As you continue to grow, evolve, and improve your practice’s online presence, it is important to understand your return on investment (ROI)–what is working well for you and what isn’t. Basic Google Analytics and keyword tracking can give you a sense of how well your website is doing in relation to your goals, but it doesn’t tell you if you’re actually getting appointments from your website.
At P3 Inbound, we feel that patient appointments (and, if you can track them back to your marketing, your procedures) are the true measure of success for your online marketing efforts. Beyond that, we also strongly recommend that you track the value of your appointment requests to determine your true return on investment. If your marketing efforts aren’t bringing in more money than you’ve spent, then that’s a sign that you need to change your strategy.
Luckily, there are advanced tracking methods that you can implement to help connect the dots from website visits to patient appointments to procedures.
Calculate the Value of Your Marketing Leads
We strongly recommend that you compare the patient leads you obtained through online marketing to the average value of each of your patients. If your practice takes steps to understand the average value of each patient appointment (the average of patients who had procedures and patients just coming in for regular office visits), then you can compare the amount of money spent on marketing efforts to the average amount of money brought in from those efforts.
For the sake of providing an example, we’ll simplify this a bit. Let’s say you’ve determined that the average value of each patient appointment, including standard office visits through procedures, is $100. Your practice then spends $2,000 on marketing over the next month, and those efforts result in 50 patient appointments. Because we know each appointment, on average, is valued at $100, we can assume that you have made back the $2,000 you spent on marketing, plus brought in an additional $3,000. By calculating this information, you can determine the true ROI of your marketing efforts.
Once you understand the value of each marketing lead, you can start implementing better ways of tracking those leads. As we look at the various ways to track your leads, we’ll provide more information about how to assign a value to your marketing efforts.
Set a Value for Your Leads in Google Analytics
Going back to our example above (and for the sake of easy math), let’s continue with the assumption that the value of a patient appointment is $100.
Not every person who requests an appointment through your website will actually be a right fit for your practice, or they may never follow through with actually finalizing an appointment time and showing up. If your practice has the means to keep up with this information for a few months (number of completed appointments following online requests), then you can determine the percentage of follow-through of your patients.
Let’s say that 75% of your patients that fill out the form go to their appointment. Going back to the value of a patient appointment, we can now say that a form completion on your website is worth $75 (patient follow-through percentage * the value of a patient appointment).
You can use this value of $75 in your Analytics to get a stronger understanding of which sources are leading to the highest return on new patient appointments.
Set a Value for Your Phone Calls
If you have a call tracking software like CallRail in place on your website, you can also work to track the value of the phone calls you receive from your website.
We’re going to continue to assume that appointments are worth $100.
Depending on the way that your call tracking systems are set up, you can actually tie the data to Google Analytics to further understand your return. Bear with us as this process is a bit more involved than tracking forms, though it is similar.
Call-tracking systems will generally provide some info about who called (usually the information that might show up on caller ID). By looking back through those logs on a regular basis, you can determine the rate of how many phone calls that originate from your website actually turn into real appointments. From an Analytics perspective, you could then multiply that rate times the value of an appointment to determine the value of a phone call. That number could then be placed in Analytics as a conversion value.
Compare Data with Your Records
To determine the true ROI of your marketing efforts, we recommend that you compare your appointment request form and call tracking data directly with your patient records. From there, you can determine how many of those appointment requests resulted in procedures and calculate the actual value of your marketing efforts. This does take a bit of effort to track down–you’ll have to match up the appointment requests in your admin area with patient records, and you’ll have to go through call data to see if you can match up any of the phone numbers and names with patient records. However, if your practice is interested in the true ROI of your online marketing efforts, this is the most accurate way to track that information down.
Improving Your Practice’s ROI
If, after you’ve reviewed the data, you aren’t getting the ROI you’d like to see, then we recommend revisiting your strategy to see where you can improve. In some cases, a marketing strategy may not provide the results you want, and that’s okay–there are plenty of other marketing methods out there for you to try. By tracking your ROI, you are empowered to make the right marketing decisions for you practice.
Even if you are happy with your current ROI, it is still important to regularly review the data. Patient expectations are changing, and so are online marketing best practices. Online marketing is not a “set it and forget it” type of effort. By regularly keeping track of your ROI, you can address any changes or shifts in patient behavior before your ROI takes a big hit.
The Advanced Guide to Online Marketing for Your Orthopedic Practice
To find more tips on advanced levels of marketing for your orthopedic practice, check out our free guide.