Practice Marketing

How PPC Can Help Reach Your Ideal Patient

You probably have very specific types of patients you want to bring into your practice. There’s a way you can target these people, and speak to them directly – though you might not realize how simple it can be.

I’ll illustrate how easy it is with a (true) story about a young man named Alec Brownstein who was looking for a job.

Job searches are similar to searching for new patients. There are lots of jobs and patients out there, so in order to find the one you’re looking for, you need to focus on specific traits and attributes. For a doctor, those traits might be a specific medical need, or a specific location – or it could get even more detailed, like how old they are or the kind of bedside manner they prefer.

For Alec, he was looking for a specific type of job in the advertising field in Manhattan.

So he started what he called the “Google Job Experiment.”

He set up some pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns through Google AdWords, targeting the specific people in Manhattan’s advertising world who could hire him for the job he wanted. When these people inevitably Googled themselves, his ad was at the top of the search results.

Alec’s experiment worked. He got several interviews, and two job offers. His total out of pocket costs? $6.

This example might sound far-fetched (you can view the video here), but it’s illustrative of how you can craft a message that’s for the exact type of patient you want. The beauty of PPC is that you only pay if someone clicks. Someone only clicks if they’re at least somewhat interested in what you have to say.

For a practice targeting new patients, the costs are significantly more than $6, but the return on investment can be just as compelling.

What is an ideal patient worth to your practice? Someone who is in dire need of your services, comes back year after year for continued appointments, and pays on time, in full could be worth thousands of dollars.

A recent white paper we published estimates an average patient’s lifetime value could be worth over $9,000.

Your ideal patient could be worth even more – especially if you’re offering expensive services.

Normally, to find this type of patient, you can hope they’ll walk in the door, or you can hope your existing ideal patients will refer similar friends and family – or you can advertise.

The problem with typical advertising methods is they’re not very targeted, which means you’re paying for lots of people to see your ad, most of whom are not at all interested.

Moreover, you could spend thousands of dollars on advertising and never have a clear idea of its efficacy.

PPC is different because you can see exactly how many people are looking at the types of ads you want to place. You know exactly how many clicks your ad gets, how many visits to your site, and how many phone calls and appointments.

You can accurately measure your return on investment with concrete data.

The Key Takeaway:

If you’re already spending money on other forms of advertising, you should seriously consider starting to use PPC. It doesn’t have to be expensive to get started. There’s a learning curve to the process, but once you find something that brings in your ideal patient, it can be a game-changer.

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