How To Grow a Medical Practice By Stealing Patients Away From Hospitals

About:

Our client is a multi-location outpatient clinic that specializes in vascular surgery. Their goal was to generate new patients with a focus on artery and vein disorders of the leg. This included varicose veins, wound care, and slow healing wounds of the leg.

The Details:

Like all campaigns, we started out by focusing on best practices:

  • Develop unique landing pages for each practice area. This, as opposed to directing all ad traffic to an existing page on the website such as the dreaded homepage. This practice is typically associated with most medical practices and results in a higher cost per lead due as most existing websites are not properly designed for a Google Ads campaign.
  • Develop thematic keywords and group them accordingly into the relevant keyword buckets. As an example, diabetic ulcers related keywords go into one adgroup and leg pain related keywords go into another, etc…

Before

First month results of one our campaign

After 

Results after the 3rd month and continued optimization

How to grow a campaign after exhausting traditional tactics

As is the case with most Google Ad campaigns, we exhausted all opportunities with the usual high intent keywords. We were looking for new frontiers to help expand our search volume in order to generate new patient inquiries.

Knowing that outpatient clinics are an alternative to hospitals, we created a new campaign to start bidding on the names all of the local hospitals in an effort to increase our market share. We’ll refer to this new bucket of keywords as Brand Competitors.

When bidding on other brands, there is one primary challenge:

Your cost per click rises because the bidded keywords are not typically mentioned in the ad copy nor the landing page.

Therefore, it’s important to dial in on the ad copy and ensure that it really speaks to the searcher’s need. We did this by specifically focusing on the largest complaint of hospitals: the red tape bureaucracy and horrific wait times involved.

Ideal patients of our client are generally in distress and want to come in much sooner rather than later. This is why outpatient centers exist. Unlike hospitals, outpatient facilities offer laser focused attentive care, comfortable amenities, and are able to cut through the red tape due to fewer layers of management. Sometimes, smaller is better.

So how do we communicate this value-add through ad copy?

An example of our ad copy

The location has been altered to protect client identity

We have various ads that are tailored to each adgroup. For Branded Competitors, we re-wrote the description by tapping into the frustrations many patients face when dealing with hospitals; the long wait and red tape. We also have a sitelink extension, “Us vs Hospitals”. This directs the visitor to a section on the landing page that overviews how our client’s outpatient facilities differ from the usual hospital experience. Along with the description, this helps to reinforce the message that we’re a better alternative for certain medical treatments.

We also tweaked the content on the landing page to help reinforce the message of the ad copy. Whereas the goal of the ad is to introduce the message, the landing page content should expand and reinforce the message.

Key Highlights

As a result of introducing these new group of Brand Competitor keywords along with new ad copy, we achieved the following:

  1. Cost Per Lead of just $16. Our previously top performing adgroup which targeted bottom of the funnel keyword was $36 so we achieved a 50% reduction in cost for our niche
  2. This new adgroup is a major contributor to the overall campaign, making up roughly 25% of total patient inquiries
  3. Our click-through rates for bidding against other brands were between 8-10%. This, compared to our non-branded adgroups which yielded a CTR of 4-5%. By positioning ourselves against other hospitals, we were able to double our CTR

Lesson Learned

  1. Don’t be afraid to bid on competitor terms even if it results in a higher cost per click
  2. Understand how the client is uniquely different from the competition and position them as such through the ad copy
  3. Tap into consumer frustration and inject this throughout the copywriting and messaging
H. Dean
H. Dean
Owner and Google and Facebook Ads strategist for Sachi Studio. Currently accepting new clients. Contact me on how to improve your lead generation strategy.

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