PPC for Plastic Surgeons: Tips + Best Practices to Get Clients
PPC is critical to the success of a Plastic Surgery practice. Let’s examine the best practices for using paid search to attract clients.
With PPC, or pay-per-click, you only need to pay when someone clicks on your ad. Your ads will appear in the search engine’s sponsored search results section, right at the top of the page.
PPC is fantastic when done correctly because it makes your practice’s website more visible to potential patients. However, plastic surgeons should manage their PPC strategy closely to increase its value.
PPC is part of a broader online marketing strategy called Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which also includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Using a combination of the two can increase traffic to your plastic surgery website and ensure you reach as many prospective patients as possible.
What is PPC?
This internet marketing advertising system only charges you when a potential patient clicks on your ad. After creating an ad, there will be an online auction where you’ll bid on specific search phrases.
When a patient clicks on your website link, you’ll pay a small fee. Because your website is at the top of the search results, patients will be more likely to see it.
There are multiple types of PPC, including:
- Local search ads
- Search ads
- Display ads
Although Google is the most popular search engine, Bing, Yahoo Search Marketing, and Facebook all offer PPC Advertising. Regardless of the search engine or type of ad, your post will usually look similar to other, non-paid, posts, but will appear higher in the results list. The only difference is that most platforms will label a PPC post as “sponsored” or “promoted.”
A relatively new feature in Google Ads allows you to use PPC with Google Maps to reach local patients.
Often, practices must choose between Facebook Ads and Google Ads due to budget constraints. Although Facebook Ads allow you to collect more information about your potential patients’ habits, for most medical practices, Google Ads will reach more patients at a lower cost.
Forbes looked a gym’s numbers, revealing that Facebook Ads earned 103 memberships with 150,000 impressions, but costing $11 per conversion.
Google Ads was more successful, gaining 200 memberships at only $4 per conversion.
How Does It Work?
The basis of PPC Advertising is the Online Auction. All major search engines use an automatic process to determine the relevance of keywords. You’ll need to bid on relevant search terms or keywords at the auction for your practice.
A plastic surgery practice in Denver specializing in rhinoplasty might bid $5 on “rhinoplasty Denver.” The higher your bid, the higher your ad will appear in the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Other factors that can influence your SERP include the quality score and ad extensions.
There are several methods to find the best keywords. You can use keyword search tools or save time and energy by working with a digital marketing agency like CretMark.
If you’ve chosen your keywords correctly, your website will appear when a prospective patient searches “rhinoplasty Denver.” Every time a prospective patient clicks on your page, you’ll pay $5.
If you budget $100 per day, you’ll get about 20 clicks on a high-volume day. Over a month, you’ll be paying $3,000 for 600 clicks. The goal is to turn those clicks, or potential patients, into paying customers.
Using Google Ads Effectively
Although Bing and Facebook are growing in popularity, Google Ads is still the most popular PPC tool. In only a few steps, you’ll have a live ad promoting your business. Google Ads also allows for setting budget caps, meaning you’ll never go over budget.
To set up your first Google Ads, you’ll need first to set up an account. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to:
- Set a goal. Do you want more calls from interested patients or more walk-ins? Or is your main focus attracting patient traffic to your website?
- Choose your location. Is your plastic surgery practice primarily for local patients, or do you want to attract people from across the state or country?
- Design your ad. In 3 short sentences, describe the heart of your plastic surgery practice. What’s your motto? You can also include images to pump your ad and make it more attractive to patients.
- Set a budget cap. Decide how much you’re willing to pay for PPC per month. Google will show you the estimated clickthrough numbers for your chosen budget. Just remember to check back at the end of the month to see if the estimates matched the actual numbers.
- Choose your keywords. Using a keyword search tool, you’ll bid on specific keywords.
- Go live. Once you’re ready, your ads will start appearing on Google search, Google Maps, and other affiliated sites. When a patient clicks through to your website or get directions to your practice, you’ll pay your predetermined bid.
Google Ad Campaigns
You can also choose to set up an Ad Campaign, which is a little more complicated but allows you to manage multiple keywords, ad groups, and ads. To set up an Ad Campaign, you’ll need first to choose a campaign type. You can choose between
- Search: text-based ads in search results
- Discovery: ads on online feeds
- Display: picture-based ads on websites
- Shopping: ads for your products on Google
- Video: video-based ads on YouTube
- Smart: simplified, straightforward campaign
- App: app promotions using many channels
- Local: using location to advertise on many channels
Medical practices will likely want to choose from the search, discovery, local, or display campaigns.
Once you’ve chosen your campaign type, you’ll need to create one or more Ad Groups. Each Ad Group can contain multiple ads. You can designate one or more keywords to an Ad Group, which will then apply to all its ads.
You’ll also need to design your ads. Depending on the type of campaign, you’ll either need images or text.
When choosing your keywords, Google will ask you what kind of match you want to select. You can either choose between 4 types:
- Broad Match Modifier (BMM)
The type of match determines how narrow the search terms are. If you choose an exact match for “rhinoplasty Denver,” your ad will only pop up when a patient uses that term. However, the other matches allow for misspelled searches.
Broad searches can also result in irrelevant search results. You can choose negative keywords that you don’t want to lead to your page. Often, plastic surgeons include terms like lawsuit, botched surgery, etc.
Don’t forget to set your region for your ad campaign. Some plastic surgeons want to target their local area, while others are looking to expand or attract patients from other cities. Most practices will want to narrow it down to a few zip codes or within state lines.
The last step in an Ad Campaign is choosing your landing page. A landing page is the first page a patient sees after clicking on an ad. It’s their first impression, and if you choose correctly, it will convert a prospective patient into a paying one.
Choose your landing page based on the ad. If someone searches for “rhinoplasty Denver,” have your ad go to your Rhinoplasty Services page. For a “cosmetic surgery Denver” keyword, consider using your contact us or about us page.
SEO or PPC?
Should you use SEO or PPC to promote your practice online? Surgeons frequently ask this question while trying to budget time and money for advertising. SEO and PPC, though similar, serve different purposes.
SEO is a technique that uses keywords and backlinking to drive search traffic organically to your website. PPC, on the other hand, is a paid service. Of course, you don’t have to just pick one or the other. Some plastic surgeons may use SEO techniques, but also employ PPC to make sure they’re getting as many clicks as possible.
It’s Time to Reach More Clients
From remarketing to local search ads, there are a lot of different ways to use PPC to your practice’s benefit. Tools like Google Ads are still one of the most effective PPC techniques around, and although the budget and the keywords might look different for every practice, you can use the tips above to bring new clients into your practice.