Making physician pages more effective is important to any healthcare system. After all, physician pages are where the action is – where people find their providers and book appointments. But how do you set a baseline for improving physician page performance? The answer is not as simple as you might think, especially if you try to compare performance of one physician page to another. Not all physician pages are created equally, and comparing performance of two pages might be like comparing apples to oranges. But healthcare systems should still try to set baselines along two dimensions: traffic and conversion.
Why? Because traffic and conversion contribute to revenue.
When SIM Partners works with healthcare clients, we usually examine organic traffic to understand how many people naturally are looking for care on your physician page. But what happens when a healthcare system doesn’t have landing pages for physicians, and is launching new pages? In those cases, we examine traffic on a client’s overall website to establish a baseline. Doing so at least gives us a proxy for establishing a baseline of how much traffic a client is getting from people seeking for care, allowing us to show traffic growth.
Metrics to use when assessing traffic include:
- Unique sessions, which is the easiest metric to follow.
- Aggregate traffic numbers such as users.
Once you establish a baseline, assessing a page’s growth rate is like grading on a curve. Let’s say Healthcare System A’s physician pages perform poorly because of some flaws in the way they are set up. Perhaps their pages are not mobile responsive or not optimized for organic search. Meanwhile, Healthcare System B’s physician pages perform well already and require just a few tweaks to improve that performance. Now let’s assume that both Healthcare System A and B both address flaws in their physician page performance. We would expect Healthcare System A would then enjoy a much stronger rate of improvement year over than Healthcare System B — because Healthcare System A had more opportunity to improve to begin with.
So when you measure a baseline of performance, look at industry benchmarks with a grain of salt. Benchmarks are useful but only if they allow you to compare your performance against other companies at the same starting block as you are.
A user coming to your website is great, but do they take an action? Do they convert? It’s important that you create benchmarks to judge how often patients convert in a way that you want. We think of conversion as one of the “next moments” of search, or the action that people take after they find your physician page after searching for and finding your page. The most common and easiest metrics are to measure are:
- Clicking to call.
- Clicking to get directions to your location.
- Appointments being booked through appointment scheduling form.
When you improve a physician page (versus launching a new one), it’s important to compare before/after conversion rates. For instance, is there a higher percentage of people taking action on improved physician page compared to people who were taking conversion previously? For instance, based on our client experience, physician pages supported by the SIM Partners Velocity Health solution convert at a 3X rate compared to pages that don’t.
Measuring traffic and conversion doesn’t require that you invest heavily into a technology tool. Google Analytics adequately measures both. What Google Analytics does not do, obviously, is manage your pages. Page management is where a solution such as the SIM Partners Velocity Health solution.
- Revenue: The Holy Grail
Measuring how much revenue your physician page generates requires sophisticated software modeling and development well beyond the scope of the tools that healthcare systems use to measure traffic and conversion. To truly understand revenue created by physician pages, you need to measure, for instance, how much revenue you enjoyed from patients who converted and showed up to their appointment. And from there, how much repeat business did the patient create? If referred to a specialist, were you able to keep them in network?
Here is where you need to invest in your own integrated system. But one thing we do know: traffic and conversions contribute to revenue. So to build a strong foundation of growth, you need to make sure your physician pages perform. And to set a baseline of performance, look at traffic and conversion. We will have a follow-up post on using paid media to complement this strategy and maximize your efforts. In the meantime, if would like more info or have questions on measuring performance, please contact us.