Is Your Smartphone Working for You?

By John Graham, DDS, MD
How smart is your smart phone? Really, does it do more that text, gather emails and check Facebook updates? While there are many apps that can help market your orthodontic practice, many smartphone users continue to severely underutilize their phones as a tool to help understand their patient base.

Google Analytics, the famous, free and powerful web analysis engine has the ability to alert you via text message when any number of actions related to your website happen. Two of the actions that I monitor on a daily basis are website visits and website traffic sources.

Having two practices in two states is demanding enough, following trends on both websites can be nearly impossible without Google’s help. Google Analytics helps me to know how many people are visiting my website each day, and where they are coming from. For example, I have “triggers” set up so that I receive a text message every time a set number of people visit my website. I have a 20, 30, 40 and now thankfully, a 50 visitor count trigger. Every time one of those metrics is reached on each of my websites, I get a text message letting me know. What a way to brighten my day! I also receive a text each time an individual arrives at my website from the Invisalign doctor locator. An almost unlimited number of alerts can be set to inform you of your websites activity. This information is absolutely critical in assessing marketing budget allocation and is EASY to get without doing any work! Your smartphone and Google do it for you.

To set up Google Analytics, simply login to your Google account (or create one if you haven’t already done so) and navigate to Google Analytics. Set up your Analytics account by following the instructions on the introductory page. The most critical aspect of setting up your Analytics account is getting the computer code that Google needs for analysis embedded on every page of your website. This is easy to do, you simply copy the code provided and email it to your website provider and have them insert the code on every page. Most every website administrator is accustomed to doing this with Google Analytics.

After the code is inserted, Google will test it for you to determine if all is well. Once Analytics is running on your site, you can navigate to the custom alerts section and set up any number of alerts that can be sent to your smartphone or to your email account. The easiest way to learn how to do any of this is to look it up on YouTube.

As the Google Analytics team is fond of saying – Happy Analyzing!

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