Did you know 1 in 20 searches on Google are healthcare related? Paid search is a great way to reach people who are active in their healthcare selection process. It is a proven digital marketing tactic, effective across all industries. However, there are some key best practices to consider in the healthcare industry. Follow these six recommended best practices when running healthcare pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to set you and your healthcare organization up for success.
1. Define your target market.
By narrowing down criteria for a defined persona, you can get more out of your ad spend. Keep in mind caregivers who might be the ones doing searches on behalf of those seeking care.
2. Consider the search stage.
Acknowledge that there are several stages in the healthcare selection process (e.g. prevention, research, treatment). Although the keywords may be similar, similar search queries can be seeking drastically different results:
“How to get pregnant” vs. “32 weeks pregnant”
Your campaign structures and ad groups should reflect this so searchers are seeing the most relevant ads and final landing page content.
3. Negative keywords are crucial.
In healthcare, it is easy to show up for the wrong related terms. Start with a robust list of negative keywords so you don’t end up showing on brand damaging results:
“performance enhancement training” vs. “performance enhancement drugs”
4. Offer content relevant to the search stage.
While some searches indicate immediate action(“urgent care near me”) others are just beginning their selection process (“how to select a pediatrician”). Make sure the call-to-action and final landing page are reflective of the searcher's selection stage:
“find a physician” vs. “download a prevention guide”
Also it's a good idea to give visitors the opportunity to jump ahead in the process if they are ready. Providing a phone number on all landing pages to schedule an appointment is an easy and consistent way to allow researching visitors the ability to skip ahead and convert.
5. Play the long-term game.
Healthcare choices are rarely made quickly. Have a strategy in place to continue communicating with visitors who haven’t converted yet. Marketing automation is the perfect tool to send this personalized information at the right time.
6. A/B test everything!
So, this rule applies across all industries, but it is probably the most important. Establishing your campaign is just the beginning. Test everything, from ads and keyword bids to audience targeting, to refine your PPC performance over time. Again, don’t stop there! Take the insights you gather and apply them to other marketing campaigns.
Interested in how you can improve all of your healthcare marketing? Check out our other posts on healthcare email best practices and healthcare social media practices or download the comprehensive healthcare marketing guide.