It’s all about Google Ads

Updated July 13, 2020. 2-min read

We manage multiple digital marketing channels for hundreds of clinics just like yours.

Google Ads is hands down the most effective, inexpensive, and almost guaranteed-to-work lead generation channel for anyone in the therapy industry. Physio? Chiropractor? Osteopath? Podiatrist? You should be running Google campaigns.

It works well for two main reasons:

1) It instantly brings you before ready-to-buy patients, actively looking for what you’re offering. (Ads served by Google Ads are the most clicked results for local searches!)

2) And you only pay when someone clicks your ad  which means you’re only paying for performance rather than reach/exposure.

When you do it right, Google Ads brings you, consistent new patients, every week. However…

Google Ads isn’t as easy as it seems.
Google wants you to believe that anyone can run a Google Ads campaign. Not only do they show you how to run one in five “easy” steps but they also give you around £80 ad credit to get started – for free!

If Google Ads is indeed so easy and starting out is actually free, why doesn’t every local business like you that invests in it generate sales with it?

Moreover, why do so many businesses lose money with it?

Google Ads is complex stuff.
If you want to use Google Ads as a bankable lead generation channel, you need a strategy.

First, you need to identify every (we have over 2,500) condition a patient might have for which they’ll turn to search and then variations of those conditions. You also need to prioritise keywords, work out the right ad copy, set bidding strategies, and set up the right account structure with ad groups to make the best of your campaign.

You also need to work on quality post-click experiences (landing pages) as you don’t run ads for clicks but for conversions.

Finally don’t forget to track clicks and attribute conversions to ads, whilst experimenting with the ads/ad strategies and optimize the channel so the returns improve over time.

You want something like this, the first two weeks from one of our campaigns this month.

£70 spent
21 Bookings
3 Phone Calls
All from just 108 clicks

Screenshot 2020 07 13 at 22.57.23

Compare that to the same  customer doing their own ads, you really don’t want this!

£300 spent
0 Bookings
0 Phone Calls
And a LOT of clicks

Screenshot 2020 07 13 at 22.57.55

Not everyone can run successful Google Ads campaigns and every time we take over a client’s Ads account, we see the same mistakes.

Everyone seems most focused on clicks and impressions. We use those metrics for KPIs but nothing else. Without bookings, they don’t make a blind bit of difference.

Here are some basic tips for running a profitable Google Ads campaign. Hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid the most common mistakes that could guzzle most of your ad spend.  

You Need a Landing Page Consistent with Your Ad Campaign

You would think a landing page has nothing to do with the success of Google Ads. You’d be wrong.

Once your potential client decides to click your ad, they are taken to your landing page. It’s now the job of your landing page to convince clients to stay and pay.

If your landing page doesn’t match the Ad and isn’t able to clearly direct the client to the answer they are looking for, they will leave faster than Usain Bolt himself. And you would have lost a client.

So never launch an ad campaign unless you have a dedicated landing page to sell what the ad needs to sell.

If you are unsure on how to do this, have a read of our article on ‘How to Build a Clinical Landing Page and Why?’

Measure Success by Tracking Conversions

If you want to really know if your campaign is working, you need to be tracking conversions. How many people are calling from your ad? How many have booked? How many have used your contact form? Without this you’ll have no idea on ROI nor will you be able to optimise and improve your Ad campaign. You need to know what’s expensive, what’s cheap, what’s working and what’s not.

Get REAL Specific with Your Goal for Your Campaign

You want it all, we know, we want you to achieve it all as well. But, it’s not realistic and will see your campaign fail. You need to find the goal that is key for your business now and place the focus here. That might be generating bookings for a specific service, say acupuncture. Maybe it’s generating interest in a package, maybe it’s a general MSK booking. The point is, make sure you focus on one at a time and build from there.

Make a List of Negative Key Words

This may seem like an odd thing to do. But by specifying in your Ad campaign, what your product or service isn’t, will help focus your campaign to more promising clients. This means less wasted clicks and more chance of a conversion. More specifically less wasted money and more return on your money.

A prime example (and a funny one) is massage. You need to be very careful advertising massage without some negative keywords or you might not get the calls you’re looking for, especially if you do home visits!

More importantly, you want to advertise for wins. You don’t want to promote “physical therapy exercises” because you don’t want to promote exercises, you want to promote treatment!

List Relevant Key Words

This one will be more familiar but no less important. You want your Ad to be the one to pop up each time a prospective client searches for service related to yours. This is a tricky balance between casing a wide net and an exact match. If your Keywords are too broad, your Ad could show up in irrelevant places, lowering conversion rates. Equally, if you choose only exact keywords, it will likely cost more in clicks per Ad and lose you clients searching in different ways. Happy Balancing!

Create mobile-friendly ads

Google Ads allows you to track where your conversions are coming from. Computer, Mobile or Tablet. Keeping an eye on these trends could help you direct more Ads to the most relevant device.

In our experience, more than 60% of patients are searching on their mobile. So optimise your ads for mobiles and place a click call extension in your Ads.

Your landing page — and your website — must be mobile-friendly too.

Choose your location settings carefully

Geography didn’t seem all that important at school, but it is here. If your Ads are reaching people in Scotland and your service is massage therapy in London, it’s not going to end well. It’s going to be a waste of your both time and money.

Make sure you remember where your clinic is located and put this information into your Ads campaign.

Run ads for your brand keywords 

For many local services, there’s cut-throat competition even in a mile’s radius. That explains why businesses bid for the branded keywords of their competitors.

For example, if you’re a therapist, just search for your own clinic’s name and you’d be surprised to see ads of competing clinics — yes, on your branded keywords!

So run ads for your branded keywords so that competitors don’t steal any new or repeat business from you!

Think about the bottom line metrics first 

When you launch an ad campaign and see clicks at low costs you tend to assume you’re doing well.

But without tying these top-of-the-funnel metrics with bottom-of-the-funnel metrics like actual visits and bookings, you can’t know if a campaign is successful.

Sometimes even lower clicks with higher costs can result in much more business. So keep this mind.

Get the “match” right

Did you know the “best therapist in [your location]” will yield a different set of ads than  “therapist in [your location]“?! Only because of the word “best.

So the next time you run Google Ads, think about matching your ad copy with the intent of the searcher.

Learn all the hacks

If you want to do Google Ads for yourself, learn stuff like using location extensions (that can boost CTR for your service business ads by a whopping 10%!), callout extensions among dozens of other things.

These are the small things that make the big differences.

Optimize beyond the channel as well

In addition to considering how close your clinic is to the person searching for the service you offer, Google also sees your reviews, the customer experience you offer, and how you respond to your ad leads while determining your ad placement.

So optimize all these as well.

Double down on high-value keywords

After running a couple of campaigns, you should be able to spot your most profitable or high-value keywords.

And also those that generate poor or no patients.

Once you have these insights, focus your budget on the high-performing keywords and eliminate the bad ones. This alone can get you much better results for the same ad spend.


Test, Re-Test, Test, Re-Test …

You already do this in other places, do it with your marketing as well! It is never as simple as throwing all the above into an Ads campaign and walking away to have a cup of tea. You need to keep making adjustments to keywords, the landing page etc. to find what works best. Testing simple tweaks can result in more clicks and lower CPC.

As always, if you want to have a chat about what we do with our clients and their Google Ads campaigns, please get in touch!

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