Friday, December 3, 2010

1 Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Money-saving Tip

Many health care providers, especially hospitals, are starting to use Search Engine Marketing (SEM) in their marketing strategy. That's great! But I often see one silly mistake that could be costing them serious money.

This mistake is to pay for clicks when people search using keywords and phrases containing your facility name. Think about it: If I go to a search engine (like Google) and enter a specific hospital's name, I'm probably already looking for you right? So the search results will probably include links to your Internet properties like your website, Facebook profile, etc. (if not, you have a serious problem and should contact us right away.)

So if your website is the first search result, and I'm already looking for your hospital, why should you pay for me to click on your Google ad? You're probably paying around $1-2 per click (anything more than that and you should take a close look at your campaign performance). Maybe $1-2 doesn't sound like a lot, but it sure adds up. I checked on a hospital near me, and just one derivation of its name generates more than 20,000 searches per month! Can you imagine if each of those searches results in a click on their Google ad instead of the organic link to their website?

Check your own stats. How many paid search ad clicks do you get in a month? How many of those were as a result of someone searching on your organization's name? I bet if you invested that money on other keywords you'd have a much more successful ad campaign. You can focus those dollars instead on people searching for things like "heart surgery" or "best hospitals to give birth." Or what the heck, put it towards hiring another nurse.

So if I've convinced you to stop paying for these ridiculous, money-wasting clicks, here's how to stop: Use negative keywords.

In the Keywords section of your Google Adwords campaign, type a negative sign (or minus sign) before your organization's name (like this but without the quotes: "-hospital name"). Be sure to do the same for different variations of your name. You can also find this capability when you click on the Keywords tab of your campaign, scroll down below your list of keywords and un-hide the "Negative keywords" section. The other search engine marketing platforms will operate in much the same way.
Now go save some money!

No comments:

Post a Comment