How to Use Paid Marketing to Grow Your Practice
Let’s talk about setting up a paid marketing campaign for your private practice.
Have you considered online marketing but hesitated because it’s so confusing? Once you enter into the world of online marketing, you’re immediately bombarded by so many questions like:
- What’s PPC?
- What’s SEO?
- How is PPC different from SEO?
- Should you focus on one and not the other?
Perhaps one of the most pressing questions you’ll ask is: How do I find time to market online when I’m also seeing clients? If you’re new to online marketing, you’ve got a lot to learn but you don’t have too much time to invest.
This guide was made for you. Below, we’ll discuss what you need to know about PPC marketing for private practice. After learning these basics, you’ll be ready to set up your own successful paid marketing campaign. Let’s get started.
What is PPC?
PPC is short for pay per click marketing. PPC is more interactive than other types of marketing because it requires an immediate response. As its name suggests, you (the advertiser) will pay money every time your ad is clicked on.
When you think PPC, you may automatically think of Google. However, Google isn’t the only PPC ad network. In addition to Google, there’s Bidvertiser, AdRoll, Bing, Facebook, BuySellAds, and many more. In this post, we’ll focus on search engine PPC, such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. However, the notes below can be applied broadly to whatever ad network you choose.
Most PPC ad networks operate on a bidding system. As the advertiser, you choose and then bid on specific keywords. Whenever a search engine user initiates a search using your chosen keywords, the ad network will determine whether or not to show your ad and where on the page it should be placed.
Your bid is one of the factors that determine whether and when your ad is promoted. That said, you don’t have to be the highest bidder for your ad to show. It just may not show as the first paid result.
Another factor is the quality of your ad campaign, including your landing page.
Auctions are complicated and can be difficult to navigate for the faint of heart. But don’t worry — you don’t need to understand all of the “ins and outs” to run a successful ad campaign. You only need to know the basics, which is what we’ll focus on below.
PPC or SEO: Which is Better for Your Private Practice?
Perhaps you’re wondering whether you should go with PPC or SEO. Not only have you heard a lot about SEO (search engine optimization), you’ve also implemented some of the SEO best practices on your website. So, should you abandon your SEO efforts for PPC?
PPC and SEO actually work well together. You can focus on one at a time, or do both at the same time. Here’s a guide on how to improve your SEO and ranking on Google.
Although it’s always a good idea to optimize your website for search engine traffic, you may benefit quicker from PPC. We’ll discuss why below.
Why do You Need PPC Ads?
What do you stand to gain from creating a PPC ad campaign?
The most persuasive reason to go for PPC ads is this: Your prospective clients start their search online first.
Direct mail marketing is hit or miss. Billboards aren’t targeted. Flyers are easy to dismiss and forget. Radio or tv spots are expensive.
On the other hand, PPC marketing is targetable, tailorable, and inexpensive. You can run a limited PPC campaign at just about any budget.
The Benefits of PPC Ads
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons why PPC is better than other forms of marketing:
PPC marketing is current
It’s not 1994. You can’t rely on newspaper ads or the yellow pages to build awareness for your private practice.
PPC is faster than SEO
SEO can take months to work, and that doesn’t account for the long hours you’ll spend in optimizing your website for search engine traffic. However, you can start a PPC campaign today and expect overnight results. It works a lot faster than SEO methods.
PPC is better at speaking to prospective clients
SEO is more passive and about building your reputation with search engines. PPC speaks directly to the prospective client and prompts them to take immediate action.
PPC allows you to target the right clients
Create ads for a specific group of people who need your services. Through PPC ad campaign parameters, you can niche down to a concentrated group based on behavior, location, or demographics, making your messaging more effective.
PPC works with every budget
Hooray! You don’t need to be swimming in cash in order to run a successful PPC campaign. No matter how much (or how little) you have to spend, you can take advantage of PPC ads. Remember that you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
PPC is measurable
SEO can be difficult to decipher. However, PPC is easier to measure. At a glance, you can determine which ads produce the highest quality leads. You’ll see how much you’re spending per lead, helping you analyze your return on investment.
PPC can be tweaked
Once you know what’s working (and what isn’t), you can modify your ad campaign accordingly. Tweak as you go to stretch your marketing dollars.
Prepare Your Targeted Keywords
Just like with SEO, you must target keywords with your PPC ads. This way, whenever someone searches for that keyword, your ad will be displayed.
Use these tools to determine which keyword phrases have the highest search volume. You can also find keyword phrase suggestions using these tools.
Make a list of the keywords you’d like to focus on in your PPC ad campaign. Remember to focus on specific, longer keywords vs generic short keywords.
When targeting keywords in your PPC ad, opt for the “exact match” option instead of the broad match. Broad match gives search engines too much freedom to choose when they’ll display your ads.
Geo-Target Your Ads
Don’t just target in your keywords, also target in your geographic area. When you’re spending money for every click, you don’t want to entice the wrong crowd (i.e., people you can’t personally consult with in your office). You want to reach a local group of prospective leads who can actually convert into real clients.
The best way to do this is to geo-target your ads to a specific location. Here’s a step-by-step on how to target ads to geographic locations on Google.
Budget for PPC
Let’s talk budgeting.
With PPC ads, the popularity of your chosen keyword is the key factor for determining the price. Often, but not always, broader terms cost more than specific, so-called long-tail keywords. This is because more people are searching for a broad term like “marriage therapy.” Fewer people are searching for a term like “second marriage therapy in Des Moines, IA.”
Fortunately, targeting an ultra-specific long tail keyword is more effective than going after broad search terms– and it’s cheaper in general. Make it a point to go after those long-tail keywords.
Next, set a weekly or daily budget that you can live with. You can always add more money if the campaign is successful.
When trying to determine the right budget, think about the lifetime value of one client. If you can score one new client each week who’s worth $1,000 (10 visits at $100 each), then spending 10% of that amount, or $100, on advertising for that week is worth it.
Don’t Forget to Remarket
Remarketing is where the magic happens. Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is when you serve ads to people who’ve already seen your original ad. This type of follow up can be very persuasive at convincing your target audience to give you a chance.
Remarketing is genius because sometimes prospective clients leave your site with every intention of scheduling an appointment. However, life gets in the way and they simply forget. Through remarketing, you can gently nudge them back.
Setting up a remarketing campaign is simple. If you’re using Google Adwords, you can set up your remarketing campaign in minutes with these steps.
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