Traffic, engagement, and revenue: The trio of web success metrics
For most content-based websites, success comes down to a trio of critical metrics: traffic, engagement, and revenue. These success metrics can also be expressed as a conversion path: you drive traffic to your site via content and marketing strategies that engage your audience, and this converts to revenue via ads, sponsored content, paid subscriptions, or otherwise.
FindaTopDoc has laid a solid foundation for its trio of success metrics with a creative content marketing strategy and robust content management system. Its ability to engage its audience with a growing base of content (over 1,000 new posts every month) has resulted in steadily increasing traffic: in the last year and a half, FindaTopDoc has seen its traffic grow tenfold, to over a million page views per month. And with traffic on a continuous upward trend, FindaTopDoc has now turned its attention to engagement and revenue.
Unique audience engagement strategies
FindaTopDoc has two primary audiences: doctors and patients. It has been experimenting with ways to engage both of these audiences.
FindaTopDoc began as a site showcasing doctor profiles, and enabling patients to rate their doctors after a visit. It also offered a medical library that provides in-depth information on a wide range of illnesses and ailments.
A more recent engagement strategy for patients has been the use of Facebook communities to drive traffic to the site. The communities are each focused around a medical issue, such as autism or celiac disease. “We share 10 to 15 articles in each community each week,” says Siobhan O’Grady, COO at FindaTopDoc. “The articles drive traffic back to the site. Community members are commenting on the articles, visiting the site, and reading the articles. It’s an engaged audience of people.”
FindaTopDoc’s newest patient feature, Patient Health Journeys, takes this engaged group of readers and invites them to become more active contributors to the site. “The goal is to convert some of them to bloggers,” O’Grady says. Bloggers have the opportunity to share their stories and inspire others in their health journeys, connecting with a community of like-minded people.
FindaTopDoc has also created features designed to engage doctors more directly. For example, for doctors who want to position themselves as online experts, FindaTopDoc offers the opportunity to create an expert blog to connect with patients through additional content and e-mail newsletters.
Another feature geared toward the needs of doctors is the TopDocToday section, which offers information for doctors in categories like reputation management, marketing, branding and exposure, medical equipment, and lifestyle.
For both patients and doctors
One of FindaTopDoc’s most successful engagement strategies is a feature that provides value both for patients and doctors. Its questions and answers section enables patients to submit questions to be answered by doctors. Site visitors fill in a question submission form, which is then e-mailed to doctors specializing in the medical area related to the question.
The feature has generated more than 150 pieces of content per week for the site, which has contributed to the boost in traffic. But even more valuable is the engagement it’s created both with patients and doctors. “It’s building traffic and creating value -- to have highly engaged people like doctors who are participating in the site and creating content for us,” says O’Grady. “We’re getting a 5 percent response rate (from doctors), which is very high, and they’re creating high quality content.”
From engagement to revenue
FindaTopDoc’s next goal is to convert its engaged audience into revenue. “A lot of focus has been on the engagement side, but we do foresee ad revenue growing,” O’Grady says.
It’s also created a service-based revenue stream, providing branding and social media for its doctor members. “We list them on the website, we provide review management services, and we do video production and social media branding packages, to give them more exposure.”
As FindaTopDoc continues to grow, its audience of patients will have more opportunities to connect with doctors, and doctors will have more chances to position themselves as online experts in their field. “Doctors don’t have time to be creating their own platforms,” O’Grady says. “Our content brings patients to the doctors’ profiles. We’re continuously improving everything we offer our audiences.”