Assessing the standard of your business’ digital presence doesn’t have to be difficult. Undertaking a 10-step audit can help determine where your practice currently stands, and identify areas upon which you should focus.
No matter how well you have established your digital presence, it’s unlikely all aspects of your digital strategy will be equal. Your website may be well designed, fast, and offer an excellent customer journey, but your search engine optimisation (SEO) may be lacking. Your social media presence may be robust and well trafficked but the click throughs to your website may not lead to conversions. Maybe your social media posts aren’t garnering any looks or likes. To capitalise on your digital presence now and into the future, you need to identify both your strengths and weaknesses, and pinpoint areas needing improvement.
To assess your digital presence, you need to undertake a digital audit which will evaluate your digital performance across a number of different categories to give you an overview and understanding of potential pain points and roadblocks that are hindering your online efforts. While there are a number of companies that offer digital auditing services, it’s possible to perform your own audit by following 10 simple steps and using readily available online tools.
While there are a number of companies that offer digital auditing services, it’s possible to perform your own audit by following 10 simple steps and using readily available online tools
TEN STEPS TO SUCCESS
Your audit should take into account all avenues of your digital presence – your website, social media and Google My Business. Under those three umbrella categories there are a number of areas in which you should concentrate.
Your website is likely to be the biggest influencer of first impressions, with people landing on your page from a Google search or by clicking a link in an ad or social media post. The experience your website delivers is incredibly important when it comes to the potential to convert a browser to a booking.
- Load Speed
How fast your website loads significantly affects your website bounce rate. Bounce rate refers to the percentage of users that will leave the site and look elsewhere. According to research conducted by Pingdom, a website performance monitoring company, the percentage of users that will bounce increases dramatically for every second it takes for a website to load. Around 6% of users will bounce if a website takes more than two seconds to load. A four second load time sees a bounce rate of around 24% and 38% for five seconds. Therefore, a load speed of four seconds or under is an ideal benchmark, as the bounce rate increases dramatically after that.
A number of factors may influence page load speed, such as a lack of text compression, improperly sized or formatted images, and various design or coding issues that may cause roadblocks when loading.
A number of free online tools exist to identify these issues, such as Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom.com Website Speed Test or GTmetrix. These tools analyse your website looking for anything that could be slowing your load speeds. Some of these issues, such as image resizing, are simple to take care of. Others may require web development resources to overcome.
- Mobile Optimisation
Australia is an extremely switched on country when it comes to smartphones, with around 80% of the population projected to have access to a mobile device this year.1 Due to this saturation, over half of all web browsing2 (51.98%) is done on a handheld device.
If your website is not mobile friendly then you are potentially missing out on over half your traffic. Many website platforms feature automatic mobile optimisation but you should still check your site on your mobile phone to see if it is clearly readable, the page loads fast and that any links, buttons and calls to action are prominently featured and easy to use.
- Calls to Action
A call to action is any element of your website that prompts a browser to take action. The most important of these are booking buttons or other contact options. Your calls to action should be prominently displayed at the top of any page upon which a visitor may land. There should be a clear and obvious pathway that users can follow, delivering all the information they need and directing them to methods of booking.
- Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is an important tool for garnering organic traffic, but for many practices it is less important than load speed, mobile optimisation and calls to action.
If you have a blog on your website, make sure that each post targets the correct keywords for the topic. Tools such as SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant allow you to analyse your posts and optimise their keywords, length and links to make them more likely to rank on Google searches.
Social media is an important tool when it comes to outreach and creating a community, but simply having a social media account does not in any way guarantee engagement.
- Social Media Presence
What social media platforms, if any, are being leveraged by your practice? Depending on the community you are trying to connect with, and the kind of posts you are planning on making, different platforms may be more effective than others.
If you’re interested in sharing stories, blog posts or interacting directly with your audience, then Facebook is the most likely avenue you should be concentrating on. If, for example, you’re more focussed on promoting fashion frames, then an image focussed social media platform, such as Instagram or Pinterest may be of more value.
If you are unsure of the direction you should be taking, check the social media presence of competing practices.
- Posting Frequency
Having a social media account is useless unless you are posting regularly. The less you post, the less people will see your posts and the less likely the platform is to show people your posts.
How often are you posting on social media? Three to five posts a week are ideal when it comes to most platforms, but if you’re unable to keep up with that schedule, posting consistently is the next best thing.
Social media algorithms look for engagement. Lengthy comments and conversation get the highest ranking and reach. Are your posts crafted to be conversation starters or to be shareable? Are you prepared to engage with comments to start a conversation? Are you using hashtags to make your posts easily searchable or findable? Test different approaches to posts – vary the length and title, experiment with emojis, hashtags and the like – to see what approach gets the most traction, then adopt that approach as a general template for posting.
Video content typically garners more visibility and ranking than any other type of content, especially on Facebook.
Are you asking your patients to follow you on Facebook? How are you asking? See what avenues you may have to ask for follows, such as receipt, outreach emails to existing patients, posters in the practice and the like. Identify all possible routes you can take to ask for follows and use them.
- Social Media Linking and Landing Pages
Linking and calls to action are as important in social media posts as they are on your webpage. Are your links obvious or have you buried them in the text of your post? If you have online booking available, are you including online booking links in your posts?
Are your links going to the right webpages? If you are posting about a specific treatment or style/brand of frame or lens, it’s best to link to a specific landing page for that treatment or product, rather than simply linking to your homepage.
Google My Business
A Google My Business profile is one of the most powerful free tools available to increase viability and engagement for your practice. If you haven’t already claimed your profile, you should make it a priority to do so.
- Is the Profile Complete?
Your profile should be complete and up-todate, featuring all the information relevant to your practice. Ensure that you have completed all sections accurately, especially contact details, address, opening hours and website links.
Have you chosen the correct category for your profile and listed the products and services you offer? The more detail you can add, the more likely your profile is to appear for relevant searches.
Are you using photos of the practice and staff in the profile to give it a human face and make it both recognisable and more appealing to prospective patients?
- Do I Have Reviews?
People can leave reviews on your Google My Business profile. These reviews can be both good and bad. Are you responding to negative reviews? If not, you should endeavour to respond to any negative reviews as soon as possible. This shows potential patients/customers that you care and are dedicated to improving your business.
Are you asking patients/customers for reviews and are you using all available forms of outreach (email, SMS, newsletters, etc.) to ask? According to digital advertising giant Wordstream, 62% of customers will write a review if asked. You should start with your most loyal customers and then expand your outreach to all your patients or customers.
Daniel Wilks is a writer at 1st Group, the parent company of MyHealth1st. MyHealth1st is dedicated to providing practices and practitioners with the tools and technology to help grow your practice and deliver healthcare to those in need across Australia. In addition to online booking, MyHealth1st has developed products to increase your reviews on Google, and drive new patients through your doors through managed digital marketing and much more. To find out more, visit www.myhealth1st.com. au or call (AUS)1300 266 517.
- Statista – Australia: smartphone penetration rate 2017–2025.
- Prosperity Media Australian Internet Statistics 2021.