Unleash the Power of GA4 and Call Tracking in Your Marketing Effort

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On July 1st, 2023, Google made a significant transition from its Universal Analytics property to Google Analytics 4 (GA4). In today’s digital age, staying informed about the latest digital marketing strategies is crucial for dental practices and DSOs to make informed data-driven decisions. Here’s a quick run-down of everything you need to know about pairing the latest version of Google Analytics and call tracking metrics to have transparent insight into your appointment conversions and effectively allocate marketing spend.

What is GA4?

While Universal Analytics brought many businesses insight into what their users are doing on their websites, GA4 was invented to give owners a more holistic view of their users’ journey and provide customized reporting. The key difference between Universal Analytics and GA4 is the advanced event-based model GA4 leverages to track a user’s journey across multiple devices. For example, a potential patient browsing your practice’s website on Google using their laptop decides to switch to their phone to call you. The patient will be tracked as one event because GA4 assigned them a unique identifier. This detailed reporting reveals the bigger picture when it comes to how your patients interact with your website.

What is Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI) ?

Before a potential patient picks up the phone to contact your practice, they will engage in (sometimes extensive) online research to find the right provider to call. Through a script added to your website, DNI is able to effectively monitor and analyze which marketing sources are driving your patients to book appointments over the phone. When potential patients visit your practice’s website, they are shown a unique phone number for your practice. This tracking mechanism allows practice owners to understand how users arrived at your website, the actions they took before initiating a phone call, and what motivated them to make that call. Pairing DNI reporting with GA4’s new capabilities allows practice owners to see how they can improve their websites and a customer’s online journey to increase appointment phone conversions.

How Phone Handling Metrics Will Improve GA4 Insight  

The phone serves as a vital tool to your practice and implementing proper phone handling techniques is essential to converting patient opportunities from your website into booked appointments. GA4 provides a comprehensive view on how users interact with your website, tools offered by enhanced call tracking providers, like Call Box, take it a step further by providing valuable information such as which calls were connected and which calls resulted in booked appointments. It’s important to distinguish the difference between answered and connected calls. For a call to be deemed as “connected,” callers must reach a qualified staff member who can address their questions. These metrics also allow practice owners to identify reasons why appointments were not booked. For example, if ten calls are generated through your digital marketing efforts, but only two calls converted to booked appointments, it is crucial to uncover the “why” behind this. Was it due to limited calendar availability, insurance coverage issues, or a negative phone experience with a staff member? Your practice can identify the gaps and develop effective phone strategies to address common objections or explore alternative solutions.

Quick Tips for a Smooth Transition to GA4:

  • Custom events will not allow spaces or dashes and must be under 40 characters.
  • Use underscores and abbreviate where possible.

For example, shorten “appointments booked” to “appts_booked.”

  • You can add as many custom events and dimensions as you’d like.

An example dimension your practice can track is the source of a call, such as indicating whether it came from GMB, a paid advertisement, or an email newsletter.

  • Set events you see fit as conversions.

Setting events as conversions helps your practice monitor and optimize your marketing campaigns.

  • Custom events in Google Tag Manager can be tracked and reported on in GA4.

In conclusion, the transition to Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and the implementation of call tracking metrics help dental practices make informed, data-driven decisions. This effectively boosts appointment conversions, generates true marketing ROI, and provides better patient experience. For more insight, download Call Box’s free step-by-step guide for a seamless transition, “Your Cheat Sheet to Master the GA4 Transition.