You may or may not be familiar with the term “removing friction”. 

User experience (UX) designers are obsessed with friction removal. When you experience a smooth online store checkout, or you’re able to navigate an app without a tutorial, you’ve interacted with thoughtful UX design.

But you don’t need to be a UX designer or web developer to improve your online experience for patients.  

For dental practices and healthcare providers, friction removal means making it easy for patients to book an appointment on your website. That’s it.

Nearly 3 out of 4 patients book appointments during off-hours, and the process should be smooth sailing.  

If you’re running ads on Google or Facebook, you should be especially obsessed with website optimization: the last thing you want is to spend money on a click only to have that person drop off because they couldn’t find a way to book an appointment.  

Keep reading to find out how to optimize your website for online bookings without technical expertise.

 

You can’t improve what you don’t measure: Basic metrics.

Before you start optimizing your website, it’s critical to understand how to measure success and failure. Here’s a list of basic performance metrics to monitor when you’re improving your website: 

Return on investment (ROI): how much money you make from one patient versus the amount you spent to acquire them.

Lead: someone who could become a patient. They’ve expressed interest in booking an appointment through clicking on an ad, browsing your website, calling your clinic, etc. 

Cost per lead (CPL): the amount of money you spend to acquire one lead. When your ads are effectively driving people to your website, this number should go down. 

Cost per acquisition (CPA): the amount of money you spend to acquire each new patient. When your website is optimized, this number should go down. 

Conversion rate: the percentage of leads who become patients. When your website is optimized, you should see an increase in this number.  

 

Here’s a simplified way to know if your website optimization is working:

Let’s say you acquired 200 new leads last month, and 20 of them are now patients. You know your conversion rate for that month is 10%. 

You also know that you spent $2,000 on marketing that same month. That means you paid $10 for every lead (CPL) and $100 for every new patient (CPA). 

So that’s your baseline. Then you optimize your website, and you check your results the following month. 

The next month you’ve spent the same amount of money on marketing and achieved similar lead results. But your conversion rate for appointments is now 13% instead of 10%––meaning your CPA has decreased to $77. That’s how you know your website optimization efforts have worked.

Conversion Rate Formula: 

(Number of visitors ÷number of conversions) * 100% =  Conversion Rate

 

How to use NexHealth’s Google Tag Manager integration to improve website conversion

First, some basics:

Google Analytics (GA) is a free tool that allows you to track your website’s  performance. Through GA, you can track the number of website visitors, where they came from, how long they spent on your site, the pages they visited, etc. 

Google Tag Manager (GTM) is a complementary website tool to GA that allows you to track your website’s behavior using “tags.” Information from GTM tags is sent to GA to track the performance of the tags you placed on your website.

NexHealth’s Google Tag Manager integration lets you set up and track website performance from the NexHealth dashboard, so all your analytics are kept in one place.

Here’s a step-by-step process to optimizing and monitoring your website with these tools:

Step 1: Set up the tracking pixel.

Tracking pixels give you an accurate, real-time view of what your website visitors are doing on your website. They tell you where your website traffic is coming from and what people are doing on the site once they’re there.

You can set up your website pixel within NexHealth, so you can start collecting data instantly and view it through the dashboard. 

Step 2: Set up your GTM account and insert the code on your website.

When you sign up for Google Tag Manager, you’ll need to enter your website URL:

You’ll then see a pop up with a code snippet to insert into the header of your website. Don’t be afraid! Your website content management system (CMS)––the platform you use to run your website––will be able to provide clear instructions on where to insert this code. 

Step 3: Enable all variables.

In the left-hand menu, click on “Variables > Configure.” Make sure all boxes are checked.

Step 4: Go to your website page that contains the button you want to track.

Note the URL––you’ll need it later. Then right-click on the button and click “Inspect.”

Search for “button id” and note the name of the button that is between the quotation marks. That is the name of the button you want to track. 

Step 5: Create a new trigger.

Go back to Google Tag Manager to attribute your button to a new trigger by clicking on “Triggers > New.” Name your trigger something like “Check for clicks on the ‘Book Now’ button.” Under “Choose trigger type,” click on “All Elements” and “Some Clicks.” 

Enter the URL and name of the button based on the information you gathered from your website.

Read more about understanding variables and triggers here.

Step 6: Create a new tag.

Within your GTM dashboard, click the “Add a New Tag” button.

Step 7: Configure your tag.

Give your tag a title––in your case, you’ll most likely want to measure the performance of your online booking button on your website. Name your tag based on the behavior you’re measuring, then click in the “Tag Configuration” box to choose a tag type.

Step 8: Choose a tag type.

You’ll see a list of tag types. The most common one is “Google Analytics: Classic.”

Step 9: Link your tag to Google Analytics tracking.

You’ll want your tag tracked in Google Analytics so you can see its performance in one place. Enter your Web Property ID, found in your Google Analytics account when you click on “Master View.” The number will begin with “UA.”  

Step 10: Define the event you want to track.

You’ll see a list of Event Tracking Parameters. These describe your tracking event. An example of how you will define this is:

Category: Button Clicks

Action: [name of event action – ex. Book Appointment]

Label: Page path indicator – ex. /contact

Value: Potential revenue from click – this is optional

Non-interaction: True

Step 11: Activate and use the NexHealth GTM integration. 

 

When you start to track the performance of your appointment booking button on your website, you can begin to experiment with variables that can make or break conversions, such as placement, wording, color, and more. 

You can also use heatmaps to track how far people are scrolling down a page, where their mouse hovers but doesn’t click, and various behaviors that can tell you how website visitors want your website to work. 

Remember: you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Tracking users’ behavior on your website is the first step to converting more leads into patients for your practice. 

 

Glossary of terms:

Return on investment (ROI): how much money you make from one patient versus the amount you spent to acquire them.

Lead: someone who could become a patient. They’ve expressed interest in booking an appointment through clicking on an ad, browsing your website, calling your clinic, etc. 

Cost per lead (CPL): the amount of money you spend to acquire one lead. When your ads are effectively driving people to your website, this number should go down. 

Cost per acquisition (CPA): the amount of money you spend to acquire each new patient. When your website is optimized, this number should go down. 

Conversion rate: the percentage of leads who become patients. When your website is optimized, you should see an increase in this number.

Conversion Rate Formula: (Number of visitors ÷number of conversions) * 100% 

Google Analytics (GA): a free tool that allows you to track your website’s  performance. Through GA, you can track the number of website visitors, where they came from, how long they spent on your site, the pages they visited, etc. 

Google Tag Manager (GTM): a complementary website tool to GA that allows you to track your website’s behavior using “tags.” Information from GTM tags is sent to GA to track the performance of the tags you placed on your website.

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