(Updated on 06/15/2021)
Google Ads is one of the most popular and effective pay-per-click (PPC) platforms. Google Ads, formerly called AdWords and AdWords Express, is an impressive advertising platform. However, there are some basic tips that healthcare providers should follow in order to optimize their results.
A medical practice or healthcare agency must allocate a sizable amount of money directly to PPC marketing. So what considered a sizable amount of money? For more competitive industries (and keywords), like medical billing, estimates range from $6000 to $25,000 per month. This is usually more than what most small or medium-sized medical practices can afford. Does this mean that PPC advertising is impossible for these smaller healthcare providers? Not at all, smaller-sized providers can still utilize Google Ads.
Google Ads is a good option for small to medium-sized medical practices. The marketing platform is flexible and robust. Whether for large or small medical practices, it is an affordable option that allows health professionals to set up a PPC campaign that will not break the bank. Google’s PPC platform has added some helpful features that allow users exercise more control over their PPC ad’s keyword phrases, targeting as well as how their ads are displayed on the search engine results page.
There are also important features such as ad scheduling and improved geo-targeting. However, in practice, these features can hurt a PPC campaign’s ad performance. As a result, this advertising platform still needs to be used carefully in order to maximize your advertising dollars and generate positive results.
With this in mind, here are 5 tips for healthcare providers who are using Google Ads for marketing campaigns.
1. Start with a Smaller Budget (and Monitor It)
For medical practitioners who are new to Google Ads, this is probably one of the most important tips. It is recommended that one starts with a small monthly budget ranging from $500 to $600. Why start with a small budget? Perhaps the most important aspect of Ads is that it is built as a budget-based advertising system. Google uses automated processes to control most of what the system does (or does not do).
The system is built to streamline PPC marketing. It is great for advertisers who only want to spend a few hundred dollars a month on marketing, not a few thousand dollars a month. Start by creating a small budget and build their way up to a comfortable budget level. This comfort level should be based on their PPC advertising success and comfort and overall comfort level.
The PPC ad platform utilizes a broad match strategy for the keyword match type. This means that an online ad can show up for a wide variety of search queries related to your products and services. As a result, this can waste money in a budget due to an excessive number of irrelevant searches and clicks. Added a negative match keyword phrase strategy will help in this situation. Keeping the initial budget low allows healthcare providers to take stock of how this affects their advertising results without spending too much money. Once the ads are better optimized and running smoothly, increasing the budget is a good option.
2. Know Your Keywords and Switch Off Irrelevant Keywords
Once providers have selected a medical specialty in Ads, Google will automatically generate a lengthy list of keywords that it considers to be related to your industry or specialty type. It is important to review this list in detail in order to see which of these terms are particularly relevant. These terms should then be added to the actual text of an ad.
The additional terms and keyword phrases will increase the probability of patients clicking through an ad when they search for these healthcare-specific phrases. Through the use of machine learning algorithms, Google Ad’s are able to display when people are searching for the answer to a specific question. However, care should be used so that advertisers do not have their ads showing for irrelevant or unrelated searches.
Showing up for irrelevant keywords is expensive in the long run for any PPC campaign. Non-desired searchers may click on a medical practice’s ad, which will cost you money each time they do so.
3. Use Geotargeting & Ad Scheduling
This is a very helpful feature for medical practitioners and clinics. Healthcare facilities can use the Google Ads dashboard to limit their ad placements to within a 40-mile radius of their location. There is also the option to target any geographic area, based on a town, county, or state. There is even a worldwide setting, but this would burn through an Ad’s budget very quickly. However, most healthcare providers would never need to advertise on a worldwide scale. On the municipality, county, metro and state even level is where they will find advertising success. Setting the geo-targeted parameters correctly can be the difference between success and failure with this PPC platform.
At the same time, ad scheduling is just as important as geo-targeting. Ad scheduling allows health professionals to define exactly when they want their ads to show. For example, is the medical practice’s office hours limited to 8:00 to 4:00? Does a clinic only have people at the front desk between the hours 10:00 to 3:00? Depending on the healthcare specialty, ad scheduling can make a big impact on how well potential patients respond. If a clinic is running ads that drive phone calls after hours, these calls cost the clinic money; but are they really capitalizing on these calls.
When using the ad scheduling feature, providers should set the PPC ads to display during normal office hours or customize them on a day-to-day basis. Some multi-site healthcare facilities or practices may only want to promote their PPC ads for specific locations at certain times. By using geotargeting and ad scheduling, healthcare providers can control their search presence to focus on the most profitable geography and times.
Google Ads is one of the easiest ways for small healthcare practices to use PPC tools and strategies. Many healthcare practitioners in smaller agencies and clinics are often forced to wear many hats and operate on a tight budget. Running an online PPC advertising campaign takes time and money. Two things that are often in short supply for smaller facilities. However, using AdWords Express is a possible solution that can drive traffic to a website and generate more new patients.
At ABCS RCM, we offer healthcare-focused marketing and website development for medical professionals. We also provide experienced medical billing, credentialing, HCBS Medicaid Waiver billing and workforce management tools.
For additional questions about this topic or other healthcare-related questions, please contact us.
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