PPC, or Pay Per Click, advertising is a cost-effective way to drive potential patients to your healthcare website or encourage individuals to contact your office to make an appointment. Digital marketing is extremely fruitful for healthcare companies for a variety of reasons, including that the majority of patients today turn to the internet and search engines to research treatment options, providers and health questions before they ever pick up a phone or walk into your office. Here are three ways to leverage that knowledge and PPC to gain more new patients.
1. Target the Right Users
The power of PPC advertising is in the ability to fine-tune targeting so you aren’t paying for ads to be displayed to a lot of people who are unlikely to use your services. A pediatric dentist, for example, may want ads to appear most often to parents of younger children, but an oncologist specializing in treating ovarian cancer would be more likely to target women.
Use PPC Targeting and Demographics
The first step to targeting PPC ads is understanding exactly who your patients — and potential patients — are. That’s your target audience. Consider the age, gender, location, affluence or income and even the interests of those who seek out your services to best target ads to them.
Once you know who your patients are likely to be, PPC ads can be set to show up more for those people and less for individuals who would be much less likely to make an appointment. For example, an OB-GYN office may want to target women over men. If the office puts an onus on OB care, they may even want to target women of child-bearing age. PPC campaigns can be set to target those specifics using online user data through Google or third-party demand-side ad platforms. PPC ads can be further customized via tools such as bidding modifiers, which let advertisers increase how much they’re willing to pay for ads displayed to users who match specific demographics.
Choose the Right Keywords
Another way to ensure PPC ads display to the right people is to ensure they’re tied to the best keyword choices. Keyword research through AdWords or tools such as SEMRush’s Keyword Magic let healthcare marketers identify the types of phrases patients are using to get information on specific topics.
For example, the Keyword Magic tool shows that “prostate cancer” is searched for 165,000 times a month and has a medium rating for competition (how many other advertisers are trying to get PPC ads placed for this search term). “Prostate cancer symptoms,” however, has a lower number of searches but a slightly lower competition rating and a much lower CPC (cost per click), which might make it easier for healthcare companies to bid on while also interacting with the right audience.
2. Don’t Ignore Social PPC Options
PPC ads aren’t just for search. You can also leverage social media PPC ads on sites such as Facebook and Instagram. As of 2018, 75 percent of Facebook users were ages 18 through 54 — prime demographics for many healthcare marketers as younger users may move from insurance plan to plan through the years and need to seek new providers as benefits networks change. Another 21 percent of those users are seniors, another big demographic for healthcare marketers.
Social PPC lets you show up where your target audience is spending a lot of time. Pew Research Center notes that close to 75 percent of Facebook users check into the platform at least once a day, with half of all users saying they check in multiple times. More than half of Instagram users also check in daily or more often. When you choose to display ads on these networks, you connect with potentially thousands of relevant users.
Another good reason to keep social ads in mind for PPC campaigns is that it puts your name in front of people on the same platforms you may be engaging with them organically via your own profiles. Those extra touch points create more trust in your brand and help consumers remember your name when they face a time of need.
3. Make Sure CTAs Are Clear
Another way to leverage PPC to gain new patients is to spend time crafting the best possible CTAs. In many cases, the CTA specific to the ad is understood: You want people to click on the ad to go to your landing page or website. In these cases, you must ensure that the copy and call to action on your landing page are aligned with the intent of your ad campaign. If a user clicks your ad and goes to a completely irrelevant page, they’re likely to bounce and may not click on your ads again.
PPC on social marketing may come with additional CTA options. Instagram ads, for example, let you offer a CTA that users can follow by clicking or swiping. The CTA may let them visit a website, call your office or download your app based on a single action.
Bonus Tip: Keep Things Simple
No matter how you connect your ad to your site or CTA, ensure that the process from first engaging with your ad to becoming a new patient is as easy and seamless as possible for users. This is a good tip for marketers in any industry but is critical for those in healthcare.
Remember that many potential new patients may be searching for services at a time of need, which means they could be in pain or experiencing anxiety about their condition or the illness of a loved one. Healthcare and medical treatments are already far outside the comfort zone of most people, and individuals often have many questions and concerns. Finding out how to contact your office or make an appointment shouldn’t be one of those issues.
By leveraging PPC advertising, you can get your name in front of the right people and grow your patient list, but Pay Per Click comes with its own complexities. The experts at Lead to Conversion can help you make the most of your PPC budget.