Hesitant about setting up a Google AdWords account for your medical practice or healthcare organization? Don’t be!
In this post I’m going to show you everything you need to know about setting up your first Google Adwords campaign from scratch. But there are a 3 questions you’ll need to ask yourself before getting started:
- Will My Website Convert Visitors into New Patients? AdWords ads do a wonderful job of generating targeted traffic to your site fast, however, that’s all they do. Keeping people on your site and getting them to convert in phone calls or contact form inquires requires that you have a website design that’s appealing and that allows them to navigate easily through your site and find out more about you quickly. So, before setting up an AdWords account, make sure you have a good quality medical website design. If you don’t, the traffic you buy from Google Adwords may not convert and leave your site costing you $$$.
- Do I Have a PPC Strategy in Place? Check out my post on How to Develop a Killer PPC Strategy. This will help you have a well-defined strategy and goals in place before you even begin to set up an AdWords account.
- Am I Willing to Commit to PPC Advertising? Staying committed to a PPC account is an essential part of your marketing strategy for it to be successful. Clients with budgets as low as $500 to over $100,000 per month succeed with AdWords. To see your practice’s or healthcare organization’s PPC marketing strategy really blossom, I suggest testing and letting your account run for at least three months.
If you answered yes to all three questions, you are now ready to create your first Adwords campaign.
How to Create Your First Google Adwords Campaign
Generating A PPC Keyword List
When building the foundation for your PPC account, make keyword research your first priority. Keywords are defined in the search marketing world as phrases or words your consumers or patients naturally use when making search queries about your services. When a patient types in a keyword you are bidding for, they’ll be shown an ad.
I thought it would be helpful to show you a recent example from a Chicago Plastic Surgeon to further explain the process of initially building a PPC keyword list.
Pull From The Practice’s Website
The best way to target core words and phrases that describe your business is to start looking for keywords in the practice’s website. Studying the website core service pages will help you locate any keyword themes that may be present.
PPC Keyword Research
We could see the 4 categories of services it specializes in right away:
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift
- Breast Reduction
- Breast Reconstruction
Instead of just creating one long keyword list, I like to group my keywords by theme to keep myself organized; in this case, types of services offered. Next, I’m going to thoroughly search through each individual service page and then find and notate each keyword that’s relevant for each category on the site.
PPC Keyword Research
When developing your keyword list, remember to include branded terms when navigating through your site. Branded keywords usually have much cheaper cost per conversions and higher conversion rates that are essential for any PPC account. For this example, assume the branded keywords are ‘Your Practice Name’ which I have put in the list of keywords below into my Excel spreadsheet:
PPC Keyword List
Now, we’re only going to focus on building the keyword list for the Pay Per Click terms as we progress through the rest of this example.
Include Synonyms and Keyword Variations
Once you’ve pulled keywords from your website, see if you can think of any synonyms or variations of those keywords as you go down your list. As an example, Breast Augmentation is also known as Boob Job. On my keyword list, I’m going to use “Breast Implant” and “Boob Job” in substitution for “Breast Augmentation”. Other variations for Breast Augmentation could include anything with hyphens or its abbreviated listing.
PPC Keyword List
Think Like Your Patients
Now that you’ve spent enough time scanning your website and have thought of other variations for keywords, put yourself in the patients shoes. What would your patients type into the search engines when looking for your services?
If the person is inexperienced about an industry while searching, they might not use the term “Breast Augmentation Surgery”. They may search using more generic terms like “boob job” or “breast surgery”.
Keyword Research Tools
When brainstorming keywords, use these as a research tool to find even more keywords that fit your business. There are great free and paid keyword tools available out there that will help broaden your PPC keyword list. The AdWords keyword tool is free and one that I use often, although I do recommend using various keyword tools like SEMRush to get keyword ideas from your top competitors.
With the Google Adwords keyword tool, simply type in a keyword , hit search and Google will create a list of related keyword ideas.
Keyword Research Tool
Next, go through the keyword list and mark the ones you think would best fit into your campaign for the more profitable new patients you are looking to attract. I’ve chosen four of the first five words, but some keywords should be left unchecked since you may not provide that service. Once you’ve chosen your keywords, you can download them into an Excel file and then attach them to your original keyword list.
PPC Keyword List
Notice how I’ve attached these additional keywords to the prior variations of pay per click that were earlier identified. The original pay per click list was divided even further into additional categories. Keeping organized as much as possible is helpful when creating keyword lists because it will make setting up your AdWords account a much easier process.
Tips For PPC Keyword List Creation
Three simple tips for creating your initial PPC keyword list include:
- Starting small. Once you begin researching keywords, it’s easy creating a multiple list of keywords. However, it’s important to focus on the best keywords as opposed to the quantity. Quality keywords are ones that accurately reflect the content of your website and are relevant to your services or products. I recommend initially starting your PPC account with a list of a couple hundred keywords. Run these keywords and then watch the areas of your PPC account that have growth potential.
- Don’t generalize. General keywords have a lot of competition which results in a higher cost-per-click. For example, I wouldn’t bid on the keyword “surgery” even though plastic surgery is a form of surgery. Stay away from very general keywords unless you have a large PPC budget. Instead, focus on more specific keywords that are geo targeted like ‘plastic surgery Chicago’ that better describes your practice. You can learn more about geo targeting an Adwords campgain here.
- Don’t be too specific. Although general keywords don’t perform as well as specific keywords tend to, being too specific can decrease your exposure if only a few people are searching for your ad. For example, I would only include “plastic surgeon Chicago” instead of including “plastic surgeon in Chicago Illinois,” since the first phrase includes the second, and thus will pick up more traffic than the longer-tailed search queries.
Since keyword research is an on-going process, make sure you start off with a strong list of initial keywords.
Adwords Campaign Structure Basics & Best Practices
Making the most of your PPC account through good organization is key and the most important thing to remember when developing your AdWords structure. Organization and account structure will dictate how your account performs as a whole on Google and will affect your quality score. Now, let’s get to it!
Choosing Your Campaigns and Ad Groups
There are several ways to create a useful account structure. Your campaigns should be integrated with ideas at a higher level, so that you can deliver more tightly themed keywords and ad groups. Consider the following ways you can base your campaigns:
- Services you offer
- Geographical location
- Performance and bidding
- Generic names vs. Brand names
- Seasonality of your services
- Keyword match types (segment this way for an ad group level as well)
Ensure your ad groups are relevant and compatible to the campaigns you have selected. Associating ad groups focused on the face and body is hardly effective if you’re running a breast augmentation campaign. However, setting up something along the lines of breast reduction or revision for your ad groups might perform better. The key thing to remember is to make your keywords, campaigns, ads and ad groups all relevant to one another within your structure. Reviewing your keyword research and lists will help you decide how to implement those keywords for maximum performance and what kind of ad groups you will require.
To help things remain more manageable, it is a good rule of thumb to have around three to five ad groups per campaign. You can always create more concentrated ad groups and campaigns. For example, you could run campaigns for each kind of breast surgery you offer like augmentation, revision, and/or reduction and extend specific ad groups from there. Your account will perform better overall the more organized and concentrated your structure is.
Once you configure your keywords with your ad groups and campaigns, your next step is to make sure your settings are correct. This step is very important. You will not completely ruin your account by having the wrong settings in your campaigns, but it can cause a PPC Manager to have a lot of “Oops” and “Ah ha” moments.
Here are some of the top settings that you need to set properly:
Locations and Languages
What geographical locations would you like your ad to be seen? Are you planning to target individuals who speak different languages like Spanish? You can change location and language settings to reflect these options. There are advanced location options that can be implemented for both targeting and exclusion methods, but are only available for the Search Network.
Networks and Devices
This section will allow you to choose where you would like your ads displayed on the Internet.
Search and Content Network
Google search can be found on Google.com only and the entire search network that includes all of Google’s partner sites. Your best bet is to partner with new advertisers since it will get your ads out to the broadest network of viewers. If you’re a PPC rookie, managing content network can be tricky at first; I highly suggest taking it slow with these options.
Campaign Device Settings
The majority of advertisers choose the option “All”. It allows you to show on mobile devices, laptops and desktop computers with full browser capability. This information can be segmented in AdWords. In time, you may opt to initiate separate mobile campaigns or to target specific devices like Ipads.
Bidding and Budget
Setting your daily budgets too high can exhaust your entire month’s budget. On the other hand, setting the daily budget too low, runs the risk of your account not quite meeting the entire monthly budget. Either way, your account won’t be allowed to reach its full potential. Your goal is to stay in the middle to find the perfect daily budget.
Determining your total budget is best done by dividing it by the number of days in the month and then dividing that number amongst your campaigns. Once the account is running, you’ll be in a better position to see how your campaigns budgets are spending and can then reallocate them accordingly! Therefore, it’s always best to set your budgets at a level that you’re comfortable with and can afford.
The ideal way to jump start with bidding settings is to select Manually Bidding for Clicks and Focus on Clicks. This allows you to have more budget control. Eventually, you can test other options bidding, but hold off on this until your account gathers the needed data before making these decisions.
Campaign Bidding Settings
Focus on the ad delivery option in this section. In order for Google to display your ads more evenly, you can display your ads in a rotating pattern. This is the preferred method, since it offers better control over your metrics and makes a/b testing for your ad copy easier. Additional options are: Optimizing for conversions and Optimizing for clicks (change this default setting!)
The Delivery Method setting in the Bidding and Budget area should not to be confused with the earlier setting. Change the delivery method to Standard. This will show the ads evenly over time and prevent your budget from being spent all at once!
PPC Campaign Settings
These are the basics of running a PPC account. It is an ongoing process that takes organization, patience and a little luck when you first start out. There’s a lot to learn, but don’t let this overwhelm you.
Ad Writing Tips For A New Account
A thorough tightly knit structure and keyword research are useless without great ads. You need to entice your searchers to click on your ads, so they will land on your website and perform the desired conversion of calling you for an appointment. Landing pages and well written relevant ads not only help you achieve a good cost per lead per new patient and ROI. They also play a large role in delivering a high Quality Score for your ad text.
Calculated according to exact matches, the AdWords system issues a keyword level Quality Score to each of your keywords, of which the click-through rate is one of the biggest influences in this calculation. An excellent Quality Score is beneficial because it helps you maintain cheaper cost per clicks overall and a higher ad rankings on the page. Basically, your budget can go much farther for the same number of clicks if your ads are enticing and clicked on more than your competitors.
AdWords Ad Rules
You have 130 visible characters (less than a Tweet) to display your URL, headline and description to encourage a user to click your ad. I’ve found that the best way to write ads for the first time correctly is to open up Microsoft Word, highlight the text, and then click the word count button which also counts the characters.
Description Line 1: 35
Description Line 2: 35
Display URL: 35
Destination URL: 1024
Try to use as many of your allotted characters as possible and then add punctuations where necessary. It wasn’t always necessary in the past to add a period at the end of description line 1 because it still made sense when AdWords displayed it. Nowadays, you’ll need to make sure you place some type of punctuation at the end of the first line whether it’s a comma, dash or period.
Google started promoting an eligible ad’s first description line to the headline as of February of 2011. Therefore, an ad needs to end with appropriate punctuation and be above the search results in order to qualify for this style. These ads look normal,for the most part, but only with longer headlines. You should check your ads after they’re uploaded to make sure they display correctly. For example, after this revision, ads that had no punctuation in line 1 were difficult to read in the headline longer version.
Even in a top position, ads that don’t make sense are less likely to receive user attention, and all your hard work will be ruined.
PPC Ad Preview
Notice that your ads are also displayed with the Display URL in the headline. Google started doing this recently to reach even higher click-through rates for advertisers in position 1. The combined promotion of description line 1 to the domain URL in the ad headline might mean that you’ll receive impressions where your Display URL, ad’s headline and description line 1 are all in the headline spot with up to a 68 character count.
Know Your Brand, Services and Most Profitable New Patient Types
Before you leap head first into ad writing, step back and think about the audience and new patient type you want to appeal to when promoting your brand and services.
- Brand: If marketing classes in college taught me anything, it was the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. Developing a few key areas to call out in your ad text can be found in your practice or organization’s SWOT to help you. You can and should also keep your messages consistent from your ads to your website.
- Services: What do you provide/sell? What does it cost? The language you use in your ad text needs to fit the actual service you’re promoting. Your ad text should simultaneously filter those who aren’t serious while encouraging those most likely to buy to click on the ad.
- Audience: Have a sample patient in mind and try to imagine their intent. What is he or she looking to accomplish? Does he or she already know about your brand or are they shopping around? Are they looking for value?
Writing Effective Ad Text
Here are 5 Key Areas to Focus on When Writing Dynamic PPC Ad Text
- Attention capturing title: Notice the Google SERP example displayed below here. Depending on the search, there are tons of potential ads for this space. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you have to stand out! You’re competing against the first three ads inside the colored box at the top of the page: ads with highlighted keywords, ads with extensions and ads with +1..etc. Make sure your ad title is suitable for your audience, brand and product.
- Call to Action: Your call to action tells the patient what you want them to do. If your aim is to turn a conversion into a consultation, tell them! Use phrases like ‘Call Now!’ or ‘Free Consultation’ This filters people out who are still shopping around and aren’t ready to buy yet. If your website includes a lead capture form or forms like www.JDMediaSurge.com then you would want to encourage your website visitors to ‘Sign Up!’ to receive your free white paper. Just make sure you’re using a call to action and tell your website visitors EXACTLY what you want them to do.
- Keywords: Include a keyword in the ad and title. Including the keyword in the ad title and description typically boosts your Quality Score and increases your relevancy at the same time. Your ad needs to be written for the user when you do this, which leads directly to my next topic – text that promotes benefits.
- Benefit Promotion: What are you offering? What will your consumers get? How are your services different from your competitors? Some research of your competitors’ sites will be helpful. Watch what your competition is advertising in their ads. Are they offering something for FREE? What is it? Does it look like it’s working? Maybe you should implement the same thing.
- Your Website: There are a lot of resources dedicated to landing page and website design. Basically you want your website to reflect exactly what the searcher was promised in the ad text. Are you promising ‘Plastic Surgery in Chicago’? Well then your website needs to say Chicago Plastic Surgery or Surgeon. Remember your paying for each website visitor so minor tweaks and tests can go a long way $$$ speaking.
Lastly, are the ad settings. You’ve already received a rundown of the campaign setting options in AdWords, but we’ll recap the vital ones of how your ads will work.
- Delivery Method: You can decide how quickly your ads are shown daily through either the standard or accelerated delivery budget methods. If you have a limited daily budget for your campaign (Google will notify you in the interface under Status if a campaign budget is limited), you’ll likely want to choose a standard delivery, so the system will spread out your ads throughout the day to avoid running out of your budget early. For campaigns that aren’t meeting their budget, accelerated delivery is better. This tells the system to show your ads as quickly as possible.
- Ad Rotation: You can choose optimize for clicks, optimize for conversions or rotate, with this setting. When you introduce new ads to your campaign, (like during setup), you’ll want to keep this setting on rotate while testing each of your ads so you’ll have an opportunity to see which ones actually are doing better. After ads have been running for a while, you can switch to one of the optimize settings so that the better performing ads will post more frequently.
- Ad Scheduling: Before you start implementing ad scheduling, you’ll need to allow the system to accumulate enough information. You can run a daily or hourly report for each campaign and spot areas where you spend a lot with no conversion from the dimensions tab in AdWords. You can then decide to turn bidding off altogether for poor performance days or either bid more or less during certain hours based on their success. I would suggest overall bidding less rather than completely shutting bidding off.
- Frequency capping: Frequency capping is available for the Display Network only. Essentially you can reduce the volume of times your ad is displayed for the week or month, ad group, to the same user per day or the whole campaign.
Launching Your AdWords Account
The end of the Yellow Brick Road is in sight. Your have your list of keywords, courtesy of the Scarecrow; your account structure from the Tin Man; and all your ads written with the help of the Cowardly Lion. The last steps include activating your account and tracking your leads!
Signing Up For An Account
Google walks you through four simple steps to set up your account. You’ve already done your research and all of your settings are ready.
Step 1: Target your Customers/Patients
Step 2: Create your Ads
Step 3: Set your Pricing
Step 4: Sign up
Once you’ve completed the first three steps and reviewed your entries, you’ll be able to enter your Google account, email address and password. You have two preferences – sign up with an existing Google account or create a new one. My suggestion is to specifically create another email account for AdWords. This prevents additional people working in the same account from having access to your personal email.
Starting an AdWords Account
A screen like this will appear if you’re creating a new account:
Starting AdWords Account
You’ll then be prompted to verify your email address. After that, there are only a few more steps and you’ll be set!
You can opt to set up payment with Google for your new AdWords account via two methods.
- Postpay method – Payments are only made after you accrue advertising costs. You are either billed when your account reaches its maximum limit or in 30 days after your last payment. A debit or credit card payment can also be entered; once authorization is complete, your advertisements will usually post automatically.
- Bank Withdraw – Your billing can also be drafted from your bank account. A draft may elongate approval and may delay your account from starting automatically.
- Pay in advance – Your advertising can be paid in advance of receiving any clicks or impressions. Google will allow you to replenish your account with a credit or debit card as well as a bank draft at any time and notify you when your funds are running low. The same time periods for the the postpay method will apply for your ads being displayed with the prepay method.
Tracking Your Campaign Performance
The last thing you’ll need to do when setting up your AdWords is to enable autotagging. This will allow you to automatically track your campaigns.
You’re in! But your journey’s not over. There’s so much more you can do with your account. It’s time for experiments, mobile campaigns, optimizations and display network campaigns!
Sample Adwords Campaign – BONUS
This was a $4000/mo adwords campaign for a dental client targeting teeth whitening, Invisible Braces, Inlays, Implants, General/Local, Fillings, Crowns, Dentures, Bridge, Cosmetic, and Braces.
Feel free to use the campaign as you wish you will need to replace the [BRACKETS] in the excel file with your own website/information, and then upload using AdWords Editor.