Think quick, healthcare marketers!  What's the first metric you should review to determine the success of your pay per click (PPC) campaign?

If you said click-through rate (CTR), you're not alone. In fact, when it comes to measuring consumer engagement, nearly every marketer considers CTR — as you should. While this is a good place to start, it shouldn't be the be-all and end-all KPI (key performance indicator) or success metric.

Why CTR Alone Isn't Enough

A campaign's click-through rate tells you how well your ad is able to convince consumers to take the next step. And while this is certainly important, there is much more to the story.

For example, is your ad generating engagement from leads who are likely to convert? If they don't click an ad, are potential customers reaching out in other ways? And how much revenue is your PPC effort really driving?

Some healthcare marketers may not understand the value of measuring the right metrics. As an example, you might consider a campaign that yields a 10 percent CTR a successful marketing initiative. However, you should actually focus on metrics that are conversion-based, according to Unbounce.

Here are three conversion-focused KPIs you'll want to consider to illuminate the whole story:

Lead Quality
Just because you launched a new marketing campaign and you are getting overwhelmed with phone calls and online appointment requests does not always mean your ads were a hit. Low-quality leads are just as bad as no leads, which is why setting up appropriate lead qualifying parameters is important.

For example, if you are a spine surgeon who would like to increase the number of high-revenue spine surgeries (lumbar radiculopathy or laminectomy) but you are continually booking appointments with patients who have “low back pain,” you may not be qualifying your patients properly.  

Better leads mean a better ROI and indicate your marketing efforts are hitting the right target.

Offline Conversions
Not every potential patient wants to fill out an online appointment request form. And while phone calls are harder to track, it doesn't mean you shouldn't consider them when reviewing campaign performance. Want to track offline conversions? First, set up call tracking.  Develop a protocol where your call center is tracking how your patients are hearing about your practice.  Log this information into a CRM system and tag it with a patient identifier so you can track downstream revenue from this patient.

True ROI
The most important metric for any marketing team is return on investment (ROI). The better you can prove your ability to generate revenue, the easier it will become to increase your marketing budget. And if you're doing everything you can to track both online and offline leads, you should be able to easily calculate the ROI of a campaign.

It will take some administrative work to set up a system that will track your leads and follow them through your clinic to see the revenue they produce, but the value of putting a system in place outweighs the cost and increased workload.  You will be able to show which marketing tactics are generating the most revenue and more efficiently spend your money.

Overall, CTR is an important metric that shows that your ad copy, landing page and keyword section are suitable and the ads are working efficiently — but this metric doesn't tell the full story. By adding lead quality, offline conversions, and true ROI tracking to your campaign review, you can gather greater insight and better determine which PPC strategies are hitting their intended mark.

Need help setting up campaigns that drive true ROI? At Cox Health Marketing, we offer our clients consulting right from the start to ensure they are set up for business success.