The Benefits of PPC Advertising for Medical Practices and Healthcare Organizations
Medical practices looking to fill their waiting rooms are increasingly turning to digital marketing to reach potential patients. While a well-functioning website, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media, and reputation management are all important parts of a digital marketing campaign, a well-designed digital advertising campaign is one of the quickest and most reliable ways for companies in the healthcare industry to attract new patients.
A medical PPC campaign can get your practice in front of people who may have never heard of it and who would never have become a new patient without seeing one of your paid ads in search results. One of the biggest benefits of running a pay-per-click campaign is the level of control you have over what healthcare services you advertise, how much you spend, and the demographics of who sees your healthcare paid advertisement. Overall benefits of PPC medical campaigns include:
- Attract new patients – You can target people who would otherwise not be able to find your practice online.
- Quick to top-of-search results – Your ads will start showing in search results almost immediately. Learn the difference between PPC and SEO.
- Target people in the market – You can control who is seeing your ads.
- Budget control – You can spend as little as $100 a month or as much as you can imagine. You also can change your budget with just a few clicks of a button.
- Easy -to-measure results – The digital advertising platforms will provide you with a wealth of performance data.
- No commitment – You can turn off the ads and stop spending money at any time.
- Cost effective – Healthcare PPC campaigns, when strategically planned, can be a cost-effective way to attract more patients.
- Adjustable – Demographic targets, budgets, and ad copy can all be changed whenever it is warranted.
Steps in Putting Together a PPC Campaign
Set Goals for the Digital Ad Campaign:
The first step in any digital marketing campaign is to decide what you want the campaign to accomplish. Do you want to build awareness of your practice? Attract new patients? Or maybe you want to see your practice revenue grow by a predetermined percentage.
Decide on a Budget:
PPC ad campaign budgets can be anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars a month up to tens of millions. The advantage digital ads have over traditional paid advertising is that there is no commitment; you can change your ad spend at any time.
Create the Ad Accounts:
There are a lot of different digital ad platforms to choose from. The most popular are paid search ads on Google and social media ads on Facebook and LinkedIn. You will need to research which platform(s) will best help you reach your target audience. As a rule of thumb, Google Ads is the right choice if you want to reach people actively searching for the medical services you offer. Social ads are a good choice if you want to build awareness of your healthcare company.
Create your Landing Page(s):
The webpage you send people to when they click on one of your digital ads is called a landing page and it is crucial for meeting your healthcare paid ads goals. The landing page needs to include the information that people expected to see when they clicked on your ad. If someone is searching for an orthopedic surgeon, your landing page needs to tell them you are an orthopedic surgeon, why they should choose to become your patient, what medical services you perform, and how they can contact you.
Pick your Target Audience:
Medical PPC ads can be targeted to specific audiences and your campaign’s success hinges on making sure only potential patients are seeing your ads. The ad platforms also allow you to target a specific geographical area. If you are a dentist in Chicago, it is a waste of money to have someone in Seattle clicking on your ad. You can set your ads to show in specific cities and zip codes. You can even drop a pin on a map and pick a radius around it where your ads will show. Most advertising platforms also allow you to target different demographics such as age, income levels, and life events like becoming a parent.
Do Keyword Research:
Keywords tell Google to serve up your ads when someone searches using those terms. The terms can be a medical procedure you offer like knee surgery, an illness that you treat such as asthma, or the medical specialties of your doctors, like cardiology. Google has a free keyword planner tool that will show you the volumes of search terms and give you related search terms that you may want to use in your search ads.
Create the Ads:
If you are worried about ad creation, don’t be. Google will help you create the search ads. All you must do is provide Google with up to 15 headlines of up to 30 characters and at least two descriptions of up to 90 characters. Google will then create your ads based on what it thinks will be the best performing combinations. The ad copy should be informative and tell people why they should find out more about your practice. A thing to keep in mind while writing ad copy is that searchers are thinking “What is in it for me?” What will I potentially gain if I go to this medical practice? Google has some guidelines for advertisers promoting healthcare that you should follow.
For Facebook ads, you will need headlines and descriptions with the addition of an image. Keep in mind, with social media ads you have very little time to attract the attention of people scrolling through their social media feeds. That means your image will need to be compelling and grab their attention. Facebook also has healthcare advertising rules you need to follow.
Monitor Results and Make Improvements:
Medical PPC campaigns should not be set it and forget it. You will need to monitor the results for data like the cost-per-click, number of impressions, and conversion rates. Everything about a digital advertising campaign can be optimized after the campaign starts. You can change the target audience, ad copy, budget, and keywords anytime you like. We recommend keeping an eye on the search terms that are triggering your ads to make sure the searchers are potential patients. If your ads are being shown in Google search results for terms you do not think will lead to new patients, you can add negative keywords to your ad campaign. Negative keywords are terms that when used in a search Google will not trigger your ad. Common negative keywords that we often use include:
- “What is”
Consider Hiring a Digital Advertising Agency:
Medical PPC agencies like iHealthSpot have years of experience running healthcare digital ad campaigns. PPC professionals have the time and expertise to make sure your ad campaigns are optimized to meet your goals. They also can greatly reduce your wasted ad spend by making sure only potential clients are clicking on your paid ads.