AdWords & Pay Per Click Marketing for Physicians

There are many different ways physicians can grow the online presence of their medical practices, but one of the most effective options is by using Google Adwords, aka Pay Per Click (PPC). PPC ads are sponsored ads that show on search page results and other ad areas of websites.

google-adwords-logo

The main reason AdWords are so effective and provide a high ROI is because you get you decide how, when, and where your ads show and you only pay when someone clicks on the ad.

AdWords marketing and PPC should be part of every medical practice’s internet marketing strategy. This is especially true for doctors or healthcare professionals interested in growing their online presence with a focus on local or even national marketing. Working with a PPC strategist that understands how to leverage PPC to achieve optimum results at the lowest possible per click rate is essential for a successful campaign.

A PPC strategist at Physician Designs will start by understanding your objectives. We will then setup a campaign, select keywords, and write ads based on your goals for your medical specialty and services.

What is Pay Per Click Marketing?

AdWords and PPC ads are the ads that show up at the very top and along the right side of Google results pages. AdWords give you a lot of control of how, when, and where you’d like your ads to show:

  • Target searches using specific keywords
  • Control what time of day your ads run
  • Target ads based on specific cities or radius

PPC advertising is an easy way to generate relevant traffic to your site. PPC works by placing ads on search engine results pages (SERPs) or on websites that are related to the keywords you have chosen to represent your field. What you pay for each click that leads to your site is based on how much you are willing to bid, as well as an established quality score.

The higher the bid and the higher the quality score, the better your chances for getting an ad listed at the top of the ads displayed on a page.

How Does PPC Help Physicians and Medical Practices?

PPC helps physicians attract potential patients to their site, as long as the campaign is managed properly. In order to manage a PPC campaign successfully, it must be closely monitored to ensure proper bidding for keywords and ad copy. Understanding when something works and when it does not, and making adjustments as necessary, is an imperative part of ensuring your PPC campaign is a smart marketing investment. The goal of a successful PPC or AdWords campaign is to create the greatest impact for the lowest financial investment. If you are paying a lot for your PPC efforts and seeing few results, it is time for a change.

Using Google Adwords and building a successful PPC campaign can help you generate new referrals and grow your practice. It is a proven and effective method for helping physicians and making the most of their internet marketing dollars.

If you’re interested in AdWords management, please contact a project manager and receive a free consultation and quote. Our management service includes:

  • AdWords strategy
  • Competitor analysis
  • Ad copy
  • Keyword research
  • Budget management

AdWords can be very competitive so it’s important to choose a company that understands your medical practice and the PPC landscape.

Responsive Website Design – Benefits for Your Medical Practice

More and more people and prospective patients are accessing the Internet using mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Unfortunately, not all websites are designed for this type of access and those that aren’t are not creating a great user experience.

responsive medical website
It is becoming increasingly important for websites to provide a web presence that is usable and user friendly for mobile devices. Responsive website design makes attractive and efficient sites possible, regardless of the device used. With a responsive website for your medical practice, prospective patients can access one website on all devices.

Understanding Responsive Website Design for Medical Websites

Responsive website design was named for its ability to respond to a device regardless of how a site is accessed. The images, content, and structure of the site are the same no matter the device. When a responsive site is accessed using a smartphone or tablet, the site “reacts” to fit to the smaller screen, so there is no need to worry about creating different sites for various devices.

A responsive site uses grids and proportions instead of pixels to fit into the screen. More and more people are using mobile devices – we see 20-25% of all traffic for our medical websites being from mobile devices.

A prospective patient is very likely to search on their iPad or iPhone for a physician after work rather than sit in front of a home computer; especially if they’ve been sitting in front of a computer all day.

In the past, websites needed a regular version and a mobile device version, but responsive site design has eliminated this need. In addition to creating efficiency with only one site, there are numerous other reasons you should consider a responsive design for your medical practice.

Mobile Market is Growing

There are few people out there not using a smartphone, tablet, or both. Statistics show about one-fifth of all Google searches are performed on a mobile device. It is predicted that mobile usage will surpass desktop usage during 2014 and that the mobile market will only continue to grow.

Not only that, Google also prefers responsive design. Responsive website design is more efficient for Google bots to crawl, index, and organize because they have only one URL and the same HTML across all of the various devices. Not only does this mean less work for Google, it also means it is easier for users to share and interact with content.

Responsive Design has the Ability to Increase Conversion Rates

More and more people are using their mobile devices for finding information online. Research has recently shown nearly 70% of all mobile device users made a purchase within the last month. The less work users have to do to finalize their purchase the better, and responsive design makes the process easier. Responsive designs are able to adjust to any screen, so developers control how the conversion elements display on mobile devices.

What does this mean for a medical site? It means patients are more likely to follow through once they arrive at your site. The information you want to share with patients will be easy to access and you stand a better chance of getting visitors to your site to take the action you want. Also, since responsive sites aren’t prevalent, you will stand out from your competition. A prospective patient may visit a competitor’s non-responsive site and find it difficult to use, and then leave the site.

Social Media

If there is one thing users of mobile devices access when online, it is social media sites. Estimates show more than half of all social media interaction occurs on a mobile device. Social media also continues to carry a great deal of weight in the marketing world and as more and more Internet users incorporate social media into their everyday lives, its impact in physician website marketing will continue to grow.

One of the main things people are doing when using social media is sharing content. In order for this to have the greatest impact, the content must be accessible to as many people as possible.

For instance, if a Twitter user posts a link to the medical content on your site and 30% of people clicking the link from their phone are unable to access the information, you just lost nearly a third of your potential audience. However, with a responsive medical website, people are able to access your content, regardless of the device they use. You ensure your content is accessible to 100% of users. As more and more medical websites feature important content, easy access across all platforms is essential for making the most of your investment.

Optimal User Experience

Responsive website design results in medical sites that are more user-friendly. Instead of zooming and shrinking to see everything on a screen that is smaller than a desktop, all of the content automatically adjusts when the site loads. This makes it as easy as possible for visitors to utilize your site.

Studies have shown that when a visitor arrives at your site and is not happy with what they see, there is more than a 60% chance they will head elsewhere. A positive experience with a site increases the likelihood a person will trust the site enough to follow through and make contact.

When your site does not offer responsive design, the message you give patients is that you care very little for the experience they have when they arrive at your site. Think about your use of responsive site design as you would designing a brick and mortar office: If a patient walks in the front door and is greeted by a wall that prevents further access, he or she will turn around and leave. On the other hand, if the patient enters and encounters a pleasant atmosphere that feels friendly, inviting, and comfortable, the odds of that patient settling in and feeling comfortable increase. Your site should create this environment regardless how the prospective patient accesses your website.

Easier to Manage Marketing

Every medical website owner knows how much work it takes to manage a site and ensure it ranks high on search engines. Imagine having to do double or triple the work. That’s what happens when you do not implement responsive design. You will need to run separate SEO campaigns for each URL. A single responsive site means a single SEO campaign.

The bottom line is, as a business and website owner, you need to stay on trend and adjust to the market, but you also need to make smart decisions. Responsive website design allows you to do both. Not only are you able to keep up with the competition, you implement a strategy that makes everything about managing your site easier. Responsive website design is a win-win for everyone involved.

All medical websites developed by Physician Designs are now fully responsive. We can create one website for your practice that will work on all devices.

Is Your Medical Website Costing You Patients?

Did you know the design for your medical website determines how long a visitor stays on your site and whether or not visitors scroll to read all of the content on a page? Research indicates more than three quarters of all site visitors do not bother scrolling during their first visit to a site. This means that more than 75% of the people who find your site never see more than just a few words written “above the fold.”

Locating key content in the right location on your physician website means the difference between a visitor glancing at your site and that same visitor sticking around to learn more about your medical practice. As a matter of fact, good medical web design can improve conversion rates by up to 50%.

physician-website

Organizing Your Medical Practice Website

The first thing that can be done to improve a website for your medical practice is to organize the site and its content to make it easy to navigate and find information. The quicker visitors find the information they need, the more likely they are to stay on the site and learn more about you and your medical practice. Providing easy-to-find information about your bio and medical services also helps you build trust with visitors. The best way to organize a site is to think about why visitors searched for the site in the first place. The most likely reasons a person searched online for a healthcare professional are:

• finding a local physician to treat their medical problem
• determining if their insurance is accepted
• learning more information about the practice and physician
• Scheduling an appointment

Improving a visitor’s ability to accomplish these tasks increases the value of your site and increases the chances of converting that person into a patient.

If your site is not already doing these things, now is the time to make a change. A medical practice’s website design can be improved with the following three items.

Your Home Page Should Clearly Describe Your “Brand”

The home page of your site needs to share important information with site visitors. It should include what your medical specialty is, who you are, who you provide care, and why what you offer is different than anyone else in your field. Your home page does not need to include elaborate details, but it must offer clear information about the heart of your practice.

Good medical website design communicates important details about your brand and determines whether or not visitors want to learn more about your practice.

Create an Easy to Navigate Design

Too many websites are confusing and not user friendly. The easier your site is to use the likelier patients are to use it. Remember, not all of your current and potential patients are web savvy and even those who are do not have time to waste searching all over your site for what they need. Burying important features beneath layers of pages someone might like to read will not enhance your site.

Good website design features a navigation menu that is prominently featured and consistent on every page of the site.

The menu needs to direct visitors to the important parts of the site before they do anything else on the site. Making things easy to find actually increases the time people stay on your site and it improves conversion rates. Be sure to include a services page that includes a sub-menu featuring each of your services separately. We recommend at least the following pages for our physician clients: Home, About the Staff, Services, Patient Information, and Contact Us.

Encourage Visitors to Take Action

Encouraging visitors to take action on a website is known as a “call to action.” It encourages visitors to follow up and contact you directly. There might be a contact or email button on each page or you might include a contact page. Most of our medical websites use a “Request an Appointment” form that makes it easy for visitors to submit their name, phone number, and email. The form can then be forwarded to your front desk which can follow-up and schedule an appointment.

In addition to contact information, we also include Google Maps that makes it easy for patient to find your medical practice. This can be at the bottom of every page or just on the Contact Us page.

Is your medical website design missing any of these important components? If so, it could be costing you business. Now is the time to make a change. Contact a Project Manager at Physician Designs for a free consultation and quote.

What Your Medical Website Design Should Accomplish for You

Most doctors know they need a medical website for their practice, but fewer understand exactly what that website should accomplish. A physician website is about more than just letting people know you exist online. It is about sharing information with potential patients, establishing a reputation, building a relationship, and helping your practice achieve success. What exactly should good medical website design accomplish for you?

The majority of adults in America use the Internet to gather information and make important decisions. Choosing a doctor is one of the most important decisions a person makes and many utilize information from the Internet to make this decision. In addition to information online over which you have no control, you can supply patients with everything they need to know about your practice. This is one of the most important things good physician website design can do for you. There are four specific things you want your site to achieve:

Attract New Patients

A good physician website makes it easier to grow your practice. It attracts the attention of search engines, which leads prospective patients to your page. Once they arrive, good design encourages them to stay and learn more about you, your services and philosophy. Great optimization and design can even help you target the specific types of patients you want to attract to your practice.

Establish a Relationship with Patients

Your website should build your brand and help you create trust between you and current or potential patients. The site should feature your logo, your goals as a physician, your menu of services, and anything else you want people to know about your brand. Your site should reflect your brand and help you establish brand presence online. This makes it easier to build trust with patients. They get to know you and feel comfortable working with you before you meet in person.

Good medical website design allows visitors to the site to see “behind the scenes” and feel like they are a part of their medical care team. A good design also establishes a sense of community. Providing a forum in which patients can share information and experiences eliminates the need for prospective patients to go elsewhere looking for information over which you have no control.

Educate Patients

Not only will good website design make it easier for prospective patients to find you, it will help you educate people about your practice and issues associated with the type of care you offer. Many prospective patients are looking for details about health conditions and medical issues. If you are able to provide well-researched, up-to-date information, they will call on you for future concerns. (Read our post about using social media for your medical practice)

Allow Your Office to Run More Efficiently

Your patients are not the only ones who benefit from a great website. Great design can also take a lot of the burden off your office staff. How much time is wasted answering questions about office hours and taking appointments? A website can do these things for you – and 24 hours a day. It allows patients to contact your office about non-emergency issues that can be answered automatically or through email. This means you and your staff are able to focus on providing care to patients in need in the here-and-now without missing out on opportunities to interact and provide information to potential new patients.

Is your website working for you? Does it accomplish everything it possibly can? If not, now is the time to make improvements.

Adding a Human Touch to Your Medical Brand

Your website is one of the best tools you have for enhancing your medical practice’s brand. Successful healthcare web design and social media messaging allows you to communicate a very specific message to the public and makes it easy for people to associate your practice with the message. Unfortunately, branding can become technical and cold, which is the last thing you want when trying to attract new patients.

If you take time to humanize your brand and add a personal touch to your website design and social media, it can really help you stand out from local competition. Your medical marketing strategy should include ways for you to add a personal touch to your website, as well as your social media interactions. Social media is one of the best ways to personalize a brand and help potential patients form a connection.

In addition to reaching out to patients through social media, consider how well your website design communicates a personal touch. These tips can help:

Introduce Members of Your Staff

Introducing the members of your staff is a great way to help patients feel comfortable and choosing your practice. It’s comforting for a potential patient to know what a person looks like before meeting. Adding video interviews with staff members is an even more effective way to familiarize patients with the medical and office staff.

Improve Your About Us Page

Most medical websites feature an about us section, but you should be sure you are using yours to its fullest capabilities. In addition to giving basic details about your practice, include your reasons for choosing your field and your philosophies on medicine. Patients are able to make a connection to this information and it helps them feel at ease when the time comes to work with you.

Offer Valuable Information to Site Visitors

Your goal should be not only to provide information about your practice, but also to educate visitors on your site. Adding educational information gives patients a reason to return to your site. In addition to providing up-to-date information about medical studies and various developments in your field, add information about medical issues affecting your patients. Your goal should be to create a community atmosphere among your staff and patients.

Do Not Neglect Your Site

Whether you are updating the site on a regular basis or you have hired someone to do so, make sure the information is current. Nothing communicates neglect quicker than a blog or social media account that is dormant. Visitors to your site should be treated to fresh content and current news. Do your best to build conversations with site visitors and those following you on social media. Active conversations with the public allow you to really personalize your brand.

Do Not be Afraid to Personalize Your Site and Social Media

All business owners struggle to find the right balance of professionalism and personalization and doctors are no exception. While it is important to keep messages on your website and in social media professional, you do not want to make them cold and dry. Blend a little personalization into things and you will find it helps your patients feel more at ease. Getting to know a little about you and your staff is a great way to help patients feel special and allow them to relax when visiting your office.

Is your brand cold and distant? Could your website or social media campaign use a human touch? This small change could go a long way to enhancing your marketing strategy. You can save yourself a lot of legwork and contact a project manager for services like social media management from Physician Designs that will humanize your marketing campaign.

Should Physicians Use Social Media?

The short answer to whether a physician should use social media in their medical practice is “yes absolutely!” – but most doctors need to understand specifically how social media can help the practice.

Opening a handful of social media accounts is not enough. Unless you utilize these accounts and set practical goals for a social media strategy, you will be unlikely to attract and engage people and potential patients.

social-media

Successful marketing for physicians requires a solid social media strategy. This should not mean using every social media platform available and it certainly does not mean spending hours each day Tweeting or posting on Facebook. Your best bet is to organize a plan that is consistent, engaging, informative, and effective.

If you doubt the power of social media consider the following:

  1. Social media establishes your presence online. When potential patients begin their search for a doctor, the process most likely involves a search on the Internet. If you have not established a presence online, you might as well not exist to them. Social media allows you to expand your online presence beyond your website and attract even more attention from search engines.

  2. Social media makes it possible to share information with as many people as possible. An important part of your medical website design is the informative content. Unfortunately, the only people who will see this is those people specifically looking for your site. Social media makes it possible to reach a greater number of people. Not only are you getting them to notice your practice, you are also sharing valuable medical information.

  3. Social media helps you distinguish your brand from your competitors. The more solid the public’s image of you, the more you stand out. Think of the best brand accomplishments out there. All you need is to see a logo or hear a tagline or jingle and you know exactly what company you are dealing with. Social media allows you to further establish your brand in the minds of your current and potential patients.

So how do you create a strong social media strategy?

social-media-studentsAll successful offline and internet/website marketing for physicians should have a social media component. You can choose to speak directly with patients via social media or you can allow someone to post information for you.

The key to engaging users is providing eye-catching information. Most users skim through social media so it’s important to post items that can be quickly read and understood. Examples of this include lists of items such as “5 ways to prevent allergies” or “7 benefits of eating vegetables”.

Also be sure anyone posting to your social media accounts understands the mission and goals of your practice. The last thing you need is a message being conveyed to the public that is not in line with your practice.

Determine how often you want to post to social media and what information you would like to share. Often, people use social media to share informative content and to put a human spin on their practice’s online presence. You can use a blend of personal tidbits about staff and the day-to-day operations of your practice, as well as links to blog posts and relevant articles about your field of practice.

Is social media necessary for doctors? You bet it is. It can put you at the forefront of your field and create an engaged audience. Now is the time to include a social media campaign in your marketing strategy for your medical practice. You can contact us for a quote for an active social media management campaign.