Google Analytics is just as useful in healthcare as it is in any other industry. However, the degree to which the information proves useful depends on how well hospital and clinic administrators interpret the data that Google Analytics provides and make business decisions because of it. According to Healthcare IT News, that means understanding and acting on the information they discover from Google Analytics rather than getting weighed down only in facts. More times than not, we find Google Analytics installations are fragmented or incomplete, and in a few cases, unreliable. Below, we list four common areas we find Google Analytics implementations broken.

Data Awareness

One reason your hospital or clinic may not receive the most reliable data from Google Analytics is that the person who set it up did not do so with the correct filters and views. This is essential because it tells you where your online visitors come from, their demographic information, the type of information they view while on your website, and the time spent on your website. Without the proper filters in place, you may be include traffic sources that behave very differently than your prospective patients. This paints a much different picture of how your target users are interacting with the website.

If you feel that the person who originally established your company’s account may have made an error with filters or views, some of which that could be outdated, we encourage you to request a Google Analytics audit from Marcel Digital. In addition to fixing set-up errors, we will determine if your healthcare organization is using the most recent version of tracking code or needing to be upgraded to Universal Analytics, which is much better at identifying the same users as they come back to the website.

Another common error we see under the category of data awareness is not installing Google Tag Manager correctly or at all. Google Tag Manager is a free program that makes it possible for you to place conversion, tracking, and remarketing tags across your entire website as well as any mobile applications your organization has developed.

Any member of your team can use Google Tag Manager since it doesn’t require a background in web development to program it. All it requires is for someone to insert JavaScript on your company’s website using code from Google Tag Manager and the program will collect data and send it to multiple third-party tools in addition to Google Analytics. This is a free and simple way to stay ahead of the competition, and also decrease the time your website takes to load (which is a ranking factor by Google!)

The most important thing you can do once you’re certain that you have Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager installed correctly is to measure key performance indicators (KPI) for your healthcare organization. For example, assume that your company has started a marketing campaign hoping to increase appointment requests. When a user submits a request using ZocDoc or MyChart, you could set up instant alerts to allow you to attribute to directly to specific marketing efforts.

Data Proficiency

To be as proficient as possible with the data you obtain from Google Analytics, be sure that you set up cross domain tracking. Through a series of optimizations, you can view sessions on two related websites as a single session. In our experience with healthcare marketing, companies often establish what is known as a vanity URL that redirects traffic to the organization’s primary website. Unfortunately, approximately 75 percent of Google Analytics users have not set up cross domain tracking to follow these developments.

This is a problem because one person visiting the main website of your healthcare organization can register as having completed multiple visits due to how he or she arrived at your website in the first place. That means you see an artificially high number of website visits and might conclude your marketing efforts are less successful than they are in reality. Setting up cross domain tracking from the start ensures that you receive accurate statistics every time.

Data Savvy

UTM tagging is another useful feature available from Google Analytics. It allows you to modify any URL that currently directs to your website by entering a customized query parameter. This further enables you to have greater control over attribution within the system of Google Analytics. That is because you can determine which specific marketing channels sent certain traffic to your website and then track the later conversions. Email, programmatic or third-party banner ads almost always will show up as “direct” traffic without UTMs.

Healthcare is unique when it comes to data analytics because most organizations work with multiple agencies. This can result in an inconsistent strategy for campaign tagging. The best way to ensure a consistent strategy is to assign one person the task of monitoring vendor tags across the entire website. Taking this approach will also give you the peace of mind of knowing that all traffic intended to reach your website does so in a prompt and correct manner.

Even when you take control of monitoring UTM tagging, remember that every healthcare organization has different IT system needs and requires an individualized approach. Marcel Digital is happy to assist your company with ensuring that the system tracks each transaction to the appropriate media campaign and marketing channel. That way you can obtain an accurate figure for your return on investment (ROI) for all spending associated with marketing.

Data Driven

It is common for healthcare organizations to use both paid and non-paid tools for marketing purposes. Google Analytics is an example of a free tool while email marketing and Facebook ads are examples of paid advertising. When you import cost data, you can compare data for clicks and cost among different initiatives. Once you upload the data to Google Analytics, you can combine it with eCommerce data to get an accurate picture for your return on ad spend (ROAS) for your various marketing efforts. This enables you to monitor the performance of all current marketing campaigns from a single location.

After analyzing your data and ensuring that it is clean, importing the most recent cost data will make an entire suite of ROI tracking available to you. The benefit of doing this is that it will help you gain a better understanding of the performance and engagement of all paid marketing campaigns. Because of this, you will be better able to recognize new opportunities to improve ROI as soon as you see them.

Contact Us with Other Google Analytics Questions

At Marcel Digital, we are in business to help your healthcare organization successfully market itself. As a Certified Google Analytics Partner, we believe that Google Analytics is an excellent tool when used correctly and to its full capacity, showing your healthcare system's full marketing ROI. Please contact us to request an audit or let us know how we can help you in any other way.

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