January is a rough month for many practices. As the year rolled to a close, many patients flocked to see their doctor before their deductible reset. This leaves January a little slower than many would prefer. But never fear...since you may have a little extra time on your hands, now is a great time to take stock of your current marketing plan and make changes accordingly. One of the easiest ways to reach potential patients is through the use of pay-per-click (PPC) ads. These are those ads you might see on Google or Facebook when you do a search. Pay-Per-Click advertising can be a great online marketing tool. In one recent survey, companies ranked paid search as the third most likely marketing effort to have a positive ROI...this is 12 percent ahead of social media.
So how can your healthcare practice make the most of PPC ads? The answer to that question will vary depending on each practice. But here are six tips that all practices can use to make the most of their PPC ads.
1. Do Local Area Keyword Research Before You Place Your Ad
Google is the major player in the PPC ad market. They even offer a free Keyword Planning Tool that can show you how many times a specific keyword or set of words is being searched (ie. 100 hits/month). It will also slow you an estimated cost per click (how much you will pay will someone clicks on your ad and goes to your site) and how much competition there is for that keyword.
2. Have A Dedicated Landing Page for Each Ad You run
One rookie mistake businesses often make with PPC ads is simply routing the click to their homepage. It is much better to send the ad click to a specific landing page associated with the service or promotion you are advertising. There are several reasons for this:
- Search engines like it—The more specific your landing page to the ad, the better your ad ranking, which will help you pay less for each click!
- Smaller chance customers will be overwhelmed—If you route potential customers to one specific page that is related to the ad, there is a much lower chance they will feel overwhelmed with information and leave your site before finding what they want.
- Higher return on investment—Customers click on your ad because they are interested in what you are offering. By routing to a specific landing page that places the deal or product front-and-center, there is a much higher chance customers will follow through and make a buying decision.
3. Be Specific With The Location Targeting
You don’t want to waste your practice’s marketing dollars on people who would never visit your practice. You have to stay local, ideally within 20-30 miles of your practice location. That’s where search engine location targeting comes in. On both Bing and Google, you can set your ad campaign to only show your ad to people who are within a certain distance of your business location. Make sure to use this feature! Unless your practice is highly specialized, your marketing dollars will be much better spent on local searchers.
4. Two Are Better Than One: Create Multiple Ads
Creating multiple ads will also boost your results. If you create multiple ads within a single campaign, Google will automatically rotate them for you and then give you info regarding which has the most success. Sometimes, a certain phrase, image, or product can make a huge difference and cause one ad to significantly outperform another. By having multiple ads and tweaking them as you go, you can get a much more accurate idea of what works and what does not. More on this below.
5. Make Use of PPC Ad Extensions
Pay-per-click ads have certain things that can be added onto them, known as extensions. Basically, these allow you to include extra info in your PPC ads, like address, phone number, extra links to specific areas of your site, ratings and reviews, or additional buttons such as “Get directions.” Extensions can really make your ad stand out from the pack, so use them whenever you can. To learn more about ad extensions and other tips to increase your local PPC ad effectiveness, check out this guide on how to advertise on Google.
6. Evaluate and Optimize Your Ads Once They Have Run For a Week
Once you get your campaign up-and-running, your job is not yet done. To get the most out of your ads and campaign, you need to re-evaluate how it is doing every 1-2 weeks. There are several things to do:
- Add negative keywords - Once your campaign has run for a week or two, you will be able to see which keywords and phrases people are searching that trigger your ads. If you notice there are certain keywords or phrases that don’t relate to your business/ads, you can add them as negative keywords, which means your ad will stop appearing for those search terms, focusing your target and ad effectiveness even more.
- Keep tweaking your ads - Once you have a week or two of results, keep the ad that is doing the best and delete the others. Then, create several new ads and re-check every couple weeks. This ensures your ad stays fresh and you can keep taking the elements of what is working in each ad and mixing and matching until you get the best combo.
Bringing It All Together
The most important thing for your private practice, is to use all the search tools you can to dial-in your PPC ads to reach your local area. You want to ensure that your PPC marketing dollars are being spent effectively. Google, Bing, and other search engines give you the tools you need to do just that. Follow the steps above and you will be well on your way to making the most of PPC ads for your private practice.
For more info on marketing your practice, check out "The Only Guide You'll Ever Need to Get More Patients."