Physicians often ask me what metrics from their website they should be tracking to get an idea of the effectiveness of their platform. There are many tools out there that can help, but I always recommend beginning with Google Analytics. It’s free and provides a ton of information.
However, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to get somewhat overwhelmed by the data.
Here are the three most important metrics to look at for physician websites:
While I regularly am looking at website traffic, I like to take a more concentrated evaluation of the overall site traffic on a monthly basis.
There are a few things specifically I’m looking for:
How many total visitors over the month?
This just provides an overview of how many people are coming to the site every month — both new and repeat users.
How many unique visitors over the month?
Unique visitors is a key area of focus. In working with my clients, I really want to make sure we’re attracting prospective new patients to the site.
Ideally, I’m looking for 60-75% of users per month to be new users.
Traffic compared to the previous month?
This provides a short-term trend to look at.
If visitors are up, was there anything special that contributed to it?
I’m visitors are down, was there a particular reason for that? Is there anything that needs to be adjusted?
Traffic compared to the same month last year?
Looking at the same month from the previous year helps provide some additional context as well.
In many specialties, there can be a bit of a seasonal effect. For example, patients trying to meet their deductibles for the year.
Is my bounce rate below 65%?
Google measures a “bounce” as someone who visits your site and leaves without any further interaction.
The lower the bounce rate, the better.
If the bounce rate is consistently above 65%, then action is needed to change some aspects of the website to help improve the user experience and drive more interactions.
Bounce rate also affects SEO, which makes it an important metric to look at.
This is such an important data point that Google Analytics provides. It allows you to clearly see how many of your visitors are within your ideal patient profile(s).
Checking the geographic location is essential, simply because you want to make sure the overwhelming majority of your website visitors are local to where you are.
If your practice is in Denver, but the majority of your visits are coming from other locations, the traffic isn’t doing you much good.
Metrics are so important when it comes to physician websites. However, they can be distracting if you let them.
With Google Analytics, there is pretty much no end to the data. That’s why I recommend physicians focus on these three key metrics.