A Blog for Dentists & Other Healthcare Professionals

Conversion Optimization 101: How To Convert Passive Visitors Into New Patients

Let’s begin with a question- what’s the most important thing your website needs that can help you take your dental practice to next level?

Some people may say it is traffic, and for them, traffic is what makes a successful website.

On the surface, this might seem true. However, the problem is, that every visitor is likely to be your patient. So in order to grow your dental practice, you’ll need to attract a lot of targeted traffic (potential patients) to your website.

For example, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you’re attracting from Africa if you’re a dentist who practices in New York. In this context, targeted traffic is someone who is looking to find a dentist in New York.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about targeted traffic, and how to convert that traffic into new patients.

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Know your audience

As you are reading this, it’s likely that you have a website that gets traffic now. So before going any further, you’ll want to look to see who your current website visitors are.

If you’ve already implemented Google Analytics on your website, this task will be much easier.

The beauty of Google Analytics is that it provides a lot of insights about the visitors to your website. It can tell you about your visitors’ demographics, interests, engagement level, and location details just to start.

Let’s see in detail about some of the important metrics and why knowing each metric is so important for you.

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  • Demographics and interests: In Google Analytics, demographics and interests data provide information about the age and gender of your site visitors, along with the interests they express in their online activities.
  • Behavior: The Behavior report in Google Analytics help you assess how visitors interact with the content of your website and the actions they take.
  • Geo: This data tells you where your site visitors are located at while browsing your website.

Analyzing these metrics on Google Analytics will help you create a user persona, which is imperative for you to have in order to truly ‘speak’ to your visitors once they land on your site.

Converting passive visitors into new patients

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Needless to say, targeted traffic is the most important asset of any website. That said, even if you get targeted traffic, you won't be turning these visitors into new patients unless your website is converting (compelling people to take some sort of action and getting them to contact you for an appointment).

So really, the success you have online comes down to how well your website is able to get targeted traffic and convert that traffic into new patients.

In fact, having a visitor schedule an appointment isn’t always easy. Think about it, you want to make it as simple as possible for them to schedule an appointment right?

Well, let’s consider what happens, and what their experience is:

Step #1: Visitors land on your website.

Step #2: They look around your website for the Appointment button, maybe they find it right away, most likely not. Good news though, they saw a newsletter you have, so they signed up for it. (Great job-email marketing is an awesome way to build relationships with your patients)

Step #3: After viewing your website, watching your videos, checking out your blog, they decide to set an appointment.

These steps are normally known as the sales funnel.

The sales funnel explained

You know how a funnel looks like. It is usually wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. That’s true for sales funnel as well.

In a sales funnel many people drop off at each step the sales process. That is, only small percentage of your website visitors who are in step 1 are likely to schedule an appointment, which is at the bottom most step of the funnel.

Let’s talk about the first step. This is the top most step of any sales funnel. At this step you have lots of visitors to your website (hopefully). They came to your website because they think that you may have a solution for their problem.

But really, they are just visitors. Chances are, even if they are looking for a dentist they won’t contact you. That’s just how it works. Most won’t contact you and most won’t ever come back. So, it’s really important that you stand out from the rest of the dental websites they look at and that you get their information (email, usually) so you can begin to build a relationship with them through email marketing.

You can do this by encouraging them to opt-in to your newsletter so that they are more likely to return to your website more often and so that you stay top of mind. It also allows you to slowly but surely build trust in their eyes.

Once you’ve done enough of this, and they have the need, then the chances of them booking an appointment with you go up exponentially.

Step #1: Acquiring targeted traffic

As mentioned earlier, targeted traffic is the lifeblood of your dental website. There are a lot of ways to generate targeted traffic. Some of them are below.

SEO

When it comes to SEO for dentists, it’s common that a lot of practice owners have misconceptions on what it really is and what is involved in it.

SEO is not just about bringing traffic.

Then, what SEO is all about?

Technically, SEO is all about helping search engines to easily access, crawl and index your website. By optimizing your website for search engines, you are making sure that search engines can easily access your website.

So if you are looking to build traffic, apart from focusing on SEO, you’ll want to look at optimizing your local listings, and using social media, etc.

Learn more about SEO tactics from our blog post 15 dental SEO techniques to grow your practice to next level.

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Content Marketing

Content marketing isn’t just about publishing regular blog posts.

It also includes creating Infographics, SlideShare presentations, YouTube videos, etc.

The best thing about content marketing is that it can attract both referral traffic as well as organic traffic at the same time.

Here are some ways you can use content marketing to attract targeted traffic to your website.

Publish quality blog posts frequently and consistently: Frequency and consistency are quite possibly the most important aspects of content marketing. If you used to publish a post weekly, no matter what, make sure to be consistent and stick to your publishing schedule.

Guest post on popular dental blogs: Guest posts are important not only because it can help you obtain nice backlinks, but it can also help you build a personal brand in the dental industry.

Focus on long tail keywords: Long tail keywords are 3-4 keyword phrases that are very specific about the services you offer. Here are some examples of long tail keywords for dental implants.

  • Dental implants surgery in NY
  • Affordable dental implants in NY

If your potential patient searches with very specific search phrases like above, then it shows that he has very clear idea about what he’s looking for. So chances are high that those searches are more likely to convert into a new patient.

PPC advertising

Pay per click advertising is one of the quickest way to bring targeted traffic to your website. As an advertiser, you’ll typically pay each time somebody clicks on your ad. One of the most popular forms of PPC is Google Adwords.

Pros of PPC:

  1. Great way to bring targeted traffic.
  2. Results are measurable and you can track ROI as well.

Cons of PPC:

  1. Unlike SEO, PPC traffic is not organically driven so you pay for every visitor.
  2. Organic traffic can exist for a long period where as PPC traffic flow ends immediately after stopping the campaign.
  3. Your PPC campaign is only good on the website that you are advertising on, whereas an SEO campaign, if done properly, puts your website on numerous sites, making you more likely to be found, spreading your reach

That said, check out why I feel that PPC is perhaps one of the most effective strategies you can use to generate new patients. Click to Watch Video

Step 2: Create relationship with visitors by building email lists

You probably use the Internet every day. But, in all likelihood, you probably don’t recall all the websites you visit, or even your favorite ones.

No matter how good the content of your website, most visitors won’t ever come back.

Returning visits are really important because not every prospect will be ready to take an action on your website the first time they visit it. Why?

sales-funnel

They may be rushed for time.

They may need to do more research.

They may need more convincing.

They may not have the money.

Their insurance may be changing.

They may be changing jobs.

They may be in the middle of a move.

That’s why it’s so important that you get people to come back to your website, if a visitor comes back, the likelihood that you’ll convert them (get an appointment) will be way higher!

Building an email list is the best way to start that relationship and bond with your website visitors.

Here are some reasons why creating an email list is so important for your dental website:

  • Your email subscribers belong to you.

Passive website visitors were just happened to be at your website. They came once, and chances are there that they never return. So they don’t belong to you. On the other hand, your email list belongs to you. They subscribed to your newsletter because they want to hear from you.

  • Email subscribers are more likely to become your patients

Who do you think is more likely to become a patient? Somebody who visits your site once and then exits? Or somebody that visits your site, signs up for blog updates AND THEN exits?

Duh! The person who consciously choose to sign up for blog updates.

Step 3: Persuade visitors to schedule an appointment

What dentist doesn’t want more consultation? More new patient appointments? Assuming they are the right kind (you know, the ones they have defined in their persona), then every dentist wants them.

So needless to say, this step should be the ultimate goal of your online marketing strategy.

Let’s discuss a few ways you can persuade your website visitors to book an appointment with you:

  • Create a landing page for a specific service: Say for example, you want more dental implant patients. Go ahead and create a landing page that has one main purpose- to get an appointment for a dental implant consultation. Make the call to action button prominent and try to avoid any clutter like external links such as social media links, links to blog posts, etc. Wanna see what a landing page looks like, here’s an example of one: (You can also click on the image below to go directly to that page and see it in person)
  • Publish case studies and testimonials: Case studies and testimonials are social proof of your services. How can a dentist create case studies and testimonials? By having a ‘Smile Gallery’ on his website showing his awesome work. It helps your future patients to know what to expect and to see the great work you do. In addition, consider emailing case studies to your subscribers which can further convince your subscribers to give you a call for an appointment.

Tracking and optimizing conversion rate

“Without data, you’re just another person with opinion.”

- W. Edwards Deming

An effective online marketing for dentists strategy tracks and optimizes the different components of your marketing campaign.

Yes, tracking it takes time.

Tracking it costs money.

Tracking it will most likely cost you more when you hire an expert.

But, if you aren’t tracking your online marketing performance and results, you are not taking full advantage of the potential of it.

Dare I say, you are throwing money out the window by not testing, and optimizing your campaign.

How do you test it?

You can start with Google Analytics

It is probably the best of the free analytics programs that allows you to track, test and optimize your marketing goals of your website for better conversion rate.

There are many other ways to use Google Analytics. Some of them are…

Tracking conversion rate: Before tracking conversion, make sure you have a clear sales funnel for your website. Once you have the sales funnel set up, you can track

  • Email signup conversion rate
  • Appointment booking conversion rate

Event tracking: In addition to tracking signup rates, you can even track various events like

  • Clicks and downloads
  • Video engagement: who clicks on a video, and watches it

Conversion and event can be tracked by creating goals in Analytics. Here is the official guide to create goals for event based and conversion based tracking.

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There you have it. We went through a sales funnel, the three different components of it, as well as how you can get traffic to your website so you can actually get people in your sales funnel.

So, do you have sales funnel strategy? What are your favorite conversion optimization tactics for your website? Let us know your thoughts in comment section below.

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About the Author

Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenues goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and a passionate bodybuilder.

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