This week, we’ll answer one of the most common questions we get from clients: “Should I bid on my own name in Google Ads?” Is it a waste of money, or a valuable tactic to get more patient leads online?
What’s up everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Medical Marketing Podcast from Messenger – the show where we give you actionable tips and advice to help improve your practice marketing, grow your revenue, and take patient experience to the next level. I’m your host, Crawford Ifland, and today we’re going to be discussing the practice of bidding on your own name in Google Ads – is it a good idea, or a waste of money? Let’s dive in.
Should I Bid on My Own Name? Or is it a Waste of Money?
Now, when we talk about the concept of bidding on your own name, or your practice name on Google Ads, we’re typically met with a lot of resistance and questions: why would I spend money on my own name? When a patient types our practice name into Google, we appear at spot #1 – we already have good SEO around our own name, so why would we waste money on it?
All of these questions are valid, and if I were in the shoes of a physician, I’d probably be asking the same questions.
But there are still some very valid reasons why you should consider bidding on your own name and having ads for your practice appear when patients type your name into Google search. In fact, branded search campaigns can be some of the most effective advertising campaigns you have in your arsenal – so let’s figure out why.
Why Branded Campaigns are so Effective
There are three primary reasons why branded campaigns are so effective, and why your practice should consider employing them in your PPC campaigns.
Reason #1: Cheap Clicks
The first reason branded campaigns are so effective is because they general produce traffic at a very low price. These are what we like to call “cheap clicks” – if a patient is searching for your practice by name, they’re obviously looking for you.
Google doesn’t have to do as much work in the auction process to figure out which advertiser should end up on top since the patient’s search query is so specific – they’ll just display your ads.
Plus, chances are there’s less competition for your exact name than there may be for a term like “plastic surgeon near me.” As a result, the clicks are cheaper.
For example, we have a client in the refractive surgery space. Clicks on ads targeting “LASIK near me” cost an average of $10 per click…but clicks that target their brand name exactly cost about $4.
Reason #2: High Relevance
The second reason that branded campaigns are so effective is that they are highly relevant.
We hit on this point before, and it’s one of the reasons that the clicks tend to be cheaper than other campaigns, on average. The other benefit of high relevance is that you know that patients are specifically interested in you, so these campaigns tend to drive a lot of conversions and new patient leads.
When a patient types your name into Google, you can know they’re doing research on their options, or that they want to select you as their doctor – otherwise, they wouldn’t be searching!
As a result, not only do these campaigns drive a lot of clicks, but they drive a lot of conversions as well. And while you always want to have campaigns for your specific service offerings and procedures, it’s always smart to have a general brand campaign as well. In fact, among our healthcare clients, branded campaigns stand out as some of the most effective campaigns in driving new patient leads to their practices.
Reason #3: Human Psychology
The third reason branded campaigns are so effective comes down the human psychology: lots of people click on the first thing that they see. If you didn’t have an ad campaign targeting your name, patients might click on another ad that appeared above organic results on Google.
I don’t want to say that the entire human race is lazy, but we tend to pick the easiest option, especially on Google. And there’s another reason, too: advertisers have far more opportunities to tailor their ads to be hyper-relevant and match the exact terms that patients type into Google. Organic results don’t get that chance: your website is your website, and whatever appears, appears. As a result, patients succumb to the way their brains work, and are far more likely to click on an ad than an organic result.
Because of all of these factors, it’s a good idea to have a branded campaign targeting your name – even if you’re only spending a moderate amount.
So, let’s recap what we’ve learned today:
- Bidding on your brand name and your physicians’ names, while not free, is a great and cheap easy to supplement results you’re getting from organic search – even if you’re already appearing at spot #1 for your practice name.
- Branded search campaigns tend to deliver cheap clicks to your website since the competition for your brand name is likely very low.
- Branded search ads are highly relevant to what patients are searching for, so you’re likely to attract lots of patient leads with these types of campaigns
- There’s no changing human psychology – lots of patients click on the first thing they see that’s even moderately relevant…and if you want to be the first thing they see, you might just have to bid on your own name.
That’s all for today’s episode of the Medical Marketing Podcast. If you liked this episode, please subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast platform and leave us a review on Apple Podcasts. It helps us grow and reach new listeners, so if you don’t mind taking 30 seconds, we’d really appreciate it.
Next week, we’ll take a deeper dive into how to structure a Google Ads campaign to outflank your competitors in your market. We’ll examine things like account structure, whether or not your ads should be at that #1 spot, and how to bid effectively to gain traction and get more patients than your competitors down the street.
As always, we’ll have a link to the show notes in the description, and don’t forget to browse our website at www.messenger.md – we’ve got tons of great resources on how to improve your practice marketing, grow revenue, and take your patient experience to the next level.
For Messenger, I’m Crawford Ifland – see you next week!
Crawford Ifland is the Founder and Creative Director of Messenger Medical Marketing. Messenger is a digital marketing agency specializing in custom medical website design, healthcare SEO, practice promotional videos, and more. Messenger helps the nation’s leading physicians and medical device companies grow their businesses through websites, promotional videos, and smart marketing strategies.