If you’re running a small medical practice, chances are you’ve at least considered advertising your practice. However, advertising can be very time consuming, costly, and, in many cases, you have little idea whether the ads were at all successful.
John Wanamaker exemplified perfectly, the frustrations of traditional advertising when he said, “I know that half of my advertising dollars are wasted… I just don’t know which half.” Lucky for us, this is not necessarily the case anymore.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, a close relative of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as discussed in my last post, is an extremely powerful advertising strategy for small medical practices. Unlike traditional advertising, PPC is an extremely cost-effective, flexible and controllable strategy.
Benefits of PPC
Cost efficiency – You only pay if a visitor clicks on your ad.
Maximum Control of Your Ads — PPC allows you to target specific geographic locations and demographics, ensuring that your ads aren’t being shown to irrelevant demographics.
Less Intrusive than Traditional Advertising — Unlike radio or TV ads, PPC ads are only shown to people actively searching the web for topics relevant to your ads, giving visitors information they want to see.
Instant Results – You have the ability to track how many people have clicked on your ads, converted (i.e. filled out a form, scheduled an appointment, purchased a product), and which key phrases are working, as soon as your ad goes live.
Highly Flexible — PPC advertising gives you the ability to test ad variations, analyze results and make changes on the fly to optimize your ads for conversions. You get a great understanding of what your potential customers are searching for, and what motivates them to click your ads.
Research and Grow — Information gathered from your PPC campaign is a cost-effective way to understand what your potential patients are looking for. Use it to expand your advertising into traditional avenues with greater confidence that you have the right message for your audience.
How to Create a PPC Campaign
Once you have your website set up with the Google Analytics and AdWords code, you’ll be ready to create your first PPC campaign. Here’s how:
- Choose a descriptive name for your new campaign
- Define your campaign parameters (networks, devices, locations, budget, max cost-per-click, ad extensions)
- Name AdGroup (i.e. Cardiac Surgery)
- Write a Compelling Ad
- There are four primary parts to an ad
- Top Headline (no more than 25 characters)
- 1st description Line (no more than 35 characters)
- 2nd Description Line (no more than 35 characters)
- Display URL
- Key phrase Research & Insertion
- Once you finish your ad, you’ll need to choose which key phrases to trigger your ads. If you’re a cardiology practice that wants to promote your cardiac surgery, start with that and build a relevant key phrase list. Keep your list to 10 – 15 highly targeted key phrases. There are many free tools to find phrase options. I’ve listed a few free key phrase research tools in my last blog.
- Create A/B Test
- An amazing feature benefit to PPC ads that traditional advertising channels don’t offer is the ability to test ad copy in real time. You have the ability to create multiple ads that run simultaneously and compare which ads have the highest click through and conversion rates. Create a competing ad that covers the same material as the original ad but with minor variations. You can test pain point vs. price point to see what motivates your potential customers more, something as simple as an ad headline, etc.
Once you’ve completed all the steps for your PPC campaigns, you’re all set to go. Monitor what works, and refine your strategy as data pours in. And when you’re acquiring patients, appointment schedules, or even sales, remember the thousands of dollars in up-front costs that you’ve saved by not choosing a traditional advertising avenue.
KC Backofen is the Online Marketing Manager for CareCloud, specializing in SEM (search engine marketing), SEO (search engine optimization) and brand development. He can be found playing tennis, running and reading up on all things related to online marketing in his spare time.