Google Ads for Doctors — Is it worth it?

What is Google Ads?

Google Ads (formerly 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.

Google Ads for Doctors


Here is an ad that appears when we search for “orthopedic surgeon miami”
Google Ads for Doctors

What are the benefits of Google Ads for Doctors? (5 Benefits)

If your practice is serious about increasing its number of online patient referrals, then Google Ads is a must. Here are 5 reasons why:
top of google

1. Get to the Top of Google Immediately

Are you in a rush to get new patients and fast? Then Google Ads may be the right option for you. A new account can be set up in 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 of Google Ads for Doctors 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 ad impressions in Texas!

You can also use the Google Ads 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? However, if you offer online scheduling, then you may wish to keep your ads running 24/7.

target patients
track results

3. Track Results

There are many tracking options. Google refers to them as “Conversions”. Using a short 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. Read more about Healthcare Marketing Analytics.

4. You only Pay when someone Clicks

Unlike other forms of online advertising (e.g. Facebook), you only pay when someone clicks on your ads. This is known as Pay Per Click (PPC). It means that you are not wasting your advertising budget on ads that are not of interest to people.
facebook ads for doctors
increasing percentage

5. The Percentage of Google Ads Clicks is Increasing

According to WordStream, the percentage of consumers clicking on Google Ads (instead of the organic search results below) is increasing.
But what does this mean? It means that doctors can no longer just rely on appearing in the organic search results. In order to maximize new patient volume, they should run Google Ads and SEO campaigns in parallel.

Great, so Doctors should apply 100% of their Marketing Budget to Google Ads, right? Wrong.

Despite being a great way to increase online patient referrals, here are 5 reasons Doctors should NOT spend 100% of their marketing budget on Google Ads:

5 Disadvantages of Google Ads

google ad cost

1. The Cost

Google Ads 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 $100 dollars but can be higher for more competitive keywords. Needless to say, the cost of a Google Ads campaign can quickly rack up. So you have to be careful to set it up correctly.

2. Beware the Google Ads Reps

Some of the Google Ads Representatives are great and have found brilliant solutions for our Google Ads campaigns. However, others seem more intent on just increasing the number of clicks—and therefore the amount of money Google earns.

You would think that more clicks are a good thing, right? Well, NO—not always.  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 Google Ads for Doctors campaign, be sure to work with a Google Ads specialist and not just the Google employees.

ad reps
short term

3. Short Term

The thing about Google Ads 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.

4. There are still more Organic Clicks than Ad Clicks

Only 15% of traffic goes to paid search. So why would you allocate 100% of your budget to a form of advertising which is only getting 15% of the clicks? In other words, doctors also need to rank their websites in the organic search results. This process is known as SEO, or for medical doctors, as ‘medical seo‘.
organic clicks

5. Be Careful when Setting Up Your Campaign

Setting up your campaign badly can lose you a lot of money. We have seen practices set up campaigns to run 24/7, yet the practice only answers the phone from Mon-Friday, 9am to 5pm. So all those clicks and missed calls in the evenings and at weekends were wasted!

Worse still, we have seen local practices forget to restrict the location, resulting in them targeting the entire USA. Is someone in Alaska really going to visit your urgent care in Orlando? No. Money wasted!

The lesson here is simple: Be careful when setting up your campaign so that your ads, so that no dollar is wasted.

How many new patients will Google Ads generate? What’s the Return On Investment (ROI) from Google Ads? Is Google Ads for Doctors it worth it?

The number of new patients you acquire will depend on several factors:

1. How well your campaign is set up. The better optimized your campaign, the more relevant your ads will be, which means more conversions (i.e. more new patients).

2. The size of the target audience. The size of the target audience is also important. If you are geo-targeting a small village with a population of just 3,000, then you will get a lot less conversions than targeting a large city like New York or Chicago.

3. The budget.  The size of your budget will greatly affect your number of new patients. The more you spend, the more patients you will acquire. Of course, the ROI will depend upon your specialty. For example, an orthopedic surgeon receives much more per surgery than an urgent care doctor performing a check-up.

Bottom line? If set up well, most campaigns generate good Return On Investment. After all, why are doctors spending so much on Google Ads? The answer is simple: Because they work.

return on investment

Set up Google Ads for your Medical Practice TODAY

Contact us today to find out more how we can grow your practice with the power of Google Ads.

Book your free strategy session today.

Dr. Richard Girling
CEO & Founder
Free of charge. No obligations. Learn more about how we can help grow your practice.
Schedule my 15-minute call NOW
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