Published on November 20, 2020
Maintaining a website is indispensable for any veterinary practice looking to increase its visibility. But what’s the best way to measure the performance of your website and how do you know if visitors find your online content interesting? What information can you use to improve its quality and relevance?
This is where Google Analytics comes in: it’s an extremely powerful analytical tool that can help you track (and validate!) numerous aspects of your online presence.
What is Google Analytics (GA)?
Google Analytics is a platform that measures and provides you with data on the performance of your website thanks to an integrated tracking system. Tens of millions of users rely on this powerful and robust tool, especially because it offers free access to its basic (but nonetheless comprehensive) data reports!
GA can seem daunting at first glance, so here are some practical tips to help get you started!
How can Google Analytics be used in veterinary marketing?
Your website is usually the cornerstone of your online presence. It’s what allows pet owners to discover your services, meet your team, find your contact information, etc. Accordingly, knowing key statistics related to your site is essential in order to evaluate what works best and what needs adjusting in order to boost your online visibility.
“Gaining a better understanding of the behaviour of visitors to your site will help you determine which of your strategies are the most successful. For example, if your Facebook page generates a lot of visits to your website on days when you post educational content about pets, you can adjust your content calendar to create more of this type of content.”
- Initial setup: The Google Analytics installation process varies depending on your CMS (Content Management System). If you type “learn the basics of Google Analytics 2020” in your search engine, you will find many informative articles and videos. Please note that it’s important to specify the year 2020 in your search because the GA interface changes frequently! If you prefer, a marketing agency can easily configure the platform for you.
- Dashboard: By logging in to Google Analytics, you can access the reporting dashboard, which gives you an overview of the traffic on your practice’s website. Check it from time to time and you can ask your marketing agency for an annual analysis to get specific recommendations.
- To make sure you know what you are analyzing, it’s important to select the date range for which you wish to view data.
Tips and tricks
Since GA is a very comprehensive platform (and, yes, it can also be quite complex!), here are a few simple but essential details to help you get the most out of it.
1. Leverage data on the origin of your visitors in order to get to know them better!
In the “Acquisition” tab, you will find information on where your visitors are coming from. Why should you be interested about this? Simply because by knowing where traffic to your site comes from, you will be able to identify which of your communication channels are most effective, thus ensuring that you’re using the right communication or advertising strategies.
If people are landing on your site via Google’s search engine, you will know what words they typed in to find you. This can be particularly useful in terms of enhancing your search engine optimization strategy.
In addition, Google distinguishes new visitors from returning visitors. A high percentage of new visitors means that your veterinary practice’s website is attracting new users, a good indicator that your communication initiatives are performing well. A high percentage of returning visitors is a sign of their loyalty.
2. Pay particular attention to the actions of Internet users
The “Behavior” section is an incredibly rich source of valuable data regarding the different ways in which online visitors interact with your site.
What are the most visited pages? How long did users spend on these pages? Was it two short seconds, or three long minutes? Which pages keep your visitors engaged the longest, indicating that they consider them a source of interesting information?
By analyzing what works and what doesn’t, you can get a better idea of what content to develop and promote to optimize your users’ experience.
Do you know the average length of visits to your site?
Ideally, you want visitors to navigate from one page to another and to remain on the site for a long time. To encourage this, don’t hesitate to use multiple internal links on your site, which will have the added benefit of improving your SEO.
Is your bounce rate acceptable? Remember that a high bounce rate usually means that visitors to your site are not finding the content very interesting. Click here to find out more on the bounce rate and how to keep it low.
3. Improve your visibility by targeting the right keywords
Keywords are the terms that pet owners use on search engines. They can be specific (name of your clinic or veterinarian, name of the street where the practice is located) or generic (veterinarian in Calgary, for example). One of the objectives of an effective SEO strategy is to ensure that your clinic appears in both specific and general search results. To do this, it’s important to know what keywords are used by visitors to your site.
Effective digital marketing depends on concrete, measurable data. Pet owners are a valuable source of information that you can use to develop an optimal marketing strategy… you just have to know where to look!
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