If your eye care practice isn’t using Google marketing to acquire new patients, your eye care practice isn’t competing in today’s digital age. There are over 160 optometry searches every day in YOUR service area and 90% of web users are using Google as their search engine.
The world of online marketing is vast and can be intimidating. But in this blog, we’ll explain the 5 things you must do to increase your patient acquisition and the effectiveness of your digital presence. These Google Marketing best practices are mostly free and will help increase your marketing and advertising return on investment.
Marketing4ECPs works exclusively in the eye care industry, helping optometrists and eye care professionals get more patients with less spending. For more comprehensive information about Google marketing tools, download our eGuide. And you can always contact our team for a free website audit.
Own Your Google Business Profile
Google indexes all of the businesses in any given area. Think of it as a modern-day phone book. Owning this listing and controlling the information within it is one way you can make sure potential patients can easily connect with your business.
This listing is called your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and is completely free. The Google business profile should include any relevant information that a patient needs to interact with your practice. Make sure to include your:
- Website link
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
- High-quality images
Your Google Business Profile is one of the most basic ways to expose your practice to new patients. Read our eGuide on increasing your exposure on Google for more tips on being seen.
Get Active with Google Ads
Google Ads are paid placements that display on a search engine results page (SERP). By targeting specific keywords (search terms), you can decide what, where, and when your ads will be promoted.
These ads are independent of organic search results (tips for improving your organic ranking here!). Unlike traditional media advertising, Google Ads allows you to optimize spending in two different ways:
- You can target specific demographics with keywords and geofencing.
- You only pay when people are exposed to or interact with your advertising.
How Google Ads Work
Google is always concerned with the experience of the end-user. But Google is also a profit-driven company. Because of these two principles, Google uses algorithms to show ads that are both relevant and high-bidding.
As an optometry practice, you decide the maximum amount you’re willing to pay Google every time a user clicks on one of your ads. This is called a “bid” and is part of the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model.
You can build an advertising strategy that targets the most relevant keywords for your practice. Naturally, the most competitive keywords will require the highest maximum bid.
For more information about specific PPC advertising strategies and how to set up your Google Ads account, check out our eGuide on Google Must-Dos.
Tap Into the Google Display Network
Sometimes acquiring new patients means being the first optometry practice they think of when it’s time for eye care services. One of the most effective ways you can stay top-of-mind is by tapping into the Google Display Network.
The Google Display Network is a collection of millions of websites that interact with display ads from Google’s advertising platform. These are the squares and banners with graphics and text that pop up on all sorts of web pages people are browsing.
Using the Google Display Network gives you more reach in your advertising, and is typically more affordable than Google Ads, which can become very competitive.
Display Ad Strategy for Getting New Patients
Google provides many different parameters to control what types of websites display your ads and what demographics are exposed to your marketing. There are 2 general groups you can market to:
- Potential patients who have no previous knowledge of your business.
- Users who have previously engaged on your website or who are existing patients.
Your advertising materials should be crafted for each of these groups independently. But maintain the goal of turning an online user into an engagement with your business and eventually into a patient conversion.
Determine & Target Your Audience
Your goal should be to display your ads on the most relevant websites to get the best leads for potential new patients. But how do you decide what users are the most relevant?
This depends on your niche in the eye care industry and your preferred patient demographics. When using the Google Display Network, you can target specific groups of Google users. Your strategy may include:
- Targeting users based on their interests and browser histories.
- Targeting websites based on keyword searches.
- Targeting specific websites you think are relevant to your potential patients.
For more details on in-market segment targeting and other targeting strategies, read our eGuide outlining audience targeting.
Take Advantage of Google Analytics
Patient acquisition is all about return on investment. One of the beautiful things about advertising with Google is that it’s very easy to track your spending in each channel of advertising. Your cost per new patient also becomes very transparent when you use the right tools.
Google Analytics is that tool! And it’s totally free!
Google Analytics gives you statistics and analysis about how your website and advertisements are performing. Some things that Google Analytics will tell you include:
- Which ads are being engaged with.
- How people are interacting with your website.
- Where patients calling your practice found your information.
- What demographics are most likely to become new patients.
Understanding Google Analytics is essential for maximizing your ROI and building a meaningful strategy for patient acquisition. Google offers free online courses for setting up and navigating your Google Analytics account. Or work with the eye care marketing experts who help you get the very most out of your online advertising.
Use the Google Keyword Planner
Keywords are what people type into search engines to find information. You want your ads to show up when people are searching for optometrists and eye care.
Some keywords may be obvious, like “optometrist chicago” or “eye care chicago”. But what about all the different ways people are searching for eye care? You can find this out with the Google Keyword Planner.
The Google Keyword Planner helps you develop an advertising strategy for patient acquisition in the following ways:
- Showcases popular keywords for your industry.
- Highlights competitor keywords.
- Displays keyword trends and evolution.
- Projects the average cost-per-click (CPC) for a given keyword.
- Shows related keywords you might not have considered.
Using this tool as you develop your advertising campaigns is one way you can help refine your ads and keep your advertising budgets focused on the most relevant users.
Reach More People, Welcome New Patients
Acquiring new patients through online advertising is best done with a holistic approach. Google has made many of its marketing tools user-friendly and free. Becoming at least a little bit familiar with these mechanisms can help your eye care practice spend intelligently.
Use the Google Keyword Planner to find out how people search for optometrists in your area. Create pay-per-click Google Ads and display ads to get your business in front of the right people. And explore Google Analytics to optimize your advertising efforts and continually improve your conversion rates.
Our eGuide on 5 Things Every Optometry Practice Needs to Do On Google provides some more in-depth analysis on using these tools.
Don’t have the time to tackle all this on your own? Marketing4ECPs specializes exclusively in helping eye care professionals get the very most out of their digital presence. We can start by scheduling a free website audit to evaluate your current online performance.
Whether it’s with a marketing partner or through in-house efforts, make meeting new patients easier with Google Marketing tools!