Is your online practice marketing effective? If you’re unsure, you’re not alone. According to the Infusionsoft 2017 Small Business Marketing Trends Report, nearly half (47 percent) of small business owners don’t know if their marketing efforts are working.
That’s the bad news. The good news is determining marketing effectiveness is easy — if you know the performance indicators that really matter. Read on to for a few signals that the time and money you’re spending on marketing your healthcare practice online is paying off.
According to local search engine optimization company Bright Local, 97 percent of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, 12 percent of whom looked for a local business online every day. For each search query, Google — the most widely used search engine — returns roughly 10 organic results. According to Advanced Web Ranking data, clicks drop significantly the further down the page your website appears. The No. 1 desktop result, for example, has an average click-through rate of 28.4 percent; the No. 10 desktop result has a click-through rate of 1.19 percent.
All of this means you want your doctor website to appear higher in search results, particularly for discovery (or unbranded) keywords like [best dentist santa monica] or [teeth whitening santa monica ca]. If your website has been climbing in organic search results, then you know your website search engine optimization strategy is proving effective.
A primary goal of your practice marketing strategy should be to drive more visitors to your doctor website. Why? Although business and healthcare directories and social media websites might include your contact information, services, accepted insurance, and other particulars, no other online destination has as much detailed information about you and your practice as your doctor website. Furthermore, unlike other web destinations that are owned by other companies, you are completely in control of your website; you choose what to share when, where, and how.
Now, the more people visit your site, the more opportunities you have to convert them into patients. This is why the number of website visitors can be a good indicator as to whether your practice marketing is working.
Website visitors can be broken down into new and returning visitors. New visitors are people who have come to your website for the first time, whereas returning visitors are people who have visited your site at least once before. In general, you want the new and returning visitors to steadily increase over time. If website visitors are increasing, you’re doing something right. If visitors are stagnant or declining, you need to make adjustments.
No matter how a person finds you online, you ultimately want them to become a patient. That’s why your entire website should be set up in a way that persuades visitors to book online appointments.
If your appointment requests are rising steadily over time — seemingly in conjunction with website traffic — then your practice marketing is paying off. If website traffic is increasing but appointment requests are not, you need to dig deeper into behavior data, including page views and time on site.
Quantitatively, pageviews measure the number of pages a person checks out while perusing your website, and time on site measures how long each session lasts. Qualitatively, these metrics measure website engagement. You want people to spend time clicking around on your doctor website. If most of your visitors are landing on one page and then quickly leaving, you can infer they aren’t finding the information they need to book an appointment.
Google and other search engines use review signals like quantity and velocity to determine ranking. What’s more, 72 percent of patients say their first step in finding a new doctor is checking online reviews. What this means is that healthcare providers who receive positive reviews and testimonials at a regular frequency can expect to rank more highly in search and attract the attention of more prospective patients.
A key piece of your online practice marketing strategy should be to ask patients to review their experiences with you online. An effective way to do this is to send patients a short post-visit survey. The more positive reviews patients give, the more your online reputation will improve. And as you reputation improves, you can expect to see higher search rankings, increased website visitors, and more appointment requests.
Need more help understanding practice marketing effectiveness? All PatientPop customers can easily track key performance indicators at a glance with the practice growth dashboard. Visit this webpage to learn more.