Google Ads is a complex beast. But used well, it can reliably and repeatably provide your clinic with treatment-hungry new patients. As with any “mechanical” tool that uses analytics, there is a shopping list as long as your arm that can impact performance. Unsurprisingly, our current national situation is no exception. Ah, the joys of Google Ads.
Working with clinics, my agency YBA PPC helps bring potential patients looking to book treatments to clinics’ websites. Having worked with numerous aesthetic businesses, I thought it would be useful to share my top tips to stretch your Google Ads marketing budget and make the tool work for you during lockdown. Before we do, let’s have a quick recap of Lockdown 1; more people were searching for answers to their questions and solutions to their needs when confined to their homes. This was positive for aesthetic clinics as we learned people had a greater intention of buying into treatments and we gained valuable insights into what exactly they wanted.
The circumstances during lockdown did have an impact on Google advertisers, such that it became less competitive because many clinics panicked and froze their ad budgets, clearing the path for those that kept going with their spend. “Cost per click” was less and people were still searching. Combined with increased opportunity, we found that those who were searching had a higher intent to actually book treatments, even when clinics were closed. Clinics who continued advertising were mopping up and filling their diaries.
THIRD TIME LUCKY
Fast forward to now and it is not so easy. This third lockdown is different from the first and many clinic owners or managers I’ve spoken to feel like they are pushing water upstream. Some are closed while some are still able to trade depending on the treatments they offer, but they all want to be busy when the black cloud moves and makes way for sunshine (which, by the way, it will).
So, to ensure you’re ready with a full diary when the time comes, here are my top five ways tips to stretch your Google Ads pennies while you wait.
Always use “buyer-intent” keywords
Ensure all keywords you’re bidding on are highly targeted in order to carry your ad spend as far as possible and generate the best outcomes. In practical terms, an example would be to include the treatment plus the location of your clinic, e.g., “laser hair removal Birmingham”. That way you attract people in the right area looking for exactly what the clinic offers.
This may seem obvious, but all too often we see clinics using broader keywords such as “cost of laser hair removal”. This is wasteful and brings people to your door who are not ready to buy. In these cases, the person handling Google Ads tends to have little technical knowledge of the tool. This brings me on to my next tip.
The magic of Google Ads is that, set up right, it is transparent and measurable. However, when speaking to clinics they often feel that they don’t have enough understanding of Google to accurately assess if it’s working or not. This is where conversion tracking comes in. I won’t bore you with the techie bits, but in simple terms whatever active step you want someone to take once they click on your website, you must capture. This is fundamental.
It could mean tracking inbound phone calls from your website after the person has clicked on your Google Ad, it could be when someone fills out a consultation form or engages with your live chatbot, if you have one; or messages via WhatsApp. (By the way, clinics using WhatsApp as a communication method from their website are doing really well with it – it’s a super-easy, informal and familiar way for people to enquire.)
So, you really must have conversion tracking set up if you are investing any level of Google Ads spend to make spending both your time and money worthwhile. You can then say with factual accuracy which spends are generating inbound sales enquiries and which are ineffectual..
Make your ads sparkle
Your advert copy is key to your success. The aim of the game is to get eyeballs on your ad as opposed to your competitors’, so make it compelling, relevant and attractive. For instance, have you won any awards, do you have free parking or offer any pre-booking discounts or upgrades? With testing, these headlines are generating strong results for our clinics at the moment:
• “Book a virtual/ phone consultation”
• “Currently booking for Feb/ March” (April, etc.)
• “10% off February bookings” (as applicable)
Do a search and see what your competitors have to offer. This will help you identify gaps between them and you.
Join the dots
So, you’re now bidding on the buyer-intent keyword, right? Now you need to ensure that the headline of the ad includes the keyword too, as psychology says that people click on the ads that include exactly what they’re after. Then we need to take them to a page that says the treatment in the headline, with an offer or call to action relating to that keyword. It’s joining the logical dots from start to finish to make the customer journey fluid and feel natural. This approach works.
Boost your efforts
Enhance your investment by getting more leads from the same ad spend. By adopting the points above and multiplying them by the next tip, you could double your leads. You’ll need to add a couple of tools to your landing page – one for “heat mapping” (try Hot Jar or Crazy Egg, but there’s loads available) and also a cool tool called Log Rocket. These show you exactly how people are interacting with your landing page, where they’re getting stuck and what’s stopping them from making that all-important call to action. With these insights you can make little tweaks and improvements that can quickly increase your volume of leads. It’s the simple things done well that make all the difference.
AND IF I’M NOT DOING GOOGLE ADS?
Collect email addresses on your landing pages and social marketing posts to create a list of people that want to know more about your clinic and the treatments you offer.
Keep your social networks and website active and populated with relevant content, blog posts or articles. Interact with both existing and potential patients via quizzes, newsletters and podcasts, etc.
YBA PPC is offering free Google Ads performance review for Aesthetic Medicine. To get the offer, email email@example.com quoting “Aesthetic Magazine Feb ‘21”.
Laura Moxham is an expert in internet marketing for Google Ads and PPC (Pay Per Click). She is the managing director of boutique agency YBA PPC, which is recognised by Google as being in the top 3% of agencies within Europe. It was also a finalist in the Growing Businesses Online category at the 2019 Google Partners Premier Partner Awards, thanks to its high-calibre results from Google Ads.