We can all bask a little in the glory of Team GB’s Olympic success; men and women whose athleticism has brought the nation’s best-ever medal haul.
But it’s not just training and coaching which have helped them to succeed. Technology – in particular, data analytics – has played a huge part. Data analysis of her opponents helped Nicola Adams punch her way to victory in the flyweight boxing; with bikes potentially as advanced as they can be, it’s data which partly powered the GB cycling team.
In the same way, measuring your Practice website’s effectiveness by analysing data, and responding to this information, is vital if it is to perform at its best.
How’s your practice website performing?
Here are five areas where your website’s analytics can tell you a lot about the performance and contribution your site is making to your Practice.
1. How many visitors does your site attract?
People are always mentioning site visits or ‘hits’, but why? Well, if you think of your website as a shop, those visitors represent the numbers who are coming in your door. A visit refers to one individual who arrives at your website and proceeds to browse, no matter how many times they come back.
As a ball park figure, you should be getting around one third of your patient population visiting your site every month.
Tip: To increase your visitor numbers and therefore the impact of your website, rather than give patients the direct web address of your clinical system, give them the practice website address and put a link to the clinical link on your website. This then takes the patient to your website where they see your latest information.
Once you are used to tracking the number of visitors you can break this down into those who visit just once and those who are regulars. Having return visitors is good news – it means they liked what they saw and wanted to come back.
2. Top ten pages
It’s important to know which of your pages are the most visited and compare this to the pages you’d most like to be visited – are they the same?
Tip: If your appointments page is the most visited page this tells you that your visitors are looking at your site with the ultimate goal of making an appointment. But if you would prefer patients to look at self-help options before making an appointment, analyse the information that you are giving on self-help and see if this can be improved.
3. Exit pages
The exit page refers to the last page viewed by visitors to your site. This metric can tell you what the visitor was actually looking for and can be used to optimise your site.
Tip: If your most common exit page is your appointments page this could indicate that visitors aren’t looking at the other options available to them. Consider redistributing workload away from the practice and connecting your visitors to other organisations such as self-help groups and pharmacies.
4. Time spent on your site
The time people spend on your website is a clear indication of how they feel about it. If users are abandoning your site without spending enough time to look at it, then something is wrong that needs to be fixed. Your goal is to make users stay long enough to see what you have to offer, together with alternatives.
5. Smartphone and tablet use
Finally, as we’ve mentioned before, the rapid rise of smartphone and tablet use means your mobile-friendly site has to always be factored in. Google Analytics is a useful tool to use to tell you the percentage of your visitors who arrive via a tablet or mobile. Our analysis shows that 60% of visits to practice websites are from mobiles and tablets. This follows the national trend. So if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, your statistics will be an indication that it’s time to convert your site.
All this can be a little daunting, but our advice is to start small. Pick one metric and try to improve it. As you get comfortable you can expand the metrics you track.
If you’re looking to get started on examining your website metrics, please do call your website editor who can set you up with a Google Analytics account. They can also talk you through the process and send you a document to help you get started.