Episode 012 – Refining Your Internet Marketing with Tracking and Analytics
On this episode of The Practice Marketing Podcast, hosts Garrett Smith and Don Lee help you learn more about how you can use tracking and analytics to ensure your internet marketing campaigns are a success. For more information about this episode, and the complete show notes, please continue reading below.
What You Will Learn
On this episode of the practice marketing podcast you will learn:
- What is online analytics?
- Why your practice should use online analytics
- How your practice can get started with online analytics and campaign performance tracking
Segment #1 – What is online analytics?
- Online analytics is software installed on your website that enables the monitoring and reporting of website usage as data points for the purposes of understanding and improving the way the website attracts, converts, and keeps customers.
- The underlying principle behind online analytics is that if you can track, monitor, and report on enough data you can gain continuous insights into how to best improve one’s site performance – and how to attract and delight patients.
Online analytics enable you to monitor and report on website usage for the purposes of understanding and improving the effectiveness of your internet marketing campaigns.
Segment #2 – Why you should use online analytics
- The reason online analytics should be used as part of your practice’s internet marketing strategy is fairly self-explanatory.
- Fundamentally, you should use online analytics to gain a greater understanding of your patients, how they use your website, as well as to get insight into which of your marketing campaigns are working the best.
- It also allows you to identify and take advantage of opportunities that you may not have otherwise known about.
- Here are some of the things you can track and understand with online analytics:
- Campaign reach
- Patient acquisition
- Campaign conversion rate
- Patient retention
The reason your practice should use online analytics is to gain greater insights and understanding into the performance of your marketing campaigns and website.
Segment #3 – How you can get started with online analytics and tracking
- First, you need to determine what online analytics software you will use. The most common is Google Analytics, which is also free, but will require website knowledge in order to implement.
- Second, you should determine what actions you want to track. This could be button clicks, calls to a phone number, landing on a page, filling out a form, or scheduling an appointment.
- Note that you can also track the performance of specific campaigns by adding tracking code to URLs used in the campaign.
- Once you have this, your next step will be to configure your online analytics account, and properly implement the software to work with your website. This is where the help of an agency, consultant, or freelancer is handy; they’ve done this dozens, if not hundreds of times and can save you time, hassle.
- Lastly, carve out time in your schedule each week, or month, so that you can understand which campaigns are driving which actions, as well as calculate your return on investment.
You can get started with online analytics by simply selecting a tracking software, determining which actions to track, and then carving out a time to review the results consistently.
Full Episode Transcript
Garrett Smith: 00:00 Hey, everyone. Garrett here. For more information about refining your Internet marketing campaigns with tracking and analytics, check out chapter 11 in Book Now! Internet Marketing for Healthcare Practices available at healthcaremarketingbook.com.
Don Lee: 00:13 Hey, Garrett, we’ve talked about a lot of the strategies and tactics to market a practice. How do we tell what’s working and what’s not?
Garrett Smith: 00:21 On this episode of the Practice Marketing podcast, you will learn: what is online analytics, why your practice should use online analytics, and how your practice can get started with online analytics and campaign performance tracking.
Speaker 1: 00:36 Are you looking to take your practice to the next level? Well, you’re in the right place. Welcome to the Practice Marketing podcast with your host Garrett Smith and Don Lee.
Garrett Smith: 00:48 Hey, there welcome back to the Practice Marketing podcast. This is episode number 12, Refining Your Internet Marketing with Tracking and Analytics. With you as always, I’m your host, Garrett Smith, here with my co-host Don Lee. And we’re excited to bring you our 12th episode and talk a little bit about figuring out what’s working and what’s not when it comes to your Internet marketing.
Don Lee: 01:10 Yeah, Garrett. Last episode, we talked a bit about how we’ve built a system here. You’ve walked us through all the various components of this broad system for marketing practice, and putting your brand out there, and testing your messaging, and everything else. And it seems like the perfect time to sit back and say, “Okay, with all of this in place, and all of it working, how can I tell what’s effective, what’s not, what needs to change? How do I ratchet this thing up and continue this journey for marketing my practice?
Garrett Smith: 01:41 Absolutely. And I think, first and foremost, the place you have to had is – is your analytics. And so to get started, let’s talk just a little bit, for those who maybe aren’t as well versed, and this as you and I, Don, what is online analytics? And so online analytics is simply software that gets installed on your website. Sometimes it’s used in conjunction with little tracking codes on specific pages or codes that are appended to URLs used in your marketing campaigns. And really what online analytics allow you to do is to monitor and report on all of the data that’s associated with these campaigns.
Garrett Smith: 02:57 Obviously, the most popular online analytics program is Google Analytics. It’s a free program. And because it’s free, that means that you have no excuse not to be using it.
Don Lee: 03:06 Right on. And this is, uh… I mean, bottom line, this is not “set it and forget it” stuff. All along the way, your marketing, your messaging, this is all experimentation, and continuing to look back at use these tools to find out what’s work and seems like a no brainer.
Garrett Smith: 03:20 Yes. Obviously, there are best practices for certain strategies and tactics. But inside of that, the goal here is to use online analytics to continually refine and hone your efforts so that you can get the most out of it. So you want to eliminate waste and increase performance on an ongoing basis. None of this happens in a vacuum, no online marketing, no offline marketing happens in a vacuum. Obviously, once you start doing things, your competitors are going to do things. And so this is a great way to get evidence-based data and make evidence-based decisions on where to direct your marketing
Garrett Smith: 04:00 Pro Tip number one, online analytics enable you to monitor and report on website usage for the purposes of understanding and improving the effectiveness of your Internet marketing campaigns.
Don Lee: 04:10 Alright, Garrett, so you gave me a look at what is online analytics in that first segment and even started to allude to the why you would be utilizing online analytics. But can we take a second here and really dig a bit deeper into a crystallized for the practice listening and let them know, like, why do they really need to be digging into these a- analytics at this point?
Garrett Smith: 04:36 As you said, I – I think that, and as we alluded before, I mean, obviously, the idea of tracking performance is pretty straightforward. But I really think that what you’re using online analytics and tracking for is just to great… gain a – a greater understanding of your patients, first and foremost, how they’re using your website, as well as to learn what’s working with your marketing campaign and what’s not.
Garrett Smith: 04:59 Again, if you are not doing these things, if you are not using analytics, you’re not tracking your performance and you’re not consistently looking to get better, you’re probably spending too much in getting… you’re not getting a high ROI or the same ROI that you’d get if you were spending the time to do this.
Garrett Smith: 05:16 And so, the other thing with online analytics is you can learn a lot from the data, and you can gain some insights into opportunities that may not be visible without looking into the data. And so with online analytics, really, you can start to track all sorts of things, the major things being how many patients is your campaign reaching and what’s the demographic of those patients? How many new patient appointments are being driven as a result of your marketing campaigns? What’s the conversion rate of the campaign itself, your website or a particular landing page that you’re sending patients to? And also, you know, patient retention. Are you sending out those emails and are people clicking on the links to come back and schedule a new appointment for services or treatment again? And so really, you should use online analytics because it’s going to help you make evidence-based informed decisions about your marketing and what you should do and – and where you should go next.
Don Lee: 06:12 So you got specific with a – a couple items that you ran through there, and it’s kind of like… they sounded like the obvious things, like, “I’m trying to get people to do X, so I wanna check how many people did X.” That makes good sense. Is that some of the… in the beginning there about there may be some opportunities hidden in this data that you otherwise wouldn’t be aware of. Can you expand on that a little bit or maybe give an example of what you mean by that?
Garrett Smith: 06:34 Sure. For example, you may take a look at a particular landing page, and perhaps it’s not driving a ton of appointments, but you notice that people are spending an awful lot of time on their, right? So maybe your typical page, someone who’s only there for a minute and a half, but on this particular landing page, you’re there for three minutes. Now, conventional wisdom would say the longer somebody’s on your website, the more likely they are to take an action or do something but, in your case, you’re not seeing that.
Garrett Smith: 07:01 Getting that data and understanding that someone is taking, uh, uh… the average patient visitor is spending a long time on the page, but not taking an action, immediately tells me that there’s something wrong with that landing page. And thus, maybe the campaign targeting is not wrong. Maybe the landing page is off. Maybe there’s too much content. Maybe it’s not clear the action that you want the patient to take on the page. And so that’s not something that you would learn without taking a deep dive into the analytics and the actual campaign tracking. You may just assume that it’s a bad campaign, people don’t want the service or, perhaps, you targeted the wrong patient demographic.
Don Lee: 07:34 Interesting. So it’s not just the action didn’t happen. It’s like, well, what else can the – the tools in the system tell me about what led up to that lack of action. And if nobody clicked on the ad, well, you’ll see no clicks and that’s going to make sense. But they’re clicking it, not following through and sitting on the page, that’s that kind of hidden gem of information, if you will, that they are staying there, so now you got something else to dig on.
Garrett Smith: 07:56 Absolutely. You may also learn that your Facebook a- advertising campaign is working wonderfully but when you dig in, you see that most of the campaigns are coming from people on a mobile phone versus a desktop. You may want to go back into that Facebook advertising campaign, and change some of the knobs and levers in order to put more focus or optimize further for those mobile clicks that you’re getting from that Facebook campaign.
Garrett Smith: 08:23 Pro Tip number two, the reason your practice should use online analytics is to gain greater insights and understanding into the performance of your marketing campaigns and website.
Don Lee: 08:37 Okay, Garrett, so common question for me at this point in the show, is, I’m interested, this makes sense, I want to start dabbling a little bit, how do I actually get started with online analytics and tracking?
Garrett Smith: 08:49 Yeah, the first thing you’re gonna need to do, Don, is to determine what online analytics software you’re gonna use. Uh, as I said before, the most common is Google Analytics, which is also free which is nice, but installing any online analytics software is going to require some knowledge of your website in order to properly implement it. So this is something that you’re gonna wanna to reach out to – to your webmaster, your agency or consultant, your freelancer. If you’re proficient in HTML and are managing your website yourself, obviously, you can take a go at installing it. If you have the chops, it’s not that hard, but this is a quick simple thing that somebody with a little bit of experience can easily do for you.
Garrett Smith: 09:25 Once you get through there, obviously, you know, you’re gonna wanna determine what actions you wanna track. So you may wanna track certain buttons being clicked, certain people clicking on a phone number, perhaps visits to a particular landing page, maybe when someone fills out a form like… such as an email subscribe or even just, uh, filling out that “schedule an appointment” form.
Garrett Smith: 09:44 One of the things that should be note is that you can actually track the performance of specific campaigns by adding tracking codes to the URLs that are using the campaign. So for example, those Facebook campaigns, those Instagram campaigns, even Google Search campaigns allow for each of the URLs to be upended with specific codes that give you a little bit more insight into what’s happening once those people get to your website or your landing page.
Garrett Smith: 10:11 Once you’ve got an eye on or, you know, once you’ve picked your software, you know what actions you wanna track, obviously, the next step is going to be to configure your online analytics account, and properly implement the software to work with your website. Again, this is where the help of an agency, a consultant or a freelancer is really handy. They’ve done this dozens if not hundreds of times, and can really save you the time and hassle of doing it yourself. And once you’ve got this set up, lastly, one of the things, and this is what a lot of people miss, is that you wanna carve out time in your schedule each week or month, uh, so that you can understand what campaigns are driving which actions as well as calculate your return on investment based on the data that you’re seeing in your online analytics software, and thanks to the tracking that you’ve placed on your campaigns.
Don Lee: 10:53 Now, you mentioned Google Analytics here, the free tool available to anybody that has a website. Period. Are there other tools out there that are comparable, better or different than that that maybe come with a fee or a small fee or what else might people want to take a peek at?
Garrett Smith: 11:09 There are options. There are other options. I would say that for the average private practice, Google Analytics is the way to go. You know, the paid programs tend to be 10s of thousands of dollars, typically annually. There are also open source alternatives, which are great if you have that kind of staff. So I usually tend to say that most private practices, probably 99.9% are gonna go with nothing or Google Analytics.
Garrett Smith: 11:36 Now, you start to get up into a small healthcare system, obviously hospitals and things like that, there are enterprise level, commercial grade alternatives that are also pricey. And so I usually say, given the fact that the average practice that I see is only spending anywhere from 12,000 to, let’s say, 60 or $70,000 a year on their marketing, spending thousands of dollars on analytics software is probably a poor use when you could pour those into ads or search engine optimization campaigns or a nicer looking website. And so they do exist. But I don’t necessarily advise that, uh, practices spend the time to research them or make the investment into them. Google Analytics will work for you just fine.
Don Lee: 12:20 Fair enough. And now, when you do… let’s say somebody is listening to this, and they decide to go off, and set up their own codes, and they – they get it going, you get into Google Analytics, there’s a ton of stuff on there, right? So is there like… somebody who’s going in there for the first time, is there like two or three things that you would say are important to look at or understand or kind of any, like, just getting started within that tool advice you’d give?
Garrett Smith: 12:44 Yeah, if you’re gonna do this all by yourself, which is great and I applaud the effort, I would highly recommend using Google’s own training courses. So Google has free training courses with videos that take you through, uh, Google Analytics. You can actually take the courses and then take a test and become Google Analytics certified, like a lot of the associates here at InboundMD are.
Garrett Smith: 13:03 You know, really the things that we tend to look at our traffic sources, so where’s the traffic coming from and the metrics that are associated with that, and then also the conversions, so what are happening in terms of new appointments, visits to particular landing pages, email subscribes, purchases maybe from a store where you’re selling a – a product that, uh, goes in conjunction with your services or your treatments. And so really, you know, we tend to spend most of our time on, you know, where’s the traffic coming from, how much, what’s happening with those traffic sources. And then the next place is really kind of living in that conversion to understand the results of the traffic that’s been driven to the… to the website or – or a particular landing page.
Garrett Smith: 13:43 Pro Tip number three, you can get started with online analytics by simply selecting a tracking software, determining which actions to track, and then carving out time to review the results consistently.
Don Lee: 13:57 All right, Garrett, wrapping up episode number 12 here, we’re getting pretty close to the end of season number one, where are we going? How are we gonna wrap this thing up?
Garrett Smith: 14:06 On the next episode of the Practice Marketing podcast, we will discuss how you can put all of the topics we’ve discussed into a 12-month marketing plan for your practice.
Garrett Smith: 14:14 See you next time.
Speaker 1: 14:17 Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the Practice Marketing podcast with Garrett Smith and Don Lee. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a review and subscribe. And for more great content and to stay up-to-date, visit inboundmd.com/podcast. We’ll catch you next time.
Garrett Smith: 14:35 Hey, everyone. Garrett here. For more information about refining your internet marketing campaigns with tracking and analytics, check out chapter 11 in Book Now! Internet Marketing For Healthcare Practices, available at healthcaremarketingbook.com.