Ten tips can help maximize your online marketing budget
Eye care providers are growing their businesses by using Google AdWords.
When you think about how consumers embark on finding an eye care provider, or any type of health care provider for that matter, you might imagine a patient seeking out a word-of-mouth recommendation.
However, word-of-mouth business represents a finite sphere of leads. In this day and age, information is readily available at our fingertips. People are increasingly turning to the Internet for research, especially for topics related to health. Supposed self-diagnosis through websites such as WebMD is all the rage. In fact, Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that more than one-third of U.S. adults are turning to the Internet before calling their doctors.
With the invention of Google AdWords, advertisers have more control over who sees their online ad and when they see it. After writing their ad, advertisers choose the search terms (key words) that will make their ad appear next to Google results relating to those key words. They then set a budget for the advertising campaign (a bid), which determines how often the ad appears next to the related search results. The best part is that you only pay for the ad when the Internet searcher clicks on it.
It sounds simple, but there are many ways to maximize results and ensure that unqualified clicks are not eating up your Google AdWords budget. Here are my top ten tips for growing your eye care practice with Google AdWords:
1. Timing is everything
Leads do not need to be captured when consumers are starting their initial research process, especially in the eye care space. It is too early to get in front of searchers when they are viewing pictures of cataract surgery. They will not be choosing providers before they have decided to undergo the surgery. We want to capture these leads when they are in the buying stages.
2. Customize your key words
How do you capture leads when consumers are in the buying stage? Select key words that align with the specific products you offer. Then consider general, catch-all key words that people looking to find a new eye doctor would use.
Georgia Eye Associates, an optometry-ophthalmology provider with which we work, examined its general services to identify key words such as “Atlanta eye doctor.” Then the group combined the campaign with more specific key words such as “cataract surgery.” The term “cataract” is more expensive than “surgeons,” but the more generalized terms can balance out the cost, and all the key words impact each other.
3. Play Google’s game
Google assigns a quality score to each AdWords campaign, rewarding advertisers (in the way of showing their ad more frequently or charging less per click) for utilizing advertising copy that closely aligns with the key words they have selected — a benefit for Google because the ads are more relevant to what users are searching for.
4. Organize like the most fastidious accountant
Structuring your campaign in an orderly fashion does wonders for helping your ad appear for the most relevant Google searches. Segmenting out various portions of the campaign, keeping your ads tightly themed and using the most relevant ad copy as it relates to your selected key words help ensure more qualified people click, which also keeps costs down.
5.Location is important
Because AdWords allows you to incorporate specific location targets into campaigns, many advertisers will focus on a radius around their locations. Yet a more advanced approach is to additionally link AdWords campaigns to Google My Business accounts. This Google service drops your address right into the ad, allowing users to click on it and see where you are located.
6.Learn from your mistakes
Many clients come to us after they have been using Google AdWords without seeing a lot of results. Most of them have been letting their campaigns run on autopilot because they are too busy running their businesses to keep up with trends.
We analyze the data Google collects from its past campaigns and consider it to be a goldmine. This data, called a “search query report,” shows us what worked and what did not. Sure, people were clicking on your ads, but did they end up scheduling an appointment? If not, this is wasted marketing budget, and you are paying for every click.
7. Set your website up for success
When a qualified lead lands on your website, make sure they are greeted by your clear call-to-action and contact information. If that information is hidden away, the money you are spending is not generating results for you. In addition, send the searcher to the right page on your website depending on what type of ad grabbed their attention.
8. Maximize your ad
Many advertisers do not take advantage of all the free extras Google AdWords provides, called “extensions” in Google-speak. Leverage all of them so your ad takes up more room on the page than your competitor’s ad.
9. Write compelling ad copy
Examine why a patient would visit you over the clinic down the street. What differentiates you? Do you offer a unique service such as free consultations? Let either your uniqueness or a strong call to action shine through in your advertising copy.
10. Unleash the power of data
A ton of information about your demographic is captured when you run a Google AdWords campaign. Insight about your customer base – such as the search terms they are using to find your site, what time of day they visited and what they did when they got there — can all be used to grow your business.
These tips can help ensure your money is well spent. While Google AdWords offers more control over how budgets are allocated, advertisers must implement a smart strategy to reap the benefits.
- Fox S, et al. Health Online 2013. Pew Research Center. Posted January 13, 2015. Accessed April 7, 2016. http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/01/15/health-online-2013/.
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- Tony Palazzo is vice president of operations for Logical Position. He can be reached at email@example.com or www.logicalposition.com.
Disclosure: Palazzo is employed by Logical Position, a company that provides digital marketing strategies for businesses.