Every healthcare organization has a shared objective — driving patient growth. The mission to attract new patients often sends us diving deep into a world of marketing metrics, from web visits to clicks and impressions. But are these metrics accurate measures of success? Do they truly bring new patients into your practice?
Some data points may seem impressive on paper but hold little real value in healthcare marketing and driving patient conversions. They include measures like website visits, impressions, social media likes, and shares, among others. You might be tempted to view these figures as indicators of success. After all, it’s very rewarding to watch as they rise. However, as critical as they may be in other industries, in healthcare marketing – they are often misleading and don’t necessarily translate to real, quantifiable growth.
On the other hand, tracking patient conversions provides a more accurate and valuable insight into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. This involves not just counting the number of visitors to your website or followers on your social media platforms, but more importantly, tracking the number of these visitors who take a meaningful action that brings them a step closer to becoming patients.
Conversion metrics provide a more substantial measure of your marketing success. They help you understand how well your marketing strategies are working in attracting and converting potential patients. It’s no longer about the vanity metrics that look good on paper, but about the numbers that signal actual growth and success for your practice.
Of course, as with any tracking, it’s not just about monitoring the numbers but understanding what they mean and how they can inform your healthcare marketing strategy. In addition to recognizing the importance of tracking patient conversions, using the insights you get to make informed decisions that genuinely contribute to your practice’s growth is what’s important.
Deceptive Nature of Vanity Metrics
Imagine running a marathon without knowing the distance. You’re running, and you’re running well. But without understanding the real goal — completing the 26.2 miles — you’re essentially just running without a finish line. This is what happens when you focus only on vanity metrics in your healthcare marketing strategy.
They’re appealing because they’re straightforward to measure and track. A rising graph of website visits, growing social media followers, or an increasing number of likes can offer a certain kind of validation. It feels good to see those numbers rise and even better to present them in marketing meetings. But the real question is, are these metrics helping you reach your ultimate goal — growing your patient base?
While vanity metrics are not entirely useless, they only show the surface of what’s happening. For example, a high number of website visits can indicate that your SEO efforts are working, but it says little about the quality of those visits. Are these visitors potential patients? Are they engaging with your content or services? Are they taking any actions that bring them closer to becoming patients?
These are some of the critical questions that are left unanswered. So, while these numbers may make you feel like you’re running a successful race, without a clear view of your patient conversions, you may end up running aimlessly.
The Reality Check – Tracking Patient Conversions
Patient conversion metrics, on the other hand, provide a clear view of the finish line. They show how many of your website visitors or social media followers are taking actions that bring them closer to becoming patients. By focusing on these metrics, you can identify what’s working and what’s not in your marketing strategies.
Unlike vanity metrics, these substantial measures offer actionable insights that can drive real growth. For example, with Patient Acquisition Cost (PAC), you can evaluate the efficiency of your marketing channels, making sure you’re spending wisely to attract new patients. Patient Lifetime Value (LPV) enables you to understand the long-term value of each patient, guiding your marketing and retention strategies for sustained engagement. Metrics such as these, in addition to Return on Investment (ROI), Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), and conversion rate, help you not just spend but earn valuable returns from your marketing investments.
The first step in tracking patient conversions successfully is proper segmentation: you want to define all patient conversion channels, so you can track the exact PAC (patient acquisition cost) for each channel. This will help you allocate your marketing budget more efficiently.
Next, you need HIPAA-compliant tools to track conversions. While tools like Google Analytics offer detailed tracking capabilities, they may not comply with HIPAA regulations, a governing pillar of data privacy in healthcare. However, with the right healthcare marketing platform, you can define, track, and measure goals that align with your conversion objectives. These tools provide insights into how many visitors are taking the desired actions, their sources, and the marketing strategies leading to these actions, all while ensuring your patient data remains secure and confidential.
Your potential patients’ journey is another important component of tracking patient conversions. This involves identifying the different stages they go through before becoming patients, from awareness and consideration to decision and action. To pinpoint which specific marketing touchpoints or strategies have the most influence at each stage, you can use marketing attribution. The insights you get this way allow you to determine where to invest your efforts for the most impactful patient engagement and conversion.
Finally, tracking patient conversions isn’t a one-time task. It’s an ongoing process that involves monitoring your conversion metrics, analyzing what they mean, and adjusting your marketing strategies based on your insights.
The Authentic Measure of Success
Navigating the ever-changing landscape of healthcare marketing demands more than mere surface-level engagement. The true benchmark of your practice’s growth isn’t based on increasing website visits or social media followers, it lies in transforming different touchpoints into genuine patient relationships. Concentrating on tracking patient conversions, you pave the way for tangible achievements that reflect not just numbers, but the quality and success of your patient care.
At the same time, it can be challenging to identify which metrics bring real value and which simply appear important. To effectively track and improve your patient conversions, you can rely on SocialClimb. Our healthcare marketing platform is specifically designed to provide robust, comprehensive tools for sophisticated patient conversion tracking, enabling you to define conversion goals, monitor user journeys, and analyze conversion metrics.
With SocialClimb, you can easily understand which of your marketing strategies are most effective, and identify which channels and campaigns are driving the most conversions. This insight can guide future marketing investments toward the strategies that work best, enabling more effective and efficient use of marketing resources. Moreover, our platform offers analytics and reporting features that help you understand your conversion metrics in depth. Analyzing patterns and trends over time helps you identify strengths to maximize as well as weaknesses to improve.
In the end, remember that in healthcare marketing, the real finish line is converting those visitors and followers into actual patients. So, ask yourself, am I tracking patient conversions or merely following the symptoms of success? With SocialClimb, you can ensure it’s the former, setting your practice up for significant, tangible growth.