Why “Visitors” is a Misleading Metric for Your Hospital Website
“Visitors” is a high-level metric that most hospital marketing teams measure in order to monitor website performance. However, although this metric can be useful, it can also be somewhat misleading. Focusing on this metric alone will not tell you everything you need to know about the effectiveness of your hospital’s digital content.
About the “Visitors” Metric
The “visitors” metric tells you how many people have visited your website within a specific time period. When developing this metric, marketers can choose to calculate the number of unique visitors, new visitors and/or repeat visitors to the site. Each of these metrics tells you something different about your website’s appeal to internet users. The “unique visitors” metric tells you how many unique internet users have visited your website, new visitors tells you how many users are visiting for the first time and repeat visitors tells you how many visitors are returning to your website after a previous visit.
Why it isn’t Enough
The number of visitors doesn’t tell you anything about whether your traffic is engaging with your content or converting, and increasing the number of visitors to your site is not the same as increasing your conversion rates. In fact, when marketers focus on the “visitors” metric alone, conversion rates will typically stay the same or even fall while the number of visitors rises.
Improving Conversions using the “Visitors” Metric
Rather than focusing on the number of visitors alone, you should use this metric in combination with other intelligence in order to improve conversion rates. The goal of analysis should be to evaluate the quality of visitors, as opposed to just the number of users who view the site. Below are some of the metrics you can use to evaluate visitor quality.
- Bounce Rate – “Bounce rate” tells you the percentage of visitors who come to the site and leave without viewing anything other than the entry page.
- Time on Site – “Time on site” tells you how long users spend viewing any of the pages on your website.
- Pages Viewed – “Pages viewed” tells you which pages users are viewing when they visit the site.
- Time on Page – “Time on page” tells you how much time users spend on a specific page.
- Repeat Visitor Ratio – “Repeat visitor ratio” tells you how many people return to your page for a subsequent visit during a specific time period.
Using these metrics, you can determine which of your hospital’s website content is engaging your traffic, which pages hold users’ interest for the longest period of time and which pages lead to the highest bounce rates. Using this intelligence, you can improve your website’s content and increase conversion rates.