It wasn’t that long ago that just having a really good website could put you ahead of the competition, and could secure a tremendous volume of online business. These days, however, all businesses including medical practices, are well aware of the fact that it’s not enough to just have a good website because you also have to ensure that Internet users actually see and visit your website. You need digital advertising.
That means your site has to be ranked highly by search engines so that user traffic will be directed to your site. Paid digital advertising is one of the best ways to ensure that your website gets seen because it will guarantee that your website is listed within the first few lines of search results shown to a user.
The most popular paid digital advertising media are Bing Ads, YouTube, Facebook Advertising, and of course Google Adwords, and some medical practices have shied away from using these means of reaching potential customers because of the cost. Obviously, this is a major missed opportunity, so it raises the question of whether or not the high cost of online advertising is really worth it.
Cost of Digital Advertising Versus Return
When you want to advertise for your medical practice, you should keep in mind that many of your patients and potential patients will be going online to try and find a doctor, so it’s important that you have a way of catching their attention once they’re actually searching. It’s also worth noting that most of your competitors probably do have a website, various social media accounts, and probably some paid digital advertising initiatives as well.
While it may seem on the surface that the cost of digital advertising is prohibitive, typical results that are achieved by many businesses are in the neighborhood of 3:1 or even 5:1, provided that you have a clear strategy in using appropriate keywords.
Without that effective strategy, you might well be throwing away your money on advertising that does not produce the kind of returns you want. When considering the cost of digital advertising, you have to consider more than the actual cost – you have to think in terms of how much business it actually brings in when you have a well-organized advertising campaign.
One Example: GoogleAdwords
The way Google Adwords works is similar to how the other social media platforms work for paid digital advertising, so an understanding of Google’s process is worth having. It’s more or less impossible to know beforehand how much you have to pay for each click in Google Adwords because the cost is determined by a bidding system.
Other clients are bidding for the same keywords, and Google sets the price of each click based on the level of competition for those same keywords. When you’ve settled on a course in digital advertising, you have to determine what you’re willing to spend on a keyword search which will be the most effective for your specific business. This should take into account your geographic area, and which time of day you’d like to have your keyword as displayed.
Then you create one or more ads which contain your selected keywords, and those ads will contain links to either your website or a dedicated landing page. When a potential patient enters a search term, Google determines how many clients are bidding on that specific term and compares it to a calculated quality score for your ad, which is formulated by assessing its click-through rate and the presence of relevant keywords.
Then the final placement of your ad is determined by your cost per click bid, in tandem with your calculated quality score. The cost to you for your paid advertising will be calculated by the number of bidders for your particular market, and the quality score for your ad.
Strategies for Lowering Your Advertising Cost
As you can see from the above, there is a potential for high advertising cost within a given market because of the bidding process that goes on, but there are ways you can lower that cost. It’s a good idea to periodically alter the copy in your advertisements and to create more than one version of them so that your quality score can be increased.
With a well-crafted landing page that contains just the right keywords, you can be a little more sure of having your ad prioritized. It might be to your advantage to engage the services of a talented pay per click strategist, so that person can regularly adjust your keyword bids, and eliminate those which prove to be negative.
This might sound like an awful lot of expense to go to for some simple advertising, and indeed that’s why some medical practices often bypass it altogether and simply delegate the task to an office employee. However, to really build up your practice, this is not the best way to cut costs.
An office employee will have other duties in your practice beside advertising, and simply can’t dedicate the time to learning about digital advertising and using it to best advantage. In such cases, what usually ends up happening is a strategy is developed, and then left alone indefinitely, without adjustments.
This in turn, invariably generates indifferent results and ends up being perceived as a failed strategy not worth the money. To really reap the benefits of digital advertising and drive serious traffic to your medical practice, it’s well worth your while to work with a healthcare advertising agency to get the kind of traffic directed to your business, that will be most beneficial.