Marketing Strategies to Maximize New Patient Acquisition

by Sara Vicioso   |   Jun 06, 2024   |   Clock Icon 9 min read
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Digital marketing is valuable in healthcare for patient acquisition, but it's crucial to know if your efforts are paying off.

Without data and analytics, you're navigating in the dark, unsure if your strategies resonate with potential patients. This uncertainty can lead to wasted resources and money.

Using data strategically can help you make informed decisions, tailor your approach, and ensure that every dollar spent drives patient acquisition and growth.

Discover which metrics to track to measure your healthcare marketing campaigns and adjust your approach for maximum effectiveness.

Key Metrics for Tracking Patient Acquisition

Understanding what you can and should track is the first step, but partnering with a team of experts is crucial to setting up tracking and accurately interpret the data.

This ensures that your marketing efforts effectively align with your business goals and patient needs.

Website Traffic for Patient Acquisition

Driving traffic to your healthcare website helps to build brand awareness, inform users about your services and staff, and drive leads.

Understanding where your traffic comes from, such as search engines, social media, direct visits, or referral sites, can help you glean insights about your audience and adjust your marketing efforts.

You can track traffic sources (channels) in Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

  • Organic. Organic traffic is the number of visitors to your site from unpaid sources, such as Google and other search engines. Your organic traffic performance depends on the effectiveness of your content strategy and search engine optimization (SEO). An increase in organic traffic means your content resonates with your target audience, and your website ranks well in search engines for your high-priority keywords. Mastering SEO for healthcare can help you maximize organic traffic to your site.

  • Direct. Direct traffic measures the number of people who visit your site by typing your URL directly into a search engine, clicking on a link in an email, or using a bookmark. Keep in mind that traffic from unknown sources can also be tracked as direct traffic in Google Analytics.

  • Paid Search. Paid search measures traffic to your site from your paid media campaigns. For example, if you're running Google Ads for your healthcare services and someone clicks on your ad in search results, this would be tracked as paid search traffic in GA4.

  • Referral. Tracking referral traffic gives you an understanding of people who visit your site by clicking a link on an external source, such as another website or social network. Building backlinks to your site or sharing your content on social media can help you increase your referral traffic.

  • Organic Social.Organic social tracks visitors who visit your site by clicking on links on social media platforms. Tracking this can help you understand if your followers engage with your content on various platforms like Facebook, X, and LinkedIn.

  • Paid Social. If you're running ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social media platform, you'll see that traffic in this channel. This includes sponsored posts, ads, and promoted/boosted content.

Key Web Traffic Metrics

Here is a high-level overview of metrics you can track in GA4.

  • Sessions. In Google Analytics, sessions are a user's actions on your website in a single visit. A session starts when a user lands on your site and ends when they leave or have been inactive for 30 minutes or more.

  • Users. The number of people who visited your website in a selected date range.
    • New users. People who have never been to your site before in your selected date range.

    • Returning users. People who have visited your site before in the specified date range.

  • Bounce Rate. This measures the number of people who come to your site and then "bounce" or exit after viewing only one page. This could mean they didn't find the information they were looking for or didn't find your site engaging. You can improve bounce rates by creating high-quality content that meets a user's intent or fixing technical aspects like navigation or page load time.

  • Conversion Rate: The number of people who take a desired action on your site, such as submitting a contact form. A higher conversion rate is ideal since more website visitors contact you or book a consultation.

You can view traffic by source or medium and compare performance for different traffic types, such as organic vs. paid.

Read more: Your 60-Second Guide to Getting Started With GA4

Keyword Rankings for Patient Acquisition

Tracking your keyword rankings can help you understand your site's visibility in search engines and see which keywords drive traffic to your site.

Keyword tools also let you track how your site ranks compared to competitors. Your keyword performance can help you refine your SEO and content strategy to optimize for the most important keywords for your healthcare practice.

Tracking Paid Campaign Performance for Patient Acquisition

Beyond website traffic, tracking your paid campaigns can help you measure the return on investments (ROI), adjust your budget based on which channels and ads are most effective, and use data to improve your strategy.

While you can access paid data in GA4, you can get a more granular view in Google Ads.

Paid Metrics to Track

  • Clicks. This measures the number of people who click on your paid ads.

  • Impressions. The number of times your ads are shown in search results.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR). The number of people who click on your ad after they see it. A higher CTR means your ad is relevant and engaging for your audience.

  • Cost Per Click (CPC). This is how much you're paying for a click on your ad.

  • Conversion Rate. Conversion rate measures how many people take a desired action after clicking on your ad.

  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). The cost of acquiring a customer from your ad.

  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). The revenue generated for every dollar you spend on advertising.

Paid Social Performance for Patient Acquisition

Beyond the data in GA4, you can see the performance of your paid social efforts by using tracking on specific platforms, like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook Ads Manager allows you to track performance metrics, including impressions, clicks, CTR, and cost per result.

LinkedIn Campaign Manager

With LinkedIn Campaign Manager, you can track performance data like impressions, clicks, CTR, leads, conversions, and cost per click. You can also use the audience insights feature to learn who interacts with your ads and key attributes like job title, company size, and more.

Using Existing Patient Data for New Patient Acquisition

Understanding demographics for current and prospective patients can provide insights to help you create targeted campaigns for specific groups.

Tracking patient demographics helps you tailor your marketing strategies to address patient needs or preferences, allocate your resources more efficiently to reach your target audience, improve your ROI, and help you maximize your marketing budget.

Because of HIPAA regulations, you cannot use personal health information (PHI) in your marketing campaigns, but you can use general demographic data to inform your strategies.

  • Age. People have different healthcare needs and preferences depending on their age. When you understand your target audience's age, you can tailor your marketing to resonate with these groups.

  • Gender. Campaigns for women's health services will differ from those focusing on men's health.

  • Location. Where is your audience located? Geographic location can influence healthcare access and preferences.

Tools for Tracking Patient Data

There are several tools to help you collect and analyze patient data, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, patient surveys, Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems, and more.

Always ensure you follow HIPAA's best practices for collecting and using data.

Patient Call Tracking

Online marketing strategies are powerful tools to drive patient acquisition. However, many people still prefer to call medical offices to book appointments, ask questions, or talk to a healthcare professional. Using call tracking services can help you make the most of these phone calls and understand how patients find your healthcare services.

Workshop Digital offers call tracking through CallRail.

With patient call tracking, you can:

  • Understand how callers discover your healthcare business and which channels drive the most leads. For example, did they find you on Google or learn about your services via Facebook?

  • Adjust your marketing campaigns and budget based on patient phone calls.

  • Analyze your calls—to understand patient preferences and needs.

  • Understand trends and find opportunities by analyzing the keywords patients use on calls.

Call tracking can help you connect call data to understand which callers become patients, determine which campaigns and marketing channels drive traffic to your website, and analyze data to understand patients' needs.

Patient Reviews and Feedback

Want to know what your patients think of your services or your business? Go straight to the source.

Patient feedback and reviews give you valuable patient experience insights that can help you understand where you excel and identify opportunities for improvement. Monitoring reviews and feedback helps you maintain a positive reputation. Feedback can reveal recurring issues that need addressing, helping to enhance patient satisfaction and retention.

Tools for Tracking Patient Reviews:

  • Review Management Platforms. You can use tools like Birdeye, Podium, and to aggregate reviews and track trends.

  • Google Alerts. Set up Google Alerts for your healthcare practice to notify you of new reviews and mentions.

  • Social Media Monitoring Tools. Platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social help monitor patient feedback on social media channels.

Maximize Your Patient Acquisition With Analytics

Tracking and analyzing your marketing efforts helps you make data-driven decisions to improve your campaigns, boost your ROI, and optimize your budget. Monitoring key metrics enables you to understand what resonates with your audience, adjust your messaging, and use your resources more effectively to acquire new patients and enhance patient loyalty and satisfaction.

Need help getting started? Workshop Digital offers advanced analytics and call tracking services to help you collect and analyze your data to make the most of your healthcare marketing strategies. Workshop Digital partners with Freshpaint to ensure HIPAA-compliant analytics solutions. Contact us to learn more.

Portrait of Sara Vicioso

Sara Vicioso

Sara brings over 10 years of experience in the digital marketing space, having spent a large portion of her career focused on Paid Media strategy for her clients. However, paid media wasn't enough. Sara is passionate about audience-first marketing strategies, finding customers where they are regardless of channel (which may be heavily driven by her background in Sociology) which led to the desire to build multichannel marketing strategies for her clients.

She brings a wealth of knowledge in industries such as manufacturing, industrial, SaaS, healthcare, education, e-commerce, & more.

Originally from San Diego, California, Sara found her new home in Austin, Texas, a city that captured her heart with its BBQ scene, country music, paddleboarding scene, and welcoming community. Outside the office, Sara is a DIY enthusiast, a lover of dogs (particularly her shih-tzu, Peanut), and will never turn away from the next travel adventure.