Key metrics to measure how your SEO is working for your practice
If your medical or dental practice is considering SEO to increase your website traffic, then you should read the information below. What metrics exist to help quantify your practice performance online and results?
The key performance metrics below are critical to understanding your practice website’s Advanced SEO performance, and if your SEO company is actually doing a good job. Your SEO company should report to you these metrics below on a bi-monthly or monthly basis.
Solution21 uses a call tracking on websites that we are doing Advanced SEO. The tracking phone number is a local area code phone number, same area code as the practice phone number. We sometimes also use toll-free numbers or 800 if our clients ask for it. When a patient or prospective patient calls the number on the website, it routes to the actual practice phone number at your office. This allows us to track the calls and report how many phone calls came from the website each month. We can also report the date and time of the call, the duration of the call in minutes, and the incoming phone number. We can also record phone calls if needed. Phone call recording increases the amount of people who will hang up prematurely since we normally need to include a message that the call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes. So if a client wants phone calls recorded we advise them only to do it for a limited time for training purposes, and then turn it off.
This metric shows how many people requested an appointment through the website.
Total Website Traffic
This metric shows all the traffic that came to the website during the month. There are 3 sources of website traffic that make up total traffic:
1. Organic traffic
2. Referral traffic
3. Direct traffic
Organic Website Traffic
This is when someone does a search on Google or other search engines. Organic traffic is when someone types in a search term such as “New York dentist”. Then the search engine displays the search results and the person clicks on a link to visit the website. There are 2 sub-categories that falls under organic traffic:
1. Non-branded organic traffic – this is when the person searching types in a generic search term such as “Boston dentist”. These are people who do not currently know about the practice so this data represents new patient potential.
2. Branded organic traffic – this is when the person searching specifically types in a doctor’s name or the practice name. They already know who the doctor is or the practice’s name. Most of these will be existing patients, but some of them may be referrals who are researching for your practice.
Referral Website Traffic
This is when a person is on another website and clicks a link on that website that takes them to your website. There are 2 sub-categories that make up referral traffic:
1. Other websites – The person searching could be on your practice Facebook page, or a business directory like Yellow Pages or reviews site like Yelp, or any other website that has a link back to your website.
2. Paid Ads – When someone clicks on a paid text or display ad from Google or other search engines and the ad is linked to your website.
Direct Website Traffic
This is when a person types a website address directly into the browser address bar and goes directly to the website. Or they might have the website saved as a bookmark and click on the bookmark to go directly to the website.
Key Word Phrases
These are all the different words and phrases that people typed into the search bar which resulted in them ultimately coming to the website. For example these could be terms like “Irvine dentist”, “Dr John Smith”, “cosmetic dentist in Huntington Beach”, “Beautiful Smiles Dental”, etc.
This is the number of pages on the website that generated traffic to the website (i.e. pages people visited as a result of doing a search). Websites with poor SEO will typically have 10% – 20% of their webpages generating traffic. However, after Solution21 performs Advanced SEO on a website we can typically get 50% or more of the webpages generating traffic. This is achieved by implementing numerous SEO techniques.
Linking Root Domains or Incoming Links
This is the number of links from other reputable websites pointing or linking to your website. Search engines look at incoming links as one of the primary indicators for how important your website is. There are several factors that search engines use to evaluate your linking root domains, such as:
- Quantity – The number of links pointed to your website, so the more links you have, the better.
- Relevance – Links coming from websites that are in the same or related industry as your practice contributes to your SEO performance.
- Powerful and Important– the links pointing to your website must come from websites that get a lot of traffic themselves to be very beneficial for your SEO performance.