Lately, I am having more conversations with private practice owners about why they should track data on their website. So, we wanted to take the time to discuss how and why you should track data related to your website. The short answer is that tracking data allows you to see if your website is doing the four things your website needs to do to help you grow your practice. But to dive in a little deeper, here are three ways tracking your data can help:
1. To Track Return on Investment (ROI)
The first reason to track your website data is to understand the return on your investment. When working on your SEO you need to know your investment is worth it. A lot of people pay for marketing with Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or SEO. But, they never really track whether or not that’s helping their SEO. 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 ROI and if SEO is working, we look at:
Where are your clients coming from?
In my practice, every time a potential client reaches out we mark it in our system. My assistant and I use a Google spreadsheet to track all calls that come into my practice. Without using identifying data, we use initials, we mark where they heard about us.
For example, my staff record if the inquiry comes in via phone call or email, who spoke to them first, whether they are a paying client, and any relevant notes (if they are looking for therapy covered by insurance). If you are invested in anything, and by anything I mean time/energy/money into marketing/SEO marketing, then you want to be tracking where your calls are coming from. This will let you know if your efforts are turning into paid calls.
Use an SEO tracking tool
I highly recommend using a tracking tool that tracks things like your Google rankings, your Google Search Console data & your Google Analytics data. For our consulting clients, we begin our monthly planning calls by reviewing the data. In fact, our staff check your rankings data every single time they begin to work on your website. Why? Because we want to make sure your investment is working. Have your keyword rankings increased? Are your Google clicks going up? Have more people clicked on your website? You want to know that what you’re doing is worth it.
There are several different SEO tracking tools you can use. We have a custom SEO dashboard our clients use. However, there are several out there. For instance, if you use Brighter Vision you can ask about their Brighter Insights tool which is what we used to use for all of our clients. SEMRush or Moz both have tools to track your progress as well. At a minimum, look for a tool that has “position tracking” or ranking data and shows you how you rank for each specific keyword you’re tracking. If that was all you had, you could find the rest of the data in Google Analytics or Google Search Console.
2. To Track What Happens When People Visit Your Website
The second reason to look at SEO data is to see what happens when people click on your website. We can see how many clicks your website gets, but are those potential clients calling you?
Through Google Analytics, Google Search Console & an SEO tracking tool that looks at your rankings, we want to answer the questions, “What pages are people staying on when they visit your counseling website?” In other words, what pages are they navigating to, and what pages are they staying on the longest? Or, are they even staying on your website once they arrive? Again, if you’re working with us, you have access to this information and we will help you look at it and understand what it means.
One last thing to look at to determine if people are finding what they need on your site is to consider the bounce rate. The bounce rate is how many people only look at a page on your website and then go to another site. We would prefer fewer people bouncing off and more people staying on your website.
We believe in transparency and want to make sure that our SEO services are worth your investment. In fact, we look at this data with you every single month during your planning call when you participate in our Done for You monthly SEO packages.
3. To Track Any Changes in Search Engine Rankings
Search engines are finicky things. In fact, Google is constantly changing its algorithm. Therefore, having good SEO today doesn’t mean you’ll continue to rank well tomorrow. Therefore, we want to track website data so we can see if there is any big changes in how your website ranks from month to month.
By tracking data regularly, we have the opportunity to catch and rectify any decreases in SEO. Occasionally Google changes its algorithm from an SEO standpoint. If this happens, and it affects our SEO, you have to go back and fix your website to rank better.
Just last year, Google changed its algorithm. Anybody with big pop-ups on their website that covered most of the page didn’t rank as well as they previously did. This hurt a lot of private practice owners. A lot of therapists had been told that they needed to have a big pop-up to join their mailing list, etc, and they no longer ranked well.
If we track your data, we can see when that sort of thing happens. This will alert us to when we need to make some SEO changes. There are lots of other reasons this might happen. For example, 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. When we are looking at the data we can find these errors and fix them. If you aren’t tracking the data, you won’t know that your SEO has decreased and you won’t be given the chance to fix it.
A Note About Google AdWords and SEO
When people are working on SEO and still doing Google AdWords, we’ll look at your Google Analytics data. This will 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. When we look at Google Analytics we want to see the following: low bounce rate, more pages per session, and longer session duration.
Essentially, this tells us the quality of the search traffic coming to your page. But, if we find that one is yielding better results, that might give some clue where to invest your time and money. For instance, if you are getting a ton of traffic from Google AdWords, but people are not staying on your page long or looking at lots of pages, then it may be time to consider investing in our SEO services, rather than investing more money into AdWords.
Begin optimizing your website with Simplified SEO Consulting
If you are ready to learn more about tracking the data on your website and ranking well on Google, please follow these simple steps:
- Book a free consultation,
- Speak to one of our SEO specialists to find what service is the best fit for your private practice,
- Start ranking better on Google and get more clients!
Other SEO Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO Consulting is proud to offer you a variety of SEO services designed to meet your needs. For busy practice owners, offer the popular Done for You SEO Services where our team of SEO specialists will optimize your page for you. On the other hand, if you are the do-it-yourself type or still in the bootstrapping phase of private practice, we also offer SEO training packages. Our latest SEO training option is the opportunity for you to learn SEO in a weekend at one of our intensive training sessions for private practice owners who want to learn SEO themselves. Contact us with specific questions or book a free SEO Consultation to figure out which service is best for your business!
About the author:
Jessica Tappana is a therapist, group practice owner & an SEO expert. Jessica is passionate about helping therapists and their ideal clients find one another. She believes quality mental health care can change the world. Her group practice has grown primarily through great SEO. Now, her group practice has seven clinicians and one virtual assistant. In addition, Jessica still sees around 10 individual therapy clients a week herself. However, most of her focus has shifted to helping other therapists around the world get in front of their ideal clients on Google.