When Doctors Should Sweat the Small Stuff – Nurturing Patient Internet Leads (Part III)

Micro-conversionsAs we’ve discussed, Internet patient leads are different than word-of-mouth leads and they require a certain amount of nurturing. Unfortunately, even when you manage them meticulously, some won’t convert, a reality that leads many doctors to dismiss Internet marketing as a poor use of time.

It’s common for a medical practice to calculate the conversion of leads from web traffic and get paltry results like less than 1% of website visitors call them to book a consultation — and then just one in three of those actually come in!, says Tom Seery, CEO of RealSelf.com. It can be really hard to stay motivated by those kinds of results.

But just as football is a game of inches and singles translate into runs, seemingly insignificant actions on your practice website can lead to impressive results in the long run. In online marketing, they’re called micro-conversions and they provide compelling evidence that an aesthetic consumer is still considering your practice.

People don’t just come to your site to buy, notes Avinash Kaushik, digital marketing evangelist for Google. They are there to research products and services… They are looking to get support… They might be there to look at your latest blog post.

Whatever their reason, the actions they take are not only indicators of their interests but also what aspects of your practice website are working and which ones aren’t. And collectively, they provide insights from a much larger pool of visitors than the 1 or 2% that actually pick up the phone.

Among the micro-conversions worth monitoring:

  • Signing up for your newsletter
  • Downloading a white paper
  • Liking you on Facebook
  • Watching a video
  • Responding to a poll
  • Clicking on a promotional offer
  • Sharing (liking, tweeting, etc.) your content on social media sites

Tracking those actions can reveal reams of data that can, in turn, help you fine-tune your approach and, in time, improve your overall conversion rates.

Doctor Takeaways

1. Monitor more than consults and other macro-conversions

If conversions are touchdowns, micro-conversions are first downs that get you closer to your goal. With Google Analytics Conversion Suite, for example, you can customize your reporting metrics to show where your visitors are coming from, what they do on your site (watch videos, sign up for emails, etc.) and whether the path they take leads to conversion or abandonment.

2. If they drop out, go for the drip

Just because a visitor leaves your site doesn’t mean you should consider them gone for good. If you’ve captured their email, consider using a “drip marketing” program in which you provide a series of regular communications — newsletters, case studies, event invitations, etc. — in order to keep your practice top of mind when they’re ready to reconsider.

3. Celebrate and recognize the wins

Your staff should get measured and rewarded for driving micro-conversions, such as getting patients to like you on Facebook or signed up for the newsletter. As they say in business, “you get what you measure” and “incentives change behavior.”

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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