Be specific, use two- or three-word combinations and think like your patients think.
by Agustin L. Gonzalez, OD
Agustin L. Gonzalez
The term “keywords” is used to describe words or phrases your prospective patients would use when searching for your office or services. The use of keywords allows your ad to be targeted to those people searching for information, thus, you are able to target your ads to the audience actively looking for your services.
Let us say you are interested in providing more consultations for allergies and you have decided to advertise online. You can use “eye allergies” as a keyword in your Adwords campaign. The moment Google users search for “eye allergies” in a Google search, your ad could appear next to the search results. There are other options in Adwords that allow for your ad to appear on websites in which the Google network relates to your keyword (See “Customize your Internet advertising,” August 2011.)
Make your keywords specific
Your ads will appear to those users actively searching for a product or service you provide in your office by creating a relevant keyword list. It is a good rule to be specific. Keywords that are too broad or general will not reach users as effectively as keywords that are highly targeted. For example, the use of the term “red eye” would be too broad, while “allergic red eye” or “infected red eye” is more specific.
Start with specific keywords that target those to whom you would like to carry your message. Make sure your keywords are specific and that your keywords directly relate to the service or product your ad addresses. Keywords composed of two or three words tend to work most effectively, such as “allergic red eye” or “allergic conjunctivitis.”
Consider including both the singular and plural versions of your keywords, as well as colloquial terms, for example, “allergies” and “allergy” as well as the term “pink eye.” You can also use a product name, such as “X Brand eye drops for allergies” and “drops for allergy.”
These tips will improve your visibility online, target your audience as well as improve the performance of your ads.
It is essential that your keywords be relevant. As a rule of thumb, general keywords will make it more challenging for your ad to show and make it difficult to target your potential patients. Relevant and specific keywords generate a more profitable campaign.
Some keywords work in a different way. Negative keywords act as filters for searches that include that term. You can use these words to exclude your ads from an audience you want to selectively screen. For example, add “free” as a negative keyword if you want to make sure your ad is not shown to people looking for a free service or product.
Create a list
Review your office and website and identify the qualities, phrases and terms that best describe your services and products as well as your business model. Make a list by writing down relevant and descriptive keywords you think your patients would search to look for you. Bundle these in categories such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, dry eye service and practice profile. You can even expand the list by including brands and product names in their singular and plural form. In this process, be sure to think like your patients think and talk like them.
Create separate ad groups for each themed group of keywords. For example, you could create a group of keywords for allergies and another group of keywords for dry eye. Then create ads that specifically match that theme with the combination of keywords that make up that group. Using this strategy, you can create multiple ad groups so people who search always see an ad text with your web address that is specifically related to the keyword for which they searched.
Make groups of keywords for categories based on the products, services or therapies you want to promote. You can also use descriptive terms.
For example, say you provide punctal occlusion as part of the dry eye group of keywords and you want to advertise punctal plugs. You can group keywords for different products such as tear therapy and use keywords such as “collagen plugs,” “silicone plugs,” “tear duct plugs” and “occlusion of tear duct” while using separate keywords with different terms as keywords in the theme. You could even use “X Brand plugs for dry eye” as a keyword.
For best efficacy, each group of keywords should directly match the ad text that is triggered by searches on Google.
Review and refine
Keywords that are too broad lower your performance by generating many ad impressions and few relevant clicks. Avoid this by not using generic keywords that relate to a much wider array of products or services. I particularly do not like one-word keywords, as they are too vague and likely to be too generic, so try using a combination of two- or even three-word phrases.
For more information:
- Agustin L. Gonzalez, OD, is a Vision Source private practice in Dallas and serves as adjunct faculty at InterAmerican University. He can be reached at AG@TXEyeDr.com.