Part of managing your reputation includes securing a top position in search results with brand advertising.
You own your brand but Google controls search results. When someone goes online to search specifically for your practice or one of your doctors, you should have a lot of skin in the game. Hopefully, your GMB listing, your website, and your other assets will come up at the top of search results. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
Google presents search results in a combination of paid ads and organic results—with the ads at the top. Ads at the top of results will push your organic results down the page. Many factors can impact how search results show up. One example NOT in your favor is that if your brand name contains generic elements, ads that don’t have anything to do with you could easily pop up and push you out of the way. Think Orthopedic Specialists of [your town]. If another practice’s website is bidding on the keyword “orthopedic specialists,” their ad could pop up on top of your organic results even when a loyal patient is searching for your practice.
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of managing your reputation by increasing your reviews and optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listings. It’s very important that your listings show up in Google’s 3-Pack of search results with good reviews that reflect the high-level of care your doctors provide. Another way to build your practice and get the patients you need—and make sure you show up at the top of search results—is by adding brand advertising to your arsenal.
I’ve compiled a short list of six reasons to use ads to protect your brand.
Leverage organic and paid search results.
Brand ads are cheap. Paid ads only cost you when someone clicks on your ad. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads vary in cost depending on the popularity of the search term you’re optimizing for. Brand ads are typically very inexpensive since you own your brand (no one can compete with that). It’s not very expensive to set up a brand ad to secure the top position in results when someone searches for your brand. You will always win.
Brand ads are conversion-focused with a clear CTA. When a patient searches for a doctor online, search results generally include a few ads (paid results), then Google’s 2– or 3-Pack GMB listings (can have both paid and organic results), and then websites that best match search intent according to Google (organic results). When a patient clicks on your GMB listing, that’s fantastic. Hopefully, you’ve optimized the page to include exactly what you want them to see. However, Google controls how the information on your GMB listing is organized.
You can make sure your brand ad focuses on patient conversion with a clear call to action (CTA) that points the patient to setting up an appointment. So when someone clicks on your ad, you can be more confident of the result and expect a better conversion rate.
Brand advertising increases your visibility. The patient journey often begins with an online search for a provider. According to a study conducted by Software Advice in 2020, 71% of patients turn to online reviews as the first step in their journey to find a new doctor, and an additional 23% use reviews at some point in their process. If you don’t show up online when a patient searches for care, you’ll miss out on a countless number of new patients.
The more times your practice or your doctors show up in search results—or in other words, the more visible you are online—the more likely your information will be clicked on. Increased visibility leads to higher click volume and more scheduled appointments.
Don’t make your patients dig for results. Online consumers have been conditioned to have all the information they need at their fingertips. According to highervisibility.com, over 99% of searchers click on one of the links in the first SERP (search engine results page). In other words, they don’t want to scroll. Don’t make them search too hard so they give up before they find you.
Combining organic rank with paid search will get you more clicks. Google did some research back in 2011 and found that when search results included both paid and organic results, click volume went up by 89% over organic results alone. It’s an old study, but today’s organic results are pushed much further down the list than they were 10 years ago, so it makes sense that those numbers have not gone down.
Why leave your SEO to chance? You may be tempted to think that if someone wants to find your practice, they will scroll down to your organic results. They may do that, but that means leaving it to chance when you can put an inexpensive ad at the top of results. The benefit of having your brand at the top of the list, rather than letting ads from other practices grab that space, outweighs the cost.
Secure your position with brand advertising.
Brand ads secure your position in search results when a patient looks for your practice or your doctors online. It just makes sense to do what it takes to win at both organic and paid search results. It’s too easy—and inexpensive—not to take this simple step.
When someone searches specifically for your brand online, you’ve already done the work to earn their loyalty. Now take that final step to make sure search results back your brand and make it easy for your loyal patients to find you. Otherwise, you may never even see a competitor sneaking off with patients who were doing their best to find your information online but got lost along the way.
Get started today. Give us a call at 866-338-8270.