It’s also a great way to determine whether you’re being taken for a ride by a less-than-honest online marketer. Because, if they won’t let you see the metrics on what they’re charging you for, the odds are pretty good that they’re taking your money without giving you anything in return.
The article is about using online analytics to monitor how many people view your web site. It is this ability to analyze results that sets digital marketing well apart from traditional paper ads. If you placed an ad in a local magazine or Yellow Pages you had no idea how many people saw it. How many read it or how many called the office because of it. Actually you could track new patients from the ad with diligent in office procedures but doing so took staff time, was thus costly, and has been notoriously neglected.
On the other hand all this is tracked for you automatically, electronically, with digital systems. With a Google ad or just an office web site you can easily and inexpensively see how many people clicked on the site, where they came from and if they called. You can then automatically track if they make an appointment and how much they spend in your office.
Since tracking is easy and inexpensive what do you want to track?
You could contract with an SEO firm to get yourself high on the Google results. The SEO company may claim success if they can get you on page one of certain key word searches. That’s a start but there is so much more.
Are people then choosing to click to your website? You can track simple web visits and where the visitor came from. That may show Google results as important but you may find people are choosing you for other reasons. Tracking web site visits and seeing a growing trend over time is important but is still not enough. Are those people calling the office and how many become new patients? This is called conversion.
If you just measure visitors and your web site goes from ten visitors to 1000 visitors a month you can show a clear and dramatic improvement. However that does not necessarily mean increased revenue. It does not advance the practice a whole lot if 1000 people visit the web site but only one becomes a patient. A more useful measurement of success would not just be unique visitors but conversions. If your conversion rate is 5% and improvements in web design, navigation and content improves that to 15% you have a very measurable improvement in effectiveness that translates into actual money and a positive ROI on your web site investment.
Measuring conversion is more difficult and more expensive than measuring web visits. The best way to do it is with a dedicated phone number unique to your web site or web ad.