There’s a number of reasons that providers should be thinking about online advertising. There is about a hundred billion healthcare searches each year on google.com alone. And as potential patients are seeking solutions, providers have a great opportunity to be present as the solution to those problems. So the first thing that providers need to consider is an overall strategy. On one end of the spectrum, we could evaluate success as simply increasing the volume of new patients that we see. Another way we could evaluate success is around efficiency. I might have a cost per lead or a cost per new patient target. I may also have a goal of coverage.
Let’s say I’m a dentist. I just want to show up one hundred percent of the time that dentist is searched in my city, but I want to show up at the top of the list above my competition. The budgets that are necessary to support those outcomes may be different, so this is something that you need to decide on the front end. So the next thing that you need to focus on is keyword targets. The name of your specialty definitely needs to have coverage. What are the primary treatments that I provide? And then prioritize. We want to make sure that the budget is first funding the things that are most important to us. So the next thing that you need to decide is geography. Am I focused on a one-mile radius around my practice because I’m in a dense metro? Am I focused on 50 miles around my practice because I’m in a more rural area? For the things that you do, where physically do you need to be known for those things? So the last thing we need to consider is budget and the coaching I give practices in this area is simply to select a number that is sustainable for them month over month over month, especially as they’re getting started with the program. We’re not going to view the success of the program long term by the results it produces in the first day or in the first week. It’s also important to understand the primary drivers within a budget. The keywords that you select will be a big driver. If it’s really competitive and it’s really profitable for a lot of other practices, you would expect the bids on those keywords to be a bit larger. The second major driver of your budget is going to be geography. So if I want to have coverage in a massive metro area, that’s going to be more expensive than having a tighter radius or coverage within a rural area. So be sure to select a budget that’s sustainable for the long term.