The competition in the digital advertising space is heating up, especially for medical organizations. Making an effort to understand and correctly utilize tools for search ad targeting is a critical strategy for staying relevant and ahead of the competition. Google AdWords is arguably the best tool available for businesses right now.

Google AdWords allows all kinds of businesses to leverage keyword searches to create links and ads on Google’s search engine and display network. Practices can write or design advertisements that pop up on relevant websites, such as a medical blog site, as well as search engine queries. An AdWords campaign helps support efficient and effective efforts to drive revenue from new business.

Medical practices do not traditionally have large digital advertising budgets, and the good news is that they don’t need to have one in order to have an effective advertising campaign. Google AdWords is cost-effective and user-friendly. According to online advertising company Wordstream, small businesses using AdWords spend between $9,000 and $10,000 per month on their Google paid search campaigns. You can schedule your ads, geo-target and even device target for maximum control over how your AdWords budget is used.

Using AdWords can get you results almost right away, while natural search engine marketing can take up to a few months to change behavior in medical searches. Outlined below are five major reasons why every medical practice should have a Google AdWords Campaign:

1. You only pay when someone clicks

Most forms of digital advertising require medical practices to pay to create the ad. There’s no regard for the effectiveness of the ad itself. Pay per click models like Google Adwords allow medical practices to pay only when someone clicks on the ad, which drives traffic to the website or landing page. You’re not left to just hope your ad will be reaching your target audience and driving revenue. The average cost per click is between $1 and $2, and you can expect to make more than that in returns.

2. You can attract targeted patients

Your patient recruiting efforts can be targeted and realistic. With AdWords you can set up your ads to only appear for patients within a certain geographical area. This helps to ensure medical practices aren’t spending energy or marketing dollars to advertise to patients that are very unlikely to ever make it to your practice.

3. You can increase your revenue

The numbers are undeniable – people are taking to the internet to manage their health needs and medical practices need to be leveraging patient search habits. Almost 5% of the two trillion searches made through Google every year are related to health. The search engine giant estimates that advertisers using AdWords make $2 for every $1 they spend.

4. You can keep tabs on your competitors

Google AdWords is based on an auction system where different businesses bid on keywords. Using AdWords’ Keyword Planner can not only help medical practices get keyword ideas for their own ads and pages, but it can also help them figure out what their competitors are doing keyword-wise. You can take a few of their URLs from their website and use the search bar to see what keywords they’re using and ensure that they don’t have a lot of unique ones that could be capturing a sect of your prospects that you haven’t been able to reach.

5. You can have more control over your practice’s online reputation

Having powerful ads and headlines is important for getting new patients, but they can also be important tools when it comes controlling the online narrative of your practice. Positive online reviews and experiences can help attract new patients and ultimately increase your revenue. Use the ads and headlines as ways to communicate positive messages about your practice.

Tips for Getting the Most From AdWords

The major things to keep in mind when it comes to successfully using AdWords are targeting, testing and optimization. Making sure ads are targeting geographically and demographically will help you get the most from your resources. Other tips include:

  • When designing ads, make sure to focus on keywords. AdWords includes a keyword tool to help you find the most relevant words and phrases.
  • Make your headlines strong. It’s like a first impression, so it needs to be powerful.
  • Ensure your location is clearly outlined on your landing page/home page. If a prospective patient clicks on your ad they expect to know how close they are to your practice quickly.
  • AdWords has tools and metrics to test and track your results as well as optimize the ads. Definitely use those.
  • Be sure to partner with a Google Certified Partner Agency that specializes in medical marketing.  You’ll end up saving a lot of time and money in the setup and operation of an optimized campaign.
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