Online Presence Metrics for Dental Practices
In part one we discussed how to evaluate patient acquisition, loyalty and online reputation of your dental practice. Here, we will explore more key components of the year-end marketing assessment. We will focus on the following metrics, related to the online presence of your dental practice:
#4: Website traffic
In today’s digital age, your website is an indispensable tool to promote your dental practice. It serves many purposes beyond the basic role to inform potential patients about the treatments you are specialized in and how to make an appointment.
According to a recent poll, 65% of patients would not go to a practice with a poor functioning website.
However, page visitors do not convert into new patients automatically and you need to track several stats to determine how effective is your webpage.
All relevant stats are available for free in Google Analytics. If you are new to the tool, start by reviewing the following metrics:
Available in tab: Audience – Overview – Users
In the calendar on the right-hand side, set the period to Custom, starting from 01st January. You will get a chart with the users who visited your page over the past months. Compare the numbers with the previous year to detect if there are significant drops and improvements. Your goal is to attract more people to your website. Nevertheless, this is not enough on its own.
A key indicator of its relevance and functionality is the time users spend on your website. This information is available from the average session duration in the same tab (Audience – Overview). If you notice that people are leaving after a few seconds, it is likely that you need help optimizing the content and/or structure.
Conversion rate is the ultimate measure of website success. It shows you what share of sessions resulted in a completed goal like filling out a contact form or scheduling an appointment through an online booking form. To put it simply, it helps you understand whether pages visitors are actually turning into new patients.
If you don’t have an online form on your website and you rely only on phone calls, it will be more difficult to determine the conversion rate. Ideally, you would like to see how often people call for an appointment when visiting your website. In this case you can track clicks on a call button or visits to contacts page as the closest alternative.
For conversion rate tracking, you have to set up events on your website and link them to goals in Google Analytics to start collecting the information.
How patients get to your website. Do most patients land on your site after searching on Google (organic search) or your social media posts are attracting most page visitors? You will find answers to these questions in tab: Acquisition – Overview in Google Analytics.
You can identify the most popular sections of your dental website in tab: Behaviour – Overview. By default, it provides a breakdown of the top-performing pages in terms of page views. If important parts of your site are not on this list, you should investigate why people are not reaching them.
#5: Social media presence
Nowadays, hardly anyone doubts the importance of social media for any type of business, including medical practices. Statistics reveal that there are 2.41 billion monthly active users on Facebook, 1 billion on Instagram and 330 million on Twitter.
The numbers show that social media is one of the primary tools to market your practice, engage and communicate with patients.
For Facebook pages, you can find key performance metrics in the Insights section. There you can find out how your page followers have changed over time. Moreover, by looking at post reach and engagement you can measure the impact of your social marketing.
Note that if you are not advertising, organically your posts are displayed to a small fraction of your followers. This is due to Facebook algorithm, which prioritizes content from friends and groups over posts from businesses.
Post engagement shows the number of times people interacted with your content. Interactions include sharing, liking or clicking on publications. It is important to monitor and aim to improve engagement at least for 2 reasons. Firstly, this gives you an idea of how well posts resonate with your patients. And secondly, shared and liked posts reach a broader audience because they are displayed to friends of the Facebook fans, which interacted with the post.
If you don’t see the Insights tab, it is likely that you don’t have admin access to your page. Contact the page creator to give you access and to request them to make you a page owner. Otherwise, you may lose access if you decide to switch to another marketing agency.
Similarly, other social media have analytics or insights tabs where you can get the data.
#6: Search Rankings
Where do you come up when people search for a dental practice in your area? If you are not on page one of Google search results, it is very likely that you are losing potential patients to other dentists.
Sometimes you may not even appear among the top search results even when people search specifically for your dental practice by name. This may be due to a poorly optimized website and insufficient presence in specialized directories.
The easiest way is to check it yourself by searching for relevant key phrases like ‘dentist in [location]”. However, note that it can be misleading. Google takes into account user behavior data to make results more relevant to you. So what you are seeing is not necessarily what patients will see for the same search.
Google Search Console is a free tool that gives limited information as to which search queries led to your website. However, to find out how well you are ranking for certain phrases like ‘dentist in [your area]’ you need to make use of another tool. Most of the tools are paid, but a free basic version of Semrush provides sufficient functionalities to cover the basics.
Professional SEO optimization can be rather costly. Nevertheless, there are a number of things that you can do by yourself to make your dental practice easier to find online.
For example, listing your practice on a SEO-optimized online directory like Dentacoin Trusted Review can boost your visibility and boost rankings for free. In addition, your practice will appear in search results enhanced with star ratings, working hours, etc.
Whether you are working with a professional marketing agency or relying on your own efforts, making a year-end evaluation is fundamental.
Measuring and analyzing the 6 key aspects presented here will provide a solid basis to plan on which areas to focus, where to improve and how to market your dental practice more effectively.
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