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Dr. Lou Shuman is the CEO of Cellerant Consulting Group, dentistry’s leading corporate incubator and accelerator; a venturer-in-residence at Harvard’s i-Lab; the chairman of the technology advisory board at WEO Media; a long-time contributor to Dental Products Report; and the founder and creator of the Cellerant Best of Class Technology Awards.
Ian McNickle is the co-founder of the dental marketing firm WEO Media. He holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University and an MBA from the University of Washington. He is a nationally recognized marketer, writer and speaker.
How generating web traffic-and successfully converting that traffic into new patient leads-can have huge benefits for your practice.
Each month, Dr. Lou Shuman consults with a dental digital marketing specialist to discuss the latest developments in website optimization, SEO strategies, social media trends, online reputation management, marketing and more.
This month, Dr. Shuman sat down with Ian McNickle, MBA, partner and co-founder of WEO Media, to talk about why website lead conversion is so important, and how it can help improve a practice’s marketing ROI.
I’ve heard you lecture on the topic of website lead conversion. Can you elaborate exactly what you mean by that?
The reason I often teach people about this topic is that few people understand what it is, and why it is so important.
To learn about website lead conversion we need to first take a step back and discuss online marketing. When it comes to online marketing there are two primary objectives:
1. Generate as much relevant traffic as possible, and
2. Convert that traffic into as many new patient leads and appointments as possible.
This second step is what we call website lead conversion.
Walk us through each of those steps.
Sure, let’s start with website traffic. There are many ways to generate traffic on a website, such as having high search rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., which is achieved through effective SEO (search engine optimization). Gathering lots of patient reviews on Google, Facebook, Healthgrades and Yelp also has a very positive impact on your search rankings and traffic. Social media activity, engagement, boosted posts and paid ads can all drive traffic to a website as well. Online directories can drive traffic, and the list goes on and on.
Once you’ve implemented a robust program to generate traffic it is equally important to understand how to convert all this traffic into new patient leads. Many items affect website lead conversion, such as:
• having a modern website design with proper layout
• the location of the phone number
• appointment request buttons or forms
• clear calls to action
• effective use of videos
• compelling offers
• online scheduling links
• the use of actual photos instead of stock photos
• great doctor bio and team pages
• patient testimonials (video and written)
• helpful and accurate content
An experienced online marketing agency with expertise in the dental industry like WEO Media should be consulted for best practices in this area.
So how would someone track and calculate this to know if their website is performing well?
Lead conversion rate is calculated by dividing the amount of conversion activities (phone calls, appointment requests, etc.) by your website traffic each month. By doing this, you’ll be able to develop a baseline range for how your website typically converts traffic. A practice would need to make sure their website has a tracking phone number on it so they can accurately measure how many calls are coming from the website each month.
Consider this example: let’s suppose your website generates 400 visits (traffic) in a month. You received 30 phone calls from the website, and 10 appointment requests through the website. Your conversion rate would be 40 conversion activities divided into 400 visits for a conversion rate of 10 percent. If you monitor this rate over time you’ll be able to understand how your website is actually performing as a marketing tool. Ideally, we like to see websites converting at a rate of at least 10 percent.
In your experience can this really make a difference for a practice’s marketing ROI (return on investment)?
Yes, absolutely. This is where it gets interesting. When you can improve items on your website that improve your website conversion rate even a small improvement can result in tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in additional revenue.
An average website may generate 500 visits per month with an average conversion rate of around 10 percent. If you can implement strategies to improve your conversion rate and it improves to 12 percent, consider the impact. This slight two percent improvement equates to 10 additional new patients leads per month or 120 per year. If you can convert even 25 percent of these new patient leads you’ve now generated an extra 30 patients per year. How much is that worth?
The good news is most of the items that improve website conversion rate do not involve ongoing costs, but rather specific expertise and industry experience to properly design and construct the website.
If you have questions about your dental practice’s website, social media or online marketing you may contact WEO Media at 888-246-6906 or email@example.com for a consultation to learn more about the latest industry trends and strategies. The consultation is free if you identify yourself as a reader of this publication.