Paid search campaigns can be a great way to attract new patients to your practice, but in order to truly be successful, you also have to pay attention to what these potential patients do after they get to your site. How many of them are actually taking the next step and making an appointment?
The first step is to make sure you have the right ROI tracking methods in place, including tracking for your appointment request forms and phone calls from your website. This will allow you to see how many people contact your practice after clicking on a paid search ad. If you are happy with the amount of traffic you are receiving from your ads, but you aren’t getting as many patients as you would like, then it’s time to reevaluate your landing pages.
Why Are Landing Pages So Important?
Landing pages are as critical to the success of your paid search ads as the ad campaign itself. Your ads do the work of getting patients to your site, but the landing pages convince them to make an appointment.
We often talk to practices who want to start an ad campaign advertising a particular procedure or service, but the landing page that they want to use doesn’t do a good job of “selling” the patient on why they should choose the practice. Often, the content is highly informative about the procedure or service itself, but there is nothing unique to the practice. While this kind of content can be helpful for patients seeking information online or for educating your current patients, it isn’t the best content to use for an ad campaign. When a patient clicks on an ad, they expect you to tell them why they should choose you.
We also see practices that have less than satisfactory results due to landing page design. Paid search landing pages should clearly guide patients to the next steps they should take. In marketing terms, we call this a “call to action.” Calls to action should be clear, prominent, and easy to find. For a medical practice, a call to action might include your phone number and a link to your appointment request form. It can also be helpful to have a page design that creates visual interest by incorporating imagery and video to keep users engaged.
Improving Your Landing Pages for Better Results
When evaluating your practice’s landing pages, we suggest looking at the following aspects.
1. Page Content: Does it “sell” your practice?
A common mistake that practices make with landing pages is providing content that is informative, but too generic for an ad campaign. At P3, we believe that content about your procedures and services should be unique to your practice and explain your approach and expertise, whether you use the content as a paid search landing page or not. Yes, patients want useful information about the procedure itself, but they are also looking to see if your practice is the right fit for their needs. When you tailor your content to your practice’s expertise and unique processes, you help patients make the decision of whether or not you are the right practice for them.
When you are using the content for a paid search landing page, it is especially important that it “sells” patients on your practice. You are paying to get patients to that page, so you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to drive patients to that decision.
That doesn’t mean that you have to resort to any annoying or unsavory sales tactics. When we say that the content should “sell” your practice, we mean that it should explain your expertise, including years of experience, relevant training and professional experience, and any processes or techniques that are unique to your practice. Your experience speaks for itself, and that is what “sells” the patient on your practice. If your content doesn’t give those details, patients may not be convinced that you are the best option, and may move on to another practice.
2. Calls to Action: Are you effectively guiding patients to make an appointment?
When a potential patient clicks on one of your practice’s ads, the landing page should make it very easy for patients to take the desired next step: contacting your practice for an appointment.
Take a look at your landing page, or better yet, have someone who has never seen the page before review it. Does your phone number stand out? Is it in multiple places on the page? Same with your appointment request forms, if you have them. Ideally, this information should be prominently displayed at both the top and the bottom of the page, and possibly somewhere in the middle of the page or in a sidebar if there is a lot of content.
The goal is to make sure potential patients don’t have to look very hard to figure out how to contact you.
It may seem silly and inconsequential–surely a patient who was motivated to see you would be willing to look harder to find how to contact you? However, you’d be surprised what a difference it can make.
We are all inundated with ads these days. When people are clicking on your paid search ads, they are often well aware that it is an ad. Because of that, they have a lower attention span and less patience to go searching through your website to find what they need. If they don’t find it all on the page you sent them to from your ads, they often don’t keep looking.
3. Overall Page Design: Is it visually engaging, while also being easy to navigate?
Another common mistake we see medical practices make with landing pages is using a page that is essentially a giant block of text–dense, not easy to scan, and unengaging.
As we said before, potential patients who come to your site via an ad tend to have lower attention spans than those who get to your website through other sources. You have to hook them and keep them engaged enough to get all of the information they need to make a decision.
Part of this has to do with how the page is structured. We always recommend making use of headings, short paragraphs, and bulleted lists when appropriate. This makes it easier for people to quickly scan the page to find the information they are looking for. Depending on your website layout, you might also want to remove or minimize menus at the top or side of the page that aren’t relevant to the procedure or service you are trying to advertise. Sometimes, these types of design elements can be distracting and obtrusive, which is the opposite of what you want for a landing page.
The other important element of landing page design is to make good use of imagery and video. Imagery can serve a few different purposes:
- Explaining more complicated concepts
- Aspirational, giving patients a glimpse of what life could be like after they have recovered
- Before and after, which can be useful for procedures where you can physically demonstrate a difference
If any of your doctors are comfortable on-camera, video can also be a great way to visually engage users, let potential patients “meet” the doctor, and explain the procedure or service in a more conversational way.
While it is unrealistic to expect that everyone who clicks on your ads will become a new patient, you can get a much better return on investment from your ads with the right landing page updates.