Analytics is simply “the science of analysis” and can take on many forms when related to the business of a dental practice. At our office in Boise, Idaho, we try to measure every marketing effort in terms of patients generated and the value of that patient to our practice. In this post, I will present two ways to use analytics to focus your marketing efforts. The first is fairly simple to implement and provides a high level of value. The second strategy requires knowing how to get data about your website and how to use it correctly.
The first strategy is to simply ask new patients where they heard of us and then we input that information into our practice management software for tracking. Granted, there are sometimes multiple times a patient has heard of our office, so this is not 100% accurate. But once we have determined the primary source of the referral, we then try to figure out the value of that patient. The formula for calculating the value of a patient varies widely according to who you are talking to. In practice, we take the revenue generated from a patient for the first year they are a patient. Using this data, it is much easier to compare the value of the marketing vs. the value derived from the patients brought in. As a side note, our office has found internal marketing to have the greatest impact for the lowest cost, followed by our (search engine optimized) dental website.
The second method involves setting up an analytics account on the practice website. There is a plethora of data that can be found from these reports–the number of visitors, the source of the visits (search engine, referring website, etc), the keywords used and much more. To me the important data are the keywords and any 3rd party marketing being done. Goals can be set up to measure the effectiveness of different Google Adwords campaigns, for example. If an ad on implants brings more visitors to the “Contact” page then one on veneers, then you may want to focus on marketing implants.
Also, reviewing keyword searches that resulted in someone visiting your site and spending a long period of time, may give you an idea of something to focus on more. This is more important in larger markets that a person may be trying to break into. In general, look for the major trends so there is not “paralysis by analysis.”
Dental websites are never meant to be stagnant. To stay on top and reach their maximum potential, it is best to plan a good site, check the data, and adjust as needed. The trends change quickly and it is important to know what is going on in order to stay on top.