Attracting new patients to your healthcare practice may feel challenging. Unless someone has recently moved to your area, they probably already have a strong relationship with their physician. Others may choose to pick someone new based on word of mouth as they trust the recommendations made by friends and family.

As a modern healthcare practice, you should always have a web presence. But when you’re struggling to drive traffic toward your site, you need to turn to advertising. This is where Google Adwords comes in. In addition to capturing the attention of prospective patients, a strong PPC campaign will drive traffic to your site while you build your organic SEO reach. We’re here to show you how Google AdWords can help a healthcare practice and the best ways for you to use it.

How Google AdWords helps you get more patients

When creating an AdWords campaign, you choose to show your ad to patients who search for terms that are relevant to your site. For example, if you’re a cardiologist, you can focus on keywords that are as direct as “cardiologist” or “heart doctor.” However, if you want to broaden your reach, you may also want to focus on the conditions that would drive someone toward a cardiologist. For example, “high blood pressure” or “fast heartbeat.”

As you can fine-tune your Google AdWords campaign to reach out to those in your catchment area, you can ask your ad to appear when someone in your local area searches for your target terms. For example, if you’re based in New Jersey, you’ll target your ads at those living in the state rather than the United States as a whole.

Thanks to your approach, those who are searching for their symptoms or a relevant professional will see your ad. The average clickthrough rate for a PPC ad that appears in search results is around 1.91%. While that may not seem like much, it can soon amount to a lot if you target enough (relevant) keywords. For example, if you manage to target around 3,000 prospective patients, just under 60 people will click through to your site.

The other way you can use Google AdWords to get more patients is through display advertising. With display advertising, your ad appears on relevant websites that use Google AdSense to generate money through AdWords. You’ve probably seen such ads on major websites, including WebMD. Focusing on relevant sites and geo-targeting your ads delivers the best results.

Finding the right ad format for your practice

Although you may know Google AdWords for their text ads, there are lots of formats for you to choose from. Understanding the differences between each type can help you decide which one is right for your practice.

Text-only ads

Text-only ads usually appear in search results, although they can feature on websites too. They’re easy to set-up and maintain, plus having text-only ads allows you to appear in search results even when your website isn’t ranking highly enough. They have the highest clickthrough rate, which means you may feel as though they’re more worth your efforts. However, they do come with a high cost-per-click so expect to pay for the efficacy they deliver. They also tend to perform best when someone is ready to use your services, so shape your keywords accordingly for a higher click-through rate.

Extended text-only ads

You can extend your text-only ads with additional links and contact information. The ads are usually bigger, which means they may generate more clicks. In addition to this, including your phone number and other details means that people may contact you without generating charges for your campaign. They also come with customization options for mobile vs web-based results, giving you the chance to fine-tune them according to each platform’s needs. Google ads that have contact details are especially useful for businesses where customers need to visit the premises, which covers the majority of healthcare practitioners.

Image ads

Image-based ads are aesthetically-pleasing. They’re ideal for when you want your ad to appear throughout Google’s display network. However, as they tend to work best for industries that are image dependent – retail, for example – they’re not always necessary for healthcare practitioners. Arguably, there are some exceptions to this. For example, if you’re a dentist or a cosmetic surgeon.

AdWords is useful when your organic traffic is low

When you’re trying to target a new keyword, building organic traffic takes a little time. The traffic building process can last for months, especially when there’s a lot of competition for the keywords you’re targeting. Unfortunately, having website traffic during key times of year is essential. For example, when you’re launching a new service or trying to expand your business.

While your organic traffic is falling short, you can use AdWords to attract patients and spread the news about your business. When your organic traffic does grow, you may want to continue using AdWords to increase your flow of new patients.

Using YouTube video marketing to promote your healthcare practice

YouTube video marketing acts as an excellent adjunct to Google AdWords. Unlike the brief ads, it allows you to provide patients with more details about your practice. You also have the chance to get creative. For example, you can produce videos that act as a tour of your facilities. Or, you can generate useful Q&A sessions with your lead clinicians. Some healthcare practices also find that videos are perfect for conducting interviews with previous patients who are willing to give testimonials.

You may also want to use AdWords to lead to videos embedded in your site. In doing so, you’ll capture the interest of the 1.9% who chose to click through to your site and provide them with the information they need to become registered patients. As patients love to build a personal connection with their physicians, you can use your video to develop a rapport and add your contact details to the end as a call to action.

If you’re ready to use AdWords as a part of your marketing campaign, we want to hear from you. Call 281-683-7071 to learn more.

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