How can you tell how your website is doing? KPIs (key performance indicators) like traffic and conversions make perfect sense for an ecommerce website, a retailer, or a CPG company, but do they make sense for a doctor, lawyer, or financial planner? How can you determine the best KPIs for this type of website?
Your plan for measuring the success of your website should always begin with a clear idea of your business goals and how your website fits in. How many leads do you want each month? Do you want new clients or patients, or are you more concerned with serving current customers well? Are you focused on recruiting new team members or on maintaining and building your reputation in your community?
Once you know what your website’s job is, you can measure its performance more effectively. Here are some of the KPIs and how they can be tracked in Google Analytics.
Don’t ignore traffic. Total traffic isn’t as important for a professional’s website as for a retail site, but increasing traffic is a sign of the overall health of your website. You may not need large numbers, but a steady increase is what you want to see at any website.
Sales may not even take place on your website, but that doesn’t mean you can’t usefully measure conversions. Set up goals in Google Analytics for downloads of your ebook, contact form usage, time on site, or any other action you can track online — any action, that is, which correlates with increases in the bottom line at your business. Choose the right conversion points, set them up as goals, and you’ll have useful KPIs.
This one is more subtle, but can be tracked with the Network report in Google Analytics. Tracking the number of visits you receive from universities, research institutions, government agencies, healthcare facilities, and industry leaders can give you an idea of the increase — or decrease — in your level of thought leadership over time. For this metric, it may be difficult to set a specific goal as you can with leads per month, but it’s easy to see that more serious researchers are visiting this quarter than last quarter.
Much of the value of the website of a medical facility, a lawyer’s practice, or a counselor’s office is in patient or client education. Time on site and pages visited — engagement — can tell you how valuable your customers find your web content. You can set up engagement-related goals in Google Analytics. You can also add a quiz or a little survey asking, “How helpful was this information?” or “How often do you choose our website when you need this kind of information?” to capture satisfaction levels.
Choosing and using KPIs for your professional practice can seem baffling, but once you set it up, you’ll be glad you did. It’s a matter of identifying the question, determining the most effective way of getting the answer, and then making use of the data you gather to improve your results.