5 Foolproof Tips for Capturing Patients with Paid Search

The sales cycle for healthcare marketing tends to be longer than most other B2C verticals. As such, it is important to take a multi-faceted approach with a range of touch points for the different stages of the conversion process.

  1. Awareness : Display – Placement, Demographic and Topic Targeting

The first stage in the sales cycle is awareness. This is how potential patients first learn about you and your services. Our agency uses display advertising for clients as an effective way of getting in front of a large pool of potential patients even when they aren’t currently in need of your product or service at that particular point in time. Once you have their attention, you can move them into the sales lead category.

It is important to have broad targeting and generate a high number of impressions at the awareness phase because only a small percentage of the audience that you serve impressions to will become qualified leads. Display ads of this kind tend to use demographic targeting or topic targeting to find the most qualified audiences. Using display buys is the most effective digital method of introducing your brand to the market. Having a strong brand presence is important because potential patients will be able to recall your name when they are in need of a product or service down the road.

  1. Consideration

This is the phase of the sales cycle where the consumer actually needs your product and begins their search. Regarding search engine marketing, this is the most important phase in the cycle because the lead pool has begun narrowing down. Customers are researching Doctors and healthcare facilities on various third-party websites like Healthgrades.com, Zocdoc, etc.

Display will also help increase brand awareness during this phase by using In-market audiences to capture potential patients. This tool recognizes when someone is looking for a particular service and advertises when someone is actively searching by comparing products and markets while he or she is browsing in real-time based on cookie data. Cookie data, (Clicks on relevant ads, Subsequent conversions, Visited site content and Duration and frequency of site visit) allows you to show relevant and personalized messages when a prospect is on your website or browsing the Internet.

Another option for pain management marketing is using the similar audiences tool. This tool allows you to reach new consumers that are highly likely to purchase because this audience has shared interest with people on your remarketing list. This is determined by browsing activity on the Display network for the past 30 days to analyze consumer behavior and market towards potential customers with the similar interests and characteristics to those on your remarketing list. The tool will exclude sites from sensitive categories such as race or religion, and can generate 60 percent more impressions, 48 percent more clicks and 41 percent more conversions.

  1. Evaluation

The consumer is narrowing down all brands in order to make their final decision. They are making a choice based on their own research and websites with valid, trustworthy information. Here you must use an effective SEM campaign to capture intent at the Evaluation stage.

It is key to target users in this stage with keyword contextual targeting and to utilize RLSA and Content Remarketing to ensure that the customer keeps the brand top-of-mind when evaluating where to purchase. The keywords you choose target specific ads on websites within the Google Display Network. They also target consumers that are finalizing their decision.

  1. Purchase

During this phase, the potential patient has become an actual patient, either for your organization or a competitors. Paid search enables you to reach audiences closing in on this phase of the sales cycle through search engine results pages (SERP) and select display networks. Google determines when and where your ads will perform the best on the Display Network and expands on targeted keyphrases, allowing advertisers to achieve incremental volume while maintaining the same performance. This is beneficial because you have the chance to get 15 percent more qualified leads at the same price.

Marketing does not end when the customer makes a purchase. You can continue to reach customers after purchase to drive advocacy and to encourage return visits. After the conversion, send reminder ads with remarketing and RLS.

RLSA is a remarketing list for search ads which allows you to send customized messaging to people who have previously visited your site. This is a handy tool for targeting people that did not make a conversion on your site. Plus, you are able to set your bids, create ads and select specific keywords here. See the example here from Iowa State University’s Student Health Department. Each student that has come into the health center throughout the year or their academic career could be served this ad to remind them to come back in for their flu shot. RLSA and remarketing ads help to ensure that you retain the patients that you worked hard to convert.

  1. Tactics spanning the entire sales cycle:

You are able to market to potential customers throughout the entire sales funnel with Google Sponsored Promotions. There are many ways to reach potential patients and create a niche target audience using demographics, interests, keywords and product purchase information.

Are you using paid search marketing? Share with us in the comments how you have used paid media to increase patient conversion.

Still have questions about how a paid search strategy could help you capture more patients? Contact us today for an audit of your current strategy and an in depth look at how we can increase patient conversion.


Picture Source: Google AdWords

What is Remarketing?

Congrats. You’ve built a great website with quality content to drive conversions. However, did you know that 96% of customers leave a website without converting? What about the fact that 70% of people abandon shopping carts without purchasing?

Almost 80% of consumers’ time spent online is outside of the search page, so how do you reach those consumers who were interested, but just didn’t quite convert? The answer, Remarketing.

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is the placement of strategic ads targeted at customers who have visited your website, but didn’t convert. It gives you a second chance to stay top of mind throughout the sales cycle and bring customers back to your site to convert. The best part? You can even target these previous visitors with tailored ads based on which sections of your site they visited.  Also, your ads could even appear on your competitors sites (if they are part of the same display network) while the consumer is searching for similar items. How’s that for an advantage?

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Part 1: How to Hire a Paid Search Company

When it comes to paid search companies there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Different businesses and clients have different needs. If you are serious about hiring a quality team as you should be make certain you’re dealing with a reputable company with experience in paid search by answering these questions about the agency.

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Understanding Conversions in Google AdWords

Are you advertising on Google AdWords? If so, do you understand the difference in how conversions are reported? For anyone unfamiliar with Google’s online search engine advertising platform Google AdWords, you can visit this link for a quick overview: http://www.google.com/adwords

Google updated how conversions are reported in AdWords in late February 2014.  Conversions (1 per-click) became Converted Clicks, and Conversions (many-per-click) changed to just Conversions. To break it down, Conversions (1 per-click), now Converted Clicks, seeks only to report on the individual number of conversions actions, while Conversions, the old (many-per-click) reports on the total number of purchases. A quick example is this, a user visits your site by clicking an ad, and purchases two products.  Google would report that transaction as one Converted Click, and two Conversions.

What does this mean? Well, first we need to explore what conversions are

Inside PPC campaigns for lawyers, a conversion can be anything from someone signing up for an e-mail newsletter, filling out a contact or appointment form, an online sale, and even phone calls can all be counted as conversions. What comes next is assigning a value to each of those conversions if not directly related to measureable sales and revenue.

How does this apply to my business?

For example, you may determine that 5% of your e-mail subscribers make an online purchase once a month. If you can determine an average order or sale value, you can begin to forecast out future sales as well as partially attribute those sales and revenue to advertising dollars spent to capture those new e-mail subscribers.

All of this can primarily be done using the Google AdWords integration with Google Analytics. As long as your website has Google Analytics (GA) code on all pages of the site, creating custom goals is fairly straightforward. However, this is all provided you have a Confirmation and/or Thank You pages created, which are then set as the end goal URL to register a conversion in Analytics.

The next scenario that requires some additional knowledge would be setting up goals to capture conversions where actual sales and revenue are involved. At this stage you are looking into having some custom code written and implemented on-site in addition to goal creation with-in Google Analytics. After all code is written and implemented, you would want to perform test transactions to ensure both sales and revenue were being captured and properly reporting.

h2>A Real World Example: Selling Coffee Online

A client who sells coffee online directly via their own website may have a customer come to the site and purchase one item, or they may end up purchasing 3 packages of coffee. If both of those scenarios occur, we need to know how that would be reported in Google AdWords.

We can be running ads with a PPC campaign for a franchise, and a user clicks on the search ad, puts one item into the cart and makes a purchase. In this instance Google would report one converted click, and one conversion. Now, for the alternative scenario that same user clicks the search ad, and buys two packages of Wallenford Estate Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee in addition to one other type of coffee.  Google would reported that as one converted click, but three total conversions. Again, this is all predicated on having custom tracking goals coded on-site with corresponding goals set-up in Google Analytics reporting correctly.

How does that work?

Starting with tracking phone call sales, the first step would be using a 3rd party vendor to purchase a trackable number. It should be noted that Google AdWords does provide a free call-forwarding trackable number to use in Search ads. Unfortunately, as soon as a user visits the website all phone call tracking is lost, thus a 3rd party solution is always best budgets permitting.

Now that you have generated a trackable phone number that connects to the main contact/sales line we can begin to work on tracking phone calls from that number to online advertising, more specifically advertising clicks that generated phone calls and sales.

Just like e-commerce online conversion tracking, some custom code will be required to be placed on-site usually in the header or footer tags, as well as possible span tags around any places the phone number appears on-site. If any of this sounds foreign and simply, “Does Not Make Sense”, don’t worry any developer or analytics implementation expert can easily decipher the instructions provided by these companies, and direct online and phone support is readily available for complex issues.

Back to tracking all that money!

So we now have a trackable number, with conversion tracking in place and conversion goals created.  In a basic scenario you could do percentage estimates of phone call sales closed and average sale value. Going a step forward for advanced solutions, you can work with the end-client and have them to input a series of codes and actual revenue via the telephone number pad, which is then all transmitted digitally back into the system where specific Ad campaigns, ads, and search keywords can be assigned that sale and report the revenue generated.

Manual solutions exist where this is not possible or for the in-store scenario, customer phone number and sales data can be formatted and uploaded to match against Paid Advertising traffic. If you are seeking a custom advertising solution or already advertising online and could use some help, request a Free Consultation and find out how Atlantic Digital Marketing Company can help you grow your business.

The Digital Apocalypse

Zombies have slowly but surely taken over our lives!

Metaphorical zombies, that is.

Now that the hit TV series “The Walking Dead” is FINALLY back for its fourth season, I’ve had a chance to get back into the fictional world that comes to life in my beautiful home state, Georgia.  I thought about how crazy it would be to have to adjust to a completely new way of life where you always have to be aware of your surroundings in order to survive.

Then it occurred to me that the real world is actually quite similar regarding the development of technology and the prevalence of the digital age.  Just like in the world of “The Walking Dead”, you are infected, regardless of your level of involvement with technology.  Inevitably, the outbreak will affect you.

I don’t remember a time when people didn’t communicate electronically, but that isn’t the case for everyone.  Some of you work in industries where (at one point in time) traditional advertising was king, and it did just fine.

Along came technology and the internet. With it came destruction, death, heartbreak… wait.

But really, with it came a completely new set of rules that dictate how communication is acceptable and unacceptable when transmitted digitally.  It created a new avenue for businesses to increase exposure, sales, leads, you name it.  It created a need for new languages and coding—new ways of thinking, new ways of life.

So let’s look at our friends on “The Walking Dead”.   At the beginning of the series, the disease broke out and everyone’s first concern was coping with the death of their loved ones and with the fact that things were changing. Okay. Got it.

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