Medical practices across the country have learned that they must strengthen their online presence to keep up with the competition. Thanks to mobile technology, patients have everything they need to choose a new provider in the palm of their hands. The question is, will patient searches show your practice, or your competitor’s?
While there are many ways to be found online by patients, pay-per-click (PPC) for medical practices is a very robust system that brings your practice to the forefront of search results (where many competitors already appear).
What is Pay Per Click for Medical Practices?
Google is not the only platform that includes “paid search” but it is the most prominent because Google is the most-used search engine in existence (snagging over 90% of search engine market share). Google search ads for medical practices are about running campaigns to maximize your chances of being found by a prospective patient online.
The value of PPC is that “paid” search results live in the most visible area of search results, putting your practice right in front of a patient’s eyes.
How Does Pay Per Click Work for Medical Practices?
What are the terms that your prospective patients will most likely be searching for when they need care? Once you determine which search terms are the most valuable, you know which ones to target in your Google ad campaign.
It is called “pay-per-click” because you only pay Google for each “click” your “ads” get. But keep in mind that this can add up quickly, so you want to be sure that the campaigns you run are effective. For example, to keep wasteful clicks to a minimum, you put your ads in front of your specific market and not the entire public.
Who Benefits the Most from PPC for Medical Practices?
PPC is one of the more expensive forms of digital marketing, so why would a medical practice choose to invest this much? Determining the need for PPC for medical practices all comes down to understanding your specific market: both consumer behavior and competitive threats.
For some practices, activating PPC campaigns is vital to practice growth; while for others, it helps them reach ambitious revenue goals and market share targets. The following scenarios detail what kinds of medical practices prosper with healthcare PPC.
PPC for New Practices
Practices just starting out may wonder, “What have these established practices done to be placed in top search results? How do I get there?” The short answer is that Google knows them, but they don’t know you… yet. However, PPC is open to medical practices new and old, so anyone can initiate an ad campaign to be found in search results.
As you work on building your online presence “organically” (establishing the quality level of your website with Google), PPC for medical practices is a way to elevate your online visibility sooner as you work hard to grow the patient base your new practice needs.
PPC for Urgent Care
Patients who seek urgent care are ready to act now. This means they are not likely to take the time to do extensive research on providers, they just need to be seen at their convenience. For this reason, appearing on page one of search results is critical for urgent care centers.
Depending on your market, urgent care can be highly competitive. Patients will make searches related to urgent care and Google shows local options with PPC ads getting priority placement. PPC placement in search results is a prime opportunity to capture prospective patients with PPC ads that tell patients why your urgent care services are better than others in the area.
PPC for Primary Care and Specialists
Moving to a new town, a physician retiring, or not getting the care they need are all reasons a patient would begin a search online for a new healthcare provider. PPC for doctors can help your primary care or specialist practice show up in the most prominent search results. This is especially important for providers operating in fiercely competitive local markets.
PPC for Telehealth
In addition to finding a provider online, many patients also want to be seen online. In fact, many patients became accustomed to virtual visits during the COVID-19 lockdowns leading to a rapidly expanded market. PPC can also help telehealth-based practices connect with patients in highly saturated markets.
Google My Business for Local Search
PPC for medical practices is all about being seen at the top of search results. It must be noted that when patients search for a local provider, Google listings will (more than likely) take up the most space (especially on mobile devices).
The good news about Google My Business (GMB) is that it is absolutely free to claim these listings. For “brick-and-mortar” practices, it is imperative that GMB listings are claimed and filled out completely. However, just like organic search, it can take some time to climb up the ranks for local listings.
For example, a brand-new practice does not have enough ratings and reviews to tell Google whether or not they run a satisfactory “business.” Practices that have been established for a while and have plenty of reviews are more likely to make the “local pack” that often appears in search results (also referred to as the “local three pack”).
Summary: What Practices Benefit from PPC?
While PPC for medical practices is not the most affordable form of digital marketing, it can be highly effective for practices facing challenges in highly competitive markets. Newer practices, practices in densely populated and saturated areas, and telehealth services would all benefit from PPC advertising.
While PPC does take priority over other search results, local practices should be sure to have a Google My Business listing as well. For many local searches, this Google feature is even more prominent than PPC search results.
What to Look for in a Healthcare PPC Agency
Crafting an effective medical practice PPC campaign involves experience in research, knowledge of best practices, and attuned instincts. To avoid wasting time and money, use a checklist when vetting a healthcare PPC agency. Consider these questions:
- Does this agency take the time to understand client goals for the campaign?
- Do they demonstrate a true understanding of our target market?
- Will they research the keywords that will be effective in bringing us new patients and not just ones with high search volumes?
- Will someone actively monitor our ad campaigns rather than just “set it and forget it”?
- Will they work with us to optimize the landing pages that link from our ads?
- Can we expect a monthly report showing how our campaign is performing?
Run Cost-Effective Medical Practices PPC Campaigns Through iHealthSpot
Honestly, PPC for medical practices is too expensive to execute based on guesswork. To ensure that you get the best results from this substantial investment, your best bet is to work with a digital marketing agency that has run many successful PPC campaigns for medical practices.
iHealthSpot’s digital marketing team knows what PPC techniques work best based on the many successful campaigns they have run for practices just like yours. Our customized approach ensures that your campaigns reach your target prospects, so you get a the best return on your investment. Contact us today for a free consultation!