Understanding Your Dental Website Performance
Traffic is one of the key measures for website performance in almost anyone’s book. But anyone who understands business knows that it’s not enough to get people in the door – they actually have to buy something to be counted as revenue.
For dental marketing, website traffic is important, but it’s the number of leads and ultimately conversions (number of leads that turn into new patients) that matters most.
Website traffic is particularly tricky though in Google Analytics, where the data can be difficult to understand – or flat out inaccurate.
How Can Google Be Wrong About Website Traffic?
Not all traffic that shows in Google Analytics comes from people. Some of it is spam and bots. Unless you’re filtering out the “fake” traffic, you can’t get a clear understanding of how our website is performing.
The Dental Revenue Reporting Dashboard was created specifically for dentists to help understand website performance and calculate return on investment for online marketing efforts.
Spotting Bot Traffic in Google Analytics
Here is an actual client on the Dental Revenue Performance Program. In the screen shot to the left, you’re looking at his actual Google Analytics report for May 8th through June 7th 2015. Highlighted in yellow are examples of “fake” or bot traffic.
His total number of visits in a 30 day period was 1240. About 12.5% of that traffic, or 156 visits, came from robots. That’s not a big deal for a major site like the New York Times or ESPN, which has thousands of visitors a day – but for a small business, you can see how this is a problem.
For Dental Revenue, 12% is a big number. If we’re calculating the number of connections – that is how many visitors called your office or filled out a form on your website – one or two hundred visitors can have the potential to make a significant impact.
One or two hundred extra visitors can throw off the entire website performance, even if it’s just by 1 or 2%, making it difficult to gauge your true ROI.
Look For a Dashboard That Delivers Meaningful Reports
In the screenshots below, you’re seeing the same dentist’s Dental Revenue Reporting Dashboard. The reports show a lower number of visitors than Google Analytics because irrelevant traffic is being filtered out.
Additional spam traffic may be coming through in other areas and we’re constantly evaluating the source of traffic to deliver quality metrics.
Internet marketing becomes more competitive and challenging every day. Dental Revenue is constantly making adjustments to our software to deliver dentists with the most meaningful information.
We look beyond the basic information such as traffic to give you a deeper understanding of how many patients you are generating through our online marketing program.
Steps To Clean Up Your Analytics Data
If you’re not a Dental Revenue client, you may be using Google Analytics or another type of data reporting too. There are ways through GA and other software to filter out bot traffic so you can get the best data. There are two steps you need to take. First, you’ll need to block offending referrers from visiting your website in the future. This can be done through the .htacess file in the root directory of your domain or, if you’re using WordPress, you can use a plug-in such as WP-Ban or Semalt Blocker.
You’ll also need to clean up your Google Analytics account. To do this, create filters through the admin tool to remove the unwanted referring domains.
Below are a few resources where you can learn more:
Raven Tools: Stop Referrer Spam
Optimize Smart: Geek Guide For Removing Referrer Spam in Google Analytics
Keep in mind that making any changes to your website or blocking IP addresses can have serious effects on your website performance and affect actual users from entering your website. Always check with your website provider before making changes to your website. If you have questions about your website performance, please contact Bill Mulcahy at Dental Revenue. Call 866.623.5325 or send us an email.