NUOPTIMA > Insights > PPC for Doctors: How to Win New Patients Affordably (Free Calculator)

PPC for Doctors: How to Win New Patients Affordably (Free Calculator)

May 19, 2023 18 minutes
search awards marketing society british excrllence business leader

During a conversation with the main partner of a 30-employee doctor surgery, we discussed three main problems stopping their practice from growing:

  1. Limited marketing options in a highly regulated industry. 
  2. Relying on referrals as it’s difficult to build a patient base without established connections. 
  3. Never knowing when their next patient will come and where from.

To solve these problems, the practice needed to invest in marketing to attract valuable leads. Pay Per Click (PPC) is one of the best ways to do this because it helps:

  1. Get in front of potential patients when they need a medical specialist. 
  2. Generates a predictable flow of new patients.
  3. Ensures affordability if you use the right strategies (read below). 

Using our PPC strategies with 200+ businesses, we’ve generated 1000s of new customers for our clients. Read this article to learn how to find new and valuable patients through PPC, and book a call if you’d like an honest digital marketing agency to run your PPC campaign for you.

How much profit can PPC make your doctors’ practice?

It’s very likely one of your competitors is growing rapidly as a result of a well-executed PPC strategy. 

But every doctor is different. Your business will have different positioning, brand awareness, service offering, and costs compared to a local competitor. That is why you need to have a strategy that is suitable for your medical practice. 

Therefore, before you read our winning strategy, it is essential that with our interactive calculator, you should first work out if PPC will be a profitable method to acquire new clients. 

But first, read these three definitions to understand how the calculator works!

How PPC Works

When you run a PPC campaign, you will pay to appear on a search engine every time a potential patient searches a specific keyword (which we will define later). Every time a potential client clicks on your ad, you will pay money to the ad platform. This is called the Cost Per Click (CPC). For the medical industry, CPCs typically range from $1 and $10.

Cost Per Click (CPC)
Cost per click is the amount of money you pay to an advertising platform, like Google, to have a user click on your ad.

Of the people who click on your ad, some will convert into becoming a patient. This is your Conversion Rate (CVR). For the medical industry, CVR typically range from 1.5% and 3.5%.

Conversion Rate (CVR)
Conversion rate is the percentage of users that convert into becoming a customer after clicking your ad.

We can use this to determine the cost of acquiring a single patient. Typically, this is called the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). For the medical industry, CACs typically range from $0.28 and $6.66.

Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
This is the cost of acquiring a single customer or client. 
Customer Acquisition Cost = Cost Per Click / Conversion Rate
CAC = CPC / CVR

Interactive PPC Profit Calculator 

Use this interactive calculator to work out how much profit you will receive from each patient acquired through PPC.

We’ve built this calculator using typical CPC and CVR across the medical industry. All you need to do is enter the amount of revenue a single client generates for you. The calculator then subtracts the marketing costs from the revenue to give you a profit per customer. Hence, by using this calculator, you can develop an understanding of the potential profits PPC could generate for your business. 

It is important to note that PPC is not 100% predictable, so we have created three unique cases which represent how well your PPC campaign could perform. 

Step 1

Enter how much a single client
generates you in revenue

best average worst
CPC
CVR
CAC
Profit
Step 2

Visualise how much profit you could make with PPC

Overview of our PPC strategy

There are three steps to running a profitable PPC strategy.

  1. Set up PPC campaigns correctly to target the right audience and keywords.
  2. Design high-converting landing pages. These are the pages that your potential clients will visit. 
  3. Optimise your ads and landing pages to get the maximum profit. 

Paid Search + Paid Social

We create and manage ad campaigns on all search and social platforms

Landing Page Design

We design and implement landing pages that are made to convert

Conversion Optimization

We perform ongoing analysis and experimentation to optimize performance.

Without experience, a lot can go wrong. Doing even one of the steps incorrectly can result in losing money for every single patient you acquire. 

That’s because choosing the wrong keywords can result in you paying a massive $200 per click, not a mere $20. It can result in your page converting at a lowly 2%, not an optimised 20%. It’s the difference between you paying $100 for every new patient or an unprofitable $10,000. 

To not lose money and grow your business profitably, it is important to get each step right. The rest of the article will shed light on how to achieve a profitable PPC campaign.

Should you run ads on paid search or paid social?

There are two ways to advertise your doctor’s surgery online:

  1. Paid Search (Google Ads, Bing Ads)
  2. Paid Social (Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat)

What’s the difference? Paid Search is when your ad appears on a search engine, like Google, after you’ve searched a term. This is a very powerful advertising method because you can choose what keywords your medical practice appears for. 

We know which keywords potential patients use when they’re looking for a doctor. So, we can specifically choose to show your business at the top of Google for those keywords. But because of this amazing feature, your competitors will try a similar strategy and make it expensive. You’ll need to optimise all parts of your PPC strategy to ensure costs don’t spiral upwards!

On the other hand, if you use Paid Social, you appear ‘in-feed’. When someone is scrolling on a platform like Facebook or Instagram, ads appear. These ads interrupt the scrolling process. The person scrolling has not said they’re interested in medical support, but you’re hoping your ad will attract a patient. The disadvantage of this technique is your ad is also shown to people who don’t need your services. On the other hand, this advertising method is cheaper. 

Although most B2C businesses generate more profit on Paid Social than Paid Search, both have opportunities to succeed. 

Hence, it’s not completely black and white which way of advertising will work best for your business. It depends on the following:

  1. What exact medical service are you selling?
  2. Who are your target customers?
  3. Where do your customers spend their time online?
  4. How much money do you make per customer?

We’re going to discuss Paid Search in this article as it is the most profitable PPC strategy when starting off. Also, sometimes a hybrid strategy using Paid Social can improve effectiveness — if this is something you’d like to discuss, you can book a call.

Running PPC paid search ads  

The most common paid search ads are keyword based. When a keyword is searched, ads appear at the top of Google. 

For example, here’s a generic keyword ‘Doctor NYC’. Notice how the PPC ads appear first, and then the organic results (from SEO) appear second.

By paying for this ad, you can appear above SEO results (which takes longer to achieve). But, there are some pros and cons to this.

Pros of PPC:

  1. You can get in front of your potential patients quickly.
  2. You can win valuable clients.
  3. You can test which keywords bring in qualified leads.

Cons of PPC: 

  1. It can be expensive if you don’t set it up right.
  2. Most people scroll straight past your ads. They prefer to look at SEO/organic results (however, we can help you counter this by running a hybrid strategy so you appear for both).

Up till now, you’ve learnt and understood: 

  • How PPC works
  • If PPC will generate profitable clients
  • What paid search is
  • The pros and cons of a PPC strategy

But we mentioned that PPC could sometimes be expensive if you go for the wrong keyword. How do you know which keywords will make you money? Let’s explore this further. 

Which PPC keywords should you target to get new patients?

Most inexperienced PPC managers will make the mistake of choosing the wrong keywords. That mistake alone can be the difference between swimming in 10 new clients or drowning in $1000s of debt. 

Here’s what wrong keywords look like:

Firstly, the wrong keywords are based exactly on the service you offer. Initially, it may seem perfect, but it can have an adverse impact.

Let’s take the example of the keyword ‘doctors surgery.’ There are many competitors bidding for the exact keyword. This means the CPC is higher than is profitable for you to pay for, and results in you losing money. Remember, PPC operates on an auction-based bidding model. That means the more competitors that want to appear for the keyword, the more you pay.

Secondly, the wrong keywords have low intent. 

For example, ‘What is a dermatologist?’ The person Googling that keyword is not ready to book a consultation. They’re in education mode. Typically, these keywords have a very low CPC because no one wants that traffic. 

But what do the right keywords look like? 

Firstly, the right keywords that have a high intent to purchase services and receive a quote. For example, these could be branded, product, or pain point keywords.

Secondly, the right keywords have reasonable CPCs, which make sense for the services you sell. You can look back at our interactive calculator to figure that out.

We’re going to show you all the types of keywords that can result in a lot of profit for your practice.

Type of keywordExamples of keywordProsCons
BrandedAmerican Medical Association Doctors
NHS Practitioners 
Cost-effective strategy to win new clients when your competitors may not be the best servicer.The competition usually bids on their own branded keyword to protect against it.
ServiceFamily Doctor
Skin Care Clinic 
Cosmetic Doctor Medical House Call
High intent keywords for purchase or solving pain point and can be very profitable.Service-level keywords are usually competitive, and services need bespoke landing pages.
LocationDoctor near me
Skin Doctor in NYC
Best Physicians in Los Angeles 
High intent and very cost-effective. 
The big competitors usually avoid these keywords.
You’ll be competing with local providers. 
You’ll need to be locally present or have easy ‘contact us’ information.
Pain pointHow to find a good family doctor?
How to get rid of acne fast?
How to find a woman’s health clinic?
It is possible to capture this lead before they go to competitors. 
You’ll be able to close this client without competition.
Slightly lower buying intent as the user is in education mode. 
Will need a well-designed landing page.

Excellent PPC ad creative and copywriting examples 

Your ads appear next to your competitors, so you have to find a way to stand out. That is why we first analyse the competitive landscape before bidding on a keyword for a client.

Here are some examples of medical-related ads and what we think of them.

Ad 1: Sloane Street Surgery appearing for ‘Private Doctor London’

Keyword: ‘Private Doctor London’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Great and relevant headline. Enticing offer of ‘24-Hour Care’ and good CTA in the extension links.

Bad areas: They could include social proof, like press mentions or credentials, to support their claim of the ‘leading Specialists.’

Ad 2: Linia Cosmetic Surgery appearing for ‘Cosmetic Surgery UK’

Keyword: ‘Cosmetic Surgery UK’

Verdict: ⅘ 

Good areas: Headline is relevant to the search. The description highlights benefits such as ‘Free Lifetime Aftercare,’ ‘24/7’ contact, and excellent facilities. 

Bad areas: The CTA could be clearer and more direct, such as ‘Book a free consultation.’ 

Ad 3: Tufts Medical Center appearing for ‘Skin Doctor in Boston’

Keyword: ‘Skin Doctor in Boston’

Verdict: ⅗ 

Good areas: The ad is relevant to the search query and targets the appropriate audience. The description is engaging and convincing with ‘Board-Certified’ specialists. 

Bad areas: It would be good to see a clear next step, such as booking a callback or consultation. It also would have been better to include the location, Boston.

Ad 4: Just Answer appearing for ‘Pediatrician Online Consultation’

Keyword: ‘Pediatrician Online Consultation’

Verdict: 5/5 

Good areas: The ad creates urgency with the CTA in the headline. Great social proof with the number of questions answered, people who’ve received help, and the quick response time. 

Bad areas: Adding the ‘Ask a Dermatologist’ link is a little misleading and irrelevant to the ad. People looking for a pediatrician may not find what they need and leave the site. 

How to create a high-converting landing page for doctor PPC?

A high-converting landing page is one of the biggest factors in PPC success. Without it, you’ll be paying for traffic that doesn’t convert into clients. That’s a huge waste of cash! 

We recommend you have a conversion rate expert build out your landing page. Our winning landing page framework is reserved for our clients, but we’ll reveal the most important sections you need.  

Hero Block

The first section of the landing page is called the ‘Hero Block’. You can see the whole section as soon as you open the web page. You need to have three things in this section:

  1. Great headline. For example, ‘Best Cosmetic Doctor in NYC.’
  2. Social proof. For example, 5.8/5 stars, 2,000+ reviews.
  3. Call to action. For example, ‘Book Free Consultation Today.’

Your hero block needs to simply call out exactly what you offer, who it is for, and why you are a low-risk solution. 

Service Block

High up the page, probably in the 2nd or 3rd block, you will need to explain your services and/or products. You should explain its features and benefits. For example, if you provide online dermatology consultations, you would have features and benefits as follows:

Features:

  • Tailored consultation for your skin goals. 
  • Professional advice at a time and place that suits you.
  • Personalised skincare recommendations.

Benefits:

  • Access professional advice at a lower cost.
  • Remove the uncertainty and find out exactly how to make your skin thrive.

Call to Action Block

Every PPC landing page needs a highly compelling call to action block. It is solely designed to get the user to fill in a form or book a call. 

We highly suggest including several call-to-action blocks throughout your landing page, such as at the top of your page, one in the middle of your page, and one at the end. You’ll be surprised how much it can increase your conversion rates and reduce your customer acquisition costs!

We include 6+ other high-converting blocks in our landing pages. Reach out to learn what they are and how to implement them. 

Engage an agency to run your PPC ads

There are lots of aspects to running a profitable PPC campaign for your medical practice. You can attempt it yourself, or you can engage us, NUOPTIMA. We’ve worked with 200+ businesses and run thousands of PPC campaigns profitably. 

A bit about us

We’re an honest growth agency, and our goal is to drive profit for your business. 

We don’t work with everyone. In fact, we actively refuse 50% of all businesses that try to work with us. That’s purely based on if we think we can make your campaign a success. We only grow as an agency if we can get you results and you refer us to your friends and family. 

Before you choose a PPC agency, reach out to our team. We’ll objectively tell you what we think, and if it’s good, we’ll propose a fair price alongside a set of growth expectations and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Once you start to work with us, you’ll be in regular contact with our team. You’ll be provided with extensive data tracking and will communicate with us on regular calls.

Our PPC capabilities:

  • We can service budgets from $100+ ad spend per day.
  • Management costs start from $1,000 per month, depending on ad spend, platform, and requirements.
  • Work on all ad platforms: Google, Facebook, Tiktok, Snapchat, and Reddit.
  • We’ve worked with local service providers to public companies.
  • We’ve worked across B2C and B2B, having driven brands to 7 figures in sales, and exceeded B2B SQL quotas.

Next steps:

  • Firstly, you should visit our PPC services page here.
  • Then, you should read through some case studies here.
  • And when you’re ready, send us a message or book a call here.

Book Call

Start your growth journey today.

FAQ

What is PPC marketing in healthcare?
arrow

Pay Per Click (PPC) is an advertising method that can position healthcare websites above their competitors on search engines. If they target appropriate keywords, an ad will appear when a potential client searches for their services.

Does PPC advertising really work?
arrow

While SEO for doctors is another way to market services, PPC is a quicker alternative for getting ahead of the competition. With the right keywords, a relevant landing page, and proper strategies, PPC can be a cost-effective marketing tool.

Are doctors allowed to advertise products?
arrow

Doctors can market products and services; however, there may be additional regulations to follow to ensure the information is factual and safe. With competitive and highly regulated industries such as the medical sector, it’s advisable to get a PPC specialist to guide you through using PPC for doctors.

Author's image

By: Viktor Bartak

Head of SEO

linkedinLinkedin

Viktor has 15 years of experience in SEO, having worked on over 300 businesses across B2B and B2C, including cybersecurity, social media, eCommerce, tourism, SaaS, fintech, private clinics, agriculture, clothing manufactures, real estate and more.

Free Growth Consultation

Get free 20 minute growth consultation for your business with a marketing expert

Growth Strategy Call

Book a call with one of our growth experts to discover the best way to grow your business

Contact Us