Digital Authority Partners helps leading healthcare organizations implement an analytics-driven culture and lends their thoughts on the metrics you should be measuring to better understand engagement on your healthcare app or site.
Although the healthcare industry has been notoriously slow to embrace the digital revolution, today’s digitally savvy patients have spoken: they want healthcare at their fingertips. And they want it to be easy, seamless, and useful.
But how do you know if users are getting the most out of your digital health experience?
The answer is analytics.
Whether you own a small health practice, build medical devices, or provide insurance, knowing — and acting on — your data is the key to delivering a great user experience (UX) and gaining a serious competitive advantage.
With analytics, questions such as, ‘What kind of health content do my patients like to consume?’ ‘Do they know how to use the revolutionary diabetes watch we just launched?’ ‘What incentives would make our users excited to use our health app?’ and ‘What are they saying about our company on social media?’ can all be answered.
In other words, analytics equips you with valuable user insight, so you can design a flawless UX that inspires patients to use your digital product.
Clearly defining your product and business goals, along with a robust analytics framework to measure product performance, will help you prioritize those critical metrics that determine its success — so you can stay laser-focused on what matters most.
Let’s take a look at what metrics you should be measuring to know whether or not your user experience is up to par:
1. Recency and frequency of site and app visits
These two user engagement metrics matter greatly to your business. Recency looks at the number of days that have gone by since a user’s last visit, while frequency points to the total number of visits a user has made.
This powerful data can inform decisions regarding content strategy, marketing promotions and, most importantly, your UX strategy. You might discover that returning users tend to visit blog posts on tech medical devices or that they engage more with the food logging feature of your nutrition app. This could mean you should make those pages and features easier to spot for first time or occasional visitors.
Other businesses, from retail to hospitality, have seen a substantial increase in app engagement by getting really creative with these metrics. To encourage repeat app usage, for example, some restaurants began offering loyalty rewards on their mobile apps. In fact, 85% of guests who have redeemed rewards using their mobile device say they were more satisfied with their experience.
Other restaurants have seen significant increases in engagement by offering in-app payment options. This has also resulted in an increase in customer satisfaction.
Recency and frequency are key when it comes to defining your “buyer persona,” which is your customer’s profile. For instance, if you learn that your patients are busy people, you’ll be crafting targeted ads featuring same-day appointments.
2. Conversion rate (CVR)
It’s important to remember that conversions don’t automatically mean sales. They are, however, strong indicators of how users interact with your online business. Every time visitors subscribe to your newsletter, download a white paper, or keep using your app, they complete a desired goal (a conversion). They go from passive visitors to active, engaged users.
What percentage of users complete a conversion out of the total number of visitors to your site or app (or email or ad)? That’s your conversion rate (CVR). In the medical field, CVRs are below average; and website designs tend to be a decisive factor.
Clunky websites make it harder for patients to find your services or spot your calls-to-action. Making your site ADA compliant — that is, designing its UX for users affected by disability — can make a world of difference in your CVRs.
An ADA compliant website provides an online experience accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. This means having a site that accommodates visually impaired users, creating content suitable for screen-readers, using descriptive links, and making website actions easily accessible via a keyboard. There are over 25 million people in the USA with visual impairments. The right UX strategy can help you win over these customers.
3. Motivation and user engagement across wearables or voice technology
The rise of wearable health technology has done wonders for patient engagement. Patients rely on their gadgets to sleep, move, and eat better so they can live healthier lives. When it comes to designing a better UX for a wearable, focus on its features.
For a gadget designed to monitor a patient’s fitness, for example, goal setting, feedback on performance, and messaging features could potentially increase motivation among users of these devices.
Analytics tools can give you a clear idea of how you can improve UX based on gender, lifestyle, and preferences. If your users are mostly young females that care about fashion, you’ll need to adopt a different design approach to your medical smartwatch than what you’d use for an audience of retired men.
Additionally, digital voice technology can be used to deliver quality user experiences in healthcare. An AI-enabled chatbot, for example, can send tips to prevent blood sugar spikes to patients on Twitter direct message or FB messenger. Or perhaps you can offer Paypal’s voice-authorized payment transactions.
4. Browser usage
Does it really matter if your web visitors are using Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer? After all, web traffic is web traffic, right?
Well, yes and no.
Browser trends show that Chrome and Safari are dominating the market. From a UX standpoint, this means that designers and marketers, including those in the healthcare field, should adjust their web strategies to better accommodate those browsers.
Measuring your users’ browser usage will also help you get the most bang for your marketing buck.
Chrome and Safari users tend to be iPhone and tablet owners. So if you learn that your visitors are using these two browsers, you should consider running a mobile campaign and focusing on optimizing your UX for iPhone and tablets.
It’s worth mentioning that push notifications are a great way to re-engage with patients. But they won’t have the desired impact unless you know what browser your audience is using.
These interactive messages can be anything from exciting offers and discounts to reminders about scheduled appointments or notifications about new content. It’s hard to please all browsers, but it helps to have a clean, minimalist website that features intuitive layouts, clean typography, and lots of negative space.
5. Mobile vs. desktop vs. tablet traffic
The type of device your visitors are using is just as important as their choice of browser. Almost 60% of traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. What’s more, an increasing number of patients are using their mobile devices to search for local
Whether you’re a medical practice or a hospital, your UX strategy should be aimed at making each action seamless for your user, from scheduling appointments to accessing health information.
For instance, patients should be able to spot your phone number in a matter of seconds, and have the option of one-touch dialing.
So how do you create a relevant mobile application for your health business? Consider investing in a progressive web app (PWA). A hybrid between a website and an app, PWAs are quick and responsive, two key components of a great user experience. Patients can enter these apps with a single touch and use them even if they lack network connectivity.
6. Customer churn
If more customers than usual stopped using your products, your UX could provide some answers. Customer churn, a metric that analyzes the rate at which customers stop using your products during a given period of time, is highly influenced by UX.
The good news? Lowering your churn rates can be easily achieved if by enhancing your product with a couple of basic UX design principles.
One example: decrease the number of steps users take between signing into your app and using its main features. If your app helps users track their macronutrients, they should easily get to the section displaying the grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats they consumed on a particular day immediately after registering. Any extra steps and customers might get frustrated and choose a different app.
Using chatbots is another sure way to keep customers coming back. Fitness apps that used chatbots to send notifications and reminders significantly improved user retention.
What’s more, almost 91 percent of dissatisfied consumers never purchase again. Having a chatbot that can provide 24/7 will help you convert one-time customers into recurring customers. But make sure your bot is able to show empathy and understand requests that deviated from the script.
7. Click-through-rate (CTR)
When it comes to clicks inside your website, application or healthcare marketing campaign, quantity is just as important as quality. As you fine-tune your UX strategy, your click-through-rate (CTR) will also start climbing.
The CTR looks at the percentage of people who click on your listing (such as a “sign-up” button for a consultation), whether that’s for a healthcare product, marketing email, or advertisement.
Analytics can help you calculate your CTR by dividing the number of times your listing receives a click by the number of times it has been shown.
The result can help you make small tweaks to elevate your UX. Something as simple as rethinking your product placement on the page and reducing distracting elements can significantly boost your CTR.
Also, take a look at your calls-to-action (CTA). Are they clear? Can patients easily understand and act on them, and will they be motivated to do so? Sometimes, a simple “Submit” or “Register to Learn More” CTA is not enough.
Another small change that can make a big impact on CTR? Using long tail keywords in your ads.
For healthcare, the CTR is higher than for other industries. One explanation is that healthcare marketers tend to create ads that contain the long tail keywords their target audience is most interested in.
Another great way medical marketers can improve their CTR is by writing ad copy that promises a solution to a particular issue their patients struggle with. An example: “Are you experiencing chest pain? Our survey can help you figure out if you’re at risk for heart disease. Sign up today.”
8. User feedback
The best way to create great UX? Listen to what your patients have say.
The good news is that measuring user feedback is nothing more than paying attention to what users expect from businesses like yours, and acting on that feedback.
There’s a variety of analytics tools that can measure user feedback. Some scan and interpret users language during a live chat support session or when interacting with virtual assistants such as chatbots. Other tools use data collected from email surveys, customer feedback forms or live Q&As. You can also use tools that enable you to do something called “social listening,” which is basically eavesdropping on social media conversations around your brand.
This feedback can be used to improve almost every aspect of the UX.
Maybe you discover issues with the patient portal or the billing process. Or perhaps you learn that hidden bugs and errors are to blame for your skyrocketing app uninstall rates. On the flip side, you could find out that users would like more “How To” videos, blog posts with tips on managing a particular condition, or a feature on your new medical device.
9. Bounce rate
One of the biggest telltale signs of low user engagement is when people exit your website or app after looking at only one page. In tech speak, they “bounce.”
While average bounce rates range between 45% and 66%, healthcare sites, and particularly those in pharma, have closer to 60% rates. Why?
It all boils down to UX. Most health websites tend to be mundane, use cryptic medical jargon and have readability issues.
Going mobile can drastically lower your bounce rate. A couple of ways to improve your users’ mobile experience: increase the size of your text and buttons, shorten online forms, and make your CTAs noticeable using strong colors.
When it comes to apps, patients value ease of use. They won’t clutter their mobile device with an app that is hard to navigate or has a lot of intrusive ads. Make sure to keep your app design simple, and provide updates for bug fixes or feature improvements.
10. App referrals
With more than 200 health apps launched every day, it’s increasingly challenging to get customers not only to use your app, but to also refer it to their friends. More often than not, the quality of your UX is a determinant factor of customers’ willingness to spread the word about your app.
However, even the best designed apps can fall short when it comes to referrals because they lack a simple “Invite friends” prompt.
You can design a basic in-app referral system using a handful of UX techniques.
For instance, if your hospital launched an app, prompt users to invite friends through Facebook Messenger right before completing a critical step such as scheduling an online appointment or checking their lab results.
If you designed a fitness app, allow users to send instant guest passes right to their friends’ phone, social media, or email. You can also send push notification updates to users whenever a friend onboards using an in-app referral link. Lastly, make new users that followed an “invite” link feel extra special by personalizing the sign-up page of their mobile app.
11. Time on page (or in app)
The name says it all. This metric is designed to help you understand how much time users spend looking at your website or interacting with your app. According to a recent report, the average time spent on healthcare websites is over three minutes, which is higher than the general average session duration of 2 minutes and 17 seconds.
These metrics can be influenced by many variables. On a website, slow loading web pages, clunky design, and dull content are among the main reasons users don’t stick around for too long. Focus on optimizing your website and creating content that shows complex information in easily digestible ways, such as infographics.
As for increasing time in app, here are two tried-and-true methods: design a seamless onboarding experience that requires minimal work from users and consider offering incentives to keep them using your app.
Time on page goes hand in hand with another metric, the average session duration. To calculate it, simply divide the total duration of all sessions (in seconds) by the number of sessions.
This is where healthcare sites really stand out from the pack. The average session on a website is just under 2 minutes. Hospital and healthcare websites, however, average 3 minutes and 38 seconds on site. On the other hand, average in-app sessions last around 5.6 minutes on iOS devices and around 6.6 minute on Android.
Low average session durations are typically a direct result of poor UX. In healthcare, one of the most efficient ways to increase these numbers is by revamping your content strategy.
12. Uptime — or how long an app runs without failing
Nailing the mobile app user experience can’t be done unless you ensure that your application is running as smoothly as possible.
Here’s where uptime monitoring tools come in handy. Uptime refers to the percentage of app loads that don’t crash. To remain competitive, your app needs an uptime greater than 99 percent. Developers can use uptime checkers to discover and fix problems in their apps. However, crashes are bound to happen once in a while.
Great UX will keep customers loyal even after an app crash by sending application status updates such as “Offline for maintenance. Please check back later” or “Our app is undergoing maintenance right now.” This will allow you precious time to fix any bugs and prevent user satisfaction levels from plummeting.
13. Speed and load time
Customers are unforgiving towards slow mobile apps. The ideal loading time for a mobile app is about two seconds. For every additional second that your app takes to load, the conversion rate declines by 7 percent. And why should they wait when there are hundreds of similar apps competing for their attention and their phone storage space?
Measuring your app’s speed and load time can flag UX errors you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Take, for instance, interface clutter. Responsive apps usually have a sleek interface. In contrast, apps with a lot of buttons, images and icons take longer to load, so limit the number of interface elements (not to mention that cluttered screens confuse users). And while videos do keep users engaged, autoplay videos weigh down apps.
This is just a glimpse into what UX analytics can do for your healthcare business.
When you pair exceptional health services with great digital experiences, you’ll see an increase in repeat customers who are eager to spread the word about your medical practice. You don’t need to measure all these metrics at once. Choose a handful that best suit your company or outsource your UX analysis to save time and money.
Have questions about how to set up or measure your product analytics? Digital Authority Partners (DAP) helps companies implement and analyze user behavior across all digital products, so you can draw actionable business insight and make better decisions. Call us at (312) 600-5433 or send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.