Paid search can be a great way to drive traffic to your website and gain exposure for your orthopaedic practice. However, you have to make sure that you are setting up your paid search campaign in a way that will maximize your investment in order to get the best results.
In order to set up the most effective paid search campaign possible, orthopaedic practices must focus on these 3 things.
1. Make sure your focus isn’t too broad.
Orthopaedic practices serve patients who need help with musculoskeletal problems. They aren’t seeing patients who have a cold or an ear infection. This is an important distinction to make when setting up your campaign. If you bid on keywords that are too broad, you may attract patients who are looking for a general practitioner or another type of specialist. For example, bidding on the keyword “doctor” wouldn’t be very effective for you because it doesn’t completely describe what you do. A better option would be to bid on keywords like “orthopedic surgeon” or “sports medicine physician” because they more accurately describe how you can help.
Remember, you pay each time a person clicks on your ad. Bidding on general keywords may help you gain exposure for your practice, but it’s not as effective in helping you get the right patients–the ones who are seeking out your help. If someone who is looking for a general practitioner clicks on your ad, you will have wasted your money because that person was never seeking out your services. Bidding on more specific keywords increases your chances of finding the right patients.
2. Create great landing pages for your ads.
When someone clicks on your paid search ad, it doesn’t mean that you’ve automatically won them over. If that were the case, you’d have as many new appointments as you have clicks from paid search. When people click through to your site, they’re certainly interested, but they want to learn more to see if your practice is a good fit for them. What they see when they land on your site can certainly influence their decision-making process.
When someone clicks on your ads, where are you sending them? Simply sending them to your homepage ultimately isn’t necessarily the worst thing, but if you can tailor the landing page so that visitors land on more specific information, you could increase your chances of getting more appointments. For example, let’s say a person was searching for a doctor to treat knee pain. If you were bidding on a keyword like “knee pain doctor” and your ad came up, you could direct that person to a page about knee pain and treatment options rather than your homepage. This way, that person doesn’t have to go searching through your site to find the right information.
The key here is to create original content that is specific to your practice. By creating your own original content, you can demonstrate your expertise. You can educate the patient while also showing what sets your practice apart from others.
3. Consider the competition.
When orthopaedic practices are looking into starting paid search campaigns, they often want to know how much they will need to spend to outbid competitors. The answer is that ad spend can vary quite a bit from practice to practice. Largely, it depends on how much competition you have in your area. If your practice is located in or near a major city, there are probably at least a few other orthopaedic practices that you’ll be competing against, and you’ll probably need to budget for a higher ad spend to outbid them. If your practice is located in a more rural area and you don’t have many competitors, you may not need to spend as much as practices in larger cities.
You can start off at a more conservative budget and monitor to see if it is helping you. From there, you can start to increase your bids as needed. It’s always better to have some extra money in the budget to use if you see that you need it to be able to compete. If you don’t have the budget for a higher ad spend, then you might want to look into other methods of marketing your practice.
Another quick note: it’s not a good idea use paid search as the only means of marketing for your practice. It’s a great way to start driving traffic to your site, but you should be working to improve the organic traffic to your site as well. Remember, as soon as you stop your paid search campaign, all of that traffic will go away unless you work to improve the overall value of your site in search engines. Organic traffic is free, and search engine optimization (SEO) efforts will generally provide you with longer-lasting results than paid search.
If you’d like to learn more about paid search, check out our blog post “How Google’s Paid Search Works.”