Patients often experience your practice online long before contacting the business, so are you prepared? How can you turn each potential touch point into positive action that leads back to your business? In optimizing web traffic on your site, what are key ways to get more results without spending more money? Learn how to get a bigger bang for your buck with conversion rate optimization.
Dad: “My kid’s reeling ’em in at her lemonade stand. Boom!”
Neighbor: “Cool, but what’s her conversion rate?”
Smart neighbor. Traffic’s good — but turning that traffic into paying customers? Priceless. It’s especially important for websites, where scoring thousands of unique hits per month doesn’t mean much if your traffic isn’t converting into leads, appointments, or sales.
Enter conversion rate optimization, or CRO, the science of making sure the majority of your website’s monthly traffic turns into valuable action for your business. In essence, CRO involves continually improving a website’s or landing page’s ability to convert visitors into leads or customers.
It’s all about goals, discipline, data, and a little patience, starting with some core steps:
- Identifying goals
- Collecting information relevant to those goals
- Evaluating the data
- Implementing action — A/B testing, for example
- Evaluating and repeating the steps
Making It Count
“In a nutshell, conversion rate optimization is ensuring all the traffic on your website is converted to its fullest potential,” said media director and marketing expert Meghan Kelly.
That’s a big deal, because marketing requires multiple steps to build a client relationship, and each of those steps costs money. Conversion rate optimization ideally allows you to focus on more effective results within the budget under which you’re already operating.
“Your website’s going to receive a certain amount of traffic in a given month, and we want to make sure the majority of it takes action that’s valuable to the business,” said Kelly. “It might be watching a video, filling out a form and contacting the practice for an appointment, or the ultimate: calling and requesting an immediate appointment.”
It comes down to directing traffic to your website and persuading those visitors to make a specific move.
Sticking to Goals
Maximizing traffic starts with understanding your target audience, getting an analytics-based look at their online behaviors, deciding what you want the audience to do, and creating a user experience that supports your goals.
“Goal setting is more critical than anything else,” says Daniel Parscale Audigy’s conversion rate optimization specialist. “You can spend all your time collecting data, but you need to figure out the goal, whether it’s form submission, phone calls, video play, or another metric.”
Audigy’s marketing experts help members identify their goals by determining what success looks like. Tying promotional strategies and tactics back to those analytics-supported goals helps ensure a relevant user experience optimized to reach the prize.
“We’re always looking to improve the user experience on a website or landing page, so when someone comes in from a paid-search campaign or a specific ad, they’re finding the exact information they were looking for,” says Eric Brende, senior digital marketing strategist at Audigy.
That’s important, because inconsistent marketing — which is pretty common across industries — can confuse consumers and reduce trust, ultimately dragging down the conversion rate.
Audigy’s experts help members ensure consistency across their marketing platforms. “If there’s an ad offering a 75-day trial on hearing aids, for example, we’re going to make sure the associated landing page reflects that offer,” adds Brende. “We’re carrying that great, consistent user experience forward to generate those phone calls, form submissions, or key metrics that we’re seeking when people come to the website.”
Finding the Holes
If web traffic is like water in a plumbing system, then conversion rate optimization is about finding and sealing the leaks and holes where websites are losing visitors.
“With Google Analytics and all of our data tracking, we’re looking at how people interact with the website or landing page and how they got there,” says Brende. “Are they on a mobile device? How do they move through the site? Are there pages they exit without converting? We can find out with conversion tracking, and that’s essentially what CRO is about.”
Audigy marketing experts are working to track conversions on an even more granular level by implementing Google Tag Manager, allowing them to track not only macro conversions such as phone calls and form submissions but micro actions such as downloading PDF forms, clicking buttons, or scrolling down a webpage.
“All these micro conversions lead to the macro conversion,” says Brende. “Those are the steps that people take. We’re not just trying to figure out how people made that phone call; it’s all those previous steps that finally created that phone call or that form submission to contact the practice.”
- Marketing helps you find potential clients. Conversion rate optimization helps you discover the people you have the best chance of converting.
- Google Analytics and other tools can provide helpful data but not the deeper insights that asking patients questions can yield. Information such as the reasons patients love a practice and the common questions front office staff receive from patients and prospects are valuable details that quantitative data can’t provide.
- CRO is an ongoing process comprising successes and lessons. Not all hypotheses prove correct, but all are learning opportunities.