Computer Screen displaying "Google Adwords"

How OBGYN Practices are Using Google Adwords to Boost Their Business


When designing websites for OBGYN professionals, one will also need to develop a marketing plan.  While this medical marketing plan will include content development, it also needs to include search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.  Through specific and relevant keywords within continually updated content, search engines will more frequently crawl the site.  This means that current and potential clients will be able to discover and learn about your practice.

In today’s connected world, current and potential clients will first turn to the Internet to look for reviews and information about physicians and their practices. With the significant growth in medical website design, it is more important than ever to make your practice stand out from the millions of other sites on the Internet. The marketing plan for your medical website should include SEO, fresh, custom content and the creation of a responsive site.  However, the physician needs to understand that their site will be competing with other sites created by SEO professionals.  Simply submitting to all of the relevant search engines does not ensure that one’s site will be listed high within search engine rankings. Everyone would like their website to be listed high within any given search engine results page, particularly Google.  Beyond SEO, one way to level the field and receive higher visibility on Google is through AdWords.

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is a way to advertise online.  These are the ads that show up first or run down the right side of the search engine page. Businesses pay to have their ads listed higher which are created through Google AdWords. When searches are run using terms relevant to your practice and its services, the ad will come up on the page.  This allows potential patients to connect directly with your website and more information.  It allows physicians to market their site to their more specifically to their target audience.  While crafting an effective ad can be tricky, there are steps that physicians can take to keep them cost effective.

Benefits and Cons of Using AdWords


Woman contemplating Pros and Cons of Google Adwords


There are many advantages to using AdWords in medical marketing plans. To begin with, you only pay for the ad when someone clicks on it.  It’s free to create the ad and post it. The AdWord fee comes only when someone clicks and visits the website.  AdWords can give medical practices high visibility. When a relevant search is run on Google, the ad will pop up on the first page.  This allows physicians to connect with more potential clients.  AdWords can be relatively easy to use once you learn how it works.  Also, physicians are able to adjust their AdWords budget as they deem necessary.  This makes it a more cost-effective marketing option.

On the downside, new websites may not find AdWords particularly effective.  Ads are linked to keyword searches so new sites may not generate relevant results as the site may still be taking time for a search engine to index the contents of a website. Or, people may not be familiar with a practice and thus won’t search for it.  Lastly, it does take some time to understand how to work with AdWords.  The most effective strategies used to drive traffic to the site will take some time to understand.  Through keyword research and tracking how they perform, you will discover what works best.  This takes time and effort to follow up with but the return can be significant for the investment.

Getting Started


Person researching google adwords on their laptop


The Google Starter Guide helps get new users started.  It provides step by step instructions for setting up the account and creating an ad.  An actual ad is composed of four elements:  headline, URL, description line 1 and description line 2.  The headline is limited to 25 characters and should contain at least one keyword.  Next, provide the URL to the specific page that you want visitors to land on.  It may be the homepage, a specific blog post, and any information page.  Ensure that it goes to the specific information that the physician is promoting.  Visitors to the site will not spend the time looking for the information if the ad’s link goes to the homepage.  Each of the description lines are limited to 35 characters.  It’s important to include keywords and specific information about the practice and its services.  Regardless of the information included, ensure that it is specific and speaks directly to the targeted clientele.  A clear call to action can also be included.  If the practice is wanting potential new patients to call for a consultation, clearly put that in a description line.

When researching keywords, Google Keyword Planner can be a helpful tool.  You can enter all of the keywords that you believe someone will enter in the search box and the planner will generate a list of keywords and their associated cost per click.  While Google says that up to 20 keywords can be used, to keep it cost effective, it is best to limit it to five to eight keywords.  Include keywords that are relevant to your practice.  These are the terms that people will use to search for the practice.  Also, include specific keywords that are relevant to the practice and its services.  Broad, general terms will not receive the high level of desired traffic.  To reach the practice’s target market, Google recommends uses a combination of general and specific keywords.  There is a discussion among SEO experts about whether or not this is the best approach.  Some suggest that it is better to be very specific to reach those clients who are truly interested in a specific practice or service over someone who might only have a casual interest in the practice.

Google also allows the physician to set where the keywords must be a broad match, phrase match or exact match.  The broad match type will reach the largest audience through a wide range of keywords.  With the phrase match, the search must be performed with the keywords in the same order.  The selection of exact match means that the search must match the terms exactly.  The most inexpensive option is an exact match but the search terms must match exactly.  The broad match option will cause the ad to come up often but the ad may come up for unrelated businesses or products.  The phrase match option is a good one because the ad will still come up with a lot of search terms.

Google AdWords can be a positive investment for a marketing plan.  In website design for women’s healthcare providers, this will most likely be something that the web designer discusses with the physician.

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