A few years ago, if you wanted to find a health clinic you would simply have looked in the local phone directory or found a pamphlet in the local council offices. Now, using the internet we can pick and choose health clinics across a broad area. And once you start looking online for specific health providers, from orthodontists to paediatricians, the choices are many.
Many health clinics now turn to the internet to find new patients, but if a clinic is offering a specialist service or looking to increase patient numbers it pays to know how to advertise.
Google Adwords is the industry standard when it comes to online advertising. Sure, Facebook, Bing and Yahoo are great alternatives, but for the big return on investment, you’ll need to go with the big guns.
First things first, before you put any money down is to work out who you are targeting. Are you looking for people looking for a general doctor, sports therapy or more specific treatments?
You will need to understand who your customer is and what they are searching for. What age range do they fall into? Are they under 30, under 18 or over 55? Are they looking for immediate treatment or are they researching their options?
Once you have a picture of your customer you can then start to work out what they are searching for. Search terms are, of course, the name of the game with Google Adwords so start to develop an image of your customer and you can start to work out what they want.
Being general will target too broad a sector of the public and can cause your Adword campaign costs to spiral. PPC means pay per click, so if you’re targeting the general public who are looking for treatments, try to make sure you are only getting clicks from people who are likely to complete a purchase or who are likely to become customers/patients.
Once you have the image of the customer you are targeting you can then start to identify the words and the language they are using to find their health treatment. If they are looking for treatment for the whole family, perhaps they will be searching things like, ‘Where can I find affordable dental care for my whole family’ or ‘Best local private doctors in North London’.
With the advent of voice search, more and more people are using virtual assistants like Siri or Google Assistant. The way you harness this is by answering questions that users are likely to ask.
For example, on your home page you may want to say something along the lines of, ‘We offer the best private healthcare in the North London area for all the family’ and then perhaps a summary of services offered.
When it comes to running your PPC campaign through Adwords you would then streamline your research by targeting the specific keywords that are being used to find your business.
Medical advertising is subject to strict licensing laws, so be careful about using names of specific medical products or treatments as part of any Adwords campaign. Google has been known to shut down advertising campaigns if they deem them inappropriate. If for example a health clinic specialises in obesity treatments, avoid naming specific treatments.
Also for keywords, being too general will mean less of a solid return on your investment. You can always change the keywords you’re using when running an Adwords campaign, so use a selection of keywords and see how they work. If they’re costing you a lot of money and getting you very few conversions then your terms might be too general and you’ll need to reconsider.
The good thing about Adwords is you can really target a specific area. If your health centre targets a larger area or offers a service which people come from far and wide to use then sure, you can throw a wider net. But, for most health clinics you’ll be wanting to draw patients from a local area.
Keep your location obvious in your contact details, of course, and add location extensions and also make sure your business shows up on Google Maps.
Incomplete or incorrect contact details will cause headaches for patients who will just go elsewhere. Not having your location show up on Google Maps is like being invisible, so make 100% sure your address and location are showing up correctly. This might sound obvious, but it’s a simple mistake that can cost a lot of money, especially with PPC campaigns.
Spending money on a PPC Adwords campaign for your health centre is a great way to boost visitors and interest. However, it helps to maximise your reach, especially if you’re spending money.
The traditional ways of boosting the return on investment for a PPC campaign are to use social media to increase exposure and run a blog to showcase your knowledge and expertise. This of course means more work and designating someone to run these extra campaigns for you – however they are tried and tested ways of boosting your profile.
You can also choose to opt in to the Google Display Network. What this means is that your ad can show up as an interactive banner on certain websites which have opted in to have advertising shown. Targeted people will then see these ads when browsing and can click through to you that way.
If you’re running a health clinic or a PPC campaign that is offering a specific treatment of service, try not to go off topic with your social media or blogging. Inconsistency can scare people off, so try to embellish and improve on what you’re paying for.
Use your blog and social media to offer more advice and tips related to the market you’re targeting.