How to Know What Types of Content That Drives New Patient Traffic
It may surprise you to know that at least eight of every 10 pieces of content that Dentists (or staff), Practice Management Companies, Dental Marketing Experts and Dentist Website Vendors post on your blog and/or on social media is not content that drives new patient traffic and is lifeless (i.e., “not effective”) when it comes to attracting qualified new patient prospects to your website and ultimately into your practice.
As the CEO and Co-Founder of Dental Marketing University (DMU); DMU iLab and DMU eXecute I can tell you without hesitation that Growth Hacking Your Dental Marketing requires that you first consider that the goal of any content marketing campaign is to create content that drives new patient traffic to your website. One of the best tools to help you consistently create winning campaigns is the dental marketing checklist from Dental Marketing University (100% Free Download).
Approximately 91.7% of the content on Dentist Websites is never evaluated for performance as the typical content marketing strategy being employed by the majority of Dentists is to simply dump garbage content (i.e. “boring”, “irrelevant”, “useless”, “poorly written”, “low-quality”, “brochure-like”) onto their websites and into social media without regard and/or consideration for what the people they’re trying to attract as new patients WANT to read!
If you’re reading this then there’s a better than average chance that your goal is to create content that drives new patient traffic to your site and you want (or already) know how well do your pieces of content are performing.
NEWS FLASH: It’s possible to create content that drives new patient traffic by measuring your content's performance (obtain data – i.e. “analytics”) then leverage those analytics to measure, improve content performance, and create content that drives MORE and HIGHER QUALITY new patient prospects to your website and ultimately into your office.
As I mentioned previously most Dentists do not work hard to create content that drives new patient traffic nor do they measure how their content is performing. As the web gets ever more competitive and it gets harder to attract (and keep) quality new patients into your practice a growing more and more Dentists are starting to pay attention.
It’s fair to say that most of the Dentists who actually do measure content performance (as well as the majority of Dental marketers) only look at general, site-level trending graphs to see how content performs. This single measurement approach is not only misleading, but it will not work if you’re serious about improving content performance.
If you want your content marketing strategy to perform at a higher, more effective-level than your competitors you’ll have to start thinking about content performance with a decent level of granularity and precision.
Defining content performance
To leverage data and achieve superior content performance, you must articulate what a “high-performing” piece of content is from an analytics perspective. First, define what you want the content to do, such as:
- Drive qualified traffic to your website and into your practice (measured in terms of page views, unique visitors, new patient appointments, etc.)
- Drive strong engagement (measured in terms of conversions, social actions, etc.)
- Reach a defined audience (i.e., “targeting the ideal new patient prospect niche(s) you want in your practice as new patients)
- Achieve its performance goals via sustainable traffic to your dentist website – a combination of organic (search engine), direct, social traffic, etc.
- Generate traffic (to your site and into your office – two distinct and separate measurements) within a certain time frame
For example, a Dentist promoting cosmetic dentistry creates a steady stream of high-quality content hosted his website because he wants the content to drive new and existing patients to its site, and convert those visitors into scheduled appointments. He creates robust, compelling, evergreen and interesting content which explains his services, educates his audience, uses social proof (patient video testimonials) and drives sustainable traffic over a long period.
Knowing what defines success in explicit terms, with the specific metrics that matter to you,
is the first step in preparing yourself to further leverage data in content creation.
By identifying and reviewing these profiles, we now know high-performing content for this Cosmetic Dentist can generate twenty-plus new patients and referrals in its first month and thirty-plus new patients and referrals a month by the end of the 2nd quarter, then sustain that level of traffic generation.
Low-performing content can’t break 10 new patient and referral appointments over 12 months. Understanding your content-performance thresholds puts you on track to leverage data and gain insights.
Evaluate your content performance
Once you understand your analytical definition of high- and low-performing content, you can apply these thresholds to each piece of content. This will give you a great overview and baseline. As I mentioned above, it has been my (and my colleagues’) experience that there is far more low-performing content than Dentists are willing to acknowledge publicly.
Getting A Fast Start – Even if You’re NOT A Data Geek
First, list all the content you have created in the last six months with traffic data (organic referrals and total page views) for each item. Then, separate the content into performance categories based on a traffic-specific metric. (Organic traffic is a good one to start with, but you can use any metric that works for you.)
Now that you have a solid baseline on how your content performs, you can pilot data-driven techniques, measure against this baseline, and assess the impact with precision and confidence.
While this approach might seem different, it really isn’t that hard to do. Here is guidance to put content-specific performance evaluation approaches into practice:
- Access data: Collect the URLs for each new piece of content you upload anywhere on the web. Use your web analytics for each URL to find the appropriate monthly metrics (page views, visits, search traffic, etc.) Note: While getting the data isn’t a herculean task, it’s typically not as simple as hitting a button. For example, in Google Analytics, go to the screen that lists traffic data by URL, and download (via the “export” feature) the requisite data to a spreadsheet that can be can be easily sorted, categorized, and analyzed.
- If you are unfamiliar with this data or system, you can work with the person who set up your analytics software and you should be able to accomplish these steps without too much trouble. If you haven’t set up your analytics tools as of you then you may want to consider yourself (or your staff) for attendance in Dental Marketing University™.
Dental Marketing University™ will prepare, equip (and for those who are serious about possessing the highest-level of skill possible) certify attendees to not only be able to manage your content marketing strategy (masterfully), but every aspect involved with creating sustainable growth in your practice.
You can register and attend Dental Marketing University™ Module #1: Social Media Marketing Success – Absolutely FREE ($297 value – no credit card required) now through May 15, 2015. Most of our Clients and Members either attend themselves and/or send 1 to 2 employees through the (online) training. Once the training is completed many of our Clients find that they have completely eliminated the need to continue paying (huge sums of their hard-earned money) to Dental Marketing Experts and/or Practice Management Companies (food for thought).
- Be fluent: Review the data and understand what it means, especially because definitions can change. Review the baseline data and reports weekly and monthly. By reviewing it regularly, you will become more comfortable with it. You will start to internalize the data, seeing trends and patterns that make sense to you.
- Share with your Employees: Creating great content and web traffic is a team sport. Share your content-specific analysis with your team members. Show them how their content is doing (they are producing and posting content, aren’t they?) Share with them the insights and observations you have picked up. As your team becomes more comfortable with the analytics and insight, it gets that much closer to making data a regular part of how you develop content.
Don’t forget the why
Part of avoiding the Big Data hype is understanding how to leverage data without letting it overtake the content-creation process. You need to avoid losing sight of why you create content in the first place.
Want more instruction on how to manage today’s biggest content marketing challenges? Register for the Dental Marketing University™ Online Training and Certification program - FREE Module #1: Social Media Marketing Success. Access over 15 courses, taught by experts from around the world and take back the control (and profitability) of your practice.