When it comes to digital marketing for vein practices, some strategies are more effective than others. Over the past decade, the internet has completely transformed the process of how people seek out medical information and make decisions about treatment. Today, more than 77% of patients conduct health-related searches online, and Google alone now processes over 28 billion medical inquiries per year. For vein practices, this trend represents a massive opportunity to reach a much wider audience and drive more conversions, all while reducing costs. In fact, recent market research conducted by the American College of Phlebology (ACP) suggest that digital advertising now drives more new referrals at less than half the cost of traditional media (print, television, radio). However, it’s important to recognize that not all digital marketing tactics are created equal, especially when it comes to phlebology. Here are a few key considerations and best practices that should be top-of-mind for any vein practice thinking about investing in a digital strategy.
Targeting Active Patients Online
When it comes to delivering real results quickly, no tactic is more impactful than search engine marketing (SEM). In fact, vein clinics that boasted top-3 organic search rankings in a geographic market found that their breakdown of available referrals was still split between 29% from organic search and 71% from pay per click (PPC) ads; thus, the data dictates that the bulk of ad spend should be directed toward paid search ads targeting local markets. That said, simply investing in search ads isn’t enough to guarantee success — rather, you have to be able to reach the right patients with the right materials at the precise moment they exit the symptom/diagnosis phase of their online research and become transactional. This requires a very specific approach to keyword targeting in which your strategy focuses on conversion-driven search terms. For example, a patient searching broad terms like “varicose veins,” or “phlebitis” is likely in the symptom/diagnosis stage of their patient journey, and therefore less likely convert. However, a patient using keywords like “spider vein treatment NYC,” “sclerotherapy treatment near me,” or “which insurance covers varicose vein procedures in Florida?” has likely reached the decision-making stage, which means they’re far more likely to click on an ad and book an actual appointment or attend your next screening day.
Perhaps just as important as the actual approach you take are the KPIs you rely on as measures of progress — far too many agencies focus on interim metrics such as visitors, rankings, and impressions as indicators of success, which can be incredibly misleading. You might be driving all the traffic in the world to your site, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a direct correlation to an increase in your conversion rate. Vein practices should look for marketing vendors with years of industry-specific experience who can also point to consistent results and positive ROI they’ve generated in the past. Having generated well over 250,000 online referrals for vein practices over the years, we can confidently say that our unique approach to keyword targeting delivers on all of the above. In fact, one of our campaigns secured us a slot as finalists for the 2016 Search Engine Land “Landy” Awards, which recognize successful SEM campaigns across one or multiple search-based advertising platforms. The goal of the campaign was to drive patient appointments for a free vein screening event for the Muto Surgical Center back in March of 2016. We were able to generate 37 leads at a CPL of $46.43, 20 new screening appointments booked, and an estimated 10x ROI. The point is, when it comes to running a successful campaign online, it’s all about experience and execution. And in our 11 years of running digital advertising programs for vein clinics, we’ve learned a number of valuable lessons along the way.