Getting your medical practice to show up online sometimes feels like a guessing game. Google constantly changes their algorithms, social media is confusing, and online advertising seems like an unsolvable mystery. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Thanks to Google AdWords, medical practices can significantly improve their online ranking. Targeted ads, researched and focused keywords, and a well-defined audience are the key ingredients to creating a successful ad campaign. Sounds simple enough, but there is a lot of room for human error. Here are the four biggest Google AdWords mistakes in medical marketing. Are you making them?
1. Using the Wrong KeywordsOne of the first things you have to do when creating a Google AdWords campaign is to determine your keywords. The keywords you select can make or break your entire ad campaign. If you pick an oversaturated keyword or worse, an obscure keyword that no one is searching for, no one will find you.
The best way to avoid using the wrong keywords is to RESEARCH the words and phrases you want to rank for. Think long and hard about what kinds of words your ideal customers are typing into their Google search bar when they are looking for services similar to yours.
This is not the time to play a guessing game - use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner, Hubspot’s Keywords Tool, BuzzSumo, or SEM Rush’s Keyword Researcher to get started. These tools can help you determine which keywords and phrases are getting the most hits, which are best for conversions, and which ones to avoid based on oversaturation. You can also research long-tail keywords and discover related keywords you may want to use.
These kinds of tools will help you decide if you should use the phrase “plastic surgery” instead of “cosmetic surgery,” etc. Or can help you determine if “health care practice” or “medical practice” will get more hits.
2. Poorly Written Ads and Not Including Ad ExtensionsIf you want your ads to convert people to paying patients, your content must be compelling. Your ad copy needs to be focused on your target audience, offer something specific and of value, and give clear instructions on next steps. An ad that is thrown together will ultimately waste your time and money.
The best ads have powerful headlines that draw people in. If your headline misses the mark, people are going to keep scrolling. Secondly, the text below your headline must be informative and intriguing, but to the point. You have a limited amount of space to entice someone into clicking on a link to learn more.
The next big mistake people make is to not include an Ad Extension. An Ad Extension is exactly what it sounds like - a way to extend your ad and include more options in terms of what kind of action people can take.
For example, you can add a Call Extension that allows people to click a link and call you directly. Another popular Ad Extension is to direct people to a landing page - this gives you another way to showcase more information. Want people to have easy access to your practice's location? Use a Location Extension. All of this content is listed below your primary ad content.
3. Not Using Negative KeywordsSo we’ve already talked about researching the keywords you use, but did you know you also need to think about negative keywords? If you don’t add negative keywords to your campaign, your ad is more likely to show up in irrelevant search queries.
Essentially, negative keywords will prevent your ad from being shown when someone searches for that particular word or phrase. These are words you DON’T want to be associated with your ad. This will help you decrease the number of unqualified leads clicking on your ad and ultimately, lower costs while increasing revenue.
For example, if you are trying to promote your plastic surgery practice, you may want to enter phrases like “heart surgery” and “cosmetic dentistry” as negative keywords. If you are a medical practice focusing only on seniors, you may want to have “pediatrics” and “family doctor” as negative keywords.
4. Forgetting to Bid on Your Medical PracticeMany people make the mistake of forgetting to bid on their medical practice. Even if you come up first on Google in an organic search, it’s important to bid on your practice’s name (as a keyword), so you maintain your position.
Frankly, your competitors can easily bid on your practice’s name if you don’t. Meaning their information could come up online instead of yours when someone specifically searches for your practice!
By taking the time to bid on your medical practice, you can be confident that you will maintain your priority placement and that when people search for you, they will find you - instead of your competition. All you need to do is create a campaign for your practice’s name and place a low bid for the number one spot. There shouldn’t be a ton of competition for this keyword, so don’t worry!
How many of these four Google AdWords mistakes are you making in your medical marketing? Hopefully not too many! While these mistakes can be quite detrimental to your Google AdWords campaigns, they are relatively easy to fix. By tweaking these four areas of your strategy, you can significantly improve the likelihood that your ads will show up to the right people!