Pay-per-click (PPC) ads, a form of online advertising, are one of the most powerful and cost-effective ways to drive targeted traffic to your healthcare website. By reaching out to patients in your area who are already searching for procedures and services similar to those you are offering, your PPC ads are more likely to convert visitors to patients than any other type of marketing.
Being a medical practice owner, you can reap many benefits from a well-executed PPC campaign such as more traffic, higher conversion rates and increased profit. It is a great tool to reach your target market without exhausting your healthcare marketing budget. When combined with SEO activities, PPC ads can provide your medical practice the visibility and exposure it needs to establish a foothold in the local area.
PPC ads are very common on social media networks and search engines. These ads ensure your medical practice gets listed on the first page of search results. Here are some of the benefits of PPC ads:
- Instant results: You can expect to attract new patients within weeks, not months. As soon as you launch your PPC ads, you will be positioned at the top and side of the first page of major search engine results. This means you will be able to convey your message to the target audience right away. Your visibility will increase many-fold, and your appointment book will be filled with new appointments.
- Increased visibility and relevance: The two biggest benefits of PPC ads are higher visibility and importance. Most of the traditional marketing options interrupt people who may or may not be interested in your medical services. Paid searches such as PPC advertising only display your ad in front of individuals interested in or searching for services similar to yours, and such people are usually ready to make a buying decision.
- Highly targeted: Your PPC ad copy has to be clear, concise and fine-tuned in order to attract your ideal patients. By choosing the relevant keywords to target with your ads, you can attract and convert potential patients. PPC ads target potential patients who are ready to book an appointment.
- Pay for results, not for displaying your ad: With traditional forms of advertising, you pay for your ad to be seen by a large audience, most of whom may not be interested in your services. However, PPC is different. Instead of paying to display your ad, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. This results in increased ROI for your marketing efforts.
- Easily trackable: Unlike other marketing channels, it is possible for you to track all components of PPC ads. The key to analyzing ROI is to calculate the number of new leads you are getting from PPC each month and then add your per-lead costs. This calculation helps you to determine if you want to spend less or more. Also, with PPC it is easy to make sure your ads are effective by tracking keyword success. Sometimes certain ads gain more attention than others. By tracking the success of your PPC campaign, you will be able to understand what works for your practice and what does not.
- Minimum investment: After an initial set-up fee, you only pay when your PPC ad is clicked on by a viewer. Your budget will depend on how aggressive you want your ad campaign to be.
- Increased local exposure: PPC ads increase your local exposure. For medical practices, usually the emphasis is on local exposure, and PPC helps to ensure that you are targeting the right people to your medical practice.
Designing the Best PPC Campaigns
As a healthcare marketer, it is your responsibility to figure out the best weapons for driving qualified traffic to your website and increasing conversion rates. There are many strategies to help you do that, and a lot of them do not cost a penny. Organic digital healthcare marketing strategies, such as writing a blog, sharing content on social networks, optimizing your website and leveraging email marketing for conversion, are all cost-effective strategies.
So, where should you start? Between search, social media networks, display ads and content discovery, there is a slew of paid marketing strategies to choose from. For instance, what social media networks should you use? What is the best way to implement a paid advertising strategy so that it gets the most bang for your buck?
While you may have some idea of which advertising channels are best for achieving your practice goals, you will not know for sure until you have the data to prove it. This is why some experts recommend testing a mix of strategies and channels to see which ones yield the best results for your practice. Here are some of the options you can choose from when it comes to paid advertising for your practice.
Google Adwords, in addition to search networks like Bing and Yahoo!, allow you to run PPC campaigns by bidding on relevant keywords for which you would like your ads to appear. These ads will appear either at the top or along the right side of the search results page.
Positive: This is a proven way to target specific keywords. If you have a strong keyword strategy and a flexible healthcare marketing budget, you may be able to drive good traffic.
Negative: PPC ads tend to run up a high cost and present a necessary trade-off: You may pay heavily to bid on competitive keywords, or you can bid a small amount on less competitive keywords that will result in a very little traffic.
Choose this option if: You have a decent budget, and you have done your research on the most relevant keyword opportunities for your medical practice. In addition, make sure you have the resources to take care of constant campaign optimization.
Social Media Advertising
Popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have fantastic advertising options. Across all of these networks, you have the opportunity to run promoted posts, boost organic posts or run campaigns that will attract more likes and followers.
Positive: Relevant and targeted ads will give you a good shot at attracting an engaged audience. You will also have plenty of options for audience targeting and content testing.
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Negative: Depending on the specialty of your practice, your target audience may not lean heavily on specific social networks. You may need to spend money on testing where you should pay some cash.
Choose this option if: Your target audience is highly engaged in social networks. Choose campaigns that align closely with your goals and test a few campaigns on each social network to see which yields the best results at the lowest cost.
Display ads are an efficient way to showcase your services across various websites. Affiliate websites will allow you to upload banner ads in multiple sizes, and these ads will become available to other website owners who can display them for a share of the profit. You have the option of either paying per impression or per click.
Positive: Display ads are a good fit for visual products.
Negative: Because of low click-through rates (CTR), banner ads may not generate the desired results. This can make them expensive and an intrusive form of advertising.
Choose this option if: You have the budget to test a few options to create well-designed banner ads.
Content Discovery Platforms
If you are looking to improve traffic to your blog or website, content discovery platforms, such as Outbrain and Taboola, are the best options. These platforms can amplify your reach by placing links to your blog posts in the “Recommended Posts” section at the bottom of other websites’ blog posts.
Positive: Sharing content through content discovery platforms can get your practice great exposure on top websites in your domain or specialty. They can boost your traffic and lead-generation goals.
Negative: You may need to test different pieces of content in order to find the ones that attract the most clicks.
Choose this option if: You are looking to expand your subscriber base and attract more traffic with an arsenal of useful content pieces at your disposal.
While these are the best-paid advertising channels, there are more options within each one. “Testing” is the golden word, and we encourage you to keep testing new channels, ways, tools and platforms. Above all, do not forget to track key metrics closely throughout your PPC campaign. By the end, you will be on your way to collecting informative data about your target audience.
By implementing best practices for your PPC campaigns, you can ensure the traffic converts well and that your campaign is successful. Any healthcare marketer can benefit from a well-thought-out, strategic PPC campaign. However, be careful to keep your ads and your marketing message aligned, and you will notice a significant improvement in your bottom line.
Whether you are looking to increase awareness about your practice, promoting a campaign or launching a new procedure, PPC ads can help by efficiently delivering your message to your target audience – and that, too, in a cost-effective manner.