Why Should Doctors Use PPC Ad Campaigns? Weigh Pros and Cons
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is a staple of any digital marketing strategy. However, investing in it might not always be a good idea. In particular, PPC for doctors has pros and cons to consider before deciding. The healthcare industry can be highly competitive, and spending money on ineffective tactics can be a costly error.
In this guide, we help medical practitioners decide whether to invest in a PPC ad campaign for their practice. We cover three advantages and three disadvantages of PPC for doctors.
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PPC for Doctors: Advantages
PPC is a common marketing tactic for many good reasons. Let us detail the benefits PPC brings to an expanding medical practice.
A. Increased Visibility and Reach
With PPC advertising, physicians can direct promotional efforts toward the patient segments most relevant to their practice. This ability to target on the basis of search terms selected by the viewer means that ads reach those with a demonstrated interest in specific medical services.
For example, a psychiatrist could use PPC to target people searching for terms such as "depression therapy" or "anxiety treatments." With this strategy, one can be certain that people looking for psychiatric services will see the ads.
PPC also offers the option of focusing ads on a particular geographic area. For doctors serving a specific locale, this can be highly beneficial. For instance, a dentist in Chicago, Illinois, could configure PPC ads to appear only to users in and around Chicago, ensuring the ads reach potential local patients.
B. Better Return on Investment (ROI)
One of the significant advantages of PPC advertising is its cost-effectiveness. Physicians pay only when someone clicks on their ad. They can then focus their advertising efforts on luring customers who have already shown interest in their offerings.
An orthopedic surgeon offering knee replacement surgical procedures could set up a PPC campaign for this service. Most clicks would come from people interested in this type of surgery, so each dollar spent is more likely to result in a consultation.
PPC advertising also provides measurable results. Physicians can then assess the success or failure of their campaign and make adjustments accordingly.
A pediatric clinic might track how many clicks and subsequent appointments result from keywords such as "child vaccinations" or "pediatrician near me." These data-driven insights can drive further campaign refinement, ensuring optimal ROI.
C. Enhanced Patient Acquisition
PPC advertising can be an effective tool for attracting new patients. By displaying ads to users searching for relevant services, physicians can make themselves known to individuals who might otherwise remain unaware of their practice.
A dermatologist, for instance, could set up a PPC campaign targeting "acne treatments" or "skin cancer screening" to attract potential patients actively looking for these services.
Moreover, PPC advertising can help physicians improve their visibility in crowded healthcare markets. A cardiology practice in a city with several cardiologists, for instance, can leverage PPC to target keywords such as "heart disease treatment" or "cardiologist in [city name]." Doing so ensures their practice stands out when potential patients search for these services online.
PPC for Doctors: Disadvantages
Just like any marketing tactic, PPC carries its risks. Doctors must know and understand these drawbacks before investing in PPC. Let us go into more detail.
A. High Competition and Cost
Medical keywords are highly competitive in PPC advertising, driving up the cost. Doctors might find that the price for clicks on their ads, especially for common medical conditions or treatments paired with locations in expensive markets such as Los Angeles, can be high.
For example, a cosmetic surgeon could face stiff competition and high costs for popular keywords such as "liposuction" or "breast augmentation." High competition can make it easier to secure the desired visibility with a substantial budget, whereas smaller practices or those just starting out might struggle to find enough funds for a competitive PPC campaign.
For instance, a new family practice in a large city might have a limited budget for marketing. The high cost associated with competitive keywords such as "family doctor in [city name]" could strain their resources, making it harder for them to achieve substantial visibility through PPC.
B. Complex Campaign Management
Managing a PPC campaign requires specialized knowledge and a considerable time commitment. Fulfilling this requirement may be difficult for busy healthcare professionals.
For instance, an optometrist might struggle to find the time to research effective keywords, create compelling ad copy, monitor for click fraud, and make sure their landing pages are of high enough quality to keep their conversion rate high. If they do find time, it is often insufficient to do the work properly.
In addition, PPC advertising platforms regularly update their algorithms and policies. Keeping up with these changes can be challenging for a physician who is often racing against time.
A radiologist, for example, might find that the rules for what they can and cannot include in an ad have changed. Staying current with these shifts requires time and attention that doctors might prefer to dedicate to their patients.
C. Potential Ethical Concerns
Care is required in PPC advertising to avoid deceptive practices. Physicians must eschew unfounded or exaggerated claims about their services. For instance, a weight loss clinic must refrain from promising specific weight loss results, which could infringe upon Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advertising standards.
Concurrently, physicians must uphold privacy and confidentiality in line with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) guidelines, even though PPC advertising does not directly deal with patient data.
A mental health clinic, for instance, should craft its ads carefully to avoid stigmatizing potential patients. Additionally, associated web forms or landing pages should comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ensuring equal access for all individuals. Balancing effective marketing and ethical obligations can be a complex task.
Determining whether running a PPC campaign is good for your medical practice comes down to weighing the pros and cons. It is about balancing the potential for increased visibility and patient acquisition with the challenges of cost, competition, and ethical considerations.
Partnering with a specialized agency such as Digital Authority Partners can alleviate many of the above concerns. We can provide expert assistance in navigating the nuances of PPC advertising in the healthcare industry. Contact us today to learn how we can guide you toward online marketing success.
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