Metrics. Analytics. Measuring results. Do you cringe when you hear these terms?

Hey, we get it. Google Analytics can be hard to understand, and digging through pages of numbers can be a slog. But let us tell you: setting up a solid, advanced Google Analytics page is key to understanding how your website performs and what you can do to make it perform better.

Basic Statistics

Okay, so you’re just starting out with Google Analytics — what do you even look for?

Well, first of all, the aim of your website is to reach potential patients or customers. But first you need to see if you are actually getting visitors to your website. On your main Google Analytics page, you’re going to see a few metrics, one being “users.” This is where you want to start.

Users means how many individual people have been to your site. This is important because it gives you an idea of how much traffic you are actually driving to your site, especially if you are expending marketing money on social media platforms or on Google. Beside users, you will see “sessions” — a session is a one-time visit by a user. So, when you compare users to sessions, if it is 1:1 it means that each user has visited your page one time. If the number of sessions is far greater than the number of users, it means that people are returning to your site, which is always a good sign.

And what about what pages people are visiting? Yes, you can see that, too, which is especially beneficial if you are trying to drive users to a specific page. Head to “Behaviour” → “Behaviour Flow” → “Site Content” to see a list of all your pages and how many views you’re getting on each one.

(Pro tip: what’s the difference between pageviews and unique pageviews? Pageviews is the total number of visits your pages are getting, whereas unique pageviews looks at how many different users are visiting each page. Both numbers are useful, in different ways.)

Some More Information

Okay, so now that you know how many people are visiting your site, how often they’re visiting and what pages they’re looking at, we’ll bet you’ll want to know a little bit more. After all, if you are hoping to convert some of these users into patients, you may want to know a few other things, like how long they stuck around or how many pages they looked at. Luckily, you can easily find these averages, at page/session and average session duration. You can also check out the bounce rate percentage, which shows you how many people came to your site and then quickly left (you want this percentage to be as low as possible*).

*Note: There are some exceptions to this! If you have a link that you want people to click on right away, or a download you want them to make, this may bring them off your site (depending on what they’re clicking on or how the link it set up). As with everything with Google Analytics, context is necessary for analyzing your results.

Next up, in User Explorer, you can learn information about the users who are visiting your site, including their demographics and their locations. Why is this relevant? Think about it: If you’ve been spending money on online marketing, say Google AdWords or Facebook ads, you’ve likely been setting a “target market,” i.e., sending your ads directly to the people who you would want to be a patient. Checking out information about the people who are visiting your site can determine whether your targeted ads are working. It also helps you determine what you need to tweak.

In this section, you can also see how many users are visiting your site via mobile. You may be surprised by just how many people are doing so — read more about this on one of our past blog posts.

And speaking of Facebook, ever wonder how many people are actually clicking off your Facebook ad onto your website? In Acquisition, you can see how people are getting to your site, whether it’s by organic search, a social media platform, or directly typing in your website URL.

technology and advertisement concept – laptop computer with graph on screen

Going for the Gold Goal

All right, so now that you have a handle on the basics, it’s time to really get into it. With some advanced Google Analytics skills, you are able to track everything users do, from whether they download that guide to where they “x” out of your site. But, in order to set up this kind of analysis, you first need to determine what it is you want to measure.

For every kind of social media strategy — nay, for every kind of strategy — you need to have specific goals in mind. So, what are yours in terms of your website? Do you want people to provide you with their contact information in the custom form on your landing page? Do you want them to download your latest guide on “Tips for Recovering Quickly from Plastic Surgery,” or do you just want them to remain on your website for more than five minutes?

Once you’ve determined your goals, you can literally turn them into measurable statistics by setting them up in Google Analytics. Go under “Conversions” to find “Goals,” and then you can easily plug in what it is you specifically want to look at. “Conversions” refers to getting people to do what it is you want them to do, and so when you input your goals, you will soon be able to see the percentage of conversions — the ideal, of course, being 100%.

About Us

Whitehead Agency Group is a leading healthcare marketing agency with over 25 years of specialized health and wellness experience. Start profiting from the new age of consumer-driven health care with marketing that clicks. Contact us today at (416) 365-6884 or by emailing us at to arrange a complimentary, no-obligation review of your web analytics, SEO strategy and overall marketing.