A study done nearly three years ago indicated that one in 20 Google searches were for health-related information. With the internet growing at a rapid rate, sites that once ranked highly in SERPs (search engine results pages) are facing more relevant competition, and losing real estate on page one in the process. While organic SEO is a necessity with regards to your online marketing, it’s important to be sure that you are looking at all potential avenues, such as PPC campaigns, to keep your healthcare site ranking high.
What is PPC?
PPC, or Pay-Per-Click advertising, is a method of online advertising by which people essentially “bid” on a series of keywords to gain higher placement on Google. After creating your ad and determining what terms you would like to target, you will pick a budget to set for your campaign. As people begin clicking on your ad, your account is charged until you reach the threshold of the budget you previously set.
While the process seems simple, there’s actually a great deal of research that goes into all stages of developing the campaign, especially determining the budget. While you can certainly find “cheap” terms to target, and gain a great deal of clicks, these terms are not always ones that are facing a large audience. Having said that, targeting just the more expensive terms doesn’t always equate to success either. It’s important to find a great balance and review your reports so that you are staying in the mix of the competition, and also targeting the terms that will generate you leads.
How can I use PPC on my Healthcare website?
When people describe PPC campaigns, they’ll typically say “it’ll get you to the top of the rankings immediately,” which is certainly true. However, when referring to medical websites and the healthcare industry as a whole, PPC campaigns can assist in a number of ways.
Searches for symptoms, treatments, and conditions
PPC campaigns allow for a great deal of flexibility when getting your practice ranking with regards to keywords and overall search terms. With ad groups for symptoms, treatments, and conditions, you are allowing your site to rank as if a patient would search. Think about how many times you, as a user of the internet, have tried to self-diagnose. By creating a great ad, with exciting ad copy, you allow yourself to be one of the top results people see, and can lead these searchers to your site as a reputable source for more information.
Measure calls and generate new leads
If you’re working with a good marketer, chances are that you’re already monitoring the number of calls from your site. With PPC, you allow for an added level of tracking with separate phone numbers. This allows for you to see exactly where your leads are coming from and how long they are staying connected. With this data, you can determine which ads are performing well, and increase or decrease your budgets and bids accordingly.
Drive traffic to the correct pages
One of the most important aspects to a PPC campaign is that you direct traffic to specific “landing pages,” allowing your users to quickly find what they need. When someone searches for a specific treatment or symptom, it’s important for them to find the correct information and call you as quickly as possible. By developing a strong ad that leads to a specific source of information, the person viewing your site easily gets the resources they need, and, as number one on the SERPs, you are their first choice!
What challenges do I face using PPC in Healthcare?
Although PPC campaigns are beneficial for medical companies, there are a number of steps one must take to ensure that they are abiding by both Google’s and the government’s regulations.
Don’t define outcomes without supporting the claim
The first thing people tend to do when setting up an ad campaign on their own is create unsubstantiated claims about their practice. Unfortunately, this is a quick way for your ad to be suspended. If you wish to place a claim about results provided by a procedure or a definite outcome, make sure to add supporting documents via your website as disclaimers. In addition, make sure to avoid trademarked brands within your ad copy to prevent suspension.
Don’t use remarketing or risk patient confidentiality
When it comes to healthcare, HIPAA is king, so it’s important to make sure you are abiding by all rules. Remarketing, while helpful for certain industries, can put your potential (and current) patient’s information at risk. For example, if someone is searching on “uterine fibroid removal,” and you store their information for retargeting, it will pop up on the computer when someone else uses it. While this is not throwing their information to the public, it is allowing someone else to see their searches, which becomes a very gray area for confidentiality. Avoid this, and focus on PPC and organic and you’ll eliminate a huge risk factor.
Now that you know more about PPC, it’s time to learn even more about a specific campaign to fit your needs. Contact Practis today to learn more and get your campaign rolling!