You probably think about tracking the number of calls, intakes, client appointments, and your gross revenue. But have you thought about what data you should be paying attention to related to your website?
I’ve found myself having more and more conversations about tracking data with clinicians and private practice owners. So, I wanted to write about why you should track data related to your website. You’ve probably heard about KPI’s (key performance indicators) before and that you need to be tracking all of them for your business as a whole. Well, I track data related to my website as well. And I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t have to be a difficult task!
Reason #1 to Track Data: To Track ROI (Return on Investment)
The first reason to track your website data is to be able to assess your return on investment. If you are working on SEO, whether on your own or by spending money to have someone (like me) do it for you, you need to know if it’s worth it. A lot of people pay for marketing, whether it’s Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or SEO, and never really track their return on investment. Don’t you want to spend your hard-earned marketing dollars where it’s going to make the biggest impact? So, when it comes to assessing your return on investment and figuring out if SEO is really working, there are a few things we look at tracking.
What Data to Track to Determine ROI on Search Engine Optimization Efforts
- Where did you hear about us? Every time there’s a potential client that reaches out, whether that’s by phone or email, we mark it in our system. I use a Google spreadsheet, where my VA and I keep track of all calls that come into our practice. Without using identifying information, (I think we just use initials) we record lots of information about the calls and emails we get. We mark how they heard about us, whether the request came in via phone or email, who first spoke to them, and whether they converted to a paying client. Additionally, we typically add any other relevant notes (looking for private pay or insurance, etc.). If you are invested in anything, and by anything I mean time, energy, or money into marketing/SEO marketing, then you want to be tracking where your calls are coming from. This will help you know if your efforts are actually turning into calls. And calls mean converted clients.
- Website States When you’re actively working with Simplified SEO Consulting on your SEO, and hopefully afterward, you will have access to our data dashboard. This tool tracks things like how you rank for specific keywords we’re targeting, our Google Analytics data and your Google Search Console data. So, at the beginning of most of our monthly planning phone calls, we briefly go over your website’s progress. Again, this is to see if you are getting a return on investment. In other words, is SEO working? Are your rankings going up? How about your Google clicks? Are more people actually clicking on your website? You want to know that what you’re doing is worth it.
Reason #2 for Tracking: To Assess Website Conversions
The second thing I look at is how your website is converting. It’s one thing getting lots of clients to your website, but are they converting? I can see, on the backend, tons of people are going to your site now, but the question is are they actually calling you?
Another thing we look at here is what pages your clients are staying on. What pages are they navigating to, and what pages are they staying on the longest? You can find that information through Google Analytics. Again, if you’re working with us and have the Brighter Insights Tool, you can just look on the Google Analytics part of that. We want to look at which pages are working and where people are staying on your site. Are they staying on the site long enough to actually view and read a page? Or, are they clicking on the contact page? Often, I will look at a page’s specific Google Analytics data as well.
Assessing Website Conversions Based on Source
Sometimes, people who find your website through SEO, Google Adwords, Social Media, etc. act differently. We want to identify those differences. And if we’re working on your SEO, we can use that data to optimize your page even more so it not only gets more clients but converts more of the right clients.
Therefore, when people are working on SEO and still doing Google AdWords, we can both add your Adwords data to your data dashboard AND can differentiate in Google Analytics how people behave when they arrive on your website through SEO vs. Adwords. This tool allows us to sort out your paid searches versus your organic searches, which would be the SEO portion. We’ll look at how long people are staying on the website from each of those sources (organic search, Adwords, Social Media, etc.). Sometimes, we find people stay on a page for a long time, you have a low bounce rate, and there is a high page session duration for both paid and organic searches. But, if we find that one is yielding higher quality results, then that might give you some clue as to where to invest your time and money.
Lastly, the other thing to look at with assessing how your website is converting is your bounce rate. The bounce rate is how many people only look at one page on your website and then bounce off to another site. So, obviously, we would prefer fewer people bouncing off and more people staying on your website.
Reason #3 to Track Data: To Catch Any Changes in Your Search Engine Rankings Quickly
The third reason we want to track data on our website is that we want to catch any significant changes in the data. So, if you have great SEO, and then all of a sudden it drops off, we want to catch that and know what’s going on. From an SEO standpoint, it could be that Google just changed its algorithm. If this happens in a major way, sometimes there are big things that you have to go back and fix.
Sudden Changes Can Happen When Google Changes Things Up
Google changes how it ranks websites frequently. Just last year, Google changed their algorithm in a way that helped many of our clients but also hurt various websites in the health and wellness space. Previously, there was a change to give websites with “intrusive pop ups” that cover most of the text a bit of a disadvantage. A lot of health and wellness business owners we work with had been told that they needed to have a big pop-up to join their mailing list or newsletter on their website. So they have these giant pop ups encouraging people to use a free download, learn more about their online counseling services, etc even though they themselves find these pop ups annoying. They’re then surprised to learn it might negatively impact their SEO.
(Quick Tip: We recommend having a smaller pop up either at the top of the page or in the bottom right corner that can provide a similar call to action without impacting user experience and therefore possibly your SEO.)
If we’re tracking the data, we can clearly see when that sort of thing happens. This lets us know when and where we need to make an adjustment. Right after a major algorithm change, our team usually keeps a close eye on all of our clients data for a couple of weeks to identify anyone who may have been negatively impacted.
Sometimes, a drop happens for other reasons…
Similarly, there are lots of other reasons data might drop. I have found some coding errors on certain websites that we’ve been working on. These come up when we go to index a certain page. When we find these coding errors, we let you know and give you screenshots that you can send to your website designer. We are looking at the data and therefore find these errors, which we can then fix. If you aren’t tracking the data, you won’t know that an error is having such a significant impact on your data and you won’t know to fix it.
Track Your SEO Data or Begin SEO Work Altogether
Whether you’ve been working on search engine optimization for years or you’re considering starting now, you’re in the right place! Our SEO Specialists have the knowledge to get your site ranking on Google and interpret the data. Now, the piece about interpreting data is pretty important! We know how to use the data to inform future SEO work, which is pretty cool if you ask me. If you’re interested in beginning your SEO journey, follow the steps below.
- Book a free 30-minute consultation call with us.
- Chat with one of our experienced SEO Specialists.
- Understand the data and make SEO moves that matter!
SEO Services at Simplified SEO Consulting
Our SEO Specialists are well-versed in a variety of subjects related to search engine optimization. In fact, we can do SEO for you with our Done For You SEO package! If you’d prefer to be more hands-on and learn all about SEO, our DIY Online SEO Courses or Done With You program may be a good fit. We hope that you reach out to an SEO Specialist with any questions you have about SEO or package options!
About the Author
Jessica Tappana and Olivia Bahr collaborated on this blog post. Jessica, Simplified’s founder, taught herself search engine optimization and is passionate about making SEO simpler for other private practice owners. Olivia is a Mental Health SEO Specialist and Content Writer who enjoys helping clients understand SEO data and its real-life implications.