Traffic v. Conversions...

We had the opportunity to speak with a lot of doctors over the past week.  Thanks to all of you who stopped by to talk with us at ASAPS in Boston & CDA in Anaheim!  There were a few things that really struck us as we listened to what many of your practices are doing to bring in new patients.  But, nothing was more startling than confusion stemming from driving traffic to your practice's website…

We were asked numerous times by doctors (and their marketing managers) "how much traffic do you generate?"  This preoccupation with traffic is why many practices aren't seeing any value from their websites.  So, let's set the record straight:  traffic, while beneficial, should not be the end-goal of your online marketing efforts.

Many doctors have been told that the most important thing about your online marketing efforts is to drive traffic to your website.  Unless you're using your website to serve advertisements for other doctors (like those review sites that own your name in Google's search results), traffic isn't making you any money.  The focus of a good web presence shouldn't simply be traffic - it should be conversions.

What we mean by 'conversion' is the number of patients who visit your site and then contact you directly.  You can have 1,000 visitors a month, but if the page they visit doesn't get them to contact you, it's a complete waste.

The average eCommerce website converts at about 3.8%.  We've found that most doctors' websites convert at only 1.7%.  This means that out of every 100 visitors that visited your website, less than 2 of them contacted you.  There are multiple reasons for this including:

- No clear call-to-action encouraging the patient to contact you.
- Information spread across multiple pages requiring too many clicks.
- Difficulty finding a (secure) way to contact your practice.
- Generic images & text that don't invoke a personal connection.
- A 'salesy' approach to presenting your practice & procedures.
- Lack of trustworthy & transparent patient testimonials.

If you're currently speeding money on our Internet presence, be sure you're not make the mistake of only focusing on traffic.  Remember that it's not just about traffic, but what you do with it.  Make sure you're not squandering your traffic (& money) on a website that doesn't turn visitors into patients.

About the Author

Mike is a marketing guru and online reputation specialist. He as worked witha variety of companies improving their marketing strategies, specifically working with...

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