PPC Marketing Dos and Don’ts for Healthcare Professionals

September 11, 2017
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Pay-Per-Click marketing can be a very effective way for healthcare professionals to generate business. It can also be very expensive if it isn’t done properly.

WordStream published a very insightful post on the state of PPC marketing in the healthcare industry. They discussed some of the new unique challenges healthcare companies face, including:

  • Google changed their policies so healthcare companies are no longer being allowed to use remarketing. You may be able to use remarketing with Bing Ads, but they are not nearly as advanced yet.
  • Healthcare companies face stiff competition. As a result, the cost of advertising has risen sharply over the last few years.
  • All copy must be compliant with HIPAA and other healthcare regulations. State regulators often have their own policies on healthcare advertising that you need to be aware of.

Of course, they also face the same challenges as other organizations. CPCs are very steep for healthcare companies, which makes optimizing campaigns expensive.

If you struggling to create paid search campaigns, you should keep reading below. We have outlined some essential tips and some major mistakes that you must be aware.

Do: Use Geotargeted Search

Are you a local healthcare practice? You don’t want your ads to be shown to people outside your coverage area. You will be paying for clicks from people that won’t be paying leads. A company like Alo House wouldn’t want to get clicks from people that don’t need their services since the CPC for terms like “rehab” is currently over $35.

Targeted people in your geography eliminates this problem. It also boosts your click-through rate, which helps improve your Quality Score (and lowers your CPCs).

Don’t: Set and Forget Your Campaign

Testing is a fundamental part of digital marketing. You need to test everything you can, including:

  • Keywords in your targeting
  • Ads
  • Landing pages
  • Day parting

It takes time and money to test things. Companies like Black Note tobacco e-liquid have had to spend months optimizing their campaigns. Make sure that you do it wisely and don’t give up when something seems “good enough.” There are always ways to improve your campaign.

Do: Speak With Your Legal Team

The healthcare industry is extremely regulated. You have to deal with the rigmarole of HIPAA. You are also subject to lots of state regulations that you may have never heard of before.

You need to talk to your legal team to make sure your ads will be compliant. You don’t need to run every ad and landing page by them, but make sure you have a clear set of guidelines to follow before getting started.

Don’t: Use Cliché Advertising Tactics

Many PPC marketers look at advertising copy from other marketers for ideas. They often look outside their own industry. There is nothing wrong with this, but it’s still important to remember what differentiates your organization.

You are a healthcare company. You need to establish a certain level of trust to earn people’s business. Don’t try to pitch to them the way the used car dealer down the street does.

Do: Use Negative Targeting

AdWords and Google both have the option to add negative keywords if you are targeting broad or phrase match keywords. It’s important to take advantage of these, even if people aren’t clicking on unrelated or inappropriate terms. Again, you will improve your quality score by improving your click-through rate, so try to ensure your ads are only visible to prospective leads.

Do: Understand Policies on Healthcare PPC

It’s important to familiarize yourself with all of Google and Bing’s general policies on PPC marketing. It’s also important to understand their more specific policies for healthcare companies.

WordStream’s Sergey Rusak, Senior Paid Search Manager points out that Google has some strict policies on creating ad copywriting that you must be aware of. Even if your ads are legally compliant, they may not be compliant with the search marketing companies.

“You have to be very cautious that you don’t use words such as drugs, prescriptions, etc., because Google will trigger an automatic disapproval system,” says Sergey.

Take the time to read through all of the policies before creating ad copy or bidding on any keywords. You can usually check in with the compliance department if you are unsure. They can provide some great guidance.

Start Optimizing Your Paid Search Campaigns Today

If you have struggled to generate leads for your healthcare practice with paid traffic, you shouldn’t give up. Many healthcare practices have had a lot of success with PPC.  An infographic from Geonetric found the following:

  • 44% of users searched for doctors
  • Health-related searches increased 47% between 2011 and 2012
  • 81% of people click on a sponsored link when looking for health information

PPC advertising can be a powerful way to generate leads as a healthcare company. However, it can also be tricky, so it’s important to learn the ropes and have a clear strategy in place.