How PPC can benefit your practice

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Having a professional website for your practice is critical in today’s digital world. But unless you are actively promoting it, prospective patients won’t find it. And if they can’t find it, they don’t know who you are, what you offer or how to contact you. Tactics such as SEO are essential, but they take time. In the meantime, PPC offers a very feasible solution.

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What is PPC and how does it work?

PPC or Pay-per-click is a form of internet marketing used to drive traffic to websites. In contrast to the traditional advertising model where you pay money every time your campaign appears on a site, in PPC you only pay when someone clicks on your advert.

Search engine advertising is one of the most popular forms of PPC. Search lets you advertise your practice next to or above the organic results on a search engine page, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, as a sponsored link. Google Adwords is the most popular PPC publisher. However, it is also now an option on social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

With most PPC publishers, how much you pay per click depends on how much you ‘bid’. By bidding you are choosing the maximum amount you want to pay for each of the keywords or keyword phrases people are most likely to use to search for your practice.  E.g. doctor’s surgery, late night appointments, central Sydney.

Why should my practice use PPC?

If your objective is to attract more patients to your practice, PPC certainly offers many advantages.

  • It has instant impact – as soon as it is set up, your advert is visible and clickable to potential patients
  • You can reach the right people at the right time – you advert is seen by people just at the moment they are looking for your services, improving the click through rate
  • You only pay when it works – you are not spending money without seeing a result
  • You can monitor how well your ad is doing – you can track how many clicks it has received, who clicked, what they did when they arrived at your website and more
  • It increases overall awareness of your practice – it puts you in the mind of potential patients

What are the challenges of Pay-per-click?

When executed correctly, PPC advertising can be very effective. Unfortunately, most people are not equipped with the know-how to get the very best out of it.

As well as having an understanding of how PPC publishing systems, such as Google Adwords, work, you also need to have keen knowledge of what works PPC wise in your industry. That is why it often pays to seek professional help.

Here are some pointers to get started:

  • Choose precise keyword phrases to hone in on the most likely potential patients
  • Ensure your copy is clear, concise and relevant – emphasise your unique benefits e.g. late nights, friendly staff
  • Create a specialised landing page on your website which people arrive at when they click – add a call to action to make an appointment or contact you
  • Limit your adverts to a specific region to target patients who can get to you
  • Constantly monitor your advert, and make changes as necessary to increase click rate

PPC as part of your complete online marketing strategy

PPC offers many benefits but it should be viewed as a short term strategy – one to boast patient numbers over a limited period of time – not a complete marketing strategy. For the best results it should be used alongside other tactics such as SEO and your client email marketing campaign.

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