Ready to attract more patients to your practice?
Pay-per-click advertising has become one of the best digital marketing techniques to increase traffic and get more leads online.
It allows you to specifically target your ideal audience and offer them your solutions to their health-specific search queries.
With millions of health-related topics being searched online, investing in PPC for your healthcare business might just be the trick you need to boost your practice.
What is Pay-Per-Click and How Does It Work?
You have seen these ads yourself countless times, every time you search in Google.
Have you ever noticed how the suggested ad right on top of the list fits exactly what you’re looking for?
Pay-per-click, or PPC, is a paid advertising program hosted by search engines and social media platforms to allow businesses to display targeted ads on their platforms.
Currently, Google Ads has been dominating the PPC market.
With over 3.5 billion searches made daily, it’s the most efficient way to reach your prospective patients and provide them with the answer they are looking for.
Pay-per-click platforms work by promoting and advertising your ads based on keywords and a selection of other criteria. It’s pay per click because you only pay a fee each time your ad gets clicked on.
For example, you’ve opened a new dermatology clinic in Prescott, AZ. You want to find new patients through Google.
Signing up with its ads program will allow you to connect with patients that are on the lookout for a “dermatologist in Prescott”.
When you buy an ad, Google will put your clinic’s website at the top of the search results based on the keywords you’ve selected and bid upon.
The great thing about it is you aren’t paying to be on the first page of Google’s search results, but only for the click-throughs.
What is Pay-Per-Click and How Does It Work?
Did you know that at least 5% of daily Google searches are health-related queries?
It’s no wonder many hospitals and healthcare professionals are changing the way they market their practice online!
The statistics say it all when it comes to deciding whether or not it’s worth investing in Google Ads.
Take a look at these staggering numbers:
- On average, an ad on Google has a click-through rate of 8%
- Ads displayed on Google gather about 180 million impressions per month
- 65% of users that are searching for specific products or services choose the options displayed on a Google ad
Including Google Ads into your healthcare marketing plan can also yield many advantages.
Here are a few things that might also help convince you:
- The healthcare industry is late into the game of digital advertising.
When you market your practice online, you already have a head start to engage with more patients than your colleagues who have taken a more traditional route.
- You secure your spot as a valuable option for your potential patients.
People don’t just pick the first link that appears on Google’s search pages. When you buy an ad, you put yourself in front of patients when they research their options.
- It bypasses traditional SEO.
It takes a lot of effort to get a website right on top of Google’s search results. Do you want to put yourself ahead without investing too much time and effort into optimizing your website?
Buying ads on google would be the easiest way to do so.
When Should You Use Google Ads to Promote Your Practice?
Does your practice have an active website and social media accounts?
If you’ve already been investing your budget and efforts on promoting your practice online, it’s probably time to also include advertisements on Google.
Paid marketing will work great for your practice if:
1. Google Ads fit in with your long term marketing goals
Your digital marketing efforts are geared to:
- Connect with more patients
- Increase your practice’s online presence, and
- Strengthen relationships with your existing patient base.
Achieving these goals requires a strategic and long-term marketing plan.
Once these long-term marketing approaches have been established, it’s good to consider adding short-term marketing practices to your strategy as well.
Keep in mind: Google Ads may deliver you the results much faster than the long-term marketing strategies, but it doesn’t mean it should be the only thing you should focus on.
Both marketing tactics are critical in delivering more traffic and patients to your practice.
2. You have a monthly marketing budget and someone who’s responsible for your marketing mix
Investing in Google Ads isn’t just a “set it and forget it” marketing strategy.
It requires careful planning, optimization, and a little more from your budget to get quality conversions.
Paid advertising can be a crucial element of your digital marketing plans. However, it takes a lot more effort and money to make a good return on investment (ROI).
Only invest in Google Ads if you’ve got the budget allocated and the personnel to monitor the progress of your ad campaigns.
3. Google Ads are not your only source for new patients
Healthcare marketing shouldn’t heavily rely on paid advertising alone.
The old tricks of patient referrals, press releases, and print or media advertising should also be included in your marketing plans.
Although Google Ads can drive the traffic much faster than traditional marketing techniques, it may come with a price that your practice isn’t prepared for.
4. You are prepared for more phone calls
A successful Google Ads campaign will ultimately result in more traffic to your website.
With more people seeking your help, you’re likely to expect many more phone calls and appointments than usual.
Do you think your clinic is ready to receive more patients?
Here’s how you can prepare your practice for more phone calls:
- You have full-time staff who won’t be bothered by a ringing phone throughout the ad campaign
- You can afford for the staff to do nothing but answer phone calls (meaning you have enough front and back-office staff)
- You have a script that works to turn people with questions into trusting patients
- You have a routine for running verification of benefits (VOBs) in coordination with phone calls and the actual visit without losing money
Who Should Avoid Google Ads?
Diving into the world of paid online advertising shouldn’t be everyone’s gameplay.
Some health businesses are much more equipped to invest in paid search engine marketing than others.
If these conditions apply to you, Google Ads might not be worth it for your healthcare business:
1. If your practice does not have a consistent long-term marketing strategy in place yet
A strategic digital marketing plan in the healthcare industry would require a holistic approach.
That means you have these essential elements:
- An engaging website
- Credible brand
- High-quality content on your online platforms
- Active social media accounts
- SEO and user-friendly interfaces across the board
If your digital marketing efforts only focus on paid advertising, like Google Ads, you’re not going to reap the results you’re looking for.
Google Ads are effective marketing tools, but it requires a hefty budget and close observation to ensure your campaigns are successful.
Before you start putting your money in Google Ads, it’s crucial to establish your long-term, holistic marketing strategies well.
2. If you do not have a Unique Selling Proposition and a Proven Track Record to boast to your ideal patients
What makes your healthcare business different from your competitors? What can you offer to your ideal patients that they won’t get anywhere else?
Establishing your Unique Selling Proposition is key to quality conversions and a successful ad campaign on Google.
If you don’t know yet what sets your practice apart from the competition, you can look into your track record as a healthcare provider.
Prioritize selling the services that have been working well for your existing patients. Listen to your patient’s feedback or look into the opportunities your competitors are missing.
With a strong Unique Selling Proposition, you will be able to catch the attention of your ideal patients, which increases trust, recognition, and loyalty in the long run.
3. If you are a healthcare organization with unproven messaging
Is your website or social media getting some traction online?
If your messaging doesn’t work for a small number of patients gained by free website traffic, then paid traffic from Google Ads will be like pouring water into a bucket full of holes.
Rather than putting the effort and money towards paid advertising, it might be better for your practice to focus more on your organization’s branding and message.
4. Your practice does not have a great intake process
With ample budget and the right techniques, Google Ads can bring a tremendous amount of new patients into your practice.
Sounds good, right? However, all this money and effort can easily go to waste if you don’t have an efficient intake process for new clients.
Does this apply to you?
- You don’t have an effective script for front desk staff
- You can’t handle a large volume of phone calls, or
- You don’t have a solid follow-up strategy for missed calls and voicemails
If you’re looking to increase your patient base by online marketing, an easy and smooth intake process should be put into place first before anything else.
Why Healthcare Advertisers Have a Challenging Job
A lot of businesses might want to jump on the Google Ads bandwagon purely for its wide and vast reach.
Who wouldn’t want to have access and advertise to the 3.5 billion active users on its platform?
Although Google Ads is an effective marketing tool, healthcare advertisers need to be careful about how they deliver their ads.
Here are the challenges for healthcare in Google advertising:
Be Careful What You Claim
Healthcare advertisers have to be wary of how they convey the products and services they promote on Google.
Certain phrasings that claim “too good to be true” can be deemed as misleading content.
If you’re running ad campaigns or building landing pages, these exaggerated claims and statements should be avoided. Google immediately rejects advertisements that go against their ad policies.
You can’t guarantee treatment or promise a cure with an ad
As healthcare professionals, you want to present your services as something that can help your future patients with their health concerns.
However, this becomes a challenge to healthcare advertisers as they’re not allowed to promise a treatment or cure with an ad.
According to the FTC, “ By law, advertisers must have solid evidence for health claims BEFORE they run an ad.”
Restricted niches can make advertising very challenging
Google bans the promotion of certain products and services on its platform. In healthcare, this may concern those that are in the CBD business, plastic surgery, or drug rehabilitation centers.
There are instances where sensitive offers are allowed, but they may only reach a limited number of people.
For an extensive list of banned pharmaceuticals and medical services in Google Adwords (and its associated landing pages), check out this link.
You go into an online store and look at some of their products. After a while, you notice that the company has advertised the same product you were looking at on another page.
Is this experience familiar to you? This marketing strategy is called retargeting, and it has been used by various digital marketing experts to convert more leads.
However, Google now has restricted this practice for healthcare organizations.
That’s why healthcare advertisers have prioritized the use of landing pages more to bring about more conversions.
Healthcare Speaks A Different Language
Many businesses have reaped great results from paid advertising like Google Ads.
As healthcare businesses often discuss sensitive information, healthcare advertisers have to speak to their ideal audience in a different language.
Google ads need to accurately reflect your practice
The only way you can gain the trust of your patients is by accurately reflecting your brand in your online channels.
If you’ve streamlined your branding and messaging well across your website and social media platforms, the same standards have to be done for your Google Adwords campaign.
Your ads must actually make sense for the patients looking for you
The beauty of Google Ads is in the user’s search intent. Your patients are already looking for you. They already have the intention to engage with your practice.
However, you wouldn’t be able to captivate the audience that you want to target without having a deeper understanding of their search intent.
Analyzing the information your patients are looking for will help you find the best keywords to use for your ad campaigns.
Healthcare advertisers make sure that the ads are curtailed exactly to the intentions of the searchers and their clients’ marketing goals.
You need to address their needs
It’s important to get to know your target audience well. In healthcare, your patients might be on different stages of their journey to health.
They may be searching for information on their health issues, looking for options for healthcare providers, or researching new treatments.
As healthcare advertisers, it’s imperative to target these varying stages and needs of your target audience with different campaign strategies.
Advertise Your Practice On Google With Digitalis
Looking to get more patients through paid advertising practices?
Digitalis Medical is here to help you in every aspect of your Google Ad campaign management!
Whether you’ve already had an existing campaign or looking to start from scratch with Google advertising, our PPC specialists are here to optimize your campaign’s performance!
Get your practice ready to bring in new patients quickly with Google Ads!