All healthcare clinics are concerned about getting on the first-page of Google. Let’s look at one of the most cost-effective and timely ways to boost your Google rankings online.
History of Google Adwords
Everybody loves a good origins story. Google blessed us with the convenience and cost-effectiveness of their Adwords development in the beginning of the millennium. Then the surge of small clinics began to open up shop, with a very modest advertising budget to support them. Adwords was the solution! If you had a credit card, you’d simply sign up, and voila, Google would provide you with a cost-effective campaign that yielded measurable results.
The simplicity of Adwords effectively gave even the little fish opportunity in a vast sea of competition. Clinics were definitely prospering from these Google developments, and early adaptation was rewarded.
Fast-Forward to Today
Google Adwords has become one of the most popular forms of advertising for private healthcare clinics. However, let’s be cautious, and most importantly, be aware of both the pros and cons of entertaining an Adwords campaign
1) All Your Competitors are using Adwords!
Google Adwords participation within private healthcare clinics has been rising at an alarming rate within the past couple of years. This trend keeps the market saturated and competitive, which is great for Google and less beneficial for the clinics. This has caused keyword bidding to increase, meaning you’re paying more money for an initial click and potential conversion, which will directly eat into your margins, due to regulated prices. If this is the case, why is everybody still doing it? Adwords is still more affordable than most traditional forms of marketing, and it still yields you results that are measurable and quantifiable.
Another benefit with being in a competitive field with reliable statistics is that you can theorize through simple mathematics, just how successful your competitors are doing, based on their bid price. Of course, this is merely an estimate due to a handful of subjective variables, but it would be a good benchmark comparison. Can you guess how it’s a golden opportunity to spy on your competition? Let’s figure it out by using your clinic as an example:
In healthcare it’s not uncommon for pricing to be comparable across the board, so in this scenario, let’s assume that we are basing our cost per click on a $100 initial session for a first time patient. If the profit margin for this payment is 30%, then we’ve successful attained a $30 profit from this patient. Now, let’s apply this to our Adwords campaign. If your conversion rate is a conservative 1%, then this means that for every 100 visitors on your website, you expect to treat 1 new patient. With the assumption that 100% of your profits are allocated to your ad campaign, then your budget for 100 website interactions is $30, meaning your cost per click will roughly be about 30 cents. I’m sure you can see how this could be beneficial to you when sizing up the competitor throughout your bidding wars. One important note is that the numbers used here are certainly not indicative of the cost of healthcare keywords, and in fact, most healthcare words can be as costly as $5 – $10 per click.
2) Adwords and SEO Comparison
We work directly with smaller clinics with smaller budgets so therefore we recommend that they invest the majority of their marketing budget in Google Adwords. This will help you gain stronger qualified and quantified traffic. It has been statistically proven that roughly 65% of on-site conversions are due to Adwords, and the other 35%, due to organic search rankings.
Depending on if you are a new clinic, or an experienced clinic, certain Adwords or SEO strategies will work better than others. For example, a newer clinic would benefit from investing in Google Adwords more if their budget was lower and they wanted to rank quickly.
Additionally, Google Adwords provides you with measurable performance data for each ad, which means you can take the information provided and directly apply it to your future ad campaigns. There are a variety reports that can give you reliable measurables, such as geographic data, search query data, demographic data, and overall campaign performance data.
3) Exercise a Lean Adwords Campaign
So you have established that Adwords is the way to go; congratulations, so have the other 100 clinics in your locality. Let’s figure out the most effective way to differentiate your practice with a sound pay per click strategy.
If your budget is below average, then slim down your campaign and start using more targeted strategies. This will inevitably limit the scope of your audience, but it will also target viewers more susceptible to transacting. Your slimming strategy will have effectively decreased your cost while increasing your chances of a sale. How do you do this?
Engage in smart keyword selection campaigns. It goes without saying, but you will want to optimize branded keywords such as your clinic name, your name, or certain special services that offer you a competitive advantage. These words generally yield a lower cost per click and simultaneously have the highest conversion rates.
Generic head terms can be costly due to high volume of search queries, which is why we recommend you educate yourself in the long-tail keyword search. These are just phrases that are more targeted to a specific business. For example, a generic head term could be “dentist”, but a long-tail keyword could be “dentist in downtown Vancouver”. When optimizing these campaigns, try to think like the prospective patient while being mindful of your competing campaigns.
Geotarget by showing your ads within your specified geographical radius, which will help narrow the scope of your campaign, and also reduce the number of irrelevant clicks on your ad. Another strategy is to target prospective patients outside of your area. This could be implemented for clinic expansion purposes, or allocating excess profits to more aggressive advertising tactics.
Another nifty Google Adwords trick is device targeting. This is especially valuable if you find that your prospective patients are typically finding you through certain devices, such as a mobile phone. This vital information tells you to allocate more of your efforts towards optimizing Adwords on a mobile device, because statistically speaking, prospects that are searching on their mobiles are more inclined to be a transactional patient as opposed to a passive searcher.
These are just a few tips from your friendly neighborhood digital marketing healthcare company, but if you really want to grow your business and exceed sales targets through Google Adwords, you must simply immerse yourself in this online space, and surround yourself with experts in the field.