AlanGlazier's blog

AlanGlazier's blog

SM & Your Eyecare Business: Using Google Analytics – Lesson 13


This is a somewhat dryer subject than what I've covered in the past, but it is an extremely important topic. Analytics allows you to observe what is working for you and what is not, and make the appropriate changes. This is the place you start saving money by finding out how effective your paid advertising campaigns have been. It’s also the place you go to find out if your website is an effective marketing machine… or a web 1.0 dinosaur that’s rarely visited except when someone’s finger slips on the keyboard and ends up at your site by accident. As I’ve said before, having a marketing effort on the internet without Analytics is like running a business without accounting.

The Google Analytics homepage provides several graphs within the “Dashboard.” The Dashboard provides an overview of the most salient statistics, including site usage, traffic sources, visitor overview and page views for particular content pages on your site. The statistic side of this can get pretty heavy, so we are going to concentrate on site usage, which is the easiest-to-understand statistic and the one you can make the most use out of when optimizing your site for search.

Within the site usage area, “Visits” provides a graph that breaks down the statistics of visits for all visitors, such as:

• How many total visits for the time period requested,
• How many visits per hour, day, week or month as you request,

On the upper right side of the graph there is a tab titled “All Visits.” Clicking this tab allows you to filter your report into:

• New Visitors,
• Returning Visitors,
• Paid Search Traffic,
• Non-paid Search Traffic,
• and several other options.

See where I’m going with this? Analytics is a free tool you can use to get the entire picture of who is visiting your website, when, from where and whether your advertising efforts through “paid search traffic” are paying off. This is an incredibly valuable tool in general, and especially if you use Adwords.

Two years ago I checked my Adwords statistics. The amount of people finding my website organically was 85% higher than the number of people finding me through my Adwords campaign. This information helped me to save $1,500 a month in Adwords fees.

You can also track mobile traffic, something I recommend you keep an eye on as the mobile web becomes more and more pervasive as a search option. You can use the information to see if you need to alter your website or blog to make it easier to use on mobile devices, opening up another avenue of traffic for your website.

An important statistic on your analytics overview is “Bounce Rate.” Bounce rate represents the percentage of initial visitors to your site who “bounce” away to a different website instead of continuing on your site. A “bounce” is awarded when someone only visits one page on your website and leaves. The bounce rate helps you understand how effective your landing page, the first page people enter your website on, is.

A high bounce rate indicates an unhealthy landing page. A low bounce rate means people who come to your landing page - let’s say your home page for purposes of this explanation - like what they see, dig deeper into your site and spending more time. This is obviously what you want. A high bounce rate for an optometrists or ophthalmologists website isn’t as bad as a high bounce rate for a retail site – an effective landing page should have your contact information on it and that might be all people visiting your website are looking for - whereas if something is being sold, someone always would need to visit more than one page. Don’t get too worked up over a high bounce rate for our industry, but if your bounce rate is above 80% you might need a homepage redesign. Contact me for reputable and successful home page designers in eyecare.

There is much more depth to Google Analytics, so write down your questions as you become more familiar with it, post them here in the Comments section and I’ll be happy to guide you to what you’re looking for.

- Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO
Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care
Rockville, MD

Twitter Handle: @EyeInfo

Copyright Dr. Alan Glazier 2010 – All Rights Reserved

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