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Paid Search for Doctors: How to See Immediate Results With Your PPC Campaigns

At its simplest, paid search ads are the advertisements that appear near the top of the results page for search engines.

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Every medical practice knows that healthcare marketing can get expensive quickly. And yet, it’s an essential way of attracting new patients. You need to make the most out of your marketing budget, so optimizing your marketing strategy becomes absolutely crucial.

It’s also why paid search marketing plays such a major role when it comes to advertising in healthcare. Few methods are as effective in attracting new leads and patients, owing both to the popularity of Google searches among this particular audience and the effectiveness of the strategy in general.

Of course, you have to set it up the right way. So in this guide, we’ll dive deep into search (and more specifically Google) ads for healthcare, from a basic exploration of the topic to the key benefits that make healthcare PPC such a vital part of any medical marketing strategy.

What is Paid Search for Doctors?

At its simplest, paid search ads are the advertisements that appear near the top of the results page for search engines. For example, when a potential patient types “family physicians near me” into Google, the first few search results will likely by occupied by ads from doctor’s offices looking to be found in similar searches.

Most marketers equate paid search with Google, but it’s important to note that Bing can play a role as well. It generates 12 billion monthly searches, with 500 million coming from the U.S. alone. Still, most references to “pay-per-click” or PPC campaigns refer to campaigns set up through Google’s advertising platform.

It’s important to note that paid search isn’t the only type of PPC either. Within the larger paid advertising ecosystem, medical pay per click ads can include both search and display ads, with the latter describing visual banners that appear on one of the 200 million websites that are part of Google’s Display Network. Combined, both types of healthcare PPC can play a major role in increasing new patient leads.

Paid search campaigns are immensely flexible, but that flexibility can bring some initial complexity. Breaking them down into their four main components makes the set up a bit more straightforward.

  1. Individual ads are the audience-facing component. With a few headlines and description lines allow marketers to get their message across effectively. These ads are text-only, and will need to follow defined character limits.

  2. Ad groups are the next hierarchical unit of a healthcare PPC campaign. They allow marketers to group multiple individual ads into a single campaign, sharing a budget and targeting. That’s especially relevant for medical practices advertising several different services.

  3. Keywords are the primary targeting mechanism within paid search. Every campaign needs a number of target keywords and phrases that correspond with the terms your potential patients would search for. Google’s Keyword Planner tool can help marketers discover keywords with the right search volume for their budget.

  4. Budgets are spent through bids on individual keywords. Each keyword targeted is “worth” a specific amount for each click it generates, based on how many other advertisers are targeting the same phrase. Bidding happens in real-time as ads are placed, and can be automated or manual.

The best medical ads on search engines are optimized on all four of these components, from creating great ads to finding the right targeting and setting the optimal bid to maximize the budget.

Done right, medical Google ads can have immense advantages for medical practices. Understanding these benefits can go a long way towards setting up a successful paid search campaign.

1. Generate Leads Faster than SEO

Organic search engine optimization (SEO) has the potential to be immensely effective in building credibility and getting traffic to your medical website. But it also takes months to optimize. Google and other paid search ads, on the other hand, is much faster. As long as the set up is good, you’re able to begin gathering traffic to your landing pages and leads for near-instant results.

2. Stay on the First Page of Google

In addition to the speed of results, search ads also reduce the volatility that can come with search engines. We know that results anywhere beyond the first page receive only a fraction, if any, attention from your audience. Ads get guaranteed spots at the top of the search results, getting the attention you need to get results.

3. Cost-Effective Advertising

As a type of medical PPC, search ads are budget-optimized by default. Your budget gets charged only when someone clicks on the ad, which means anyone scrolling past it will not affect it. More specific keywords and more local targeting can also uncover some low-cost bidding opportunities that can enhance the cost-effectiveness of campaigns.

4. Flexible for Optimization

Perhaps the biggest calling card of paid search is its flexibility. Though they are only text-based, ads can morph into completely different entities based on the text used, ad extensions, and other optimizations. Possible keywords go into the billions, and manual bidding allows for literally constant optimization. With the right person at the help, continually testing new options can fully optimize campaigns.

5. Measurable Results

Finally, search ads are inherently measurable. Especially for medical websites connected to Google Analytics, marketers can evaluate the success for every ad variation, keyword, and geographic target. With the right Google Analytics Goals, success is measured not just through clicks, but the amount of leads and even new patients gained for each ad and the campaign as a whole.

The wide-ranging benefits of paid search make it a core component of any medical ad campaign. However, it’s important to know whether you’ll get a positive return on investment from this (or any other) paid advertising tactic.

Before investing in paid search, physicians need to know what their local market is looking for and optimize campaigns accordingly. Otherwise, crucial revenue will end up lost.

One way to accomplish that is to extract demographics from official census records, and compare those with search volumes for the services you provide. But it doesn’t need to be that difficult. Get a free local market analysis from DoctorLogic today to better understand your potential patients and build a medical marketing campaign designed to drive leads and patients to your practice.

Published on
Aug 16, 2022

Written by
DoctorLogic Employee