There are more than 5 billion Google searches per day, but is your practice rising to the search forefront when potential customers hunt for hearing care? How can you maximize online search tools to drive more opportunities to your practice? Discover the power of pay-per-click advertising, including who should use it, why it matters, and how to get started.
Listen to our podcast and hear how audiologists can take advantage of paid search to drive more opportunities to their practice.
SEEING THE VALUE
Pay-per-click advertising — also called “PPC” — is about generating traffic to your practice through online keyword search results that feature your ad and prompt a prospect to select it. Each click on the ad costs a fee, but ideally the return on investment vastly outweighs the expense.
PPC can be an effective and affordable way to generate flow, so who in the ENT and hearing care space should consider this approach as part of their overall marketing outreach? Anyone wanting to bring more patients into their practice, said Meghan Kelly, Audigy’s director of media.
“I think everyone should consider PPC,” said Kelly in a recent podcast on Audigy’s Attainable Podcast Network. “If you’re not doing paid search, you should look into it — and look into it by contacting our team.”
Back in the day, Audigy used a national vendor to manage members’ digital campaigns, but the transparency and results just weren’t there. Bringing the digital business in-house for greater effectiveness, stewardship, and accountability, Kelly and her team started with three member accounts that have since grown to more than 100 across the country.
“The relationship we have with our members is that we succeed when they succeed, which is a little bit different than any type of agency, or purchasing directly through a media rep,” said Kelly.
Rather than using an approach that encourages overselling, Kelly’s team starts with a given budget and continues to monitor it using data drawn from that market. If a particular practice’s PPC campaign launches with a $2,000 budget, for example, but the available digital traffic is closer to a cost of $1,200, Kelly’s team would recommend a decrease.
“What I like about our in-house program is it’s very honest,” said Kelly. “The interests are very, very aligned, and I feel good about what our team offers members in the way of an honest search strategy.”
USING THE DATA
Why include PPC in your marketing blueprint? For one, it’s a sure way to get your practice in front of customers looking for the specific services you provide.
“PPC is important, because the top Google search results are paid,” said Kelly. “You can almost guarantee that you will show up as a search option if you’re willing to invest in the paid.”
But what about search engine optimization? SEO and pay per click are both important digital strategies that complement each other, Kelly noted, but they are different.
“SEO is ensuring that when someone does a search, your website shows up, but you can’t guarantee that,” said Kelly. “PPC, however, involves paying for your ad to show up as an option.”
In addition, PPC offers a greater volume of data and analytics that can be used to:
- Understand the customers’ online journeys that brought them to you
- Ensure more prospects are delivered to your digital efforts and campaigns
- Inform and guide the branding and marketing that your practice is also undertaking offline
Pay per click’s ability not only to generate leads but to provide business intelligence accurately and quickly makes it valuable in a variety of situations. When appropriate, it can even replace more traditional research tactics such as focus groups, which potentially require more time, effort, and expense.
“We don’t have to do that any longer,” said Kelly. “We can run a national campaign specifically targeting people by age, income, where they live, what kind of car they drive. We can get super, super granular if we want to and get those results in a day. So it’s a real efficient way of getting good data.”
In short, adding paid search to generate traffic to your website and analyzing that traffic for prospect engagement not only boosts brand presence much more quickly but produces valuable metrics to inform your site content.
The most important part of any marketing campaign is the goal, which is exactly where Audigy starts when launching a PPC campaign. The first question: What does success look like?
“That’s where my team can be incredibly helpful, because they run over 100 campaigns for private-practice audiologists,” said Kelly. “We can take a look at how these campaigns are performing and transfer those expectations, successes, and tactics to someone who is just initiating a new campaign.”
Having an agreed-upon vision of success at the beginning sets the tone for productive, effective marketing:
- It allows the parties to establish reasonable campaign expectations that directly relate to the goals.
- It helps determine benchmark metrics such as cost per call, cost per prospect, and cost per appointment.
- It provides a point of reference to help avoid keywords that may seem tempting but ultimately aren’t relevant for that market.
As part of best practices, Kelly typically recommends that PPC ads send consumers to a landing page rather than a website, helping ensure prospects quickly see content that’s relevant to their needs.
“What if you’re suffering from tinnitus but wind up on this audiology website that speaks nothing to tinnitus?” Kelly explained. “It would be a much better experience for the user if they clicked on the tinnitus ad and landed on a page that said, ‘We have helped over 6,000 people with tinnitus since 1999, and here’s how we can help you. Fill out this form for a complimentary consultation.’”
It’s all about optimizing the prospect’s experience — from viewing the ad to clicking it to taking the next steps that connect that potential patient to your practice.
The Audigy Difference:
- Our paid-search campaigns include recording and scoring all phone calls and reporting the cost per call.
- We take the time to build custom landing pages for your PPC campaign, because they convert better.
- Our high standards of transparency include being an approved Google partner, ensuring you know exactly how your PPC campaign is being run.
- We tailor the budget to the available web traffic in a given period, rolling unspent funds to the next month for maximum value and efficiency.