Pay per click advertising through Google AdWords and other major search engines is a great way to get consumers to your website but what happens after they arrive at your digital doorstep? How do you analyze how well your website does in converting those leads and how do you make intelligent decisions on what aspects of your website need revised to increase your new patient volume?
Pay per click advertising provides quantifiable metrics on the basic performance of your digital campaign such as impressions, site visits, keywords, click through rate, etc … but these simply show how effective your campaign is at driving traffic to your website or landing pages. What it doesn’t show is what happens after those visitors arrive. Even if you use conversion tracking technology to track phone calls and form submits, odds are you are only able to see the actionable result of what 10-15% of your website visitors do. How do you analyze why the other 85-90% of your traffic isn’t converting?
This is where analytics adds value. Analytics allows you to track beyond the visit providing more clues to how well your pay per click advertising is really working. With analytics you can understand whether the traffic you are driving to the website are prospective patients or not based on their behavior on the website. There are a myriad of analytics programs available but our personal preference is Google Analytics as its free and tightly integrated with Google AdWords.
Some of the most valuable metrics in Google Analytics for analyzing pay per click advertising are:
- Bounce Rate
- Average Session Duration
- Number of Pages Visited per Session
- Individual Page Performance
- Cross-Platform Performance
Bounce rate tells you how many visitors hit your landing page and then leave your website without going to any other page on your site. A high bounce rate for your pay per click advertising campaign is a high indicator that you’re either attracting the wrong people to your site or that your landing page is not effective. If you see a high bounce rate for your pay per click advertising traffic check the search terms report in your campaign to analyze the search phrases that are driving visits to your website. If the search traffic is good then you’ll need to make revisions to your landing page to either compel more visitors to take an action such as calling or filling out a form on the site or moving on to other pages on the webstie.
Number of Pages Visited Per Session
Number of pages visited per session is another way to measure how engaged website visitors are with your website. Unless website visitors are converting immediately from the campaign landing page, you’ll want visitors to click through to multiple pages on your website. If most of your website visitors from your pay per click advertising campaign are not converting immediately and your average number of pages visited per session is less than 2, you’re not attracting the right type of visitors or your landing page isn’t effective in engaging your visitors.
Average Session Duration
How much time someone spends on your site is also a good indicator of the effectiveness of your pay per click advertising campaign. Higher average session durations usually indicate that you are attracting the right visitors to your website and that they are engaging with your content. If time on your site is low as well as conversions, then you’ll need to rethink the content on your landing page.
Individual Page Performance
With Google Analytics you can also evaluate individual page performance such as tracking session duration for a specific landing page as well as tracking conversions such as form submits or the number of times website visitors visit a specific page such as a page containing location and hours. By using goal tracking for individual page performance or actions like submitting a form it helps assign a dollar value to specific pages on the website to determine which are performing and which are not.
How mobile-friendly is your website? With analytics you’re also able to see which devices (desktop, mobile, tablet) drive the most traffic to your website as well as the visitor behavior per device. With this data, you can see which types of site visitors are most engaged with your website and where opportunities to improve exist. While your pay per click advertisingcampaign will show you device traffic, it won’t show you the average session duration, number of pages visited and bounce rate per device.
With universal analytics you can measure performance across devices such as insights into users who start their search on a mobile device and then move to a desktop. While this is a relatively new ability, it enables you to see how well your entire digital marketing strategy is performing. You no longer have to strictly rely on last-click attribution. This enables you to see information about the digital campaigns that initially engaged the visitor to the one that generated the conversion. This rich, robust data can inform future strategies and help with messaging as you learn which campaigns drive first-time visitors and which campaigns drive conversions.
When it comes to pay per click advertising the goal is to not only get your visitors engaged with your website but ultimately compel them to take action such as calling your practice to schedule a new patient appointment or completing a form on the site. Trace visitor behavior throughout the site to determine how well your campaign doing in driving the right traffic to your website as well as how well your website does in converting those visitors into leads for your practice.
About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as a Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $4,200,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.
To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit:http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2015/27890/five-ways-google-analytics-turns-you-into-the-sherlock-of-paid-search