What is Google AdWords?
Google AdWords are the sponsored results you see at the top of Google Search Results. Every result you see with the word “Ad” next to it is a website which is paying to appear there.
For example, here are the ads which appear when we search for “orthopedic surgeon miami”:
Google AdWords for Doctors – Why? (Advantages)
There are several advantages for doctors who choose to use AdWords.
1. Get to the Top of Google Immediately
Are you in a rush to get new patients and fast? Then Google AdWords may be the right option for you. A new account can be set up without a matter of hours, so your website could be appearing on patients’ screens before the end of the day!
2. Target the Patients you Want
One of the best features about Google AdWords is its ability to target people within a certain geographic area. After all, if you are an urgent care center in Chicago, then you don’t want to be paying for ads for people in Texas! You can also use the Google Adwords schedule feature to schedule ads for when you want. We usually advise doctors to schedule ads for when they are open – so that patients can call to schedule. After all, why pay for patients to call you when you’re closed?
3. Track Results
Their are many tracking options. Google refers to them as “Conversions”. Using code provided by Google, you can track the success of your ads. This includes tracking how many calls you received (and whether these calls were from the ad or from your website). It also includes the ability to track if patients later scheduled an appointment on your website. By tracking results, your practice can calculate how much you are paying for each conversion.
Google AdWords for Doctors – Why not? (Disadvantages)
Despite being a great way to increase online patient referrals, there are some disadvantages.
1. The Cost
Google AdWords works on a cost per click (CPC) model. This means you pay for every click on your ads. How much is each click? It usually ranges from $1 to $10 dollars, but can be higher for more competitive keywords. Needless to say, the cost of an AdWords campaign can quickly rack up. So you have to be careful to set it up correctly.
2. Beware the Google AdWords Reps
Some of the Google AdWords Representatives are great and have found brilliant solutions for our AdWords campaigns. However, others seem more intent on just increasing the click through rate (CTR). Increasing the CTR increases the amount of money Google earns. However, it’s not always a good thin for doctors. You do not want to be paying for patients who have little or no chance of scheduling an appointment. So when setting up and managing your AdWords campaign, be sure to work with an AdWords specialist and not just the Google AdWords employees.
3. Short Term
The thing about Google AdWords is that as soon as you stop paying, your ads stop appearing. This is one reason why many doctors prefer the idea of organic seo for doctors, because it lasts for longer. You may also want to read our article about Google AdWords vs. Organic SEO.