At one point in time, Norton Healthcare had more than 8,000 keyword search terms for their PPC campaigns.
This was driving Christy Belden nuts. As the Director of Digital Media, she inherited this “behemoth” of keywords.
“All these keywords were really broadly focused,” Belden says. “And we were beholden to our stakeholders. They’d say, ‘I want another hundred keywords for my service line,’ and we’d do it for them. We didn’t have a clear path to conversion for these keywords, either.”
It was madness. Belden decided to scrap all the keywords she inherited. During her presentation, “Patient Acquisition via PPC: An Innovative Model,” with Scott Dailey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Single Throw Digital Marketing — they talked about how they teamed up to do it.
“If we were going to start over, we wanted to do it right,” Belden says. “We needed a stronger strategy. So, we started out with the cancer service line. We focused only on that. If that went well, we’d move on to other service lines.”
Their PPC campaigns would only be focused on what patients are searching for.
“We really thought about what patients wanted to see,” Belden says. “No vanity keywords, even if a doctor wanted them. We also asked ourselves: ‘What are our benefits? What do we want to tell people we can do for them?’”
And people are searching online for help. For example, 1 out of every 20 Google searches are health related.
“Google’s job is to serve up the most relevant information,” Dailey says. “If Google served junk on page one, you wouldn’t trust them anymore.”
The team also did A/B testing and tweaked the ads along the way, due to analytics results. And here’s something else they did: their ads were positive.
“When people search for prostate cancer, they search for ‘prostate cancer treatment,’” Dailey says. “This kind of language — the word ‘treatment’ — is the kind of language people use. There’s a nuance of optimism. Google rewards you if you write like how people talk.”
They also developed an accountable strategy for the campaign. This included: paying attention to geography, negative keywords, bid caps, event tracking and goal tracking.
For example, when it came to bid caps — the team didn’t spend the same amount of money throughout the day. They accounted for when their audience was at work (more money), eating dinner (less money) and on Saturdays (less money).
They’re spending between $5 and $10 on keywords.
“We’re not putting ourselves in a compromising position,” Dailey says. “Cancer keywords are an expense. But we didn’t do anything magical. We were thoughtful and careful.”