As a healthcare provider, you understand the ongoing necessity of enhancing your online visibility. Maybe your website is showing up organically in the search results, and maybe your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing appears in the Local Pack. Maybe you’re even running PPC ads that appear above the organic listings, but there is one feature that appears even higher than all of these results and shows at the very top of the page — Local Services Ads (LSAs).
Google’s Local Service Ads, designed to help businesses feature prominently in relevant local searches, have now been extended to the healthcare industry, marking Google’s commitment to the success of businesses across all sectors. LSAs, initially rolled out for home and legal services such as plumbing and electrical repairs, are now transforming how you reach out to your local audience. While the strategies for leveraging Local Services Ads in healthcare may be different, their power to attract local leads is undeniable, making them a key feature for you to explore and use.
In addition to this, many of your competitors are probably yet to adopt Local Services Ads in healthcare, opening up a unique opportunity for you. Instead of competing with dozens, or even hundreds of competitors for a spot on the first page of organic or Local Pack results, you may only find yourself against one or two other LSAs in your area. What’s more, the sooner you create an LSA, the more established your listing will be when your competitors decide to try to catch up.
What Are Local Services Ads?
When individuals in your area search for healthcare services that you offer, your LSAs get prominently displayed, providing a direct and relevant point of contact between you and your prospective patients.
LSAs are tailored towards generating leads directly from the ad itself. They provide prospective patients with options to contact your healthcare practice via phone calls or messages. Their unique feature is their pay-per-lead model. In other words, Google charges you only when a patient reaches out to you directly from the ad. This way, you ensure that you’re investing only in results, optimizing your return on investment (ROI).
You may be wondering, how does this differ from PPC ads?
There are several key distinctions between them. First, PPC ads operate on a cost-per-click basis, whereas with LSAs, you’re charged for each lead generated from your ad. PPC also requires direct keyword bidding, a feature absent in LSAs where you have the flexibility to set a maximum bid per lead or even let Google decide for you.
To optimize PPC ads, you need to conduct thorough keyword research and run tests to ensure your ad shows up in the right search queries. On the other hand, with LSAs, Google takes care of your ad’s ranking by assessing factors like your review rate, proximity to the searcher, and response rate. This automatic ranking system significantly reduces the time and resources needed to manage your ad campaign.
Finally, where and how your ads appear is another way that Local Service Ads differ from PPC ads. Your PPC ads will show up with a “Sponsored” tag above or below organic search results. Meanwhile, your Local Service Ads will always be displayed at the top of the search results page. These ads will also have a green “Google Guaranteed” or “Google Screened” badge that will add credibility to your healthcare organization.
Why Are Local Services Ads in Healthcare Important?
Google has been expanding its LSAs to a wide range of industries, including healthcare. As of January 2023, Google started the use of LSAs for dental providers. Fast-forward to April 2023, additional verticals were added to include allergists, chiropractors, dermatologists, dietitians, ophthalmologists/optometrists, orthodontists, physical therapists, podiatrists, and primary care physicians.
The trend points toward a continued expansion of LSAs across various healthcare specialties. So, if LSAs are not yet available in your specific healthcare field, they likely will be soon. Here are some of the compelling reasons why you want to be ready when they include your specialty:
Get Featured Prominently in Search Results
Local Service Ads in healthcare give you a better chance of people taking notice of your business. Studies show that when LSAs show in the search results, they receive almost 14% of all clicks. Also, people won’t have to scroll to see the ad as it will instantly appear right under the search field. This allows your healthcare organization to stand out and immediately capture the attention of relevant patients.
Improve Your Advertising ROI
One of the best parts about Local Service Ads in healthcare is that you only pay for the leads delivered through the ad. That means you won’t have to spend money just for displaying your ad, and instead, ensure that everything you pay for directly contributes to your bottom line. This allows you to cut down your ad spend, which will help you maximize your ROI.
Generate High-Quality Leads Directly
Google LSAs offer specific targeting options that ensure you’re only showing your ad where and when you want to show it. When you set up your profile, you’ll be able to choose the exact cities or ZIP codes where you provide healthcare services. Your ad will only show for users located in or searching for services in those locations.
You can update your profile at any time to add or remove cites or ZIP codes. A unique feature of LSAs is that you’re not required to list all the service areas that you serve. For example, if there is a particular area where your business has been slow, you could run LSAs only in that area to attract more patients there.
Promote Confidence with the Google Guarantee
Every business featured in Local Services Ads has passed through a thorough screening and verification process by Google. As such, all the ads will have a green badge of trust which shows people that the business is verified as credible. This not only helps your healthcare organization stand out, but it also adds instant credibility. So, even if it’s the first time a potential patient comes across your practice, they will feel more comfortable trusting you because Google is vouching for you.
Overcome Limitations of Local Services Ads in Healthcare
Unlike other industries where Local Services Ads are used, healthcare providers don’t have the ability to analyze and dispute calls within the LSA platform. This limitation is primarily due to the strict compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations that prevent the recording and logging of patient calls. As a result, there is a potential risk of paying for invalid or low-quality leads. However, the benefits of using Local Services Ads in healthcare outweigh these limitations, and there are different ways to overcome them.
To begin with, it’s crucial to monitor the quality of leads and overall campaign performance consistently. If you notice a surge in low-quality leads, you might need to adjust your targeting or profile settings. This ensures you’re not spending more than necessary on leads that don’t convert.
In line with this, you need to analyze your LSAs constantly. Since you can’t review calls within the LSA platform, you can rely on call tracking. This will provide valuable insights into call data, help you understand the quality of leads, and how well your LSAs are performing compared to other channels. With this information, you can fine-tune your LSA campaign and improve lead quality over time.
Also, let’s not forget that your GBP is an integral part of your Local Services Ads. Your rating, reviews, and other GBP information significantly impact the performance of Local Services Ads. Therefore, actively managing and improving your GBP should be a central part of your strategy. Regularly ask your satisfied patients to leave reviews, respond to reviews both positive and negative, and ensure your GBP information is accurate and up-to-date.
This way, you can optimize your Local Services Ads in healthcare and maximize the benefits they provide. Your goal is not just to get your ad seen by as many people as possible but to ensure that it’s seen by the right people, at the right time, and in the right place to increase your chances of turning prospects into patients.
Drive Growth with Local Services Ads in Healthcare
As Google continues to expand LSAs to more healthcare specialties, now is the time to stay ahead of the curve and seize this opportunity to increase your organization’s visibility, generate high-quality leads, and ultimately, enhance patient conversion rates.
With its broad set of tools aimed at optimizing your online reputation, improving patient engagement, and facilitating data-driven marketing, SocialClimb is the perfect companion in your quest not only to improve Local Services Ads in healthcare but also your overall marketing strategy.
As LSAs rely heavily on the strength of your GBP, you can ensure it’s fully optimized with the help of SocialClimb’s robust automation tools. You can manage and optimize your business listings across various platforms, including Google, ensuring accuracy and completeness of information which is crucial for visibility and credibility.
In addition to this, by helping you gather more positive reviews and quickly address any negative feedback, the platform can boost your GBP’s appeal, enhancing the effectiveness of your LSAs.
Also, while Google doesn’t allow healthcare providers to dispute invalid leads within the LSA platform, SocialClimb’s advanced analytics and call tracking capabilities can help monitor the quality and source of your leads. This enables you to gauge the effectiveness of your Local Services Ads in healthcare, adjust your strategy as needed, and ensure your marketing budget is being put to good use.
Finally, in an industry where privacy and compliance are critical, SocialClimb ensures all its features and services adhere to HIPAA regulations. This means you can confidently utilize their platform to enhance your marketing efforts, knowing patient privacy is always upheld.