Jen Smith is 52 years old, she has a Blue Cross PPO and she is sitting in your waiting room with a partial thickness rotator cuff tear.  So, how did she get there?

Maybe the better question is, “why is she in YOUR waiting room and not another doctor’s waiting room?”

In most cases, the answer seems simple – just ask her.  Whether it be at first contact when they call the practice for an appointment or when they are filling out their new patient paperwork and you have them check off a box.  

Here is the bad news, most patients have no idea how they found you.  Invariably, any patient who has ever been to your website will say, “I found you on the internet”.  This is possibly the worst answer and most nebulous answer there is because it proves nothing.

The Problem:

For practices utilizing any form of marketing, measuring the new patient ROI on these efforts is the key to determining if the marketing effort is effective.  So let’s examine the “I found you on the internet answer” and what it means to you.

Jen found you via Google Organic Search: What phrase did she Google?  Where was she located when she searched?  Was your practice the first result or the fifth?  Was she brought to a specific page on your site or just the homepage?  How long did she spend on the site?  How many pages on the site did she view?

Jen found you via Google Pay Per Click Ad:  What was the exact phrase she Google’d?  Where was she located when she searched?  Was your practice the first result or the fifth?  How much did you pay for the click?  What was the cost per acquisition?

In over 90% of cases, the user has no idea if they are clicking an ad or an organic result.  So, the “I found you on the internet” answer is irrelevant because in the first example, acquiring Jen cost you nothing because your website had good SEO.  In the second example, it may have cost $3, $6 or $10 for Jen to click your ad and call your practice.

This can go even further and more in-depth to discuss scenarios that include Social Media Ads, print, radio and TV ads, referrals from a friend and countless other scenarios.  The point is, patient acquisition costs money and being able to track how the patient found you is the only meaningful way to measure marketing ROI.

The Solution:

Utilizing advanced new patient call and email tracking has been shown to be the most effective way to determine marketing ROI.  So, you no longer have to hope Jen knows the difference between an ad and an organic result, because her data will tell you.

Implementing a tracking and analytics system may seem complex, but it can be easier than it sounds and can help you drill down on exactly how new patients found you.  Here is how it works:

A tracking system is integrated with multiple “vanity” phone numbers.  So, the phone number on your Pay Per Click ads may show as 555-1234.  The phone number on your Facebook ads may show as 555-0123.  The phone number on your main practice website may show as 555-2345.  In all cases, the call is routed immediately to the main practice number and answered by your staff.  The most important part of this is that a record of the call itself, and the number called, is kept.  These phone numbers are only accessible via their assigned marketing initiative and are not accessible to a new patient in any other way.  Meaning, that the only way a new patient would see the 555-1234 phone number is if they clicked a Google Ad.

The same is true for new patients who request appointments via email.  A unique code is shown at the bottom of the email that tracks back to the exact source.

From these numbers and codes, you can not only track the exact source of the new patient, but the exact phrase the patient Google searched, their location, the cost per click and several other data points.

What This Means for Your Practice:

Now that your practice will have definitive answers to how new patients are finding you, it will give you the ability to make better decisions in your digital or traditional marketing campaigns and highlight areas where improvement is needed.  

But, most importantly, it will let you know if the marketing dollars you are spending are actually bringing in an ROI!  Being able to determine exactly how Jen found your practice, her cost per acquisition is the highest level ROI possible.


Gold Medical Marketing prides itself on our ability to generate patients for our clients using the most effective Medical Marketing and Public Relations strategies. We use only the most advanced analytics and tracking to determine an ROI for your practice.

We specialize in Spine, Orthopedic, Neurosurgery and Multi-Specialty Practices marketing. Our clients across the country have seen their practices grow using our unique and time tested strategies. Unlike other companies, we are exclusively in the medical field and do not make the mistake of marketing your practice like a retail product.

Gold Medical Marketing also offers NO COST MARKETING AUDITS, wherein we will objectively evaluate your current marketing efforts. The goal of this is to highlight areas in need of improvement as well as areas where money is being spent on low ROI initiatives.  Contact us today to set up an evaluation.