It’s not news, traditional marketing is going the way of the Dodo bird and quickly being replaced by more cost-effective and precise methods such as Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM, also known as PPC, is a fast-growing form of web marketing in which a website is promoted and its visibility is enhanced on popular search engine websites such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. The goal of an SEM campaign is to target specific keyword searches and have them trigger ads that direct users to your website.
More and more patients are gravitating towards online searches to look for information. Information like what dentists are in their area, where they can go for physiotherapy, who comes highly recommended for laser eye surgery and so forth. After executing the search, users will most likely click on whatever shows up at the top of the first page of search results, making it critical for your clinic to appear there. So how can you position your website to display higher and outrank the competition? By launching an ad campaign, implementing comprehensive SEM strategies and continuously optimizing your campaign, your website ad can rank well in all major search engines. While this may seem like a lot of work, the effort is well worth the benefits!
Search engine ads allow you to target a specific location or radius around a city or even a postal code. You can even target users who live in your area, but happen to be out-of-town when they search for your services.
One huge advantage of SEM ads is that you can see immediate results when it comes to lead generation. Unlike SEO, where you are waiting weeks and even months for the accumulated value to deliver results, SEM ads will start showing immediately. Additionally, due to the low involvement necessary for the user to provide their contact info, you have a much lower resistance than more traditional forms of advertising like radio and magazine ads, as well as a much larger potential audience.
If you’ve ever purchased radio advertising or even print media advertising, you are well aware of the inflated costs involved with those forms of media. Not to mention the lack of guarantee you have that your ad is reaching a relevant market or even converting any leads at all. On the other hand, search engine marketing lets you choose your daily budget and how much you are willing to bid on each keyword. Furthermore, you don’t need to pay for a single impression if your ad does not get clicked on. That’s right, the only time you will be charged is if the user clicks-through to your website.
Justifying spending your clinic’s ad budget is not easy without proof of results. This is where SEM gets really interesting. Search engines like Google will actually provide ad performance data, such as number of clicks, click-through rate (CTR), cost-per-impression (CPM), cost-per-click (CPC) and much more. With a little bit of coding, you can even track the number of conversions (or leads) that are being generated by your campaign. Try getting your magazine company to give you those stats!
The last, but perhaps one of the most important benefits of running an SEM campaign is that it allows you to reach users on mobile. With 80% of Internet users now using a smartphone (Source: Global Web Index), it’s no wonder being present on mobile has become more important than ever. This is even more relevant for local businesses, because over 50% of mobile searches have local intent (Source: Mediative Labs). Running mobile ads on Google or Bing can mean huge benefits for encouraging walk-ins and nearby residents to check out your clinic’s services.
For more information on how you can start benefiting from Search Engine Marketing, please see our Marketing Solutions.