What Doctors Should Know about Pay-per-Click Advertising

The pay-per-click advertising model, with Google AdWords being the most popular and effective platform, is a proven winner in the medical marketing field, offering the following advantages:

  • Immediacy: Ads are displayed to searchers at the exact time they are looking for your services.
  • Relevance: Ads, when properly written, are precisely relevant to the search being conducted.
  • Scope: Unlike SEO, PPC enables advertisers to attack a very large number of keywords within a reasonable budget.
  • Geographic Targeting: Ads can be made to display in a defined geography of the advertiser’s choosing.
  • Cost Effectiveness: Ad budgets are fully under the advertiser’s control; ads cost nothing until a user clicks on one.

Despite the advantages, PPC campaigns can easily fail if the fundamentals are not handled correctly. Here are some of the ways PPC advertisers go wrong.

  • Insufficient keyword research. Every PPC campaign stands or falls on the keywords selected for targeting. If the keywords are too broad, there will be too many non-relevant clicks, diluting ROI. If the keywords are too narrow, there will not be enough click-throughs to generate ROI. If certain keywords are not excluded, click-throughs will occur from totally unqualified users, undermining ROI.
  • Poor ad composition. AdWord ads are limited to 25 characters on the top line, and 35 characters each on the second and third lines. Advertisers must pack a lot of punch into this very limited space, getting the user’s attention, offering a compelling reason to click through, and staying completely relevant throughout the ad.
  • Improperly designed landing pages. After a user clicks on an ad, he or she is taken to a landing page that offers a specific course of action, such as making an appointment. If a landing page is laid out in a confusing manner or fails to communicate good reasons to take action, the user will not follow through and the opportunity to obtain a new patient will be lost, possibly forever.
  • Failure to test and refine. Since predicting user behavior is next to impossible, even when PPC best practices for design and messaging are diligently followed, systematic A/B testing is necessary for refining campaigns and reducing the cost per conversion. Many times, the fifth, tenth or twentieth iteration of an ad or landing page is the one that will transform a program from good to great.
  • Insufficient budgets. It takes a certain number of click-throughs to reach a critical mass of activity, one that generates measurable and meaningful ROI. If the ad budget is too small, it may only generate a handful of clicks and conversions. Advertisers often conclude from this poor level of activity that the campaign is poorly designed, when in reality it may just be a question of exposure.
  • Incomplete or non-existent lead tracking. A surprising number of PPC campaign managers fail to adequately set up tracking that enables you to understand which ads worked, which ones didn’t, and the source of every inquiry. Without this all-important data, it becomes exceedingly difficult to judge which keywords to emphasize and which ad publishers are producing the best results.

Officite, like any good PPC management firm, adheres to industry best practices and stays current with changes that are continually being made to AdWords and the other advertising platforms. What differentiates us is our decade of experience in the medical marketing field. You can rely on our PPC team to employ techniques that have proven effectiveness in the medical industry, allowing you to get the most for your advertising spend. Contact us now to learn more how we can help you attract new patients with a professional PPC campaign.