Running the clinical side of your medical practice takes time. Unfortunately, this means that the time you have left to put into analyzing your marketing efforts is limited, which can leave you frustrated and confused about what works. How do you know whether what you’re doing is worth the energy, resources and spending you put into it?
As an agency that focuses on medical practice marketing, I see this frustration every day. Too often, medical practices are reporting on siloed marketing metrics that don’t correlate to results, or chasing marketing metrics that don’t matter, like click-through rates — these tell you how an ad is performing, but they don’t always mean that you’re getting more patients.
In my experience, practices that want to see patient growth from their marketing efforts must focus on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that best predict new appointments and revenue growth. I’ve included below the six essential marketing KPIs that I believe every medical practice should be tracking and holding their marketing teams accountable for.
1. Leads By Type
It’s not enough to understand how many total leads you’re getting. Every medical practice should understand how many leads they’re getting by type. This means understanding distinct leads from phone calls, Contact Us form submissions, content downloads and any other activity you consider a lead. What you’ll likely find is that not all lead types are created equal, and some will be better at driving new patient acquisition.
In order to measure leads by type, make sure you’re tracking phone calls using a third-party tracking service such as CallTrackingMetrics, CallRail, WhatConverts or something similar. Then, make sure that each distinct lead is set up as a goal in your Google Analytics. Google provides detailed guides to make setting up goals easy, but I’ve noticed that many practices and agencies don’t take the time to set them up correctly and test them to make sure they’re accurately recording.
2. Cost Per Lead
Understanding how much leads cost is key, especially for your paid marketing efforts. Rather than looking at how much you’re paying for clicks, make sure you understand how many leads your marketing efforts are generating. Not every lead type will have a cost associated with it, but try to understand what your investment is to generate a rough cost per lead.
The total cost of leads from advertising is easy to measure, as you likely have a total advertising spending amount to divide by the number of leads. For specific lead sources, like organic social, you might use the cost of staff time or the fee you’re paying an agency to manage social media for you each month divided by the number of leads from that source to determine your cost per lead. Once you understand your cost per lead, you can begin to create a benchmark for how much it costs to generate a lead in each of your different channels.
3. Website Visitor To Lead Conversion Rate
What percentage of your website traffic do you convert into leads (e.g., someone calling, scheduling an appointment, filling out a Contact Us form, etc.)? At the most basic level, you’ll want to look at the number of leads divided by your total website sessions. This will automatically calculate in Google Analytics as long as you have your goals set up properly. This conversion rate will tell you how well your site does at motivating visitors to reach out.
4. Lead Conversion Rate By Source
Each marketing channel is unique and will have a different conversion rate. It’s important to understand which marketing channels are best at converting leads so you know where to direct your time and resources.
Calculating lead conversion rate by source is easy. For example, if you want to track your lead conversion rate for organic search, divide the total leads from organic search by the site sessions from organic search.
Tracking lead conversion by source is impossible without implementing URL tracking and phone tracking. Without such tracking in place, you won’t have visibility into where a visit to your site came from or where a phone call originated from. For example, do you know how many of your calls are coming from your Google My Business listing? Add a tracked phone number and you may determine that it’s driving the most calls to your practice.
5. New Patient Conversion Rate
What percentage of your leads results in a new patient? Most practices have access to this information, but no process to regularly pull and evaluate it. We’ve found this particular KPI to be extremely important for medical practices. A low new patient conversion rate may mean issues with missed calls or a lack of meaningful follow-up on form submissions.
6. Cost Per New Patient
This is the metric that matters most at the end of the day. Your cost per new patient is the key to understanding how much you should be spending on digital marketing. Simply divide your total spending by the number of new patients you generate.
If it costs you $100 to generate a new patient from paid search and your average revenue per patient is $1,500, then you’ve established a return on your investment. You also can determine how much growth you should see for your investment.
Make sure you’re tracking how much revenue you’re generating per patient and set up your internal processes to make sure staff members are noting this in patient records. This can be difficult for many medical practices due to delays in the revenue cycle (usually from dealing with patients’ insurance), but the hard work is worth it.
Once you’re tracking these KPIs and using them to regularly evaluate your marketing efforts, you’ll gain insights that can help you understand where you need to improve and where to invest in your practice for repeatable, scalable growth instead of chasing metrics that don’t matter.