Google Analytics is the most popular web analytics software by a long shot. According to W3Techs, over 57% of the top 10,000 websites use Google Analytics. And why not? It’s powerful, easy to set up, and free to use.
But in my experience, most online marketers use a only a small fraction of Google Analytic’s features, relying on prototypical reports offering only a top-level view of performance. The end results are incorrect assumptions and missed opportunities.
This is especially evident for websites across the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. Tailoring to broad audiences with many different access points, healthcare industry sites require specific analytics customizations to identify trends, analyze usage issues and understand audience behaviors.
This post offers six easy-to-apply Google Analytics customizations designed for healthcare websites. These are starting points – please contact us if you’d like solutions specifically tailored to your site.
Tip One: Make Sure Your Google Configuration is Up to Date
Depending on when your site launched, you may not be using the latest tracking code configuration. Google frequently changes the way its tracking code works and if you don’t upgrade you may miss out on key features.
Here’s a configuration checklist:
Add related social media networks to your settings to better track social traffic.
Tip Two: Set Up Some Website Goals
Goals tracking is one of most pivotal elements of online marketing. But configuring goals, conversions, and funnels with GA can be bewildering. By setting up website goals you establishing a method for assessing value and ROI, and this doesn’t have to be a monetary value. Google offers a number of options for website goals:
Some examples of goals for healthcare websites:
- Conversion: Sign-Ups, Completion of an Opt-In Form – usually signified by visit to a thank you page.
- Engagement: Time on Site > n minutes; Page Depth > n pages
- Interaction: Download of PDF; view of video; access of a specific page
All of these conversions are valid and tracking them effectively is one the best ways to determine website performance.
Goals are configured as part of your profile and only take a few clicks to set up. Once set up you can model other data around them, determining what types of user experiences, contente, and traffic result in the most goals.
Setting up goals is easier than it seems!
Tip 3: Used Advanced Segmentation to Track Visits from Organizations and Academia
Advanced segments are one of the “power user” features of Google Analytics. They allow you to analyze specialized pockets of visitor types based on thousands of session attributes. The possibilities of advanced segments are limitless.
If your site provides any clinical or medical information you’ll want to use this handy organization and academia segment. This will show you only visits from .edu or .org domains — often used by medical institutions and academia. While not perfect, this segment can offer some interesting insights into search terms, engagement, top content used by the HCP audience.
University & Academia Advanced Segmentation Settings
Tip 4: Create a “Really Engaged” User Advanced Segment
“Really Engaged” users are the visitors who spend the most time on the site and are probably the most interested in the content. For healthcare sites, these users may be the ones dealing directly with a disease, symptom, or other health-related issue addressed on your site. These are your “passionate users”.
Understanding how the really-engaged interact with your content, where they come from, and where they exit is a critical gauge of the site’s effectiveness and value. Setting up the “Really Engaged User” segment is based on a few based parameters that you can set.
Advanced Segmentation settings for “Really Engaged”
Tip 5: Segment Your Search Engine Traffic by Condition, Treatment and Symptom
Savvy consumer marketers always segment their keywords as branded- or non-branded terms. The same thinking applies with digital healthcare marketing, although the segmentation tends to focus on diseases, treatments, or symptoms. Advanced segments can be used to filter keywords into comparable categories that you can compare. How do users who find the site base on a symptom search engage? Or for those looking for specific condition? When considering the amount of online users who search for health related information, understanding this data can be a real gold mine.
Comparing Different Search Categories Can Tell You A lot About Your Site’s Effectiveness
Tip 6: Set Up Alerts
One of the most improved features of Google Analytics is the reporting and alerting functionality. You can now receive alert via email or text when there’s an abnormal increase or decrease in activity. This can be especially useful in monitoring web traffic around a specific event or press release, or even monitoring the site for outages.
Get an email alert when your site gets a traffic spike
These are a few of many ways to enhance your site metrics. Contact us at PharmaForward if you’re interested in learning how you can get more out of your digital healthcare analytics.
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