So you know how important it is to have a good veterinary practice blog. But you’re putting in all this work, and you have no idea if it’s being read. How many visitors does your blog get? What are people who land on your blog looking for? How long do they stick around?
It is possible to answer these questions using analytics. Tracking who lands on your website and what they do when they get there can help you improve your pages so that you attract as many potential customers as possible. So, let’s take a look at some of the key analytics and KPIs you’ll need to check to see who is reading your veterinary practice blog…
Blog Analytics Tools
Before you start, you’ll need to find where your analytics are reported. In some cases, this will be part of your website ‘backend’ dashboard. You can also sign up for more complex analytics software that will give you even more info about what is happening on your vet clinic website. These are some of our favourites:
This free reporting software from Google is web-based, and contains a ton of tools that a beginner needs to track their blog success. You can see how many users are landing on your website, which pages they visit, and how long they spend there.
Google Search Console
Another important offering from Google is their Search Console. This gives more insight into how people are searching for your website, and which pages they’re finding. It’s a great way to check which blog posts are showing up in search results regularly.
SEO and marketing specialist companies like HubSpot and SEMRush all offer analytics software too. They’re great as a one-stop-shop for blog analytics, but you may have to pay. For the beginner, the free options from Google are a great starting point!
Key Metrics for your Veterinary Practice Blog
So now you’ve got access to the tools, it’s time to take a look at what’s happening on your website. You’ll quickly see these web reporting tools are extremely powerful and give a lot of confusing data – so here’s a list of the key metrics you’ll need to look at to determine whether anyone is seeing your veterinary practice blog, as well as where you’ll find this metric:
- Users (Google Analytics)
- Views (Google Analytics
- Page Impressions (Google Search Console)
- Page Clicks (Google Search Console)
- CTR (Google Search Console)
This tells you how many unique users viewed your website in the last period (usually 3 months, but you can adjust). It is not the same as views (as one user could view several times). It’s a nice, easy, first metric to check. You should also look at how it’s trending (up or down), and you can compare it to a previous period before website changes were made (i.e before and after you started your blog) to see what impact you’re having.
Views is the number of times your website was viewed, regardless of whether someone has been on your website before. It’s a useful metric for blogs because you want people to come back and read every time you produce an update. You should look at website views as a whole and see whether they’re trending up or down, as well as compare to your pre-blog days.
Within ‘views’ you should also look at views by page title – this will show you the most popular pages on your website. Are any of your blog pages on there? You can also search for a specific blog post and see how many views it’s contributed to the whole. Which of your posts are most popular?
Google Search Console gives you the number of times your blog showed up in search results (impressions). You can look at each page of your website individually to see which blogs are contributing to your veterinary practice website being visible online. This gives you an idea of which posts are coming close to what people are searching for.
Comparing this to ‘position’ shows you how high up the search results your impression was – a position of lower than 10 will rarely result in a click to your website, so you might be getting lots of low-ranking impressions without clicks (see below).
After page impressions, look at clicks. This shows how many times your vet clinic website was clicked on after it appeared in Google search results. Again, you can filter this by page, so you can see how blog posts are contributing to your page’s overall success.
Your CTR is your impressions-to-clicks ratio. Google helpfully gives you this metric as a percentage (in other words, the percentage of users that clicked on your website over those that your website was a search result for). We’ll explain how to use this in a minute…
Are people reading your veterinary practice blog?
So, by looking at views and users, you can tell whether people are reading your veterinary practice blog. And by looking at Impressions and Clicks, you can tell the impact your blog is having on your website’s search visibility.
So what should you do if nobody seems to be finding or reading your blog? Here are some tips:
Low impressions, high CTR
If you aren’t getting many impressions, but those that do see your post are clicking, you’ll get low impressions and a high CTR (over 2%). This suggests you’re producing relevant content but you’re either in a highly-competitive niche, or your SEO needs some work. Tweak your vet practice SEO to help your page move up the rankings.
Low impressions, low CTR
It’s hard to tell whether people aren’t finding your content, or whether they aren’t finding your content interesting. Start by improving your SEO to see whether you can increase your impressions – that should lead to an increased CTR too!
High impressions, low CTR
This is unusual, as generally Google won’t show your page in search results if people aren’t clicking on it. But you sometimes get it where you’re constantly ranking high for keywords, but your CTR is still low. This means one of two things – either your content isn’t what they’re looking for (i.e they’re specifically not looking for an article by a vet practice, because they want another point of view) or your SEO still needs tweaking, because your result isn’t clickable. You might want to fiddle with your page’s title tags and meta descriptions to see if you can create a call-to-action that encourages them to click through to your page.
One page is doing all the hard work
If one or two of your blog posts seem to be pulling more people in than any other, take a look at your keywords and the subject. Try to work out why people are landing on that page – are they searching for it a lot? Why is your page performing better than most – is it the way your keywords are spread over your page, or your use of pictures, or your status as a trusted veterinary practice? Even if you aren’t 100% sure, you can still try to replicate this blog post’s success by choosing similar keywords for another post.
Remember, a vet practice blog doesn’t necessarily have to convert everyone into clients immediately – it has benefits for SEO and trust in your veterinary business too. Once you’ve got one up and running, make sure you keep on top of the metrics to write more content that people like, get people landing on your page, and ultimately get more clients.
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