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From Online To In-Person: Assessing The Effectiveness Of Organic Web Content On Guiding New Patients To An Orthopedic Practice
Kimberly M. Buchner, MS
D'Youville College, Buffalo, NY

Introduction: As more consumers turn to the Internet to locate health services, website content strategy plays an important role in the development of an orthopedic practices’ marketing plan. This study set out to examine if specific methods of website optimization had an impact on website page views, patient referrals, or number of new patient appointments.
Methods: Data provided to the researcher by the study site was collected over a six-month period from March 2013-August 2013. A quantitative, non-parametric approach was used to analyze the secondary de-identified data gathered from 12 orthopedic physicians. Data collected included web content, new patient surveys, page view statistics, and number of new patient appointments per provider in Excel Spreadsheets. Spearmans Rank Order Correlation Coefficient or “Spearmans Rho” was used with Excel spreadsheets to create tables. Web pages from 12 individual orthopedic providers from the same practice were evaluated and compared with new patient appointment data and new patient survey responses. The researcher evaluated each provider for keyword usage (keyword density), web content readability (spelling and grammar errors and Flesch-Kincaid grade level scores), overall number of web page views, new patient survey responses, and overall number of new patients per provider.
Results: Between March 2013 and August 2013, the 12 orthopedic physicians had a combined total of 49,143 visitors to their individual web pages. During this time 3,878 new patient appointments were made. Surveys were distributed to these new patients, and of the 1,615 surveys collected, 866 met the researcher defined criteria set for this study. A critical Spearman value of 0.4965 was used for the sample size of 12 physicians. No relationship was found between web page keyword density and page views (Rs=0.19). No relationship was found between number of spelling and grammar errors on physician web pages and new patient appointments (Rs=0.08). A relationship was found between F-K grade level scores and number of new patient appointments (Rs=0.81). A relationship was found between number of web page views and number of new patient appointments (Rs=0.74).
Conclusions: This study found that providers with a greater number of web page views are also likely to have greater numbers of new patient appointments. Web pages with lower F-K reading level scores are also likely to have higher numbers of new patient appointments. Weak keyword use was also found indicating that there may be room for optimization of language used.


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