’s a good idea to review this information at least quarterly so you can update or relocate content so visitors also focus on other pages of the website.