Using the data behind your website is no longer a strategy just used by big business and eCommerce. It is now readily accessible to a wide range of businesses, and has opened the doors to higher levels of strategic insight for veterinary practice owners.
Veterinary practices operate within a competitive B2C market where consumers increasingly expect an excellent website presence, and where the cost of online marketing to reach consumers can be high. Even if a large portion of your visitors are finding you via search engines, if your competitors are using your local suburbs as their keywords then they may be able to snatch a large share of your organic traffic as well.
Luckily, the data collected and stored by your website is a massive asset! It can help you to save money and bring in the right kinds of website visitors. Your website, and even your Google Analytics, doesn’t collect all of this data automatically, so it does need to be set up appropriately. But in many cases this is not difficult to do.
So here are seven ways that you can use your website data in order to benefit your veterinary practice.
One: Find out the online marketing channels that customers use to find your website
Using website data to determine which paid and organic traffic sources are succeeding, and which are not, is a key strategy for busy veterinary practices that use internet marketing or search engine optimisation (SEO) to attract customers. It enables you to reduce your marketing expenditure because if you know what works then you can invest your money into more of the performing channels and keywords, and then reduce the marketing channels that are not working as well.
Top tip – analyse your marketing channels by comparing to incoming phone calls
When looking at your website’s traffic sources it is very important to consider how you would measure the success rate of any particular marketing channel. Different channels may result in different degrees of trust, or alternatively they may bring visitors who may not be ideal customers for your veterinary practice. It’s important therefore to measure an outcome that you would like to achieve when visitors view your website, such as a new website visitor calling your practice and making an appointment.
If phone calls are the main method by which your practice gets new appointments then you can use phone call tracking services to integrate your incoming phone calls with your website data. Call tracking enables you to match the incoming marketing channel on your website with the phone call to your business. This is extremely valuable because without phone call tracking it is difficult to identify the quality of any particular traffic source.
Phone call tracking does come at a cost in that you have to pay the call tracking provider for each phone number, and for your incoming calls. But this expense is offset by the return on investment from the analysis of your marketing data. Also, if you have multiple practice locations then you can analyse your marketing for each location separately. You can use data segmentation (refinement) to separate the traffic depending upon which veterinary practice the visitor called.
No phone call tracking service? You can still measure clicks on your telephone number if the number on your website is setup to enable calling from a mobile phone. Clicks on your phone number can also be linked to the original marketing source for that visitor, and multiple numbers can be measured independently.
Two: Find out whether your newsletters are increasing website visits / engagement
Without website data it can be very difficult to find out whether your veterinary practice newsletters are increasing website traffic and visitor engagement on your website. Sharing content as a marketing strategy can be difficult and expensive to execute well, and it is of critical importance to know whether your strategy is working. You can find out what kind of traffic volume each newsletter is bringing to your website. Comparing newsletter readership with incoming phone calls can also help identify if newsletter subscribers are successfully booking appointments.
Three: Find out what content on your website is attracting the most customers and what might be turning people away.
Researchers in 2015 learned that the human transient attention span is now only 8 seconds! It used to be higher, and so the hypothesis is that the Internet, mobile phones and social media has changed the way we process information. And, yes, I know it’s ironic for me to tell you this via the Internet!
Content has to demonstrate immediate value to readers in order to hold their interest. Your website visitors are searching for valid answers to their questions, and want to locate those answers immediately. So the most popular content on your website will provide you with a valuable impression of trends regarding particular service offerings.
Website content viewed by your visitors can be ranked by popularity, grouped by category, or can be linked to a phone call. This has the ability to translate into personalisation of services if used effectively.
Four: Find out what your website visitors are specifically searching for when they come to your website.
If your visitors are frequently searching for something specific then it might mean that they can’t find it on your website, or that the topic is particularly important to them. You can impress your customers by checking the terms that your visitors have searched for, and then adding the topic to your newsletter. This will make the topic more accessible on the website. Another option is to include the answer in an FAQ on your website, or within your actual physical practice.
Five: Identify if your website is performing as well on mobile as it is on desktop
These days the majority of your customers are using mobile phones, and so it is of critical importance to make sure that your website is just as effective on mobile as it is on desktop. You can find out whether mobile users are more or less likely to make calls to your practice, and also whether mobile users are finding some pages on your website difficult to read via smartphone.
Optimising websites so that mobile users can access them easily, and read them comfortably, must be considered a priority, as mobile commerce is already a massive part of eCommerce, and is only expected to grow in the coming years, as mobile networks become ever more sophisticated. Furthermore, mobile technology is also expected to spread like wildfire in economically developing countries, and for many of these people their smartphone will be their sole way of accessing the Internet.
Six: Learn the demographics of your website visitors
Does your website appeal more to a particular gender, age group, people who speak a particular language, or who are from a particular geographical location? Demographics are always important, and you can find this information out, so that you can better cater your website content to the people that are engaging online. Alternatively, if your website is attracting a demographic other than your ideal customers, you can adapt your website or marketing strategy in order to better cater to the audience that you wish to attract.
Seven: Increase brand awareness and engagement in order to increase customer loyalty
Modern websites are more than just brochures, they can also be valuable engagement tools. Your website enables you to share your practice’s unique values and creativity when you use it to educate and entertain your visitors.
You can make the most of website data in order to find out how visitors use your extra content, such as videos, downloadable files, newsletters, and website apps. If you have a highly engaged audience you may find that your customers are willing to travel further to visit your practice, or continue using your practice even if they move house.
If you’d like to know more about what your website data can tell you about your veterinary practice, Web Data Analytics offers a completely independent website analysis service. By separating analysis from the implementation of your marketing you can be assured that you are getting honest feedback that is based solely upon the data.
Please send an email to Petra Manos – firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.