4 Common PPC Mistakes Medical Practices Make

4 Common PPC Mistakes Medical Practices Make

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can be an effective and affordable way for a medical practice to attract new patients. But with so many elements to consider when launching a PPC ad campaign, it’s easy for inexperienced practice owners to make mistakes. Costly mistakes.

Here are four of the more common PPC advertising errors we run into with our healthcare clients.

Are you making any of them?

1. Not Monitoring your Campaigns Properly


If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. This is true in all areas of our lives and something most of us consider to be common sense. But as the old saying goes, “the problem with common sense is that it’s not so common.”

Conversion tracking is your PPC campaign’s oracle. Without conversion tracking in place, and running properly, you’ll be hard pressed to know what’s working, what needs fine-tuning, and what needs an overhaul.

Call-tracking not set up? Since most new patient enquiries come via the phone, it’s critically to know which campaigns are driving those calls. Call-tracking allows you to monitor and the keyword level. Granular, essential, and money-saving!

2. A Lack of Focus

Lack of focus

If you don’t target your ads correctly, you’ll end up with the wrong visitors who just won’t generate revenue for your practice.

 Match Type Misfire

Practices make this mistake frequently with keyword match types. Match types are often misunderstood and more often than not, keywords are too broad – which inevitably leads to ads showing up for irrelevant searches.

In the search below, you can see a typical example: in the 3rd position, therapy counselling is showing up for a popular physiotherapy search term. Obviously, when one is searching for a physiotherapist, the intent of the search query is to solve the problem of a physical ailment, not an emotional/mental health issue.

 Adgroup Overload

Too many keywords in an adgroup is another place where practices bleed money. More is not always better, and this is especially true when you’re setting up your adgroups. Too many keywords per adgroup makes it almost impossible to “message match” with your copy and landing page.

Throw Everything at the Wall to See What Sticks

Because you’re not sure what’s really important to your potential patients (and you’re spending good money) – you include everything on your landing page. Every review that’s ever been written, every offer you have, anything and everything.

And this is confusing to the visitor that just clicked on your ad and now has to try to make sense of this mess. Nothing drives visitors away faster than confusion. Stick to one goal, one message, or one desired action per page.

3. Not Customizing Landing Pages to Specific Campaigns


This is widespread across a variety of industries, and something that drives PPC professionals into fits. But it is particularly common in healthcare.

Relevance matters. So, try to match your ad to a specific page as much as you can.

If your ad is aimed at women in the early stages of pregnancy, make sure there is a pregnant woman on your landing page…and/or, the same language (“Best San Diego OB-GYN”) that you use on your ad. Don’t send them to your general clinic page that lists the 10 other services you offer.

In other words, don’t create different ads with significantly different copy and send them to the same landing page.

 Homepage Hang-Up

One of the biggest mistakes that AdWords beginners make is driving paid traffic to their homepage. This may be okay if this is a small part of a larger “awareness campaign,” but it’s generally a recipe for campaign underperformance.

Want to get new patients for a new procedure your clinic is offering? Create a specific campaign for that objective. Then, a specific corresponding landing page. A landing page dedicated to that objective is a huge part of maximizing the return you’ll see from your ad investment.

Keep in mind, visitors who click on ads and arrive on a landing page normally have a specific goal or intention in mind. So the most important thing you have to do, is instantly show relevance – by helping them achieve that goal.

 Page Level Diagnosis

Here are some of the more obvious errors we see at the page level:

  • Not aligning the CTA (call-to-action) and the contact form with the landing page copy.
  • Too much information at the page.
  • Asking too many different things of the visitor.
  • Competing visual elements on the page.
  • Poor copy.

4. Not Geo-targeting Effectively


Would someone drive 100 miles for your expertise? If you’re an orthopedic knee surgeon, that may be reasonable. A family dentist? Not likely, unless there are no other local options.

That’s not to say that you can’t add a reasonable radius. You can and it may be the best thing you can do depending on your specific location, the density of your area, and the number of similar providers in the area.

In fact, you can get very specific with your targeting, even by zip code – which can allow you to tailor messaging and speak to specific demographics.

Being mindful of how proximity influences our medical choices is something that needs to be considered and planned out at the campaign strategy level, as it has trickle down implications for much of your marketing campaigns.

PPC is not easy. If done wrong, you can burn through thousands of dollars. But if you target the right people, with the right expectations, and measure, test and iterate – you can make PPC an effective instrument in your medical marketing.

Get more website traffic & leads with our proven approach to digital sales and marketing.

Get more website traffic & leads with our proven approach to digital sales and marketing.


Dental Email Marketing to Increase Patient Flow

Dental Email Marketing to Increase Patient Flow

Achieving a 450% patient increase in November and December for a multi-location dental practice was a win for our client, and made everyone involved feel proud.

To be fair, by no means are we the only ones responsible for this increase in patient flow. This is an established practice, with talented internal teams that support marketing campaigns where it matters most – directly with their patients.

This particular campaign was strong because of the processes put in place to support it.

It is a repeatable, achievable strategy that any dental practice can accomplish, even at a smaller scale.

It’s All About Their Benefits

health insurance benefits

Wouldn’t it be great if all of your dental patients could actively plan out their check-ups and procedures throughout the year. They’d get the dental care they need, while at the same time, making the most of their own dental insurance plans.

Unfortunately, we’re all busy and sometimes our own dental care planning takes a back seat to soccer tournaments, vacation plans, and day-to-day life.

So how does a practice work to change this without coming across as self-serving?

It Started with a Survey

online patient survey

This annual campaign, called “Getting the Most out of your Dental Insurance” focused on patients’ awareness and understanding of their own benefits plan.

It began in July with an email marketing campaign to the entire patient list, promoting a short online survey created with the following focus points:

  • We wanted to get patients asking themselves whether they take full advantage of their benefits – every calendar year.
  • To generate awareness that unused benefits do not “roll over” into the next year.
  • That paying insurance premiums and not using their benefits was the equivalent of paying their insurance provider for nothing.
  • We also introduced the idea of larger treatments that could be split between years in order to maximize coverage.

Published Results

reasons for not using benefits

We gathered the data and produced a report to re-engage patients in a second email marketing campaign. We included comments gathered during the survey, as well as the top reasons people gave as excuses or reasons why they didn’t fully use their benefits.

  • This allowed us to create some visual campaigns with memorable quotes.
  • Stats that we could publish and promote online and offline.
  • And a call-to-action that would be used throughout the remainder of the campaign.

Facebook Remarketing Campaign

fun light campaign

We utilized content created throughout the campaign to gently remind patients about their “unused benefits” in a friendly and fun style – while they were on Facebook.

We retargeted using custom audiences: those patients who visited specific pages related to the awareness campaign.

An Increase in Planning for Larger Procedures

Planning for Larger Procedures

If we stopped here, this still would have been a successful campaign. But one of the key goals identified by the client, was to increase planning for larger procedures by the patient base that was most sensitive to pricing and payments.

They tagged client files on an ongoing basis that were potential candidates for more extensive dental treatments involving multiple visits.

This segmented email list was targeted with a 3rd email campaign, that noted the procedure discussed, and the options to split the treatment over the two calendar years.

Direct follow up by phone occurred within a week of the email campaign.


There can be a benefit to simply sending email reminders to clients about their expiring benefits. But this isn’t always true.

There are 3 elements that are important and help you make the most of this type of campaign:

1. Repetition

2. Timing

3. Tone – keeping this light and educational without being pushy or “salesy.”

As long as you implement the process appropriately and put in the work to get there, these kinds of results are achievable.

NOTE: Many extended health benefits include physiotherapy, chiropractors, massage therapy, acupuncture and much more. These are all healthcare practices that can utilize this same strategy.

Get more website traffic & leads with our proven approach to digital sales and marketing.

Get more website traffic & leads with our proven approach to digital sales and marketing.