Empower Your Practice

Journal for Practice Managers

Paid Search for Physicians: A Guide to Medical PPC Advertising

Contextual advertising or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has long-established itself as one of the effective digital marketing tactics to increase patients. Such advertising will allow you to target the optimal audience for you and offer your services to them. As millions of people search for health information on the Internet, PPC can serve as a breakthrough solution for your clinic.

What is PPC and How Does it Work?

You saw this ad countless times, when you search Google or Bing. Have you ever noticed that an advertisement at the top of the list exactly matches what you want?

PPC campaign is a paid service provided by search engines and social networks that allows clinics to display targeted advertisements on their platforms. Google Ads and Microsoft Ads dominate the contextual advertising market in the UK.

Since more than 3.5 billion searches are performed daily, contextual advertising is the most effective way to contact your potential patients. It provides them with an answer to the question they are looking for.

Medesk is an assistant for clinic managers, collects and presents complex statistics about the work of the clinic in a simple and understandable way, that makes it easier for the manager to make both operational and strategic decisions.

Learn more >>

PPC healthcare ads platforms promote your ads based on specific keywords and other criteria. Payment occurs only when your ad is clicked.

When you buy ads from Google, your clinic's website is located at the top of the search results. This is based on your chosen keywords, as well as partner sites. As a result, you do not pay for being on the first search page. Instead, you pay only for clicks by your prospective patients on your ad.

Organic search vs PPC ads

Organic search and PPC (pay-per-click) ads are two different approaches to online marketing that can help businesses drive traffic to their websites.

Organic search refers to the natural results that appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) when a user types in a search query. These results are determined by complex algorithms that take into account factors such as the relevance, quality, and popularity of website content.

As we already know, PPC ads are paid advertisements that appear at the top and bottom of SERPs. There are some key differences between organic search and PPC ads.


Organic search traffic is free, whereas PPC traffic is paid for. Organic traffic can be an excellent long-term strategy for building traffic and authority, but it can take time and effort to rank well in search results.

PPC ads, on the other hand, can provide almost instant visibility and traffic to a website. However, they can be expensive, especially if you're bidding on highly competitive keywords.


Organic search results tend to be more trusted by users because they're seen as more objective and unbiased. PPC ads can be seen as more intrusive and less trustworthy, although this depends on the quality and relevance of the ad.

Ultimately, the choice between these options depends on your business goals, budget, and resources. Some healthcare professionals may prefer to focus on building a strong organic presence, while others may find that PPC provides a better return on investment. It's worthwhile to consider both approaches and test different strategies to see what works best for your business.


Cost per click: The VCG Mechanism

Cost per click is used to determine the cost of your ads to potential patients in search engines, Google's display network of Google AdWords, and social networking platforms. Cost per click is an important factor when choosing bid strategies and types of bids per conversion. This will allow your healthcare practice to get the maximum number of clicks relative to your budget size and target keywords.

Contextual advertising functions through the Vickery-Clark-Groves (VCG) auction mechanism. This is a closed auction for several parameters, whose participants cannot see others' bids. Although the winner of the VCG auction is the participant who offered the highest price, he pays exactly as much as the bidder(s) whom he displaced by participating in the auction.

As VCG strives for a "socially optimal" auction, its correct strategy is to offer its true value.

How Healthcare Paid Search Campaigns Can Help You with Personal Branding

Less than 5% of daily searches are related to healthcare providers and medicine. It is not surprising that many clinics are changing the way they promote online. Statistics speak for themselves.

According to PatientPop research, three of four people have searched online to find out about a doctor, a dentist, or medical care.

Enabling Google Ads in your medical marketing plan will also benefit you.


If you promote your blade through context, you have an advantage over competitors who choose a more traditional development path.

You establish yourself as a valuable source of information and a treatment option for your potential patients.


PPC bypasses traditional SEO. It takes a lot of effort to bring the site to the first place in Google search results. Implementing ad campaigns in Google is the easiest way to do it.

Who Needs a PPC Healthcare Marketing Campaign?

If your clinic has a website, social media accounts, and you devote the energy and budget to promotion online, then perhaps it is time to connect Google or Microsoft advertising.

Contextual advertising is suitable for your clinic if it meets your long-term marketing goals. Your efforts in digital marketing strategies are aimed at:

Achieving these goals requires a strategic and long-term marketing plan. These include:

  • Production of high-quality content
  • Search engine optimization
  • Social Media Marketing

Once these long-term marketing goals are established, short-term marketing tactics can be added to them.

Do you have a marketing budget?

To obtain high conversion rates from pay-per-click advertising, you will need careful planning, optimization and allocation of funds from your budget. However, to get a high return on investment (ROI) out of PPC ads, you need to put more effort and money.

Note! Invest in Google Ads only if you have an affordable marketing budget and qualified employees to monitor advertising campaigns.

Advertising on Google is not the only source of new patients.

Medical marketing should not rely heavily on paid medical ads alone. You should invest a lot of effort in SEO for doctors, medical websites and health PR. In addition, you should include techniques such as press releases and advertising in print or media.

Are you ready for more phone calls?

Successful healthcare advertising will eventually increase traffic to your site. Since more people will use your healthcare services, you should expect more phone calls than usual.

You are completely ready if:

  • You have enough employees at the reception or in the call center, whose tasks will be tied exclusively to telephony.
  • You have scripts that work for different dialogue situations with patients.


Who Should Avoid Healthcare Digital Advertising?

Contextual advertising is not for everyone. Some clinics have more opportunities to invest in paid search marketing than others.

Here are the basic reasons why search ads should not be used in your medical business.

If your clinic does not yet have a consistent long-term marketing strategy

Paid advertising systems are effective marketing tools, but they require a significant budget and careful supervision to ensure campaign success. Before you invest in ads it is very imperative to think carefully about a long-term, holistic marketing strategy.

If you don't know what distinguishes your clinic from its competitors

Give preference to services that have proven themselves well for your existing patients. Listen to patient feedback or explore opportunities your competitors missed. In this way, you can attract your ideal patients. This will increase trust, recognition and loyalty in the long run.

If you have not yet decided on your brand's unique component

Instead of investing effort and money in paid advertising, your clinic may benefit from branding and clear messaging.

Your clinic hasn’t established patient admission processes

If you have a sufficient budget and the right advertising methods, Google can bring new patients. However, all this money and effort can be wasted if you do not have well-built and effective processes for admitting new patients, and the quality of service leaves much to be desired. This can happen to you if:

  • You don't have well-thought-out algorithms for reception staff
  • You can't handle many phone calls
  • You don't have a reliable missed call strategy.

Why Medical Search Engine Marketing Can Cause Difficulties

Although Google Ads is an effective marketing tool, advertisers in medicine should consider the following points in order to avoid mistakes.

Be careful with your statements

Marketers in medicine should be careful about how they promote the clinic and its services. For example, some phrases praising the clinic may be considered misleading content.

If you conduct advertising campaigns, you should avoid exaggerations. Paid advertising services immediately reject ads that contradict their advertising policy. You cannot guarantee the patient's complete healing.

Clinic services can be presented as a possible solution to patients' health problems, but do not promise an unambiguous recovery. Be honest in your statements.

Advertising in your specialty can be difficult

Google prohibits the promotion of specific products and services on their platforms. Medicine may concern plastic surgery clinics or rehabilitation centers. There are cases when these delicate proposals are allowed, but they can only reach a limited number of people.

Restrictions on remarketing

Marketers often use remarketing to convert more potential patients. Google has limited this feature to medical organizations. That is why advertisers in medicine prefer landing pages to ensure conversions.

Your ad should make sense to prospective patients

Advertising should accurately reflect your clinic's brand. The only way to gain patients' trust is to accurately reflect your brand on the clinic's website and social networks.

Analyzing the information your patients are looking for will help you find the most appropriate keywords to create advertising campaigns that attract a wider target audience.

You need to meet patients' needs

It is key to knowing your target audience well. Your patients can search for information about their health problems or clinics, as well as learn about treatment methods.

Learn more about actual preferences of your patients and make right decisions via Management Reporting Module at Medesk.

Learn more >>

It is extremely reoccurring for advertisers working in the field of medicine to focus on these different needs of their target audience through various campaign strategies.

Practice Management Software for Cost-effective Advertising

Practice management software can be a valuable tool for managing and optimizing PPC ads.

  • PMS can help identify keywords and phrases that potential patients use to search for medical services online.
  • Practice management software creates effective ad copy optimized for specific keywords and audiences. This can include ad headlines, descriptions, and calls-to-action.
  • It also creates landing pages optimized for PPC ads. These pages can be designed to provide a clear call-to-action and a seamless user experience, which improves conversion rates.
  • In terms of conversions, it can help track ads' effectiveness, such as appointment bookings or contact form submissions. This information can be used to optimize ad targeting and budget allocation.
  • Finally, practice management software generates reports that show PPC ads' effectiveness over time.

In summary, practice management software is vital for PPC ad management. This includes keyword research, ad creation, landing pages, and conversion tracking. By leveraging technology, medical practices can optimize their PPC ad campaigns and generate more leads and appointments from their online marketing efforts.

Get to know the world of electronic health records and how they can help you in your professional endeavors by visiting our blog.

Follow us

Should You Charge Your Patient’s a No-Show Fee? Pros & Cons

Wondering whether or not to charge a doctor’s office no-show fee? Here are the pros & cons to help you decide.

6 Top Medical Practice Management Software For Your Practice in 2024

Explore top practice management software for 2024. Enhance efficiency and patient care with leading solutions: Medesk, Jane, WriteUpp, and more.

How to Start a Physical Therapy Clinic in 2024 [10 Easy Steps]

Thinking of starting a physical therapy clinic? With our comprehensive step-by-step guide, opening a physical therapy clinic has never been easier!