Am I getting a good ROI for my Digital Marketing Dollars? 3 Ways to Check Your Digital Marketing ROI

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The executives at Ceatus Media Group often speak about digital marketing at conferences, both in the United States and Europe. One of the most common questions from the audience is: “Am I getting a good ROI for my digital marketing dollars?” You Can’t Track 100% – So Don’t Be Fooled.

Before we address ROI specifics, it is important to understand that you cannot track 100% of your leads for any type of marketing, especially digital. If anyone tells you they can track 100% of your leads, they are not being truthful, or they don’t know enough about digital marketing to.

The reason Internet leads are hard to track is that good surgical and dental practices, as well as many other types of businesses, typically obtain the majority of new patients and customers from word-of-mouth (WOM) referrals. These people will, invariably, use search engines, practice/company websites, reviews, social media channels and medical advice websites to check your online presence and reputation before contacting you. So, from a tracking standpoint, many leads that come through these platforms should not be attributed to digital marketing exclusively. Instead, credit should be given to the excellent patient care and customer service that generate these WOM referrals. (On a side note, it is important to mention that it is easy to lose WOM referrals if your digital presence does not reflect your stature and excellent patient care, or if your website doesn’t rank well on the search engines.)

What Can You Track?

So, how do you track the success of your digital marketing services in a way that filters out the WOM and focuses on the benefits your digital marketing agency brings to the table in terms of your online visibility? For purposes of this blog, we will focus on patients or customers that do not know you and who have not received a WOM referral, but instead, have found you by searching online for information about procedures or services and for a doctor (or other type of business) who will provide them.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics (GA) is the Holy Grail for tracking digital marketing ROI. Many digital marketing companies only provide insights into the superficial layers of GA, because they do not understand how to use the more advanced functionality. The more advanced functionality is where the treasure lies in terms of understanding ROI.

Traffic and Other Overall Measures

While overall traffic is a good and important measure, it should not be the focus of tracking digital marketing success or your ROI. Most practices or companies hire digital agencies to promote revenue-generating procedures or services in a specific geographic region. Overall traffic does not provide any information as to which visitors come to your website from your region or which are visiting the money-making pages of your site.

That being said, there are two “overall” metrics, time-on-site, i.e. how much time visitors are spending on your site, and the number of pages visited, i.e. the average number of pages being viewed on your site by each visitor, that are important and should be above a certain number. The time-on-site should not be below a minute and the number of pages visited should not be below 1.2 (give or take).

Once these numbers have been achieved, the following ROI-related metrics are where you should focus:

1. Local Traffic

Most practices and companies hire digital marketing agencies to generate more local traffic, i.e. consumers that will actually visit your offices and make a purchase. You should be seeing an increase in local traffic if the digital marketing is effective. Select the following to check changes in local traffic in GA:
Audience >> GEO >> Location >> Select the Location

These results will show you the location of visitors who come to your website. Once you choose a location(s) to review, set the date range and determine if your agency has been effective at creating more visitors from these locations during their contract period.

2. Procedure or Services Pages

Further, practices and companies hire digital marketing agencies because they want the agency to build online visibility for specific services. As such, if the agency is successful, your website should be receiving more visitors to the pages that describe and promote those specific target services. To find out if traffic to these services pages is increasing, select the following:

Behavior >> Site Content >> All Pages

These results will show you, in order, the pages on your site that garner the most views. You can then click on a specific procedure or service page, set a date range, and determine if your agency has been effective at driving the desired types of visitors/specific traffic to those pages.

3. Set Up Goals

Obviously some website visitors are more important than others. Visitors that view a lot of pages, spend a lot of time on-site or fill out a contact form are the most important visitors for revenue generation. In order to effectively track ROI, you need to know where these highly important visitors are coming from. If these visitors derive from organic search for your procedures or services, then the agency is successfully driving the right type of visitors to your website and, therefore, this ROI is highly positive. To set up goals, select the following:

Conversions >> Goals >> Overview >> then click “Set Up Goals”

Once the goals are set up, you can then determine the source of your most important revenue-producing visitors and track the success of your agency.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how to use Google Analytics to help evaluate the success of your online strategies.