The importance of website lead conversion

Ian McNickle, MBA, discusses how your website can lead patients to your practice

What would you say if I told you that by making some changes to your website design, content, and layout you could generate over $100,000 in additional revenue in 12 months? You might think I’m crazy, but I encourage you to take 5 minutes to read this article. You might be very glad you did.

To learn how, we need to first take a step back and discuss online marketing. When it comes to online marketing there are two primary objectives:

  1. Generate as much “relevant” traffic as possible.
  2. Convert that traffic into as many new patient leads and appointments as possible.

I frequently lecture at dental conferences and study clubs all over North America, and almost without exception, the clinicians and staff in attendance are not familiar with the performance metric of website lead conversion.

Website traffic

To better understand this metric, let’s start with generating traffic. There are many ways to generate traffic to a website such as high search rankings on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., which is achieved through effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Driving lots of patient reviews to review sites such as Google, Facebook, Healthgrades, and Yelp also have a very positive impact on your search rankings and traffic. Social media activity, engagement, boosted posts, and paid ads can all drive traffic to a website as well. Online directories can drive traffic, and the list goes on and on.

Lead conversion

Once you’ve implemented a robust program to generate traffic, it is equally important to understand how to convert all this traffic into new patient leads. As with traffic, there are many items that affect website lead conversion such as:

  • having a modern website design with proper layout
  • the location of the phone number
  • appointment request buttons or forms
  • clear calls to action
  • effective use of videos
  • compelling offers
  • online scheduling links
  • the use of actual photos instead of stock photos
  • great doctor bio and team pages
  • patient testimonials (video and written)
  • helpful and accurate content

An experienced online marketing agency with expertise in the dental industry like WEO Media should be consulted for best practices in this area.

How is the lead conversion rate calculated?

The lead conversion rate is calculated by dividing the amount of conversion activities (phone calls, appointment requests, etc.) by your website traffic each month. By doing this, you’ll be able to develop a baseline range for how your website typically converts traffic.

Consider this example: Let’s suppose your website generates 400 visits (traffic) in a month. You received 30 phone calls from the website and 10 appointment requests through the website. Your conversion rate would be 40 conversion activities divided into 400 visits for a conversion rate of 10%. If you monitor this rate over time, you’ll be able to understand how your website is actually performing as a marketing tool.

Maximize your Return on Investment (ROI)

Where this gets really interesting is when you can improve items on your website that improve your website conversion rate. Even a small improvement can result in tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in extra revenue.

An average website may generate 500 visits per month with an average conversion rate of around 10%. If you can implement strategies to improve your conversion rate, and it improves to 12%, consider the impact. This slight 2% improvement equates to 10 additional new patients leads per month or 120 per year. If you can convert even 25% of these new patient leads, you’ve now generated an extra 30 patients per year. How much is that worth?

The good news is most of the items that improve the website conversion rate do not involve ongoing costs, but rather specific expertise and industry experience to properly design and construct the website.

Marketing consultation

If you have questions about your website, social media, or online marketing, you may contact WEO Media for a consultation to learn more about the latest industry trends and strategies. The consultation is free if you identify yourself as a reader of this publication.

Receive your free marketing consultation today: 888-246-6906 or

Ian McNickle, MBA, is a national speaker, writer, and marketer. He is a Co-Founder and Partner at WEO Media, winner of the 2016 Cellerant Best of Class Award for Dental Marketing and Dental Websites. If you have questions about any marketing-related topic, please contact Ian McNickle directly at, or call 888-246-6906. For more information, you can visit online at

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