For just about any company, taking that plunge into digital advertising is a huge step towards growing your practice. It’s pretty likely that you’ve already created some sort of online presence for your practice, but making that next move into paid advertising is extremely important, especially if you really want to increase visibility, reach the right people and get more patients coming in.
One of the issues that early advertisers run into is that there is simply so much to do. This is exactly why there are agencies, like us here at Pepper Gang, that can dedicate themselves to it full time, but that’s neither here nor there. On top of that, it feels like the number of advertising platforms is growing every day. From Google to Facebook, Bing to Yahoo, it can be overwhelming. Still, maybe you’re not ready to take the leap into hiring an agency to handle these efforts for you…
We get it. And you’re not alone.
Private practices such as you may have all sorts of reasons for not hiring an agency right away. Maybe you want to see if you can do it on your own. Maybe you just don’t have the money.
Whatever the reason is, we understand – but we still want to help. So here are a few tips for you if you’re just getting started and need a few pointers.
Lights, Camera, (Call-to) Action
It may seem obvious what you’re telling your audience to do, but believe it or not, they don’t always know. Users will see your ad but lack the motivation to engage. While you’d expect somebody to click if they were actually interested, that’s simply not always the case.
So what can you do?
It’s your job as the advertiser to make sure they engage. The best and easiest way to do this is by using a “Call-To-Action.” You could try writing “Book An Appointment Today” in the headline or body of a text ad, or the bottom of an image or display ad.
Find out what works best for your practice. If you’ve gone through the basics, try something a bit more outside the box. Have fun with it!
Prepare For Landing (Pages)
Let’s say you’ve tried several different ads. You finally feel as though you’ve written or designed the perfect one for your practice, but instead of your home page, or a page for whatever it was you were advertising for, the ad brought the user to a “Contact Us” page. Users don’t enjoy clicking on an ad and needing to scour your site for whatever it was and guess what – they won’t. This is also another chance to try some different ideas. Maybe send users to a page with a call to action to book a consultation/appointment.
You may be noticing a trend, where we keep telling you to test different things. As you gain more experience, you may be surprised at which ads, CTAs, or targeting works best, so don’t be afraid to try different text or images to see what your patients respond to.
Don’t Be Negative, Except With Keywords
One of the reasons companies like to hire agencies is because our sole focus is to work on our clients’ campaigns. We spend a lot of time combing through metrics, results, analytics, ad copy, messaging etc, and keeping track of search terms is an absolute must. No matter how perfectly a campaign might be set up, I can guarantee that your ads are showing up for search queries that have nothing to do with what you do for your patients.
The worst part? People still click them, and it can cost you a lot of money that would obviously be better spent on in-market patients. One of the most popular examples is a store that sells prescription eyeglasses. They may want to use “drinking” or “wine glasses” as negative keywords.
They might also want to use “photo” or “picture” so they won’t get clicks from somebody looking for different kind of frames. Keeping up with negative keywords on a daily basis is crucial.
Extensions, Extensions, Extensions
Having strong ad copy and a great call-to-action is all well and good, but there are a number of other ways to attract potential patients. As an advertiser, you need to take advantage of the features that each platform gives you. One of the most obvious is the variety of extensions offered in Google Ads (AdWords). Use a call extension to get would-be patients to reach out by phone. Use sitelink extensions to provide them with more information and link them to other pages (and boost your CTR). Use the new promo extensions to feature special offers. Experiment with different links and text. Which performs best for your practice?
Oh, and there’s always the added benefit of taking up more real estate and pushing your competition further down the page!
Having a mobile-friendly site has gotten increasingly important over the years. In 2018, 52.2% of patients booked with a practice from a mobile phone. On top of that, patients consistently say they are unlikely to work with a doctor after having an interruptive experience on their mobile site.
But that’s not all…
Over the summer, Google made a huge change to how their system is going to rank a company’s ads. Because of the increases of searches on mobile devices, Google will now be ranking ads lower if the mobile experience is subpar. You’ll find yourself with a lower quality score which can cause you to increase your bidding and cost you quite a bit of cash, making this one a top priority.
So look, these are just a few quick tips to help your ad campaigns, but realistically, there is a lot more that can, and should, be done if you want to achieve the best results. If you want to learn more about how Pepper Gang can grow your practice, feel free to give us a call.